Posts Tagged ‘Yemen’

“Arab civilization, such as we knew it, is all but gone.”

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

That’s the headline on this Hisham Melhem piece on the comprehensive failure of the entire Arab world.

The jihadists of the Islamic State, in other words, did not emerge from nowhere. They climbed out of a rotting, empty hulk—what was left of a broken-down civilization. They are a gruesome manifestation of a deeper malady afflicting Arab political culture, which was stagnant, repressive and patriarchal after the decades of authoritarian rule that led to the disastrous defeat in the 1967 war with Israel. That defeat sounded the death knell of Arab nationalism and the resurgence of political Islam, which projected itself as the alternative to the more secular ideologies that had dominated the Arab republics since the Second World War. If Arab decline was the problem, then “Islam is the solution,” the Islamists said—and they believed it.

At their core, both political currents—Arab nationalism and Islamism—are driven by atavistic impulses and a regressive outlook on life that is grounded in a mostly mythologized past. Many Islamists, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (the wellspring of such groups)—whether they say it explicitly or hint at it—are still on a ceaseless quest to resurrect the old Ottoman Caliphate. Still more radical types—the Salafists—yearn for a return to the puritanical days of Prophet Muhammad and his companions. For most Islamists, democracy means only majoritarian rule, and the rule of sharia law, which codifies gender inequality and discrimination against non-Muslims.

And let’s face the grim truth: There is no evidence whatever that Islam in its various political forms is compatible with modern democracy.

A few pieces of Melhem’s piece are erroneous: “As terrorist organizations, al Qaeda and Islamic State are different from the Muslim Brotherhood, a conservative movement that renounced violence years ago, although it did dabble with violence in the past.” That’s only because the Egypt’s military forced them to refrain from large-scale violence on pain of death. We saw how quickly this restraint was cast aside when Morsi assumed power. The only differences between al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are of degree, tactical choice, and certain Islamic Eschatological doctrinal differences as to exactly what sort of oppressive Islamic theocracy imposing Sharia law are the ideal end-state.

But those flaws aside, it’s still an admirably clear-eyed distillation of the horrific, bloody, dysfunctional nature of the Arab world. Read the whole thing.

LinkSwarm for May 27, 2014

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Texans: Don’t forget to vote in the runoff today!

Now a LinkSwarm to follow the Memorial Day weekend.

  • Hillary 2008: “Forget a new campaign managers[sic], she needed a Feng Shui consultant—or an exorcist.”
  • How ObamaCare screws black doctors.
  • One of the first polls of doctor’s offices dealing with ObamaCare patients. Tidbits:

    “We are going to have to hire additional staff just to manage the insurance verification process.”

    “Identification of ACA plans has been an administrative nightmare.”

    “Patients have been very confused about benefits and their portion of the cost. Once the patients find out their deductible, they’ve cancelled appointments and procedures.”

  • ObamaCare is also sowing union/management discord and threatening to cause strikes across the nation.
  • “Such dealings as I have had with the New York Times suggest to me very strongly that condescending is the house style.”
  • Nothing says “open-minded” quite like comparing NRA members to supporters of Hitler.
  • Liberal publications: The whitest guys in the room.
  • More examples of that voting fraud Democrats swear doesn’t exit. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • South Carolina replaces Gender Studies with Constitutional Studies.

  • “Journalists feel particularly underpaid with regard to their self-assessed status.” You don’t say…
  • I’m sure an MSNBC host dismissing the Holocaust is precisely the image General Electric wants to convey to shareholders.
  • Terrorist associate given pass by Obama Administration.
  • The EUrocrats are visibly miffed that members of the peasantry still think they’re allowed to hold opinions contrary to their betters.
  • More on the victories of UKIP and other Euroskeptic parties: “Populism is a favourite Eurocrat word, meaning ‘when politicians do what their constituents want’ — or, as we call it in English, ‘democracy’.”
  • Why did John Kerry work so hard to save the life of an illegal alien cop killer?
  • Getting press accreditation in Fredonia the “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”
  • Speaking of Donetsk, Ukraine launched an airstrike to retake the airport there.
  • Another day, another 27 people killed by Jihad in Yemen.
  • In Thailand, a mountain of rice builds up, thanks to an ill-advised agricultural subsidy scheme.
  • Mexican drug cartel threatens U.S. law enforcement via billboard.
  • “Amazon vows 10,000 robots in warehouses by year’s end.” Robots don’t need ObamaCare, or a $15 an hour minimum wage… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • You deserve a fake today.
  • All-female J-Pop group AKB48 attacked by a man with a folding saw. When oh when will Japan institute “common sense” saw control? (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Mark Steyn reviews Hotel Rwanda.
  • Dear NASA: they’re on to you!

