So I believe, compulsorily and satirically, in the existence of this absurd world; but as to the existence of a better world, or of hidden reason in this one, I am incredulous, or rather, I am critically sceptical; because it is not difficult to see the familiar motives that lead men to invent such myths. George Santayana

The intifada comes to France by Olivier Guitta

The Weekly Standard

Paris When It Sizzles
The intifada comes to France.
by Olivier Guitta
11/14/2005, Volume 011, Issue 09

THE FRENCH USE THE EUPHEMISM "quartiers sensibles"--sensitive neighborhoods--for the troubled, predominantly Arab and African working-class suburbs of Paris and other cities that increasingly resemble a ticking bomb at the heart of their society.

One such sensitive neighborhood is Clichy-sous-Bois, nine miles northeast of Paris, where last week's string of nightly riots began. Two Muslim youths--one black, one Arab--were electrocuted at a power relay station on October 27. The circumstances are sketchy: Were the youths being chased by the police because they were suspects in a break-in? Were they being chased for no reason? Or were they--as Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy claims, and the preliminary report of the prosecutor has now confirmed--never pursued by the police at all?

Intifada in France - Editorial

Intifada in France

New York Sun Staff Editorial
November 4, 2005

If President Chirac thought he was going to gain peace with the Muslim community in France by taking an appeasement line in the Iraq war, it certainly looks like he miscalculated. Today the streets of the French capital are looking more like Ramallah and less like the advanced, sophisticated, gay Paree image Monsieur Chirac likes to portray to the world, and the story, which is just starting to grip the world's attention, is full of ironies. One is tempted to suggest that Prime Minister Sharon send a note cautioning Monsieur Chirac about cycles of violence.

Investigate the CIA By Victoria Toensing

The Wall Street Journal

November 3, 2005

COMMENTARY

Investigate the CIA
By VICTORIA TOENSING
November 3, 2005; Page A12

In a surprise, closed-door debate, Senate Democrats demanded an investigation of pre-Iraq War intelligence. Here's an issue for them: Assess the validity of the claim that Valerie Plame's status was "covert," or even properly classified, given the wretched tradecraft by the Central Intelligence Agency throughout the entire episode. It was, after all, the CIA that requested the "leak" investigation, alleging that one of its agents had been outed in Bob Novak's July 14, 2003, column. Yet it was the CIA's bizarre conduct that led inexorably to Ms. Plame's unveiling.

The Two Sharias by Morgana Sinclair

The Weekly Standard

The Two Sharias
Islamic law is open to interpretation.
by Morgana Sinclair
11/07/2005, Volume 011, Issue 08

Radical Islam's Rules
The Worldwide Spread of Extreme Shari'a Law
Edited by Paul Marshall
Rowman & Littlefield, 226 pp., $27.95

ITS IMAGES ARE ETCHED INTO our memory. In Bali, 202 people are incinerated in Kutu Beach nightclubs, punished for their "decadence." In Pakistan, Zafran Bibi, pregnant by rape, is sentenced to death by stoning, her pregnancy taken as proof of adultery. In Saudi Arabia, 15 girls, fleeing a burning dormitory in their nightdresses, are forced back into the flames by the mutawwiyya (religious militia) and die in the flames for violating "Islamic" standards of dress.

This, we are told, is sharia, Islamic law. But as the authors here explain, there is a crucial distinction to be made between traditional and extreme sharia, and at the outset they provide two essential insights. First, Paul Marshall defines radical Islamism as "a program for the restoration of a unified Muslim ummah, ruled by a new Caliphate, governed by reactionary Islamic sharia law, and organized to wage jihad on the rest of the world."

A Year of Living Dangerously By Francis Fukuyama

The Wall Street Journal

A Year of Living Dangerously
By FRANCIS FUKUYAMA
November 2, 2005; Page A14

One year ago today, the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh had his throat ritually slit by Mohamed Bouyeri, a Muslim born in Holland who spoke fluent Dutch. This event has totally transformed Dutch politics, leading to stepped-up police controls that have now virtually shut off new immigration there. Together with the July 7 bombings in London (also perpetrated by second generation Muslims who were British citizens), this event should also change dramatically our view of the nature of the threat from radical Islamism.

