Diary and Commentary

Page 24




Goodbye to All That


It had to happen some time---I am finished with my year-long walkabout, and thus finished with writing about the oddities that are common when one hits the foreign road with pack and tent. From now on, writing will be concerned with things more or less domestic: economics, history, politics, theology, culture, backpacking in the US, and the odd picture or two.


The travelogue of my sabbatical can be read here. It only concerns stuff that happened 'on the road' and not my brilliant commentaries about 'Life, the Universe, and Everything'.


And it was a bit unsettling---and shocking---to realize that what I had planned to do for years, what I had dreamed of doing for years, what I had threatened to do for years---was now over. Done. Finished. Completed. Wrapped up. Close the book. Thanks for the memories. Now let's move on, Ok?


Right now I am sitting in the Guatemala City airport awaiting my United flight to Los Angeles. Last night I went to eat Italian food with my two Guatemalan friends Mario and his brother Leonel. I first met them 21 years ago during my first journey down here. Mario had just started a Spanish school, La Escuela Tecun Uman. His was the third such school in Antigua. Mario was a forward-looking sort, as 1983 was a time of extreme violence in Guatemala. Civil war raged in the hills and cities. It was a brutal affair---but then, all Latin American civil wars were such. There were few tourists, of course, but as peace came they began to flood into Antigua. Now the school is filled with students from around the world.


It was tough to say goodbye, as I said it not just to Mario and Leonel but to Antigua, to Guatemala and to Central America. Right now I can see no reason why I would ever return. All was said and done in my eight journeys to the region. And I am not the nostalgic sort; I would never return to a place only to relive past victories. There are too many future victories that will claim my time.


Tomorrow begins another sort of life from the one I have been living for 11-odd years. There will be surprises. I look forward to them. I hope they don't hurt too much; I hope they don't cost too much.



Gun Nuts


Well, here is the first contestant for the cash I have set aside for the purchase of a handgun. It comes well-recommended---by Kim du Toit himself. It is the Smith and Wesson Model 629 "Mountain Gun" (.44 Magnum):



The Smith & Wesson Mod 629 is one of the best revolvers ever made. It's as strong as a bank vault, reliable, and keeps pumping out those massive .44 Mag bullets with almost monotonous regularity. Not only does the Mountain Gun sport a shorter barrel, the barrel is also slender -- which makes the piece considerably lighter.

Of course, the lighter weight also means that the .44 Mag, already no slouch in the recoil department, kicks like a sonofabitch. You're not going to get 2" groups in the target at 25 yards with this little puppy, let me tell ya.

But that's not the function of the Mountain Gun. In the words of one of the gun writers, this is a "carry lots, shoot little" handgun. In other words, it's a back-country backup gun, to be used at close range if Smokey (the Bear, not the Policeman ha ha ha) gets too close for comfort.

Under attack by ursus arctos horribilis, the Mountain Gun would not be a bad piece to pull from the holster, let me tell ya that.

New, the MG sells for about $650, about $550 secondhand. If you live in Wyoming or a similar state where there are big animals with teeth and an attitude walking around, think about this fine gun.


Looks good, but I must fire the thing about 100 times to get used to the kick. It is light enough, will fit in a side holster unconnected to my backpack and will send any bear to Hell---if I can hit him.


Stay tuned.





A Few Good Men


I wrote before of the shameful surrender of Spain to the demands of the terror masters. The entire world watched---though most of it applauded---as she rolled on her back and begged the killers of her people, "Please, master, I will be good! I will do as you say and remove all Spanish soldiers from Iraq! But please don't hurt me! Please!"


Well not all Spaniards surrendered a la mode francaise. The Spanish soldiers in Iraq are not so craven as their government.


Ordinary soldiers said the overwhelming majority of their comrades opposed Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's sudden decision to bring home the 1,432-strong contingent based here and in the nearby Shiite Muslim holy city of Najaf. "I feel satisfied with the five months I spent here. For me it was a great professional experience and I would do it again," said Captain Jose Miguel Garces, who is scheduled to leave Iraq in one week. Private Marco Antonio Laguna, who leaves in three days, said he was proud to have helped bring security to Iraqis as he showed a wound in his hand sustained in an attack on his patrol 12 days ago by militia loyal to wanted Shiite radical leader Moqtada Sadr.

