“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chritsmas 2010: Where are the Neocons Now?

Iraq's war on Christians

Oil and geopolitics prevent the United States and Western European countries from speaking out against what amounts to genocide against Christians in the Middle East.

As much of the world once more prepares to celebrate the birth of Christ, it is a melancholy fact that many of the most ancient churches established in his name are being pushed to the brink of oblivion across the region where their faith was born.

The culprits are Salafist Islam's increasingly virulent intolerance, the West's convenient indifference and, in the case of Iraq, America's failure to make responsible provisions to protect minorities from the violent disorder that has persisted since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

When America intervened to overthrow Saddam Hussein, Iraq's Christians — mostly Chaldeans and Assyrians — numbered about 1.4 million, or about 3% of the population. Over the last seven years, more than half have fled the country and, as the New York Times reported this week, a wave of targeted killings — including the Oct. 31 slaying of 51 worshipers and two priests during Mass at one of Baghdad's largest churches — has sent many more Christians fleeing. Despite Prime Minister Nouri Maliki promises to increase security, many believe the Christians are being targeted not only by Al Qaeda in Iraq, which has instructed its fighters "to kill Christians wherever they can reach them," but also by complicit elements within the government's security services.

The United States, meanwhile, does nothing — as it did nothing four years ago, when Father Boulos Iskander was kidnapped, beheaded and dismembered; or three years ago, when Father Ragheed Ganni was shot dead at the altar of this church; or two years ago, when Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was kidnapped and murdered; as it has done nothing about all the church bombings and assassinations of lay Christians that have become commonplace over the last seven years.

The human tragedy of all this is compounded by the historic one. The churches of the Middle East preserve the traditions of the Apostolic era in ways no other Christian rites or denominations do. The followers of Jesus were first called Christians in Antioch Syria, and it was there that the Gospels first were written down in Koine Greek. For 1,000 years, the churches of Iraq and Syria were great centers of Christian thought and art. Today, the Christian population is declining in every majority Muslim country in the region and is under increasingly severe pressure even in Lebanon, where it still constitutes 35% of the population.
LA Times


  1. If I were an Iraqi Christian I would either leave, or become a Muslim. There is no "option C."

    And, NO, the U.S. is Not going to start a Major War in the Middle East over this.

  2. .

    Hey, democracy is hard.

    GWB wonders how history will view him.

    No doubt as a gift of the Magi.


  3. .

    Call it what you like, 'Clash of Civilizations', religious intolerance, a bunch of crazy fucks; those who deny it exists are drifting somewhere in dreamland or just locked into the PC wetdream.


  4. Good intentions, $750 billion and 4500 American lives for what?

    Enough of that.

    Thank you Deuce and Whit for many interesting and thought provoking posts and to the bar patrons, a warm and Merry Christmas to one and all.

  5. Good to see a merry ole Christmas post!

    We’ve just finished up our annual holiday cartoon – Santa Ash has decided to go big!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Fuck, blogger's eating my tootsie posts.

  8. 'ihaveprettyfeet'

    A top NFL coach was left embarrassed after he was ambushed by reporters during a press conference and quizzed over a website which appears to show his sexual fantasies and foot-fetish videos involving him and his wife.
    Rex Ryan, head coach of the New York Jets, was lost for words during the interview before telling reporters it was a 'personal matter' and refusing to answer the questions.

    He and his wife Michelle have been linked to several foot-fetish dating sites, in which a personal profile expresses an interest in threesomes and sexual 'torture'.

    The profile, under the name 'ihaveprettyfeet', also features on a swingers site and the writer also includes a graphic description of his wife's anatomy as well as listing their other interests.

    It comes a day after four videos were posted on the gossip site, in which a woman who looks like Mrs Ryan can be seen showing her feet to the cameraman.
    The videos are believed to have also been posted on YouTube by the 'ihaveprettyfeet' user.

  9. You will recall earlier this season when another Jets coached tripped an opposing player.

    - Saw them feet outside the field of play and couldn't resist the alure of them illicit tootsies.

  10. Home for Christmas: Father dramatically pardoned after shooting teenager

    A black father has been sensationally pardoned for the racially charged murder of a white teenager he claimed was part of a ‘lynch mob’ that stormed his home.

    John White, 57, was freed after serving just five months of a two-to-four-year prison sentence for the shooting.

    Although he was convicted by a Long Island, New York, jury of manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon in 2006, he had only been behind bars since July following a series of failed appeals.

    Announcing the pardon, New York Governor David Patterson said the five months Mr White has been in jail was enough time for the shooting of 17-year-old Daniel Cicciaro.

    ‘Our society strives to be just, but the pursuit of justice is a difficult and arduous endeavour,’ he said in a statement.

