Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Political Philosophy - Part I - The Basis

1. I am best described as Classical Liberal in that I champion democracy, human rights, private ownership of property, free enterprise, meritocracy, high levels of education, the rule of law and a complete openess to discussion and debate within society.

2. I believe that Western Civilization, while not a pinnacle of all that there is (nothing is - political idealism as a potential reality is a myth), represents an advanced state of the human condition. I will make no apologies for this position as to do so often generally invokes the odious philosophy of cultural relativism.

3. I appreciate religion as a system of ethics and a source of individual strength and hope but believe that it should be divorced from the functioning of the state.

4. While Western Civilization represents an advanced state in the history of our species it is still incumbent on the civilization’s institutions to learn from the other great cultures viz. Sino-Japanese, Latin American, Slavic, Hindu etc.

5. The march toward human betterment in Western Civilization has been challenged throughout its history by various force-dynamics . Some of these movements have been products of the outside world others were creations from within. The following is a list of such force-dynamics. All are problematic, some have been overcome, but others remain as an epidemic that future generations will have to deal with:

· Feudalism – Ended by the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration, early urbanization and the birth of the modern economy;
· The Domination of the Totalitarian Church – Eventually Eclipsed by the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the Rise of Reason and Science;
· Powers of the Aristocracy – Ended by both the violent and non-violent bourgeoisie revolution, liberalism and nationalism;
· Fascism – Defeated by the Western Democracies in World War II;
· Communism – Defeated by the Economic Machine of the United States;
· Islamism – A struggle that still continues;
· Rampant Statism - The Nanny State that threatens individual freedom,
· Greed Capitalism – A dangerous but age old phenomenon that still survives.

Western History is complicated in its analysis – a reason why I reject the silver bullet 'means- of-production-model' that is defined by the failed school of Marxist- Leninism (and all its cousins Trotskyism, Stalinim, Maoism, Fabianism). The fact that this model continues to survive in earnest in academia, where it nestles alongside Post-Modernism (Radical Feminism, Primitivism, Intellectual Anarchism etc) is a tragedy that serves as a blight on modern academia.

6. Several factors I believed that have contributed to the domination of western civilization are:

A Strong Emphasis on Science and Reason

Ethic Foundations of Judeo-Christian Philosophy

Free debate

A necessary and carefully maintained balance between the right of the individual and that of the community

A methodology of self-correction

A disdain for corruption

Limited tolerance toward crime

Informed legalities

An emphasis on Personal Responsibility

A willingness to defend oneself and the gains of all

7. While many of these attributes are not unique to Western Civilization. All have been necessary ingredients to ensure the meaningful progress away from the age of superstition, unreason and savagery.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Military Stats II

This thread is useful as my opponent here discusses at a level significantly higher than that seen during the Ayaan Ali Hirsi round - where I totally trounced the guy.

My original replies in Red.
His Reply in Blue.
My Secondary Reply in Green.
Debate is still ongoing...who knows we may even reach some time of meaningful consensus.

New REPLIES IN Green to distinguish from my original RED

The repetition of the errors of Vietnam where the press is permitted to exploit the war from the front lines to manipulate public opinion. War is never pleasant, adding sensationalized journalism to the mix is a dangerous recipe; [So it's journalists fault the war is based on a lie, ill-conceived and pointedly futile. I did not know that.] No its journalists fault for over reporting the negative and downplaying the positive.

I believe a far greater majority are listening and learning. The North Vietnamese chose a different course on their own , just as the Iraqis, Saudis, Palestinians, Venezuelans, Cubans, Afghanis --- and Americans and Canadians --- one day shall choose.

When is that one day? How many have to suffer before that one day is reached? I am not speaking about the US and Canada here by the way.

It is also reasonable to assume there will be many more wars before negativity towards "the" war becomes Rejection of War. Not really this didn’t happen in the fight against Fascism and Communism. The US public rejected Vietnam (which was actually a battle in a larger war) but still supported the Just War against the harbringers of Marxist dystopia.

