We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Something to do with the Australian occupation of Palestine perhaps?

183 people at least are dead, probably more as 220 Australians and 20 or so British remain unaccounted for. All the victims were civilians, mostly young backpackers on holiday or the Indonesian staff serving them. Yet judging by what I seen written by John Pilger or Robert Fisk or Noam Chomsky since September 11th of last year, I thought the reason terrorists are attacking ‘us’ was something to do with injustice in Palestine? Is Bali part of Palestine? How many Palestinians have the Australian Army killed?

I recall hearing that the WTC was attacked because it was a symbol and centre of exploitive capitalism and the US military industrial complex. And what exactly was the Sari Club in Bali a symbol of? Will the people on WarbloggerWatch or at New Stateman tell us how the forces of US imperialism have been thwarted by the death of so many young Aussies and others in a holiday resort?

What was that you said? It is all about oil? Ah, silly me.

Evil-white-male and immodest un-Islamic
Australian woman flee Bali attack last night

28 comments to Something to do with the Australian occupation of Palestine perhaps?

  • Tom

    Anyone see the response by Robert Fisk to the atrocity in Bali? The guy more or less said that Australia had it coming due to its support for Bush’s stance on the war.

    I am careful in my use of the word, but I think it is time we called a spade a spade. Fisk is quite simply evil.

  • I would really, truly like to beat the crap out of Robert Fisk. I’m talking about a good old fashioned Afghan style head pounding. He is worthless. There is no act too frightful for him to turn it around and use as a platform to peddle his anti-Western filth.

    As for the people who did this – I understand that the head of Jemaah Islamiya is living unrestricted in Indonesia. Surely now is the time for the US (or the Autralian SAS) to splatter him all over the ceiling. Follow it up with, ooh, let’s say fifty or sixty thousand radical Islamists in the region, and then see how they like them apples. It’s past time that anti-western Muslims understand the true meaning of terror. Otherwise we might simply have to eradicate the whole lot of them, and no-one wants that (although I find I am approaching the prospect with increasing equanimity as time goes by).

  • Robert Modean

    Suffice to say that the terrorist attack in Bali will ultimately have the opposite effect of what the Islamofascists had hoped. Rather than drive a wedge between the peoples of the Anglosphere it will simply pull us closer together as we endeavor to bring these evil doers to justice.

    More than simply strengthening our resolve, each and every act barbarity will further disabuse us of the belief that there are innocents left on their side. I believe a tit-for-tat exchange in violence might be in order. We carpet bomb one city of theirs for each time they harm one person of ours. Perhaps when they are faced with the prospect of total annihilation they will relent and find penitence.

    I realize that this is an extreme position to many of you but this past year has convinced me that the umma (as it stands now) is a cancer on the face of the earth, and one does not reason with a cancer, one excises it.

  • Jeffersonian

    It’s hard to put this in the proper terms, but the viscious filth that perpetrated this atrocity need to be attacked and exterminated with a hellish fury that will make the rest of the world tremble. The eradication of these sociopaths needs to be so visible, so violent and so complete that it provokes anyone considering following in their footsteps to look inward and contemplate whether Allah is indeed smiling upon the jihad.

  • Walter E. Wallis

    Hard to disagree with any of the above. It is time to do some ethnic isolation. Until Islamics learn to behave, isolate all of them from the benefits of the free world.

  • What concerns me most in the UK about these attacks is the seemingly total invisibility of supposedly moderate muslim leaders.

    I personally have not come across a single report of Muslims in this country condemning these latest terrorist acts.

    If I was their spokesman I would be trying very hard to let everyone know that I condemn them fully and completely.

    Or is it just a case that they can not justify making that response because they don’t have the support of their congregation. (I use that word advisedly.)

    If this is the case then any Anglo/European countries with significant immigrant populations are going to become very incendiary places to live.

    It may just be that I have missed UK muslim condemnation and if that is so could someone please point me to it?

    If not then I think I will get down the gun club.

  • Ian

    “If millions of Muslims are revolted at the Bali massacre, few will approve of nightclubs. The usual moral slippage can be employed; the bombing was terrible, but … Or so the murderers will hope.”