  • Acid-dropping LARP-er guy puts on a clinic of what not to say in an interview when you’re facing felony charges.
  • Finally, two tweets on the VA hospital scandal:

  • LinkSwarm for May 27, 2012

    Sunday, May 27th, 2012

    Woke up entirely too early this morning, so here’s a big old bag of randomness:

  • Wisconsin Democratic recall candidate Tom Barrett manicuplated crime figures as Mayor of Milwaukee. (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty.) Shades of Tom Leppert. Or Tommy Carcetti.
  • I wonder if the “Choom Gang” VW Microbus our 44th President and his friends used to habitually smoke pot in also had tools and rakes and implements of destruction in it.
  • The UAW is broke.
  • America is defying the demographic doom befalling other nations.
  • “Non-Partisan” redistricting commissions aren’t.
  • Do liberals actually expect this patronizing, passive-aggressive condescension toward Judge Roberts to work? I’d like to believe that treating the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America as though he’s as easy to manipulate as an insecure teenage girl would be counterproductive if it weren’t so transparently laughable.
  • Huge land swindle/ponzi scam out near Manor. And where was the Statesman for this huge story in its own backyard? “No results found for “Natalia Wolf” site:statesman.com.”
  • Today’s amusing hashtag #MovieswithObama.
  • Remember when every car bomb in Lebanon was front page news? Now a bomb that kills 100 isn’t.
  • LinkSwarm for October 6, 2011

    Thursday, October 6th, 2011

    A smattering of news on this and that:

  • Michael Totten recommended this Theo Padnos piece in The New Republic on Assad’s Syria and the personality cult the Assads have made of Alawi.
  • Stratfor says that not only was the Anwar al-Awlaki killing itself a blow to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but it also got Samir Khan, the creator and editor of AQAP’s English-language magazine: “individuals who possess the charisma and background of al-Awlaki or the graphics and editorial skills of Khan are difficult to come by in Yemen.” Evidently graphics designers aren’t big on hanging out in Yemen and preaching jihad. Who knew?
  • The Club for Growth agrees with me (and Ted Cruz) that the China currency bill is a bad idea.
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout caves in over their stupid Firefly poster mess.
  • Finally, not a link, but I did want to note that I received a mailer for State Representative Dr. Charles Schwertner, declaring his candidacy for the Texas State District Senate District 5 seat currently held by the retiring Steve Ogden. I thought it was notable since I don’t think I’ve ever received a political flyer this far out (the primary is March 6, 2012), much less for a local race. I suspect this, along with the mention of the $300,000 he has in his war chest, is a preemptive show of strength designed to deter other candidates from jumping into the race. So far it seems to be working, as I haven’t seen reports of anyone else running.
  • More Live Egypt Updates

    Saturday, January 29th, 2011

    Not a lot of news coming out. The longer it takes things to happen, the more likely Mubarak is to hold onto power. Yesterday brought scattered reports that the army may be wavering in support of Mubarak. Today? Not so much. There are sporadic reports of gunfire, and lots of reports that citizens groups are banding together to prevent looting.

    The old links down the page stopped updating at the end of the day. The new links are:

  • The BBC.
  • The Atlantic.
  • Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey’s Twitter feed
  • As for what an actual popular Egyptian government might look like, Michael Totten reminds us that the answer might be pretty ugly:

    In Egypt, 82 percent want stoning for those who commit adultery; 77 percent would like to see whippings and hands cut off for robbery; and 84 percent favor the death penalty for any Muslim who changes his religion.

    Asked if they supported “modernizers” or “Islamists” only 27 percent said modernizers while 59 percent said Islamists.

    Elsewhere in the Middle East, there are reports of unrest in Yemen. Conversely, yesterday’s reports that Syria had also taken down nationwide Internet access appear to have been false.

    This Week in Jihad

    Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

    Though I’m going to be concentrating heavily on election coverage the next three weeks, the rest of the world doesn’t stop just because the U.S. is having an election. Here’s a roundup of this week’s problems with Jihad, Islamists, Sharia, Islam, and the Middle East in general. (You might also have noticed that I’ve added a Foreign Policy/Jihad links section.)

    So here’s a week’s worth of (mostly depressing) developments: