Counter

Pageviews last month

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Another state kidnaping case

Counter A lot of my readers are not homeschoolers and therefore probably aren't aware of a child named Domenic who was torn from his parents' arms two years ago and held in state custody ever since. Their crime? Attempting to take him out of the country.
HSLDA has the story:

Family of State-napped Swedish Child Savors Small Victory

Christer and Annie Johansson have won a small but hopeful victory in their quest to regain custody of their nine-year-old son Domenic who was taken from them over 2 years ago in a dramatic raid while the family was seated on an airliner departing the Nordic country. Ruby Harrold-Claesson, the couple’s attorney, reported to HSLDA that the Gotland District Court ruled in favor of the Johanssons, allowing them to retain their parental rights of Domenic. “Gotland district court has ruled against the social workers and the social council and the Municipality of Gotland in their quest to terminate Annie’s and Christer’s parental rights for Domenic … I hope that this court decision is the beginning of the end of the gross violations of Human rights that Annie, Christer and Domenic have been subjected to at the hands of the social workers and the social council in Gotland,” said Christer Johansson’s attorney and President of the Nordic Human Rights Council Ruby Harrold-Claesson. Michael Donnelly, director of international relations at HSLDA, says this decision offers a glimmer of hope.

“I am hopeful that this is the beginning of the end to the horrific treatment these people have suffered at the hands of Swedish authorities over the past two and a half years,” states Donnelly. “The Johansson family has endured unspeakable tyranny over their decision to homeschool their child and then to attempt to leave Sweden. Sweden’s behavior in this case has been shocking.” The Swedish Social Services Committee first sought to terminate the parental rights of Annie and Christer Johansson in October 2011. The latest decision by the Gotland court against social services marks a significant departure from previous decisions in the Johansson’s case. Swedish courts had also previously removed Harrold-Claesson from the Johansson case. “The social services are afraid of me because I stand up to them,” said Harrold-Claesson. “There are few lawyers in Sweden who dare to. But in Jamaica where I grew up this kind of treatment of families is unheard of. Too many magistrates simply do the bidding of the all-powerful Swedish social services, and this case is no different from the scores I have litigated over the years.”

Magistrate Magnus Schultzberg dismissed Harrold-Claesson from the case in June after Gotland local authorities requested she be removed. The magistrate then appointed a public defender, Torsten Bäckstrand. However, under European human rights laws, defendants have a right to choose counsel. “I applaud Torsten Bäckstrand’s decision to resign after he was told by Christer that he wanted me to represent him,” said Harrold-Claesson. “The latest magistrate has recognized the family’s right to have me, and I applaud her decision to keep this family together, at least on paper, for now. We will continue this fight for justice until Domenic goes home.” The tragedy concerning the Johansson family began in June 2009, when then seven-year old Domenic was forcibly removed from his parents, Christer and Annie, while the family was on board an airplane bound for Annie’s homeland of India. Swedish police snatched Domenic without a warrant, placed him in state custody, and have not charged the Johanssons with a crime. Authorities have subsequently pointed to some minor dental problems and a spotty vaccination history as justification for continuing to hold Dominic in state custody.

HSLDA continues to work with the Alliance Defense Fund and Harrold-Claesson at the European Court of Human Rights representing the family in their lawsuit against Sweden. The case has not been provided any kind of schedule. The ECHR has the authority to order Sweden to pay monetary damages, as has happened in the past in similar cases, but could not enforce an order to have the child returned to his parents. The local court’s decision indicates a possible shift in the way the case is being handled and offers a breath of hope. One of the major reasons for the state-napping and continued seizure of the child was because the family homeschooled him. “Sweden’s government continues to go down a frightening path of educational tyranny as it implements harsh policies causing more and more homeschooling Swedes to flee the country. In the past several months, three families have relocated from Sweden to neighboring countries under pressure because educational officials have reported them to social authorities. The social authorities have virtually unlimited power to take children from families and cause great pain and suffering if they choose to,” Donnelly said. HSLDA has petitioned Swedish officials to reunite the Johansson family, condemning the continued separation of Domenic from his parents. As of October 2010, the Johansson’s case had been heard at the every level of the Swedish court system and the actions of social services upheld.

If you would like to send the family a note of encouragement, you may contact them at: Christer and Annie Johansson, c/o Rune Johansson, Alva Gudings 363, 623 46 Hemse, Sweden.

UPDATE JUNE 2012:
According to this CBN news report:
I received word this evening that the parents of Domenic Johansson, the Swedish homeschooled boy abducted by authorities in 2008, have won the case in which Swedish Social Services tried to have their parental rights terminated.
The five-judge panel decided 4-1 in favor of Christer and Annie Johansson, with judges reportedly questioning the grounds for taking Domenic away in the first place.
Social Services could appeal, but I'm told they usually do not when they have been beaten this badly.
The opinion was reportedly so favorable to the Johanssons that there is hope that Domenic will be returned home soon.

APRIL 2013
Domenic is still incarcerated.

JUNE 2016
Domenic has now spent most of his life in the custody of kidnapers. 

Friday, 16 December 2011

Revolt of the lesser magistrate: It's happening in Indiana

Counter Brad Rogers, a "stealth candidate" in the 2010 election, won a stunning upset primary victory for the open seat of county sheriff over his boss, the assistant sheriff. His first priority was "changing hearts and minds for inmates and transitioning them back to the community successfully, thereby reducing recidivism" at the Elkhart County Jail where he had been Commander. Time will tell if and when that goal is reached, but in the meantime, Brad Rogers has made a name for himself in patriotic circles as one of the first local government officials in his state to send federal agents packing.
Roger’s Sheriff’s Department told the FDA to back off:

He wrote two letters to the Justice Department warning it not to conduct inspections of Hochstetler’s [Amish dairy] farm without a warrant from a local judge. In the process, he got into a debate over the limits of federal power and the U.S. Constitution with the Justice Department’s Goldstein.

Earlier this month, Rogers emailed Goldstein that there had been “a number of inspections and attempted inspections on (Hochstetler’s) farm…” He warned that “any further attempts to inspect this farm without a warrant signed by a local judge, based on probable cause, will result in Federal inspectors’ removal or arrest for trespassing by my officers or I.”

Imagine that. A federal agent doing business as usual, arrested for trespassing by the local sheriff! It may not play on the state or national level, but in Elkhart County, Indiana, there is now someone who actually takes the Constitution seriously, and has the legal means to back it up.

And Brad Rogers appears to understand the Constitution better than any federal officer taking a vow to "uphold and defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

The Goldstein letter prompted Rogers to reply, in a letter just being sent today, “When you assert that federal law trumps state law, it is a distortion of the intent, content and extent of the supreme law of the land–the U.S. Constitution-seen through a myopic and misunderstood view of Article VI, section 2 (The Supremacy Clause).”
He also asserted that “the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act could be deemed unconstitutional if and when challenged vis-a-vis the Tenth Amendment juxtaposed with The Commerce Clause.” 
He added that “our form of government was based on the principle that all officials exist to secure ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.’…Your ‘cosmetic’ regulations will never ‘trump’ those principles. The citizen in question is a good man and has committed no crime. He is an upstanding member of this community. He does not have to allow you access to his property for the FDA to conduct random inspections.”

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Is the White Man a racist?

Counter The White man has written about race on this blog. Does that make him a racist? Well, no. Earlier on this blog (in a post which, among other things, gave Abe Lincoln's own words identifying him as one), racism was defined as follows:
The belief that one's own race is superior to all others, and that with that superiority come certain rights and privileges.
My own race, it should be obvious, is European. To specify further (which is not quite so obvious), I am of English extraction. This is my race, but I do not consider it superior to all others. There are those among my race who, however, do. These are adherents of British Israelitism, and they are convinced, from their interpretation of the Bible and history, that the English people, wherever in the world they may live, are God's chosen people-- that only those of my nation are objects of His special favour. They are racists.

Do you see the problem? Their racism is part and parcel of their understanding of the Bible. But how can racism be biblical, when the Bible clearly shows that we are all part of the same human race?

Well, it all comes down to passages in the Bible like this one:
Genesis 27:22 And Jacob (also called Israel) went near unto Isaac his father . . . 26 And his father Isaac said unto him . . . See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: 28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: 29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
Was Jacob a racist?