    This is the first time I’ve read the infamous Mr Fisk. I’m not sure I want to read him again. His own moral slippage (for ‘nightclubs,’ substitute anything you like from ‘Western values’ to ‘freedom’) is terrifying.

  • Ian

    Oh, and for ‘Muslims,’ substitute ‘”liberal” sociopaths’ or something.

    I don’t think this a***hole would change his tune if he ended up running shocked and bleeding out of the Independent offices.

  • Sandy

    Mike, the US received the same silence from its muslim citizens. They’re P.O.’d because they get “glared at.” I heard that on 9/11, and we still hear that.

    No one was shouting from the rooftops for change.

    And we know where they stand.

  • G. Orwell

    All religions are evil, but some religions are more evil than others (notably Islam).

    We have now begun the great war against primitive religious beliefs (actually no more than superstitions) invented when people thought the world was flat. The so-called Great Monotheisms are no more than absurd justifications for hate and violence, Islam being of course the most heinous. Organized Religion itself is paradoxically the center of ungodly behavior whether it stems from the child abusers in the Vatican or the insane racists in the Mosques of Arabia. It is time for the human race to outgrow this and learn that true spirituality comes from within, not from religious leaders who by their very claim of divine knowledge are no more than fascists.

  • Will Allen

    The name used above, Jeffersonian, is appropriate, for it was Jefferson who predicted during the birth of the American republic, that the institution of slavery was a firebell in the night, and would have the blood-soaked consequences that Lincoln so ably discussed during the 2nd Inaugural Address. The institution of Islamic fascism is of the same nature, except the consequences may be of a titanic violence that the world has never before witnessed. Not for the first time I am forced to wonder if the non-fascist Muslims, or more particularly, non-fascist Arabs, understand the incalculable danger their fascists have place them in. If there are any of that world who read this thread; do you have ANY notion of what approaches, if your fascists are not soon reigned in? If a certain threshold is crossed, and that threshold is now in sight, the world will witness for the first time 21st century technology and industrial power harnessed for the sole purpose of massive, uninhibited, unrestrained, slaughter. There will be NO historical parallels, and it will be the darkest chapter in human history, in that the culmination of human development will devoted to the most base of human activities. Unfortunately, even the most base of human activities sometimes become required and unavoidable. When that threshold is crossed, the Robert Fisks of the world will be paid no more attention than the average mollusk, and what a Prussian general called the “iron dice” will be thrown, except the bloody path that those dice cleave will be far, far, wider than even their awful antecedents of 1913.

  • Dear Mr Orwell (the real one is turning in his grave):

    There are millions of good people that you just slandered.

    Religion is not alone in breeding nutcases, and in fact some of the biggest atrocities in human history were masterminded by nonbelievers (Mao, Stalin, Hitler).

    Hatred was certainly not invented by religion.

    So, is it that religion makes people kill, or that those who would kill use religon as a justification? Some of both, I suspect.

    Extremism of all kinds is dangerous, and lest we believe that religous nuts are the only variety let us recall that American enviornmentalists are firebombing and ‘spiking’ (using nails in trees to maim loggers) as we speak, with funds going from the mainstream groups to the terrorists. And was it a Catholic or Muslim who killed Pim Fortyn? Neither, it was an animal-rights activist.

    Muslim religious schools that teach hatred are indeed a major component of the enemy we now face. But not all religous people, and even not most muslims, are the problem.

    More, religous ideals and morality (especially ‘natural rights’ thinking) deserve part of the credit for the creation of democratic principles. Would there even be an America as we know it without the precursor idea that ‘all men are CREATED equal’?

    All religon is not the enemy, and indeed religon is an ASSET to a secular society. The exception is when members of that religon desire forced conversions.

  • Andrew Wilson

    The Soviet strategy of dealing with terrorism was simply to be the bigger terrorist. It worked. With the American film Swordfish available for public viewing, it is only reasonable to ask, “How long until the Americans have their own private terrorist entities?” Has Al Qaeda thought about THAT? Remember, America is still largely formed by people who ripped off a good portion of the North American Continent in open conquest. Ruthlessness is not a trait monopolized by al qaeda.

  • Heh, good idea Andrew.

