Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Dems' '08 Nominee

Who's Hillary's competition for the Democratic nomination in '08? Dick Morris says it's going to be Al Gore:

Gore has three things going for him: A perception that he was robbed of the White House and Hillary's possible stubbornness in continuing to back the war. The third thing? The weather. As the evidence of global climate change impresses everyone who doesn't work at the White House, Gore looks more and more like a man whose time may have come.

We don't know whether to laugh or cry.

The Murder of Ilan Hamili

Ilan Halimi was buried Thursday in France. Here's what happened:

Halimi was found dying, covered with burns and cuts, on Monday February 13. He had been kidnapped three weeks earlier, after a Muslim gang sent a blonde to seduce him. Halimi had agreed to meet with her after meeting in a chat room. Immediately after his abduction his mother went to the police, saying he was kidnapped by anti-Semites. Sources in the community said three Jewish youngsters had managed to escape similar abdications in recent months.

The police told Halimi's mother, Ruth, to stop all telephone connection with the kidnappers, as a way of forcing them to use electronic mail, which was traceable. The police did not know that during the five days in which the kidnappers tried in vain to contact Halimi's family, Halimi suffered terrible torture. One of the kidnappers said, "We put our cigarettes out on him because he was a Jew."

A few days after Halimi was found, the Paris public prosecutor, Jean-Claude Marin, told the media that the murder was a criminal event, and "no element of the current investigation could link this murder to an anti-Semitic declaration or action."

The reports about Halimi in France did not mention that he was Jewish. Halimi's family was livid. His mother accused the authorities of ignoring the anti-Semitic factor. "Had Ilan not been Jewish, he would not have been murdered," she said. She was widely quoted in the French media, and the authorities began to retreat.

On Tuesday French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said that "the murder had anti-Semitic motives." "They kidnapped and murdered him because he was Jewish - in their words, the Jews have money," he said.

This coming Sunday a huge procession in his memory is scheduled to take place in Paris. Jewish organizations, French political parties and anti-violence groups are to join in the demonstration.

It seems that it is human nature to enter a state of denial about serious threats to one's safety and that of one's family. Even as the hyenas circle the herd the gazelle graze nervously in hopes that the killers will pass them by.

Caroline Glick finds this phenomenon rampant in the governments of both France and Israel and is deeply disturbed by it. The civilized world is being challenged by Islamism to defend itself, and in too many quarters the response is to cower and to pretend there is no threat.

This timidity only emboldens those who are even now circling their psychologically weakened prey, darting in to take a nip, wearing it down, draining away its will to live. When the hyenas sense that the West has lost its will to fight for its civilization they will surge upon it, rip it to pieces, and gorge themselves on its remains.

The murder of this young Jewish man at the hands of French Muslim kidnappers is not just a horrific atrocity, it is a synecdoche for the future the Muslim world envisions for the West. Ilan Halimi and others, like Theo Van Gogh, are just the first drops of the approaching storm.

Strange Bedfellows

This news strikes us as a little odd (subscription may be required). The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest organization of scientists:

...appealed for the help of mainstream religion in its quest [to quash Intelligent Design], arguing that religion and science were not incompatible. Many religious leaders had stated they saw no conflict between evolution and religion, noted the AAAS. "We and the overwhelming majority of scientists share this view."

And there's this:

Eugenie Scott, the director of the National Center for Science Education, told a weekend news conference it was time for the faith community to "step up to the plate," The Times of London reported. She said the idea one is either a Christian creationist or an atheist is believed by many people.

If we're reading this correctly the scientific community, or at least the portion of it committed to a Darwinian view of life, is trying to enlist churches and religious organizations in an effort to persuade their members that when Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett et al. declare that evolution is absolutely incompatible with religious belief they don't know what they're talking about. Indeed, The AAAS and Ms Scott seem to think that if religious folk would simply understand that Dawkins and Dennett speak only for most biologists, not all of them, and if the religious leadership would just get on board with the Darwinians, the dim-witted masses would eventually be confused enough to go along.

Why do the AAAS and the NCSE feel the need to do this, anyway? Aren't the arguments that the scientists themselves muster in favor of materialistic evolution persuasive enough? Are they tacitly admitting that they're losing ground, or failing to gain it, and, in desperation, they must seek to make allies of the very organizations that they in fact regard as their foes?

Whatever the case, we can be sure that if Eugenie Scott and her colleagues thought for one moment that they were sweeping the field there would be no appeals to the "faith community" to do anything except get out of their way.