Front-line journalism may even help turn people's stomachs.
I very much hope that it doesn’t in the grand scheme of things. Like Steyn I believe that the US is the only major power willing to stand up and defend Liberal Democracy. Europe has embarked on a journey into the sun and is in decline but unfortunately like the Romans in the 5th century AD will insist that they are on the up and up while Barbarism knocks on the door. Like frogs in increasingly warmer water they have been habituated to ignore their own demise.

Aayan Ali Hirsi II - The Saga continues

My orginal Replies in Red
His replies in Blues
My secondary replies in Green
He threw in the towel after this.

Does this make her story of brutality and forced circumcision any less valid? You are avoiding the key issue here which is the Treatment of Women in various segments of Muslim society. And what makes you think her story is true? The report clearly states she lied about her forced marriage and she admitted herself she lied about a lot of things she put in her application.

I believe though in the case of the circumcision that she has the scars to prove it. The Theo Van Gogh story has also been collaborated by several sources.

Aso tyhe report does not detract from the extreme sexism that she faced. And there is no sexism in the West lol

You are avoiding the question by using blatant sophistry again.

If you are referring to the recent 5-4 decision by the Court rejecting race as a guide for school admission then the court decision was correct.” So, you basically you don’t believe in integration? You don’t believe in diversity?

You must know that the issue is more complicated then this. Roberts opposes, like I do, a system of quotas based on race. This is a very valid stance. There are better ways to integrate than to rely on a system of forced discrimination….. And yes I do support diversity…Thank You Very Much… especially a diversity of criticism that has become so scare in this milieu of mindless US bashing.The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.’ You actually believe this simplistic, narrow view? Yeah, ok Chief Roberts. I suppose the only way to stop teen pregnancy is for teens to stop having sex?

Your response here is as illogical as it is condescending and is not worth the effort incurred in addressing it.

Yes but it didn’t succeed. Thankfully it failed in the Senate. A triumph for the system.. “ You are right the proposed constitutional amendment did fail. However, for him to even suggest such a thing was shocking. Nevertheless, the Republicans exploited the gay issue and put it on the ballot in the 2006 elections, with many states in the South rejecting gay marriage…. Funny, how Hirsi Ali is all for gay rights, but has no qualms about working for these people.

In a democracy many ideas are entertained – some good some bad – this happened to be a bad one.

I notice that you still haven’t mentioned the status of gay rights in Somalia

He expressed support for the UN in its criticism of American action in Iraq

My response:

The same esteemed organization that has been rendered ineffective in coordinating action to prevent the genocide in Darfur (Muslim on Muslim violence for the most part) because whenever the issue is raised it is stifled by such paragons of human rights as Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and Sudan. The UN cannot carry out missions without the financial support of donor countries. Many Westerners have been wary of any foreign involvement after seeing the disastrous US occupation liberation of Iraq.

Another simplistic generalization. The UN has largely been ineffective as a security force since the 1960’s –several factors account for this. Most prominent are: bloc voting, the presence of a disproportionate number of totalitarian states in its family of nations, internal bureaucracy and world indifference. Nevertheless I must applaud some of the Efforts of WHO.
What the world needs is an International Organization of Democracies with strong criteria for admittance

This is the same attitude that led to the genocide in Rwanda… No nation wanted to be involved in that country after the Blackhawk incident and the US left Somalia.

Its again more complicated than that. Read Romeo Dallaire’s Shake Hands with the Devil. My personal belief though is that the World US failed Rwanda.

Moreover; the US has been very quiet about taking issue with Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women and minorities.

Finally you have a good point. I have raised this issue several times myself and this is one of my main criticisms of the Bushites as well.

I suppose you get off the hook if you are a US ally in the war on terror. Saudi Arabia is not an ally. I have said this all along. It is the source of the Wahhabi fanaticism. Many Conservatives (Mark Steyn, John Ray) and some liberals (Al Franken and Mike Moore) have taken Bush to task in this issue.

