Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask instead what you can do for your country, even if it means upsetting the schemes of the elites."

Something useful from a blunder
February 28, 2006

Wesley Pruden
The Washington Times

It's an ill wind that blows nobody good, and that hot wind out of Dubai is useful, too. It reveals the fault lines of the modern Republican Party while there may be time for someone to do something about it. Or maybe not.

John McCain, the senator from Arizona with a gift for saying things other people won't, decries the uproar over the Dubai ports deal as "hysteria." A lot of the noise sure sounds like it.

Some of the president's friends quickly turned their ire away from the president's partisan critics and aimed it at the loyalists of his base, dismissing the concerns of red-state conservatives as merely ignorant resentments and lowbrow vexations of hicks in the sticks. Some of his friends took their cue from the president's professed puzzlement that he didn't understand how anyone could see any difference between the British, a constant American ally in war and peace for 200 years, and a clutch of Arab emirates who were helpful pals of our most dedicated enemies only five years ago. Soon anyone who expressed skepticism of the deal was a racist, a yahoo, a redneck, a xenophobe, a know-nothing or at least an overwrought Jew or Bible-thumping Christian. One of the president's loudest apologists, a sometime lobbyist for Islamic causes and the imam of the no-tax movement, caught the sour tone of the hysteria, quoted in the Los Angeles Times: "The only whiners left by next week will be the registered bigots."

Well, now it's next week, and the anger bubbles and splutters. The fault line glows like an ember in a dying campfire, illuminating the two faces of the Republican Party. One is the face of the Corporate Republican, the globalist for whom America is only real estate and a comfortable place to do business. The Corporate Republican is embarrassed by the naive enthusiasms of the Heartfelt Republican, who thinks of God and country as one and the same, eager to revere God and ready to defend country when duty calls. Commercial interests are important in their place, but nothing is as important as the nation's security interests.

John W. Snow, the secretary of the Treasury, and Michael Chertoff, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, offered a succinct summary of the creed of the Corporate Republican in an op-ed essay in this newspaper: "On this issue, the United States has a responsibility to act according to established procedures and to act without bias." (Italics mine.)

Without bias? The Heartfelt Republican -- indeed, most Americans of whatever partisan hue -- will always act with bias if it's bias in favor of the United States. If it's good for America, it's good enough for General Motors, and not the other way around, as a chairman of GM famously put it in another time, another place. Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask instead what you can do for your country, even if it means upsetting the schemes of the elites. Arguments by the Corporate Republican that the Dubai deal is "a good business deal" will never resonate with the Heartfelt Republican. Making a buck is important, but "loving your country more than anything else in the world" is most important of all.

Belief and conviction puzzle the elites. Since the elites often regard a church as merely a convenient place to marry their daughters and bury their parents, they imagine that our Islamist enemies don't really believe that religious stuff, either. A good business deal, struck over brandy and cigars, is what's worth fighting for.

The White House is betting that the new 45-day review, arranged by the administration and agreed to by the emirs, will cool things off, and in six weeks' time the deal will go through, and by then we'll have another blunder to make the public forget this one. But since he asked everyone to take the deal on faith in him, the president and his friends will be held solely accountable if anyone exploits the abundant opportunities to make trouble in New York or Philadelphia or New Jersey or New Orleans. Not fair, but life rarely is.

Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Times.

"...to fight the jihad in the courtroom means you'll lose."

'Koran permit, must acquit'
by Mark Steyn
Jerusalem Post
Feb. 28, 2006

Abu Hamza is the most famous of Britain's many incendiary imams, a household name thanks to the tabloids anointing him as "Hooky" - he lost his hands in a, er, "accident" in Afghanistan in 1991. Recently on trial in London for nine counts of soliciting to murder plus various other charges, he retained the services of the eminent Queen's Counsel Edward Fitzgerald.

Mr. Fitzgerald opened the case for the defense by arguing, according to The Daily Telegraph, that "Hamza was urging his followers not to murder British people but to fight in holy wars where Muslims were being killed in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia, Kosovo and Palestine." Asked if he had ever intended to urge or incite murder, Hamza replied: "In the context of murder, no. In the context of fighting, yes."

Hmm. Mr. Hamza wants to see a caliph installed in Downing Street and to have Muslims "control the whole Earth."

And, of course, wanting Muslims to control the whole Earth is not against the law, nor, as his counsel argued, is advocating the more robust methods of bringing it about. As The Times of London reported:

"Edward Fitzgerald, QC, for the defense, said that Abu Hamza's interpretation of the Koran was that it imposed an obligation on Muslims to do jihad and fight in the defense of their religion. He said that the Crown case against the former imam of Finsbury Park Mosque was 'simplistic in the extreme.' He added: 'It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.'"

WELL, IT'S ingenious, and, though Mr. Hamza was sadly found guilty, who's to say it won't work for the next A-list jihadi? If Koran permit, you must acquit. To convict would be multiculturally disrespectful. If the holy book of the religion of peace recommends killing infidels, who are we to judge?

Indeed, much of the developed world seems to have already internalized that rationale: Islamic mobs riot, loot, burn embassies and kill people around the world, and the fury of Western elites is reserved for those hapless Danish cartoonists for being so "insensitive."

Likewise, Nick Griffin, leader of the highly non-multicultural British National Party, is also on trial, "accused of using words or behavior likely to stir up racial hatred" - and, unlike Mr. Hamza, he's unable to avail himself of the but-I-got-it-straight-from-the-Koran defense.

The English jury was sternly reminded that its role was not to consider the truth or otherwise of Mr. Griffin's remarks: The criminality thereof was not mitigated by factual accuracy. One of the offending observations was this, made a year before the July 7 bombings at a meeting in Leeds: "We all know that sooner or later there's going to be Islamic terrorists letting off bombs in major cities, and it might not be London, it could just as easily be the White Rose Centre" - which is in Leeds. Mr. Griffin ventured that the bombers would prove to be asylum seekers or second-generation Pakistanis "living somewhere like Bradford."

CLOSE ENOUGH. Well, closer than MI5 got. The July 7 bombers, in fact, were second-generation Pakistanis from Leeds - a mere stone's throw or bomb blast from where Mr. Griffin was speaking. Tony Blair has for years been predicting terrorist devastation raining down on Britain, but very shrewdly he usually avoids hazarding too specific a guess at the likely identity of the perpetrators; which is why he's not on trial and Nick Griffin is.

Go back four years. On September 11, the Bush administration had to choose whether to regard the events of that morning as a matter for law enforcement, or an act of war. At one o'clock that afternoon, as the Pentagon still burned and after he'd helped pull the injured from the rubble, Donald Rumsfeld told the president, "This is not a criminal action. This is war."

That's still the distinction that matters: Part of the reason John Kerry lost in 2004 and why the Democrats will lose again this November is that they view this business as a law-enforcement matter - all warrants and due process. And, as we see in almost every case that comes up, to fight the jihad in the courtroom means you'll lose.

IMAGINE IF, during the London Blitz, you'd had Germans with British passports giving speeches advocating the United Kingdom's incorporation within the Third Reich and demanding the Swastika fly over Buckingham Palace, and you had to prosecute them individually and most Nazis were acquitted on technicalities but a few got 18 months to two years. To be sure, one can argue (as many British and Americans do) that the jihad does not pose the same kind of existential threat, but at what point do you cross the line?

Three hundred dead in a Tube blast? Thousands in a skyscraper bombing? Why aren't the dead of September 11 and July 7 already enough? There are local factors at play in these court cases, and the defendants know them very well.

Under onerous British reporting restrictions I couldn't even write about the Hamza case in a Fleet Street paper lest it prejudice his trial. In cases like that of, say, Sami-al Arian or Zac Moussaoui, you're free to talk about them, but the nature of the US justice system means there are years and years between the arrest and even the prospect of justice.

Thus, the net effect in both jurisdictions is to limit or defer public awareness of these men's activities.

A court of law is not meant to be a field of battle, and the enemy should not be upgraded to a defendant. The question is not "Why do they hate us?" but "Why do they despise us?" Putting Abu Hamza in the dock at the Old Bailey is a good example why.

The writer is senior North American columnist for Britain's Telegraph Group.

Monday, February 27, 2006

"We will do anything to preserve a peace that ceased to exist on 9/11. Not one of our prominent politicians dares even to name the enemy."

February 27, 2006
By David Warren

This will be my 11th consecutive column, directly or indirectly on the “Danish cartoons” issue. The cartoons themselves were a red herring from the start -- a fake issue, trumped up by fanatical Muslims seeking grievances to abet a confrontation, and thereby extract concessions from the West. It is a fire, still being stoked around the world by radical “Islamists”, using shameless lies and misrepresentations. (See my previous columns.)

The reason I have written so copiously on this subject -- not the cartoons themselves, but what I have called the “organized apoplexy” in response to them -- is because it is important. In my judgement, it is the most important thing that has happened since the Al Qaeda attack on the United States, in 2001.
It is important in combination with other fast-developing events, including the victory of the openly terrorist Hamas in a Palestinian election; Iran’s public promise to “wipe Israel off the map”; collapsing public order in Pakistan, Nigeria, and elsewhere; the recent Muslim riots, and continuing low-level Intifada in France; and now the destruction of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, triggering vicious sectarian strife in Iraq. And quite literally, hundreds of lesser events of the same nature -- each revealing an Islamic world in combustion, and a West retreating into contrived apologies and other confused gestures of cowardice and panic.

