Are they even trying?

From Debka: Bin Laden’s “success” owes less to his superior craft than to the laxness of US and European counter-terror authorities. The names and descriptions of all the members of the Moroccan network which perpetrated the worst terrorist outrage since 9/11 were in their possession, handed over by Ramzi bin al Shaiba after he reached US custody in September 2002. All that time, none of the Moroccan terrorists named were detained, although their network is directly controlled by bin Laden himself and despite the fact that they lived mostly in Madrid or Tangiers. This intelligence failure is further magnified by the ease with which the terrorists were able to carry out their attack. They had no need of aircraft, suicide bombers, wads of cash or even box-cutters – only very simply to buy Spanish-manufactured explosives, stuff them into ten ordinary bags and leave them on the targeted trains.

This sort of thing doesn’t do anything but lend credence to Umberto Eco’s old notion – written in the day of the Red Brigades – that the world governments are not interested in fighting terrorists, but in maintaining a symbiotic relationship with them in order to excuse their continued infringement of individual rights and liberties. Is it true in this case? Did the US intentionally leave the Moroccan terrorist network operational? I’m not in a position to know, but it cannot be denied that Israel has left Arafat and Sheik Ahmed Yassin of Hamas untouched for decades despite both men waging a violent war against them. Given those facts, it is conceivable that the Bush administration is leaving bin Laden free to wage war against America for purposes of its own. It’s an ugly thought, to be sure, and I certainly hope it is not the case, but it is not entirely impossible.

One thing I have come to appreciate over the years is that the more I learn, the more I find that for all my natural skepticism with regards to what everyone “knows”, I am not anywhere nearly cynical enough.

Creative etymology

JN writes: Please help me out with the definition of, omniderigence. As best I can determine you are the only one on the web using this word, and I can’t find it in the Oxford English Dictionary.

I suppose it would be hard to find in the OED, considering that I simply made it up. I am an inveterate user of words that don’t necessarily exist, although not on the Douglas Adams level. Speaking of which, was anyone else tremendously disappointed with The Meaning of Liff? I just didn’t find the words to be very amusing.

Anyhow, I was simply searching for a word which would describe the concept of an all-acting God, a puppet master, of the sort envisioned by some Christians – relax, Manatee, I’m not reopening THAT debate – who conflate being all-knowing and all-powerful with being all-controlling in the active sense. An omniderigent deity is one who not only knows the number of hairs on your head, but actually pulls them out, one by one, or alternatively, turns each of them grey at his specific command. An omniderigent deity is one who not only comes up with a plan for your life, but forces you to walk every step of it. I couldn’t find such a word, although one may exist, so I invented this from the Latin root of the verb “to guide”.

Regardless of what you believe.

Think for two seconds

Jonah Goldberg shuts down his brain and writes: Supporters of the war say the reason al-Qaida is trying – and, alas, succeeding – to tear apart the coalition is that they cannot afford to see democracy win in Iraq. A stable and prospering Iraq will transform the Middle East, over time, into a region where the bloody fanaticism of bin Laden has no appeal.

Jonah’s column is otherwise fine, if somewhat limited to pointing out the obvious, but this is just a horrible howler of logic. The battle is not between democracy and anti-democracy fanatics in Iraq. The fanatics actually want democracy in Iraq, for the same reason they wanted it in Algeria. They will win any fair and open elections. Bremer has been very forthright about the fact that the Coalition occupation will not permit a democratic constitution – not that I support such a thing either – so to portray the battle as being one over democracy isn’t just ignorant, it’s stupid.

And, of course, neither the US nor its allies are democracies in the first place. Sure, you can argue that it’s just semantics, in which case I can argue that you’re a fish. Someday, I’d like to see every political pundit in America write out their definition of democracy. I think in many cases, it means something like “country with mostly white people that doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable.”

And they said he wasn’t electable

From Drudge: Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said yesterday that President Bush’s decision to send troops to Iraq appears to have contributed to the bombing deaths of 201 people in Spain. A growing international investigation is focusing on Islamic militants possibly linked to Al Qaeda as those responsible for the Madrid train bombings on Thursday. European intelligence agencies are trying to identify a purported Al Qaeda operative who claimed in a videotape that the group carried out the bombings to punish Spain for backing the US-led war in Iraq. Dean referred to the videotape when asked whether he was linking US troops in Iraq to the deaths in Spain. “That was what they said in the tape,” Dean said. “They made that connection, I’m simply repeating it.”

So, maybe those Democratic party elders who sabotaged the Dean campaign aren’t complete idiots. I’m just a little disappointed that everyone’s favorite nutcase politico didn’t try to also work in a little blame for expelling Boabdil from Granada in 1492. I mean, the tape alluded to that too. And then there’s the small fact that Dean and the lunatic American Left has been insisting for months that the multi-nation Coalition is unilateral, and that there is no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq. The sad thing about Dean not winning the nomination is that we’re not being treated to these sort of comments on a nightly basis. He doesn’t even try to make sense. But we’ll be forever grateful for that wonderful battle cry. YEEEAAAAGGH!

I wasn’t even aware that the American president commanded deployment of Spanish troops. Well, you learn something new every day.

Why no War on Sex Slavery

John Whitehead writes: Clearly, sex trafficking should demand as much, if not more, attention than drug trafficking and other similar crimes. For whatever reason, it does not.

The answer is pretty simple. Cracking down on sex slavery doesn’t give the federal government an excuse to take rights and liberties away from law-abiding citizens. Furthermore, there’s no money in it for the police; they have no interest in seizing a crack house, it’s the mansion with a pair of pot plants in it or the Mercedes with a bag of coke that they want to auction off.

It’s so much easier to point fingers at the past

From the Rutherford Institute: In February 2002, the Plainville, NJ, police raided a house after receiving a tip about illegal aliens operating an underground brothel. What the police found were four Mexican girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who were in this country illegally. However, the young girls were not prostitutes, performing sexual acts for money. Instead, they were, like thousands of other women in this country, sex slaves—captives to the sex traffickers and keepers who control their every move. What the police discovered astounded them. It was “a squalid, land-based equivalent of a 19th-century slave ship”…. The New Jersey brothel is just one of many stash houses and apartments that form a slave trade operation that stretches across the United States. Many are located in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago, where under-age girls and young women from dozens of countries are trafficked and held captive.

This is why I despise blacks who whine on and on about slavery that never happened to them, their parents or their grandparents. Or, for that matter, Jews who whine about Jews getting killed in medieval pogroms more than 500 years ago. Boo-freaking-hoo. It’s over, it’s done and it didn’t happen to you or anyone you know, meanwhile, none of these career victims give a damn that Mexican, Asian and Eastern European girls are enslaved, that missionaries feeding the poor are being murdered or that black Arican Christians are being killed right now.

The Holocaust, yes, that’s a legitimate issue. But don’t go pointing fingers at the American Christians who ended it, take it up with the European Socialists who committed it. Or, better yet, the Arab theocrats who hope to revive it. As usual, it’s primarily Christians who are working to stop these evils, as has been the case ever since they led the charge to abolish slavery.

But we’re the threat to civilized society. Right.

Settle down Beavis

And watch the language while you’re at it. Not everyone who visits here is an adult, and there’s been some uncharacteristically ugly language slung around here over the last day or so. If you’re wondering why a post got deleted, now you know. Vent as venomously as you like, but do try to do so in a creative and non-obscene manner, if you please.

It’s not the biggest deal in the world, and I certainly am guilty of similar offenses from time to time, but some standard needs to be maintained.