Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tony Blair....

Tony Blair, that famously liberal Friend of Bill, has become one of the best friends that this country has ever had. He was never better than at the joint press conference the other day....

...I don't think, actually, it's anything to do with a loss of American influence at all. I think -- we've got to go back and ask what changed policy, because policy has changed in the past few years. And what changed policy was September the 11th. That changed policy, but actually, before September the 11th this global movement with a global ideology was already in being. September the 11th was the culmination of what they wanted to do. But, actually -- and this is probably where the policymakers, such as myself, were truly in error -- is that even before September the 11th, this was happening in all sorts of different ways in different countries.

I mean, in Algeria, for example, tens and tens of thousands of people lost their lives. This movement has grown, it is there, it will latch on to any cause that it possibly can and give it a dimension of terrorism and hatred. You can see this. You can see it in Kashmir, for example. You can see it in Chechnya. You can see it in Palestine.

Now, what is its purpose? Its purpose is to promote its ideology based upon the perversion of Islam, and to use any methods at all, but particularly terrorism, to do that, because they know that the value of terrorism to them is -- as I was saying a moment or two ago, it's not simply the act of terror, it's the chain reaction that terror brings with it. Terrorism brings the reprisal; the reprisal brings the additional hatred; the additional hatred breeds the additional terrorism, and so on. But in a small way, we lived through that in Northern Ireland over many, many decades.

Now, what happened after September the 11th -- and this explains, I think, the President's policy, but also the reason why I have taken the view, and still take the view that Britain and America should remain strong allies, shoulder-to-shoulder in fighting this battle, is that we are never going to succeed unless we understand they are going to fight hard. The reason why they are doing what they're doing in Iraq at the moment -- and, yes, it's really tough as a result of it -- is because they know that if, right in the center of the Middle East, in an Arab, Muslim country, you've got a non-sectarian democracy, in other words people weren't governed either by religious fanatics or secular dictators, you've got a genuine democracy of the people, how does their ideology flourish in such circumstances?

So they have imported the terrorism into that country, preyed on whatever reactionary elements there are to boost it. And that's why we have the issue there; that's why the Taliban are trying to come back in Afghanistan. That is why, the moment it looked as if you could get progress in Israel and Palestine, it had to be stopped. That's the moment when, as they saw there was a problem in Gaza, so they realized, well, there's a possibility now we can set Lebanon against Israel.

Now, it's a global movement, it's a global ideology. And if there's any mistake that's ever made in these circumstances, it's if people are surprised that it's tough to fight, because you're up against an ideology that's prepared to use any means at all, including killing any number of wholly innocent people.

And I don't dispute part of the implication of your question at all, in the sense that you look at what is happening in the Middle East and what is happening in Iraq and Lebanon and Palestine, and, of course, there's a sense of shock and frustration and anger at what is happening, and grief at the loss of innocent lives. But it is not a reason for walking away. It's a reason for staying the course, and staying it no matter how tough it is, because the alternative is actually letting this ideology grip a larger and larger number of people.

And it is going to be difficult. Look, we've got a problem even in our own Muslim communities in Europe, who will half-buy into some of the propaganda that's pushed at it -- the purpose of America is to suppress Islam, Britain has joined with America in the suppression of Islam. And one of the things we've got to stop doing is stop apologizing for our own positions. Muslims in America, as far as I'm aware of, are free to worship; Muslims in Britain are free to worship. We are plural societies.

It's nonsense, the propaganda is nonsense. And we're not going to defeat this ideology until we in the West go out with sufficient confidence in our own position and say, this is wrong. It's not just wrong in its methods, it's wrong in its ideas, it's wrong in its ideology, it's wrong in every single wretched reactionary thing about it. And it will be a long struggle, I'm afraid. But there's no alternative but to stay the course with it. And we will....

h/t ranting profs

Man, I miss....

Calvin and Hobbes.

h/t gullyborg via Cowboy Blob.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Gun Locks....

While not a bad idea on paper, do have their drawbacks.

Azlib. Axiom #47: Kids need to know how to safely handle a gun before they know how to multiply.

h/t FrankJ.

But It's a Dry Heat...

While on a trip a couple of days ago, I got a rather frantic call from Mrs. Azlib in the middle of the night. It seems the filter for the spa had a giant hole in it. Water and D.E. was spewing everywhere and the spa had drained completely. I told her how to turn off the pump motor and what to do to keep it from coming on again.

So, yesterday morning was my day to repair said hole. It turned out to be much easier than I had imagined, and about as expensive. That said, it was a bit time consuming.

And it was very hot. The paper this morning said 118°. It hasn't been that hot in a decade. There have been only ten instances when it got that hot since they've been keeping records. Hot. Real Hot.

So, as I look back at yesterday, it's no wonder that I had to wear gloves to handle the tools and I was beginning to get light-headed.

Today--more of the same. Primarily to stay home to care for Mrs. Azlib after her colonoscopy, but also because of the heat, I'm not going to make it to the IDPA match this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dogs and Cats lying together....

With a hat-tip to the WSJ Best of the Web...

From The Kuwaiti Arab Times...

A battle between supporters and opponents of these adventurers has begun, starting from Palestine to Tehran passing through Syria and Lebanon. This war was inevitable as the Lebanese government couldn't bring Hezbollah within its authority and make it work for the interests of Lebanon. Similarly leader of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has been unable to rein in the Hamas Movement.

Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of "these irregular phenomena" is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community.

And there you have it....Arab Muslims endorsing the actions of Israeli Jews.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Norks...

So, the North Koreans have tested their missile on our Independence Day. They are obviously demonstrating an inferiority complex, but beyond that, every time they pull one of these stunts, I cannot help but flash to this guy...

Independence Day was, perhaps, a prophetic day to hold this test. The day is not just an anniversary, but also a movie. And in that movie, the President is also a former fighter-pilot.

Am I the only one who can't help but think of this guy?

And, to bring this thing full circle, is this image that far off?

Update: The Norks are now robbing trains. Not these kind of train-robbers; More like stealing the whole damned train.
h/t Frank J.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Mid-East...A Tangled Mess

I ran across this item in this morning's paper.

President Mubarak of Egypt travels to Saudi Arabia to meet the King to encourage him to use his influence with Syria to get them to pressure Hamas (funded largely by Iran) to reach across to the Palestinians now at the end of their rope.

Does anybody really believe this knot can be untangled?

Bush at Ft. Bragg...

Today, Pres. Bush spoke at an Independence Day appearance at Ft. Bragg. He couldn't have put up a more clear description of why we are at war. I'm hoping that someone puts it up on you tube.

Day by Day...


Monday, July 03, 2006

The Civil Debate from the Left...

If kos [Sorry. No link from me. Look it up yourself if you're really interested.] strikes you as a bit too screechy, you can always sign on with the deeper debate found here.

h/t. Ann Althouse

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Much Rejoicing...

The Prodigal Daughter Returns.