One cannot keep up with all these events -- the wheels of history are turning too quickly. The world in which we will find ourselves, a few years hence, will not resemble the world we inhabited a few years ago. Yet this is among the few predictions that can be safely made. The events will fall out as unpredictably as those Danish cartoons. The names, dates, and places are not yet recorded; but the shape and scale of events is already blotting the sun on our horizon.

Even after the experience of the Great War, and the Depression, people on the eve of the Hitler war could not appreciate what was coming. It is only in retrospect that we understand what happened as the 1930s progressed -- when a spineless political class, eager at any price to preserve a peace that was no longer available, performed endless demeaning acts of appeasement to the Nazis; while the Nazis created additional grievances to extract more.

This is precisely what is happening now, as we are confronted by the Islamist fanatics, whose views and demands are already being parroted by fearful “mainstream” Muslim politicians. We will do anything to preserve a peace that ceased to exist on 9/11. Not one of our prominent politicians dares even to name the enemy.

And from a mixture of fear of, and sympathy for, large, recent, Muslim immigrant communities in the West, we confuse domestic and foreign issues. I do not doubt the great majority of Muslims, in Canada and around the world, are decent, “moderate” people, who want no part in a “clash of civilizations”. But it has become obvious they can do nothing to stop the triumph of “Islamism” internationally, or oppose the fanatics proselytizing in their own communities.

Germany was full of moderate Germans, as Hitler rose; Stalin drove his oars through a sea of moderate Russians. While we must not forget that the Muslims are the first victims of “Islamism”, and may suffer most from its triumph, we are beyond the point where we can do more for them than destroy the tyranny by which they are enthralled.

Indeed, many Muslims, by birth or faith, remain our best allies, warning us as many fine Germans did of what is coming our way. For example, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born politician in the Netherlands -- a magnificent young woman -- speaking recently in Berlin:

“Publication of the cartoons confirmed that there is widespread fear among authors, filmmakers, cartoonists, and journalists who wish to describe, analyze or criticize intolerant aspects of Islam all over Europe. It has also revealed the presence of a considerable minority in Europe who do not understand or will not accept the workings of liberal democracy. These people -- many of whom hold European citizenship -- have campaigned for censorship, for boycotts, for violence, and for new laws to ban 'Islamophobia'. … The issue is not about race, colour, or heritage. It is a conflict of ideas, which transcend borders and races.”

This was so, she added, when we were finally obliged to stand against the Nazis. It is true today, as we foolishly let the Islamist menace grow and grow.

Copyright 2006 Ottawa Citizen

The dhimmi, the conquered infidel, must pay the jizya or “poll tax” to buy his security. This tax is “foreign aid” or “welfare payments”...

February 26, 2006
Absolute Certainty
Think Islamic fanaticism arises from material want? Think again.
by Bruce Thornton
Private Papers

Coming hard upon the heels of the cartoon riots and the election of the Hamas terrorists, the destruction of the Shi’ite mosque of the Golden Dome in Samarra by Sunni jihadists, and the subsequent Shi’ite bloody retaliation, should put to rest Western delusions about the true nature of Islam. But don’t hold your breath. Such displays of Islam’s violent intolerance have been coming thick and fast the last few decades, and can be found on every page of history going back to the 7th century, when Islam began its expansion with the blood of several hundred decapitated Jews.

Yet still some Westerners, enthralled to their own materialist assumptions and multicultural “we are the world” sentimentalism, wave away this evidence and reduce this destructive behavior to any and every cause except the one that counts: spiritual belief. So we hear that the violence is caused by a lack of jobs, or a lack of liberal-democratic institutions, or “frustration” and insecurity about the dismal backwardness of most Muslim states, or wounded pride in the face of Western success, or resentment of Western imperialist and colonialist sins, or oppressive autocrats, or . . . take your pick. The same therapeutic mentality that thinks destructive behavior in teens results from a “lack of self-esteem” reduces the religious values of Muslims to mere “epiphenomena,” as the Marxists see it, symptoms of some underlying condition rooted in material deprivation, political impotence, or psychological trauma.

The problem with Islam, however, is not a lack of self-esteem but too damned much. This is a faith fanatically certain of its truth and righteousness, the culminating vision of God’s relations with humanity, the ultimate meaning of human existence on every level, including the social and political. As such, its destiny is to spread over the whole world until the benefits, both in this life and the next, of submission to God are bestowed on all humans, and the dysfunctional man-made values–– including democracy, materialism, “equal rights,” and freedom–– are swept away. For however alluring, these do not deliver true happiness or true freedom, but mere hedonism and license that create misery and degradation in this world, and put the soul at risk in the next.

If, then, you are in possession of this truth that you are absolutely certain holds the key to universal happiness in this world and the next, why would you be tolerant of alternatives? Why should you tolerate a dangerous lie? Why should you “live and let live,” the credo of the spiritually moribund who stand for everything because they stand for nothing? And why wouldn’t you kill in the name of this vision, when the infidel nations work against God’s will and his beneficent intentions for the human race?

This is precisely what the jihadists tell us, what fourteen centuries of Islamic theology and jurisprudence tell us, what the Koran and Hadith tell us. Yet we smug Westerners, so certain of our own superior knowledge that human life is really about genes or neuroses or politics or nutrition, condescendingly look down on the true believer. Patronizing him like a child, we tell him that he doesn’t know that his own faith has been “hijacked” by “fundamentalists” who manipulate his ignorance, that what he thinks he knows about his faith is a delusion, and that the true explanation is one that we advanced, sophisticated Westerners understand while the believer remains mired in superstition and neurotic fantasy.

And of course, it doesn’t help that the Westernized Islamic apologists and propagandists, having taken the measure of the West’s own superstition and fantasy, speak in our terms and manipulate our materialist causes. So we hear that Western support of autocrats is really to blame for terrorist discontent — but overthrowing Saddam Hussein, one of the most brutal murderers of Muslims ever, and creating for the Iraqi people an inclusive, law-based government, earn us absolutely nothing other than more hatred and murder. Ah, but the neo-colonialist Zionists are responsible, we are told. Yet billions of Western dollars given to the Palestinian Arabs, decades of obsessive, fawning attention on the part of the Western media and the U.N. even as millions have suffered and died elsewhere, have not moved us one inch closer to resolving the crisis or removing the existential threat to Israel. Give us jobs, we are told, an excuse echoed recently by Thomas Friedman, and we will be happy. Yet the terrorists in the main are not poor or dispossessed. Their leaders are billionaires, surgeons, engineers, and the college educated. But the West disrespects Islam, they cry, all the while our apologetic gestures of admiration for Islam do not stop the persecution and murder of Christians, do not elicit reciprocal apologies for the vile insults to Judaism that appear in state-run media throughout the Muslim world.

Meanwhile, all our attempts to bolster Muslim self-esteem, our desperate protestations of respect for their wonderful religion, our groveling apologies for exercising our own rights and values, our donning of the hair-shirt of racist, colonialist, or imperialist guilt, do nothing more than convince the jihadist that his spiritual superiority is justified. He looks at our appeasement, our fear, our rationalizations, our self-doubt, our unwillingness to defend the values we preach to the world, and sees the craven inferiority of the dhimmi, the conquered infidel who must acknowledge by his public actions the superiority of Islam, and who must pay the jizya, the “poll tax” that purchases his trembling security. Only we call the poll tax “foreign aid” or “welfare payments,” and the gestures of submission “respect for diversity.” We think our submission buys us affection and gratitude and respect for our interests, but in fact it purchases nothing except more contempt for our spiritual bankruptcy, more scorn for our belief that money and material comfort trump spiritual truth.

The true measure of our failure adequately to respect spiritual motives can be taken from the Bush administration’s steadfast refusal to put the crisis with Islam in these terms. The materialist left, of course, has been taught by Freud and Marx that religion is an “illusion,” so obviously we can’t expect them to grasp how powerfully spiritual imperatives can move people. But when a self-proclaimed born-again Christian either can’t or won’t see the clash of spiritual goods underlying the conflict, then we know how thoroughly the materialists have done their work of marginalizing religion in the West.

Perhaps the best example of this contempt for our spiritual foundations came when the President apologized for using the word “Crusade.” The demonization of the Crusades is a historical distortion that acquiesces in the jihadist rewriting of history in order to exploit Western self-loathing and spiritual emptiness. Whatever the sordid or brutal motives and actions of the Crusaders, they were still for the most part driven by a spiritual imperative to restore the Holy Land to the Christian civilization that had defined the Middle East for six centuries before being violently transformed by the armies of Allah. For the most aggressively imperialistic culture in the history of the world to whine now about Western imperialism — and be taken seriously by Westerners — testifies to the intellectual corruption endemic in the West.

If we continue down this road of appeasement, apology, and blackmail, then our outlook is indeed grim. A culturally weaker and ruder Europe turned back the Islamic tide because it was united by its Christian faith, the spiritual strength of all those before us who died and killed so that this prosperous, free world we enjoy could exist. But what unites the West now, when our credo seems to be that juvenile sentiment from John Lennon’s “Imagine”: “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too”? Is this the belief that can resist an enemy who knows with absolute certainty what is worth killing and dying for?

Iraqi mayor gives thanks to the "lion-hearts" who liberated his city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading even the children.

From: Mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpsesof children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zuma and Avgani finally destroyed them.

I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.

The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom.

Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and inevery flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.

Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.