But privately some said the "honour of the Spanish army" might have been tarnished by the sudden withdrawal, especially in the light of recent attacks by Sadr's Mehdi Army militia. On the streets of Diwaniyah some Iraqis also felt that Spain was caving in to "terrorism both at home and in Iraq," and that the troop pullout would lead to lawlessness and would leave them at the mercy of mobs and militias. Some soldiers felt they were leaving with a lot of work still to be done in helping Iraqis rebuild their country.

Aside from the military code of honour and their desire to finish the job, some Spanish troops said they were also sad to be leaving some of the Iraqi friends they had made in Diwaniyah. Three soldiers manning the checkpoint at the entrance of the base were laughing with an Iraqi labourer who spoke to them in broken Spanish. "I will miss these guys very much, I have gotten used to them," he said. 

Nice to see that there are still some men left in Iberia.

Oh...as a 'thank you' the terrorists killed a Spaniard yesterday in Baghdad as he was shopping. Man, there is no pleasing some people!

Samuel Adams (1722-1803) would have had something to say both to the government of Spain and to the Democrat Party in the US:


Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' ... If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!


And so would have Lord Palmerston (1784 - 1865):


If a nation once establishes and proclaims as its rule of conduct, that any sacrifice of interest is preferable to war, it had better at once abdicate its independence and place itself under the protection of some less Quakerlike state; for to that condition of subjection it must come at last, and it is better to get to it decently and at once than to arrive at it painfully after successive humiliations, and all the losses and sufferings resulting from repeated spoliations.





Why America is Great

It is because she produces men like Patrick Tillman. Who was he? Pat was an NFL star who in 2002 gave up a $3.6 million contract to enlist in the US Army. He wanted to serve his country in the wake of 9/11. His salary was $18,000 a year as an elite Army Ranger. He was killed two days ago in Afghanistan. His brother Kevin enlisted with him and also made it into the Rangers. Kevin served  in the same unit as his brother. Pat was 27. Most certainly he lived Isaiah (6:8): 


Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" 

And I said, "Here I am. Send me!"


As long as America raises up such men, she will be great. Army SPC Patrick Tillman, Requiescat In Pace.


This story shall the good man teach his son;
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered -
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; 
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles a ny s peak s
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

---from 'Henry V'

SPC Patrick Tillman (1976 - 2004)


The Ranger Creed

Here is what Patrick Tillman swore to follow. He kept his word to the end.

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, 

I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment.


Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air,  I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move farther, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.


Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight

 and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be. One-hundred-percent and then some.


Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. 

My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.


Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle 

for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. 

I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.


Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective

 and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.


The enemies of America will always meet a Pat Tillman on the battlefield, for we have many such as he.



Egypt Figures Things Out

Abd Al-Wahhab 'Adas is the deputy editor of Al-Gumhouriyya, the official newspaper of the Egyptian government. He has figured out the source of all the world's troubles. Guess who is behind all of them? Al-Queda? The Palestinians? Hamas? The USA? Well, not quite. The cause of every terrorist incident is (hold your breath) THE JEWS! Who would have guessed? In the esteemed Mr. Adas' own words:


If you want to know the real perpetrator of every disaster or every act of terrorism, look for the Zionist Jews...It is the Jews, with their hidden filthy hands, who play their part with expertise in order to harm the Arabs and Muslims and to intensify hatred towards them...It is obvious that the Jews are the ones who placed these things,  in order to prove to the entire world that the Arabs and Muslims are behind the bombings...It not only engages in terror in the Palestinian territories but exports it to all the countries of the world...Their black history is the best possible proof that hatred toward the Arabs and the Muslims fills their hearts and blinds their eyes. They are behind all troubles, disasters and catastrophes in the world


Oh, the poor Arabs---all 350,000,000 of them. Outfoxed, overpowered, defeated in every war, tricked and swindled and impoverished throughout history by a pitiful handful of Jews! Damn clever of those Jews, no? What does Mr. Adas' claim say about Arab self-esteem? About Arab prowess in economics, government, warfare, technology, productivity, innovation, logic? 


