Saturday, September 30

On my mind

For the last 16 months, since the death of my mother, I have been struggling to touch the ground. I haven't once felt at "home" since then. I understand the term "feet haven't touched the ground" is used to represent good things, but in this usage it represents a very bad thing. I get motion sickness very badly and the sense of not touching the ground causes nothing but sickness and discomfort for me.

After a failed attempt to get grounded in Fayetteville NC, I moved back to Lexington Ky Wednesday before last, 10 days ago. I came to Lexington with no place to stay and no job and just hoped and wished that I could remedy those two nightmares quickly. I found a safe place to stay and I'm welcome there untill I can get work and save to move out on my own. Well this past week I was offered a job, and hired and I begin that job on Monday.

The point in divulging all of this personal info is this, I have been spending time here at the library, scanning online job ads, staying in touch with my three or four dearest online friends. As a result of spending time here I have spent a lot of time talking with and observing the homeless men who gather in the park out front and also in the library. By the skin of my teeth I did not, or have not yet, become one of those men. The mental emotional distance between myself, "the homed" and "them", the homeless, nearly completely evaporated. They became not just fellow Americans whom like others I shared little in common, they became to a huge extent my brothers. They aren't just on the periphery of my world now, they are very much inside my world, inside my space, on my radar.

So this morning I'm at the library and Im thinking about the reality of these men, my brothers who were alomst and may one day be my room mates. So I found these stats on the web, are they accurate, maybe not completely, buty I dont doubt them. And people, we need to do something. What? I don't know but it must be done whatever it is. These men are our fellow citizens and we can't allow the continued failed attempts to do something to numb us to the reality that we as a society are failing them, and by doing so we are failing ourselves.

From The National Coalition for the Homeless,

Homeless Statistics

The first thing to note about homeless statistics is that there are more homeless people today than at any previous time in U.S. history. In the past, "Skid-row bums" were the only homeless people in America on the street. However, nowadays those bums are not the only homeless people in America on the street. Ordinarily people fallen under hard times are now homeless people and some are with homeless children. This new wave of homeless people and homeless children in America now has them competing with the 'old fashioned bums' for space on bridges, benches, and parks to sleep.

Homeless Statistics - the number of homeless people in America

Although it is impossible to count the number of homeless people in America accurately, experts on homeless people estimate that there are more than three million homeless people in America at this time. Also, the number of homeless people increases every year.
The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that there are more than:

70,000 homeless people in New York;
50,000 homeless people in Los Angeles;
25,000 homeless people in Chicago;
4,000-14,000 homeless people in Dallas;
10,000-15,000 homeless people in Washington, D.c.;
10,000 homeless people in Miami; and
6,500 homeless people in Phoenix.

I know this is an issue that has been talked to death over the last so many years. I know it is a common republican response to simply state, "They need to pull theirself up by their boot straps". The issue of homelessness is so often a liberal talking point that I have rarely heard the word spoken by any of my fellow Republicans.

Thats what is on my mind. Peace and love to all good lizards, past and present.

Monday, September 25

Is An Iraqi Jihadist Coming To A Nice American Neighborhood Near You?

American Sheep... Led To Slaughter? - 2004 Photo by MG

Is an Iraqi Jihadist coming to a nice American neighborhood near you? Read on, to find out...

The outspoken and erudite Hugh Fitzgerald from Jihad Watch let loose with some strong thoughts about Iraq and Islam in an article he wrote back in June entitled, Concede victory.

Hugh argued the following:

We won in Iraq; we've inadvertently created a situation which will inevitably lead to demoralization and division within the Camp of Islam. If only we have the good sense to recognize it and stop trying to prevent the result that is devoutly to be wished.

Forget about the Iraqis, for god's sake, stop talking and stop thinking about "what's good for the Iraqis." Stop being influenced by the handful of plausible, nice, heartwarming "Iraqis" you have had contact with in Iraq -- many of those "Iraqis" serving as the staff (cooks, waiters, cleaners) in the Green Zone, or as translators, are the completely atypical Christians.

