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stan v
03-13-2003, 06:22 AM
Wall Street
Journal Online


March 13, 2003

AT WAR

The Rage, the Pride and the Doubt
Thoughts on the eve of battle in Iraq.

BY ORIANA FALLACI
Thursday, March 13, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST

To avoid the dilemma of whether this war should take place or not, to overcome the reservations and the reluctance and the doubts that still lacerate me, I often say to myself: "How good if the Iraqis would get free of Saddam Hussein by themselves. How good if they would execute him and hang up his body by the feet as in 1945 we Italians did with Mussolini." But it does not help. Or it helps in one way only. The Italians, in fact, could get free of Mussolini because in 1945 the Allies had conquered almost four-fifths of Italy. In other words, because the Second World War had taken place. A war without which we would have kept Mussolini (and Hitler) forever. A war during which the allies had pitilessly bombed us and we had died like mosquitoes. The Allies, too. At Salerno, at Anzio, at Cassino. Along the road from Rome to Florence, then on the terrible Gothic Line. In less than two years, 45,806 dead among the Americans and 17,500 among the English, the Canadians, the Australians, the New Zealanders, the South Africans, the Indians, the Brazilians. And also the French who had chosen De Gaulle, also the Italians who had chosen the Fifth or the Eighth Army. (Can anybody guess how many cemeteries of Allied soldiers there are in Italy? More than sixty. And the largest, the most crowded, are the American ones. At Nettuno, 10,950 graves. At Falciani, near Florence, 5,811. Each time I pass in front of it and see that lake of crosses, I shiver with grief and gratitude.) There was also a National Liberation Front, in Italy. A Resistance that the Allies supplied with weapons and ammunition. As in spite of my tender age (14), I was involved in the matter, I remember well the American plane that, braving anti-aircraft fire, parachuted those supplies to Tuscany. To be exact, onto Mount Giovi where one night they air-dropped commandos with the task of activating a short-wave network named Radio Cora. Ten smiling Americans who spoke very good Italian and who three months later were captured by the SS, tortured, and executed with a Florentine partisan girl: Anna Maria Enriquez-Agnoletti.

Thus, the dilemma remains.

It remains for the reasons I will try to state. And the first one is that, contrary to the pacifists who never yell against Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden and only yell against George W. Bush and Tony Blair, (but in their Rome march they also yelled against me and raised posters wishing that I'd blow up with the next shuttle, I'm told), I know war very well. I know what it means to live in terror, to run under air strikes and cannonades, to see people killed and houses destroyed, to starve and dream of a piece of bread, to miss even a glass of drinking water. And (which is worse) to be or to feel responsible for someone else's death. I know it because I belong to the Second World War generation and because, as a member of the Resistance, I was myself a soldier. I also know it because for a good deal of my life I have been a war correspondent. Beginning with Vietnam, I have experienced horrors that those who see war only through TV or the movies where blood is tomato ketchup don't even imagine. As a consequence, I hate it as the pacifists in bad or good faith never will. I loathe it. Every book I have written overflows with that loathing, and I cannot bear the sight of guns. At the same time, however, I don't accept the principle, or should I say the slogan, that "All wars are unjust, illegitimate." The war against Hitler and Mussolini and Hirohito was just, was legitimate. The Risorgimento wars that my ancestors fought against the invaders of Italy were just, were legitimate. And so was the war of independence that Americans fought against Britain. So are the wars (or revolutions) which happen to regain dignity, freedom. I do not believe in vile acquittals, phony appeasements, easy forgiveness. Even less, in the exploitation or the blackmail of the word Peace. When peace stands for surrender, fear, loss of dignity and freedom, it is no longer peace. It's suicide.