Mayor of Tall ‘Afar,

Ninewa, Iraq

Whether it's the Netherlands' rediscovery of Dutch communal values, or the universal affirmations of free speech Europe is everywhere on the defensive

The End of Tolerance
Farewell, multiculturalism. A cartoon backlash is pushing Europe to insist upon its values.
By Stefan Theil
Newsweek International
March 6, 2006 issue -

The world has long looked upon the Dutch as the very model of a modern, multicultural society. Open and liberal, the tiny seagoing nation that invented the globalized economy in the 1600s prided itself on a history of taking in all comers, be they Indonesian or Turkish, African or Chinese.

How different things look today. Dutch borders have been virtually shut. New immigration is down to a trickle. The great cosmopolitan port city of Rotterdam just published a code of conduct requiring Dutch be spoken in public. Parliament recently legislated a countrywide ban on wearing the burqa in public. And listen to a prominent Dutch establishment figure describe the new Dutch Way with immigrants. "We demand a new social contract," says Jan Wolter Wabeke, High Court Judge in The Hague. "We no longer accept that people don't learn our language, we require that they send their daughters to school, and we demand they stop bringing in young brides from the desert and locking them up in third-floor apartments."

What's going on here? Weren't the Dutch supposed to be the nicest people on earth, the most tolerant nation in Europe, a melting pot for minorities and immigrants since the Renaissance? No longer, and in this the Dutch are once again at the forefront of changes in Europe. This time, the Dutch model for Europe is one of multiculturalism besieged, if not plain defunct.

This helps explain Europe's unusually robust reaction to the cartoon crisis, which continued last week with riots in Nigeria and Pakistan that have left over 100 dead. There were apologies, to be sure, for causing offense after a small Danish paper published a dozen cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. But on one point European leaders were united and bluntly clear: they would not tolerate any limits on European newspapers' rights to publish. "Freedom of speech is not up for negotiation," declared Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, summing up a consensus that has only grown stronger as the cries of outrage from the Muslim world grow louder.

Welcome to the end of tolerance, or at least to the nonnegotiable limits to what Europeans will tolerate. Whether it's the Netherlands' rediscovery of Dutch communal values, or the universal affirmations of free speech (to mock religion, or anything else), Europe is everywhere on the defensive. After decades of relatively unfettered immigration and cultural laissez faire when it came to accepting people of differing values and social mores, there are signs that a potentially ugly backlash is setting in. Even before Jyllands Posten published the cartoons last fall, Denmark's Minister of Cultural Affairs Brian Mikkelsen said, "We have gone to war against the multicultural ideology that says that everything is equally valid." These days, he speaks for most Europeans. Danes, and Dutch, and a few other countries might be well on their way to creating multiethnic societies. But make no mistake: they're no longer willing to tolerate a European melting pot—a broadly multicultural society—where different cultures live by widely different norms.

What that portends for Europe is emerging in fits and starts. The common ground is a realization that past models of integration have failed. In Germany, which for decades refused to admit it had immigrants (in theory, they were "guest workers" who would one day go home), the newly appointed Federal Integration Commissioner Maria Bohmer now says that this see-no-evil attitude was "wishful thinking," to be replaced by what she calls "offensive integration." Part of that is a new seriousness about improving schools and opportunities for education, an arena where Germany more than any other country has failed its immigrant population. But Interior Minister Wolfgang Schuble has also called on the country to adopt the more muscular Dutch Way.

Ditto for Schuble's counterpart in France, Nicolas Sarkozy. "The French way of integration no longer works," he said, meaning France's long-held pretense that its strict public secularism could erase differences and make newcomers "French." Thus Sarkozy unveiled a new immigration law earlier this month, a virtual copy of the Dutch regulations. Sarkozy plans to introduce highly selective immigration, testing for the "assimilability" of those it admits. A new "contract of welcome and integration" stipulates learning French and looking for a job in return for 10-year residence permits and discrimination protections. Immigrants failing to respect basic Western values face deportation. "In the case of a woman kept hostage in her home without learning French, the whole family will be obliged to leave," Sarkozy said, referring to a practice among Europe's most conservative Muslims of importing teenage brides.

In particular, Europeans are concerned about Islamists hostile to Western values and the very idea of integration itself. Often, these elements drown out the voices of the moderate majority of Muslims. Dutch Integration Minister Rita Verdonk, one of several top politicians under death threats from Islamists, plans courses for imams to train in citizenship and Western values. She demonstrated what that might mean in front of press cameras in January, telling an imam who refused to shake her hand because of "religious rules" that he had better learn Western customs. "Next year I expect to speak to you in Dutch," she said through an interpreter.

Will such measures advance the ultimate goal of building a "Euro Islam" more compatible with Europe's values? Unlikely, perhaps, as long as only 5 percent of the imams in Europe's 6,000 mosques are educated in Europe. After decades of neglect, Germany and France have finally set up a small number of Islamic departments at public universities to turn out locally acculturated preachers. In Britain, the Home Office's brand-new Advisory Council on Mosques and Imams plans an accreditation program for Muslim clerics, similar to the systems in place at Christian churches. When Angela Merkel becomes the first German chancellor to hold a summit with Muslim leaders in April, setting up a Germany-wide council of Muslims to partner with the government on integration and religious issues will be high on the agenda.

But if Europeans aim to build multiethnic societies that play by their rules, they'll also have to get their heads around the fact that this new world will be multireligious, too—a fact that poses awkward challenges. Over much of Europe, for example, established Christian churches enjoy special state privileges and subsidies. Most mosques, by contrast, are hidden in converted shops or tenement apartments. In Copenhagen, a 15-year plan —to build a national mosque has become mired in red tape and local opposition. A German state recently passed a law banning a hijab in schools—but not yarmulkes or nun's habits. A minister in Baden-Wurttemberg last month resigned over an offensive remark about the local bishop. It's hard to imagine this happening had the aggrieved party been an imam.

Until such double standards can be abolished and a new equality established, Europe's new toughness will feel like forced integration. "It's a form of creating a second-class citizenship," says Tariq Modood, director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship in Bristol. "All the burden of change is placed on the immigrant." And if that's not to be the case, then Europeans will almost certainly have to accord Muslim faiths the same status accorded Christianity—including, perhaps, a media that voluntarily refrains from publishing needlessly offensive images of the Prophet, not under duress from abroad but out of greater respect for local religious sensibilities.

It's also clear that if Europeans want their immigrants to behave like Europeans, then they must be willing to accept them as Europeans, too. That's where many societies that long thought of themselves as culturally homogenous have problems. "Being German can no longer be defined on ethnic lines," says Bernd Knopf at the Integration Commissioner's office. It's an open question whether Germans, Dutch, or Danes will ever truly accept a multiethnic, multireligious "Germanness," "Dutchness" or "Danishness." But given the immigrant and demographic trajectories of Europe's future, there is little choice but to try.

With Emily Flynn Vencat and Stryker Mcguire in London and Ginny Power in Paris

© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.

Jihadi Turns Bulldog: The Taliban's former spokesman is now a Yale student. Anyone see a problem with that?


Monday, February 27, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

Never has an article made me blink with astonishment as much as when I read in yesterday's New York Times magazine that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, is now studying at Yale on a U.S. student visa. This is taking the obsession that U.S. universities have with promoting diversity a bit too far.

Something is very wrong at our elite universities.
Last week Larry Summers resigned as president of Harvard when it became clear he would lose a no-confidence vote held by politically correct faculty members furious at his efforts to allow ROTC on campus, his opposition to a drive to have Harvard divest itself of corporate investments in Israel, and his efforts to make professors work harder. Now Yale is giving a first-class education to an erstwhile high official in one of the most evil regimes of the latter half of the 20th century--the government that harbored the terrorists who attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001.

"In some ways," Mr. Rahmatullah told the New York Times. "I'm the luckiest person in the world. I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale." One of the courses he has taken is called Terrorism-Past, Present and Future.

Many foreign readers of the Times will no doubt snicker at the revelation that naive Yale administrators scrambled to admit Mr. Rahmatullah. The Times reported that Yale "had another foreigner of Rahmatullah's caliber apply for special-student status." Richard Shaw, Yale's dean of undergraduate admissions, told the Times that "we lost him to Harvard," and "I didn't want that to happen again."

In the spring of 2001, I was one of several writers at The Wall Street Journal who interviewed Mr. Rahmatullah at our offices across the street from the World Trade Center. His official title was second foreign secretary; his mission was to explain the regime's decision to rid the country of two 1,000-year-old towering statues of Buddha carved out of rock 90 miles from the Afghan capital, Kabul. The archeological treasures were considered the greatest remaining examples of third- and fifth-century Greco-Indian art in the world. But Taliban leader Mullah Omar had ordered all statues in the country destroyed, calling them idols of infidels and repugnant to Islam.

Even Muslim nations like Pakistan denounced the move. Mr. Rahmatullah, who at the time claimed to be 24 but now says he was lying about his age and was actually two years younger, cut a curious figure in our office. He wore a traditional Afghan turban and white baggy pants and sported a full beard. His English, while sometimes elliptical, was smooth and colloquial. He made himself very clear when he said the West had no business worrying about the statues, because it had cut off trade and foreign aid to the Taliban. "When the world destroys the future of our children with economic sanctions, they have no right to worry about our past," he told us, according to my notes from the meeting.

He smiled as he informed us that the statues had been blown up with explosive charges only after people living nearby had been removed. He had no comment on reports that Mullah Omar had ordered 100 cows be sacrificed as atonement for the Taliban government's failure to destroy the Buddhas earlier.

