Monday, July 31, 2006

Vancouver Rally for Israel... and for humanity

My friends, what an evening.

Thanks to a divine piece of luck, I glanced at an old article from the saturday paper lying around and discovered that there was to be a pro-Israel rally held tonight in Vancouver, BC. The two-day old article offered no address, time or description of any kind, other than a passing mention of the rally itself (the article's main focus was on the reader of the koran's savagery in Seattle last Friday).

Conducting the world's fastest online search I found the event advertised here, in connection with the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver. And with less than an hour left to get there I tore off to participate. (just made it in time) When I arrived I didn't know what I would have in store, whether a parade, a gathering on steps outside a building, or what. Turned out to be an indoor event taking place within a beautiful synagogue.

The whole evening was so emotional; my mind is still awhirl from the display of courage, compassion and out-and-out humanity that filled my world tonight. I've never felt so... alive before.

The evening kicked off with a humble gesture of gratitude to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for standing with Israel on principle.... whereupon there erupted a spontaneous, thunderous, standing ovation, growing and growing in volume, and judging by the hesitation by the speaker at the podium, unanticipated by the organizers of the event. Not unwelcome, I hasten to say: just unexpected. Hundreds of people clapping on and on and on... Thank God for having Harper, a man with moral integrity, be the leader in office at this time of crisis.

A spirited performance of both the Canadian and Israeli national anthems, then a heartening prayer, followed by a rousing speech from Ed Fast, Conservative Member of Parliament for Abbotsford (a riding on the eastern outskirts of the Vancouver area). I really admired his talk, such moral clarity coming from a politician... why is it so rare to hear an elected representative admit, in public, that hizbollah (the party of allah), and its members, are evil??

My heart went up and down all night, from admiration and pride at the brave resolve in the face of the unrelenting evil of our common foe, to horror and anger at the reprehensible double standard that the world shackles the great nation of Israel with. For example, the world is awash in pictures of the one hundred thousand lebanese fleeing north, but mute about the one million Israelis desperately fleeing south or huddling underground. One in seven israelis under attack... and the world sides against Israel, choosing instead to stand with the side of the enemy of humanity: the party of allah, hizbollah.

The one emotion that stayed with me throughout the night, to my shame, was fear; after what happened in Seattle last week, after what happens all around the world, who could say we would not be attacked right here in Vancouver? Every few minutes I would feel the need to silently pray that the evening pass without incident, without attack. The readers of the koran who love death as we love life would not hesitate to kill this lone christian sitting among the many jews inside that inspiring synagogue, they would not sift their victims to spare anyone from their thirst for infecting the world with their despair. The readers of the koran fire their rockets from hospitals, schools, crowded apartment buildings, indifferent to the innocent lives shattered by both their rain of death as well as the return fire; if the readers of the koran don't even care about co-religionists of their own faith, how much less must they care for us?

For one evening, in my hubris, I felt what it might be like to be Israeli... and my admiration for them has grown even more than it was before.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The path to success for the west: Two steps forward, one step back

I trained someone recently for a new job, and I've never seen anyone more paranoid about making a mistake. It made training him such a strain; he would pause and hesitate when he was supposed to act, he would never get to step 2 because he was so consumed with perfecting step 1. Meanwhile, with the clock ticking, over a dozen other steps remained untouched, and unreached, since he lacked the proper long-term thinking for his job.
His struggle did not come from lack of skill, but rather, sadly, from lack of belief. Belief in the truism that Learning must involve correction. You can't expect to always proceed flawlessly from step to step; sometimes the path to success comes from going backwards, temporarily, as new information comes to light, or a greater understanding begins to develop, and we discover a better path through the maze.
Dead ends don't mean death, they mean turning around temporarily to then move forward in an adapted direction. Progress involves correction.

A stray comment from Dag the other day illuminated my experience with the trainee in a whole new light. (I can't remember if Dag's remark was from a blog post or a comment, so in the absence of a link I hope my memory does it justice) Dag made a reference to the greek philosopher Scholasticus, who apparently believed that first you learn to swim, then you go into deep water. This effectively summarized my trainee's situation: he didn't want to be corrected, he wanted to only go forward to step 2 once he had perfected a flawless triumph at step 1... He never let himself get to the deep water. The "education" that Scholasticus describes would involve such a perfect series of step-by-step accomplishments that it hardly takes into account the human experience surrounding this education. Life is just too complicated, too full of unknowns, the human species too imperfect, to proceed in an ongoing march of uninterruped progress.
There has to be opportunity for error, for there to be equal opportunity for progress.

Life isn't about one step forward after another, endlessly advancing in one direction, no matter what is happening around us. (I'd hate to be driving with someone at the wheel who thinks this way..) Learning involves correction. Two steps forward, but then one step back. Correcting one's approach, in light of changing circumstances.

For change is not just part of human life, surely it is the essence that life: Change ennobles human life.

Long-term thinking is probably not natural for human beings, we seem wired to instead live in the moment. Therefore learning to change requires the ability to separate the present from the future, the future from the past, and see them all as links in a long chain, rather than one cement block. That there can even be a difference, between past, present, and future.

One of the ways that we can train ourselves to see these separations, is to label them through milestones: individual milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries, cultural milestones such as New Year's Day and the Work Week. For many, the built-in milestone into each week is the day we attend church. These milestones can teach us the belief of the second chance; that we possess the ability of renewal, of getting up and trying again. Whether it's a new decade, a new year, a new dawn: we possess several chances to find success; one day is not all days.
Failing once does not make us a Failure, as it not fated to be a permanent condition, but a temporary one. These are not destinations, they are stepping stones.

This piece marks the 99th post for Covenant Zone. As a personal habit I tend to value the eve of a milestone day, as a chance to reflect on the accomplishment marked by the milestone itself. New Year's Eve is when I do my thinking about the opportunities of the new year; the night before a birthday is when I reflect on what might lie in store for the year to come; sunday is my day to plan objectives for the work week soon to begin. Reviewing the past, to plan for the future.
On the eve of the humble milestone of our one hundredth post, I thought to reflect on how Canada has taken its two steps forward, and now needs to take a step back, to be able to continue its march towards progress. We've taken a wrong turn, left too much behind, and it has stunted our nation's growth, harming our ability to connect with the emerging world around us. So much so that our nation is awash in cynical, amoral inertia, as our elites, so besotted by their unearned status, stain us all with their personal despair. Time to start reconnecting to the faith in a better future that our nation used to have. Time to start renewing older beliefs.

Belief in the future comes with belief in oneself. Belief in a second chance comes with believing that learning involves correction. Being willing to make a mistake, requires humility, not cynicism. It's the cynic who is locked in his cement block. A belief in self-betterment starts with humility: believing that there's something better to become.

I've always felt that one of the major assists that the judeo-christian faith provides its followers is a God so Perfect that we believers are always to be humbled into accepting that no matter how great we may become, there will always be at least One who will be better than we. There's always something higher to reach. By stretching that horizon off into infinity, it can help us shatter any incentive to think in too limited a world view, that this is all there is. We may never become "good", but we can all, always, become better.

Here's to another 100 posts, reaching for ever higher standards, and a better Covenant for Canada.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Lessons from the meeting

First, the important news: we survived the meeting.
Now, a quick report...

Returning home last night on the bus I was witness to an interesting individual, whose actions offered an ironic summary of the meeting I had just left. This man on the bus was the personification of what we are up against, in Canada.

