Friday, November 11, 2005

Pause to Remember

On Veteran's Day we remember all those who fought so that others don't have to, and we honor those who served so that their countrymen and their descendents can be free to pursue their dreams.

In particular, on this Veteran's Day we want to remember our father, GM2c (Gunner's Mate 2nd Class) Richard L. Cleary (1918-1977) of the U.S.S. Vicksburg (CL-86) which served in the Pacific at Iwo Jima, Ulithi, and Okinawa during WWII and in Task Group 38.2 at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay.

Richard L. Cleary was honorably discharged from the Navy on January 23rd, 1946. We are proud to be his sons.

Richard L. Cleary, Jr.
William S. Cleary

Predictions on the Dover Trial

The Dover Intelligent Design trial is over and we await judge John Jones' ruling which is expected by the end of the year. Meanwhile, we offer five predictions concerning these events:

1. Judge Jones will rule against the Dover school board on the grounds that the board did not meet the standards set in the 1971 Supreme Court decision Lemon v. Kurtzman which establishes a three point test for the introduction of putative religious topics into public schools. He will, however, leave the question of the scientific status of ID unresolved.

The Lemon test states that any governmental action with respect to what is taught in public schools:

a. must have a legitimate secular purpose; b. must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion; and c. must not result in an "excessive entanglement" of the government and religion

We predict Judge Jones will find that, based on statements made by board member William Buckingham - which he denied having made - the purpose of introducing ID into the school biology program was not secular.

2. The new Dover school board will certainly not appeal this decision. Even if the judge were to rule in favor of the district the incoming board has promised to remove the ID statement from the biology curriculum, so, as far as Dover Area School District is concerned, this battle is over.

3. Christianity will have received a black eye because of apparent dishonesty on the part of some on the Dover board who identify themselves as Christians but who appeared to lie about statements they had evidently made. They also appeared to prevaricate on the question of the source of funding for the purchase of the books Of Pandas and People.

4. Since the scientific status of ID will have been left unresolved, and since the validity of ID's claims are thankfully independent of the perceived integrity of some of its advocates, it will re-emerge in other districts across the country where school boards will be more careful to ensure that the rationale for implementing it meets the Lemon test. For those with an open mind on this issue, the arguments of ID advocates are simply too compelling to ignore. Like a cork it will keep popping back to the surface no matter how often its critics seek to push it out of sight.

5. With Justices Roberts and Alito on the Supreme Court, the Lemon test, which seems to be fraught with difficulties, will be overturned.

You heard it all here first.

Can Europe Remain European?

Tony Blankley, author of The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations? puts the French riots into their proper context:

Soon, the violence of the last two weeks will be seen as the opening of an event of world-historic significance.

Even when the current violence subsides - even when the French government attempts to placate its radical Muslim population by offering more welfare benefits and programs - it will not be the end of the story. A new benchmark of the possible will have been established. The flaccid and timorous response of the French government will only increase the radicalizing Muslim elements' contempt for Western cultural weakness.

As Paul Belien, writing from Brussels this weekend, observed: "It is not anger that is driving the insurgents to take it out on the secularized welfare states of Old Europe. It is hatred. Hatred caused not by injustice suffered, but stemming from a sense of superiority. The 'youths' do not blame the French, they despise them." As Mr. Belien reports, look what a typical radical Muslim leader, Dyab Abou Jahjah, the leader of the Brussels-based Arab European League, says: "We reject integration when it leads to assimilation. I don't believe in a host country. We are at home here and whatever we consider our culture to be also belongs to our chosen country. I'm in my country, not the country of the Westerners."

Or consider the statement of a German radical Islamist that I recounted in my book (based on a National Public Radio news-story broadcast): "Germany is an Islamic country. Islam is in the home, in schools. Germans will be outnumbered. We [Muslims] will say what we want. We'll live how we want. It's outrageous that Germans demand we speak their language. Our children will have our language, our laws, our culture."

The Muslims seek to reclaim their historic dominance of Europe not by invading with armies but with immigrants. They will soon become so numerous that the Europeans will either have to fight them (unlikely) or resign themselves to dhimmitude, a second class status relative to the dominant Islamic culture and rule. Europe is in a battle for survival and it is just beginning to wake up to the fact.

Hammer and Anvil

From The Fourth Rail:

The town of Karabilah, home to the tribe supportive of al Qaeda in Iraq, is now the focus of Operation Steel Curtain. Coalition forces moved into Karabilah yesterday afternoon, and the enemy's response is described as "limited resistance in the form of sporadic small arms fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs)."

Steel Curtain began over the weekend in Husaybah, which sits directly on the Syrian border, when a combined Coalition force of 2,500 U.S. Marines, sailors and soldiers of Regimental Combat Team - 2 struck from the west and drove eastward through the city to the outskirts of Karabilah. Operations continue in Husaybah, in the form of patrols and targeted raids as the brunt of the force moves eastward. Two more al Qaeda leaders in the area were confirmed killed during air strikes just prior to the commencement of Steel Curtain; Asadallah, "a senior al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist leader and foreign fighter facilitator in the Husaybah area", and Abu Zahra, "a close associate of the current al Qaeda in Iraq Emir of Husaybah."

While Iraq's defense minister reported fighters fled from Husaybah to Syria at the beginning of the operation, military intelligence "indicates some insurgents might have abandoned Husaybah once Iraqi Army soldiers and U.S. Forces began clearing the city and fled into Karabilah." The Army Times noted two days ago the "insurgents are now squeezed into Karabilah, especially a triangle-shaped part of town ominously nicknamed the Shark Fin." If true, these terrorists are now sitting in a box, hemmed in by the Euphrates River to the north, RCT-2's assault force to the west, the Marines in the hills outside of Sa'dah to the east, and undoubtedly a screening force to the desert in the south.

Marines stationed to the west in Sa'dah are acting as the anvil to the strike force's hammer. Members of the Desert Protection Force may be working with the screening force in the south to identify desert trails and likely escape routes.

Like Husaybah, Coalition forces will establish a permanent presence in the town to prevent al Qaeda from filtering back into the city and reestablishing control as has happened in the past. It is now possible to maintain forces in these towns as the Iraqi Security Forces are increasing their capabilities to allow them to operate in western Iraq.

There's a satellite photo of the area at the link showing the deployment of American forces around Karabilah and the "Shark's Fin". The good news for the Jihadis is that it looks as though there'll be ample opportunities for martyrdom in the days ahead.