"Gang Of Seven"

Here are the office addresses and phone numbers of the Republican members of the Gang Of Fourteen"

Senator John McCain
241 Russell Senate Ofc. Bldg.
Washington DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-2235
Fax: (202) 228-2862

Senator Lindsey Graham
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

(202) 224-5972 phone

What Goes Around Comes Around By Christopher Hitchens

The Wall Street Journal

COMMENTARY

What Goes Around Comes Around

By Christopher Hitchens
October 31, 2005; Page A16

The Republicans who drafted and proposed the Intelligence Identities
Protection Act in the early days of the Reagan administration, in a vain
attempt to end the career of CIA defector Philip Agee, could not have
known that their hasty legislation would one day paralyze the workings of
a conservative wartime administration. Nor could the eager
internationalist Wilsonians who rammed through the 1917 Espionage Act --
the most repressive legislation since the Alien and Sedition laws -- have
expected it to be used against government officials making the case for an
overseas military intervention.

But then, who would have thought that liberals and civil libertarians --
the New York Times called for the repeal of the IIPA as soon as it was
passed, or else for it to be struck down by the courts -- would find these
same catch-all statutes coming in handy for the embarrassment of Team
Bush? The outrage of the left at any infringement of CIA prerogatives is
only the least of the ironies in the indictment of Lewis Libby for
discussing matters the disclosure of which, in and of itself, appears to
have violated no known law.

Snippets From "The Corner" at National Review Online

There's been an interesting exchange re the Libby indictment on NRO's blog "The Corner." First a couple of items from Andy McCarthy, and then responses from Clifford May and Michael Ledeen:

-=snip=-
Friday 10/28/20005

THE INDICTMENT DOES NOT ALLEGE ALL COVER-UP AND NO CRIME
[Andy McCarthy]

The indictment does not allege an offense of the espionage act (18 USC 793), but it does indicate there may well have been one.

There are several crimes laid out in the espionage act, but the one that applies most closely on these facts requires the government to prove that a person (a) obtained classified information lawfully (e.g., in his official capacity), communicated it to someone not entitled to receive it, and (c) did so willfully.

The indictment charges the mere fact that Plame worked at the CIA was classified information. (“At all relevant times … Valerie Wilson was employed by the CIA, and her employment status was classified.”)

Obstruction for What? - Editorial

The Wall Street Journal

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Obstruction for What?

October 29, 2005; Page A10

Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation took nearly two years, sent a reporter to
jail, cost millions of dollars and preoccupied some of the White House's
senior officials. The fruit it has now borne is the five-count indictment of
I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's Chief of Staff -- not for
leaking the name of Valerie Plame to Robert Novak, which started this entire
"scandal," but for contradictions between his testimony and the testimony of
two or three reporters about what he told them, when he told them, and what
words he used.

No More Special Counsels By David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey

No More Special Counsels By David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey

washingtonpost.com
Saturday, October 29, 2005; A23

Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter"
Libby should be the final proof that the system of "special prosecutors"
is bankrupt and ought to be abandoned.

Fitzgerald, a highly respected federal prosecutor from Chicago, was given
the task of investigating whether Bush administration officials had
violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by "leaking" the
identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame.

It is clear that, at least by sometime in January 2004 -- and probably
much earlier -- Fitzgerald knew this law had not been violated. Plame was
not a "covert" agent but a bureaucrat working at CIA headquarters. Instead
of closing shop, however, Fitzgerald sought an expansion of his mandate
and has now charged offenses that grew entirely out of the investigation
itself
. In other words, there was no crime when the investigation started,
only, allegedly, after it finished. Unfortunately, for special counsels,
as under the code of the samurai, once the sword is drawn it must taste
blood. (emphasis added -- rsb)

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