Mr. Adas continues:


The danger posed by Jewry finds expression in the undeniable aversion of wide sections of our people. The Jew destroys character and national pride with ridicule and shameless breeding to depravity. His power is the power of money. In his effects and consequences he is like a racial tuberculosis of the nations.


Oops! The above was written by Adolph Hitler. My mistake!


Oh...Egypt is the recipient of over $2 billion a year from the American taxpayers. This works out to about $50 billion since the Camp David Accords. Hmm...now, how many schools in the US would that money have built? (Oh...what the heck did the Egyptians do with all that dough?)



Future Shock And Awe


American technology never stagnates. This includes the technology of war. What the Pentagon has planned for the battlefields of the future---say, by 2010---boggles the mind. Some highlights:


Liquid body armor that weighs 70 percent less than Kevlar but is flexible and more effective.


A helmet with tiny, built-in cameras---including infra-red--- to spot enemies lurking in the dark or concealed by bushes.

 The cameras' images will appear on semi-transparent screens attached to their helmets.

Chameleon-like camouflage that mimics surroundings to make a soldier almost invisible.

Total weight of combat gear will drop from 120 pounds to 40 pounds.

Robotic vehicles that could launch mortars or other weapons, serve as remote eyes and ears or simply haul gear.

External skeletons carrying artificial muscles that would make soldiers faster and stronger.



If you think that the US military is effective now, just wait. Oh...and what sort of new technologies and tactics do America's foes plan on using then? (Not that it will matter much.) More than likely future wars with such barbarians as we fight today will resemble something like the wars waged by the Spanish against the Indigenous New World civilizations, or perhaps like the wars waged by Julius Caesar against the Gauls. The military, demographic, economic, cultural and technological superiority of America over friend and foe alike would render her simply invincible against any possible combination of enemies. The only likely way she could be defeated is by a moral collapse of 'fall of Rome' proportions. With any future Clinton-type presidency, that is always a possibility.





Oh, Those Peace-Loving Palestinians!


Hamas is a terror group headquartered in the Gaza Strip and dedicated to the destruction of Israel and its replacement by a Palestinian state. To this end it has funded and sponsored car and suicide bombings. Much of the mayhem and murder one reads about in the Middle East is caused by Hamas. Its founder and spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, recently found himself on the wrong side of an Israeli missile. The next Hamas leader, Abdel Aziz Rantisi,  was assassinated by Israel a few days ago. It seems being the head of Hamas is a tad dangerous. 


Enter one Mahmoud Zahar, the deputy of the late Mr. Rantisi and the new head of Hamas. Zahar fits the job description as he is quite the dedicated killer. One year ago he gave an interview to the BBC. Zahar made a tactical error in that he allowed his interviewer to see the face of radical Islam in all its hatred.


BBC. You know what you're telling me? That under no circumstances will you give up violence until you've pushed Israel into the sea. That's what you want, isn't it?

Zahar. Who is saying that?

BBC. You're saying that.

Z. I'm telling you frankly, the attitude of Islam is not to accept a foreign state in this area.

BBC. So until Israel ceases to exist, you won't lay down your arms. Is that right?

Z. First of all, we are a part of the independent Islamist - this is the attitude of thousands and millions of people ...

BBC. Why do you keep on with this attitude? You are seen ... by many people in the world as a bunch of ruthless killers, fanatics, terrorists. Are you happy with that picture?

Z. We're not happy - [but] these people are seeing Islam as an enemy, as a terrorist, but this is a historical mistake. Because Islam is a supreme power in this area, sooner or later we are going to achieve our power, our moral principles, our virtue, in order to implement a real state.

So Zahar wants a 'real state' where Israel exists today? Hmm...I wonder what that state might look like. What is the condition of the territories controlled today by Hamas?

Ok, Israel, get going. Of course, my bet is that Zahar is already being watched and targeted. The fiery Hamas head has to be lucky every moment for the rest of his (undoubtedly short) life. Israel has to be lucky only once. Happy hunting!

