“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for July 2006


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Judeosphere points to an alarming trend amongst some anti-Israel counter demonstrators: the Hezbollah salute.

Of course, astute readers would know that it is also the Nazi salute.

So, genuine and sincere non-racist “anti-Zionists” have to decide:

do they really want to keep the company of individuals that march around to the Hitler salute?

Sadly, my guess is that it is the shape of things to come, and needs to be opposed tooth and nail.

Written by modernityblog

30/07/2006 at 18:28

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Statements or What?

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I am still digesting the news from the Middle-East, so probably won’t comment for a while, but one of my commenters (JohnG) wondered what I thought of the Lebanese Communist Party’s recent statement.

I think I give it as much credence as I would statements coming out of the North Korean CP or the speeches of Kim Jong Il, which is to say: zilch

Of course, I can see the Lebanese Communist Party’s point of view, either they side with Hezbollah or side with Israel and they are toast, not a hard political decision.

After all, Hezbollah are a sizable group of Islamist thugs, so if you lived in Lebanon would you want to cross them? Probably not.

Nevertheless, it brings up the point of: support for Hezbollah in the West.

I wonder why people in the West seem to have been dragged into the infantile nihilism of supporting Hezbollah?

They might choose to cover it with some “anti-imperialist” gobbledygook, but they are consciously supporting a pack of Islamist fundamentalists, who would gladly kill all Jews, Westerners or other “decadent” examples of Western hegemony, civil rights for women and gays, etc. if they had the means. Talk about rolling the clock back.

Here’s a tip for would-be supporters/sympathisers of Hezbollah.

When faced with a choice between modernity and reaction, pick modernity.

Hint: Hezbollah are not modernity.

Written by modernityblog

27/07/2006 at 21:59

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Unlikely Allies?

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Israel has found some unlikely allies: Robert Fisk and the Arab League.

Remember that Fisk and Arab League are ardent critics of Israel.

Robert Fisk confirms that Hezbollah pre-planned this conflict:

“The original border crossing, the capture of the two soldiers and the killing of three others was planned, according to Hassan Nasrallah, the Hizbollah leader who escaped assassination by the Israelis on Friday evening, more than five months ago.“

As the Washington Post comments:

“In a stunning development, the 22-member Arab League criticized Hezbollah for provoking the current crisis. It is unprecedented for the Arab League to criticize any Arab party while it is actively engaged in hostilities with Israel.”

So Hezbollah are to blame, well that just confirms it!

Written by modernityblog

20/07/2006 at 15:26

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Butch Bombers?

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Butterflies and Wheels points to a recent academic paper by Dr Antony Whitehead, which suggests that suicide bomber’s “problems” may relate to a lack of masculinity and a need to prove themselves.

The paper concurs with an idea, put about in feminists’ circles for years, that part of the issue was power, male power, and the need for some men to demonstrate their masculinity by using extreme violence.

As the Sunday Herald comments:

“According to the academics, males aged between 18 and 24 are at the optimum age at which to carry out atrocities, as they are also at this time struggling to be identified as men”

Whilst these ideas can not fully explain all instances of these terrible events and there might be some odd exception, the notion of male masculinity as a social problem does provide an insight to aspects of terrorism and suicide bombings which otherwise might go unnoticed.

Gendegreek’s previous comments are most relevant.

Written by modernityblog

10/07/2006 at 12:18

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Why Such An Advert Now?

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The PA is encouraging kids to become suicide bombers again.

Years after complaints and its withdrawal, the Palestinian Authority TV is showing another advert to persuade children to become “Martyrs for Allah”, as detailed in the Jerusalem Post:

“One of the most sinister of these clips was broadcast twice last week, according to our research after a three-year absence. The clip features a child actor playing the most famous Palestinian child martyr, Muhammad al-Dura – whose death in a crossfire was broadcast to the entire world – calling to other Palestinian children to literally follow him to Child Martyrs’ Heaven.”

What timing? And I had always thought that arguments over the “cult of death” were an exaggeration, now I am not so sure.

Written by modernityblog

08/07/2006 at 13:27

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A Little Less Empathy on 7/7

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The seventh of July will no doubt bring forth assorted opinions from condemnation, perplexed indignation, confusion to varying degrees of sympathy, if not for their methods, at least with the “alienation” of the 7th July 2005 bombers.

My own memory of the day is rather blurred, and afterwards amongst the confusion of thoughts two ideas stood out: the Bus and Aldgate tube bombings.

The bus bombing which ripped apart a number 30 bus, going south on Tavistock Square took place outside the BMA headquarters and near the dole office, just off Tavistock Place.

The Aldgate tube bombing was in an ethnically mixed area, only minutes from the East London Mosque, and frequented by many Muslims and workers going home.

So the Jihadists were perfectly happy to murder doctors, the unemployed, Muslims, students, poor workers and commuters, etc when it suited them.

Whilst I wouldn’t dream of trying to think myself into the mind of the psychotic 7/7 London Jihadists, I do wonder at the utterances of the would-be apologists or “root” causers.

I expect that we will be told that “but for Iraq, Afghanistan and British troops, there would be no 7/7 bombings”.

That might well be true, however, I think that Jihadists, like their 1930s comrades, need only pretexts for their actions, not reasons. A supposed grudge, some hostility, a nihilist’s belief system and an opportunity will suffice for them. They will scamper around and incorporate any likely pretext as a motivation for their mass murder.

The question is: are we gullible enough to believe their lies, their stupidity, and their wanton callousness?

Naval gazing from the chattering classes will not defeat that Jihadists, neither will military might. Jihadists are the purveyors of backward looking nihilism so that ultimately they can only be defeated by ideas and an acceptance of modernity.

Today’s societies should not be apologetic about modern ideas nor misjudge the destructive capacity for nihilism, which was all too evident in 1930s.

Again we should argue for the ideas of the Reformation and the age of Enlightenment, any attempt at apologising, empathising or underestimating the Jihadists will be our downfall.

Such views were seen in the 1930s, when people underestimated another group of psychotic murderers. We must not make that mistake.

Written by modernityblog

06/07/2006 at 23:57

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Where Is It All Going?

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My cynical view of Hamas’s recent attack on Israeli soldiers, as a way to deflect from their own splits and political crisis, seems to be borne out by events.

Israelis’ incursion is now the focus of vitriolic attacks in the Westen media, which seemingly forget that:

1) It was Hamas and their proxies that actually provoked this situation.
2) It could have been settled very quickly by releasing Gilad Shalit.
3) Hamas and their proxies rejected any of the proposed compromises from Egyptian mediators.
4) Hamas are not really interested in the welfare of the Palestinians, only using them as political pawns in Hamas’s nihilistic game against the dreaded “Zionist entity”.

Witness the recent evidence from a Hamas video, where Hamas followers chant about “Drinking the blood of the Jews” (thanks to John-Paul for highlighting it).

But I am interested in alternatives to the current Israeli strategy?

Let’s see it from other countries perspectives (USA and Syria):

Hypothetically speaking, what would the USA do, if Mexico had launched some 1000 rockets at American civilians in the past year?

What then if Mexico kidnapped an American trooper?

Hum, yeah, I can see the USA (or any other country) emulating Ghandi with non-violence and prayers? Whilst the likes of Hamas provoke conflict, with rockets and kidnapping.

Or look at it another way, suppose the roles were reversed, with say Syria?

Hypothetically speaking, suppose that Gaza was full of Israelis and Syria was in Israel’s position, what would they do? They would have flattened Gaza with every Israeli in there, in a heartbeat.

So instead, most of IDF has been camped in the north of Gaza, whilst mediation took place

However, as you might expect, the Hamas terrorists have rejected any negotiated settlement, which was all part of their original game plan.

Sadly, the weak Olmert government will probably inflict unnecessary damage on the Gaza infrastructure and kill civilians playing straight into Hamas’s hands.

In the West, the causes of this crisis will conveniently be forgotten and Israel further demonised.

All very unnecessary, stupid, callous and with the Hamas leadership I can see it only getting worst for the Palestinians.

Written by modernityblog

05/07/2006 at 21:41

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Power Stations

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Someone asked if I thought “was Israel right to knock out the only power station in Gaza?”

No, I don’t think they were, but on the other hand they COULD have gone straight in and killed 100s, so which do people think is better?

Are Israelis seriously meant to sit on their hands when a soldier is kidnapped?

There is an easy solution to this: give up the kidnapped soldier, stop throwing Qassam rockets into Israel and start talking.

Egypt has put forward a number of workable solutions to resolve this crisis but it seems that Hamas, PRC, etc don’t want a peaceful resolution.

The “eye for an eye” stuff will make everyone blind, and what does that achieve? Nothing

Written by modernityblog

03/07/2006 at 13:07

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Israeli perspective Across the Web

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At times such as this, it is difficult to find out what is happening in Israel from an Israeli perspective, so I present some Israeli TV and radio sources, with English language web broadcasts.

One thing that is notable about some of Israeli TV sources, how they present fairly unfavourable reports of their own country. In video clips they offer a range of critical or unfavourable reports from PA sources, European media and their own commentators, which is refreshing if a tad disconcerting, occasionally.

Jerusalem Online

Israel Radio International English News

Israel Broadcasting Authority

[TV Broadcasts –> On Demand ->and select clip on right-hand side]

Israel National TV

Written by modernityblog

02/07/2006 at 14:14

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