For Infidels, the permanent instability within Iraq, and the worry that has created in both Iran and Saudi Arabia (and other Arab states) is a welcome, and to the Bush Administration still uncomprehended, unappreciated, development...

Some deplore the idea of civil war. Why? Wasn't the Iran-Iraq War a good thing from the viewpoint of Infidels? Wasn't the Egypt-Saudi Arabia proxy war in the Yemen? The hostilities over Polisario between Morocco and Algeria? The dislike of Khaddafy for Egypt, and the expulsion from Libya of all those Egyptians? The brief Syrian incursion into Jordan? (...)

But there it is: the Shi'a have the power, the Sunnis will never accept it, the Kurds are drilling for oil and appropriating, as they have every right to do so, the oil of Kirkuk and Kirkuk itself. Concede Victory, and get out...

If we leave, the right result -- those sectarian and ethnic divisions -- will start to work their magic. And it will be magic as far as we, the Infidels, are concerned, even if the result does not please even those very nice, very plausible, Shi'a Muslims whose interests diverge from ours...

Hugh's thoughts have somewhat, but not entirely paralleled mine, since the Iraqi Constitution mirrored democracy with Sharia Law. I am much more sympathetic to the plight and loss of the Iraqis than Hugh is, and would rather not see innocent people be hurt or killed, but I can see where Hugh is coming from. He is arguing that a Proxy War is ongoing in Iraq between the minions of Iran, the Shia Militias and Death Squads and the al Qaeda-Sunni groups funded by the Saudis, and that is good for the United States.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are indeed the two biggest official and unofficial state sponsors of terrorism. Iran does it through their State-sponsored totalitarinism, Militant activities around the globe, as well as their support for Hezb'allah and other terrorist groups. The Saudis, weave their Religious Apartheid across the planet, through their exportation of Wahabbist philosophies, funding of Madrassas and Mosques, along with Islamic charity donations, which are siphoned off or given wholehardly in some cases to terrorist groups. If those two Nations are using their petrol dollars in Iraq to combat each other's influences, there is less wealth around to fund Radical Islam against us.

And this would not be the first time a Proxy War has benefitted the interests of the United States. After all the US supplied and funded the Mujahdeen in Afghanistan against the Soviets, and I don't recall many saying it was a bad thing, despite whatever casualties the Soviets inflicted on the Afghani citizenry in the course of their battles.

And we need to stop talking PC nonsense. We are not in a War Against Terror, or even waging a War Against Islamo-fascists, athough we are certainly warring with them, for sure. No let's be honest, we L'Etats Unis are at war with the many facets of Islam, which are in collision with the precepts of Western Democracy, pure and simple, because Islam has been waging a vicious campaign against the West and its freedoms for the last 1400 years of its conquering ways.

The War in Iraq has indeed been won. Saddam Hussein is defeated and the Iraqi military has been mitigated. Iraq can no longer do us or anyone else any harm.

So, my thinking was along the lines of, now is the time to remove American troops from Iraq proper and set up American bases in Kurdistan - it would be just as easy to take care of the Iranians from Kurdistan, since most of the combat will be conducted by the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf fleets, than it is to have forces in Iraq, subject to Iranian reprisals, perhaps even WMD reprisals.

But then I saw this letter in the New York Times by Robert Lockwood, a former councel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and changed my mind:

Keeping Terrorists Out

Published: September 11, 2006
To the Editor:
"Iraq's Endangered Journalists," by Ali Fadhil (Op-Ed, Sept. 6), evokes a third-rail issue that receives little public attention: the accommodation of refugees and asylum seekers who are victims of political upheavals, including civil war. These are grounds under United States statutes for the resettlement of as many as two million Iraqi refugees who are associated with American operations in Iraq...

Mark Krikorian writing at the National Review has a clarification of Lockwood's letter with even more chilling news:

From a letter by a former congressional staffer in yesterday's NY Times: "These are grounds under United States statutes for the resettlement of as many as two million Iraqi refugees who are associated with American operations in Iraq."