As for Osama bin Laden, Mr. Rahmatullah called the Saudi fugitive a "guest" of his government and said it hadn't been proved that bin Laden was linked to any terrorist acts, despite his indictment in the U.S. for planning the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He said that if the embassy bombings were terrorist acts, then so was the Clinton administration's firing cruise missiles into his country in an attempt to kill bin Laden. "You killed 19 innocent people," he told us.

After the meeting I walked him out. As we passed a window, I vividly recall our stopping at a window as he stared up at the World Trade Center. We stood there for a minute chatting, but I don't recall what he said. He then left. I next thought about him a few months later, on Sept. 11, as I stood outside our office building covered in dust and debris staring at the remains of the towers that had just collapsed. I occasionally wondered what had happened to Mr. Rahmatullah. I assumed he either had died in the collapse of the Taliban regime, had been jailed, or was living quietly in the new, democratic Afghanistan.

From newspaper clips I knew that his visit to the Journal's offices was part of a PR tour. He visited other newspapers and spoke at universities, and the State Department had granted him a meeting with midlevel officials. None of the meetings went particularly well. At the University of Southern California, Mr. Rahmatullah expressed irritation with a question about statues that at that point hadn't yet been blown up. "You know, really, I am asked so much about these statues that I have a headache now," he moaned. "If I go back to Afghanistan, I will blow them."

Carina Chocano, a writer for Salon.com who attended several of his speeches in the U.S., noted the hostility of many of his audiences. "A lesser publicist might have melted down," she wrote. "But the cool, unruffled and media-smart Hashemi instead spun his story into a contemporary parable of ironic iconoclasm," peppering his lectures with "statue jokes."

But sometimes his humor really backfired. At a speech for the Atlantic Council, Mr. Rahmatullah was confronted by a woman in the audience who lifted the burkha she was wearing and chastised him for the Taliban's infamous treatment of women. "You have imprisoned the women--it's a horror, let me tell you," she cried. Mr. Rahmatullah responded with a sneer: "I'm really sorry to your husband. He might have a very difficult time with you."

A videotape of his cutting remark became part Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," and infuriated the likes of Mavis Leno, wife of "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno. Mrs. Leno helped found the Feminist Majority's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan and devoted countless hours to focusing public attention on the plight of Afghanistan's women and girls. "I will never, ever abandon these women," she often said before the Taliban's overthrow. Here's hoping she has saved some of her outrage for Yale's decision to welcome Mr. Rahmatullah with open arms.

In his interview with the New York Times, Mr. Rahmatullah, said that if he had to do it all over, he would have been less "antagonistic" in his remarks during his U.S. road tour. "I regret the way I spoke sometimes. Now I would try to be softer. A little bit." Just a little?

Today, when he is asked if Afghanistan would be better off if the Taliban were still in charge, Mr. Rahmatullah, has a mixed answer: "Economically, no. In terms of security, yes. In terms of general happiness, no. In the long-term interests of the country? I don't think so. I think the radicals were taking over and doing crazy stuff. I regret when people think of the Taliban and then think of me--that feeling people have after they know I was affiliated with them is painful to me." Note that the government official who represented the Taliban abroad now claims to have been only "affiliated" with them.

Even though he evinces only semiregret for his actions in service to the Taliban, there is evidence that he has become quite a charmer. After the fall of the Taliban, he resumed a friendship he had developed with Mike Hoover, a CBS News cameraman who, according to a 2001 Associated Press story, had visited Afghanistan three times as a guest of the Taliban. Mr. Hoover inspired Mr. Rahmatullah to think about going to the U.S. to finish his studies. "I thought he could do a lot as a student/teacher," said Mr. Hoover. He persuaded Bob Schuster, an attorney friend of his from Wyoming who had gone to Yale, to help out. As the Times reported, "Schuster called the provost's office to ask how an ex-Taliban envoy with a fourth-grade education and a high-school equivalency degree might go about applying to one of the world's top universities."

Intrigued by Mr. Rahmatullah, Dean Shaw arranged for his admission into a nondegree program for special students. He apparently has done well, so far pulling down a 3.33 grade-point average.

There is something to be said for the instinct to reach out to one's former enemies. America's postwar reconciliation with the Japanese and Germans has paid great dividends. But there are limits.

During a trip to Germany I once ran into a relative of Hans Fritsche, the top deputy to Josef Goebbels, whom the Guardian, a British newspaper, once described as "the Nazi Propaganda Minister's leading radio spokesman [whose] commentaries were among the main items of German home and foreign broadcasting." After the war he was tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg, but because he had only given hate-filled speeches, he was acquitted of all charges in 1946. In the early 1950s, he applied for a visa to visit the U.S. and explain his regret at having served an evil regime. He was turned down, to the everlasting regret of the relative with whom I spoke. She noted that Albert Speer, Hitler's former architect, was also turned down for a U.S. visa even after he had completed a 20-year prison sentence and had written a best-selling book detailing Hitler's madness.

I don't believe Mr. Rahmatullah had direct knowledge of the 9/11 plot, and I don't think he has ever killed anyone. I can appreciate that he is trying to rebuild his life. But he willingly and cheerfully served an evil regime in a manner that would have made Goebbels proud. That he was 22 at the time is little an excuse. There are many poor, bright students--American and foreign alike--who would jump at the opportunity to attend Yale. Why should Mr. Rahmatullah go to the line ahead of all of them? That's a question Yale alumni should ask when their alma mater comes looking for contributions.

President Bush, who already has a well-known disdain for Yale elitism from his student days there, may also have some questions. In the wake of his being blindsided by his own administration over the Dubai port deal, he should be interested in finding out exactly who at the State Department approved Mr. Rahmatullah's application for a student visa.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

And now, for some fun...this is dedicated to all those who ventured on the slopes this mid-winter school holiday!

The quick and the dread Maimi Herald
Dave Barry

(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on Feb. 12, 1995.)

When you're 47 years old, you sometimes hear a small voice inside you that says: ``Just because you've reached middle age, that doesn't mean you shouldn't take on new challenges and seek new adventures. You get only one ride on this crazy carousel we call life, and by golly you should make the most of it!''

This is the voice of Satan.

I know this because recently, on a mountain in Idaho, I listened to this voice, and as a result my body feels as though it has been used as a trampoline by the Budweiser Clydesdales. I am currently on an all-painkiller diet. ''I'll have a black coffee and 250 Advil tablets'' is a typical breakfast order for me these days.

This is because I went snowboarding.

For those of you who, for whatever reason, such as a will to live, do not participate in downhill winter sports, I should explain that snowboarding is an activity that is very popular with people who do not feel that regular skiing is lethal enough. These are, of course, young people, fearless people, people with 100 percent synthetic bodies who can hurtle down a mountainside at 50 mph and knock down mature trees with their faces and then spring to their feet and go, ``Cool.''

People like my son. He wanted to try snowboarding, and I thought it would be good to learn with him, because we can no longer ski together. We have a fundamental difference in technique: He skis via the Downhill Method, in which you ski down the hill; whereas I ski via the Breath-Catching Method, in which you stand sideways on the hill, looking as athletic as possible without actually moving muscles (this could cause you to start sliding down the hill). If anybody asks if you're OK, you say, ''I'm just catching my breath!'' in a tone of voice that suggests that at any moment you're going to swoop rapidly down the slope; whereas in fact you're planning to stay right where you are, rigid as a statue, until the spring thaw. At night, when the Downhillers have all gone home, we Breath-Catchers will still be up there, clinging to the mountainside, chewing on our parkas for sustenance.

So I thought I'd take a stab at snowboarding, which is quite different from skiing. In skiing, you wear a total of two skis, or approximately one per foot, so you can sort of maintain your balance by moving your feet, plus you have poles that you can stab people with if they make fun of you at close range. Whereas with snowboarding, all you get is one board, which is shaped like a giant tongue depressor and manufactured by the Institute of Extremely Slippery Things. Both of your feet are strapped firmly to this board, so that if you start to fall, you can't stick a foot out and catch yourself.

You crash to the ground like a tree and lie there while skiers swoop past and deliberately spray snow on you.

Skiers hate snowboarders. It's a generational thing. Skiers are (and here I am generalizing) middle-aged Republicans wearing designer space suits; snowboarders are defiant young rebels wearing deliberately drab clothing that is baggy enough to cover the snowboarder plus a major appliance. Skiers like to glide down the slopes in a series of graceful arcs; snowboarders like to attack the mountain, slashing, spinning, tumbling, going backward, blasting through snowdrifts, leaping off cliffs, getting their noses pierced in midair, etc. Skiers view snowboarders as a menace; snowboarders view skiers as Elmer Fudd.

I took my snowboarding lesson in a small group led by a friend of mine named Brad Pearson, who also once talked me into jumping from a tall tree while attached only to a thin rope. Brad took us up on a slope that offered ideal snow conditions for the novice who's going to fall a lot: approximately seven flakes of powder on top of an 18-foot-thick base of reinforced concrete. You could not dent this snow with a jackhammer. (I later learned, however, that you COULD dent it with the back of your head.)

We learned snowboarding via a two-step method:

STEP ONE: Watching Brad do something.

STEP TWO: Trying to do it ourselves.

I was pretty good at Step One. The problem with Step Two was that you had to stand up on your snowboard, which turns out to be a violation of at least five important laws of physics. I'd struggle to my feet, and I'd be wavering there and then the Physics Police would drop a huge chunk of gravity on me, and WHAM, my body would hit the concrete snow, sometimes bouncing as much as a foot.