Juding by the body language of two individuals sitting nearby, it seemed as if a man simply attached himself to a conversational partner to keep himself amused for the ride. Pigeonholing some poor hapless passenger this man gave her, and anyone nearby with ears, his life story. It went from an annoying distraction to a revealing life lesson when he got to the part about his complete lack of curiosity. "I don't watch television", he said. "Don't read newspapers, either; or listen to the radio. [He didn't even mention the internet, and he didn't come across as someone who owned a computer] I am not interested in politics or current events. But I still know what's going on in the world. I know about Israel, for instance."

And off he went about why Israel is such a bad place. Interesting that someone who brags about how clued out he is can take equal pride in the depths of his perception on "the jewish threat". A man willfully disconnecting himself from his world, a man so tuned out to the lives of others that he can harass innocent bystanders with no hesitation, yet from the depths of his insensitive hermitage he still dares pontificate on the supposed perfidy of a nation that by his own admission he chooses to ignore on a daily basis. He just parrots "what everybody knows" is true.
It is the self-centered myopia of individuals such as these that plague Canada at this time, those that are so set in their thoughts, so comfortable with their beliefs, so confident in their purity and their sanctity, that they are determined to not change one iota from who and what they are, and possess the hubris to brag of this status, no matter how little they do to test or measure the ongoing truth of their worldview.

How to get more people to question their beliefs, to interact with others who hold different views, to investigate the other side of the great arguments of our time; this was a major question discussed at our meeting. An anecdotal example: a young idealist at the MAWO desecration the week before came over to Dag all afire with fury at the small group daring to protest his protest; by the time his conversation with Dag had drawn to a close, he was a smiling, becalmed, pleasant fellow, disarmed of his hatred by Dag's reasonableness, revealed through prolongued exposure as hardly the monster described by the young fellow's "friends" back at the rally. Sadly it is likely that the moment the idealist was back among his "friends" his mind would be assaulted anew, to bring him to yet another boiling anger about having been, I don't know, beguiled or seduced by our being happy warriors.

I remember several people from the previous protest at the World Peace Forum, who openly declared they would not read our blog because it would be a different point of view than their own. This is the attitude of a student of history?? This is the attitude of someone wanting to be clued in to current events?? We read what the left writes, we hear what the left says, because we can't escape it, certainly not here in Canada: they dominate the discourse with their amoral funhouse mirror vision of our nation's place in the world.

How to expose the other side to our view, to a window into the arguments of people who are proud of the gifts of western civilization, grateful for the opportunities and freedoms bestowed by that western civilization, and safeguarded by nations like the United States of America and Israel. There once was a time when Canada could be counted as an equal shephard to democratic freedoms, and the spreading of them throughout the world. Will that time ever return? Can we recreate a majority willing to bear such responsibilities again? Not without an argument. Yet the left won't even debate, because they don't want to change their minds. For whatever reason, they fear being wrong more than they fear being dead.
Maybe because, with such a limited view, both mean the same thing.

How to reach people, on an ongoing basis, to a sufficient amount of exposure, to give them time to see that what they thought was a window is actually a mirror, that the evils they see are reflections of what lies within them.

The hermit on my bus who brags about how little he needs the outside world turns out to be so desperate to connect to it that his desperation reduces him to parasitically attaching himself to strangers. The left in Canada who brag of their superior compassion seem to hate everyone. They are so determined to help others that they only help themselves.

What will it take to get them to look inward, so that their outward view may be changed?

What seems to work best, to date, is using their own against them. Their methods, their terms, their allies. When we protest them, it unnerves them mightily. When we appropriate their slogans du jour, it mutes them. When we show them what bedfellows they sleep with ideologically, it reaches them.
Because it cracks their mirror.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Citizens Doing Something

Fireworks, English Bay, Vancouver

Tonight we have the start of the city's annual Fireworks Festival. Tomorrow Night we have the weekly Thursday fireworks of the Covenant Zone/Vancouver Blue Scarf Meeting. Join us in the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library, 7-9 pm, and discuss how we can create new forms of association to redefine what it means to be a member of the Canadian public, taking a lead in promoting individual freedoms, responsibilities, and decentralized democracy at home, and helping fight for the same abroad. If only a few hundred voices are regularly heard in public, the monopoly of the anti-western and guilt-ridden activists and academics that dominate the Canadian scene can be broken.

See also Charles' superior explanation of what we are about

The UN and its "Human Rights" Council: still home to rapists and murderers, not to mention Kofi Annan

If Kofi Annan's evident pro-terrorist, anti-Israel, bias in the present conflict in Lebanon is not enough to convince you that the UN is an evil joke, most simply because it treats countless anti-democratic states as equal members with the nations of the free world, and that any realistic internationalism must be built on a primary foundation of discriminating respect for democratic nationhood and opposition to leftist-imperialist political globalization, and Umma one worldism, then this story from the National Post (via Atlas via Buddy Larsen) regarding an outrageous UN "Human Rights" Council speaking appearance for an Iranian official, the chief imprisoner of Iranian journalists and the man alleged to be primarily responsible for the brutal rape, torture and murder of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, should cause you night sweats:
The Iranian prosecutor implicated in the death of Montreal photojournalist Zahra Kazemi is part of a delegation at a new UN human rights body that was created to replace a commission widely discredited for allowing human rights abusers too much power.

The attendence of Saeed Mortazavi made a "mockery" of the inaugural meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, according to critics.

The move also angered human rights activists and defenders of press freedom.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan opened the inaugural council session on Monday, urging the member states to mark a "clean break" from the practices of the now-disbanded Human Rights Commission, which had become infiltrated with human rights abuser states.

Hillel Neuer, a Montrealer and executive director of activist group UN Watch, said he was shocked to see Mr. Mortazavi in the council hall.

"There is nothing more obscene than seeing someone alleged to have been involved in torture and possible murder sitting there as a dignitary," Mr. Neuer said. "Unfortunately, we're reminded that the Human Rights Council is still a case of the foxes guarding the chicken coop. There may be less foxes than there were in the commission, but that should not put anyone at ease."

"His [Mr. Mortazavi's] presence makes a mockery of the Council and is an open expression of defiance by Iran, which is sending a message to the international community that it has nothing to fear from anything the body might say about its human rights record," said Payam Akhavan, international law professor at Montreal's McGill University, and president of a Connecticut-based centre that documents human rights violations in Iran.

While Iran failed to win election to the 47-member Council, all UN member states can attend the body's sessions as observers, and Iran is expected to address the chamber tomorrow.
Among states with poor human rights records that won Council seats, Cuba said yesterday its election was a "victory" for human rights, while Saudi Arabia spoke in favour of women's rights despite denying Saudi women the right to vote or drive.

Canada won election to the Council, but the United States did not stand, saying it first wanted to see how the body conducted itself.

With Mr. Mortazavi is Iranian Justice Minister Jamal Karimi-Rad, who served as spokesman for the Iranian judiciary following Ms. Kazemi's 2003 arrest.

Ms. Kazemi, 54, was arrested while photographing a demonstration outside Tehran's notorious Evin prison. She fell into a coma after being beaten while in custody. Authorities initially attributed her death to a stroke but later acknowledged the beating.

A report from Iran's Parliament, dominated by reformists at the time, blamed Mr. Mortazavi, Tehran's chief prosecutor, for Ms. Kazemi's illegal detention and the subsequent attempt to cover up the fatal beating. Mr. Mortazavi reportedly took part in her interrogation.
Reza Moini, a spokesman for Reporters Without Borders in Paris, said the presence of Mr. Mortazavi in Geneva undermines the UN's effort to present the new council as a fresh start.