    Hey, Saudi Arabia’s millionares are stepping up to the plate for Whabbi extremeism, why aren’t our billionares overshadowing them?

    Paging Bill Gates!

    All they’d need to do is what the media portray them as doing all the time: hire some assassins to take out a rival. I’m certain that Cantor-Fitzgerals has an axe to grind now.

    So show some patriotism and pop some Islamofacist Clerics already! Its not like they hide: They have to be accessable to spread their messages of hate.

    And if the Saudis object: well what’s good for the goose…

  • Doug Levene

    We will know that President Bush and co. are serious about the war against the Islamofascists, not when they bomb cities full of women and children, but rather when we start reading on the back pages of the papers about mysterious deaths (falling in front of street cars, say) happening with suspicious frequency to men rumored to be supporters of radical Islam (including spokesman, apologists and financiers along with the gunmen). We should take a leaf from Mossad – that exploding telephone yesterday was genius (not that the CIA has either the intelligence or ops capacity to pull something like that off). This may not be as immediately gratifying as nuking the SOBs, but the time is not ripe for that. Mr. Islamiya would be a good start.

  • Tom Cohoe

    Mr. Orwell,

    Clearly, you are an atheist. Atheism is one of the world’s great faiths. You ‘know’ the truth, don’t you. Atheism killed about 100,000,000 people in times of peace in the 20th century.

    The true opposite of religion is agnosticism, which is where I come from. No agnostic would ever call for the stamping out of religion.

    Western Civilization is the child of Christendom. Atheism, on the other hand, is the source of our self doubt. The nihilism of the post modern leftist movements, collectively and aptly labelled “transnational progressivism” by John Fonte, is clearly atheist in origin, if you care to check the philosophy of the likes of Heidegger, Focault, Jacques Derrida et al. One can’t get to the moral sapping “equivalency” of modern progressivism from Christianity. Atheism is at the root of everything that is wrong with us. Christianity is at the root of what we are.

    The atheist assault on Christianity is just an assault on self. It is an assault by a would be usurper religion on the legitimate root os what we are. Atheism was bad enough when it founded the brutal communist dynasties which have so recently failed. Now, under threat by Islamicists who have no moral weakness whatsoever, we are truly and gravely weakened by the self doubt that is the offspring of 20th century atheism in the Western World.

    As an agnostic, I am a defender of the Christian faith in the Western world. Look at what your own religion has done if you want to point fingers. Look at the evil 20th century, communist spawn of atheism and compare them to the democracies which grew up in Christendom.

    Tom Cohoe

  • Sam Muldia

    Tom Cohoe, are you insane? Atheism killed a hundred million people? When exactly did this happen? Are you quite possibly missing the point that Lenin led a COMMUNIST revolution and not an atheist one? My great-grandparents died by the hands of communists, not atheists. Atheism isn’t a religion, communism, on the other hand, very nearly is. It promises paradise and equality on earth, just as soon as all other political systems are eradicated.

    Agnosticism is the true opposite of religion?

    Atheism: The disbelief or denial of the existence of a God, or supreme intelligent Being.
    Agnosticism:The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.

    Most forms of monotheistic organized religion involve belief in events that have been compltely disproven by science. Hence, they are fallacious beliefs. The existence of a deity has not been proven or disproven, and I believe it will remain that way.

    Atheism is NOT a religion.

    Religion:Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe; A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

    An atheist doesn’t believe in supernatural powers. An atheist worships nothing. If an atheist wants to stamp out religion, it is because organized religion hurts people in the atheist’s opinion, it has nothing to do with the fact that he doesn’t believe in God.

    Christianity is not the root of western civilization, it was shaped by western civilization, and thus is a part of us. But feudalism and serfdom were also a part of us, and yet we didn’t cling to them.

    The true roots of western civilization and its success are democracy and individualism.

    Organized religion has one great fault – it indoctrinates, it tells you what to believe, instead of allowing you to come to your own conclusions. If your religion indoctrinates you with the idea that it is not immoral to kill an infidel, and it also indoctrinates you with its own infallibility, and threatens disbelief with eternal damnation, then you are much less likely to doubt its teachings. Granted, christianity has for the most part grown out of that doctrine of supremacy, but this occured after democracy and humanism returned following the renaissance. The renaissance was inspired mostly by greek philosophers who lived before christianity ever existed.