''Keep your knees bent!'' Brad would yell, helpfully. Have you noticed that whatever sport you're trying to learn, some earnest person is always telling you to keep your knees bent? As if THAT would solve anything. I wanted to shout back, ``FORGET MY KNEES! DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE GRAVITY CHUNKS!''

Needless to say, my son had no trouble at all. None. In minutes, he was cruising happily down the mountain; you could actually see his clothing getting baggier. I, on the other hand, spent most of my time lying on my back, groaning, while space-suited Republicans swooped past and sprayed snow on me. If I hadn't gotten out of there, they'd have completely covered me; I now realize that the small hills you see on ski slopes are formed around the bodies of 47-year-olds who tried to learn snowboarding.

So I think, when my body heals, I'll go back to skiing. Maybe sometime you'll see me out on the slopes, catching my breath. Please throw me some food.

"The remorseless transformation of Eutopia into Eurabia is already prompting the Dutch to abandon their country in record numbers..."

Mark Steyn: Salute Danna Vale
The backbencher raises legitimate questions about demographic changes

February 16, 2006

MY interest in demography dates back to September 11, 2001, when a demographic group I hadn't hitherto given much thought managed to get my attention. I don't mean the, ah, unfortunate business with the planes and buildings and so forth, but the open cheering of the attacks by their co-religionists in Montreal, Yorkshire, Copenhagen and elsewhere. How many people knew there were fast-growing and culturally confident Muslim populations in Scandinavia?

Demography doesn't explain everything but it accounts for a good 90 per cent. The "who" is the best indicator of the what-where-when-and-why. Go on, pick a subject. Will Japan's economy return to the heady days of the 1980s when US businesses cowered in terror? Answer: No. Japan is exactly the same as it was in its heyday except for one fact: it stopped breeding and its population aged. Will China be the hyperpower of the 21st century? Answer: No. Its population will get old before it gets rich.

Check back with me in a century and we'll see who's right on that one. But here's one we know the answer to: Why is this newspaper published in the language of a tiny island on the other side of the earth? Why does Australia have an English Queen, English common law, English institutions? Because England was the first nation to conquer infant mortality.

By 1820 medical progress had so transformed British life that half the population was under the age of 15. Britain had the manpower to take, hold, settle and administer huge chunks of real estate around the planet. Had, say, China or Russia been first to overcome childhood mortality, the modern world would be very different.

What country today has half of its population under the age of 15? Italy has 14 per cent, the UK 18 per cent, Australia 20 per cent - and Saudi Arabia has 39 per cent, Pakistan 40 per cent and Yemen 47 per cent. Little Yemen, like little Britain 200 years ago, will send its surplus youth around the world - one way or another.

So, whether or not her remarks were "outrageous" (the Democrats' Lyn Allison), "insensitive" (the Greens' Rachel Siewert), "offensively discriminatory" (Sydney's Daily Telegraph) and "bigoted" (this newspaper), I salute Danna Vale. You don't have to agree with her argument that Australia's aborting itself out of recognition and that therefore Islam will inherit by default to think it's worth asking a couple of questions:

* Is abortion in society's interest?

* Can a society become more Muslim in its demographic character without also becoming more Muslim in its political and civil character?

The first one's easy: One can understand that 17-year-old Glenys working the late shift at Burger King and knocked up by some bloke who scrammed 10 minutes after conception may believe it's in her interest to exercise "a woman's right to choose", but the state has absolutely no interest in encouraging women in general to exercise that choice.

Quite the opposite: given that today's wee bairns are tomorrow's funders of otherwise unsustainable social programs, all responsible governments should be seriously natalist. The reason Europe, Russia and Japan are doomed boils down to a big lack of babies. Abortion isn't solely responsible for that but it's certainly part of the problem.

In attempting to refute Vale's argument, this newspaper praised the nation's maidenhood for lying back and thinking of Australia and getting the national fertility rate up from 1.73 births per woman in 2001 to 1.77, "well above rates in developed nations such as Italy, Spain, Japan, Germany and South Korea".

Well, pop the champagne corks! That's like saying Mark Latham's political prospects are better than Harold Holt's. The countries cited are going out of business. Seventeen European nations are now at what demographers call "lowest-low" fertility - 1.3 births per woman, the point at which you're so far down the death spiral you can't pull out.

In theory, those countries will find their population halving every 40 years or so. In practice, it will be quicker than that, as the savvier youngsters figure there's no point sticking around a country that's turned into one big undertaker's waiting room: not every pimply burger flipper is going to want to work himself into the ground to pay for new shuffleboard courts at the old folks' home.

In 2005, some 137 million babies were born around the globe. That 137 million is the maximum number of 20-year-olds who'll be around in 2025. There are no more, no other sources; that's it, barring the introduction of mass accelerated cloning (which is by no means an impossibility). Who that 137 million are will determine the character of our world.

The shape's already becoming clear. Take those Danish cartoons. Every internet blogger wants to take a stand on principle alongside plucky little Denmark. But there's only five million of them. Whereas there are 20 million Muslims in Europe - officially. That's the equivalent of the Danes plus the Irish plus the Belgians plus the Estonians.

You do the mathematics. If you want the reality of Europe in a nutshell, walk into a supermarket belonging to the French chain Carrefour. You'll be greeted by a notice in Arabic: "Dear Clients, We express solidarity with the Islamic and Egyptian community. Carrefour doesn't carry Danish products." It's strictly business: they have three Danish customers and a gazillion Muslim ones. Retail sales-wise, they know which way their bread's buttered and it isn't with Lurpak.

That's Vale's second point. If a society chooses to outsource its breeding, who your suppliers are is not unimportant. "I've heard those very silly remarks made about immigrants to this country since I was a child," says Allison.

"If it wasn't the Greeks, it was the Italians or it was the Vietnamese."

Those are races or nationalities. But Islam is a religion, and an explicitly political one - unlike the birthplace of your grandfather it's not something you leave behind in the old country. Indeed, for its adherents in the West, it becomes their principal expression - a Pan-Islamic identity that transcends borders.

Instead of a melting pot, there's conversion: A Scot can marry a Greek or a Botswanan, but when a Scot marries a Yemeni it's because the former has become a Muslim. In defiance of normal immigration patterns, the host country winds up assimilating with Islam: French municipal swimming baths introduce non-mixed bathing sessions; a Canadian Government report recommends the legalisation of polygamy; Seville removes King Ferdinand III as patron of the annual fiesta because he played too, um, prominent a role in taking back Spain from the Moors.

When the fastest-breeding demographic group on the planet is also the one most resistant to the pieties of the social-democratic state that's a profound challenge. Yes, yes, I know Islam is very varied, and Riyadh has a vibrant gay scene, and the Khartoum Feminist Publishing Collective now has so many members they've rented lavish new offices above the clitorectomy clinic. I don't claim to have all the answers, except when I'm being interviewed live on TV. But that's better than claiming, as most of Vale's disparagers do, that there aren't even any questions.

Where she goes wrong is in consigning the Lucky Country to the same trash can of history as Old Europe. For Australia, this is not hail and farewell - or, as the Romans put it, ave atque (Danna) vale. Japan is unicultural: a native population ageing and dying. Europe is bicultural: a fading elderly population yielding to a young surging Islam.

But Australia, like the US, is genuinely multicultural, at least in the sense that its immigration is not from a single overwhelming source. The remorseless transformation of Eutopia into Eurabia is already prompting the Dutch to abandon their country in record numbers, for Canada and New Zealand.

In the years ahead, North America and Australia will have the pick of European talent and a chance to learn the lessons of its self-extinction, as they apply to abortion and much else.

In the '70s and '80, Muslims had children - those self-detonating Islamists in London and Gaza and Bali are a literal baby boom - while westerners took all those silly books about overpopulation seriously. A people that won't multiply can't go forth or go anywhere. Those who do will shape the world we live in.

Mark Steyn, a columnist with the Telegraph Group, is a regular contributor to The Australian's Opinion page.

''We won't stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law.''

Needing to wake up, West just closes its eyes
February 26, 2006


In five years' time, how many Jews will be living in France? Two years ago, a 23-year-old Paris disc jockey called Sebastien Selam was heading off to work from his parents' apartment when he was jumped in the parking garage by his Muslim neighbor Adel. Selam's throat was slit twice, to the point of near-decapitation; his face was ripped off with a fork; and his eyes were gouged out. Adel climbed the stairs of the apartment house dripping blood and yelling, "I have killed my Jew. I will go to heaven."

Is that an gripping story? You'd think so. Particularly when, in the same city, on the same night, a Jewish woman was brutally murdered in the presence of her daughter by another Muslim. You've got the making of a mini-trend there, and the media love trends.

Yet no major French newspaper carried the story.

This month, there was another murder. Ilan Halimi, also 23, also Jewish, was found by a railway track outside Paris with burns and knife wounds all over his body. He died en route to the hospital, having been held prisoner, hooded and naked, and brutally tortured for almost three weeks by a gang that had demanded half a million dollars from his family. Can you take a wild guess at the particular identity of the gang? During the ransom phone calls, his uncle reported that they were made to listen to Ilan's screams as he was being burned while his torturers read out verses from the Quran.