The second reason is that this war should not happen now. If just as I wish, legitimate as I hope, it should have happened one year ago. That is, when the ruins of the Towers were still smoking and the whole civilized world felt American. Had it happened then, the pacifists who never yell against Saddam or bin Laden would not today fill the squares to anathematize the United States. Hollywood stars would not play the role of Messiahs, and ambiguous Turkey would not cynically deny passage to the Marines who have to reach the Northern front. Despite the Europeans who added their voice to the voice of the Palestinians howling "Americans-got-it-good," one year ago nobody questioned that another Pearl Harbor had been inflicted on the U.S. and that the U.S. had all the right to respond. As a matter of fact, it should have happened before. I mean when Bill Clinton was president, and small Pearl Harbors were bursting abroad. In Somalia, in Kenya, in Yemen. As I shall never tire of repeating, we did not need September 11 to see that the cancer was there. September 11 was the excruciating confirmation of a reality which had been burning for decades, the indisputable diagnosis of a doctor who waves an X-ray and brutally snaps: "My dear Sir, you have cancer." Had Mr. Clinton spent less time with voluptuous girls, had he made smarter use of the Oval Office, maybe September 11 would not have occurred. And, needless to say, even less would it have occurred if the first George Bush had removed Saddam with the Gulf War. For Christ's sake, in 1991 the Iraqi army deflated like a pricked balloon. It disintegrated so quickly, so easily, that even I captured four of its soldiers. I was behind a dune in the Saudi desert, all alone. Four skeletal creatures in ragged uniforms came toward me with arms raised, and whispered: "Bush, Bush." Meaning: "Please take me prisoner. I am so thirsty, so hungry." So I took them prisoner. I delivered them to the Marine in charge, and instead of congratulating me he grumbled: "Dammit! Some more?!?" Yet the Americans did not get to Baghdad, did not remove Saddam. And, to thank them, Saddam tried to kill their president. The same president who had left him in power. In fact, at times I wonder if this war isn't also a long-awaited retaliation, a filial revenge, a promise made by the son to the father. Like in a Shakespearean tragedy. Better, a Greek one.

The third reason is the wrong way in which the promise has materialized. Let's admit it: from September 11 until last summer, all the stress was put on bin Laden, on al Qaeda, on Afghanistan. Saddam and Iraq were practically ignored. Only when it became clear that bin Laden was in good health, that the solemn commitment to take him dead or alive had failed, were we reminded that Saddam existed too. That he was not a gentle soul, that he cut the tongues and ears of his adversaries, that he killed children in front of their parents, that he decapitated women then displayed their heads in the streets, that he kept his prisoners in cells as small as coffins, that he made his biological or chemical experiments on them too. That he had connections with al Qaeda and supported terrorism, that he rewarded the families of Palestinian kamikazes at the rate of $25,000 each. That he had never disarmed, never given up his arsenal of deadly weapons, thus the U.N. should send back the inspectors, and let's be serious: if seventy years ago the ineffective League of Nations had sent its inspectors to Germany, do you think that Hitler would have shown them Peenemünde where Von Braun was manufacturing V2s? Do you think that Hitler would have disclosed the camps of Auschwitz, of Mauthausen, Buchenwald, Dachau? Yet the inspection comedy resumed. With such intensity that the role of prima donna passed from bin Laden to Saddam, and the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the engineer of September 11, was greeted almost with indifference. A comedy marked by the double games of the inspectors and the conflicting strategies of Mr. Bush who on the one hand asked the Security Council for permission to use force and on the other sent his troops to the front. In less than two months, a quarter of a million troops. With the British and Australians, 310,000. And all this without realizing that his enemies (but I should say the enemies of the West) are not only in Baghdad.
They are also in Europe. They are in Paris where the mellifluous Jacques Chirac does not give a damn for peace but plans to satisfy his vanity with the Nobel Peace Prize. Where there is no wish to remove Saddam Hussein because Saddam Hussein means the oil that the French companies pump from Iraqi wells. And where (forgetting a little flaw named Petain) France chases its Napoleonic desire to dominate the European Union, to establish its hegemony over it. They are in Berlin, where the party of the mediocre Gerhard Schröder won the elections by comparing Mr. Bush to Hitler, where American flags are soiled with the swastika, and where, in the dream of playing the masters again, Germans go arm-in-arm with the French. They are in Rome where the communists left by the door and re-entered through the window like the birds of the Hitchcock movie. And where, pestering the world with his ecumenism, his pietism, his Thirdworldism, Pope Wojtyla receives Tariq Aziz as a dove or a martyr who is about to be eaten by lions. (Then he sends him to Assisi where the friars escort him to the tomb of St. Francis.) In the other European countries, it is more or less the same. In Europe your enemies are everywhere, Mr. Bush. What you quietly call "differences of opinion" are in reality pure hate. Because in Europe pacifism is synonymous with anti-Americanism, sir, and accompanied by the most sinister revival of anti-Semitism the anti-Americanism triumphs as much as in the Islamic world. Haven't your ambassadors informed you? Europe is no longer Europe. It is a province of Islam, as Spain and Portugal were at the time of the Moors. It hosts almost 16 million Muslim immigrants and teems with mullahs, imams, mosques, burqas, chadors. It lodges thousands of Islamic terrorists whom governments don't know how to identify and control. People are afraid, and in waving the flag of pacifism--pacifism synonymous with anti-Americanism--they feel protected.