"It's shameful that the Council of Human Rights accepts that a human-rights violator can participate and talk about human rights in Iran and around the world," Mr. Moini said in an interview. His group's secretary-general, Robert Menard, noted Mortazavi's involvement in Ms. Kazemi's death and called his presence in Geneva "an insult to victims of the Iranian government's repression."

"There is no justice in Iran. If there was, it is Mr. Mortazavi who should be in prison for these crimes," Mr. Moini said.

By Reporters Without Borders' count, the prosecutor is responsible for the jailing of more than 60 journalists and the closing of more than 80 newspapers since 2000. His actions earned him the nickname, "the butcher of the press."

In a 2004 report, "Like the Dead in Their Coffins: Torture, Detention and the Crushing of Dissent in Iran," Human Rights Watch said political prisoners in Tehran were known as "Mortazavi's prisoners" by guards and other prisoners. "Few individuals bear more responsibility for turning the judiciary into a tool of the ongoing political crackdown than Said Mortazavi," the report said, using an alternate spelling of his first name.

The allegations have not hurt Mr. Mortazavi's career, and he is the second highest-ranking member of Iran's delegation to the Geneva meeting, after the Justice Minister.

Iran's official news agency, IRNA, reported on Monday that Mr. Mortazavi wants the UN council to take a hard line on human-rights abuses by the United States and Israel. Among the other causes Mr. Mortazavi will defend are "the right to access high technologies, including nuclear technology for peaceful purposes" and freedom of expression for Holocaust deniers, IRNA reported.
Atlas provides a link to an appropriate petition.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Our Analysis Confirmed by One Net User

Someone from the Vancouver area found our blog today by Googling `mawo cult'. Heh, you can't fool all the people all the time!

Good News for MAWO: another dead Canadian in Afghanistan

Good news for MAWO (Mobilization Against War & Occupation) means bad news for Canada, and especially for Afghanistan.

Canada has lost yet another hero to the savagely unwesternized thugs of Afghanistan. Now the well-fed, well-clothed, university-inhabiting denizens of MAWO have an excuse for another rally, another petition, another chance to make Afghanistan even worse off by demanding, once more, that all Canadians leave that beleaguered war-torn nation, no matter what good they were accomplishing.
Was this brave man killed because Afghan brutes were ticked off at Canada's "criminal occupation" of Afghanistan, MAWO?

Vancouver man killed close to school

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Vancouver humanitarian was shot to death in northern Afghan-istan on Sunday.

Mike Frastacky, 56, was killed close to a school he had been building each summer for the past four years.

His most recent task was to build a wall around the school compound to protect the children inside.

Frastacky, a professional carpenter, was not attached to any non-government organization and funded his own work, building a school in Nahrin, in the dangerous Baghlan province in northeastern Afghanistan.
"He loved it there," said [Maureen Mayhew, a close friend of Frastacky], who has also been to Afghanistan, working as a doctor.

"He died doing what he loved and it's got to be commended when somebody has the guts to do something that they love despite the risks."

Mayhew last heard from her friend, via e-mail, on Saturday.

She said he had joked about the grim political situation in Afghanistan and was "relatively happy and satisfied."

"He's done a couple of months' work every year. This was a routine he was doing. Checking up on how the school was functioning. He wanted to build a wall around the school compound to make it safer."

Unlike non-government agency workers, who are protected by NATO guards, Frastacky did not have protection.

Mayhew said Frastacky, who was single, was drawn to Afghanistan by the warmth of the people he worked with.

"The people are very hospitable and he felt like he was really doing some good there. He loved the people and he loved the area," she said.

There is such a contrast between the good people of Afghanistan and their bad. Why not work to further help their good? Why abandon them to the whims of the bad? How many schools have MAWO protestors funded for Afghanistan, they who are so concerned for the future safety and prosperity of Afghanis? Their official website seems modestly humble about their charitable deeds.
Never mind, we all know the answer to that, don't we... it isn't about helping other people, it is a group formed to make their misbegotten members feel better about themselves.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Afghanistan’s Little Red School House?

Blood red, that is:
"Our teacher beats me until blood comes out of my nails," says an 11-year old Afghan girl."
"If I don't have a stick with me, I can't teach... " says an Afghan male teacher.

Is there to be no hope for Afghanistan? I read this story and again I ask myself, are we as a nation serious about helping these people or not? Just how low is our standard of measurement, to insist on so few changes before proclaiming that nation as “helped”? The Taliban are gone… big deal, if their madrassas are to be replaced by "secular" schools like these:

Hard lessons in Afghan schools
July 24, 2006
HERAT, Afghanistan -- Nine-year-old Mahbuba has been beaten so many times by her teacher that she is afraid to go back to school.

Showing her bruised hands, she said, "Our teacher is a very bad person. My hands have gone black because of the beatings. I hate my teacher and school."

Mahbuba's father Nurullah, who lives in western Afghan province of Herat, is sympathetic to her plight - and he is furious with the school.

"I send my child to school so that she'll learn something, not for her to be beaten by vicious teachers," he said, adding that he has already had to take Mahbuba to a nearby hospital to have her hands treated.
The head of Herat's provincial education department, Mohammaduddin Fahim, said that beating and other forms of ill-treatment were against the country's education law, and any teacher found to be doing so would face legal sanctions.
Teachers in the province - where at least half-a-million children, two-fifths of them girls, attend about 600 schools - remain unrepentant about using violence, and openly hostile to instructions telling them to change.

"In my experience, unless pupils are beaten they will not be corrected," said Abdul Karim, a headmaster in the Pashtunzarghun district.” …..
Khowaja Mohammad Nadir Seddiqi, the head of the teachers union in Herat province, argued that since Afghan children had grown up surrounded with violence, they would not study unless they were beaten.

He had a simple message for his colleagues, "Teachers should use canes to beat their pupils, so that they fear them."

Saifuddin Maulawizada, a teacher in the Guzra district, described how he regularly beats his charges by tying up by their feet and beating them on the soles with a stick.

"If I don't have a stick with me, I can't teach because the pupils don't listen to me and they disrupt the lesson," said Maulawizada.
"In foreign countries, beating and threatening children is regarded as a crime for which the perpetrator is punished, whereas in our country, children are punished for very minor things," said Abdul Salam Hikmati, a member of the psychologists' association in Heart
Rahima Halimi, who heads the children's rights section of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission's Herat branch, said, "Violence against children is widespread both in the home and at school, and has a negative impact on children's minds. We have voiced the problem several times to the officials concerned, but no measures have been taken."

Apart from banning schools from administering physical punishment, [Mohammad Muhsen Ismailzada, who represents the Afghan education ministry in Heart], said that education officials are planning other steps to bring about change.
Until these changes happen, pupils like Masooma, 11, will go to school only as long as their parents make them.

"Our teacher beats me until blood comes out of my nails," she said. "I am not an animal. I go to school to study, not to be beaten.

"I don't want to go to school, but my parents force me to."

I try to be optimistic as I stumble through life, but increasingly I see nothing but misery in store for these people. Sadly, all too many Canadians, young and old, proudly announce themselves lacking the will to be of necessary service to fix this problem. As a former CUPE member put it to my wife earlier this year, “who are we to tell these people how to live?”
What other sentiment could one expect from regular viewers of the CBC, Canada’s weapon of choice for self-flagellants? Why help other people, after all they’re only people themselves, it’s not like we have anything in common with them… or something like that; not being in the habit of watching the CBC, I’m a little vague on their reasoning.

