Fat Steve's Blatherings

Friday, November 12, 2004

Nope, No Media Bias Here, Uh-Uh

      I am ashamed of myself.  For months, I've been thinking that the so-called "Main Stream Media" are biased and inaccurate.  But now, I realize my mistake.  They're right, and we bloggers are wrong.

      Decisive evidence comes with this New York Times article about the battle going on in Fallujah (hat tip: the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, my local thoughtful, unbiased, paper, which ran the article in today's dead tree edition, using the title Black flag is deadly omen in city's labyrinthine streets).  It's so important, so vital, so clearly unbiased, that I'm going to stretch fair use provisions and print the whole thing here, just as the Times ran it.

Black Flags Are Deadly Signals as Cornered Rebels Fight Back

Published: November 12, 2004

FALLUJA, Iraq, Nov. 11 - The stars began to glimmer through a wan yellow-gray sunset over Falluja on Thursday evening. The floury dust in the air and a skyline of broken minarets and smashed buildings combined for the only genuine postcard image this country has to offer for now

Sitting on a third-story roof,            Ashley Gilbertson photo
Staff Sgt. Eric Brown, his lip              for times
bleeding, peered through the            Marines fought on
scope of his rifle into the haze.         Thursday in an
Moments before, a lone bullet         industrial zone in
had whizzed past his face and           southern Falluja.
smashed a window behind him.
"God, I hate this place, the way the sun sets," Sergeant Brown said.

Sgt. Sam Williams said, "I wish I could see down the street."

But these marines did see a black flag pop up all at once above a water tower about 100 yards away, then a second flag somewhere in the gloaming above a
rooftop. And the shots began, in a wave this time, as men bobbed and weaved through alleyways and sprinted across the street. "He's in the road, he's in the road, shoot him!" Sergeant Brown shouted. "Black shirt!" someone else yelled. "Due south!"

The flags are the insurgents' answer to two-way radios, their way of massing the troops and - in a tactic that goes back at least as far as Napoleon - concentrating fire on an enemy. Set against radio waves, the flags have one distinct advantage: they are terrifying.

The insurgents are coordinating their attacks at a time when they have nowhere left to run. American forces have pushed south of Highway 10, the boulevard that runs east to west and approximately bisects Falluja. American intelligence officers believe that many of the insurgents have retreated as far as the Shuhada, a relatively modern residential area that is the southernmost neighborhood in Falluja.

But beyond Shuhada is only the open desert, patrolled by the United States Army. So the insurgents are turning and fighting. And at night, they are setting up deadly ambushes in the moonless pitch blackness of Falluja's labyrinthine streets.

Going straight up the gut in      Ashley Gilbertson photo
the center of the American       for times
advance on Thursday was         Marines look for insurgent
Bravo Company, First                  black flags in falluja.
Battalion, Eighth Regiment of the First Marine Expeditionary Force. Those marines, including Sergeants Brown and Williams, started their day by getting mortared in a building they had captured at Highway 10 and Thurthar Street.

The building's windows were blown out. Parts of the ceiling had collapsed. The mortars drew closer and closer and then stopped, as if the insurgents were temporarily short of ammo. "I thought, 'This is it,' " said Senior Corpsman Kevin Markley.

At about 2 p.m., the company walked 100 yards east along the highway, then turned south into the Sinai neighborhood, with its car garages and fix-it shops as well as concealed weapons caches and bomb-making factories.

Immediately, shooting broke out, pinning down the marines for an hour.  Finally they
moved south to a mosque with   Ashley Gilbertson photo
the stub of a blasted minaret.      for times
An armored vehicle drove up     The battle in Falluja, now
from the rear and dropped its     in its fifth day, is seen by
hatch. Out walked a group of        military planners as a
blinking, disoriented Iraqi             way to smash the largest
national guardsmen. They had    safe haven for the
been brought in only to search    insurgency in Iraq.

Meantime, the marines went to the rooftop, saw the flags and got into a firefight. It was silenced when they  
called in a 500-pound bomb from above onto a house where some of the insurgents had concentrated. The strike was so close that the marines had to leave the roof or risk being killed by shrapnel.

The Iraqi guardsmen left the mosque and trooped back into the vehicle, which drove off. Soon the marines were headed south again, through a narrow alley between deserted houses.