Infanticide Parties On 


A good place to witness radical feminism in all its grotesqueries is to go to any 'pro-choice' march. (The 'choice' in question is the right to murder the next generation.) There was one in Washington DC the other day that would have pleased Moloch. About 700,000 feminists, lesbians, girly-boys, NOW-types and other such assorted perverse and degenerate riff-raff gathered there to celebrate and glory in the slaughter of the pre-born. One such bovine beauty was typical of this motley throng:



I regret to inform this damsel that Mr. Bush would never consider doing such a thing as that which so animates the sign-carrying obesity. And neither would any other man, dead or alive. She can rest easy and be assured that there is no male on the planet who would put her in such a condition that an abortion would get her out of it. The very thought of such a thing turns the stomach. The charming creature can relax---and have another milk shake. (Oh...any doubt about to which political party the thing belongs?)


And there is something odd here. So many participants at such rallies are of an age, caloric intake or sexual orientation so as to preclude any possibility of male insemination. Certainly all the feminist big shots---the Hillary Clintons, the Nancy Pelosis, the Kate Michelmans, the Gloria Steinems---are well past child bearing age. Why their insensate desire to slay the unborn, one-half of whom will be female?



Islam Honors Women


While corpulent American feminists worry about Bush putting his hands down their pants, women in Pakistan have more pressing concerns. Some highlights of what Pakistani males call 'honor'---that is, the Islamic version of it:

Lahore: A girl, Kauser, 17, was strangled by her elder brother because she had married of her own will. She returned home and asked her family to forgive her but her brother strangled her with a piece of cloth.

Ghotki district: Two women were killed over Karo-Kari (honour killing). One Nihar Jatoi tied his wife to a bed and electrocuted her. One Bachal axed his wife Salma to death and fled. No arrests were reported. 

Sargodha: A woman is in hospital after having both legs amputated because of severe injuries inflicted by her brother-in-law and mother-in-law, who clubbed her for her alleged illicit affairs. The woman, who was fighting for life, said the real reason was that her brother-in-law was trying to force her to arrange his marriage to her younger sister, but her sister had instead eloped with her paramour. 

Of course, such treatment of women occurs not just in Pakistan but wherever there is Islam, as in Jordan:

On May 31, 1994, Kifaya Husayn, a 16-year-old Jordanian girl, was lashed to a chair by her 32-year-old brother. He gave her a drink of water and told her to recite an Islamic prayer. Then he slashed her throat. Immediately afterward, he ran out into the street, waving the bloody knife and crying, 'I have killed my sister to cleanse my honor.' Kifaya's crime? She was raped by another brother, a 21-year-old man. Her judge and jury? Her own uncles, who convinced her eldest brother that Kifaya was too much of a disgrace to the family’s honor to be allowed to live." The murderer was sentenced to fifteen years, but the sentence was subsequently reduced to seven and a half years, an extremely severe penalty by Jordanian standards.

And in the Palestinian territories:

A 25-year-old Palestinian who hanged his sister with a rope: "I did not kill her, but rather helped her to commit suicide and to carry out the death penalty she sentenced herself to. I did it to wash with her blood the family honor that was violated because of her and in response to the will of society that would not have had any mercy on me if I didn't . . . Society taught us from childhood that blood is the only solution to wash the honor."  

And my favorite:

Sirhan, a 35-year-old murderer, is cheerful and relaxed and happy to tell his story. He's especially proud to describe the efficiency with which he shot his young sister Suzanne in the head four times last March. "She came to the house at 8:15," he relates, "and by 8:20 she was dead." Three days before, the 16-year-old girl had reported to police that she had been raped. "She committed a mistake, even if it was against her will," says Sirhan. "Anyway, it's better to have one person die than to have the whole family die from shame."

I could go on---and on and on---but you get the point. What the Hell is wrong with those people?

It is popular in schools and academia to say that "all cultures have equal value." All who believe this are simply jack-ass stupid.




Latins at War


Among the Latin American nations helping the US in the terror war in Iraq is tiny El Salvador. (The others are Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.) Last Saturday nineteen of her soldiers ( called by their comrades 'El Sals') in Iraq were surrounded by the enemy in Najaf. In the ensuing gun battle one soldier lay dead, 12 lay wounded and four remained standing. Their ammunition was gone.

