Saturday, December 06, 2008


sinterklaasDecember 6 is Santa Claus Day. I do not know how exactly Santa Claus is celebrated in Anglosaxon countries, or even other European countries for that matter, but in the Low Countries, it's a kid's event with the impact of Halloween. First off, we call Santa Claus "Sinterklaas". In the days and even weeks prior to December 6, he, that is to say one of his numerous Doppelgaengers, can be seen in the streets distributing candy. In The Netherlands more often than in Belgium on his white horse, see pic, but in both countries he is invariably accompanied by several helpers commonly referred to as "Zwarte Pieten" ("Black Peters"). In our postchristian societies where political correctness has gone criminally insane, the role pattern of White Saint/Black aides has come under heavy fire recently, but that is not the topic I want to talk about tonight. Anyway, apart from the appearance of your instant "Sinterklaas" in the streets - often hired by toy shops to foster in the kiddos an appetite for presents - gazillions of Belgian families with young children have, throughout the ages, staged the arrival of the Good White Saint with his trademark white beard, red cloak and high mitre emblazoned with a golden cross in the homely circle, to shower the kids with toys and candy. For those parents wishing to add that extra touch, they encouraged their young offspring to write a letter with a wishing list to Sinterklaas on December 5, put it in a shoe under the chimney (the supposed entrance of the Toy Saint) and hope for the best come the next day. Depending on the degree they had been good kids throughout the previous year, they could expect to see all or part of their wishes fulfilled.

So, that should do for the introduction of what is one of those ever returning Icons of our popular culture.

I have the good fortune of having a sister who is so kind hearted towards children (perhaps because she hasn't them of her own) that she organizes a Santa Claus evening every year for the extended family on which she hires the services of a "professional" Sinterklaas together with one Zwarte Piet. There's a number of couples among us with children still small enough to believe in the Holy Man descending from chimneys and handing out the rewards for not having been (too) naughty. So this evening, we off to my sister's home somewhere in Belgium's northwest.

I took the following pic when it was my daughter's turn to listen to Sinterklaas's lecturing on her behaviour throughout 08.

Something was different on his mitre. Something that was not there during the same celebration one year ago, or in the preceding years.

Look at his mitre.


The cross was gone.

When the "performance" was over, Sinterklaas quickly disappeared, together with his Zwarte Piet, before I had the occasion to ask him some questions about his wardrobe dysfunction. However, he did exchange some words with my brother-in-law, who had hired him in the first place, and afterwards the latter told me the "Sint" (abbreviation) had confided to him that the organization which dispatches the Santa Clauses (remember, these are "professionals") had received instructions to remove the crosses from their mitres in order "to be less offensive". Which institution had given the instructions my brother-in-law could not tell me. However, even more frightening was the news that at least in certain neighborhoods of Antwerp the ceremony had been forbidden altogether in several schools.

In Antwerp, one third of pupils is muslim already. During Spring, the decision of the Antwerp Town Selectman for Education, the socialist Robert Voorhamme, to allow only halal meat for lunch packages on school trips, including for non-muslim kids, caused some uproar (but not that much, many indigenous people seem resigned to their fate of becoming dhimmis). I haven't had the occasion to check out personally to what extent the passing of Santa Claus has been forbidden in Antwerp schools, but given the recent developments I have every reason to believe it's at least true for several ones. Those would be the ones where almost all indigenous kids have been replaced with Moroccan kids. After a couple of years, the results of the soft ethnic cleansing which is relentlessly taking place can be shocking indeed.

Sharia law which is now de facto operating parallel alongside British law in the UK; the white uniforms the Brussels Police is considering to appear less aggressive when confronting scores of young Moroccans (they will however presumably keep the black ones to harass VB personages), two hundred mosques set to be built in France the next few years, Moroccan Secret Service agents monitoring everything that happens in The Netherlands, the Turkish President exhorting Turks living in Germany to certaily NOT assimilate and remain Turkish, the Syrian Grand Mufti blasting European MP's personally for "allowing" the Danish cartoons, the exponential rise of the number of no-go zones, the French and Dutch Intifadas....

... when I set off this evening with my wife and my kids to participate in an innocent age old tradition in which I myself was brought up (and enjoyed tremendously), I thought I could forget about all that for a couple of hours...

...I was wrong.


Thursday, December 04, 2008


From the NYT, Dec. 4, 2008:

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama’s aides say he is considering making a major foreign policy speech from an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in office.

So where should he do it? The list of Islamic world capitals is long, and includes the obvious —Riyadh, Kuwait City, Islamabad — and the not-so-obvious — Male (the Maldives), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Some wise-guys have even suggested Dearborn, Mich., as a possibility.