Good Canadians are dying in Afghanistan. I do not want us to leave, but dammit I do want us to fix things, and we cannot fix what we deny is broken; we cannot clean a sewer if we declare ourselves indifferent to sewage . Every MAWO protestor who carries a “get out of Afghanistan” sign around my country makes it all the more likely that the political will to raise Afghanistan out of its moral rubble will suffer just as assuredly as the poor children being beaten black and blue by readers of the koran. Every CBC viewer who supports the NDP's position, as outlined last April,"to ask questions to help Canadians to determine if this is the right mission for Canada to be participating in, beyond our current commitments which end in February, 2007", every such supporter prolongs the misery of the Afghan people, and guarantees that valiant Canadian heroes are dying for nothing.

After reading these appaling stories of little girls being beaten by mysoginist readers of the koran, to the point where these tormented young women seemingly long for illiteracy as the lesser of two evils, what kind of Canadian would insist we abandon Afghanistan? If we leave, will these bloodthirsty schoolteachers, for instance, have more freedom to beat up children, or less?

"Is this the right mission going forward?", asked NDP leader Jack Layton.

What do you really believe, CBC viewers, MAWO dwellers, NDP supporters: dare we really “give peace a chance”?

You are bad, bad, bad.

I make no apologies for demanding of reasonable men that we act as filibusters in a pursuit of universal human rights and morality. I argue often, with predictable commentaries in reaction, for school teachers with gun who will stand in front of their pupils and shoot the parents who would destroy the children we would teach Humanness. Yes, take over other people's countries, shoot the locals and kill them, and then marry the women and raise up the kids to be our own in an America of the mind. I argue that that is what is to be done.

Here is one who disagrees. He's nearly perfect except for a few flaws in his mind and personality and social skill and so on. But other than that he's OK, I think....

Christianity promotes hate, hypocrisy

I, as a born gay man, have chosen atheism and live happy in my choice. I love my fellow human beings and do not stand in judgment of them. I feel nothing but pity for those of you who feel such hate that you need to write letters proving it. You, my friends, are hypocrites and must live such unhappy lives I only can imagine your hearts barely beating. Hold on tight; your Jesus will surely come in the form of a heart attack caused by the great stress of your hate.

In response to the rash of hate letters, all showing complete disregard for their fellow man and woman, I would like to show what Christianity is doing for the modern world: in the name of God.

We start wars with Muslims over nothing, kill thousands of innocent people, call it democracy, tell them it's all for their good, in the name of God.

We rape, then kill entire families, go home American heroes, [until] someone finds out, then maybe we are prosecuted, but it will be covered up, all in the name of God.

We use a book of fables, lies and tales to brainwash and bully society, then call it a free country, as long as you are a Christian, in the name of God.

We rape innocent children, family members and parishioners then pay them off because we all know that money and religion are one and the same, cover it up like it never happened, forget the people and monsters we created and hide them, in the name of God.

We stand in judgment over anyone we choose because our book of fables tells us we can grow hate and bigotry, because we are empowered by this same book of hate and call it love, all in the name of God.

We lie, cheat, steal, abuse, kill, judge, hate and do everything that our so-called good book says not to do because it also says since we are Christians, we will be forgiven for doing it, but only us and no one else since we are so special, in the name of God.

Throughout history we have been the cause of many wars, mass deaths and unneeded human suffering and never have we admitted to anything because as Christians we are the ultimate in human beings and no one else deserves to live on this earth but us, in the name of God.

We are waiting for the day when we will be taken from this earth aboard a big space ship with Jesus and rescued from the mess we created, leaving behind everyone who ever disagreed with us, hoping of course that the world will explode as we leave because no one else deserves to live on but us, we are so special, you know, and so filled with hate for anyone else but us, in the name of God.

We go to nude stripper bars [and] triple-X bookstores during the week then church on Sunday and pretend we are better than everyone else, [with] no concern for the women we are exploiting, but complain relentlessly about a silent community that merely wants to have the same and equal rights as every human in this country, in the name of God.

We mourn the passing of a local hero who made his money from exploiting innocent women, but we seem to think nothing of it since he made himself out to be a good Christian who loves his mom, we love him and his money too, in the name of God.

The one fact that remains here is that religion is always a matter of choice. You choose to be brainwashed and force-fed the lies and fears of religion and live the false life of Christianity. You have a choice to join in the hate and bigotry or to distance yourself and realize that there is a world without religion called reality.

The writer lives in Conway.

I guess he showed you. Thank God I'm an atheist. Otherwise I'd stumble upon him someday and punch his lights out, cause I'm all the bad things he thinks others are. Oh well, he's not too bright. But it ain't his fault, man, he's a victim. I forgot about that part. Uh-oh, I'm forgetting it again....

Yeah, I'm thinking about the kids in Afganhistan and the rest of the world. I remember.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

It’s official: the CBC is bad for your health

If our physical bodies are shaped by what we eat, then just as surely our minds are to be shaped by what we learn. What food is to the body, ideas are to the mind; what greasy gravy fries do to our heart, Canada’s taxpayer-supported “news” broadcaster, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), does to our brain. In small doses, no real harm done perhaps; to pursue a steady diet of such trash, however, so devoid of nutrients, invites a heart attack when confronted by the inevitably harsh demands of reality.

Here’s an example of how the CBC is bad for your health: their report on the appalling pro-Hezbollah marches taking place in Montreal, Quebec, throughout the week. The scandalously neutral headline: "Lebanese-Canadians decry Israel in protests across Canada". "Decry", indeed!!

Now, in fairness, journalists face an undeniable challenge when reporting on a group of people doing anything, let alone a pro-terrorist march; how to edit a mountain of details into a molehill of tidy facts. The CBC tackles the problem by applying a simple filter: eliminate anything that might cause sympathy towards Isreal, and include anything that will justify jew-hatred in general, and Isreal-hatred in particular.
[the above photo was the only image accompanying the CBC's report on the Saturday protest in Montreal]

The CBC shamelessly ignores the nazi imagery festooning the protestors signs, it ignores the photos of carnage that little children are parading up and down the streets of Montreal, and instead settles on an innocuous photo identified only as “A man yells over a megaphone during a march through the streets of Montreal on Saturday.”

What is he yelling, that followers with swastikas on their signs and parents who encourage their children to wave signs decorated with maimed babies, would agree to follow him?
The CBC studiously avoids telling us. Who out there believes the “yells” were for both sides to find a way to live amicably, side by side, brother with brother?

This past Tuesday, a small group of protestors, hungry for genuine peace, evidently relying on the CBC for their steady diet of current events programming, showed up to participate at Montreal’s pro-Hezbollah rally. Imagine their surprise when... "Several outraged men confronted the small group pushing and shoving the young women. Several of their signs were destroyed, while other demonstrators said no peace is possible with that “damned people” (Jews) and accused the group of being bought by the “Jews’ money”. The group finally had to leave the demonstration site." [thanks to judeoscope for this eye-witness story]

This is what you get by feeding from the CBC: the naïve CBC viewers are accused of being in league with the very people they came out to protest against, because they don’t hate jews as much as the readers of the koran do. Their signs, “Peace for Lebanon and Israel”, “Make Peace Not War”, are the prototypical signs the CBC love to show as the standard fare for these disgraceful pro-jihadist events; no wonder they expected to blend in as average protestors.