Salvadoran Cpl. Samuel Toloza said a prayer, whipped out his knife and charged the Iraqi gunmen. In one of the only known instances of hand-to-hand combat in the Iraq conflict, Cpl. Toloza stabbed several attackers swarming around a comrade. The stunned assailants backed away momentarily, just as a relief column came to the unit's rescue. "We never considered surrender. I was trained to fight until the end," said the 25-year-old corporal, one of 380 soldiers from El Salvador whose heroism is being cited just as other members of the multinational force in Iraq are facing criticism.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said recently that the Central American unit has "gained a fantastic reputation among the coalition" and expressed hope that the Salvadorans will stay beyond their scheduled departure. Phil Kosnett, who leads the Coalition Provisional Authority office in this holy Shi'ite city, says he owes his life to Salvadorans who repelled a well-executed insurgent attack on his three-car convoy in March. He has nominated six of them for the U.S. Army's Bronze Star medal.

Coalition Authority head Phil Kosnett says that the El Sals "punch way above their weight. They're probably the bravest and most professional troops I've every worked with." 


Spanish soldiers were nearby, but these descendants of Cortez and Pizarro did nothing, demonstrating yet again their courage under fire. An El Sal officer said that "the Spaniards could have helped us sooner." No! Really? Anyway, the Iberian champions have since left Iraq and are currently hiding somewhere behind the Pyrenees. (Perhaps they will once again march bravely around Madrid with candles in hand.) Meanwhile, the Spanish girly-boys have been replaced with real soldiers from the US, all of whom are candle-free. The El Sals, " many of whom were trained at military schools in the United States, say they're pleased to be working with the Americans." No kidding!


Cpl. Samuel Tolaza with his knife.  No candle for him!



Spain Surrenders Again...


Once these Spaniards start surrendering, there is no stopping them! Saint James---Santiago---is a Spanish hero. Seldom was there a conquistador who did not rush into battle with the cry, "Santiago and at them!" on his lips. But old Santiago has fallen on hard times: Cathedral authorities in the pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela recently ordered the removal of a statue of the saint. Why? Well, it seems one of the nicknames of the guy is 'Moor Slayer.' Truth be told, James was well-known as a killer of Moslems. The statue in question has the good saint slicing the heads of all sorts of them. (Boy, I would like to see Santiago doing likewise in Fallujah!) It seems said authorities want to avoid giving offence to any followers of Allah living in the area. Good idea! Why, if any Moslem got offended he might just blow up a train or something!


Santiago looking a bit shocked.



...And Yet Again!


Boy, the cowardice keeps on coming! City fathers of Cordoba petitioned the Vatican to open up a cathedral there for Moslem worship. You see, the church was once a mosque during the long Islamic occupation of Spain (711 - 1492). Like the removal of the statue of Santiago, opening up the church was meant to cool any Moslem ardor for...whatever. Apparently Islam is a rather dainty religion that is easily offended. Any slight real or imagined might be enough to send any passing Moslem into a murderous frenzy!


But the Vatican (at last!) showed some backbone. Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue said that the Catholic Church would not be  "pushed, manipulated and [forced to] go against the very rules of our faith." The archbishop went on the criticize  the Spanish for asking for such a thing in the first place. "If it is a Catholic chapel with the blessed sacrament inside, it should not be used to for prayer services of another religious tradition," he said.


The Catholic Church has two words for those Spaniards who would turn her Church into a hangout for infidels. Yep, those two words.





The Messy Arab Street


Today's headlines in Yahoo are a sign  of the times: "Arab Street Not Satisfied with Bush Apology." You see, there is this idea popular in Western media and academic circles that the West in general and the US in particular should everywhere and always worry about what the Arab world thinks. Nowhere is a reason given why this should be so. The truth of the matter is that it doesn't matter what the Arab world thinks. Not about the Abu Ghraib prison photos, not about the war, not about anything. 