"Enemy personnel approaching your position in white vehicle with RPG's," someone said over a radio, referring to rocket-propelled grenades. A few seconds later, the same voice said: "More enemy personnel approaching your position from the south."

The alley exploded with gunfire and RPG rounds. Somehow the company commander, Capt. Read Omohundro, got two tanks Ashley Gilbertson photo
in place to fire down the alley.       for times
They let loose with a volley            In Falluja, marines took
and a building crumbled.               control of a mosque
                                                            where fighting had been
Captain Omohundro turned to a lieutenant and said, "Are they dead?" "They must be, sir," came the reply.

But the insurgents had gotten off an RPG round and disabled one tank; the other tank mysteriously stopped working as well.

The company had moved 500 yards south. They regrouped in the pitch blackness and pushed on at about 11:30 p.m. without the tanks, trying to keep up with the rest of the front, but after moving 25 feet they were attacked again in what appeared to be a well-organized ambush.

Two more tanks came in, but one had a problem with its global-positioning system unit. There was an hour's delay. The 50 or so men of the First Platoon, which had taken casualties, started bickering. Then they moved forward, behind the tanks.

At 1:30 a.m., now roughly 700 yards south of Highway 10, they stopped and entered a house, intending to find a place to sleep. There was a huge boom inside. "Oh no! Oh no!" someone shouted. "My leg!" someone else screamed. "My leg!"

They looked further around the house and found tunnels underneath. They retreated and a tank fired rounds into the house, which caught fire.

They looked for another place to sleep.

      Obviously, we wrong to think the Times was slanting its stories.  So what if we've pushed the insurgents out of most of Fallujah?  They're still fighting!  So what if we have radios?  They have flags that can signal to everyone in sight, during the daytime at least!  It doesn't matter that the Marines can see them, or that they won't work in the dark.  Sure, we have tanks, artillery, armored fighting vehicles, chain guns, rockets, rifles, and mortars, but they have the last three!  Why, they're killing one of our people for a mere thirty or so of their own!  U.S. defeat is immenent!

      I know now that the whole war is going to pot, and we'll lose any day.  It's also clear that we waste money on stupd things like tanks and radio, instead of using cost efficient flags and people.  I don't know how I didn't see this before.  Thank you, wise New York Times, for enlightening me.  I'll never think your stories are biased again.


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Talk About Missing the Point!

      K. and I saw The Incredibles last week, at a Thursday midnite show.  If you knew us, that would tell you how eager we were to see it, because it meant we had to pay full price for the tickets, something we never do (We'd have waited till the next day, but K. had to work, and we didn't want to wait till this week).

      So, it's no surprise to us that it was #1 at the box office, with a gross of over $70 million.  But it is a surprise that the latest New York Observer has an article explaining that it's a right wing movie!
"And what is The Incredibles?" said Richard Goldstein, author of The Attack Queers: Liberal Society and the Gay Right. "It’s really a movie about people sort of bursting out of this model of decency and concern for others, and all of those values that now get labeled politically correct, and bursting forth with their true strength and power, like an animated Hobbes. I guess the bet is that the rest of the world, looking at this spectacle, will actually just say, ‘Holy cow—we’d better do what they say!’ And this Hobbesian idea will be proven correct."

"It’s kind of ironic that superheroes now have these fascist, right-wing connotations," said Ted Rall, the editorial cartoonist for United Press Syndicate and author of Wake Up, You’re Liberal! How We Can Take America Back From the Right. "The right has stolen the flag and our superheroes, too."

      The article goes on to discuss "liberal superheroes," as distinguished from "conservative superheroes," or maybe "Republican superheroes."  The discussion degenerates into idiocy almost immediately
By the 1960’s, Spider-Man showed up, "a poor schlub from a lower middle-class background who has these powers he doesn’t really want. He’s called to duty; he doesn’t really want to go, but he doesn’t have a choice," according to Neal Pollack, comics enthusiast, humorist and author of Never Mind the Pollacks: A Rock and Roll Novel.

"That’s how a lot of liberals feel," Mr. Pollack explained. "A lot of those are archetypes that came out of the 60’s: the Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, the X-Men. Things have changed a lot in comics. Spider-Man is a good archetype for a liberal hero—he wants to give up his powers, he wants them back, he’s conflicted, he’s trying to hold down a job, he wants the girl. Whereas a conservative superhero just wants to fight evil."

And show his own super strength.

      Yeah, we all remember how Superman just hated being super, and was looking for a way to get rid of his powers.

