Saturday, August 18, 2007

No Dhimmitude for This Man

Pat Condell is antagonistic to all religion, a position about which I think he's just plain wrong, but in this short YouTube presentation he says many things which need to be said, particularly regarding European appeasement of Muslims.

It is this spirit of submission to which Condell takes such acerbic exception and which spawns such loopy proposals as that of Bishop Tiny Muskins of Netherlands who has urged Christians to begin referring to God as Allah so that Muslims won't be so hostile toward us (See, however, Byron's reply in our Feedback section for a different view of the Bishop's proposal).

Under Sharia Law non-Muslims, if they're permitted to live at all, must accept the authority of the Koran, the dominance of Islamic rule and live in abject servility as second or third class citizens. Such people are called dhimmis by Muslims, and it is to this status that many Europeans seem to aspire. Not, however, Pat Condell.

Too bad he doesn't understand Christianity as well as he understands the threat posed by contemporary Islam.


Iraq Update and Questions

Bill Roggio updates us on operations Phantom Thunder and Phantom Strike. Here are some excerpts:

In today's press briefing from Baghdad, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Commanding General of Multinational Corps - Iraq, provided an operational update on Operation Phantom Thunder and its successor, Phantom Strike.

Since Phantom Thunder began in mid-June, US and Iraqi security forces have killed 1,196 extremists, wounded 419, and detained 6,702 suspected insurgents, Odierno said. Of those killed or captured, 382 are considered high-value targets. Over the past two months, US and Iraqi security forces have found 1,113 weapons caches, 2,299 IEDs and disabled 52 car bombs. "The number of found-and-cleared IEDs, vehicle-borne IEDs and caches are approximately 50 percent higher than the same period last year, due in large part to effective tips provided by concerned Iraqi citizens," Odierno said.

Phantom Thunder has had a noticeable effect on the security situation in Baghdad and beyond. "Total attacks are on a month-long decline and are at their lowest levels since August of 2006," Odierno said. "Attacks against civilians are at a six-month low, IED attacks are a two-month decline and have a 45 percent found and cleared rate." Inside Baghdad, civilian deaths are at the lowest levels since February 2006, when al Qaeda in Iraq destroyed the dome of the Golden Mosque in Samarra...

Since the "surge" of five additional US combat brigades was completed at the beginning of June, US and Iraqi forces have persistently remained on the offensive against al Qaeda in Iraq and the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups. Al Qaeda in Iraq has not had time to regroup and reestablish itself as US and Iraqi forces maintain the pressure with rolling operations. Just as the push to clear Baghdad began to ramp up with the "surge," Phantom Thunder was launched in the major population centers in the Belts. Just as al Qaeda looks to move its operations into the less patrolled rural regions, Phantom Strike and Lightning Hammer were launched to tackle these regions.

This is a major difference from 2006, when Multinational Forces Iraq failed to conduct a cohesive battle plan to address al Qaeda and Sunni insurgency, while ceding large sections of Baghdad and portions of southern Iraq to the Mahdi Army. The attempt to secure Baghdad in 2006 failed as there was little effort to dislodge the terror groups from the Belts surrounding Baghdad.

Now all this raises a couple of questions. Here's one for Democrats in general: If this trend looks like it's continuing next month will you still be calling for withdrawal of American forces?

And here's one for Sen. Harry Reid and Congressman John Murtha in particular: Do you still maintain that the war in Iraq is a lost cause?

And finally, here's one for the MSM: What are the chances you guys will ask either of these questions?


Our Guy

Jim Geraghty at NRO has a piece on our guy Mike Huckabee. There are a lot of good horses in the Republican stable but Huck's beginning to look like a contender.

If Newt Gingrich were running he'd be another strong candidate, notwithstanding the personal baggage he's carrying (Who in this race isn't carrying baggage?). This brief clip of Newt gives the viewer a sense of why he'd be such an attractive candidate for conservatives.


Road to Dhimmiville

Here's a wonderful idea proposed by a Catholic bishop in the Netherlands: He suggests that in the interest of religious harmony Christians should call God Allah. This will please (and appease) Muslims, the bishop avers, and they'll be so much more agreeably disposed toward Christians because of it.

We here at Viewpoint think the prelate is on to something, so why stop at calling God Allah? There's much more Christians can do to mollify their Muslim neighbors and to persuade them of our good will. For instance, why not begin calling Mohammed the Messiah and start celebrating Ramadan? Think of the good feelings those two simple acts would engender among the faithful minions of Islam.

We also think it's high time Christian women got serious about modesty and started wearing the hijab, if not the burka, and what would be wrong with bowing five times a day toward Mecca? God, er, Allah, doesn't care which direction we face when we pray, so it may as well be toward Mecca as any other direction.

We are indebted to the good bishop for coming up with such a fertile idea, an idea certain to put us firmly on the road to universal religious peace and harmony. After all, why should Christians be all persnickety about holding on to their theological principles and traditions when peace can be so easily had by just giving them up?