The 'Arab Street' that so exercises the minds of Western intellectuals is a mess both literally and figuratively, a moral, economic, cultural, political and intellectual catastrophe. It has been thus for hundreds of years and no amount of wishful thinking can make it otherwise. All told there are 350 million Arabs, give or take a few Bedouin. And what is most notable about this Arab world? The entire thing is awash in illiteracy, violence, misogyny and ignorance. All media is government controlled and shot through and through with mind-numbing Jew hatred. What passes for schools there teach little more than obscurantist theology laced with wild conspiracy theories. 


No Arab government has ever blamed itself for the disasters that infect the Arab world at every point. All is the fault of others: the West, 'imperialism', 'colonialism,' and of course Israel, always Israel. The Jewish state is seen as the source of nearly every tragedy and terror. Some gems:


Egyptian newspapers claimed that chewing gum Israel was selling in Egypt was laced with sexual hormones that aroused insatiable lust in young Arab women. Palestinian officials later followed with charges that Israeli chewing gum was a Zionist plot for turning Palestinian women into prostitutes, and  "completely destroying the genetic system of young boys" to boot.

So Arabs believe that a handful of Jews can destroy them through...chewing gum? But there is more:

On March 22, 2004 Sheikh 'Atiyyah Saqr, former head of the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committeewho in the past issued a Fatwa declaring Jews "apes and pigs," was asked the following question this week in an online chat room: "What, according to the Qur'an, are the Jews' main characteristics and qualities?" The following is his answer: fabricating; listening to lies; disputing and quarreling; hiding the truth and supporting deception; rebelling against the Prophets and rejecting their guidance; hypocrisy; wishing evil on people; feeling pain at others' happiness and feeling happiness at others' afflictions; rudeness and vulgarity; murder of innocents; mercilessness and heartlessness; breaking promises; cowardice; and miserliness.

The Arabs are remarkable for their propensity to believe in the wildest flights of fancy:

Some of last year's most far-fetched conspiracy theories in the Arab world include: U.S. soldiers cannibalized Iraqi civilians; the U.S. was responsible for the car bomb that killed Iraqi Shia leader Muhammad Bakir Al-Hakim; the Jews were behind the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia; the U.S. was behind the SARS virus; and the Iraq war was launched to coincide with the Jewish holiday Purim.

And after the Bush apology to the Arab world came this jewel from the official Egyptian media:

Underscoring the intense emotions in the Arab world, Egypt’s al-Wafd had a picture of a dead Iraqi child with the caption: “The new Mongols massacre the children of Iraq before the eyes of the world.”

I could go on but you get the point. People who hold such views are to be pitied, not consulted.

And about those prison photos: What is in them that one cannot see at any run-of-the-mill Hugh Hefner dinner party? Those members of congress who feigned such outrage at what happened at Abu Ghraib are the same ones who support such activity as a constitutional right when done by Americans to Americans: on internet porn sites, on 'adult' videos, on cable TV and in homosexual communities and frat houses across the nation. And why should we be exercised that some killers of Americans were humiliated? Why not humiliate the lot of them, the delicate feelings of these monsters be damned? These are the same creatures who raped, mutilated, tortured and murdered their own Iraqi brethren. The Iraqis who suffered and died under Saddam understand this well. When asked about the photos, Iraqis now living in Seattle said

their treatment paled when compared with the horrors inflicted under Saddam Hussein's regime. "They raped our women. They killed our kids. So there's hatred between us, the people here, and the people in Iraq," he said, referring to the Shiite Muslims who emigrated and the Sunni Muslims who ruled Iraq under Saddam. "Anything coming to them would make me happy...You can't imagine...they killed us like rats."

So to view photos of prisoners in humiliating positions -- one month after seeing another chilling image, the charred and mutilated corpses of Americans hanging from a bridge over the Euphrates River -- was "worth it, because they did the same to us," al-Turfy said, a comment echoed by several other Iraqis.

Mosafer Al-Yaseri, a Lynnwood resident, said that the abuse by some soldiers should not taint the overall efforts of the U.S. Army. "(The Iraqis) feel soldiers come from good families. Over there, there are 135,000 soldiers. Out of that, 10 people are bad," he said. His cousin, Salam Al-Yaseri, said that the images were "not good for the American government or the American people. ... As you know, we are Muslims. This is a very bad thing in our religion. The people that did this did not (represent) the American people."