You see, on the most personal level, a racist believes that "I am superior to others, and that superiority entitles me to certain rights and privileges." Clearly Jacob believed this, and this belief was behind the scheming that ended up with him getting the rights and privileges away from his older brother Esau. But however he got them, he did get them. There's no denying the fact that in historical terms, Israel has fared better than Esau. Better than Ishmael. Better than Lot. Better than Nahor. Better, in short, than any of his other relatives in the earth. Why, for example, were half of the doctors in pre-WWII Hungary Jews? It certainly wasn't because Jews were half the population of Hungary. Why were such a huge percentage of the early nuclear physicists in Germany Jews? It certainly wasn't because Jews were a huge percentage of the population of Germany.

Wherever Jews have gone in the world, they have suffered persecution--even in the land of Israel, 60 years after independence, they are daily targeted for elimination. And yet, wherever Jews have gone in the world, they have prospered. In whatever country takes them in--on whatever terms--Jews rise to the top in fields too numerous to mention.

Is it merely because they believe that their race is superior to all others, and that they are thereby entitled to certain rights and privileges--certain blessings?

Or is it because God said that they actually are?

You see, the White Man is able to disclaim racism with a straight face for only one reason--because he himself is not a member of the favoured race, he doesn't qualify as a racist.

Now, there are only two responses to the realization that the agnate descendants of Jacob are uniquely the objects of God's favour--hatred toward them, or a love and respect. The former are the objects of God's curses, the latter the objects of his blessing.

Take just one example: Adolph Hitler. There is no question that Germany would have had the atomic bomb before any other nation but for one thing: Hitler's oppression of the Jews meant that the top nuclear physicists in his nation--men like Albert Einstein--would be forced to flee to his enemies merely because they were Jews. He went ahead with his nuclear program anyway, using only Teutonic physicists, but at such a delay that the Allies were able to send in special forces to take out his top nuclear facility before it had produced enough heavy hydrogen to make a bomb.

Hitler's single-minded hatred of Jews led him to invade Poland to start off WWII. There were two and a half million Jews in Poland, and Hitler managed to kill just about all of them. But he wasn't done; millions more were in Russia, his ally. So he turned his back on conquering the rest of Western Europe and launched a surprise attack on Russia--where his forces killed millions more Jews. But Russia, that great bear, merely retreated behind a bone-chilling curtain of frost, while Hitler's men, deprived of the attention of Jewish doctors, died by the tens of thousands. Awakened, and armed by Hitler's unconquered enemies, Russia moved in on Germany itself, and--rather than send his last six tank divisions to defend his borders, Hitler ordered them moved into his last remaining ally in Europe, Hungary. Why? Because Hungary had a million Jews, which they refused to give up to the gas chambers. Hitler's forces were able to kill only half a million Hungarian Jews before the gates of Berlin fell to the Russians. Meanwhile, virtually every German woman along the Eastern Front was gang-raped by Russian soldiers (and, to my nation's shame, a large proportion along the Western Front suffered similar treatment): a heavy price indeed to pay for their loyalty to one who so hated God's favoured people.

In short, there are really only two kinds of racism: a racism that springs from an acceptance of the historical implications of God's promised blessings--and curses--; and a racism that springs from a rejection of them.

In that sense, everybody is a racist: either a realistic racist, or a rebellious one.

The White Man, if he must be called a racist, would definitely choose the former. As, for the most part, has his nation.

And may it ever be so.

Or else.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Timo Miller--it's complicated

Well, Timo Miller will soon be safely back in Nicaragua, but yet another "not known to be related" Miller has been handcuffed in his place:

A Virginia man who federal prosecutors say helped a woman leave the country with her daughter so she wouldn't have to turn custody of the girl over to her former lesbian partner surrendered Tuesday to face charges he aided in international parental kidnapping. 

A complaint unsealed Tuesday said Kenneth L. Miller, 46, of Stuarts Draft, Va., arranged passage for Lisa Miller to travel to Canada before flying with her daughter in September 2009 to Nicaragua, where she was sheltered for a time by a group of Mennonite missionaries. Kenneth Miller appeared in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vt., on Tuesday and was released, said U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin, who would provide no further information about the case. 

The affidavit made public Tuesday indicated that Timothy Miller had helped provide the information that led to the charges against Kenneth Miller. The affidavit says Timothy Miller arranged passage for Lisa Miller and her daughter, paying for the tickets with his mother-in-law's credit card, but Kenneth Miller had told him he would be reimbursed for the price of the tickets.

So, it wasn't Lisa he was willing to rat on, but his alleged co-conspirator (and fellow Beachy minister). This man is much better prepared for the court battle he faces than was Timo, who was blindsided by the FBI. And the FBI isn't crowing about the arrest this time:

“The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Kenneth L. Miller, 46, of Stuarts Draft, Virginia, surrendered today to face charges stemming from his role in the international parental kidnapping by Lisa Miller of a child who has been the subject of a dispute of parental rights in Rutland, Vermont family court since 2004.
According to the complaint unsealed today, Kenneth L. Miller contacted associates in Nicaragua and Canada to request their support for Lisa Miller as she fled the United States with the daughter she shared with her civil union partner in 2009. The complaint alleges that at Kenneth Miller’s direction, the individuals purchased plane tickets for Lisa Miller and her child to fly from Canada to Nicaragua, and transported Miller and her child from a hotel in Canada to the airport for her flights. The complaint further indicates that Kenneth Miller maintained contact with two cellular telephones that appeared to travel from Virginia to Canada in advance of Lisa Miller’s departure from Canada. A grand jury has previously returned an indictment charging Lisa Miller with international parental kidnapping.
The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty. If he is convicted, Kenneth Miller faces a maximum possible sentence of up to three years in prison; however, the actual sentence in the event of a conviction will be determined in accordance with the federal sentencing guidelines and the sentencing factors of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Mr. Miller is represented by Dennis Boyle of Boyle, Autry, and Murphy, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and local counsel Brooks G. McArthur of Jarvis, McArthur and Williams.
The United States Attorney commended the U.S. Marshals Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their hard work on this matter.”
I sense a cutback in the heated rhetoric that surrounded Timo's arrest.  And that everybody is being more careful--even the FBI.

UPDATE: As in the case of Timo, there is a website set up for those interested in following Ken Miller's case: www.millercase.org. The big difference is that this site is merely a policy statement and not a source of updates [UPDATE: this has since changed, as the site has grown and developed].
I should clarify my statement above, in which I used the colloquial expression "rat on." I don't believe that Timo at any point would be willing to disclose Isabella's location in exchange for his own freedom. He faced three years of detention at most; Isabella, almost ten. Nor was it so simple as a matter of him being released in exchange for "ratting on" Ken Miller. That statement was purely from the apparent perspective of the prosecution, who seem to have very little clue what this case is all about. Timo was out of the country when all of the alleged crimes were committed; thus the prosecution had a very weak case against him. However, since he was not physically in the States, they were able to proceed with the fiction that his crimes had been committed in Vermont.

Ken Miller, however, is an entirely case altogether. The man had already left the country when all this went down, thus has been out of reach of the FBI. Clearly, he returned to the U.S. knowing that he would be arrested once he reached American soil. He is not trying to run from what he did, but is quite willing to take whatever punishment is dished out, should he be found a criminal for what he did out of conscience. But since all of the activities in which the court is interested took place in Virginia, he will insist on being tried there. There is no validity to their claim that he did anything in the "Federal District of Vermont."

Should the Feds admit that Virginia is the place where the deeds were done, expect quite a few more arrests to follow. So far, they've only been biting at the very bottom of the food chain, and there are quite a few people in the chain between Lisa and Ken.

UPDATE February 2013:
I believe that the Feds still have a case against the Baptists who handed off Lisa and Isabella to the Mennonites. In an interesting coincidence, Tip Killingsworth, one of the Baptist suspects, has also gone to Ireland as a missionary in the interim. By choosing to spend the next year--at least--behind bars rather than testify against his Baptist co-conspirators, Ken has complicated the prosecution's case a little. We're still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

UPDATE September 2016:
The other shoe has dropped. But so far only half of the co-conspirators have been tried: Timo will apparently be next.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A short post, for a change

Counter I wrote earlier about the government regulators running the Amish out of Nebraska. Now, not having any "Krauts" on which to wreak their vengeance, they've gone after the homeschoolers.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Now Syria

Counter
Well, as predicted, there's nothing more to say on the Iran situation, but things are starting to heat up on the Syrian border. Interesting how the US is busy pulling itself out of 2 different war theatres at the same time it appears poised to enter two others.

Here are a number of possible scenarios:

1. The Saudis, who have as much to fear from the Shia theocracy in Iran as the US does, decide to launch an Arab League first strike on Iran, thus leaving it with no nuclear weapons OR justification for launching a counter-strike on Israel. Expect full cooperation from the US, and Israel to look the other way.

2. An Arab-League led invasion of Syria.

3. A 2- or 3-front attack on Israel by Egyptian Sunnis, Lebanese Shias, and Syrians hoping to divert attention from an impending civil war. This is the least likely scenario, but one that must keep Israeli commanders awake at night.

From DEBKA:

Egyptian-Israel gas pipeline sabotaged eighth time since February revolution.
Explosives were planted under the pipe some 60 km west of El Arish, N. Sinai. Flow resumed only this week after seventh attack two weeks ago.


First, Hizballah reported the unmasking of a CIA network in Lebanon. Then, Wednesday, Nov. 23, an Iranian lawmaker Parviz Sorouri, a member of the Iranian parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, claimed the capture of 12 CIA spies allegedly targeting Iran's military and its nuclear program with the Mossad and regional agencies. Beirut and Tehran had clearly joined forces, DEBKAfile reports to prove they were on top of their security and had smashed dangerous US intelligence networks operating inside their armed forces.

26 Nov. The Syrian crisis assumed a big power dimension this week with the build-up of rival US and Russian naval air carrier armadas in Syrian waters – ranged against and in support of Bashar Assad, DEBKAfile's military sources report. The USS George H.W. Bush arrived Wednesday, Nov. 23, with 70 fighter-bombers and 8 guided missile cruisers and destroyers. Russia's only air carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov is due in mid-week to boost the three Russian warships already anchored off the Syrian port of Tartus.
27 Nov. Twenty-four hours before the Arab League Sunday, Nov. 27, clamped down sanctions on the Assad regime, the first ever against a member state, the armies of Syria's seven neighbors were scrambling for position on standby for acts of retaliation.
Military suspense mounted after the Arab League vote to cut off transactions with Syria's central bank, withdraw Arab funding from projects and other painful sanctions over Bashar Assad's refusal to halt his crackdown on protest.  Military sources in the Gulf report 150 Iranian Revolutionary Guards specialists landed at a military airport south of Damascus on their way to Lebanon to join Hizballah which began bringing its rockets out of their hideouts. Russia is sending Bashar Assad siege-breaking missiles.

28 Nov. A group of military officers from NATO and Persian Gulf nations have quietly established a mixed operational command at Iskenderun in the Turkish Hatay province on the border of North Syria, DEBKAfile's military sources report. Hailing from the United States, France, Canada, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with Turkish officers providing liaison, they are designated "monitors" tasked with establishing "humanitarian corridors" to serve the victims of Bashar Assad's crackdown. Commanded by ground, naval, air force and engineering officers, the task force in reality aims to take over most of northern Syria.

29 Nov. DEBKAfile reports that the Katyusha rocket volley from S. Lebanon which hit Galilee in northern Israel in the small hours of Tuesday, Nov. 29, was initiated by Hizballah commanders in South Lebanon, although claimed by the al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades. Hizballah activated a Palestinian cell it controls in the Ain Hilwa refugee camp on behalf of its Damascus ally, arming the cell with the rockets and marking out their firing positions and targets in Israel's Galilee, after a group of NATO and Arab officers quietly established a command in Turkey for intervention in the Syrian crisis. 

A record number of 2,667 infiltrators intercepted on Egyptian-Israeli border in November. A total of 13,500 caught this year. No figures released on the number who made it.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The link between missionary medicine and paedophilia

Counter
In an earlier post, I revealed that Dr. Donn Ketcham, veteran ABWE medical missionary to Bangladesh, used his position as a means of practicising his favoured form of paedophila. This post has drawn a wide readership and was linked to another blog, one which takes a look at similar shortcomings in mission-board oversight at another mission hospital in Bangladesh,  Baptist Mid Missions' Natore Hospital [Wes has since shut that blog down]. Gary Anderson, president of BMM, has drawn his organisation into the fray by defending the track record of their Bangladesh field in a letter to supporters.

The only other blog still engaged in discussing the issue is the one where it all started, BangladeshMKsSpeak. I'd like to take a look at the report therein by Susan Beals that Dr. Ketcham used some sort of sedative to drug his victims before molesting them. By her description, I expect it was probably Lorazepam, normally used by doctors to 'prep' a patient for surgery. It's most effective when given by intravenous injection, so it would be interesting to see if any of these victims can remember the route by which they were administered the rape drug.

What's interesting to me is how willingly these victims allowed their doctor to find a vein and insert a needle into it, before injecting a harmful substance into their bodies. Why would they allow such a thing, and not bother to even report it to their parents afterward? Well, it has a lot to do, in my opinion, with growing up on a mission station.

Missionary children are jabbed with needles more than anyone else, with the possible exception of soldiers going into a combat zone. In addition to all the usual childhood inoculations, they must submit to some combination of yellow fever, cholera, smallpox, rabies, and tetanus jabs on a basis as frequently as every six months. They are further subject to injections to combat hepatitis or measles should an epidemic threaten. In short, a missionary child is so used to pulling up her sleeve--or pulling down his pants--to receive the needle that it would actually be nothing out of the ordinary, in the course of an office visit, for a child to be told that she needs yet another unspecified injection.

Well, the White Man has not raised his children this way. As do I, they look upon an injection as a form of assault with a deadly weapon, to which one submits only when there is no reasonable alternative. One will not find them readily consenting to some unspecified injection just because they are told by an authority figure that "they need it."

This could result in an unwelcome confrontation with armed representatives of a foreign government the next time they travel overseas--though I hope not. But it won't result in them being office-raped by their doctor--of that I'm quite sure.


UPDATE 2012
It has come to my attention that it is standard procedure for anyone transported to an emergency room to have an intravenous line inserted in their arm without any attempt at gaining prior consent. Thus while my children may be safe in the doctor's office, should an emergency tech wish to administer them a rape drug on the way to the emergency room, there probably won't be much they will be able to do to prevent it.

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Unfathomable Value of One: Israel's Costly Gift

Counter The following article was originally written for the December Maoz Israel Report and passed on from an email.

The people of Israel rose at daybreak – from bed to the TV screen. Today was different. Israel doesn’t have 24/7 news yet, but by 6:00 a.m. all of Israel’s TV stations, (and for that matter, international media) were buzzing with reporters spread across the nation. Waiting. At the Gaza-Egyptian border. The Egyptian-Israeli border, and a small village in Galilee. Gilad Shalit was coming home. He was a 19-year-old soldier pulling guard duty with two other soldiers on Israel’s border, when nine Hamas terrorists appeared out of nowhere, killed the other soldiers, and then kidnapped Gilad, dragging him back through a three-kilometer tunnel they had dug under the Gaza-Israel border.

That was five years and four months ago. This day the tension was excruciating. Would Hamas blow up the deal to release Gilad at the last moment? It was also ironic. Though we stared at the TV, the whole nation had been instructed by our leaders that there would be no interviews. No one would ask him any questions. Not the press. Not the army. Not the prime minister. Not his parents. Not a single Israeli – including Israel’s famed Mossad – knew of his physical or mental condition, nor even where he had been hidden for 1,942 days. But the public was instructed over and over again by the government and military, by psychologists and therapists, that Gilad must have complete quiet – even though in his home village in Galilee there were thousands waiting to just get a glimpse of “their son.” Obviously the nation desperately wanted to hear what only Gilad could tell them. But former Israeli POW’s told his mother and father, “Just hug him and ask him what he wants to eat!” And because Gilad had become every Israeli family’s son, the nation truly wanted only the greatest good for Gilad – to be mentally and physically healthy.

Yet we had to see him! Gilad’s pictures on posters carried around for years by thousands – tens of thousands – of Israelis were five plus years old. How would he look now? Finally after what seemed an eternity, the Israeli news anchors announced with great excitement that the kidnapped soldier had just arrived in a small white pickup at the Gaza-Egyptian border crossing. At that instant came the first pictures of a pale thin figure wearing civilian clothes and a baseball cap. He was led out of the vehicle by Hamas gunmen. And then totally unexpected, the Egyptians whisked him off to a room to be interviewed by a famous Egyptian personality, Shahira Amin on their state TV. The interview had not been coordinated with Israel and delayed the schedule by an hour. The Israeli officials were furious. Meanwhile, all Israel stared at the reality show coming from Egypt. Stunned. Anxious.

Gilad, who was still in the hands of masked Hamas operatives together with the Egyptians, was clearly frightened. Breathing heavily throughout the 12-minute interview, he carefully chose his words. He was asked absurd questions such as, “During all that time of captivity, you did just one video to tell the world and your family that you’re alive,” Amin told the soldier. “Why just one? Why didn’t it happen again?” She forgot to ask, “Why didn’t the International Red Cross visit you even one time?" (Not allowing the ICRC to visit prisoners of war is against international law.) At that moment, Gilad’s Hamas minder who was translating his answers from Hebrew to English, stopped the interview and an argument broke out in Arabic on live TV between the Hamas translator and the journalist. Then Amin continued, “Gilad, you know what it’s like to be in captivity. There are more than 4,000 Palestinians still languishing in Israeli jails. Will you help campaign for their release?”

The Israeli nation could hardly breathe. What kind of question was that? After five years and four months of solitary confinement and malnutrition, he was being asked whether he would work to free Palestinian prisoners? Was Gilad emotionally strong enough to withstand the pressure to become an advocate for Palestinian murderers? After a few stunned seconds, an obviously exhausted Gilad spoke – in Hebrew for all Israel to hear: “I’d be very happy if they were released,” he replied very softly, “providing they don’t return to fight against Israel.” The Israeli TV anchors, hearing the live interview in Hebrew with the rest of us, nearly jumped out of their seats. This was the first sign that Gilad was clearly in control of his mental faculties. His response was the wisest and truest answer an Israeli could give. However, guess what? The Hamas interpreter translated Gilad’s answer like this: “I’d be very happy if they were released so they would all be freed and could return to their own families and their own land.” That was it. Somehow the phrase, “providing they don’t return to fight against Israel,” was lost in the Hamas translation, replaced by a new phrase. The blaring omission and addition was repeated by the BBC’s translator though he too was independently interpreting from Hebrew in real time. In fact all of the TV stations we listened to later in the day – CNN, Fox, France24 and of course the Russian stations and Al Jazeera, dutifully repeated Hamas’ version. I admit I was angry. Hamas? Of course they will lie. But why would journalists representing Western democratic values go along with a deliberate act of dishonest translation?

And then, the scene changed to Gilad walking from an Egyptian vehicle towards his own people. As we all waited, he underwent a medical check up, showered, and donned his army uniform. The army brought along three different sizes of army uniforms, unsure of his weight. It’s a good thing they did for he was a gaunt 110 pounds. He saluted Prime Minister Netanyahu, who then gave him a big hug. After several other officials greeted him with salutes and hugs, he was in the arms of his father. Gilad Shalit salutes Benjamin Netanyahu Asher Intrater, founder of Ahavat Yeshua Messianic Congregation in Jerusalem, expressed Gilad’s return like this: “In the 20 years I have lived in Israel, I have never seen the hearts of the people so touched, so softened, so unified. Gilad is certainly not the Savior. Yet there was something in his appearance and demeanor reminiscent of the image of the suffering servant of the Messiah Himself. The deep pain in his eyes; his broken body that struggled to stand erect; his need to grip the handrails as he came down only a few stairs… and yet the clarity of thoughts; the stature of elegance and nobility; the raising of his hand in a military salute when he met the Prime Minister… there was not a dry eye in the country. He was led out of captivity by Ahmed Jabari (head of the Hamas terror wing) and by Raad Atar (who engineered the kidnapping); he looked like a lamb who had been led to slaughter. And yet there was no hint of complaining. His brave and childlike little smile said to all, ‘I'm going to be all right.’"


Each morsel of information gleaned, either by the Egyptian interview or a few terse words from the medics were dissected and analyzed over and over again by the Israeli media. He had been locked in a windowless room – or dungeon – with very little human contact. He told the Egyptian journalist Shahira Amin that he was glad to be with people – with people to whom he could talk. The medical authorities who had given him a preliminary examination reiterated that Gilad "needs his time to transition after this very long period – almost five and a half years without sunlight," saying that he's suffering from a medical condition because of the lack of exposure to light. He had been without glasses for five years – which meant he had been unable to read anything. At some point he was allowed TV and radio, so he knew Benjamin Netanyahu was the Prime Minister of Israel. He told the Egyptian journalist he believed one day he would be freed, but he thought he might have to wait many more years.

The nation was captivated by this son of Israel, this amazing human being who had been redeemed at such an extravagant price. Prime Minister Netanyahu summed it up in his announcement that Gilad was back in his own country. “The State of Israel is different from its enemies,” Netanyahu said. “Here we do not celebrate the release of murderers. Here, we do not applaud those who took life. On the contrary, we believe in the sanctity of life. We sanctify life. This is the ancient tradition of the Jewish people.” Israelis, agreeing to release 1,027 terrorists, affirmed the sanctity of the life of a single soldier, a soldier who spoke so simply and eloquently of the Jewish people’s yearning for peace.

The contrast between the rejoicing of the Palestinians and Israelis was as far as the east is from the west. 1,027 terrorists had been released. The 1,027 terrorists had collectively killed more than 800 Israelis. They came back to their families as well-fed, robust and proud as ever. Many had received a college education while in prison. Some even had conjugal privileges with their wives. The International Red Cross had regularly visited the prisoners. They had access to amenities that many Israeli citizens do not have. They bragged to the jubilant crowds awaiting them that they were ready to return to fight Israel until she was destroyed. Reuters News reported on one Wafa al-Biss, a Gazan woman who had received permission to be treated for burns at an Israeli hospital, but was caught carrying 22 pounds of explosives in her underwear. She was planning on blowing herself up in the hospital. The day after her release Wafa was filmed telling cheering schoolchildren in the Gaza Strip that she hoped they would follow her example, and encouraged the children to be killers of Jews when they grow up. Hamas’ leaders promised there would be many more “Shalit” kidnappings – until every Palestinian prisoner was free.

Gilad’s parents had traveled the world seeking their son’s release. Then 15 months ago, Noam and Aviva Shalit decided to move to Jerusalem and live in a tent in front of the Prime Minister’s home. Noam said they would stay there until their son came home. They ate and slept in the tent through last year’s cold blustery winter, and through the heat of the summer. The people witnessed a father’s total dedication of his life to deliver his son from death. A blogger who was one of the thousands who visited the tent wrote: “He is a soft spoken man with a broken heart but full of inspiration and energy to protest his son's release day in and day out. I cannot imagine the amount of energy it would take to yearn for your child as well as protest for years on end and give up your life to sit in a tent all day and night; this is something truly powerful and heart-breaking at the same time.” Noam galvanized the nation behind him. Gilad became everyone’s son. And when that day came when Gilad stepped out of the Israeli military vehicle and into the hands of Israel’s Prime Minister and Defense Minister Barak, the nation wept.

Even young Arab bloggers saw the uniqueness of the people of the Book. They asked on Facebook how it was that Israel would give up so much for one soldier when their own leaders thought nothing of murdering their own citizens. The Jerusalem Post explained, “It’s not that we are insensitive to the feelings of past terrorist victims’ families and loved ones. Nor are we unaware that many, even most, of those who will be released will return to violent terrorism – and that by paying a ratio of 1 to 1,027 we are encouraging future kidnappings. “It’s just that none of these potential future dangers seems to be able to trump the fact that right now an IDF soldier’s life is being saved.”