Besides, Europe does not care for the 221,484 Americans who died for her in the Second World War. Rather than gratitude, their cemeteries give rise to resentment. As a consequence, in Europe nobody will back this war. Not even nations which are officially allied with the U.S., not even the prime ministers who call you "My friend George." (Like Silvio Berlusconi.) In Europe you only have one friend, one ally, sir: Tony Blair. But Mr. Blair too leads a country which is invaded by the Moors. A country that hides that resentment. Even his party opposes him, and by the way: I owe you an apology, Mr. Blair. In my book "The Rage and the Pride," I was unfair to you. Because I wrote that you would not persevere with your guts, that you would drop them as soon as it would no longer serve your political interests. With impeccable coherence, instead, you are sacrificing those interests to your convictions. Indeed, I apologize. I also withdraw the phrase I used to comment on your excess of courtesy toward Islamic culture: "If our culture has the same value as the one that imposes the burqa, why do you spend your summers in my Tuscany and not in Saudi Arabia?" Now I say: "My Tuscany is your Tuscany, sir. My home is your home."

The final reason for my dilemma is the definition that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair and their advisors give of this war: "A Liberation war. A humanitarian war to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq." Oh, no. Humanitarianism has nothing to do with wars. All wars, even just ones, are death and destruction and atrocities and tears. And this is not a liberation war, a war like the Second World War. (By the way: neither is it an "oil war," as the pacifists who never yell against Saddam or bin Laden maintain in their rallies. Americans do not need Iraqi oil.) It is a political war. A war made in cold blood to respond to the Holy War that the enemies of the West declared upon the West on September 11. It is also a prophylactic war. A vaccine, a surgery that hits Saddam because, (Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair believe), among the various focuses of cancer Saddam is the most obvious and dangerous one. Moreover, the obstacle that once removed will permit them to redesign the map of the Middle East as the British and the French did after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. To redesign it and to spread a Pax Romana, pardon, a Pax Americana, in which everybody will prosper through freedom and democracy. Again, no. Freedom cannot be a gift. And democracy cannot be imposed with bombs, with occupation armies. As my father said when he asked the anti-fascists to join the Resistance, and as today I say to those who honestly rely on the Pax Americana, people must conquer freedom by themselves. Democracy must come from their will, and in both cases a country must know what they consist of. In Europe the Second World War was a liberation war not because it brought novelties called freedom and democracy but because it re-established them. Because Europeans knew what they consisted of. The Japanese did not: it is true. In Japan, those two treasures were somehow a gift, a refund for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But Japan had already started its process of modernization, and did not belong to the Islamic world. As I write in my book when I call bin Laden the tip of the iceberg and I define the iceberg as a mountain that has not moved for 1,400 years, that for 1,400 years has not changed, that has not emerged from its blindness, freedom and democracy are totally unrelated to the ideological texture of Islam. To the tyranny of theocratic states. So their people refuse them, and even more they want to erase ours.

Upheld by their stubborn optimism, the same optimism for which at the Alamo they fought so well and all died slaughtered by Santa Anna, Americans think that in Baghdad they will be welcomed as they were in Rome and Florence and Paris. "They'll cheer us, throw us flowers." Maybe. In Baghdad anything can happen. But after that? Nearly two-thirds of the Iraqis are Shiites who have always dreamed of establishing an Islamic Republic of Iraq, and the Soviets too were once cheered in Kabul. They too imposed their peace. They even succeeded in convincing women to take off their burqa, remember? After a while, though, they had to leave. And the Taliban came. Thus, I ask: what if instead of learning freedom Iraq becomes a second Talibani Afghanistan? What if instead of becoming democratized by the Pax Americana the whole Middle East blows up and the cancer multiplies? As a proud defender of the West's civilization, without reservations I should join Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair in the new Alamo. Without reluctance I should fight and die with them. And this is the only thing about which I have no doubts at all.
Oriana Fallaci is the author of "The Rage and the Pride" (Rizzoli International, 2002), available from the OpinionJournal bookstore.