This time around, the French media did carry the story, yet every public official insisted there was no anti-Jewish element. Just one of those things. Coulda happened to anyone. And, if the gang did seem inordinately fixated on, ah, Jews, it was just because, as one police detective put it, ''Jews equal money.'' In London, the Observer couldn't even bring itself to pursue that particular angle. Its report of the murder managed to avoid any mention of the unfortunate Halimi's, um, Jewishness. Another British paper, the Independent, did dwell on the particular, er, identity groups involved in the incident but only in the context of a protest march by Parisian Jews marred by ''radical young Jewish men'' who'd attacked an ''Arab-run grocery.''

At one level, those spokesmonsieurs are right: It could happen to anyone. Even in the most civilized societies, there are depraved monsters who do terrible things. When they do, they rip apart entire families, like the Halimis and Selams. But what inflicts the real lasting damage on society as a whole is the silence and evasions of the state and the media and the broader culture.

A lot of folks are, to put it at its mildest, indifferent to Jews. In 2003, a survey by the European Commission found that 59 percent of Europeans regard Israel as the "greatest menace to world peace." Only 59 percent? What the hell's wrong with the rest of 'em? Well, don't worry: In Germany, it was 65 percent; Austria, 69 percent; the Netherlands, 74 percent. Since then, Iran has sportingly offered to solve the problem of the Israeli threat to world peace by wiping the Zionist Entity off the face of the map. But what a tragedy that those peace-loving Iranians have been provoked into launching nuclear armageddon by those pushy Jews. As Paul Oestreicher, Anglican chaplain of the University of Sussex, wrote in the Guardian the other day, "I cannot listen calmly when an Iranian president talks of wiping out Israel. Jewish fears go deep. They are not irrational. But I cannot listen calmly either when a great many citizens of Israel think and speak of Palestinians in the way a great many Germans thought and spoke about Jews when I was one of them and had to flee."

It's not surprising when you're as heavily invested as the European establishment is in an absurd equivalence between a nuclear madman who thinks he's the warm-up act for the Twelfth Imam and the fellows building the Israeli security fence that you lose all sense of proportion when it comes to your own backyard, too. "Radical young Jewish men" are no threat to "Arab-run groceries." But radical young Muslim men are changing the realities of daily life for Jews and gays and women in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and beyond. If you don't care for the Yids, big deal; look out for yourself. The Jews are playing their traditional role of the canaries in history's coal mine.

Something very remarkable is happening around the globe and, if you want the short version, a Muslim demonstrator in Toronto the other day put it very well:

''We won't stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law.''

Stated that baldly it sounds ridiculous. But, simply as a matter of fact, every year more and more of the world lives under Islamic law: Pakistan adopted Islamic law in 1977, Iran in 1979, Sudan in 1984. Four decades ago, Nigeria lived under English common law; now, half of it's in the grip of sharia, and the other half's feeling the squeeze, as the death toll from the cartoon jihad indicates. But just as telling is how swiftly the developed world has internalized an essentially Islamic perspective. In their pitiful coverage of the low-level intifada that's been going on in France for five years, the European press has been barely any less loopy than the Middle Eastern media.

What, in the end, are all these supposedly unconnected matters from Danish cartoons to the murder of a Dutch filmmaker to gender-segregated swimming sessions in French municipal pools about? Answer: sovereignty. Islam claims universal jurisdiction and always has. The only difference is that they're now acting upon it. The signature act of the new age was the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran: Even hostile states generally respect the convention that diplomatic missions are the sovereign territory of their respective countries. Tehran then advanced to claiming jurisdiction over the citizens of sovereign states and killing them -- as it did to Salman Rushdie's translators and publishers. Now in the cartoon jihad and other episodes, the restraints of Islamic law are being extended piecemeal to the advanced world, by intimidation and violence but also by the usual cooing promotion of a spurious multicultural "respect" by Bill Clinton, the United Church of Canada, European foreign ministers, etc.

The I'd-like-to-teach-the-world-to-sing-in-perfect-harmonee crowd have always spoken favorably of one-worldism. From the op-ed pages of Jutland newspapers to les banlieues of Paris, the Pan-Islamists are getting on with it.

© Mark Steyn 2006

Copyright © Mark Steyn, 2006

Can the United States, or anyone, in the middle of a war against Islamic fascism, rebuild the most important country in the heart of the Middle East?

February 24, 2006
Standoff in Iraq
The IED vs. Democracy.
by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

The insurgency in Iraq has no military capability either to drive the United States military from Iraq or to stop the American training of Iraqi police and security forces — or, for that matter, to derail the formation of a new government. The United States air base at Balad is one of the busiest airports in the world. Camp Victory near Baghdad is impenetrable to serious attack. And even forward smaller bases at Kirkuk, Mosul, and Ramadi are entirely secure. Instead, the terrorists count on three alternate strategies:

First, through the use of improvised explosive devices (IED), assassinations, and suicide bombings, they hope to make the Iraqi hinterlands and suburbs appear so unstable and violent that the weary American public says “enough of these people” and calls home its troops before the country is stabilized. In such a quest, the terrorists have an invaluable ally in the global media, whose “if it bleeds, it leads” brand of journalism always favors the severed head in the street over the completion of yet another Iraqi school.

Second, the al Qaedists think they can attack enough Shiites and government forces to prompt a civil war. And indeed, in the world that we see on television, there is no such thing as a secular Iraq, an Iraqi who defines himself as an Iraqi, or a child born to a Shiite and Sunni. No, the country, we are told, is simply three factions that will be torn apart by targeted violence. Sunnis blow up holy places; Shiites retaliate; and both sides can then blame the Americans.

Third, barring options one and two, the enemy wishes to pay off criminals and thugs to create enough daily mayhem, theft, and crime to stop contractors from restoring infrastructure and thus delude the Iraqi public into believing that the peace would return if only the Americans just left.

One of the great lapses in world journalism is investigating what happened to the 100,000 criminals let out by Saddam Hussein on the eve of the war. Thus the terrorists have succeeded in making all the daily mayhem of a major city appear to be political violence — even though much of the problem is the theft, rape, and murder committed by criminals who have had a holiday since Saddam freed them.

We are at a standoff of sorts, as we cannot yet stop the fear of the IED, and they cannot halt the progress of democracy. The Americans are unsure whether their own continued massive use of force — GPS bombings or artillery strikes — will be wise in such a sensitive war of hearts and minds, and must be careful to avoid increased casualties that will erode entirely an already attenuated base of public support for remaining in Iraq at all. The terrorists are more frustrated that, so far, they cannot inflict the sort of damage on the Americans that will send them home or stop the political process entirely.

During this sort of waiting game in Iraq, the American military silently is training tens of thousands of Iraqis to do the daily patrols, protect construction projects, and assure the public that security is on the way, while an elected government reminds the people that they are at last in charge.

The IED and suicide bomber answer back that it is a death sentence to join the government, to join the American-sponsored police and army, and to join the rebuilding efforts of Iraq.

Who will win? The Americans I talked to this week in Iraq — in Baghdad, Balad, Kirkuk, and Taji — believe that a government will emerge that is seen as legitimate and will appear as authentic to the people. Soon, ten divisions of Iraqi soldiers, and over 100,000 police, should be able to crush the insurgency, with the help of a public tired of violence and assured that the future of Iraq is their own — not the Husseins’, the Americans’, or the terrorists’. The military has learned enough about the tactics of the enemy that it can lessen casualties, and nevertheless, through the use of Iraqi forces, secure more of the country with far less troops. Like it or not, the American presence in Iraq will not grow, and will probably lessen considerably in 2006, before reaching Korea-like levels and responsibilities in 2007.

The terrorists, whom I did not talk to, but whose bombs I heard, answer back that while they fear the Iraqization of their enemy and the progress of democracy, they can still kill enough Shiites, bomb enough mosques, and stop enough rebuilding to sink the country into sectarian war — or at least something like Lebanon of the 1980s or an Afghanistan under the Taliban.

It is an odd war, because the side that I think is losing garners all the press, whether by blowing up the great golden dome of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, or by blowing up an American each day. Yet we hear nothing of the other side that is ever so slowly, shrewdly undermining the enemy.

The Iraqi military goes out now on about half the American patrols, as well as on thousands of their own. It is not the Fallujah brigade of early 2004 — rather, it is developing into the best trained and disciplined armed force in the Middle East. While progress in reestablishing the infrastructure necessary for increased electricity and oil production seems dismal, in fact, much has been finished that awaits only the completion of pipelines and transmission lines — the components most vulnerable to sabotage. It is the American plan, in a certain sense, to gradually expand the security inside the so-called international or green zone, block by block, to the other 6 million Iraqis outside, where sewers run in the streets and power from the grid is available less than 12 hours per day.

The nature of the debate has also changed at home. Gone is “my perfect war, your screwed-up peace” or “no blood for oil,” or even “Bush lied, thousands died.” And there is little finger-pointing any more that so-and-so disbanded the Iraqi army, or didn’t have enough troops, or didn’t supply enough body armor. Now it is simply a yes or no proposition: yes, we can pull it off with patience, or no, it is no longer worth the cost and the lives.

Most would agree that the Americans now know exactly what they are doing. They have a brilliant and savvy ambassador and a top diplomatic team. Their bases are expertly run and secured, where food, accommodations, and troop morale are excellent. Insufficient body armor and unarmored humvees are yesterday’s hysteria. Our generals — Casey, Chiarelli, Dempsey — are astute and understand the fine line between using too much force and not employing enough, and that the war cannot be won by force alone. American colonels are the best this county has produced, and they are proving it in Iraq under the most trying of conditions. Iraqi soldiers are treated with respect and given as much autonomy as their training allows.