In any case, do you actually approve of the torture methods used by US officials in Guantanamo Bay? What do you define as a torture method? I’m sorry, that is not what they call it now is it? Ok, let me rephrase: Gavin, do you approve of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by US officials in Guantanamo Bay?

Depending on the techniques used – Yes in some cases – especially if provides critical information that can save lives. I am sorry if this upsets you but the civil liberties of terrorists is a secondary concern. I am more worried about the lives of their intended victims.

“I notice how you conveniently forgot mentioning your own use of the stereotype FOB? (he used this derogatory term to refer to Ali Hirsi's attitude). Are you being a hypocrite?

As I said, I called her by that term bc her attitude was like someone who just arrived in the US and was all mesmerized by the bright lights. I explain this to you in my first post, but I suppose you like to ignore things you don’t like to hear.

You haven’t explained it. Your remark is as insulting to newcomers now as it was when you said it originally. As a teacher this is especially disturbing.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Military Stats

The following is a reply to fellow teacher that I have been debating for some time. He presents some statistics from his favourite blogger Glen Greenwald on the percentage of the eligible population enrolled in the military. The teacher's thesis is that the low percent for the current War on Islamic Militancy reflects the fact that most Americans do not believe the war to be just or indeed apropriate. I of course beg to differ and see many factors that account for this apparent phenomenon. My replies are in Red. His initial words in Blue.

...And according to the CIA, there are roughly 108 million Americans "fit for military service" -- 54 million males and 54 million females who, as the CIA defines it, are able-bodied and between the ages of 18-49.

But the
total number (.pdf) on active duty in American's armed services in 2007 only totaled roughly 1.4 million. Thus, a meager 1% of the total number of Americans fit for military service -- and less than 1/3 of 1% of the total number of Americans -- actually serve in the armed forces.

roughly 60% (.pdf) of those in the armed forces are in the 18-29 age group, which means that 800,000 out of the 41 million Americans in this 9/11 Generation -- i.e., 2% -- have "answered the call" by volunteering to fight in the Epic War of Civilization against the Existential Islamofascism Threat. Thus, 98% of the "9/11 Generation" in America refuses to serve. It is a redundancy to say so, but nonetheless, the Weekly Standard cover story is a fraud.

The stats that you posted are informative. Indeed they are great food for thought. On reflection (forgive the use of this overly used Ed School term) though I believe that there are number of factors to consider

1. 1.4 million soldiers is still a very large number. Lets not forget that warfare has changed as of late (Era of Third Wave and Fourth Wave combat). There is less of a reliance on brute force numbers and more on technology and sophisticated weaponry (this has its cons in that it too often elevates the usage of mechanized warfare over the need for a common sense approach). In short there is a reduced demand for mass mobilization. China and Russia in the last years of the Cold War both realized that the era of the large standing army was over and began this downsizing of their respective armies as well.

2. The War against Islamist Militancy (WIM my own acronym) is still in its infancy. It takes a while for a population to appreciate the intensity of the war especially in the case where the lines of fire are not clear cut (as they were in earlier conflicts) and the complexity of the struggle is more enhanced. I believe that a vast proportion of the population is in denial of the challnge ahead as are the many who were a tuned to believe (and has been imprinted into the collective consciousness) that there would be no significant conflicts after the Cold War – See Fukuyama’s End of History. Furthermore it is important to note as well that Americans were slow in coming to terms with the threats to their democracy posed by both fascism and communism in previous epochs.

3. There has been a great deal of information downplaying WIM in both the MSM (Main Stream Media), Fringe media and the INTERNET. Lets not forget that this is the first Major Conflict of the cyber era that has direct implications for the West. While I am a big fan of the internet it is apparent that it can be used as a very effective propaganda machine to discourage the war effort.

4. Since the Vietnam War there has been a growing trend amongst educators to deride military solutions to problems. This is a consequence I believe of the 60s generation’s influence in academia and in particular - education schools. I have seen this bias first hand and it seems likely that it has filtered down to the next generation. Some would describe this as the feminization of the masculine mindset but I hesitate to go this far.