Actually, the number that could be admitted is unlimited. And, practically speaking, the majority would be Sunni, because if things fall apart and we hightail it out of Mesopotamia, the Shia will take over and start slaughtering the Sunnis. In other words, if we don't "win" in Iraq, whatever that might mean, we'll end up taking in huge numbers of people who supported (and still support) our enemies.

An Unlimited Number Of Iraqi Refugees, The Majority Sunni. That is not a good thing at all. We are in a War with the fundamentals of Islam. We can not absorb millions of Muslims into our country at this time, and effectively fight a war against the principles of very people, we would be taking in.

Millions of Raed Jarrar types or worse, American-hating Jihadists and Islamists entering the U.S. Think, even if only a small percentage of those Iraqi Sunnis, who resettled in this country, say 15 to 30 percent of the total Sunni population are Islamists, we are still talking about hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Islamic radicals for the government to deal with and we American citizens to face the Lethal Consequences of this mass importation of Democracy deniers.

Baby, we really need to win that war in Iraq, for the Iraqis, and most importantly, for us Americans.

Monday, September 18

Remembering Oriana Fallaci - The Largest Tribute In The Blogosphere

Anguish photo by Thomas Hawk - Flickr

Oriana Fallaci (1929 - 2006) was called a leftist. Oriana Fallaci was called a fascist. I do not believe in the Left or the Right. I believe in the wet grass under my stockened feet soaking my skin. That is very much reality; that is not the symbolism of semantics. Labels are what men and women pin on each other as they seek to define the truth in their own minds. Fallaci was very much herself, whatever she believed in, and like most of us, her beliefs likely changed over time, with the ebb and flow of crisis and chaos, in her personal life and the world.

Mister Ghost - September 15, 2006

Who Was Oriana Fallaci?

The Pioneer Of Modern Journalism

From the book, Immortality, author, Milan Kundera writes, "...who is the pioneer of modern journalism? Not Hemingway who wrote of his experiences in the trenches, not Orwell who spent a year of his life with the Parisian poor, not Egon Erwin Kisch the expert on Prague prostitutes, but Oriana Fallaci who in the years 1969 to 1972 published a series of interviews with the most famous politicians of the time. Those interviews were more than mere conversations; they were duels. Before the powerful politicians realized that they were fighting under unequal conditions--for she was allowed to ask questions but they were not--they were already on the floor of the ring, KO'ed."

A Great Interviewer

Though she has written novels and memoirs, Italian author Oriana Fallaci remains best known as an uncompromising political interviewer, or, as Elizabeth Mehren puts it in the Los Angeles Times, "the journalist to whom virtually no world figure would say no." Her subjects include Henry Kissinger, Willy Brandt, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and the late Pakistani leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, from whom she extracted such criticism of India's Indira Gandhi that a 1972 peace treaty between the two countries almost went unsigned.
Courtesy of the Biography Resource Center

Showcased By Her Writing Style

A final area which must be given attention is Fallaci's writing style. As one researcher describes it, "What makes her approach different is the degree of commitment and passion that she brings to journalism" (Arico, 1986, p. 587). It is this commitment and passion which makes her style so unique. Rather than focus only on the questions and answers of an interview, Fallaci tells the reader everything she is thinking, seeing, hearing and feeling. In other words, she gives the reader the experience of the interview.
Courtesy of: Oriana Fallaci: Words, Power, And Style by Jill M. Duquaine

Leading American And British POWs To Safety

As a teen-ager, Fallaci did clandestine work for the anti-Fascist underground—she had her own nom de guerre, Emilia, and she carried explosives and delivered messages. After Italy surrendered, in September, 1943, and American and British prisoners began escaping from prison camps, one of her tasks was to accompany them "past the lines" and to safe refuge. Fallaci was chosen because she wore her hair in pigtails and looked deceptively innocent. "It was so scary, because there were minefields, and you never knew where the mines were," she recalled. "When my mother read that in a book later, she said, to my father, 'You would have sacrificed newly born children! You and your ideas.' And then she said, 'Well, but I had a feeling you were doing something like that.' "

Remembering Those Who Had Made The Ultimate Sacrifice

"Can anybody guess how many cemeteries of Allied soldiers there are in Italy? More than sixty. And the largest, the most crowded, are the American ones. At Nettuno, 10,950 graves. At Falciani, near Florence, 5,811. Each time I pass in front of it and see that lake of crosses, I shiver with grief and gratitude."