LeeG
03-13-2003, 06:46 AM
good morning stan, it is powerful. She doesn't like the arguments "the pacifists and protesters" use. Nothing like constructing the oppositions position so as to knock it down. Maybe it'll work that way in Iraq.

Wild Dingo
03-13-2003, 07:11 AM
:eek: aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!... me eyes!! me brain!! aaahhh talk about flamin LONG WINDED POSTS!!! man oh man that hurts... tongue.gif

FRIG YOU DONNY!!... ****e! I talk in small posts compared to that!! tongue.gif ...So dont you EVER flamin well complain and bitch about my flamin posts again!! :mad:

Stan the man takes the cake! :rolleyes:

At least you know with my posts its from me head and heart not copy paste a complete friggin article!! sheeeeeeeesh! :rolleyes:

ooohhh sorry I will now go back and try to read that stan :( ... probably come and edit this then but maybe not cause me eyes would be sore from all the readin!! :D

stan v
03-13-2003, 07:20 AM
Of all members to complain about something hurting their EYES, it's WD 50! Give me a break! What a pontificatinglyunbelieveablegitofbulldothatiscomin gfromyouyouoldgeezer!!!!!!!!! ;) :D :rolleyes: :cool: :eek:

Rex Fearnehough
03-13-2003, 07:29 AM
II feel that I have to reply to this thread.
I am a pacifist too, but, I am now for this war.
How does this work?
Fallaci is not someone that I am familiar with, I did feel a few strange undercurrents in her article, but mostly I liked the article.
Not only did I like it but I found it rousing.
We have our troops in the gulf at the moment and I wish them well.
They would rather not be there, some will die, they do not wish to die.
Will it be a better world after the event? Ask me and them in five years time.
I do not like the message that is being sent to our troops, by some of the "pacifists and protesters." I don't want them to die unsure of our support.
After the event, scream and shout all that you want. Show your dissent in the ballot box, march on paliament or Capitol hill.
But, at this moment support our troops.
Let them die believing that they are helping you and I.
That is the closest that I will come to agreeing with Stan.

LeeG
03-13-2003, 07:32 AM
because her name sounds exciting,,couldn't you imagine meeting her in her 30's, a cafe, an argument, a fight, she leaves, all you can see beside her convictions and determination is her ankles, the taste of red wine, she comes back and gives you a hard kiss knowing there will be another

damn, sorry guys I got carried away

stan v
03-13-2003, 07:36 AM
Yes, LeeG you did. Thanks. smile.gif

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-13-2003, 07:40 AM
She seems to think that no-one was killed fighting Japan, since she attributes all US casualties of WW2 to "freeing Europe", and where she gets the idea that war graves are "resented" in Europe, I have no idea - that is far from the truth, as anyone who has visited even one of them can attest. Perhaps she has never visited one.

So I fear I have some difficulty with the rest of what she has to say, since she got at least these two facts dead wrong.

stan v
03-13-2003, 07:44 AM
I didn't read that ACB. I think what she said was that Europe has forgotten the cost of freedom.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-13-2003, 08:03 AM
Oh, I can accept that sort of argument. There is some truth in it. But to call Europe "A province of Islam" is daft, all European nations, even including little Bosnia, are either expressly Christian, or expressly secular, and to say that Britain has been "invaded by the Moors", because we have some citizens who come, or whose parents came, from Pakistan and Bangladesh, is silly and not very nice.

Harry Miller
03-13-2003, 09:13 AM
Assuming that this war is about to take place I'd like to consider the aftermath. Specifically two possibilities:
First - Baghdad is bombed, Saddam is ousted and after a suitable time Iraq becomes a democracy leading to the eventual democratization of the whole region.
Or:
Second - Baghdad is bombed, Saddam is ousted and
the whole world becomes an inflated Israel, Gaza and West Bank with terrorism increased by a hundredfold and the U.S. replying, a la Ariel Sharon, by finding new and easy targets to obliterate.

Looking at the first possibility, democracy is hard. You just have to look at Russia. Since democracy its gross domestic product has sunk to the level of Portugal. I don't hold out much hope for Iraq to do any better, at least in the short term.

Now for the second possibility. Until recently Saddam was on the Al Qaeda hit list - to be executed. Now, if he is killed in a war, he will, in the minds of most Arabs, be seen, however wrongly, as a martyr and Islamic fundamentalists will have a powerful weapon against the west - a true weapon of mass destruction.