      But I suppose it's symptomatic of modern liberals that, fantasizing about being superhuman, the first thought that crosses their mind is 'Gee, I wish I was weaker.'

      Read the whole thing while you can, because the Observer doesn't have archives.  Or e-mail me, and I'll slip you a copy.  But lordy, don't miss it, it's hilarious.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Still Clueless After All These Years

      It's one of those jokes that keeps on being funny no matter how many times you hear it:

      The ever-reliably-idiotic New York Times has an article headlined:

Despite Drop in Crime, an Increase in Inmates.

      And just in case you think that's something the editor tacked on, the article says:
The continuing increase in the prison population, despite a drop or leveling off in the crime rate in the past few years, is a result of laws passed in the 1990's that led to more prison sentences and longer terms. . .

In seeking to explain the paradox of a falling crime rate but a rising prison population, Mr. Beck pointed out that F.B.I. statistics showed that from 1994 to 2003 there was a 16 percent drop in arrests for violent crime, including a 36 percent decrease in arrests for murder and a 25 percent decrease in arrests for robbery.

But the tough new sentencing laws led to a growth in inmates being sent to prison, from 522,000 in 1995 to 615,400 in 2002, the report said.

      Look, morons, the reason the crime rate is dropping is because the number of inmates is increasing.  Crimes are committed by criminals, and locking them up decreases the number of crimes they can commit.

      It's astonishing that anyone still has to point this out.

(hat tip: Tom Maguire)

Advice For Democrats That Won't Be Taken

      It's been a week since the election, and a lot of Democrats are asking why they lost, and what to do now?  I'm here to tell you.

      My normal response to such questions is silence.  I always think: "Why should I tell you?"  Much better to let the other side make the same dumb mistakes over and over.  But I've decided to make an attempt to explain where you went wrong and what you should do to change.  Partly because I think it's my duty as a patriot (really; sorry to sound pretentious), and partly because I think you'll ignore it.

      1) Lose the attitude.

      A blog from "A Sad American" said the message she got from the Democratic Party was
I don't think you really want my vote. I actively sought out your perspective. I tuned in regularly, for months, to your biggest media project, your serious effort to get your message out: Air America Radio. I listened all day on Good Friday as host after host mocked people like me for believing in Jesus's life, death, and resurrection. I listened as Janeane Garofalo, who was one of my favorite comedians for years, expressed hatred and disgust for Bush voters so vile that I ended my live stream feeling assaulted, as if I'd been vomited on. I listened the night that Mike Malloy told a young Republican to hang up the phone and go open a vein. I listened to pure, unadulterated venom that was so intense I sometimes cut the stream and cried. . . .[Your attitude] is reminiscent of nothing so much as an abusive ex-lover, a crazy and drunken stalker. "I'll make you love me, or you'll regret it, you worthless bitch! Come here and let me beat you over the head and tell you how stupid and worthless you are! Then you'll see it my way!"

      Yup, that's it all right.  Michael Barone, in his book Our Country: the Shaping of America From Roosevelt to Reagan, recalls a famous anecdote about Adlai Stevenson, in which a Stevenson supporter said "All intelligent people are for you," and Stevenson allegedly replied "Yes, but I need a majority."  Barone comments that no one could imagine Franklin Roosevelt making such a remark.  But I can easily imagine E. J. Dionne making it:
Let's be honest: We are aghast at the success of a campaign based on vicious personal attacks, the exploitation of strong religious feelings and an effort to create the appearance of strong leadership that would do Hollywood proud. We are alarmed that so many of our fellow citizens could look the other way and not hold Bush accountable for utter incompetence in Iraq and for untruths spoken in defense of the war. We are amazed that a majority was not concerned about heaping a huge debt burden on our children just to give large tax breaks to the rich.

And we are disgusted that an effort consciously designed to divide the country did exactly that — and won.

Or Jane Smiley:
I grew up in Missouri and most of my family voted for Bush, so I am going to be the one to say it: The election results reflect the decision of the right wing to cultivate and exploit ignorance in the citizenry. I suppose the good news is that 55 million Americans have evaded the ignorance-inducing machine. But 58 million have not. (Well, almost 58 million—my relatives are not ignorant, they are just greedy and full of classic Republican feelings of superiority.)