This is the reality that the CBC protects them from, the real taste of these events, the real flavor of rallies for"… critics to make a show of force on the streets," … "We have to continue to talk and continue to express ourselves and say that [the Israeli action] is wrong."

A car in Lebanon? No, Montreal, Quebec, Canada... the kind of news you won't be getting from the dieticians at the CBC.
[images courtesy of IDFIsrael and Judeoscope]

Sweet-heart, get me re-write.

The following story from one of Canada's most prestigious national newspapers is so badly written that I felt a need to do it for them right, perhaps to the point they'll come asking me to write for them on salary.

No need to thank me, Globe and Mail, just send the money direct to my bank acct.

Protests give Harper food for thought


Canadian Press

— Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have gained brownie points from some for picking up Canadian evacuees from Lebanon in his personal jet, but a protest Saturday showed he hasn't impressed everyone.

Pleas for peace at the rally were offset by cheers and jubilation at word of a Hezbollah claim that 22 Israeli soldiers had have been killed during a limited drive into southern Lebanon.

Harper was roundly criticized for the government's position on the growing crisis in Lebanon as about 2,000 people took to the streets to call for an end to the violence.

Mostly of Lebanese origin, in Montreal hundreds of people gathered downtown to protest the Israeli airstrikes.

As scores of rockets fired by Hezbollah rained down on Israel, similar peace rallies were planned in up to 20 other Canadian cities [while Israel] continued its air, naval and ground assault on the extremists' bases.[....]

"Everyone here today is carrying Lebanese flags and Palestinian flags against this aggression.," said Mohamed Kamel of the Canadian Muslim Forum.

Daniel Saykaly, a spokesman for Palestinian and Jewish Unity, wondered out loud

whether Harper is really Canada's prime minister

and not Israel's

because of his failure to

call for a


"We are all with the leader of Hezbollah," said Hussein Hammoud. "God bless him and we are praying for him to defend us, and defend our children."

[C]heers and jubilation at word of a Hezbollah claim that 22 Israeli soldiers had have been killed during a limited drive into southern Lebanon. A protest organizer said the response was because the deaths would have been a victory for the Lebanese resistance....

[Well past the halfway mark in this article the following lines appear:]

In Winnipeg, a group of about 100 protesters were greeted by more than two dozen people who said they were there to support Israel.

Both sides accused each other of racism and ignorance and debated over the meaning of terrorism.

"When the bottom-line ideology of these people is to destroy Israel, then, you know what, enough is enough," said Ken McGhie, an Israel supporter who waved a large flag. "The enemies of Israel are the enemies of Canada."

Another group raised a large sign stating Canadian First Nations Stand With Israel.

"Israel has a right to defend itself," said Raymond McLean, a pastor at First Nations Family Worship Centre.


In Toronto, some posters bore slogans that denounced Israel's actions in Gaza, Palestine and Lebanon, while others carried an image of the prime minister with the words War Mongerer [sic] underneath.

Ausma Malik, a University of Toronto student, called Israel's actions "state-sanctioned murder."

"Today we unite as people of conscience . . . as people who will not be silent while a nation is torn to shreds, while innocent civilians are killed in the clear light of day," she told a crowd assembled outside the U.S. Consulate.

She called on Harper to get a "backbone" amid chants of "shame" from those assembled.

[It's not clear who the crowd felt was shameful, but the the writer of this piece is not very talented and the best guess is that the reporter wishes us to understand that the crowd is condemning Harper. I think. Even though it goes against common sense. Dag.]

"We Canadians who believe in our ethical and humanitarian role in the world will not forget his pathetic and inadequate response," she said.

Protesters demanded that Harper call for a ceasefire and speak out against Israel. Some speakers mocked his statement that Israel's attacks on Lebanon were a "measured response" to the Hezbollah kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.

Earlier this week, Harper diverted his jet to Cyprus after a state visit to France instead of returning directly home to pick up several dozen evacuees from Lebanon.


"We are all with the leader of Hezbollah," said Hussein Hammoud. "God bless him and we are praying for him to defend us, and defend our children." Hammoud, his wife Maryan and their four children watched from the back of the crowd at the Toronto protest, peeking over hundreds of placards and Lebanese flags to see the speakers.[....]

"We are all with the leader of Hezbollah," said Hammoud. "God bless him and we are praying for him to defend us, and defend our children."


Pleas for peace at the rally were offset by cheers and jubilation at word of a Hezbollah claim that 22 Israeli soldiers had have been killed during a limited drive into southern Lebanon.


Yeah, I think I did a pretty good salvage job of the article. If you read it in it's original sequence you'll come away thinking Harper is no good and that the Israelis are worse. G&M, send that cheque. Do it now. I don't want to have to remind you.

Thanks to Stogie for the bumper sticker graphic above.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Protesting against MAWO

Well, after a very hot day here in Vancouver, I’m finally getting a little mental focus and finding a few minutes, before I’m out for the night, to report on our Covenant Zone/No Dhimmitude demonstration against MAWO Vancouver (see our preceding posts: here; and here and here) for their support of terrorists, and against the District of West Vancouver for sponsoring MAWO’s hip hop festival.

It was a fairly successful day, with a number of people stopping to talk, often voicing support, especially for the sign that said “We support our troops”. A number of people could not understand why young people are questioning the need for our Canadian troops and for the west more generally to be present in the world’s troubled regions, and to push for greater social freedoms in places like Afghanistan - "aren't they taught any history?" Some were with us in condemning MAWO’s openly anti-Israel stance; others seemingly checked their tongues on this divide.

Upon arrival, we first met an argumentative woman who thought being politically stupid is what young people always are, they have a right to it, and so why are we demonstrating against it? why don’t we just let them do their thing? The fact that we were protesting the support of local government for a group that defends terrorists who tried to kill Canadians en masse did not move her greatly... since she was too wise to think ideas have much to do with wars. She proceeded to lecture us on the real cause of all wars, which are nothing but battles for resources. OH well…

Dag soon faced off with the MAWO organizer, Ivan, who approached him with an air of aggression; Dag stepped forward and got Ivan to back up, whereupon the latter professed that he didn’t want any violence, which was fine by Dag since he is twice Ivan’s age (one might guess…) Ivan is quite incredible to behold, a potent stew of handsome charm and aggression, perhaps a man born too late to be the romantic hero written all over him, or perhaps someone with a career ahead of him yet as a dangerously charismatic leader and manipulator of youthful passions. He looks like Che, has the manner, and could make a go of it in the jungles of Columbia, or somewhere. On the other hand, he is far too good looking to be a successful revolutionary in, say, the Middle East. He would continually attract the wrong kind of attention.

But at the beach in West Vancouver, the district home to the highest average income in Canada, the hip hop festival was out of place. It attracted a crowd of about forty, average age about seventeen, predominantly male. While everyone tried to strike an air of intifada chic, one couldn’t help but chuckle at the undisciplined and unsophisticated youthfulness of the performers.