Now I realize that these scenarios are at the extreme ends of the possible spectrum; and I also realize that Saddam is a truly evil person and I am not providing any solution to his evil. But just because you don't have the solution doesn't mean you should do something that will only make the situation worse.

Rocky
03-13-2003, 09:22 AM
So Bill Clinton should have launched preemptive strikes BEFORE Sept. 11, and if Bush had started this war on Sept. 12 everyone would have cheered? Are they piping LSD into the lobby of the Wall Street Journal Building or what? What is it about that paper that turns respected journalists into drooling apologists for American war profiteers? I'd rather read the Weekly World News, at least it makes me laugh. Ciao, Arianna, your reputation just went down the toilet.

[ 03-13-2003, 12:20 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

Scott Rosen
03-13-2003, 09:28 AM
I've loved that woman ever since I first read her.

She has guts and smarts. She knows what's right. And she knows how to communicate it.

Most of all, she reports what she sees, regardless of whose feelings may get hurt.

WWheeler
03-13-2003, 09:42 AM
The Iraqis will be really tending to hold back, since over 150,000 were murdered in '91 when the Republican Guard put down the revolt in the South. Just some air support would have done it.

Bush sr.'s refusal to support the rebellion, after encouraging it, is probably one of the cynical and indecent acts committed in recent memory. In fact Bush sr. has murdered as many Iraqis as Saddam Hussein.

Sam F
03-13-2003, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
Oh, I can accept that sort of argument. There is some truth in it. But to call Europe "A province of Islam" is daft, all European nations, even including little Bosnia, are either expressly Christian, or expressly secular, and to say that Britain has been "invaded by the Moors", because we have some citizens who come, or whose parents came, from Pakistan and Bangladesh, is silly and not very nice.Andrew, I suppose you know that Moslems have been speculating for years about when particular European countries will impose Sharia (Islamic) Law. Ms. Fallaci has demographics on her side of the argument.
From that point of view Europe is already a "dead man walking." If I were a European I'd have grave doubts about my civilization's future.

Btw, and to no one in particular, speaking of this quote:
"Pope Wojtyla receives Tariq Aziz as a dove or a martyr who is about to be eaten by lions. (Then he sends him to Assisi where the friars escort him to the tomb of St. Francis.) "
Tariq Aziz is a Christian so his treatment is not particularly bizarre. That he is a bad Christian I have little doubt, but by definition there is sill hope for him. smile.gif

Sam F
03-13-2003, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by WWheeler:

Bush sr.'s refusal to support the rebellion, after encouraging it, is probably one of the cynical and indecent acts committed in recent memory. In fact Bush sr. has murdered as many Iraqis as Saddam Hussein.Not murder but not much better either. I believe the correct term is "accessory before the fact"... but the lawyers among us may know a better term.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-13-2003, 10:32 AM
Sam, that's a silly speculation.

For several reasons. First, we are talking about small percentages of the population. Even with significantly higher birth rates, that is not going to change any time soon.

Second, it assumes that someone arriving to settle in a European country will remain unchanged by that country, and that their grandchildren will remain unchanged by it. But we know that is not the case - we have the evidence of our own eyes.

A more profitable line of enquiry would be, "When will the USA drop the use of English in favour of Spanish?" You won't find signs at airports in Arabic or Urdu, here.

Rocky
03-13-2003, 11:08 AM
Dingo's complaining about long-winded posts? Now I KNOW there's some good weed goin around!

I took the trouble of printing out Orianna's little fantasy, basically she's saying this endeavor is doomed to failure but that's all right because she has an Alamo fantasy and wants to go down with the ship.

Lets see:...

"The deaths of thousands of Allied troops freed Italy from Mussolini."
Therefore it is OK for thousands of US troops to die to free Iraq from Saddam Hussein. Germans? What Germans?

"As a member of the Resistance, I was myself a soldier."

"Saddam Hussein rewarded the families of Palestinian suicide bombers with $25,000 each".
This can be verified, but I thought it came from the Palestinian Authority. Maybe they got the money from him.

"Bush's enemies are not only Iraq but also in Europe, where Jacques Chirac chases a Napoleonic desire to dominate the European Union ... the Germans go arm-in-arm with the French, and ... the Pope "pesters" the world with his ecumenism and his pietism." Isn't that his job?