    ‘While the incident and Mr White's trial engendered much controversy and comment, and varying assessments of justice were perceived, its most common feature was heartbreak.

    Mugshot: Mr White's police photograph taken on the night of the shooting in 2006
    ‘My decision today may be an affront to some and a joy to others, but my objective is only to seek to ameliorate the profound suffering that occurred as a result of this tragic event.’

    "Happy Holidays"

    Outside his home, Mr White said: ‘I'm definitely glad to be home with my family for Christmas, and I hope everyone has a pleasant and happy holiday.’


    Patterson following in the footsteps of our esteemed AG

  11. allen said...
    KUHNER: Radical Islam vs. Christianity - The cross is near extinction in the ancient lands of its origin

    As we spend an evening contemplating whether or no she has a bejeweled belly-button, let us take a moment to think of those facing death at the hands of devils.

    Let us also remember that this has been the pattern since the birth of Islam, having absolutely NOTHING to do with “occupation”, “settlements” or “Zionism”.

    Thu Dec 23, 07:55:00 PM EST

    ...glad I could help :-D

  12. Odd that it's the headline in UK paper, but missing in local paper of record.

  13. Wait, this just IN!!!

    there is a nation in the middle east with a GROWING Christians population!!!!

    It's Name is?????????





    Land of the free and home of the brave...


  14. "Let us also remember that this has been the pattern since the birth of Islam, having absolutely NOTHING to do with “occupation”, “settlements” or “Zionism”."


    We already knew that Allen.
    ...or most of us did...

    The Great Satan is at fault.

  15. allen said...
    Iraqi Christians will be in hiding.

    Lebanese Christians will maintain a low profile, even in their enclaves.

    Coptic (Egyptian) Christians will be looking for cover.

    Sudanese Christians will pray for a single night of peace.

    The Christians within Israel will worship and enjoy their Holy Day unmolested. If any Arab resident thinks otherwise, he will be set straight quickly.

    Yes, indeed, there is bitterness and strife aplenty. And it comes from the usual suspects in the usual way.

    O Holy Night

    Wed Dec 22, 09:32:00 PM EST

    ...glad I could help :-D

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. In Iraq there WAS a minority that had been there for 2200 years...

    Longer than Islam has been around..

    That's longer than Christianity existed...

    Yep the Jews have been there for thousands of years until 1948....

    Then they were driven out by the muzzies...

    Now shit's happening to the Christians?


    Today middle eastern christians are learning what jews have know for centuries...


  18. allen said...
    Considering it will soon be the birthday of the dear Lord and Savior of many, the following will be disturbing. The only answer is to punish the Zionist entity...

    Weren't the Christians in Iraq before the Muzzies? Weren't the Christians persecuted prior to the establishment of the Zionist entity? Doesn't Islam's anti-Christian murderous zeal predate by more than a millenium the construction of apartments in the "territories"? That pretty much shoots in both feet the EB myth of the wicked Zionist...for about 2 seconds :-)

    Citing ‘Religicide,’ Interfaith Groups Appeal to Congress on Behalf of Iraq’s Christians

    Wed Dec 22, 12:39:00 PM EST

    ...glad I could help :-D

  19. doug said,

    We already knew that Allen.
    ...or most of us did...

    ...not from what I read in the funny papers...

    General Petraeus certainly doesn't know; otherwise, he is just an oblivious swine. My money would go on the latter.

    Have a Happy Christmas, doug!

  20. The history of the Jews in Iraq is documented from the time of the Babylonian captivity c. 586 BCE. Iraqi Jews constitute one of the world's oldest and most historically significant Jewish communities.
    The Jewish community of Babylon included Ezra the scribe, whose return to Judea was associated with significant changes in Jewish ritual observance. The Talmud was compiled in Babylonia, identified with modern Iraq.[6]
    From the Babylonian period to the rise of the Islamic caliphate, the Jewish community of Babylon thrived as the center of Jewish learning. The Mongol invasion and Islamic discrimination in the Middle Ages led to its decline[7]. Under the Ottoman Empire, the Jews of Iraq fared better. The community established modern schools in the second-half of the 19th century.[8]
    In the 20th century, Iraqi Jews played an important role in the early days of the Iraq's independence, but the Iraqi Jewish community, numbered at around 120,000 in 1948, almost entirely left the country due to persecution following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.[9] Most of them fled to the newly founded state of Israel, and today, fewer than 100 Jews remain.

  21. Glad to bring a little cheer to you Ash and to the rest of you believers, skeptics, defenders of the faith and faithful dissenters. To you opaque and pithy, gentile and Jew, verbose and lurkers, pagans, Jutes and motley crew:

    Merry Christmas

  22. doug,

    ...guess a lot of people have not gotten the word...

    Seattle cancels anti-Israel bus advertising campaign

    “Your tax dollars at work”, indeed…