Indeed, the Israeli people, the overwhelming majority agreeing with the exchange, in a way are offering themselves as a possible sacrifice for this one son of Israel. Yair Lapid’s analysis poignantly pointed out that in this affair the Israeli street had commandeered the leadership of the nation and demanded that this one soldier be brought home: “This role reversal between the people and its leaders may be very problematic, but at least on the Shalit front it entails a sense of poetic justice. After all, the one who shall pay the price of the deal is the very same street that demanded it. “The same street where signs were posted is where buses will be exploding. The same shopping malls where petitions were signed are where suicide bombers will enter. The echoes of the gunshots will be heard in the same squares where the protestors stood.”

 Israeli Defense Minister Barak expressed the extreme complexity over such exchanges. He said that a "life-loving country cannot continue" to release over 1,000 prisoners for a soldier. "This slippery slope has to stop,” he said. Yet Barak could not help but repeat a foundational value of the Israeli Defense Forces. “We lived up to an unwritten code on protecting soldiers who went out on missions and find themselves kidnapped. We have a supreme obligation to them." 

For now, Israel is basking in the joy of seeing a soul heading for death returned to life. How well we Messianic Jews of Israel understand that if one life in this world is so innately noble and precious, how great is the worth of one soul who inherits eternal life. For this reason, we give our lives to bring the Good News of Israel’s Messiah to our people. For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord,And they shall come back from the land of the enemy.There is hope in your future, says the Lord,That your children shall come back to their own border. Jeremiah 31:16-17 For this we press toward the mark for the prize, the ultimate prize of God’s high calling in Messiah Yeshua, Savior of Israel.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Iran--last update

Counter I think this will probably be my last post on the impending war with Iran. Things are heating up to the point that the next move is going to make world headlines. First, from DEBKAFile:

Brigadier Hassan Moghadam, head of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) missile development and sections of its nuclear program, was killed in the consecutive explosions that hit two IRGC bases 46 kilometers west of Tehran Saturday, Nov. 12. The official fatality figure is 36. The bases are located in Malard, a town in the Shahryar district. Our sources report increasing evidence that the first explosion was caused by a failed effort to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile. It was powerful enough to shatter windows and damage shops in Tehran.

By April 2012 Iran will have five nuclear bombs or warheads, according to intelligence reaching US president Barack Obama and relayed to Jewish leaders at a closed meeting in New York Sunday, Nov. 13, DEBKAfile's sources report.  The window of opportunity for stopping Iran attaining a nuclear weapon will slam shut in late March after which any military action would generate radioactive contamination across the Gulf oil region. Our sources refute claims that Saturday's Iranian base blasts were caused by the CIA or Mossad.
Obama said later Sunday that, while his strong preference was to resolve the Iran issue diplomatically, "We are not taking any options off the table. Iran with nuclear weapons would pose a threat not only to the region but also to the United States."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the PBS interviewer Charlie Rose Wednesday, Nov. 16 that none of the experiments Iran was conducting was based on a neutron source.  "It's always simultaneous explosions on heavy metals and certain other activities which cannot be explained," he said.
DEBKAfile's military sources note his stress on the lack of evidence that Iran was trying to develop tactical neutron bombs. Tehran, he said, was experimenting with uranium- and plutonium- based explosives, meaning large nuclear bombs rather than small, tactical warheads.  Barak warned that a nuclear-armed Iran would touch off a Middle East nuclear arms race drawing in Egypt and less responsible regimes headed by the Muslim Brotherhood. He did not believe sanctions would stop Iran in its nuclear tracks.

Britain has contingency plans "in the locker" should Iran's nuclear program or a deteriorating situation in Syria necessitate UK military action.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu informed the full Knesset plenum that "all options are on the table when it comes to Iran's nuclear program." This short statement which a minister read out to the Knesset Wednesday, Nov. 16, said:  "The prime minister and the authorized bodies are acting to stop the nuclear armament of Iran. The efforts are ongoing and we will do everything possible to enlist states in the international community, "he continued "because the Iranian threat is a danger not only to the State of Israel but to world peace." 
 
According to the briefing given to a closed meeting of Jewish leaders in New York Sunday, Nov. 13, the window of opportunity for stopping Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon is closing fast, debkafile’s sources report. It will shut down altogether after late March, 2012. The intelligence reaching U.S. President Barak Obama is that by April, Iran will already have five nuclear bombs or warheads and military action then would generate a dangerous level of radioactive contamination across the Gulf region, the main source of the world’s energy.

The Washington Post:

In a Republican debate Saturday, Bachmann warned that Iran’s attempt to develop a nuclear weapon is part of a regional push against Israel. She said Iran is working with countries like Syria and groups like Hamas to push its agenda. That means “the table is being set for worldwide nuclear war against Israel,” she said.

What lazy language. "Worldwide nuclear war" is more than just a bunch of nations at war, one of which has nuclear weapons and uses them. Lest we forget, this was the case in August of 1945.

We're pretty close, however, to that same situation again.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Presidential candidates on Iran

Counter
First, from a speech Senator Santorum gave more than five years ago:
You said you would have voted for the war, but now you say you would vote against it.
You said we weren’t misled, but now you say that we were lied to. You are sleepwalking into a nightmare.
It’s time to wake up.
From everything I can see, Mr. Casey is unready, unqualified for the high office he seeks at a time when our survival as a free people is at stake. He is one of many Americans sleepwalking in this nightmare. These horrors no longer shock us as they did on 9/11. They have become part of the background noise of our world. Some even blame our own leaders rather than the savages who do the killing. But I believe that Pennsylvanians are awakening to this threat, and can send a message to the nation and our enemies. It’s time to stop dreaming and start acting.
We have to bring the fight to our enemies, and that means we have to do a lot more than respond to their attacks in Iraq. We must go after the regimes that recruit, pay, train and arm terrorists. I am not-NOT-talking about sending more American troops onto foreign battlefields, or even dropping precision bombs from safe altitudes. I am talking about political and economic warfare, to bring down the terror regimes in Tehran and Damascus.
The best way to do that is to support their own people, most of whom are eager for freedom. That is why I drafted legislation that commits America to support freedom in Iran. A free Iran will be our friend, not an implacable enemy. We know that is true, because public opinion polls taken by the regime itself show that more than seventy percent of Iranians want to choose their own system of government and elect their own leaders. And we know it is true because the Iranian regime is frantically trying to isolate the Iranian people from contact with the free world. Satellite dishes are torn down, dissidents are arrested, tortured and executed. High speed internet is banned. Surviving vestiges of a free press are shut down.
Those are the actions of a regime that fears its people, and knows that the desire for freedom can destroy the Islamic fascist tyranny. A free Iran will change the world, because it will deprive the terrorists of their single greatest source of support, and isolate the likes of Hugo Chavez and Kim Jong ‘il. Why is a free Iran and Iraq so essential? Because the United States nor any western country will be able on its own to defeat radical Islamic fascism. We must create an environment where moderate Islam – whether Sunni or Shi’ia or any other strain – combats and suppresses its radical elements. I believe the best way to accomplish this is through democratic self rule.
Senator Santorum may be right on the existential threat posed by Iran, but he's wrong about the solution; Iran already has democratic self rule. They deposed their Shah to get the democratic self rule that they now enjoy, and they voted to keep it in the last election.

It doesn't appear that either the current or any potential President are actually aware both of the danger America and Israel are in, and of any effective solution. The generals, however, are nonetheless putting the military option into action.

This from yesterday's The Daily Beast:
Israel also likely would exploit a vulnerability that U.S. officials detected two years ago in Iran's big-city electric grids, which are not “air-gapped”—meaning they are connected to the Internet and therefore vulnerable to a Stuxnet-style cyberattack—officials say. A highly secretive research lab attached to the U.S. joint staff and combatant commands, known as the Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC), discovered the weakness in Iran’s electrical grid in 2009, according to one retired senior military intelligence officer. This source also said the Israelis have the capability to bring a denial-of-service attack to nodes of Iran’s command and control system that rely on the Internet. Tony Decarbo, the executive officer for JWAC, declined comment for this story. The likely delivery method for the electronic elements of this attack would be an unmanned aerial vehicle the size of a jumbo[sic] jet. An earlier version of the bird was called the Heron, the latest version is known as the Eitan. According to the Israeli press, the Eitan can fly for 20 straight hours and carry a payload of one ton. Another version of the drone, however, can fly up to 45 straight hours, according to U.S. and Israeli officials. Unmanned drones have been an integral part of U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, gathering intelligence and firing missiles at suspected insurgents. But Israel's fleet has been specially fitted for electronic warfare, according to officials.