"In Europe pacifism is synonomous with anti-Americanism and...the most sinister revival of anti-Semitism....Europe is no longer Europe, it is a province of Islam, as Spain and Portugal were in the time of the Moors. It hosts almost 16 million Muslim immigrants and teems with mullahs, imams, mosques, burqas, chadors....People are afraid, and in waving the flag of pacifism - synonomous with anti-Americanism - they feel protected."

"Europe does not care for the 221,4848 Americans who died for her in the Second World War."

[Paraphrase]"Americans think this will be a prophylactic war to stop the cancerous spread of Islamic fundamentalism by striking at one of its sources [this despite Iraq's being one of the most secular of Islamic states] ... and will impose a Pax Americana. They think they will be welcomed in Baghad as the Russians were welcomed in Kabul. But eventually they will have to leave".

After arguing that the above assumptions are false she then says, "What if instead of becoming democratized by the Pax Americana the whole Middle East blows up? As a proud defender of the West's civilization, I will join Mr.Bush and Mr. Blairin the new Alamo...I shall fight and die with them."

THAT's reassuring. Her main appeal to the WSJ is that she is vehemently anti-anti-Semetic.

Sam F
03-13-2003, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
Sam, that's a silly speculation.

For several reasons. First, we are talking about small percentages of the population. Even with significantly higher birth rates, that is not going to change any time soon.

Second, it assumes that someone arriving to settle in a European country will remain unchanged by that country, and that their grandchildren will remain unchanged by it. But we know that is not the case - we have the evidence of our own eyes.

A more profitable line of enquiry would be, "When will the USA drop the use of English in favour of Spanish?" You won't find signs at airports in Arabic or Urdu, here.Andrew it's unfortunately not so silly. (Please note that I write of generalities about not specific individuals!) The problem Europe faces is two pronged. One is a steady decline in population. Secularists don’t reproduce very well since their goals are typically along personal fulfillment lines. Children get in the way of personal fulfillment. Thus demographically speaking, secularists are doomed. The other horn on this dilemma is one of conversion. What does European secularism have to offer Islam? From a Moslem’s perspective, not much. How many secularist "missionaries have Europeans fielded to convert Moslems? None of course, because European (and US) secularism is not a positive thing but the degeneration of Christianity. Its nature and origin is born in decline.
From a particularly English point of view, how many Moslems have converted to your established church? I'd guess precious few. Whether the new immigrants speak Spanish or Urdu is irrelevant. It’s their faith that is important to the preservation of your culture.
I can’t help but see the grim irony that tens of thousands of European Christians died fighting to keep Islam out, with good reason. They knew first hand what Islam did to the Christian lands it conquered. Now their descendants invite them in with open arms.

Sam F
03-13-2003, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by Rocky:


"Saddam Hussein rewarded the families of Palestinian suicide bombers with $25,000 each".
This can be verified, but I thought it came from the Palestinian Authority. Maybe they got the money from him.
I'm not a member of the Fallaci fan club, but according to various news outlets (ABC etc.) this is correct. Hussein does in fact give grants to the families of suicide bombers.

Wild Dingo
03-13-2003, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by stan v:
Of all members to complain about something hurting their EYES, it's WD 50! Give me a break! What a pontificatinglyunbelieveablegitofbulldothatiscomin gfromyouyouoldgeezer!!!!!!!!! ;) :D :rolleyes: :cool: :eek: And the very reason I read it and commented as I did was because it came from you stan! :D

Donn get over yourself :rolleyes:

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-13-2003, 11:33 AM
Sam, you have fallen, I think, into the error of thinking that all Moslems are religious people, whilst all Christians are not. It is no more true that all Moslems pray five times a day and attend Mosque on Friday than that all Christians say grace over their food and go to church on Sunday.

I know a couple of Moslems (as they would be labelled) who drink like fishes and never go near the place!

imported_Steven Bauer
03-13-2003, 12:50 PM
And doesn't the Saudi Royal Family support the families of suicide bombers?

Sam F
03-13-2003, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
Sam, you have fallen, I think, into the error of thinking that all Moslems are religious people, whilst all Christians are not. It is no more true that all Moslems pray five times a day and attend Mosque on Friday than that all Christians say grace over their food and go to church on Sunday.