5. Americans have become cynical of their foundation institutions. Hollywood has played somewhat of a role, as has Madison Avenue but the causes runs deeper than this (another future topic for discussion).

6. The Y generation appears to be much more ‘me’ focused than their earlier counterparts – Fighting for one’s country involves an extension of the sense of self which I believe is lacking - not only on this issue but on several others. I sense that the twin cults of materialism and victim hood may have something to do with this.

7. The American economy and society has changed and is more complex now than it has ever been. This complexity shuns the ‘entrapment’ of a large section of the population in a military capacity. The US in a sense is a victim of its own progress.

8. The numbers in the statistics above ignore the fact that there is still a large segment of the population who are combatants in the WIM through their involvement in industries directed to war production. In a sense the ‘techies’ are the new troops.

9. The WIM has been poorly managed by the Bush Administration not only in word (it has not been well articulated – I blame pc self censoring for this) but also in action. Foremost amongst these errors were:

- The Invasion of Iraq which was a strategic deviation from the true intention of the war – Iraq drew away important resources from the more critical fight in Afghanistan;
- The setting up of a Homeland Security Department (a glorified show piece) that seems to lack a broad vision of how it intends to protect Americans;
- The apparent trust that the Administration still has in the Saudis, a global exporter of the Wahhabist vision. The Bushites are exposed as hypocrites in this regard, a view that has filtered through to the populace;
- The kid glove approach to military action that has failed to confront the enemy with the same vigor that they confront the West – it could be argued that the caution taken in being ‘mr-nice-guy’ may contribute to higher troop casualties;
- The repetition of the errors of Vietnam where the press is permitted to exploit the war from the front lines to manipulate public opinion. War is never pleasant, adding sensationalized journalism to the mix is a dangerous recipe;
It is reasonable that several of these factors may encourage a further negativity toward the war

Thats All for Now


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On Ayaan Ali Hirsi

This is an extract from a debate I am currently involved in regarding Ayaan Ali Hirsi and her interview with Avi Lewis on CBC.
My words are in red. His words are in Blue.

She joined the center right mainstream Dutch VVDparty after breaking with the Labour party . While VVD is a champion of Free Enterprise it also supports the secular nature of the country’s political system and its welfare state structure. VVD has members from a variety of ethnic groups. It is not racist."
The VVD has used immigrant as scapegoat many times; even so far as wanting to deport some immigrants because they are known "bring in diseases".
Can you be more specific? This is rather vague…. and I suspect not even close to the full story.

She lied on her application to the Netherlands?

To avoid a fixed marriage organized by her clan. The same clan that carried through her circumcision when she was a child.

Many Somali women and women from other ethnic groups go through arrange marriages. For many people it is a tradition. In Somali, such traditions are not enforced if the woman is not a willing participant.

This was not the case with Hirsi Ali. Read http://www.racematters.org/ayaanhirsiali.htm and http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1485350,00.html

Moreover, after the Dutch investigated further her refugee claim, it was “ Reported that Hirsi Ali had given false information about her real name, her age and the country she arrived from when originally applying for asylum. The program also presented evidence that she was untruthful about the main reason for her asylum application being forced marriage. Hirsi Ali admitted that she had lied about her full name, her date of birth and the manner in which she had come to the Netherlands.”

Does this make her story of brutality and forced circumcision any less valid? You are avoiding the key issue here which is the Treatment of Women in various segments of Muslim society.

She believes ALL Muslims should be treated as terrorists when being interviewed for any government jobs

I don’t agree with her on this point but her reaction may have come from the numerous death threats that she continually receives. I suggest you read her book titled: 'Infidel'.

So just because she gets letters from a few radicals she is justified in stereotyping all Muslims?

Read my point above and think about it again. I believe she is wrong on this particular issue. This again however does not detract from the sexism that she faced. As for your radicals argument I believe it was her good friend Theo van Gogh - who was brutally killed by one of these ‘letter writing radicals’ that you so euphemistically dismiss. A note attached to the body of Van Gogh threatened Ayaan Ali Hirsi as well. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Gogh_(film_director)

Her clichés are naïve and her attitude seems to be that of a person who has no sense of American history and current politics. Based on your opinion. I sense the same elitism with your response as with that of Avi Lewis…This further strengthens my decision to bring Lewis’ odious arrogance on You Tube to light.

Obviously, she believes America can do no harm. She never once said that…More speculation on your behalf

She constantly touts how America is a secular society where gays, blacks and women have many rights they do compared to most of the countries worldwide and all Muslim countries are radical racist. This is the same America where the Supreme Court recent decision threatened the historic Brown v. Board of Education

You are being vague again. Lets have some specifics before resorting to hyperbole. If you are referring to the recent 5-4 decision by the Court rejecting race as a guide for school admission then the court decision was correct. As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race. This is very much in keeping with Brown v Board. . … Where Bush endorsed a constitutional amendment on gay marriage…Yes but it didn’t succeed. Thankfully it failed in the Senate. A triumph for the system.. By the way what is the status of gay rights in Somalia? U.N. expert faulted US officials of approving and using torture or inhumane treatment that is illegal under international lawYes the UN – the same body that elected Libya as Chair of its Human Rights Commission……See http://hrw.org/press/2002/08/libya080902.htm . The same esteemed organization that has been rendered ineffective in coordinating action to prevent the genocide in Darfur (Muslim on Muslim violence for the most part) because whenever the issue is raised it is stifled by such paragons of human rights as Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and Sudan.…. THE UN as an honest broker when it comes to the US? I think not.

(He then said ALL Somalis are opposed to her ideas)

“Are you the official spokes person? Why do you assume all Somalis are so uniform in their thinking?” I never said I was…. However, said person constantly stereotypes all Somalis and is not active within the community

She is still entitled to criticize what she sees as unjust. There are many in the Muslim world who agree with her. Read http://www.petitiononline.com/AyaanHir/

Question for the day: Why is it that non-Muslims such as myself (and many others) seem more concerned about violence by Muslims towards their fellow co-religionists than most Muslims are on the very same issues? I know I will be criticized for this question but I believe it to be legitimate. eg, Darfur, Shi'ite/Sunni violence - Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan etc.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

14 Political Figures who have disappointed me

1. Jimmy Carter - Has turned into an apologist for the Hate Israel chattering Class
2. Al Gore - Has gone astray with the Green Global Warming hysteria - although I still hope that he runs for the Dems and beats out Hilary for the Presidential Nomination
3. Dubya - Not tough enough on illegal immigration and affirmative action. Handling of Iraq situation has been poor.
4. Colin Powell - Way too soft on terror. Calls to close Gitmo were irresponsible.
5. Michael Ignatieff - Took a strong line against terror when he was an acdemic but backpeddled on this when running for Liberal Leadership in Canada.
6. Ehud Olmert - Once took a hardline against Palestinian violence but after releasing 250 terrorists and before then mismanaging the fight against Hezbollah Olmert has declined remarkably in my books.
7. John McCain - Like Bush is way too easy on illegal immigration.
8. Mitt Romney - Changes positions like the wind.
9. Gordon Brown - Chooses correctly to fight terror while refusing to address its Islamist Source.
10. Barack Obama - At one time he seemed like a fresh voice in Congress now looks like the front runner for the Dem's increasingly growing Radical Left.
11. Tony Blair - An unfair critic of Israel. Refused to take the same hardline approach opposing Palestinian terrorists that he did against their Al Quaeda collegaues.
12. Ron Paul - While I agree with some of his libertarian ideas his support of an American policy of isolationism is irresponsible.
13. John Edwards - At one time appeared rational but after his 'War on Terror bumper sticker comment' appears as though he has hurdled the moon.
14. David Cameron - Seems more Neville Chaimberlain than Winston Churchill in opposition. Lets hope that this changes after he comes to power.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