Or Ezra Klein:
John Kerry -- genetically, demographically, spatially -- simply radiated elite values. And though they're the correct ones, they also provide a clear foil for guys like Rove, who're just begging for an opportunity to play on the fears and prejudices of the American people.

Or Dr. Joseph Zito,Roberta Kimmel Cohn, and Beverly Camhe:
"I'm saddened by what I feel is the obtuseness and shortsightedness of a good part of the country - the heartland," Dr. Joseph said. "This kind of redneck, shoot-from-the-hip mentality and a very concrete interpretation of religion is prevalent in Bush country - in the heartland."

"New Yorkers are more sophisticated and at a level of consciousness where we realize we have to think of globalization, of one mankind, that what's going to injure masses of people is not good for us," he said.

His friend, Ms. Cohn, a native of Wisconsin who deals in art, contended that New Yorkers were not as fooled by Mr. Bush's statements as other Americans might be. "New Yorkers are savvy," she said. "We have street smarts. Whereas people in the Midwest are more influenced by what their friends say."

"They're very 1950's," she said of Midwesterners. "When I go back there, I feel I'm in a time warp." . . .

Ms. Camhe explained the habits and beliefs of those dwelling in the heartland like an anthropologist.

"What's different about New York City is it tends to bring people together and so we can't ignore each others' dreams and values and it creates a much more inclusive consciousness," she said. "When you're in a more isolated environment, you're more susceptible to some ideology that's imposed on you."

Or Garry Wills:
America, the first real democracy in history, was a product of Enlightenment values - critical intelligence, tolerance, respect for evidence, a regard for the secular sciences. Though the founders differed on many things, they shared these values of what was then modernity. They addressed "a candid world," as they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, out of "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind." Respect for evidence seems not to pertain any more, when a poll taken just before the elections showed that 75 percent of Mr. Bush's supporters believe Iraq either worked closely with Al Qaeda or was directly involved in the attacks of 9/11.

Or the always reliable Maureen Dowd:
W.'s presidency rushes backward, stifling possibilities, stirring intolerance, confusing church with state, blowing off the world, replacing science with religion, and facts with faith. We're entering another dark age, more creationist than cutting edge, more premodern than postmodern. Instead of leading America to an exciting new reality, the Bushies cocoon in a scary, paranoid, regressive reality. Their new health care plan will probably be a return to leeches.

America has always had strains of isolationism, nativism, chauvinism, puritanism and religious fanaticism. But most of our leaders, even our devout presidents, have tried to keep these impulses under control. Not this crew. They don't call to our better angels; they summon our nasty devils.

Or the dishonest, hysterical Paul Krugman:
President Bush isn't a conservative. He's a radical - the leader of a coalition that deeply dislikes America as it is. Part of that coalition wants to tear down the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt, eviscerating Social Security and, eventually, Medicare. Another part wants to break down the barriers between church and state. . . .

Democrats are not going to get the support of people whose votes are motivated, above all, by their opposition to abortion and gay rights (and, in the background, opposition to minority rights).

      As long as the attitudes of 51% of the voters leave you aghast, alarmed, amazed, and disgusted, you won't have much chance of getting through to them.

      2)Lose your certainty.

      Oliver Cromwell once wrote, "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."  Democrats would do well to listen.

      Thomas Frank has recently written a book with the title What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of AmericaDemocrats should consider the possibility that nothing at all is the matter with Kansas.  Instead, they should examine the notion that there is something wrong with them and their ideas.

      Management consultant Tom Peters once gave a lecture on "staying close to the customer."  A businessman asked him how, "What do I do?"  Peters thought a moment and said, 'Get ten customers, take them to dinner, ask them what they think about your business, listen to what they say.'  Good advice.  But most Democrats seem to think the problem is that the voters don't understand their message.  The possibility that the voters understand it, and reject it, and are right never gets considered.

      A good example of all this is the "gay marriage" issue.  This is always presented as the idea that 'gays deserve the same rights as straights.'  The problem with this is that homosexuals have the same rights as heterosexuals.  We all have the right (if we're single, of sound mind, and over the age of consent) to marry one and only one person of the opposite sex.  What the advocates of "gay marriage" want to do is change the definition of marriage, from a relationship between a man and a woman, to a relationship between 'people who love each other.'  Personally, I'd just love to see the annulment proceedings when someone claimed no valid marriage had taken place because X didn't really love Y when X said "I do."  But the serious issue for politics is whether we should extend the label 'marriage' to something that it has never meant, so far as I can tell, in any culture in history.  In order to have a reasoned discussion on this issue, the proponents of "gay marriage" need to listen to those opposed to the idea.  With respect.