But Jakarta’s too easy. Mr. Asali thought so too: “Jakarta? People would yawn about that.” Sure, Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country — some 177 million Muslims live there — but the very fact that Mr. Obama once lived and went to school there would make choosing it seem like cheating.

Baghdad? Definitely out-of-the-box, but it could appear to validate the Iraq war, which Mr. Obama opposed. Beirut? Too many Hezbollah members — Secret Service would flip its collective lid — and anyway, the Lebanese president has always been a Christian.

Tehran? Too soon for that. Amman? Been there, done that. Islamabad? Too dangerous. Ankara? Too safe. Plus the Turks aren’t going to be too crazy about being used for outreach to the Muslim world when they’re trying to join the European Union.

I asked a senior Turkish diplomat what he thought. He immediately started acting, well, diplomatic. “We don’t have a problem with our Islamic identity,” he said. “But our system is secular.”

Riyadh? Mr. Obama’s national security aides say no.

Kuwait City? Abu Dhabi? Doha? “I don’t think it will be in the Gulf,” one foreign policy adviser to Mr. Obama said.

See? It’s got to be Cairo. Egypt is perfect. It’s certainly Muslim enough, populous enough and relevant enough. It’s an American ally, but there are enough tensions in the relationship that the choice will feel bold. The country has plenty of democracy problems, so Mr. Obama can speak directly to the need for a better democratic model there. It has got the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization that has been embraced by a wide spectrum of the Islamic world, including the disenfranchised and the disaffected.

The Secret Service won’t like it one bit, but Cairo is no Islamabad. I called the Egyptian Embassy in Washington to ask officials there what they thought. Someone from Mr. Obama’s team had already mentioned the possibility, although embassy officials said Egypt has not been approached about a possible presidential trip to Cairo.

Did you notice that? "Teheran? Too soon for that." Which means that at some point Teheran might be kosher to give an Outreach Speech. Some points to consider:

* President elect B. Hussein has said he would favor unconditional talks with the Iranian regime
* Ahmadinejad congratulated President elect B. Hussein with his victory
* Just last week, Ahmadinejad threatened again with the destruction of the Jewish state.

Am I awake or am I dreaming?


Tuesday, December 02, 2008


It's not that I'm a sensation junkie, but just watch this:


Clutching a toy basketball, his face contorted by tears, this is Moshe Holtzberg at today's memorial service for his parents. The two-year-old orphan's rabbi father and mother were murdered in Mumbai's Jewish centre...

So, this 2-year old boy, the son of rabbi Gavriel Holzberg and his wife Rivka, 29 and 28 years old at the time of their death, is now an orphan. Rivka was pregnant. It didn't stop her muslim murderers from killing her, quite the contrary. Muslim terrorists stormed the small Jewish centre in Mumbai where the couple were helping out the poor and sick, and murdered them in cold blood.

I don't know how it is with you, but it is with mounting anger that I have been watching and reading news coverage of the Mumbai massacre. Whorenalists the world over have been going out of their way of not invoking the M- and I-words. One exception, the WSJ's Tom Gross asks: If this isn't terrorism, what is?

...We have started seeing this already on the BBC -- the world's largest TV and radio network, which broadcasts in dozens of different languages around the world and is lavishly funded by the British taxpayer.

You would be hard pressed to find any talk of radical Islam on the BBC in recent days, or mention of the fact that Islamists think India should be a Muslim country. Instead the BBC continues to try to persuade its massive global audience that "it is a local Indian problem," that "the subcontinent has a history of unrest," and so on.

Even the Pakistani angle has been presented as some kind of local Pakistan-India dispute rather than as a problem with radical Islam -- this despite the fact that according to numerous reports the Mumbai terrorists themselves were screaming "Allah Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest) as they murdered "the Jews and the infidels" in line with bin Ladenist ideology.

For some time, many have argued that an element of anti-Semitism has distorted the way the BBC covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But now, following the Mumbai events, we can perhaps see that anti-Semitism may even be at work in the way the BBC covers foreign news in general. For much of the Mumbai siege, the BBC went out of its way to avoid reporting that the Jewish community center was one of the seven targets. At one point viewers were told that "an office building" had been targeted (referring to the Jewish center as such).

Then on Friday morning, TV pictures of Indian commandos storming the besieged Jewish center were broadcast by networks around the world. Heavily armed commandos, their faces covered by balaclavas, rappelled from helicopters onto the roof while Indian sharpshooters in buildings opposite opened fire and a helicopter circled overhead. Huge crowds of onlookers could be seen looking aghast as they watched from nearby streets. While Sky News and other channels were gripped by these dramatic pictures, BBC World was not, almost pretending there was no siege at the Jewish center -- even though by then it was one of only two sites that remained under attack in Mumbai. Had the terrorists chosen to besiege a church or mosque instead, can you imagine the BBC ignoring it this way?