From Governor Romney:
During the CBS/National Journal debate, he said, “It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon….If all else fails, if after all of the work we’ve done, there’s nothing else we could do besides take military action. Then of course you take military action.” He called for “crippling economic sanctions” against Iran and supported using covert action and supporting the dissidents in Iran who oppose the current regime. He also stated unequivocally, “One thing you can know — and that is if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you’d like me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon.”

Romney doesn't seem to realise that "when all else fails" is when an Iranian nuclear device blows up over Isreal. Military action at that point will be rather futile. All of the efforts he supports are already at work, but they've only slowed, not stopped, Iran's nuclear progress. And deciding to take military action is, according to the Constitution, the job of Congress. Yet none of the former or present Congressmen presently running for election--or re-election--to the presidency have ever sponsored a declaration of war.

Finally, this from Representative Bachmann:

“With a President Bachmann, I can assure you, there would be no option in my cabinet that would be off the table,” the Congresswoman said on November 8. “I would use every possible military option there is to stop Iran from using a nuclear weapon.”

The problem with this sort of talk is that it is just that--talk. Imagine Hitler telling Germany that he "would use every possible military option there is to stop America from using a nuclear weapon.” Well, he did, and in the end none of them did a bit of good.  The only thing that kept Germany from getting nuked was that they had something the Japanese lacked--a willingness to give up when they knew the war was over. Japan's insistence on defending their ground to the last man was a direct cause of America's choice to use weapons of mass destruction to force them to submit.

It's already too late to stop Iran from using a nuclear weapon. The only option now is to stop them from getting one, and that option is a decidedly military one, and one that, if it is to do any good, will have to be taken off the table and put into action--soon.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Geert Wilders on the Islamic conquest of Europe

CounterAn email has been making the rounds allegedly containing a speech by Geert Wilders, a Dutch Member of Parliament. It's variously titled Report from Holland or Warning from Holland, and, according to Snopes, it's correctly attributed. Snopes also notes that Geert was finally acquitted just this past June (2011) of inciting racial hatred in his own country, the Netherlands. The actual address was given in 2008, in the USA, and has suffered from severe truncation and liturgical editing since then. I give it here, in its entirety, as it appears on EuropeNews.

Geert Wilders, chairman Party for Freedom, the Netherlands Speech at the Four Seasons, New York September 25, 2008

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for inviting me. Great to be at the Four Seasons. I come from a country that has one season only: a rainy season that starts January 1st and ends December 31st. When we have three sunny days in a row, the government declares a national emergency. So Four Seasons, that’s new to me.

It’s great to be in New York. When I see the skyscrapers and office buildings, I think of what Ayn Rand said: “The sky over New York and the will of man made visible.” Of course. Without the Dutch you would have been nowhere, still figuring out how to buy this island from the Indians. But we are glad we did it for you. And, frankly, you did a far better job than we possibly could have done.

I come to America with a mission. All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe. This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West. The danger I see looming is the scenario of America as the last man standing. The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe. In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe? Patriots from around Europe risk their lives every day to prevent precisely this scenario form becoming a reality.

My short lecture consists of 4 parts.

First I will describe the situation on the ground in Europe. Then, I will say a few things about Islam. Thirdly, if you are still here, I will talk a little bit about the movie you just saw. To close I will tell you about a meeting in Jerusalem.

The Europe you know is changing. You have probably seen the landmarks. The Eiffel Tower and Trafalgar Square and Rome’s ancient buildings and maybe the canals of Amsterdam. They are still there. And they still look very much the same as they did a hundred years ago.

But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world, a world very few visitors see – and one that does not appear in your tourist guidebook. It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration. All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighbourhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It’s the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corner. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity. These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighbourhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe. These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe, street by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, city by city.

There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe. With larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule.

Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam, Marseille and Malmo in Sweden. In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighbourhoods. Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities. In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims. Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear “whore, whore”. Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin. In France school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin. The history of the Holocaust can in many cases no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity. In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighbourhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves. Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels, because he was drinking during the Ramadan. Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya, Israel. I could go on forever with stories like this. Stories about Islamization.

A total of fifty-four million Muslims now live in Europe. San Diego University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now. Bernhard Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority by the end of this century.

Now these are just numbers. And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim-immigrants had a strong desire to assimilate. But there are few signs of that. The Pew Research Center reported that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France. One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks. The British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third of British Muslim students are in favour of a worldwide caliphate. A Dutch study reported that half of Dutch Muslims admit they “understand” the 9/11 attacks.

Muslims demand what they call ‘respect’. And this is how we give them respect. Our elites are willing to give in. To give up. In my own country we have gone from calls by one cabinet member to turn Muslim holidays into official state holidays, to statements by another cabinet member, that Islam is part of Dutch culture, to an affirmation by the Christian-Democratic attorney general that he is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands if there is a Muslim majority. We have cabinet members with passports from Morocco and Turkey.

Muslim demands are supported by unlawful behaviour, ranging from petty crimes and random violence, for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale riots. Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the banlieus. Some prefer to see these as isolated incidents, but I call it a Muslim intifada. I call the perpetrators “settlers”. Because that is what they are. They do not come to integrate into our societies, they come to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam. Therefore, they are settlers.

Much of this street violence I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many native people to leave their neighbourhoods, their cities, their countries.

Politicians shy away from taking a stand against this creeping sharia. They believe in the equality of all cultures. Moreover, on a mundane level, Muslims are now a swing vote not to be ignored.

Our many problems with Islam cannot be explained by poverty, repression or the European colonial past, as the Left claims. Nor does it have anything to do with Palestinians or American troops in Iraq. The problem is Islam itself.

Allow me to give you a brief Islam 101. The first thing you need to know about Islam is the importance of the book of the Quran. The Quran is Allah’s personal word, revealed by an angel to Mohammed, the prophet. This is where the trouble starts. Every word in the Quran is Allah’s word and therefore not open to discussion or interpretation. It is valid for every Muslim and for all times. Therefore, there is no such a thing as moderate Islam. Sure, there are a lot of moderate Muslims. But a moderate Islam is non-existent.

The Quran calls for hatred, violence, submission, murder, and terrorism. The Quran calls for Muslims to kill non-Muslims, to terrorize non-Muslims and to fulfil their duty to wage war: violent jihad. Jihad is a duty for every Muslim, Islam is to rule the world – by the sword. The Quran is clearly anti-Semitic, describing Jews as monkeys and pigs.

The second thing you need to know is the importance of Mohammed the prophet. His behaviour is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized. Now, if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say like Ghandi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem. But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages – at the same time. Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed. Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. He advised on matters of slavery, but never advised to liberate slaves. Islam has no other morality than the advancement of Islam. If it is good for Islam, it is good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad. There is no gray area or other side.

Quran as Allah’s own word and Mohammed as the perfect man are the two most important facets of Islam. Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion. Sure, it has a god, and a here-after, and 72 virgins. But in its essence Islam is a political ideology. It is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person. Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life. Islam means ‘submission’. Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia. If you want to compare Islam to anything, compare it to communism or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies.

This is what you need to know about Islam, in order to understand what is going on in Europe. For millions of Muslims the Quran and the live of Mohammed are not 14 centuries old, but are an everyday reality, an ideal, that guide every aspect of their lives. Now you know why Winston Churchill called Islam “the most retrograde force in the world”, and why he compared Mein Kampf to the Quran.

Which brings me to my movie, Fitna.

I am a lawmaker, and not a movie maker. But I felt I had the moral duty to educate about Islam. The duty to make clear that the Quran stands at the heart of what some people call terrorism but is in reality jihad. I wanted to show that the problems of Islam are at the core of Islam, and do not belong to its fringes.