Again, the question now is an existential one: Can the United States — or anyone — in the middle of a war against Islamic fascism, rebuild the most important country in the heart of the Middle East, after 30 years of utter oppression, three wars, and an Orwellian, totalitarian dictator's warping of the minds of the populace? And can anyone navigate between a Zarqawi, a Sadr, and the Sunni rejectionists, much less the legions of Iranian agents, Saudi millionaires, and Syrian provocateurs who each day live to destroy what’s going on in Iraq?

The fate of a much wider war hinges on the answers to these questions, since it would be hard to imagine that bin Laden could continue to be much of a force with a secure and democratic Iraq, anchoring ongoing liberalization in the Gulf, Lebanon, and Egypt, and threatening by example Iran and Syria. By the same token, it would be hard to see how we could stop jihadism from spreading when an army that is doing everything possible still could not stop Islamic fascism from taking over the ancestral home of the ancient caliphate.

Can-do Americans courageously go about their duty in Iraq — mostly unafraid that a culture of 2,000 years, the reality of geography, the sheer forces of language and religion, the propaganda of the state-run Arab media, and the cynicism of the liberal West are all stacked against them. Iraq may not have started out as the pivotal front in the war between democracy and fascism, but it has surely evolved into that. After visiting the country, I think we can and will win, but just as importantly, unlike in 2003-04, there does not seem to be much of anything we should be doing there that in fact we are not.
©2006 Victor Davis Hanson

THE ISSUE of whether or not the UAE should be allowed to manage U.S. ports highlights the paradoxes involved in fighting al Qaeda in the Middle East.

Dubai Dealings
The pros and cons of the UAE ports deal.
by Dan Darling
02/23/2006 7:45:00 AM

A GREAT DEAL of public and political controversy has arisen in recent days over the proposed deal to allow the United Arab Emirates (UAE) state-owned company Dubai World manage several major U.S. ports, with critics arguing that doing so will leave the United States more open to a terrorist attack. In evaluating this argument, it is worth examining how al Qaeda itself views the UAE, a task made far easier by drawing on a newly-released al Qaeda document from 2002 that contains a list of demands to UAE officials if they wish to avoid terrorist attacks on their soil.

To begin with, it is important to recognize that the UAE is not Iran and has entirely justifiable reasons for claiming that it is both one of the most moderate countries in the Arab world as well as a valuable partner in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

Ironically, during his defense of the UAE's record on cooperation, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld failed to mention one of their most significant achievements to date: the November 2002 capture of Abd Rahim al-Nashiri, a senior al Qaeda leader generally regarded as the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing and the head of the terror network's maritime operations. While this would indeed be a significant achievement in its own right, it is made all the more remarkable by the fact that the UAE had been directly threatened by the al Qaeda leadership several months prior to al-Nashiri's capture.

According to the now-declassified al Qaeda document labeled target=_blank>AFGP-2002-603856 by the United States, al Qaeda explicitly threatened UAE officials with attacks if they refused to cease cooperation with the United States. Written between May and June 2002 and addressed in particular to officials in the emirates of Abu-Dhabi and Dubai (the UAE is a federation of seven emirates), the document claims that the UAE has engaged in "spying, persecution, [sic] detainments" against al Qaeda members operating on its soil at the behest of the United States, noting that, "authorities have recently detained a number of Mujahideen and handed them over to suppressive organizations in their country in addition to having a number of them still in its custody" and that "these practices bring the country into a fighting ring in which it cannot endure or escape from its consequences." These threats appear to suggest that whatever else al Qaeda thinks of the UAE, it does not regard the nation as being among its friends.

Yet the document also provides ample ammunition to those concerned over the UAE port deal, with its al Qaeda author asserting to the Abu-Dhabi and Dubai officials that "we have infiltrated your security, censorship, and monetary agencies along with other agencies that should not be mentioned" and that "we are confident that you are fully aware that your agencies will not get to the same high level of your American Lords. Furthermore, your intelligence will not be cleverer than theirs, and your censorship capabilities are not worth much against what they have reached . . . you are an easier target than them; your homeland is exposed to us."

In a rare window into al Qaeda's strategic mindset, the author explains, "our policies are not to operate in your homeland and/or tamper with your security because we are occupied with others which we consider are enemies of this nation. If you compel us to do so, we are prepared to postpone our program for a short period and allocate some time for you." A list of demands is then presented to the UAE to avoid the prospect of al Qaeda attacks, consisting only of releasing all known al Qaeda members detained by the UAE since the September 11 attacks as well as anyone else who had been detained on suspicions of involvement with the attacks. It should be noted that the UAE did not comply with these demands and while the nation has been spared any terrorist attacks to date this appears to be due more to al Qaeda's limited resources than a lack of desire. For instance, an audio message in March 2005 by Saudi al Qaeda leader Salih al-Oufi called upon fellow jihadis to carry out attacks against "crusader" targets in the UAE as well as Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait.

THE ISSUE of whether or not the UAE should be allowed to manage U.S. ports highlights many of the paradoxes involved in fighting al Qaeda in the Middle East as well as the dangers of over-simplifying or mischaracterizing U.S. allies in the region. The UAE has been a valuable U.S. ally in the areas of both military cooperation and counter-terrorism and should be rightly recognized as such. Yet it also faces a number of serious problems with regard to al Qaeda infiltration. The UAE is by no means the only Gulf state dealing with this issue, but it is currently the only nation that is seeking to manage major U.S. ports. It is by no means unreasonable for U.S. policymakers to seek strict assurances that these concerns will be rigorously addressed by the UAE before allowing one of its state-run corporations to manage such a sensitive and vulnerable aspect of U.S. infrastructure.

Finally, the debate over whether or not Dubai World should be allowed to manage U.S. ports should serve as the backdrop for a larger national debate on what American policy should be towards corporations, some of them fully or partially state-owned, heralding from countries where al Qaeda or its supporters are known to be active either by having infiltrated local government agencies or in some cases as having the support of established religious leaders or political parties.

Dubai World, which has never been linked to al Qaeda in any fashion, is well within its rights to complain that political opposition is only organized against them while ignoring the far greater number of U.S.-based businesses coming from other Gulf states with far greater levels of al Qaeda infiltration (most notably Saudi Arabia). Therefore, it is extremely important for supporters of the Dubai World deal to recognize that there are entirely valid security concerns relating to the UAE, just as opponents must recognize that these same security concerns are equally valid relating to a number of other countries as well.

Dan Darling is counterterrorism consultant for the Manhattan Institute Center for Policing Terrorism.

Louis Brandeis, the great (Jewish) justice of the Supreme Court, got it exactly right: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

The best disinfectant
By Suzanne Fields
February 23, 2006

The idea of free speech is America's most important export. Our First Amendment is unique in the world; even our English cousins tolerate "prior restraint" in certain circumstances. The Europeans, who do not understand the guarantee as we do, are often only free to express government-approved speech. Over the past few weeks we have seen that free speech depends on who defines free.

In an avant-garde "action theater" in Frankfurt, for example, one member of the cast did what actors everywhere have always done in their dreams. He yelled at a newspaper critic in the front row, tore the notepad from his hands and dropped a dead swan in his lap.

The actor made his point. "Never in the 30 years of my career as a theater critic have I felt so besmirched, so abused, so insulted," wrote Gerhard Stadelmaier in Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung, "and never have I felt such deep sorrow about the state of the theater." He was probably right on both counts. The mayor threatened to turn the city's lawyer loose on the actor and the theater said the actor had been "terminated in an amiable way." Germans, who are forbidden to say a lot of things, debated whether this was government interference in "free expression." Others said it was less coercion on the theater's part than commonsense exacted against a misbehaving actor. (Basketball players, take note.)

With Europe recoiling from riots set off by the publication of Danish cartoon depictions of Muhammad, Belgian newspapers descended to tastelessness in the name of free speech with a cartoon depicting Adolf Hitler in bed with Anne Frank, presumably to show Arabs there are no sacred cows in the press room. Jews had not rioted by press time.

The most celebrated example of suppression of speech occurred in Vienna, where David Irving, the historian who has made a career of denying the Holocaust ("a swastika-wielding provocateur," one critic calls him) pleaded guilty to a "mistake" in asserting that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. In his defense he took refuge behind the demands of historical research. "Obviously I've changed my views," he told reporters at his trial. "History is a constantly growing tree. The more you know, the more documents become available, the more you learn, and I have learned a lot since 1989."

This defense is disingenuous by a man who is an energetic researcher, but he was throwing himself on the mercy of the court. He was sentenced to three years in prison; he could have got 10. Such a result is all but inexplicable in America, where our unique guarantee of free speech, even odious speech, is absolute. Denying the Holocaust is recognized everywhere as the work of an idiot, but it's a crime in Austria and in several other European countries. Prosecutions sometimes satisfy survivors of Hitler's evil, who yearn for one last measure of justice, and the skinheads are pleased because they get a martyr.

David Irving ostentatiously carried his most controversial book, "Hitler's War," into the courtroom and held it aloft for all to see. He had worked on his memoirs in prison, waiting trial, and joked that he might call them "Mein Krieg" (My War), a reference (wink, wink) to Hitler's "Mein Kampf." A showman like Irving can rally neo-Nazi anti-Semites, but modern hatred of the Jews springs less from World War II-era attitudes than hatred of Israel and the West, with Muslim immigrants often eager to join Palestinian apologists and the intellectuals of the embittered left.

