Friday, September 22, 2006

Equal Time for Christians Behaving Badly

Christians riot in Indonesia after execution of 3 Christians for involvement in previous riots.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Christian mobs rioted after the executions of Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu, torching cars and homes and smashing windows in government offices. Church leaders took to the streets to call for calm and 4000 police were deployed to prevent clashes with Muslim communities.

The three Christians were convicted in connection with the killing of more than 70 men, women and children who had sought refuge in a school in the Central Sulawesi town of Poso in May 2000. At their trial, no witnesses testified to seeing any of them kill anyone. Strong doubts were raised about the fairness of their trial and there were allegations the sentences were driven by pressure from hardline Muslim groups."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Are Americans Free to Riot?

Now that Chavez has condemned Bush in the most Manichaeistic terms imaginable?

Chavez's evangelicalism for this new religion based on the sacred texts of the prophet Noam Chomsky is yet another cult of the ill-informed but well-intended led by the well-informed but ill-intended.

Global Media Slowly Condemn Thai Coup

Thailand's king reverts to the bad old days--Daily Telegraph

The blow felt around the region--Sydney Morning Herald

Rolling Back the Tanks--The Hindu

Some papers, how ever, fall into a contemptible utilitarianism: pity it had to come to force, but we're all much better off. The Times of London leads this pack:

Cost of the coup

Democracy deferred as generals return--The Australian

Thai Alert--Hindustan Times

This creeping Caesarism should give all readers of Spengler pause.

Religion of Peace Strikes Again

"NIGERIA once again relapsed into sectarian violence yesterday as a band of irate youths went on rampage in Dutse, Jigawa State capital. They looted and set ablaze 10 worship centres."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Glimpse of the Future?

I was struck reading the New Zealand Herald's top story on the coup in Thailand ("Thailand still safe to visit, say NZ officials") by the breezy, insouciant tone. Worse than that is the quote offered by the Kiwi ambassador to Thailand:

"This is a caretaker government which is more than 200 days old now and people, institutions -- including the army -- have become impatient I think," Mr Barrington said. "You also have a situation where a number of groups from the universities to the medical profession have come out quite strongly in the last couple of weeks saying that it is time for Thaksin to stand down."

A democratically elected government (albeit a Thai government) has been toppled by a cabal of army officers, and the best the official representative of New Zealand can offer is the observation that doctors and university professors wanted Thaksin gone. I hold no brief for Thaksin, but the notion that political legitimacy is determined by the attitudes of certain credentialed elite groups is a bone-chilling one to hear mouthed by any Anglosphere government.

The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel... turns out, is antisemitism dressed up as patriotism:

Sudan blames Israel and Jews for many of its woes

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pity the Hungarians

Hoping their demonstrations against government mendacity would create international pressure for change, they instead find themselves bigfooted in the global media by the army coup in Thailand. Premier Gyurcsany has just informed the protesters that he doesn't think anyone's watching, and he's willing to crack a few skulls to stay in office.

Somedays You Get the General Staff...

...Somedays the general staff gets you.

It would seem that the Thai army has decided that the premier's absence from the country is an excellent opportunity for some political remodeling.

No official announcement, but all the signs are that the army has decided Premier Thaksin must go. Fortunately for the Premier's health, he's in New York visiting the UN, but unfortunately it looks as though his party rank and file is incapable of standing up for themselves in his absence.

Accidents Will Happen

But when they happen to an entire country's general staff, one must wonder if someone else benefited. Unrest in the Niger delta has been a significant cause of oil price uncertainties, and this must be viewed as a destabilising development.

The subsequent bombing of the Somali President's entourage on Monday seems a remarkable coincidence. Somalia has explicitly linked al Quaeda to the Monday bombing.

Is It News If 1 Billion People Want To Ally with the U.S.?

Possibly the most momentous achievement of the G.W. Bush Administration will be the one which the U.S. media didn't find particularly newsworthy.

Peter Jackson, Please Phone Your Office

Christopher Tolkien is having his revision of his father's Narn-i-hin Hurin published as a standalone novel. Movie rights are no doubt the driving force behind this. I wonder how well the conservatives who boosted the Lord of the Rings will deal with the story.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Breakthrough for Byzantine Studies

Emperor Manuel Palaeologus beats out Lonelygirl15 in MSN top People searches.

It's late in the day, but maybe the grownups are starting to wake up.