The whole thing had an air of unreality about it, since we we demonstrating a rather pathetic scene. There was nothing much of intellectual interest in the MAWO speeches and requests for donations, just bland cries for peace and the withdrawal of our troops (no attempt, say, to argue that withdrawal and peace are not contradictory objectives from, say, the perspective of the average Afghani). Only two kids came over from the MAWO camp to talk with us. One was actually intellectually curious, wanting to make sense of Dag’s “No Dhimmitude/ Filibuster for Universal Modernity” sign (I needed help with it too.) They had a long chat. The other kid was sent over to try and distract us from passers by, by getting us to argue with him. He tried to play the “but isn’t everyone messing up the world” argument, “so why are you picking on the Muslims”. He had been told that our websites are racist hate sites. And he was shaking and all agitated so that it was impossible to speak seriously with him: he was confronting racists and the emotive force of the experience was overwhelming. Oh well, kids today are just not taught to choose or argue sides, and that often there is a better side to a conflict, that one should not just reject war but discriminate between lesser evils, or support the forces of freer societies over the less free. Without such basic starting points, kids read every conflict as recipe for some maternal therapy, all parties to be treated with compassion. Though for this kid, the two sides in the Middle East war are equally morally suspect. And if one is more powerful, i.e. the Jews as opposed to the Palestinians, then one should simply support the underdogs because more of them are getting killed. More sophisticated readings of the global Jihad and Israeli motives in fighting for their survival were not on order for this guy.

Meanwhile, MAWO was flying the Palestinian flag, and the Mohawk warrior flag, and it had a Che banner and its performers struck various poses of identification with the racial outsiders of some supposedly white and dominant society. But there was little substance to it all.

It was a hot day and no one was primed for intellectual gymnastics. But it struck me, as an observer who attempted some empathy for the kids caught up in silly white guilt politics, that not only is the “music” with which they are meant to identify simply pathetic, so is the rhetoric of their youthful opposition to the mainstream. Everything, from the Fidel caps to the anti-war speechifying was as if a mere mall-purchased sign of an earlier age when the youth culture was vibrant. With such a weak youth culture today, and when there is essentially no adult high culture anymore, where will our youth turn when they are seriously in need of some sophisticated human self-understanding? Will it be less to cultural performances and more to basic ethical and political arguments informed by anesthetic writing on questions of anthropology and history? I hope so, because that is what we can contribute in the blogosphere..

Friday, July 21, 2006

Anti-MAWO Hand-out

TAXPAYERS, through The District of West Vancouver, the City of
Richmond, the City of Vancouver, and various colleges, are among the
SPONSORs of this MAWO hip-hop festival.

Did you know…

MAWO SUPPORTS TERRORISTS: MAWO says the Toronto 17 are victims of a
Canadian government conspiracy:

MAWO supports terrorist violence against Israel (see )

MAWO is opposed to Canada's involvement in Afghanistan.

MAWO hates America.

We all know hip-hop is about kids letting off steam, listening to
often angry lyrics. But maybe this event goes too far. Maybe it's time
you let your civic politicians know how you feel about your tax
dollars going to support terrorist sympathizers.

A Vancouver Courier article states that MAWO is a coalition of over 50
endorsing organizations, most of which are labour unions, student
groups, indigenous and women's organizations and Third World groups.
It formed in October 2003 to mark the first anniversary of the
anti-war movement against the American involvement in Iraq.

Fundraisers such as [this] summer's "anti-war" hip-hop festival help
MAWO raise the necessary funds to keep the group going and help gain
new members.

MAWO appears to be a front organization for a group called Fire This
Time. News reports and a former member have publicly accused FTT of
being thugs who intimidate their fellow leftists with violence. In
fact, FTT openly advocates violence as a political tool. See:

MAWO website: "[T]he arrest of the Toronto 17 has signaled that the
war at home – a couple steps behind the war abroad – has entered its
own "combat mission" against the democratic and human rights of
oppressed people in Canada. The Toronto 17, already found guilty of
"terrorism" by the anti-Muslim smokescreen of the government of Canada
and the mainstream media… The storm troopers of the right wing of
Canadian politics are entering through the window of the arrest of the
Toronto 17 into the homes of all Muslims in Canada." Your tax dollars
are today supporting this hate rhetoric.

Our society is falling into a state of fear under an onslaught of
political correctness and allegations that various measures to protect
us against religious terrorists are "Islamophobic". The political left
promotes these allegations, furthering trends that make us all into
objects of the state and its regulations, rather than people
independent and free to speak our minds.

Our culture is presently immersed in anti-western sentiments,
generally known as "white guilt". Thought police are today common in
many nations, fueling fires of moral indignation, finding whatever
they can to create light without heat, smoke without substance; and we
wander, timid and fearful, lest we fall into offense unknowing. Have
we victimized someone? Are we guilty of something? Is western culture
inherently oppressive because of its global success? Should we condemn
someone to distract attention from ourselves?

When our politicians use our money to finance this fascism, it's time
to say we've had enough. Peace, yes, but no more terrorism. No
appeasement. No dhimmitude.

In a society where there is seen to be no basic right or wrong, no
fundamental truth, but only victims and oppressors, we are nagged by
self-righteous accusers full of victimary clichés that make success
and creativity into signs of oppression.

Those few who think clearly for themselves are offended and outraged
in turn by the group-think prevailing in our societies; and we are
beginning at last to say no more appeasement of the oppressors of free
thought. Let's speak our minds and be independent.

Please join us at:

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Covenant Zone: taking action for Canada

Ambleside Park, one of the most beautiful spots in West Vancouver, is poised to become the most polluted area in the entire Greater Vancouver Regional District.

I invited a colleague to join us for both tonight's Blue Revolution meeting, as well as our move to counter-protest the cretinous MAWO [Mobilization Against War & Occupation] rally inexplicably held in the waspish upper class stronghold of West Vancouver (millionaire parents, do you know where your spoiled teenagers are...?).
My colleague raised his eyebrows and muttered the same lament that's become all too common in our cynical times: "What's the point? What can you accomplish?"

Something. We can accomplish something. One thing, each time, every time. We can hope to accomplish so much more by actually doing things, than by just sitting back and expecting problems to go away on their own.

Fighting for what is right and true is like taking care of your teeth. Our teeth are one part of our bodies that do not fix themselves, they do not get better over time if left unattended. They rot. They can even poison us if we do not take action to fix them.

We cannot ask oppressed muslim women in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere, to shed their burkas and voice their rights to dignified treatment, if we in the comfort of the west take no stand for them, against the same enemies when they manifest themselves on our shores.
We cannot ask any reform-minded muslim reader of the koran, genuinely prepared to abandon the bloody road of his religion's past, if we are not prepared to meet him halfway on our road, facing up to the same enemies trying to run us over as we hike towards each other.
We cannot ask for problems to fix themselves. The rot will not stop of its own accord... that's why it's rot. It can only grow.

Imagine the morals of a human being who would parade with a sign demanding that Canada withdraw her armed forces from Afghanistan. What do they expect would happen to the women of that country, were we to just leave? Will the women get to suffer even more hobbling shackles than those they are already forced to endure? Can there be a living human being who might sincerely dream that the abominable conditions for women in that nation would Improve in the hands of an even more islamic-leaning mode of government? What else could one imagine would be their fate, should we pack up and leave them to their unreformed sharia law?
Make no mistake about it: the people rallying in West Vancouver are taking action to bring physical harm against the women of Afghanistan; whether that is the goal they set for themselves when they wake up in the morning does not reduce the cause-and-effect that will result from their actions. What actions shall we take in turn, to counter theirs?

Imagine the disconnect from reality that would drive a human being to parade with a sign demanding we unleash the 17 failed terrorists so recently apprehended in Toronto. After London, after Madrid, after Mumbai, after all the death and destruction caused by other readers of the koran, is there any moral reason to leave ourselves defenseless to similar horrors in Canada? MAWO wants these failed terrorists freed. Freed to do what, exactly..?
Why not come down to West Vancouver and ask them to continue the logic of their thoughts, why not ask them to defend the indefensible?