Now, from the day the plan for my movie was made public, it caused quite a stir, in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. First, there was a political storm, with government leaders, across the continent in sheer panic. The Netherlands was put under a heightened terror alert, because of possible attacks or a revolt by our Muslim population. The Dutch branch of the Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir declared that the Netherlands was due for an attack. Internationally, there was a series of incidents. The Taliban threatened to organize additional attacks against Dutch troops in Afghanistan, and a website linked to Al Qaeda published the message that I ought to be killed, while various muftis in the Middle East stated that I would be responsible for all the bloodshed after the screening of the movie. In Afghanistan and Pakistan the Dutch flag was burned on several occasions. Dolls representing me were also burned. The Indonesian President announced that I will never be admitted into Indonesia again, while the UN Secretary General and the European Union issued cowardly statements in the same vein as those made by the Dutch Government. I could go on and on. It was an absolute disgrace, a sell-out.

A plethora of legal troubles also followed, and have not ended yet. Currently the state of Jordan is litigating against me. Only last week there were renewed security agency reports about a heightened terror alert for the Netherlands because of Fitna.

Now, I would like to say a few things about Israel. Because, very soon, we will get together in its capitol. The best way for a politician in Europe to loose votes is to say something positive about Israel. The public has wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as the aggressor. I, however, will continue to speak up for Israel. I see defending Israel as a matter of principle. I have lived in this country and visited it dozens of times. I support Israel. First, because it is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz, second because it is a democracy, and third because Israel is our first line of defense.

Samuel Huntington writes it so aptly: “Islam has bloody borders”. Israel is located precisely on that border. This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam’s territorial advance. Israel is facing the front lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan, Lebanon, and Aceh in Indonesia. Israel is simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.

The war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel, Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.

Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West. It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel, they can get everything. Therefore, it is not that the West has a stake in Israel. It is Israel.

It is very difficult to be an optimist in the face of the growing Islamization of Europe. All the tides are against us. On all fronts we are losing. Demographically the momentum is with Islam. Muslim immigration is even a source of pride within ruling liberal parties. Academia, the arts, the media, trade unions, the churches, the business world, the entire political establishment have all converted to the suicidal theory of multiculturalism. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as a ‘right-wing extremists’ or ‘racists’. The entire establishment has sided with our enemy. Leftists, liberals and Christian-Democrats are now all in bed with Islam.

This is the most painful thing to see: the betrayal by our elites. At this moment in Europe’s history, our elites are supposed to lead us. To stand up for centuries of civilization. To defend our heritage. To honour our eternal Judeo-Christian values that made Europe what it is today. But there are very few signs of hope to be seen at the governmental level. Sarkozy, Merkel, Brown, Berlusconi; in private, they probably know how grave the situation is. But when the little red light goes on, they stare into the camera and tell us that Islam is a religion of peace, and we should all try to get along nicely and sing Kumbaya. They willingly participate in, what President Reagan so aptly called: “the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.”

If there is hope in Europe, it comes from the people, not from the elites. Change can only come from a grass-roots level. It has to come from the citizens themselves. Yet these patriots will have to take on the entire political, legal and media establishment.

Over the past years there have been some small, but encouraging, signs of a rebirth of the original European spirit. Maybe the elites turn their backs on freedom, the public does not. In my country, the Netherlands, 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II. And another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat to our national identity. I don’t think the public opinion in Holland is very different from other European countries.

Patriotic parties that oppose jihad are growing, against all odds. My own party debuted two years ago, with five percent of the vote. Now it stands at ten percent in the polls. The same is true of all smililary-minded parties in Europe. They are fighting the liberal establishment, and are gaining footholds on the political arena, one voter at the time.

Now, for the first time, these patriotic parties will come together and exchange experiences. It may be the start of something big. Something that might change the map of Europe for decades to come. It might also be Europe’s last chance.

This December a conference will take place in Jerusalem. Thanks to Professor Aryeh Eldad, a member of Knesset, we will be able to watch Fitna in the Knesset building and discuss the jihad. We are organizing this event in Israel to emphasize the fact that we are all in the same boat together, and that Israel is part of our common heritage. Those attending will be a select audience. No racist organizations will be allowed. And we will only admit parties that are solidly democratic.

This conference will be the start of an Alliance of European patriots. This Alliance will serve as the backbone for all organizations and political parties that oppose jihad and Islamization. For this Alliance I seek your support.

This endeavor may be crucial to America and to the West. America may hold fast to the dream that, thanks tot its location, it is safe from jihad and shaira. But seven years ago to the day, there was still smoke rising from ground zero, following the attacks that forever shattered that dream. Yet there is a danger even greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing. The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine. An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military might for America - as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve the heritage of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem.

Dear friends, liberty is the most precious of gifts. My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives. All throughout Europe American cemeteries remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish. My generation does not own this freedom; we are merely its custodians. We can only hand over this hard won liberty to Europe’s children in the same state in which it was offered to us. We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams. Future generations would never forgive us. We cannot squander our liberties. We simply do not have the right to do so.

This is not the first time our civilization is under threat. We have seen dangers before. We have been betrayed by our elites before. They have sided with our enemies before. And yet, then, freedom prevailed.

These are not times in which to take lessons from appeasement, capitulation, giving away, giving up or giving in. These are not times in which to draw lessons from Mr. Chamberlain. These are times calling us to draw lessons from Mr. Churchill and the words he spoke in 1942:

“Never give in, never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy”.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Brothers in the hood: Racism in Romans 9:3-4. NIV

Counter
I have earlier defined racism as:

The belief that one's own race is superior to all others, and that with that superiority come certain rights and privileges.

 On the first read through the following paragraph in the King James Bible, Paul doesn't immediately strike one as a racist:

Romans 9:3-5 King James Version
For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

But what happens when you read it in the NIV?

New International Version 1973-84
For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.
a. Or Christ, who is over all. God be forever praised! Or Christ. God who is over all be forever praised!

Pauls "own race" definitely comes across as superior, with certain rights and privileges, even when the translation had been gone over to remove all language offensive to women--well, almost all:

New International Version (T/NIV) 2001-2011
For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.
a. Or Messiah, who is over all. God be forever praised! Or Messiah. God who is over all be forever praised!

The CBT started off the problem way back in the late 1960's or early 1970's when they decided not to bother translating the Greek words οἵτινές εἰσιν,"who are." They apparently thought the passage would flow better as "my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel." Fifty years ago, the usage of 'race' as synonymous with 'ethnic group' had not yet gone obsolete, especially in poetry. But this is a most singular translation of the Greek word συγγενής, which is usually translated 'relatives' in the NIV. Biblical uses of this word refer to those outside the immediate family but still in the extended family; in Luke 21:16 it is also used in an expanding list of relations, falling between 'brothers' and 'friends.' So how did it become 'race' here?

And how did 'brothers' fare in Luke 21:16? Ah, 'and sisters' of course had to be added, although the gender of the friends was still left unspecified. Whatever happened to the English word 'sibling?'

What's of even more concern is that even as recently as 2011, this 1960's reference to 'race' has been left intact. It's without question that the CBT revised the verse in 2001, when they applied a global search-and replace to make sure the word 'brothers' never appeared in the TNIV without 'and sisters' being tacked on to the end*. But here they found that 'brothers and sisters' just didn't fit in an expanding list of relatives, especially in the context of 'sonship' and 'patriarchs.' When all else fails, the NNIV translates ἀδελφoι as 'people.' But it really doesn't make sense to keep 'race' in the verse, as it reads as a double redundancy, with 'people' now added twice to the text: 
my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship. . .

Where is Virginia Mollenkott when you need her?

*update April 2012: There are some exceptions. Jesus' brothers are never identified as his "brothers and sisters," except, of course, when the sisters are explicitly mentioned. Interestingly enough, even though most manuscripts--including two ancient Greek codices and most of the Old Latin--do explicitly mention "and sisters" in Mark 3:32--and that is even the reading of the NIV's base text--the NIV doesn't provide the sisters with so much as a footnote.

Friday, 11 November 2011

On the brink of war

Counter
British government ministers have been told to expect Israeli military action in the wake of the UN watchdog report "as early as Christmas or very early in the new year," the London Daily Mail reported Thursday, Nov. 10. They were told Israel would strike Iran's nuclear sites "sooner rather than later" – with "logistical support" from the US.
I know I've been beating the war drums for quite some time, but this is not going away. Iran is no longer 3 to 5 years out from getting The Bomb. It was six years ago, and the Stuxnet Virus, along with Israel's non-death penalty targeted execution program only delayed it a year or two. Iran NOW has enough fuel for four warheads, and NOW has the delivery, triggering, and targeting mechanisms to place them in Israel at any time.