    G. Orwell is right but also wrong. The dissapearance of Christianity would leave a void which cannot be filled right now, because in all honesty, a lot of people need the threat of eternal damnation and the indoctrination of morality backed by that threat.

    I do not believe in the christian God, but I am not immoral for it. I believe that I should not hurt others if they do not hurt me. I believe that I should be kind to people and help them if they need my help. In no way can atheism threaten those beliefs. Religion can, very easily, just take a look at cretins like Pat Robertson and his ilk, not to mention moslems. For an atheist to commit coldblooded murder he needs to be a sociopath who has no regard for human life. For a religious man to commit murder he needs nothing more than a demand to do so from his god and strong belief. Abraham was called to kill his son for God as a test, and he was going to do it. He wasn’t a sociopath, he simply believed and was ready to kill his own son. This is the example set for true faith in Judeo-Christian religion.

    Organized religion will quite probably not vanish in at least the next couple of centuries. But it would be better if it did, because it has much more potential for harm than good.

    Brian Waxx: Hitler was not an atheist by a long shot, and your point is kind of moot: if religion didn’t exist, there’d be one major reason less for people to become nutcases. Unless you think that people are genetically dispositioned to become nutcases anyway, and if it wasn’t religion, they’d kill and maim for something else. Organized religion, almost by definition, holds itself to be the only correct path, not because of its merits, but because of the will of God.

    People should base their morality on common sense. It is wrong to kill because you cannot give life back, and if killing is not held to be wrong, you might be killed yourself. It is wrong to steal because you wouldn’t want it to be done to you. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and hurt others only to stop them from hurting you. Religion can deter, but so can law. Religion also has the capacity for justification of crime, leading to people disregarding the law, since they’ll have paradise. An atheist gets no paradise, so it is in his best interest to behave while he’s still on this planet. And to keep him from doing what Mao or Stalin did, you need to eliminate the possibility of one man or one group of men becoming a self-appointed leaders.

    Atheism, capitalism and democracy. Can’t beat that.

  • Tim W.

    Suddenly, Ann Coulter’s comments about “forcing those in Afghanistan to convert to Christianity” look downright prescient. I’m starting to believe that unless a strong dictator (like Attaturk, who forbade certain Muslim practices and got Turkey off on what most of us would consider the “right” foot) enforces rules and actually *prevents* certain Muslim practices, there is no hope for the generally-Muslim populaces to do anything but repeatedly spiral down to sharia, theocracy, and jihad. Even in Turkey, the it looks like Islamism is gaining ground… Islam as a whole may be, by its own choice, completely incompatible with democracy or any other competing belief system.

    Its incorrect to lump all religions together: Like every worldview, including atheism and secularism, they all share the conviction they are right. But there’s a world of difference between, say, the Mennonites (absolute pacifists) and Islam, where war and slaughter is, under some circumstances, a holy calling.

    (True, many priests may have been pedophiles. But they’re disobeying, not following, their religion by doing so. “As for the man who harms one of these little ones, it would be better for him if a millstone were tied around his neck and he was thrown into the sea.” – J.C.)

  • Sam: The true roots of western civilization and its success are democracy and individualism

    Certainly it individualism is key to understanding western civ but the root of it is the Christian, or more accurately, catholic belief in individual free will. It is that starting point from which the individualist strain of the European Enlightenment sprang. However widespread democracy, certainly universal franchise democracy, is a relatively recent thing: I am sure it was not the slave owning democracy of Athens you had in mind. To contend that democracy is a ‘root’ rather than a product of Western Civ is just not correct. The fact is, like it or loath it, Christianity has indeed been the largest single influence on Western Civilisation by a wide margin. The fact we are now entering a very secularized era does not change where we came from. I have no problem with you arguing that Western Civ might be better off leaving Christianity behind as it did indeed do with serfdom and feudalism but do not kid yourself that Christianity’s influence is not pervasive because for better or worse, it does indeed lie at the root of all our western cultures.

  • Just FYI.