How dare we to expect others to fight our battles, take care of our problems, when it is within our obligations as well as our opportunities to take action for what we all know is right?
Let's take action for Canada, for the Canada we vaguely remember from a childhood dream, for the Canada we would wish our nation to become, for the Canada that we need to be.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Indian Censorship Alert - Covenant Zone Meets Again Tomorrow Night

All those interested in freedom of speech issues will want to check out this developing story that I picked up at Gates of Vienna. It appears the Indian government is trying to block access to and other blogging sites in an attempt to restrict the communications of terrorists. It's not clear if they are completely naive about the many alternative internet tools that terrorists could use, or what's going on; but it's a sign of what can happen when the state starts to lose control of the monopoly of violence and to lose faith in its own basis for rule: the governing wisdom and self-representations of its own people. This is something we all need to worry about. Canadians of all backgrounds are welcome to join us in discussing this and other issues related to the present worldwide war, in which terrorism is a common tactic, every Thursday, 7-9pm, in the atrium of the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library. We wear the blue scarves (and bandanas) of the French patriots as a sign of recognition.

More from our Charles at No Dhimmitude: it appears the Indian government fears conservative blogs telling too much truth.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Faris- Wheeling and Dealing

Charles comments below at Covenant Zone that our intelligentsia is missing the point. Below Charles' comment is a piece from a local Internet site showing just how little they grasp of reality, and in this particular case, how little a political science professor at UBC gets. We must ask just what we can expect from students who graduate out of our universities when the likes of this fellow are instructing them in the nature of sophisticated intellectual analysis.

"[I]t feels like there are far more left-leaning people who understand Israel's reaction as a justified self-defensive measure... and are willing to say so.

The exception seem to be the university denizens, still saying and doing what they said and did back in the 90s. The people in the "learning" business seem to be the ones least capable of changing what they think."

And now, as promised, a poitical science professor from our local university:

Ottawa's pro-Israel tilt could take political toll: Arab critics

Canadian Press Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2006

OTTAWA (CP) - Arab-Canadian critics say Prime Minister Stephen Harper will pay a political price for what they're calling an unabashed pro-Israel shift.

"It has left a bad taste in everybody's mouth," says Hani Faris, a professor of political science at the University of British Columbia who grew up in Lebanon.

"There is basically no concern for the sentiments or the feelings of the hundreds of thousands of Arab-Canadians or those who sympathize with (them)."

Harper has said the onus is on militant groups like Hezbollah and Hamas to stop long-running attacks against Israel and return the kidnapped soldiers.

"I think we have to hold ultimately responsible for the violence people who advocate it as a solution and act upon those desires," Harper said Tuesday in Paris.

Several Canadian Arab groups have accused Harper of abandoning a traditional federal position that recognized Israel's right to exist while showing balanced concern for affected Arab communities.


Harper has deliberately sharpened that pro-Israel tone, Faris said in an interview Tuesday.

"These are his own ideological leanings, his alliances.

"Canada is unfortunately forsaking its humanitarian position . . . . It is losing its even-handedness and balance on Middle Eastern issues ."

Faris recalled a meeting he had last year with former Liberal foreign affairs minister Pierre Pettigrew on similar concerns.

"I told him: 'Don't take Arab-Canadians for granted. There are hundreds of thousands of them.' "

To put it in crass political terms, at least one Conservative estimate says there are about 800,000 Arab-Canadian votes versus around 300,000 Jewish votes.

Ottawa's pro-Israel tilt could take political toll: Arab critics, Canada

That's why we call it political "Science." Hey, we ain't no dummies here. We can even do some basic adding and subtracting. Scientifically speaking, therefore, more Muslims means democracy should keep the Liberal Party in power so they can be balanced in favor of terrorists. It's science, you know.

And do you know what else?

Mission Statement of the Palestine Community Centre in British Columbia:

To establish a community center in British Columbia which aims to provide social, cultural, and political programs and services; where a sense of belonging and unity are strengthened.

To Serve the Arab Community in BC and to protect and preserve the Palestinian national identity.

To empower the Arab Community and its political presence in BC.

Our Goals

1) To protect and preserve the Palestine national identity.

2) To defend the social, cultural and political rights of the Palestinian and Arab Community in BC.

3) To provide services to the community, which includes:
a) To teach the Arabic language to youth, adults and children
b) To teach the English language to new immigrants and others.
c) To raise the awareness of the Palestinian & Arab communities on issues related to citizenship rights and responsibilities, elections, history of Canada and immigration services.
d) To offer special programs on health and social issues such as Aids, drugs, sexual harassment, etc.

4) To raise awareness and focus on the history of the Arab culture and civilization.

5) To offer programs on folk arts such as: Dabka folk dance, music and visual arts.

6) To teach the history of the Palestinian people and the history of their struggle against Zionism and occupation.

7) To defend the national and natural rights of the Palestinian people (right of return for Palestinian refugees & national independence)

8) To unify the Arab community regardless of their color, gender, age or beliefs.

9) The center adopts a clear and firm stand to support all oppressed groups and nationalities in BC, Canada, and worldwide.

10) The centre aims to develop the relationship between Palestinians and the native groups and their struggle for land and self-determination.

Hani Faris is not only an oppressed Palestinian, he's a scientist! Wow, is that cool or what?!

Why Stephen Harper is my new hero

You have likely already heard the latest trendy political term - "proportionate response" - in countless news reports (see here, for example): one or another representative of some liberal western government or institution calls on Israel to show a "proportionate response" to, e.g., the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, implying that a large assault against the presence of Hezbollah gangster-state terrorists in Lebanon is somehow disproportionate to the kidnapping act that supposedly (but only if you are ahistorical in thought) started the present conflict in Lebanon. Anything more than what our opinion-leaders deem a "proportionate response" and Israel is to be accused of victimizing a whole group of blameless innocents - in the present case, the Lebanese people - simply because of the unfortunate presence of terrorists in their midst.

But the kidnapping last week of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah was of course merely the excuse for which Israel has been waiting, as it seeks to ensure its very existence against an illegitimate non-state army armed to the teeth with rockets and allied with Iran, a state whose leaders deny the Holocaust and yet call for another one, for wiping Israel from the face of the earth. What, pray tell, is a "proportionate" response to people who are carrying on a fifteen-centuries old Jihad in whose name they hope to destroy Israel and turn any and all non-Muslims into either dust or Dhimmis?

While their enemy may deserve no mercy, in this nuclear age Israel cannot throw its full might at its enemy without truly becoming a pariah state. Consequently, whatever the level of Israel's response, the choice will be somewhat arbitrary and as such open to criticism for being too disproportionate, too intent on victimizing. (And alternatively, in being restrained, in departing from the traditional pre-nuclear assumption that a threatened people should do whatever they can to defend themselves, Israel also expose itself to mocking from Islamic warriors who take a less than total response as a sign of Israel's inherent weakness - they can kill a few more of us than we kill of them, but there will always be more of us than of them.)

And in an age when only visible victims really count in the media's making of "the news", when the rightness of a nation's cause is secondary to its power and ability to make its enemies, and associated civilians, suffer, Israel is open to much attack because it happens to be much more militarily effective than the cult of resentment it presently faces; even as the cult presently demonstrates some capability to kill Israelis with its rockets, its only truly great military advantage is its vast superiority in the numbers of its real or potential supporters, an advantage that only encourages its leaders to sacrifice as many of its people in the cause as needs be, as the Islamic cult of suicide bombing against Israel and other western and non-Muslim nations demonstrates.