      3) Lose the anti-Americans.

      There's nothing that quite demonstrates the liberal cocoon so many Democrats live in as their celebration of 'John Kerry, war hero.'  Kerry told the Democratic Convention he'd defended the United States as a young man.  But he told the Senate that the U.S. should leave Viet Nam forthwith, and that the military was committing war crimes on a daily basis, with the knowledge and consent of the command structure.

      Unfortunately for the Democrats, many of them don't see this as a contradiction.  It is one, though, and most of the public sees it.  A lot of people like Andrew Sullivan, endorsed Kerry in spite of his history, hoping that he'd turned his back on the foreign policy he'd voted for in the Senate.  Others, like "Jane Galt", decided that regardless of his current position, "Kerry's record for the first fifteen years in the senate, before he knew what he needed to say in order to get elected, is not the record of anyone I want within spitting distance of the White House war room."  Add the 'Sullivans' and the 'Galts' together, and you have a big majority.

      So, cross off the list of possible presidential candidates anyone who was an anti-Viet Nam activist, like Kerry; anyone who voted for the Case-Church amendment; anyone who thought Carter's foreign policy was good; anyone who did not support the first Gulf War; anyone who, when asked who his advisors would be, mentions any Defense, disarmament, or State department veteran of the Carter or Clinton presidencies; anyone who supported George McGovern; and most especially, anyone who such swine as Michael Moore or Noam Chomsky haven't condemned as war mongers.

      Remember, in 1944, Democratic party bosses contemplated the forseeable death in office of FDR, and forced Vice President Henry Wallace off the ticket because he was soft on Communism.  In 1946, Harry Truman ran Henry Wallace and his supporters out of the Democratic Party.  They in turn went formed the Progressive Party, and ran Wallace for President.  Wallace lost, Truman won.

      4) Lose the nomination reforms.  In 1968, the Democratic party appointed George McGovern to head a committee to change the way they picked convention delegates.  The result was the capture of the nominating process by 'left wing' activists.  McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, and Kerry made it through this nominating process, while 'Scoop' Jackson and Joe Lieberman didn't.  But it's precisely the Jacksons and Liebermans the Democratic Party needs to nominate.

      5) Get rid of the stiffs.

      Howard Kurtz recently commented:
There's something to be said for natural politicians. Kerry is the second straight Democratic nominee about whom friends said, he's really a relaxed guy with a sense of humor if you get to know him.

And Roger Simon points out:
3. John Kerry gave a very gracious concession speech Wednesday and he even choked up at one point. When he did, a thought struck me, however: Now he shows some human emotion? In his concession speech? Maybe he should have shown a little human emotion over the last year or so.

4. I have said it before and will say it again: Voters almost always choose the more likeable (or more likeable seeming) candidate for president. This election was no exception.

      The reason people like Dukakis and Kerry and Gore speak so badly is in large part because they won't say what they believe.  The reason they won't say it is because they think it will keep them from getting elected.  And they're right, it will.  But the voters figure out they're being lied to, the Republicans find quotes that make clear the record the Democratic candidate is running from, and the whole effort goes to Hell.

      Kerry was the Democratic nominee because he was thought to be electable while still being 'left' enough for the activists who dominate the primaries and caucuses.  He didn't fool anyone, and nobody else like him will.

      So bring back the machine bosses and the smoke filled rooms.  That way, you'd have a chance of stopping people who can't win from getting on the ticket.

      We can sum these suggestions up as: find out what the majority think about the issues, then find some candidates who think the same way.

      Fortunately for us Republicans, it will be at least another four years before this sinks in.

      Update: If you're a Democrat, here's good advice: just do the exact opposite of Michael Kinsley.  From his lame attempts at humor, to his "I'm more tolerant and less arrogant than you, you moron" attitude, to his dishonest claim that people like him are open to persuasion, you will find everything wrong with the Democrats in a small space.

      As a Republican, I hope "Kinsleyism" continues to be the dominant force in the Democratic Party.


Friday, November 05, 2004

War: The Dutch Are Not Clear on the Concept

      The Dutch Cabinet has announced that they are at war with Islamofacists. (hat tip: Peaktalk).