Meanwhile -- perhaps even more disgracefully -- a New York Times report on the last day of the siege stated: "It is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene."

Has the New York Times learned anything since the Holocaust, when, even after the war ended in the spring of 1945, the paper infamously refused to report that the Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Germans and so on killed in the camps had been Jews, and killed as Jews?

Dozens of eyewitness accounts by local Indians said the gunmen shouted "Allah Akbar" from the Jewish center. It is housed in a nondescript block and is not obviously marked from the outside as a Jewish center. It is the one Jewish building in a densely crowded city of millions. And the Times, the self-proclaimed paper of record, wants to let readers think it might have been an accidental target?

But Gross is but one voice in a global cacophony of lying cowards. Once again, it's up to citizen journalists to call a spade a spade. Over at Atlas Shrugs, Pamela Geller does a magnificent job of it.

But for every Pamela Geller there seem to be a hundred Paul Cornishes. Who the hell is "Dr." Paul Cornish??? He's the Head of the International Security Programme and Carrington Chair in International Security, Chatham House. Read this swine's drivel and be shocked. The conclusion of this monster's diatribe is that the Mumbai terrorists were... looking for the spotlights!

Perhaps we have come to the point where casually self-radicalised, sociopathic individuals can form a loose organisation, acquire sufficient weapons and equipment for a few thousand dollars, make a basic plan of action and indulge in a violent expression of their generalised disaffection and anomie. These individuals indulge in terrorism simply because they can, while their audience concocts a rationale on their behalf.

Welcome to the age of celebrity terrorism.

The invitation to the world's D-list malcontents reads as follows: No matter how corrupt your moral sense, how contorted your view of the world, how vapid and inarticulate your ideas, how talentless you are and how exaggerated your grievance, an obsessive audience will watch your every move and turn you into what you most want to be, just before your death.

I lifted "Dr." Cornish's column from the BBC Online, but I guess that don't surprise anyone anymore. Over at CDR Salamander, you and I, the dumb common folk, can read for ourselves what has eluded the all seing eye of the great doctor:

"Restaurant workers there ushered guests closest to the kitchen inside. The assailants jumped in front of another group that tried to run out the door. "Stop," they shouted in Hindi. They corralled 16 diners and led them up to the 20th floor. One man in the group dialed his wife in London and told her he'd been taken hostage but was OK. "Everybody drop your phones," one of the assailants shouted, apparently overhearing. Phones clattered to the floor as the three women and 13 men dug through their purses and pockets and obeyed.

On the 20th floor, the gunmen shoved the group out of the stairwell. They lined up the 13 men and three women and lifted their weapons. "Why are you doing this to us?" a man called out. "We haven't done anything to you."

"Remember Babri Masjid?" one of the gunmen shouted, referring to a 16th-century mosque built by India's first Mughal Muslim emperor and destroyed by Hindu radicals in 1992.

"Remember Godhra?" the second attacker asked, a reference to the town in the Indian state of Gujarat where religious rioting that evolved into an anti-Muslim pogrom began in 2002.

"We are Turkish. We are Muslim," someone in the group screamed. One of the gunmen motioned for two Turks in the group to step aside.

Then they pointed their weapons at the rest and squeezed the triggers."

Notice that the Turkish couple apparently understood very well the little thingy that could mean the difference between life and death.

Meanwhile, in Europe....


ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Italian police Tuesday arrested two Moroccans suspected of preparing a series of terrorist attacks near Milan in northern Italy, the police announced.

Officials say the two were recruiting men and planning attacks against military and civilian targets, including the immigration office of a police station, a barracks for the Carabinieri -- or special paramilitary units -- and a shopping center. All presumed targets are located in the vicinity of Milan, Italy's financial hub.

Police named the two suspects as Rachid Ilhami, a 31-year-old preacher, and Gafir Abdelkader, 42. Both are accused of "international terrorism," a crime introduced in Italy after the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States.

And also in Europe, in that lovely country of wooden shoes and windmills (for the time being at least), more precisely in Rotterdam-South, the Essalam mosque is scheduled to be ready by the end of 2009.


Rotterdam is Europes biggest port. In October, Ahmed Aboutaleb, a muslim of Moroccan descent and the son of an imam, was appointed Mayor of Rotterdam by the PvdA-dominated City Council. The PvdA is one of the two main Dutch socialist parties. Wouter Bos, a PvdA Chairman and now Dutch Minister of Finance, was the one who steered Aboutaleb into Dutch politics.

A nightmare is descending over Europe.