President Obama is in a tight spot. He vowed that Iran would never be allowed to develop The Bomb. Netanyahu is still being told--at least openly--not to dare to attack Iran unilaterally. But NATO is gearing up for opening a third front in The War on Terror, just in time to re-deploy the troops being sent home from Iraq and Afghanistan--conveniently enough, the two countries that border Iran--along with Pakistan and three Turkish nations.

Who knows where things will go from here. But I can definitely predict:

1) No military drawdown for the US.
2) Higher oil prices.
3) A big drop in Christmas tours to Bethlehem.
4) Since both sides now have missiles capable of hitting the other, what Americans and Russians feared throughout the 50's and 60's is now a real possibility in the Mideast: simultaneous mutual nuclear missile strikes. Unlike in the Cold War, however, the first round will probably use up or degrade each country's total nuclear capacity, leaving each one vulnerable to conventional invasion. We are talking all-out but limited nuclear war, immediately followed by all-out regional conventional war. I can't predict it will happen, only that it is for the first time a real possibility.

Meanwhile, developers of Stuxnet 2.0 are working feverishly to accomplish the impossible--defeating a nuclear power with cyber warfare. The next step is probably an attempt to shut down Iran's electric grid to disrupt command and control.

Monday, 7 November 2011

What can we say? Peer reviewed journals, supervised PhD's--junk?

CounterFound online:

In one of the biggest cases of scientific fraud on record, a prominent psychologist has admitted fabricating data in dozens of studies.

Diederik Stapel, who was suspended from his post at Tilburg University in the Netherlands in September, was exceptionally productive. He was responsible for a succession of eye-catching studies on topics including stereotyping and discrimination, the effectiveness of advertising, and the circumstances in which people may perversely prefer negative feedback to praise.

Stapel was suspended after three junior researchers alleged scientific misconduct. But the extent of the problems became known only on Monday, when the university released an interim report concluding that dozens of papers, as well as 14 out of the 21 PhD theses Stapel had supervised, contain fabricated data.

"This is absolutely horrifying," says Laura King, a social psychologist at the University of Missouri in Columbia. "We are talking about research that has major impact in the field of social cognition." Social cognition is the field of psychology that investigates how our mental processes affect the way we relate to one another.

In terms of the sheer volume of research implicated, Stapel's is one of the worst cases of scientific misconduct on record. The chair of the committee that has examined Stapel's work at Tilburg University told Nature that some 30 papers have so far been found to contain fabricated data. If these are all withdrawn, they will exceed the toll of retractions of papers by Jan Hendrik Schön, whose groundbreaking work at Bell Labs, New Jersey, on electronic devices made from organic molecules was found in 2002 to contain widespread fabrication and manipulation of data.

The case leaves red-faced collaborators cursing themselves for being so trusting. "I was duped," admits Hart Blanton of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, who expects to have to retract two papers he published with Stapel examining how "priming" people by showing them a picture of Albert Einstein can make them feel less intelligent.

Some of Stapel's recent work was certainly provocative. A paper published in April in the journal Science claimed that disordered environments such as littered streets make people more prone to stereotyping and discrimination. Although the Tilburg inquiry has not yet identified the studies that contain fabricated data, Science has already published an expression of concern about this paper.

In a statement released to the Dutch media this week, Stapel admitted fabricating data and apologised for the damage done to his colleagues and the field of social psychology. "I have failed as a scientist," he said.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Countdown to Armageddon in Iran

Counter Well, it's been a while since I last reported on the impending Persio-American War. There have been several new developments to show that this war, while considerably postponed, is not going away. Remember, the rumblings of World War Two began at least two years before the commencement of actual hostilities. Once Mussolini got away with invading Ethiopia, and Tojo with invading Manchuria, and Hitler with militarising the Rhine, a global war was inevitable--it just wasn't yet immanent.

Will Iran get away with developing a nuclear weapon? It might yet, but at this point it still doesn't look like it. Consider:

1. The Stuxnet Virus was a qualified success, causing Iran to replace an entire 6-cascade network of 984 Siemens-controlled uranium centrifuges at Natanz. More evidence has come out, first of all implicating Israel in the testing of the virus, and secondly indicating that the project is still ongoing. Both American and Israeli officials have all but admitted to involvement in hatching the virus; apparently one designed the delivery package, and another the payload. Stuxnet itself has pretty much played out as a threat to Iran's nuclear program, but even this was anticipated: the virus has encoded within itself instructions to self-destruct on June 24, 2012. That sunset provision alone is almost certain evidence of an American hand behind the design of the virus.

2. Duqu is the name of a new virus, evidently designed by the same team that brought us Stuxnet. The scary thing about Duqu is that is capabilities have not yet been identified, but its very existence shows that the Cyber Warfare Command is still seeking to engage targets.

3. The  International Atomic Energy Agency disclosed on Tuesday, Nov. 1, that a spinning factory built in the northeastern Syrian town of Hasaka in 2003 was in fact an enriched uranium site. DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report that Syria procured the enriched uranium and equipment for the plant in early March 2003 from Iraq when its ruler Saddam Hussein decided to dispose of the bulk of his nuclear plant and weapons of mass destruction by spiriting them out to Syria, then his closest ally.

4.  The International Atomic Agency in Vienna is due to publish next Tuesday, November 8, a more revealing report than ever before on the advances the Islamic Republic has made toward producing a nuclear weapon.

5. On Wednesday, November 2, Israel carried out a successful test launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, Jericho 3, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead 7,000 kilometers; the IDF released photographs of Israeli Air Force squadron leaders on Italian air base runways reporting to the media on joint exercises in long-range maneuvers carried out with the Italian air force "and other NATO nations" to familiarize the IAF with NATO military tactics.

Putting all this together, it seems that the US, along with select NATO nations, are on board with Israel to keep Iran from going nuclear. At this point is appears to be all bark and no bite, in hopes that Iran will get the hint and back down. Alas, the Islamic Republic will do no such thing, and it looks like we are headed for an inevitable confrontation that will entail "suicide by cop" of the Persian throne.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Puzzle begins to take shape: Barack Obama's African origin

Counter
In this post, I wrote that recent evidence shows Barack Obama II's Kenyan birth certificate to have been a recent forgery. I just realized that there was one possibility I hadn't considered, and that is one of Stanley Obama traveling to Kenya to visit her in-laws before the precipitous birth of her son Barack Junior, but without the accompaniment of the boy's father, Barack Senior. This could account for four different pieces of evidence:

1) The birth date of the baby's father is rather vague, which would accord with him not being present when the certificate was filled out. Barack Senior was known to give different dates for his birth, so it's quite possible that Stanley didn't know which date to give. His stepmother wouldn't be expected to have known a precise date either, not having been a part of the family at the time of his birth.

2) An unverified account places Stanley and her step-mother-in-law at the beach in Mombasa when she went into labour; no mention of Barack being present.

3) The aforementioned "Granny Sarah" reported being present at Barack Junior's birth in Mombasa.

4) From information in his NIS file, it's virtually impossible for Barack to have left the US in 1961.

Even today, it's common for a family to be split up for a trip when one member is free to travel internationally and another isn't. Barack may have not been able to get to Kenya and back on his student visa, so sent Stanley alone to meet his family, not expecting their child to be born before her return (a similar thing happened with Robin Graham, whose wife went back to the US to meet his family as he was wrapping up his solo round-the-world sailing trip, except that their baby did not come early but waited for Dad to pull in first). Inasmuch as their child's birth in Kenya was unplanned, he went ahead and had his in-laws register the birth in Honolulu, as another piece of evidence, mentioned elsewhere on this blog, clearly indicates. This certificate was then altered before it was released in 2008-11, adding a now-dead obstetrician and deleting all evidence that Barack had in fact been born in Kenya.

Well, we still don't know where President Obama was born, but we can be sure of at least one thing: he has his reasons for keeping it that way. Boy, does he ever.