50 Overrated Phenomena/Entities

1. British Journalism
2. Harvard University
3. The English Football Team
4. The Presidency of JFK
5. The United Nations
6. The CIA
7. The Presidency of Bill Clinton amongst Democrats
8. The Presidency of Ronald Reagan amongst Republicans
9. The Watergate Scandal
10. Live Earth
11. Universities as a forum for knowledge acquisition
12. Dwight D. Eisenhower as a Politician
13. Jimmy Carter as a Man of Character
14. The Abu Gharib debacle as a 'symbol of US troops losing control in Iraq'
15. Al Queda - The Islamic Fundamentalist problem extends far beyond them
16. The Stephen Lewis/Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis clan
17. Richard Dawkins as a philosopher
18. IT Departments
19. Iphones
20. Paris Hilton/Britney Spears/Lindsey Lohan
21. David Beckham
22. Bono
23. The Order of Canada
24. Nobel Peace Prize
25. Class Action Law Suits for the Recipients
26. Leftist tolerance for free speech
27. Che Guevera
28. The Women's Tennis Tour
29. The Cuban Healthcare System
30. Education Degrees
31. SUVs
32. Buying a Cottage
33. Project Management groups
34. Saudi support for the US
35. Europe as a Superpower
36. Mustangs
37. American Sport
38. Self-Help Books
39. Consultants
40. France
41. Reality TV
42. Boy/Girl Bands
43. Golf
44. Italian Cuisine at most restaurants
45. Martinis
46. Sociology
47. Starbucks
48. Olives
49. Casinos
50. Living in the City

Monday, July 16, 2007

30 Disturbing Trends

The following trends are really worrisome for one who champions the strength of the West in the face of intoleration, mediocrity and downright stupidity.

1. Western Europe's Low Population growth rate - substantially less than 2.1 (replacement rate) - continuing.

2. The growing influence of the George Soros crowd in the Democratic Party.

3. Republicans such as Dubya abdicating their role as opponents of affirmative action.

4. Our growing reliance on technology over common sense.

5. Homeland Security in the US being muzzled by the PC lobby.

6. Very few politicians rising in opposition against Class Action law suits.

7. The sanitizing of school curriculum history for the sake of ethnic sensitivity (whatever that is).

8. The growing Unholy Political Alliance between the Paleo-Conservatives and the Radical Left.

9. The increasing use of the phrase neo-con as a substitute by the Anti-Israel lobby for Jew (new face of anti-semitism).

10. The strengthening of Europe's Islamic Bloc especially in England, France, Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium.

11. The Transformation of Europe into a continent of Appeasers in the face of the Islamist Threat.

12. The decline of classical studies at the universities at the expense of the ideologically driven cultural studies.

13. Secular contempt for Judeo-Christian values.

14. The lack of political initiative by the Republicans to distance themselves from the Human Rights Violating Regime in Saudi Arabia.

15. Moral Relativism gaining popularity.

16. Several leading Atheists (Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins) using the problems with the Islamists as a tool to bash all religions.

17. The hysteria around global warming trumping common sense.

18. The failure of Post-Christian Europe to appreciate its past successes and formulate a more binding philosophy than that of pure secularism.

19. The growing deference towards celebrities as conduits of knowledge and reason.

20. The politics of emotion truimphing over logic.

21. A general inability to appreciate the deleterious consequences of Post-Modernism as a replacement for the gains of the Enlightenment.

22. More Flash less substance.

23. Racial Politics being used to dismiss black on white violence.

24. Corporatations setting themselves up as opponents of tradition in order to cater to the new radicalism.

25. More blame theory and less personal responsibility.

26. The ACLU's further transformation into an organization that runs counter to the common good of the American people.

27. More Illegal Immigration into the US from Mexico - driven by Corporate enthusiasm for cheap labour.

28. Rising gas prices that appear to be elastic for demand.

29. The Decline of NATO as an effective force.

30. Anti-Americanism as a Global Past Time.

Exposing the BBC

The BBC has declined from a once well respected organization to its current position as the mouthpiece of the Left.