    A conference on closing down bank accounts that supported the Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups was scheduled in December in Bali.

  • Sam Muldia, your diatribe against religion is not only wrong but you are missing the point Tom Cohoe is making by a wide margin. Perry answered succintly one of the many points you got wrong.

    Also, accusing someone of insanity when he just delivers one of the most insightful analyses of atheism is certainly not welcome – it smacks of a personal, emotional and irrational crusade against religion and has nothing to do with rational discourse.

  • Julian Morrison

    “X is the prime cause of islamofascist terrorist organizations gaining members and public acclaim in their source countries” does not cause or imply “everything islamofascists do from then on will only be targeted at X” and disproof of this second says precisely zip about the first.

    Righteous indignation is not a tool of logic for understanding the causes of things. Saying “that act was evil” does not illuminate motives nor provide a means to prevent the islamofascist meme spreading.

    Make no mistake, this is a meme that is attacking us – the individuals as often as not die in suicidal attacks. If they weren’t being replenished at a rate exceeding erosion, their “cause” would have died out ages ago.

  • Sam Muldia

    Adriana: I asked if he was insane for claiming that atheism killed a hundred million people in the 20th century. It IS an insane claim, just as insane as saying the Klu Klux Klan lynched people because they are christians, and not because they are racist morons. What you perceive as an insightful analysis of atheism is in actuality an attack on it, spouting incredible nonsense and calling it ‘a religion’. Atheism is a LACK OF BELIEF in something. Those 100 000 000 people died not because of atheism but because of communism, which IS a belief in something. And my great-grandparents were one of those killed by those communists, and I find it disturbing that someone uses that as a tool to vilify something that has never fuelled persecution and death, unlike religion, which has most definitely done so.

    Perry de Havilland: Yes, the slave-owning democracy of Athens is exactly what I had in mind. The idea that slavery is bad is not something that Christianity and the West held to be true during most of its existence. There was no universal suffrage before about a hundred years ago. The idea behind democracy has been the same since the days of the greeks – every man gets a say. It’s the definition of ‘every man’ that’s changed, and I can’t attribute this to Christianity because in it’s 2000 year history, only the last 200 have spawned that idea, and it’s been spawned by humanism, not Christianity.

  • Sam Muldia

    Perry: and I don’t loathe Christianity, and I know that Christianity is a part of Western civilization, but I still don’t agree with it being the root of it, and that it is what holds the West from collapsing on itself. The ideas of individualism and democracy were there before Christianity, and they came back. Although clerics were the ones that ensured the survival of ancient texts, Christianity wasn’t some guiding light that kept Europe on the straight and narrow – it degenerated with the rest of it. I don’t want to say that it has nothing to do with who we are, i agree that it is a major PART, but belief in a deity is not the core of our civilization’s success, but the belief in human equality and choice (yes, this started with the equality and choice of all greek males, but the core idea was the same). and that idea was an inherently abhorrant one to any pre-reformation theologian or cleric. do you think that the freedom of religion is rooted in christianity or in the principles of individual choice started by the greeks?

  • Sam: … and that it is what holds the West from collapsing on itself.

    That is not really what I meant. I mean that Christianity is the single biggest influence from which Western Civ springs. Whilst I do not think it is unimportant, I also do not think Christianity holds modern Western Civ together any more. We are well past that point.

    Likewise I do not think democracy is in and of itself as important as some think. The ethos that values individual choice however certainly is. In so far as essentially democratic systems have enabled that, they have had great value in the last few hundred years but I would argue that democracy and the choice based individualist ethos are increasingly in conflict.

  • Sam Muldia, you have several important points wrong:

    First, as has already been explained, athiesm is not simply the lack of belief of something: That is agnosticism. Atheism is the active form: the denial that there could be a god. And while Athiesm is not a religon, it *IS* a belief.

    The fact that science disproves some of the ‘miracles’ included in religous texts matters not at all if indeed there is a creator. In essence you are arguing that science is an appropriate tool for determining the truth of the matter.

