Wednesday, February 16, 2011
By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ
In a month of momentous change, it was easy to overlook the significance of another revolutionary event. Who would have believed that in the space of a few weeks the leaders of the three major European powers would publicly denounce multiculturalism and declare, in so many words, that it was a proven disaster and a threat to society?
One after another they announced their findings—Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Great Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy. Multicultural values had not only led to segregated communities: They had, Mr. Cameron noted, imposed policies of blind toleration that had helped nurture radical Islam's terrorist cells.
There can be no underestimating the in-so-many-words aspect of these renunciations. This was multiculturalism they were talking about—the unofficial established religion of the universities, the faith whose requirements have shaped every aspect of cultural, economic and political life in Western democracies for the last 50 years. Still, they were out there—words coolly specific, their target clear.
In this report, titled "A Ticking Time Bomb" and put out by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, there is a detail as dazzling in its bleak way as all the glowing misrepresentations of Dr. Hasan's skills and character, which his superiors poured into their evaluations of him. It concerns the Department of Defense's official report on the Fort Hood killings—a study whose recital of fact made no mention of Hasan's well-documented jihadist sympathies. Subsequent DoD memoranda portray the bloodbath—which began with Hasan shouting "Allahu Akbar!"—as a kind of undefined extremism, something on the order, perhaps, of work-place violence.
This avoidance of specifics was apparently contagious—or, more precisely, policy. In November 2010, each branch of the military issued a final report on the Fort Hood shooting. Not one mentioned the perpetrator's ties to radical Islam. Even today, "A Ticking Time Bomb," co-authored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.) and Susan Collins (R., Maine), reminds us that DoD still hasn't specifically named the threat represented by the Fort Hood attack—a signal to the entire Defense bureaucracy that the subject is taboo.
For the superiors in charge of Hasan's training at Walter Reed and his two years at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the taboo was of a more complicated order—one that required elaborately inventive analyses through which Hasan's stated beliefs, ominous pronouncements, and evident unconcern with standards of behavior required of an officer could all be represented as singular virtues, proof of his exceptional value to the Army. It could not have been easy. Still, they managed.
They did so despite Hasan's astounding trail of performances, each more telling than the next. To fulfill Walter Reed's academic requirement for a presentation on a psychiatric theme, Hasan proffered a draft consisting almost entirely of wisdom from the Quran arguing for the painful punishment and liquidation of non-Muslims. Hasan evidently viewed the Quranic verses as a sufficient presentation—a view his superior didn't share, given its lack of any mention of a psychiatric theme. When that guide warned him the presentation was "not scholarly" and might prevent his graduation, Hasan revised. The finished product was not much different. Still, Hasan was allowed to graduate.
He went on to his medical fellowship, where he soon delivered another class lecture, this one on the Islamist theme that the West, in particular the U.S military, had mounted a war on Islam. The presentation brimmed with views sympathetic to Osama bin Laden, the motives of the 9/11 perpetrators, and suicide bombers. It so infuriated his classmates that their outraged eruptions caused the instructor to end the presentation.
There would be more of the same to come. One classmate witness told investigators that Hasan sought every possible opportunity to share his radical Islamist sympathies. His highest obligation, he told classmates, wasn't to the Constitution, which he had sworn to protect and defend, but to his religion.
His Islamist sympathies would attract the interest of the FBI, which soon picked up on this U.S Army major's contacts with a terrorist suspect, unnamed in the Senate report. The agency would, however, have no continuing great interest in Hasan. Among other reasons, its agents had seen the impressive evaluation reports characterizing Hasan as an authority on Islam—one whose work even had "extraordinary potential to inform national policy and military strategy," as one of his superiors put it in his officer evaluation report.
The same Hasan who set off silent alarms in his supervisors—the Psychiatric Residency Program Director at Walter Reed was one of them—would garner only plaudits in the official written evaluations at the time. He was commended in these as a "star officer," one focused on "illuminating the role of culture and Islamic faith within the Global War on Terrorism." One supervisor testified, "His unique interests have captured the interest and attention of peers and mentors alike." No single word of criticism or doubt about Hasan ever made its way into any of his evaluations.
Some of those enthusiastic testaments strongly suggested that the writers were themselves at least partly persuaded of their reasoning. In magical thinking, safety and good come to those who obey taboos, and in the multiculturalist world, there is no taboo more powerful than the one that forbids acknowledgment of realities not in keeping with the progressive vision. In the world of the politically correct—which can apparently include places where psychiatrists are taught—magical thinking reigns.
A resident who didn't represent the diversity value that Hasan did as a Muslim would have faced serious consequences had he behaved half as disturbingly. Here was a world in which Hasan was untouchable, in which all that was grim and disturbing in him was transformed. He was a consistently mediocre performer, ranking in the lowest 25% of his class, but to his evaluators, he was an officer of unique talents.