The following is an excerpt from BBCWatch.Com
Source: http://www.bbcwatch.co.uk/index.html

The recent Iraq War provided a unique opportunity to examine the BBC’s ability to report news in an accurate and impartial manner.
The coalition forces in Iraq were widely accused of invading Iraq in breach of international law. They faced opposition from the local defending forces who frequently fought from or hid within densely populated urban areas. As part of their defence the Iraqi army employed suicide bombers.

The Israeli army faces some similar problems. It too is widely criticised for alleged breaches of international law. It faces an enemy which fights from densely populated urban areas and employs suicide bombers.

The coalition forces, although claiming to be defending the security of their own countries, singularly failed to convince popular opinion that Iraq posed a real threat. By contrast popular opinion clearly accepts that the Israeli army is defending its civilian population from a very real threat which does constantly claim Israeli lives[1]. This difference between the two conflicts, if it affected an impartial news provider at all, would logically tend to result in Israel receiving a more sympathetic coverage than did the coalition forces. The opposite is in fact the case.

The BBC has a legal obligation to report news in an accurate and impartial way[2]. A comparison between the way in which coalition troops and Israeli troops are treated when dealing with such similar military problems provided a rare opportunity to compare like with like in a more direct way than our earlier studies have allowed.

What emerges from this study is the marked contrast between the way the BBC reports the two conflicts. Coalition troops are described in warm and glowing terms, with sympathy being evoked both for them as individuals and also for their military predicament. By contrast Israeli troops are painted as faceless ruthless and brutal killers with no or little understanding shown for their actions.

The BBC goes to considerable lengths to explain, excuse and mitigate any civilian deaths at the hands of coalition troops. Israeli troops receive totally different treatment; little sympathy is shown for their situation, and mitigating arguments are brushed aside or scorned if voiced at all. At times the reporting of events in Israel amounts to distortion and at times to what appears to be discrimination against Israel.

We are aware that, during the Iraq conflict, the BBC was heavily criticised in the UK for being too harsh in its treatment of coalition motives and tactics. This report does not seek to comment on that criticism. However the fact that the criticism was widely voiced only serves to emphasise the correctness of the argument at the centre of this report. Had the BBC responded to public pressure to report coalition actions more favourably than it did, then the contrast between its reporting of coalition and Israel’s forces would have been even more stark than it actually was.

We consider that this report shows conclusively that the BBC’s claim to provide impartial news coverage is unsustainable. Our two earlier reports[3] showed that the BBC’s coverage of the Middle East was infected by an apparent widespread antipathy towards Israel. However those reports were based almost exclusively upon a comparison of the media treatment of the Israelis and Palestinians. This current study, which compares treatment of Israelis with that of coalition forces, suggests that the partiality of the BBC’s reporting quite possibly infects its coverage of all politically sensitive issues.

The British public continues to pay for this partial and inaccurate news service through the licence fee. We wonder whether it is healthy for Britain’s democracy that such huge public funds should be provided to what is an essentially monopolistic and unaccountable body. The BBC cannot provide impartial news coverage. It has no legitimate call on public funds when they are used simply to promote the BBC’s own prejudices.

[1] Clearly there is lively debate about whether Israel’s tactics for dealing with the military threat are either wise or justifiable. No-one disagrees that the threat exists
[2] See The BBC and the Middle East An Analysis December 2002 – (“the Second Report”) – www.bbcwatch.com section 4 – Legal Duties of the BBC
[3] These can be found at www.bbcwatch.com and are referred to in this report as “The First Report” (March 2002) and “the Second Report” (December 2002

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wimbledon 2007

Well its official Roger Federer has won his fifth Wimbledon in a row, Rafa Nadel really stretched Federer and in my opinion deserved to win. However the Swiss tennis genius kept his cool in the last set to stave off four break points and clinch the match

Federer now has 11 Grand Slams to his credit - which ties him with Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver. He is still three slams behind Pete Sampras in the All-Time race but by next year this time could conceivably hold the record.

