10 April 2008

More Grab-bag posting

OK, I finally watched Fitna. (List of other servers here) It's a little disturbing for graphic images of violence and mutilated bodies. It is, essentially, quotes from the Quran interspersed first with images of Islam in action, then with words from revered Muslim leaders, then with facts about the increasing penetration of the Netherlands by Muslims and the way their government caters to the Muslim minority. It is only 16 minutes long.

There is nothing new here. Beheadings, honor killings, murder of critics, extreme hate speech that would make a Klansman blush, this is the reality of Islam and has been for centuries. I've written about it extensively enough that everyone who reads me knows how I feel. A devout Muslim is a threat to the human race. Fortunately, devout Muslims are not the majority of people who identify as Muslims, any more than a majority of people who identify as notionally Christian actually do anything differently from their neighbor who identifies as an atheist.

Iran's foreign ministry labeled the film "heinous, blasphemous, and anti-Islamic." The Indonesian government declared it "an insult to Islam." In Jordan, 53 members of parliament demanded the expulsion of the Dutch ambassador. The Organization of the Islamic Conference denounced "Fitna" as "a deliberate act of discrimination against Muslims" meant to "provoke unrest and intolerance." Other reactions here.

Compared to Islamist television, it is nothing. It is a series of photographs and films of events that happened, interspersed with quotes from the Quran. It is interesting how quoting the Quran drives Muslims into a frenzy. I am reminded of a discussion I had with a Muslim on Livejournal who attempted to tell me I was "misreading" or that the passages were badly translated. I asked for a translation into English that rendered the particular passages in a way other than the way I was reading them. I do not recall reading another comment from that particular person on my journal. I have had numerous people tell me that I need "learn to understand". After I quote the Quran, the discussion invariably ends, because non-Muslims who defend Islam do so only out of ignorance.

So this film is nothing new to me, nor to my readers. More interesting is this brief history of the West Bank.

Greyhawk found a fun article in the LA Times about how rough it is to be a former Soldier. Whatever. I like my job, and I haven't seen an abnormally high number of prior service folks coming back in, so there must be some jobs out there to keep body and soul together. There are always folks who discover that the civilian world isn't all it cracked up to be and come back in because, well the pay ain't bad, the benefits are stellar (seriously, how many jobs offer full medical, dental, 2.5 days of leave a month, an average of 2 holidays a month on top of that, tax-free housing allowance and food allowance, snazzy dress uniforms, etc, etc, etc), and all the
other reasons to Soldier. But I haven't seen more of them than I did in, say, 2001.

Speaking of Soldiering, here's an interesting essay. I could be intellectual and say it is about the disconnect between the folks fighting the war and folks for whom it is fought, but that wouldn't be true. It's just the most true thing I've seen about what it is like to be over there.

Charleton Heston died, and linking to this speech is one of the best ways I can think of to remember him not merely as a movie actor who played great men, but a great citizen in his own right.

Climate Change: A historical retrospective. Because, you know, humans are the greatest impact on climate, evah!

Because I have to mention the Presidential campaign, let's talk Barak Obama's token veteran, who (as it turns out) just can't keep his story straight about his own opinion. Meanwhile, folks desperate to find dirt on John McCain (because, you know, ALL conservatives are secret perverts, while ALL liberals are open perverts) are going back to 1957. O RLY? Also on the subject of the elections, let's hope past performance doesn't indicate future performance. Even if it is, an upsurge in violence will just bring the bad guys out where we can kill them, and not really help the Dems that much, as no one trusts them on National Security issues anyway. At any rate, we are taking the best step we could be to get the Iraqis ready to deal with it own there own. No one is more professional. . . But enough politics, on to fun stuff.

Kori, this story's for you. You want tough guy? This guy redefines it.

On a more cheerful note re: clashing ideologies, remember back in 1974? We had just backed out of a nasty counterinsurgency that, the next year, would see our only client state in SE Asia fall to PAVN tanks. Over the next six years, numerous other countries would go Communist or pro-Communist, and people were writing the epitaphs of the West, Democracy, and Capitalism. A Southern Rock band released a song which is still considered a classic anthem today, having been featured in at least nine movies (including one named after the song), and been covered by practically everyone from kids in their garage to the rap group Boyz After Money Always. If, in 1974, someone had suggested that it would be covered by a Finnish band with the Red Army Chorus singing backup after the Soviet Union imploded due to the contradictions in their own ideology, they would have been bundled off to see the nearest shrink and probably lost their security clearance. But if you click on ONE link today, click on this one.


Blogger Sophia said...

"he was searching company stores out of hours when a guard dog went for his throat. "Having worked with farm animals, I wasn't having that," Wright recalled, "so I bit the bastard back." The dog yelped, and ran off."

That cracked me up!

Thanks! I loved the story!

8:22 AM  

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