      I commented on that post (Stephen M. St. Onge (ip: 6 november 2004 - 0:19 uur, at the link above), saying, basically, that I didn't believe it.  "War means fighting, and fighting means killing."  I didn't think the Dutch planned on killing people as part of this alleged new war on terrorism, so it wasn't really a war.

      "Arjan," who appears to be the person running the site (I just visited it for the first time today) gave me a nice polite response, showing, alas, that he misses my point.

      First, he said that the Netherlands has some troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank his country on behalf of my country.  We remember our friends.  But the Dutch had those troops there before this "formal declaration of war."  So the Netherlands isn't planning "to kill a single human being it did not intend to kill before that declaration was made," as I said in those comments.

      Now, the reason the Dutch are "declaring war," is that a Dutch film maker was murdered, one Theo Van Gogh.  Mr. Van Gogh had made a documentary about Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim woman living in the Netherlands who protested the oppression of women in Islam.  As a result, she received death threats.  In fact, a letter to her was left at Van Gogh's body, threatening her too.  She's been living with special security provided by the Dutch govt.  The Islamofascists couldn't get to her, so they got to Van Gogh.

      And of course, Van Gogh isn't the first person murdered in the Netherlands because he criticized Islam.  Pim Fortuyn was also murdered, and for the same reason.

      So what do the new "war measures" consist of:

• More money for the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD
• More legal possibilities to combat terrorism
• A thorough review of existing counter-terrorism laws to see if they need to be amended or supplemented
• A new law which will make it possible to take away Dutch nationality from a terrorist who has both the Dutch and a second nationality
• Better government protection for people who may be at risk of a terrorist attack.

That ain't war, that's law enforcement.  And of course, none of those convicted of terrorism will be executed.

      No killing, you notice.

      In his reply to me, Arjan also said he " removed the last sentence of your message, since it looked like a signature, since it didn't have any relation with the rest of your message, and since the same sentence can be found in about - oh well - quite a few places on your blog, which you are welcome to shamelessly promote."  The sentence in question was of course "THE SAUDS MUST BE DESTROYED!"  I append that sentence to my posts here, to my comments on other websites, to most of my e-mail, to almost everything.  I do it because I believe that the House of Saud is the enemy of the United States.  They are the ones who fund the Islamic jihadis worldwide.  They are, ultimately, the people responsible for Sept. 11th, just as Hitler and the Nazi Party were ultimately responsible when some street thugs mugged a Jew, even if those thugs weren't part of the Nazi organization.  The Sauds' rulership over the Arabian Peninsula must be ended.

      Arjan doesn't think that "THE SAUDS MUST BE DESTROYED!" has anything to do with the rest of my message, but I disagree.  The people his country are declaring "war" on are supported and encouraged by the House of Saud.  The people endangering his country's troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are supported and encouraged by the Sauds(again, my country's thanks to the Netherlands for those soldiers).  So I'd say it has a good deal to do with my comment.

      Arjan also removed the post because he doesn't approve of me "calling for the annihilation of anyone on this website, especially large families."  Well, the people his country is now at "war" with are ready, willing, and able to annihilate his countrymen.  The Dutch may have to make a choice between the deaths of their citizens, and the deaths of members of the Saud family -- perhaps all the members of the Saud family.  It's not a choice Arjan seems to realize his country faces.

      I can't be too disappointed in him, or the Netherlands.  The United States of America has been at war with the Islamofascists since Nov. 4, 1979.  We didn't begin to realize it until 9/11, and even now there is doubt that we've really accepted that we must offer "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender."

      If the Dutch really want to stop such murders, they should re-instate the death penalty for terrorism, and smear Muslim murderers with pork just before hanging them.  And a few bombs in Riyadh, and assaninations of Saudi royals, again with pork contact, is also recommended.  That would be war.

      Update: In the comments, "Towering Barbarian" reminds me that Fortuyn was killed by an "animal rights activist," not a Muslim.  My bad.  (Funny, I thought humans were animals, and thus killing one was a violation of an animal's rights.)  And Michael tells me that "Arjan" may be a female.  If so, I hope no offense was given by referring to her as 'him.'

      Update to update, Dec. 13th, 2004: In a reference I've lost (and which wasn't original in any case), someone said that the "activist" who murdered Fortuyn told the Dutch court he did it because, among other things, he disapproved of Fortuyn's views on Muslims.  More perhaps when I have the energy for a web search.