    Second, while Tom Cohoe may have been better off saying Athiests (not Athiesm per se) killed 100m people, he hits much closer to the mark than do you. Mao and Stalin killed an aweful lot of religous people precisely because they were regligous. If Tom made an error it is attributing too much blame to athiesm itself, since not all of their victims were killed for precisely this reason.

    Ironically, the error he commits is G. Orwell’s original one: Overgeneralization.

    Third, you argue that since the greeks came up with some of the ideas that we use in today’s secular democracy without being religous, that religon bears no credit for making democracy possible.

    I.E. ‘The idea behind democracy has been the same since the days of the greeks – every man gets a say.’

    The greeks came up with a lot of ideas, and democracy is only one of the government forms they described. (Remember aristotle’s philosopher king idea?). Now perhaps whoever writes down an idea first gets credit for all time for having invented it, but this changes but little the immutable fact that Christian thinkers (among which we can find many of the founding fathers) used religous ideas and ideals, both new ones and ones inhereted from the old world to create the American constituation.

    All you need to do to confirm this is read the dang thing, and listen carefully.

    All ideas are formed from earlier ideas, we can say that the wright brothers ‘invented’ the airplaine and still acknowledge that Leonardo Da Vinci had a sketchbook full of the things decades earlier. So too does religon take credit for many of our ideals and morality. Did the Bible invent the notions behind the ten commandments? Hardly. But few would deny that the christian church bears credit for their spread.

    You say ‘I do not believe in the christian God, but I am not immoral for it. ‘, yet you deny that much (not all) of what you deem moral is informed by religon’s dead, relaxing grip. Greek morality stagnated in the books of philosophy, but the religons spread the concept fircely and often by the sword.

    Heck, you even quote the ‘golden rule’! How much more proof do I need that even your morality is christian-based?

    Fourth, although you correctly state that Hitler was not an athiest, you miss the point: religon was only tangental to Hitler’s worldview. When he wanted to incite hatred, he invoked the specters of worldwide Jewish conpiracies, he did not say ‘lets kill them because they don’t believe in the savior’.

    Thus Hitler’s holocaust was NOT religon’s fault, and my original contention that the ‘big 3’ of history’s mass murderers had nothing to do with religon stands. Thus YOUR point is the one that is moot.

    Fifth, you say ‘: if religion didn’t exist, there’d be one major reason less for people to become nutcases’.

    That’s true of a thousand other things: Politics, power, wealth, personal relationships including marriage, road rage, Madonna’s latest movie.

    And although banning Madonna’s latest movie using any excuse possible is awefully tempting, I’m forced to conclude that the logic doesn’t work backwords: Madonna doesn’t kill people, people kill people.

    So too with religon.

    Religon is not blameless, but neither is it valueless, and I stand by my assertion that we live in a better, more peaceful society today because of its influence yesterday.

    AND although some Pontiffs, Clerics, and Popes have not been especially worthy of their robes lately, most of them and certainly most of their flocks are pillars upon which society stands: They help make civil society more civil by example.

    Lastly: ‘An atheist gets no paradise, so it is in his best interest to behave while he’s still on this planet. ‘

    That asserition is utter horsecrap. There isn’t any diety looking over an athiest’s shoulder so as long as the Athiest diesn’t get CAUGHT he’s just ducky. The poor religous nut on the other hand can’t even screw his neighbor’s wife without God looming over his shoulder and taking notes. And if the Athiest behaves because of morality, well we are back to the question of where he came up with such a strange idea 🙂

    I CAN beat ‘Atheism, capitalism and democracy’. Its called ‘Secular capitalist democracy with roots in christianity but tolerance for all beliefs’.

    Incidentally, that’s America when she’s at her best.

  • Will Allen

    I share Perry’s view that democracy and choice based individualist ethos are increasingly in conflict. Have a conversation with a Western statist regarding what they view as a legitimate use of violence, and most likely you will be informed, in a disingenuous manner, that as long as a sufficient majority favors it, ANY violence is morally legitimate. The fetishization of democracy poses a great threat to the individual in the modern world.

  • edwardvt

    That “immodest” woman is a pretty brave one – she is not running in terror, she is bringing out a wounded man.
    “Leave no man behind!” – I think the Marines might like to talk with her.
    A great example of what can rise from inner depths in time of crisis.