One expects more from Nadal - who definitely has the goods to win at Wimbledon - although he needs to serve more aces to persevere in the tie breaks) - Maybe Next Year?

The Women's tournament was another snooze fest as Venus Williams defeated Marion Bartoli to clinch her fourth title. Yes I know Williams was only ranked 31st but as most know the Wimbledon rankings are somewhat of a joke.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

In the News XXIX

American Arabs working for positive change in the Middle East

Chavez Joins Axis of Evil
Birds of feather....

Pete Domencini breaks with Bush on Iraq
Looks to me though that the New Mexico Senator is trying to saving his own political skin...

An attempted coup in Zimbabwe
The pressure continues to mount on the tyrant Mugabe....

Mass protest against FARC in Colombia
FARC has been waging a civil war for 44 years - The people have had enough.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Leftist Commonalities

In my dialogue with Leftists and my study of Leftist Philosophy and Political Writings I have noticed several phenomena that seem to define the mindset. Especially in North America

These are:

1. A need for a scapegoat or bogeyman – at one stage this was European Imperialism and Colonialism – now it is the US – a country that can do NO right.

2. A hatred of Judeo-Christian philosophy – Opposition to the Jews as the groundbreakers of the philosophy – in its contemporary form this has manifested itself in the hatred seen on the left toward Israel.

3. A tendency to de-emphasize history – History often negates leftist reasoning.

4.A love of conspiracy theory - A commonality shared with the Far-Right as well.

5. An overuse of Silver-bullet reasoning (fix healthcare = socialized medicine. Improve education = add more money, etc).

6.A belief that the government elites are inherently more able than the general population.

7. An opposition to tradition – hence the support for Post-Modernist Analysis in Academia.

8.Moral Relativism as a means but not an end. The End is of course (in True Hegelian Fashion) - the Philosophy of the Leftist Utopia.

9. The Culture of Victim hood – A tool for conversion to Leftist Thinking.

10.Identity Politics – Builds resentment toward the traditional system.

11. Collectivist as opposed to individual solutions.

12. A loss of an Objective Scale of Judgment – grievances in the West that are expressed by an ‘oppressed’ group are often equated to far worse Third World human rights violations. This is necessary to create a sense of animosity for the system.

13. A scale of oppression that sees everyone as Victims except the White Males (ultimate source to whivh venom is directed).

14. An overuse of specific cliché phrases.. These include the terms: Sexism, Racism, Oppression, Occupation, Colonialism, Post-Colonialism, Eurocentric etc.

15. A hatred of systems of merit coupled by a love of social engineering that de-emphasizes merit.

16. A tendency to view all other political systems in an exaggerated dystopic light - while at the same time emphasizing the Utopia of the Leftist Philosophy. Leftists ultimately oppose middle-ground solutions.

17. A hatred of the military unless the military is serving a Leftist agenda – such as the Red Army, various Arab Nationalist State Armies, Terrorist groups etc.

18. An opposition to Guns in society but not too much of an opposition as Guns may be necessary for the Revolution (the ultimate passion that beats in the bosom of most leftists).

19.An acceptance of Drug Culture as it opposes the Traditional System.

20.A System of monetary entitlement – sponsored by taxation.

21. An apparent support for Human Rights unless of course it clashes with the Left-Wing Agenda – Hence the near silence on the Russian Purges, Khymer Rouge, Cultural Revolution, Castro’s Cuba.

22. The use of mythology that creates larger than life versions of such thugs as Che Guevera, Yasser Arafat, Hugo Chavez, Chris Hani, Trotsky etc.

23. A belief that Academics/teachers should use their positions in the classroom to promote a leftist social agenda.

24. A support for a system of morality that judges the designated ‘oppressed’ far less harshly than anyone else. Leftists see this as fair. Everyone else sees this as a multi-tired morality system.

25. A support for discriminatory policies such as Affirmative Action – as they represent an apparent step towards the Utopia.