I know a couple of Moslems (as they would be labelled) who drink like fishes and never go near the place!Andrew, I make mistakes aplenty but that’s not one of them. I'm just using a wider time frame than you are. People are people everywhere, lots of them don't follow their faith particularly well... or have no faith at all. The fact remains that when a population becomes dominated by believers of one faith they inevitably stamp their character on society. The character of both our societies is not Islamic and never has been(other than some linguistic captures like admiral, algebra and alcohol).

Seen from a Martian's point of view, who doesn't care which religion those humans practice, it is still apparent that Christianity and Islam produce very different societies.
You and I live in the ruins of a Christian civilization. Without that background we would be radically different people. We may both have ancestors who gave their lives to preserve their way of lives in the centuries long struggle with Islam. Some no doubt were lousy Christians (or worse) but fought nevertheless. This civilization that we share, despite its warts and flaws, has achievements beyond all others that preceded it. It is worth preserving. It is my observation that Islam is incompatible with that way of life. There is a awful lot of evidence for this position both historical and present. I may be wrong. I hope I am wrong. But I’m not comfortable gambling with my grandchildren’s future either.

Meerkat
03-13-2003, 02:49 PM
Europe is going Muslim because of 16 million people? According to a WSJ article a few years back, the fastest growing religion in the US is Islam. It would not surprise me that that where still true, if perhaps slowed somewhat by 9/11.

Shalom dude ;)

Sam F
03-13-2003, 02:51 PM
Andrew, Quite by accident I just ran across the following statistics for Europe:
The US the fertility rate is 2.1 children per couple; in Europe it is 1.4. 1.4 is far below the replacement rate.
According to some optimistic Muslims that means Sharia by 2070. :eek:

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-13-2003, 03:06 PM
Well, Sam, I go to church on Sundays and we have two children and a cat. Done my bit!

Seriously, though, I don't expect the fertility rate of immigrant families to stay high, and there is ample evidence that it does not, here in Britain. British Asian girls have been to school all their lives with other British girls, and what they want as young women is a career, not purdah and nine children. Does this cause family tensions - you bet it does - but the girls always win, because our secularist society has stacked the cards in the girl's favour. The law is on her side. This will not stop her wearing a headscarf, she probably will wish to - but it will stop her having more children than her neighbours do.

"Yes," you will say, "But what about new immigration?"

Fairish point - we had 120,000 "asylum seekers" last year - but that is not going to be a permanent state of affairs, any more than "Commonwealth immigration" was, when Enoch Powell was predicting "rivers of blood", in the 1960's.

Meerkat
03-13-2003, 03:11 PM
acb, this might excede the bounds of British sensibilities, but I'm dying to know: how did you begat the cat? :D

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-13-2003, 04:18 PM
Ah, the cat.

Well, you see, my son wanted a kitten, and my sister's cat had just had kittens. When my sister delivered the kitten, Tom, she handed over his mother, Squeak, as well, because Squeak did not get on with my sister's old cat, Cannaca (she was intended as a replacement, when the Grim Reaper carried off Senior Cat. No-one likes seeing their replacement every day, least of all at breakfast!)

Tom grew up to be a fine, upstanding, young cat. Then one day, just after Christmas, he saw a bird on the far side of the road, but he did not see the car that killed him. So we still have Squeak, who is rather a silly cat, but not a bad cat. Right now she is trying to get the mouse that she absent-mindedly let go in the kitchen, which promptly ran behind a cupboard....

Sam F
03-13-2003, 07:12 PM
This data comes from the UN. I know I know, I don't particularly trust it, but they're the only numbers I've run across. No doubt your government keeps better data that you may find. (I'd be glad to see any #'s, btw. I really wouldn't mind some good news you know!)

If the EU is to keep its working population stable till 2050, immigration would have to be 1.58 million each year. To fund the social services programs adequately, in other words to keep the ratio of workers to retirees stable, it would require 13.5 million immigrants per year.
If I lived in the EU, I'd find those numbers very disturbing!

Meerkat
03-13-2003, 07:36 PM
Heh - what about our retirement/worker ratio?

BTW, our birth rate is mostly driven by immigants.

Sam F
03-14-2003, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
Heh - what about our retirement/worker ratio?

BTW, our birth rate is mostly driven by immigants.In the US we're almost all immigrants. :eek:

It may be of some concern to a Secularist, but the fact that most of the immigrants to the US are from Catholic Latin America bothers me not one bit. :D :D