But no matter how infuriating such hatred tempts us, government regulation of thought and speech is the crime far worse. When Tony Blair was duly tempted, and introduced legislation making it a crime for Englishmen to show "disrespect" of religious faith, hundreds of churchmen, rabbis and even a few moderate imams rose to oppose him, noting that even repeating quotations from the Bible or the Koran could be criminalized by the law.

Eleven well-known French writers signed a petition in the newspaper Le Monde demanding the right to make fun of whomever they want: "There is something rather disconcerting about having to remind people in France 2006 that we have the right to commit blasphemy, that picking on the parish priest has long been a national sport." Voltaire once boasted that he made only one prayer to God, and kept it short: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it."

Free speech liberates the truth. A team of historians, sponsored by Dresdner's Bank, Germany's second largest, issued a report recently describing in detail the bank's extensive collaboration with the Third Reich. Humiliation followed. Louis Brandeis, the great (Jewish) justice of the Supreme Court, got it exactly right: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

It would be most unfortunate if the administration summoned its nerve and charged ahead--only to meet the fate of Tennyson's Light Brigade!

Kristol: The Long War (The radical Islamists are on the offensive. Will we defeat them?)
The Weekly Standard

March 6, 2006 William Kristol

DEMAGOGUES TO THE RIGHT OF THEM, appeasers to the left of them, media in front of them, volleying and thundering. Can the Bush administration continue to charge ahead? Does it have the will--and the competence--to lead the nation for the next three years toward victory in the long war against radical Islamism?

From Copenhagen to Samara, the radical Islamists are on the offensive. From Tehran to Damascus, the dictators are trying to regain the upper hand in the Middle East. From Moscow to Beijing, the enemies of liberal democracy are working to weaken the United States. Across the world, the forces of terror and tyranny are fighting back. Are we up to the challenge?

It's not clear that we are. Many liberals, here and in Europe, long ago lost the nerve to wage war--or even to defend themselves--against illiberalism. Parts of the conservative movement now seem to be losing their nerve as well. In response to an apparent clash of civilizations, they would retrench, hunker down, and let large parts of the world go to hell in a hand basket, hoping that the hand basket won't blow up in our faces.

Remember: The United States of America and its allies--regimes that seek to embody, or at least to move towards, the principles of decent, civilized, liberal democracy--did not seek this war. But we are at war, and we could lose it. Victory is not inevitable.

Does that make Bush-supporting, liberal-democracy-promoting, Iraq-war-defending neoconservative "Leninists," as Francis Fukuyama has recently charged? No. Does it mean we believe--as Fukuyama defines Leninism--that "history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will"? Does it mean that history does not automatically move in the right direction, that justice does not necessarily or easily prevail? Yes.

It would be nice to believe, as Fukuyama does, that "a long-term process of social evolution" is under way that will inevitably produce liberal democracy. It would be nice to enjoy the comfortable complacency of a historical determinism that suggests--as Fukuyama has it--that what we most need to do is to embrace a "good governance agenda" on behalf of a long-term process of "democracy promotion" that "has to await the gradual ripening of political and economic conditions to be effective."

Indeed, it would be nice if we lived in a world in which we didn't have to take the enemies of liberal democracy seriously--a world without jihadists who want to kill and clerics who want to intimidate and tyrants who want to terrorize. It would be nice to wait until we were certain conditions were ripe before we had to act, a world in which the obstacles are trivial and the enemies fold up. Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in.

To govern is to choose, and to accept responsibility for one's choices. To govern is not wishfully to await the end of history. To govern is not fatalistically to watch a clash of civilizations from the sidelines.

As Marshall Wittmann of the Democratic Leadership Council observed last week, "We are in the midst of a jihadist offensive. The bombing of [Iraq's] Askariya Shiite Shrine is another indication of the world-wide jihadist offensive against the West. From the cartoon jihad to the Hamas victory to the Iranian effort to obtain nuclear weapons to the attempt by al Qaeda to foment an Iraqi civil war--our enemy is taking the initiative. And the West is on its heels."

The Bush administration leads the West. If the West seems to be on its heels, it is because the administration seems to be on its heels. The fact that the left is utterly irresponsible, and some of the right is silly, is no excuse.

Wittmann continued, "Many mistakes have been made since 9/11. But at the end of the day, we should recognize that we are all Americans and part of the West that is under assault by a truly evil foe. Our bravest are on the front lines in this war. The least we can do at home is to demonstrate some moral seriousness that the moment demands."

Moral seriousness in this case means political seriousness. Insist on going ahead with the ports deal so that Arab governments who have stood with us in the war on terror are not told to get lost when one of their companies acquires port management contracts in the United States. Make a real effort to destabilize Ahmadinejad in Iran. Do what it takes to defeat Zarqawi and secure Iraq. Stand with Denmark, and moderate Muslims, against the radical mob. This is no time for dishonorable retreat. It is time for resolve--and competence. After all, it would be most unfortunate if the administration summoned its nerve and charged ahead--only to meet the fate of Tennyson's Light Brigade!

A prominent scholar of the left has finally entered into a constructive conversation about how to manage our dangerous WMD/terrorist-infested future.

All praise Prof. Alan Dershowitz
By Tony Blankley
February 22, 2006

Next week a vastly important book will be published: "Preemption, A Knife That Cuts Both Ways" by Alan Dershowitz. Yes, that Alan Dershowitz: the very liberal civil libertarian, anti-capital punishment Harvard Law School professor. And but for my lack of his legal scholarship, there is nary a sentence in the book that I — a very conservative editor of The Washington Times and former press secretary to Newt Gingrich — couldn't have written.

The premise of his book is that in this age of terror, there is a potential need for such devices as profiling, preventive detention, anticipatory mass inoculation, prior restraint of dangerous speech, targeted extrajudicial executions of terrorists and preemptive military action, including full-scale preventive war.

In his own words, from his introduction: "The shift from responding to past events to preventing future harms is part of one of the most significant but unnoticed trends in the world today. It challenges our traditional reliance on a model of human behavior that presupposes a rational person capable of being deterred by the threat of punishment. The classic theory of deterrence postulates a calculating evildoer who can evaluate the cost-benefits of proposed actions and will act — and forbear from acting — on the basis of these calculations. It also presupposes society's ability (and willingness) to withstand the blows we seek to deter and to use the visible punishment of those blows as threats capable of deterring future harms. These assumptions are now being widely questioned as the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of suicide terrorists becomes more realistic and as our ability to deter such harms by classic rational cost-benefit threats and promises becomes less realistic."

Yet, such policies conflict with traditional concepts of civil liberties, human rights, criminal justice, national security, foreign policy and international law. He shrewdly observes that historically, nations — including democracies — have resorted to such deviations from law and custom out of necessity, but that it has all been ad hoc, secret or deceptive.

Mr. Dershowitz argues that now, rather, we need to begin to develop an honest jurisprudence of prevention to legally regulate such mechanisms. It is better, he argues, to democratically decide now, before the next disaster, this new jurisprudence — the rules by which we will take these necessary actions.

To see the difference between traditional Anglo-American criminal jurisprudence and his proposed jurisprudence of prevention, he raises the great maxim of criminal law: better that 10 guilty go free, than one innocent be wrongly convicted. That principle led our law to require proof beyond a reasonable doubt before conviction in criminal trials. Most of us agree with that standard.

But then Mr. Dershowitz updates the maxim thusly: "Is it better for ten possibly preventable terrorist attacks to occur than for one possibly innocent suspect to be preventively detained?" I would hunch that most people would not be willing to accept ten September 11 attacks (30,000 dead) in order to protect one innocent suspect from being locked up and questioned for a while.

Is it possible to go beyond such gut instincts and ad hoc decision making during a crises, and begin to develop a thoughtful set of standards for conduct in this dangerous new world? I don't know.

As Mr. Dershowitz observes, a jurisprudence develops slowly in response to generations, centuries of adjudicated events. But to the extent we recognize the need for it and start thinking systematically, to that extent we won't be completely held hostage to the whim and discretion of a few men at moments of extreme stress.
At the minimum, an early effort at a jurisprudence of prevention would at least help in defining events. Consider the long and fruitless recent debate about the imminence of the danger from Saddam Hussein's Iraq, or the current debate on Iran's possible nuclear weapons. Under traditional international law standards they are both classic non-imminent threat situations: "early stage acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by a state presumed to be hostile."

But as Mr. Dershowitz points out, while the threat itself is not imminent, "the opportunity to prevent the threat will soon pass." Once they have the weapons it is too late.

Or, a low price in innocent casualties might soon pass. For instance, in 1981 when Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear site at Osirak, if it had waited much longer the site would have been "radioactively hot" and massive innocent civilian casualties would have been incurred from radioactive releases. It is simply not enough anymore to say a country violates the norm by acting in its ultimate, but not imminent, self-defense. We need new standards for a new age.

The new realities of unacceptable risk require new — and lower — standards of certainty before defensive action is permitted.

As we develop a jurisprudence of prevention, we increase the chance of justice and rationality being a bigger part of such crisis decisions that our presidents will be facing for the foreseeable future.

Mr. Dershowitz's sound, practical scholarship is commendable. But what I find heartening is the political fact that a prominent scholar of the left has finally entered into a constructive conversation about how to manage our inevitably dangerous WMD/terrorist-infested future.

If such as Mr. Dershowitz and I can find common ground, there should be space there for a multitude. And from that common ground can grow a common plan for a common victory.