He was a star not simply because he was a Muslim, but because he was a special kind—the sort who posed, in his flaunting of jihadist sympathies, the most extreme test of liberal toleration. Exactly the kind the progressive heart finds irresistible.
A decision as to whether Maj. Hasan will go to trial—it would be before a military court-martial —should be forthcoming next month. He stands charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder, committed when he turned his laser equipped semi-automatic on members of the military at the Soldier Readiness Center. The likelihood is that the trial will go forward. If it does, the forces of multiculturalist piety, which played so central a role in advancing this Army major and concealing the menace he posed, will be the invisible presence on trial with him.
Ms. Rabinowitz, a member of the Journal's editorial board, is the author of "No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusations, False Witness And Other Terrors Our Times" (Free Press, 2003).
NPR Calls DC 'Chocolate City', Angering Residents...
NPR aired an eight-minute feature on D.C.'s Anacostia neighborhood on Tuesday morning. The website version was titled "D.C., Long ‘Chocolate City,' Becoming More Vanilla" -- but even with the flavorful name, it left a bad taste in many locals' mouths.
On the air, reporter Alex Kellogg said, "There's major changes going on in Washington, D.C. This is a city that, in 1970, was about 71 percent black. And now it's about 53 percent black, as of 2009. ... That's a city that will soon no longer be majority African-American, and a lot of the gains are in the white population that's moving in."
In the online version, Kellogg wrote, "For decades Washington, D.C., was known affectionately as ‘Chocolate City' to many black Americans, because it was predominantly African-American." But D.C. "has quickly become one of the most expensive cities in America, and one of the only cities in the U.S. where property values continue to rise despite the economic downturn."
Border Patrol Controls Just 44 Percent of South
A new report says only 15 percent of the southern border is air tight
Highlights from the new report:
-- Of the nearly 2,000 miles separating the U.S. and Mexico, 873 are under the "operational control" of the Border Patrol.
-- Of those 873, 129 miles were under full control, with the rest classified as "managed."
-- Kudos to the Yuma, Arizona unit whose section of the border is locked down.
-- Protecting the southern border costs taxpayers $3 billion a year. Last year, the agents caught 445,000 illegals and seized over 2.4 million pounds of marijuana.
BUCKING THE TREND — OR STARTING ONE? An announcement from the Univiersity Of The South, better known as Sewanee: Tuition Cut 10% Next Year. “In a move to address the spiraling costs of higher education, the university’s Board of Regents has approved a 10 percent reduction in tuition and fees at the College for the coming academic year. The University of the South is taking this action now to make a college education more affordable and accessible. The 10 percent price reduction applies to tuition, fees, room, and board for the 2011-12 academic year; it represents a $4,600 reduction from the current year’s total.”
Dallas County Commissioner Tells Citizens: 'All of You Are White! Go to Hell!'
Tuesday’s Dallas County Commissioner’s Court meeting erupted into an argument between Commissioner John Wiley Price and a citizen, ending with Price repeatedly telling several citizens to “go to hell.”
The exchange started during the public speaking portion of the meeting, which happens after the commissioners have gone through their weekly agenda.
Losing Hair at 20 Is Linked to Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer in Later Life, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (Feb. 14, 2011) — Men who start to lose hair at the age of 20 are more likely to develop prostate cancer in later life and might benefit from screening for the disease, according to a new study published online in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology.
The Voice of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
Qaradawi advocates establishing a "United Muslim Nations" as a contemporary form of the caliphate and the only alternative to the hegemony of the West. He hates Israel and would love to take up arms himself. In one of his sermons, he asked God "to kill the Jewish Zionists, every last one of them."
In January 2009, he said: "Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by [Adolf] Hitler."
Sports Illustrated Editor: 'The Model's Personality Is Just as Important as Her Looks'
From left, the cover of the magazine's 2011 Swimsuit Edition featuring Irina Shayk pictured in Hawaii and the model in the Philippines
Golden Goose Cooking
Obama budget: Life is short, eat dessert first. “Even the Washington Post, which endorsed Obama in 2008 and has not supported a Republican for President since 1952, said Obama’s budget was full of ‘gimmickry,’ and called Obama the ‘Punter-in-Chief’ for failing to address America’s looming budget problems.”
Obama Slowing Down Shale Oil Development Out West
In response to a legal challenge by conservation groups, the Obama administration today launched a process to reconsider — and probably rewrite — a Bush-era plan for developing oil shale in the West.
At issue are decisions by former President George W. Bush’s Interior Department to open roughly 2 million acres of land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming to commercial oil shale leasing, while also approving regulations setting royalty rates for eventual production that critics blasted as too low.
"60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan was repeatedly sexually assaulted by thugs yelling, "Jew! Jew!" as she covered the chaotic fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo's main square Friday, CBS and sources said yesterday.
The TV crew with Logan, who is also the network's chief foreign correspondent, had its cameras rolling moments before she was dragged off -- and caught her on tape looking tense and trying to head away from a crowd of men behind her in Tahrir Square.