So let us keep some perspective here even as we prosecute those US soldiers responsible for sullying the reputation of American arms.

And if the Arab street is mad, then what of it? Was it any less so on 9/11? Recall the Arab masses dancing in the street at the news of the slaughter of 3000 Americans. Recall the myriad terror incidents over the past 30 years when Arabs murdered Americans. And how did the US respond to these outrages? Why, she saved Arabs from other Arabs. The truth of the matter is that the greatest savior of Moslems in general and Arabs in particular has been the US---in Kuwait, in Iraq, in Somalia, in Kosovo---and still the Arab world seethes with hatred. And what is an Arab to think knowing that the freest, best educated, healthiest and wealthiest Arabs are those who live in Israel and the US? Arab anger---like the Arab street itself---is so illogical, so irrational, so bizarre and so inchoate that only a fool would base any policy on it. So the question "Why do they hate us?" has but one answer: "Why should we care?"

Never forget that seldom has any Arab government condemned another Arab government for any reason whatsoever. Iraqis murder Kuwaitis, Algerians murder Algerians, Saddam mutilates and kills Arabs, Syria gasses Syrians, Sudan rapes, enslaves and kills Sudanese, Egyptians napalm Yemenis, al-Qaeda bombs Islamic holy cities, Palestinians murder their own---and not one peep of outrage from the 'Arab street'. Though the greatest humiliations of Arabs have always come at the hands of other Arabs, their hatred is reserved only for America and Israel.

No American asked the Japanese or Germans during WW II their views on how the US treated them. They would have been astounded had we done so, and would no doubt have laughed in our face---just as al-Qaeda is laughing today. The reality of things is that the war against terror will be prosecuted to complete victory regardless of the feelings of the Arab masses, most of whom suffer under astoundingly crude and grubby Orwellian dictatorships. What the US brought to Japan and Germany 60 years ago is what she is bringing today to the Arab world: freedom and democracy. And she is bringing them in the same way, upon the bayonets of American soldiers. The Americans are not consulting the Arab street about all of this. No Arab government ever takes its peoples' opinions into account. Neither should we.

German Poodles

Remember all the US pressure to get Germany to send troops to Iraq? Schroeder declined, insulted the US and caused a tremendous rift between his nation and America. Germany took the side of France, a nation  called "cheese eating surrender monkeys" by those eminent political philosophers, The Simpsons; a nation that has won no war since being governed by the Italian condottiere Napoleon; a nation whose defeat at the hands of the Mexicans---yes, the Mexicans!---was just celebrated by our south of the border pals (Cinco de Mayo). 

It appears after all that the German refusal was a good thing. At a recent riot in Kosovo 

German soldiers ran away and hid like frightened rabbits in their barracks. They only reappeared in armoured vehicles after the Albanian mob had wreaked its havoc and left a trail of destruction...Despite continuous appeals for help...nobody from the military appeared to back up the police," the report said. "[The German contingent] proved to be incapable of carrying out the duties to which it has been assigned."

A close call! Who needs a bunch of girly-boys when a Fallujah pops up? Heck, we already got the French and Spanish for that role!

Hmm...Ok Simpsons, how about "sausage eating surrender monkeys"?


What Price Shame?

Spanish troops who were brought home from Iraq by Prime Minister Zapatero are not pleased. Why should they be, when they were forced to abandon their brothers-in-arms on the field of battle? No soldier could tolerate this and still call himself a warrior. From a civilization that shares blood with Cortez, Pizarro and all those conquistadors who conquered half the world, the regret and shame of the Spanish soldiers is obvious.

Many of the soldiers said they were having a hard time mustering much pride about their homecoming, and they were anything but triumphant in their return to a country where the vast majority opposed the Iraq war. "It didn't really feel like that much of a homecoming for us. It felt more like a political celebration for Zapatero and those who never wanted us there in the first place," said Manuel Garcia, 31, a sergeant in a brigade that was among the entire Spanish contingent of 1,300 troops ordered home. "We felt like a used car being passed from one owner to the next," said Felipe Collado, 30.

