Thursday, November 10, 2011

Carlos the Jackal and the Unholy Alliance

The brutal and charismatic terrorist once known all over the world as Carlos the Jackal, already serving a life sentence pronounced in 1997 in France for the murder of two policemen and an informant in 1975, went on trial again this week in France – this time for terrorism charges, for which he faces another life sentence.

Describing himself to the court as “a professional revolutionary,” the 62-year-old Carlos launched into diatribes against “racist” Israel and “Zionist exploiters,” drawing applause from supporters in the packed courthouse, to whom he blew kisses. He denied involvement in the crimes in question, from 1982-3 in France; but in an interview the day before, he boasted that the operations he plotted in his career resulted in 2000 deaths. As for the innocent victims of his Marxist-inspired class war, Carlos justified their murders this way: “There were very few. I calculated that they were fewer than 10 percent. So out of 1,500 to 2,000 killed, there were not more than 200 civilian victims.” One of his defense attorneys asked the court instead to spare a thought for “victims” of Western-backed wars in Libya and Afghanistan.

(Read the rest here at FrontPage Mag)

Unhappy Anniversary

With all the “Occupy movement” mayhem dominating the news last week, along with the media salivation over sexual improprieties ascribed to Herman Cain and Justin Beiber, and the continued fallout from Kim Kardashian’s divorce announcement diverting media attention from the hell being unleashed in the name of Islam in Nigeria, three grim anniversaries in the clash of Islam and the West passed last week with little-to-no public fanfare.

On October 31 a year ago, five members of al Qaeda scaled the walls of Baghdad’s Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral and opened fire on the congregation, leaving 42 martyred and wounding more then 100 in the massacre. The dead included three children, two priests and a pregnant woman. Survivors later said that the attackers told them they were “infidels” and “had to be killed.” The terrorists blew themselves up, but others who planned the attacks were later arrested.

Asked why they did it, their response was curiously devoid of the political grievances and poverty so often assumed to be the motivations for terrorism in the name of Islam. “You (Christians) are all ‘kafara,’” came the answer. “That is, ‘infidels,’ and we (Muslims) cannot coexist with you.” Apparently the multitude of “Coexist” bumper stickers adorning Priuses everywhere aren’t making the desired impression on al Qaeda militants.

(Read the rest here at FrontPage Mag)

Monday, November 7, 2011

How the West was Undone

AMC’s new series Hell on Wheels, a western about the making of the transcontinental railroad, began Sunday night. But it’s unlikely to be a celebration of Manifest Destiny, a concept the filmmakers and cast apparently view with horror. Check out this oddly downbeat promo video, in which they fall all over themselves condemning the railroad for bringing civilization westward:

The series is an “anti-western,” according to its executive producer, Joe Gayton. “Hell on Wheels is dragging the urban blight in the industry of the East across the West, and changing it forever. It’s kind of the beginning of the end of the West as they knew it.” Another executive producer, David von Ancken, indicates the landscape behind him and describes the show as “the battle of man, scarring nature, versus this, the beauty of nature.” It’s “the story of the train cutting through nineteenth-century America and bringing ‘civilization.’” He actually gestures the air quotes around “civilization,” to make sure you know he takes the politically correct and fashionably ironic view of the concept.

(Read the rest here at PJ Lifestyle)

A Satire Draws Fire

Here we go again. Charlie Hebdo, a humor magazine in Paris which had produced a spoof issue “guest edited” by, as The New York Times and other media outlets refer to him, the “Prophet Mohammed,” was firebombed early Wednesday just as the special edition was on its way to the newsstands. Hackers had also disrupted its website with a message in English and Turkish cursing the magazine: “You keep abusing Islam's almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech. Be God's curse upon you!”

The magazine had announced the special issue in satirical salute to the “Arab Spring” victory of an Islamist party in Tunisian elections: Charlie Hebdo has asked Mohammed to be the special editor-in-chief of its next issue,” the magazine said in a statement. “The prophet of Islam didn't have to be asked twice and we thank him for it.” It renamed itself Charia Hebdo, a pun on the word “shariah,” for the occasion, and featured an editorial by Mohammed entitled “Halal Aperitif” and a women's supplement called “Madam Sharia.” On the cover was a cartoon of Mohammed announcing, “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mark at Restoration Weekend

I'm excited and honored to be moderating a panel on the "Arab Spring / Muslim Winter" at the David Horowitz Freedom Center's "Restoration Weekend" in Palm Beach. The panel will feature fascinating writers Andrew McCarthy (The Grand Jihad), Daniel Pipes (Militant Islam Reaches America), Michael Totten (The Road to Fatima Gate: The Beirut Spring, the Rise of Hezbollah, and the Iranian War Against Israel), and Lee Smith (The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations). There will no doubt be a video of the discussion available sometime afterward on the Freedom Center website,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Border Insecurity: The War in Texas

When presidential candidates casually toss out a talking point about “the need to secure our border,” that bland phrase doesn’t even remotely convey the catastrophic reality of life along the Rio Grande. Our rhetoric needs to catch up.

The Texas Department of Agriculture released a fascinating but alarming report late last month entitled Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment. It confirms what rural Texan farmers and ranchers already know: that our fight against narco-terrorism has taken on “the classic trappings of a real war” and that “all of Central and South America have become an interconnected source of violence and terrorism,” with Texas as “operational ground zero.”

The fact that the Department of Agriculture is now conducting strategic military assessments instead of crop reports is in itself an eye-opening indication of how serious the war being waged at our southern border has become. Compiled by 4-star General Barry McCaffrey, former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and former Commander of all U.S. troops in Central and South America, and Major-General Robert Scales, former Commandant of the U.S. Army War College, the report offers “sobering evidence of cartel criminals gaining ground on Texas soil.”