Storm Troopers Are Not A LuxuryFebruary 16, 2011: A major reason for the inability of the recently deposed Egyptian dictatorship to suppress anti-government demonstrations was the lack of a large, loyal and reliable security force. Not having such a force handy was unthinkable for any security conscious dictator. For example, in Iraq, Saddam Hussein had his Republican Guard, a force that was filled with well paid, well armed men who were, above all, loyal to Saddam. All other successful dictatorships have similar forces. Russia had the KGB, which not only employed spies, but also several divisions of troops trained and equipped to deal with rebellions by the population, or the armed forces. Iran has a similar force, the Revolutionary Guard, that serves a similar role as the old KGB. During World War II, Adolf Hitler had the SS, Gestapo and his private army, the Waffen SS, all of which kept Germany fighting until the very end.
Former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak got lazy and greedy by filling his "regime maintenance" forces with conscripts (as troops) and recent college graduates (as officers). Theses security forces, like the 325,000 paramilitary police in the Central Security Services (belonging to the Interior Ministry, nor the Defense Ministry), were more loyal to the people than to the small group of corrupt politicians running the country. Things had gotten so bad that the small secret police force had taken to hiring criminal gangs to harass or intimidate visible opponents of the government. These thugs fled if faced with serious opposition. And that's what they got during February, 2011.
Despicable NYU Fellow Attacks Lara Logan as 'War Monger' After Sexual Assault
Nir Rosen deleted some of his worst comments about Logan on his Twitter feed, but... it's the Internet. It's never gone forever.
But let's just remember one thing going forward: Nir Rosen believed this was the right moment to let the world know that he "ran out of sympathy for her" and that we should "remember her role as a major war monger" and that we "have to find humor in the small things."
De-Fund The FCC. “People are free to quote you in context, out of context, not quote you, and even misquote you. Free speech is a God-given right and how dare this commissioner get between me and God? His agency is an outdated relic of the Victrola era. Get rid of it.”
ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2011) — Zinc supplements reduce the severity and duration of illness caused by the common cold, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. The findings could help reduce the amount of time lost from work and school due to colds.
The review updates a previous Cochrane Systematic Review, carried out in 1999, with data from several new trials. In total, data from 15 trials, involving 1,360 people, were included. According to the results, zinc syrup, lozenges or tablets taken within a day of the onset of cold symptoms reduce the severity and length of illness. At seven days, more of the patients who took zinc had cleared their symptoms compared to those who took placebos. Children who took zinc syrup or lozenges for five months or longer caught fewer colds and took less time off school. Zinc also reduced antibiotic use in children, which is important because overuse has implications for antibiotic resistance.
So: eat, drink and be happy for tomorrow you will roast? (These guys don’t get it. The earth is a robust system beyond modeling and the weather/tempatures are always changing. It is not us, it is nature.)
New research shows that even if all emissions were stopped now, temperatures would remain higher than pre-Industrial Revolution levels because the greenhouse gases already emitted are likely to persist in the atmosphere for thousands of years.
There would continue to be warming even if the most stringent policy proposals were adopted, because there still would be some emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. But the new research shows that even if all emissions were stopped now, temperatures would remain higher than pre-Industrial Revolution levels because the greenhouse gases already emitted are likely to persist in the atmosphere for thousands of years.
In fact, it is possible temperatures would continue to escalate even if all cars, heating and cooling systems and other sources of greenhouse gases were suddenly eliminated, said Kyle Armour, a UW doctoral student in physics
New Material Provides 25 Percent Greater Thermoelectric Conversion Efficiency
ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2011) — Automobiles, military vehicles, even large-scale power generating facilities may someday operate far more efficiently thanks to a new alloy developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory. A team of researchers at the Lab that is jointly funded by the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, achieved a 25 percent improvement in the ability of a key material to convert heat into electrical energy
This is a planned hit. One does not happen to gun down two feds on a highway between cities. They are not worried about us.
U.S. Agents Are Shot, One Killed, In Mexico
MEXICO CITY—An agent for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was shot and killed and another agent wounded by unknown gunmen in central Mexico on Tuesday, according to U.S. officials.
The car driven by the two ICE agents who were shot on the road to Mexico City.
The men were driving from Mexico City to Monterrey in the central state of San Luis Potosi when they were attacked. U.S. officials condemned the attack and said they would work with Mexican counterparts to bring the assailants to justice.
"Let me be clear: any act of violence against our ICE personnel…is an attack against all those who serve our nation and put their lives at risk for our safety," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement.
The wounded agent was shot in the arm and leg and was in stable condition, Ms. Napolitano said. U.S. officials would not speculate about the motive for the attack.
The incident is sure to raise fresh concerns about Mexico's deteriorating security in Washington and elsewhere. Drug-related violence in Mexico has claimed at least 34,000 lives in the past four years as rival drug gangs have fought for control of lucrative drug-smuggling routes.