So why the obsession among the western liberal-left with a "proportionate response"? As noted, the liberal-left is presently deeply immersed in a victimary religion, i.e. in a habit of thought that tries to understand every human relationship in terms of how it departs from an original ideal of equality and reciprocity; and, in so departing - as every actual relationship must - the utopian left is able and often keen to denounce every or any relationship for victimizing one or another of its parties. For our liberals, nothing is ever good enough; the world as it is is resented for failing to live up to some egalitarian ideal.

Now we mustn't simply dismiss the left's egalitarian ideal, for it is founded, I believe, in a somewhat correct intuition about the equalitarian origin and nature of the language and human culture we all share: membership in the community of language implies equality; no one is inherently just a speaker or just a listener... (anyone who wants to pursue this idea should check out this blog and associated links). But while there is definitely something to our moral intuition of the sacredness of each and every human life, a sacredness founded in a fundamental human equality, the freedom that language also gives us necessarily entails departure from the originary equality of all language users, so that we may differentiate people in all sorts of pragmatic ways as we liberate ourselves from the dictates of both a ritualized equality and hierarchy. Thus, to make a religion out of the defense of each and every putative "victim" of human freedom or inequality is to refuse the moral imperative of our freedom to make choices.

We must discriminate in the cause of human freedom. For anyone to do anything to advance the cause of human progress, it requires that he break, for a time, with the original rule of equality that the first human users of the first word all shared, an equality that remains memorialized in every act of language to this day.

Historically, the Jews have been leaders in going first, in breaking from ritualized orders in the name of human freedom. And they remain deeply and widely resented to this day in many quarters for their success in having done just this. It must be admitted that countless of our fellow humans, both in the west and east, are committed to a resentment that is antithetical to freedom and human progress.

Those who call for a "proportionate response" are people deeply fearful of anyone doing anything (anything at all) that may look like victimization, or inequality because it entails someone taking a lead and differentiating himself from others. For the fearful religion of victims, any evidence of inequality - as, for example, is demonstrated by Israel's military superiority - is a scandal that must be denounced. The fact that this inequality is a necessary function of human freedom does not seem to trouble them: all that matters is their memory of certain historical inequalities - e.g. the Holocaust, Hiroshima, or western imperialism - that, in some cases if not in all, were simply too scandalous for any possible justification. It is the memory of such events that has led to the present cult of "white guilt". And for followers of this cult, all that matters today is that everyone be treated "proportionately", that there be no more victims.

But this cult of proportionality is a corruption of our fundamental intuition of equality, an intuition that is as much about reciprocity and exchange as it is about some fixed, permanent state of equality. Complete symmetry between two parties is actually the denial of the possibility of, or need for, exchange. Complete symmetry is a state of being that can never actually exisxt among human beings, given our mimicing and competing desires, our contests to control desirable objects or social positions. Complete symmetry and equality is nothing but a nasty utopian dream whose pursuit, in the face of contrary human reality, brings death and destruction, as for example with the 100 million death toll of twentieth-century "communism".

Real exchange and reciprocity can only occur if there is some difference or asymmetry within our fundamental human equality, i.e. if there is a first and a second and a third among equals. After all, it is our differences that we exchange, without which there can be no exchange. To speak of "proportionality" sounds, in the abstract, as if one is advocating an ideal of reciprocity. But, at present, it is really a resentful call to restrict freedom and innovation so there need be no more "victims" but only government and "international law" keeping everyone in line (an unrealistic, utopian, idea which is, of course, actually a recipe for more victims, victims of the global Big Brother). And, in the present real-world context, what "proportionate response" means is that you support a perpetual tit-for-tat in which Israelis and Arabs kidnap and kill each other, one for one, until... the relatively few Jews are all gone.

What Israel is trying to impose on Lebanon, it seems to me, is a much more realistic form of reciprocity than endless tit-for-tat. It is trying to make the Lebanese see that if they allow the presence in their midst of a party committed to the extermination of Israel, they can expect nothing but war from Israel. Yes, the idea of getting rid of Hezbollah must bring nightmares of renewed civil war to the Lebanese. But frankly, maybe the reality is simply that their choice is to risk temporary civil war or to face endless Israeli wrath (if, that is, any desire to completely destroy Israel cannot be realized). If the majority of Lebanese are smart, I think they will choose sides and take all the Israeli and American support that will come to them when they choose to face down Hezbollah and engage Israel in the kind of true reciprocity that will flow from recognition of Israel's right to exist, to be different, and to defend that difference.

Frankly, I don't want to hear about another Lebanese or Canadian Arab who considers herself just another "innocent victim" of Israel. While civilian casualties in war are no doubt some kind of victim, people living in war zones cannot avoid the responsibility of taking sides in an attempt to bring the war to a head and conclusion as quickly as possible. The fact must be faced by all Arabs that many of their brethren have long been involved in a war against the Jews. Consequently, all Arabs and all Muslims should have no choice now but to take sides. Let the world know if you choose the side of freedom, or the side of resentment against the Jewish presence in the Middle East. Are you for or against Jewish difference (and success) in your midst?

Aware to this reality, our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, first responded to Israel's attacks on Hezbollah by throwing the jargon of "proportionate response" back in the faces of its pimps. He called Israel's response "measured", a word that the many Dhimmis in Canada (among whom, as we have shared in reporting, is the bulk of civil servants in Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade) have spent the last week protesting.

So what a proud moment it was for me to read today's Globe and Mail print edition headline: "Harper refuses to budge":
Mr. Harper said the conflict is the result of the fact that there is no Middle East peace process because "the current Palestinian government is not committed to a peace process.

"Secondly, there is an immediate crisis because of the actions of Hamas and the actions of Hezbollah," he said, referring to the radical Islamic movement that controls the Palestinian Authority and the Shia Muslim group that controls much of southern Lebanon.

He said the key to ending the crisis is not an immediate ceasefire, as has been advocated by some members of the Group of Eight industrialized countries at their annual summit here, but rather the safe return of three kidnapped Israeli soldiers and the end of "Hezbollah attacks on Israel."

These were Mr. Harper's first comments on the violence in the Middle East since eight Canadians, seven from a Montreal family, were killed Sunday in an Israeli air raid on Lebanon. Relatives of the Al-Akhrass family appealed to the government to act swiftly to evacuate other Canadians.
In other words, in the face of a war's inevitable victims, Harper, unlike the Canadian MainStreamMedia, is refusing to play the victimary game; he is refusing to bow to the victimary religion that controls so much of our public discourse and to defer to the anger of the family that has tragically lost seven of its members. This is why Prime minister Harper is my new hero.

And if that isn't enough, he forthrightly questions the reason, even sanity, of those who promote the victimary religion:
The Canadian Arab Federation condemned Mr. Harper for describing Israel's actions last week as "measured."

The federation issued a statement saying it held him "responsible for the death of eight Canadians in Lebanon" because of his failure to urge Israel to be restrained.

Mr. Harper dismissed the federation's characterization of his remarks as "bizarre."
Mr. Harper said neither he nor his officials have contacted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for an explanation of the air strike on Sunday that killed a Montreal pharmacist, his wife, their four young children and others. He offered his condolences to the victims' families at the start of his news conference.
Condolences should be given, not only for the loss of sacred life, but because at least some of those in mourning are surely being exploited by a bizarre and irrational victimary ideology.