You mean your leaders do not support your military? Well, we have the same problem in America. We call these types 'Democrats.'

While all of the soldiers interviewed said they were relieved to be home and out of the harrowing dangers of serving in Iraq, most of them -- even some originally opposed to the war -- also expressed regret over Zapatero's decision. They said they were forced to abandon what they felt was a useful humanitarian mission. During their time on the ground, they said, they saw a profound need for international troops to stabilize the chaos and violence of postwar Iraq.  

We should have stayed and finished our mission," said Jose Francisco Casteneda, 29, who was among four sergeants who gathered at a local restaurant Thursday -- sharing newly developed snapshots of their time in Iraq. Each image rekindled all of the intensity and emotion of what they saw during their mission...he came away from his experience with a sense that the Spanish troops had something important to contribute, and he felt their mission was cut short in a way that smells of retreat and feels less than noble. "America's reason for going to war was cynical," he said. "But when you are there on the ground, you see the poverty and people living in mud houses next to Saddam's palaces, [and] the work we were doing seems justified. It had valor."

Valor is purchased with blood. Your prime minister thinks it comes with votes.

The TV footage of the ceremony shows Zapatero flashing a broad smile that political cartoonists love to lampoon. The soldiers said they couldn't hide their disappointment that the prime minister did not directly address them and left it to Defense Minister Jose Bono.

You mean the brave Zapatero could not even face you like a man?

"A lot of us were wondering, 'Who is this parade for anyway?' " Collado asked.

The parade is for Zapatero. He wants to pretend that he 'supports the troops.' His is a common and vile type.  In my country he would be named Clinton.

Have fun hiding in your barracks. You will be safe there. And who knows? Maybe your courageous prime minister will give you  another parade.

MAY 10

Damn! Spain Again?

The moral dissolution of Spain proceeds, and the headlines say it all:

Spain Refused Request to Hunt Iraq Leader

American commanders in Iraq had asked the Spanish to help them hunt down a known terrorist leader. The Spanish said no. Are there surprises here?

So let me get this straight. Islamic terrorists murder 200 Spaniards in Madrid. Millions of Spaniards then grab candles and wander around Madrid at night. They then elect a prime minister who vowed to bring the troops home from Iraq---which was what the bombers wanted. Most of the troops have come home, the rest will do so in a few days. In the meantime Spanish troops refused requests to come to the aid of El Salvadorean soldiers in deadly peril. Now they have refused to aid in the capture of a killer who very well might have hand a hand in the Madrid slaughter. Question: Why does Spain have an army in the first place? It neither defends her allies nor does it exact justice upon the murderers of their countrymen. The Spanish army itself reflects the decline of Spanish political will: removing statues that might offend Moslems, petitioning for Moslems to worship in Catholic Churches, and on and on. 

The decline of Spain mirrors that of France. In 1939 France had the strongest army in Europe. Even Hitler thought so. But the moral rot in French political and moral culture had been going on for some time. She no longer possessed the will to defend herself. When the Germans launched their invasion the French army collapsed in five weeks. France then began her infamous collaboration with the Nazis in the form of the Nazi puppet state of Vichy. The French aped their conquerors and sent 60,000 French Jews to the ovens. They aided the Germans at all points and on all levels. All but a handful of Frenchmen collaborated with the Nazis. 

Spain is on the same track. Once a nation begins a moral decline it is extremely difficult to reverse it. The elements that could do so are simply not present---or at least not obvious---in Spanish society. The Spaniards would rather put their faith in candles and appeasement than fight to defend their nation.

Some of the dead in Madrid


Spain surrenders to terror.

Fighting terror with candles.

Nothing so strikes fear in the heart of a terrorist as candles in the wind.

MAY 12


This cat was shot recently outside Seattle. Now do you understand why I will carry a nice firearm that works really well when I venture out into the American wilds? Nice kitty!

I was just hanging around Portland, so I thought I would buy a Jeep. Here it is. I got to find a (female) name for the beauty. In a few days I am driving the thing to Tulsa, there to job hunt, hang out with family and get ready to drive Tulsa - Detroit - Portland. There is much backpacking to do yet in Oregon, and I am not getting any younger. Stay tuned...

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