Telling The Story Of Dakel Abbas, An Iraqi prisoner of war

His name was Dakel Abbas, and he was a 21-year-old Iraqi soldier drafted in a village where along with his wife he lived raising cucumbers, onions, eggplants. A village near As-Samawah, central Iraq. Rather than a soldier, however, you would have thought him to be a survivor from a concentration camp. His head looked like a skull with a nose and a mouth and two eyes. His chest, a bas-relief of ribs hardly covered by skin. His biceps, tiny bones that could fit inside the palm of a child. (Saddam Hussein does not feed the troops very well.) He had been captured at the end of the Gulf War by members of the Kuwaiti Resistance who, supposedly by mistake, had opened fire on his group while it surrendered. In fact he appeared badly wounded and the doctors didn't know whether he would recover.

Lamenting The Fall Of The West

The impending Fall of the West, as she sees it, now torments Ms. Fallaci. And as much as that Fall, what torments her is the blithe way in which the West is marching toward its precipice of choice. "Look at the school system of the West today. Students do not know history! They don't, for Christ's sake. They don't know who Churchill was! In Italy, they don't even know who Cavour was!"--a reference to Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, the conservative father, with the radical Garibaldi, of Modern Italy. Ms. Fallaci, rarely reverent, pauses here to reflect on the man, and on the question of where all the conservatives have gone in Europe. "In the beginning, I was dismayed, and I asked, how is it possible that we do not have Cavour . . . just one Cavour, uno? He was a revolutionary, and yes, he was not of the left. Italy needs a Cavour--Europe needs a Cavour." Ms. Fallaci describes herself, too, as "a revolutionary"--"because I do what conservatives in Europe don't do, which is that I don't accept to be treated like a delinquent." She professes to "cry, sometimes, because I'm not 20 years younger, and I'm not healthy. But if I were, I would even sacrifice my writing to enter politics somehow."

On Jew Hatred In Europe

I find it shameful that in Italy there should be a procession of individuals dressed as suicide bombers who spew vile abuse at Israel, hold up photographs of Israeli leaders on whose foreheads they have drawn the swastika, incite people to hate the Jews. And who, in order to see Jews once again in the extermination camps, in the gas chambers, in the ovens of Dachau and Mauthausen and Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen et cetera, would sell their own mother to a harem... I find it shameful that in France, the France of Liberty-Equality-Fraternity, they burn synagogues, terrorize Jews, profane their cemeteries. I find it shameful that the youth of Holland and Germany and Denmark flaunt the kaffiah just as Mussolini's avant garde used to flaunt the club and the fascist badge... I find it shameful that they are on the side of the very ones who inaugurated terrorism, killing us on airplanes, in airports, at the Olympics, and who today entertain themselves by killing western journalists. By shooting them, abducting them, cutting their throats, decapitating them. (There's someone in Italy who, since the appearance of Anger and Pride, would like to do the same to me. Citing verses of the Koran he exhorts his "brothers" in the mosques and the Islamic Community to chastise me in the name of Allah. To kill me. Or rather to die with me. Since he's someone who speaks English well, I'll respond to him in English: "Fuck you.")

On The London Bombing

Now, I ask myself: “What do you say, what do you have to say, about what happened in London?” They ask me face-to-face, via fax and email; often scolding me because up until now I have remained silent. Almost as if my silence were a betrayal. And each time I shake my head and murmur to myself: what else should I say?!? I’ve been saying it for four years--that I fight against the Monster that has decided to eliminate us physically and, along with our bodies, to destroy our principles and values. Our civilization. For four years I’ve been talking about Islamic Nazism; about the war against the West; about the death cult; about European suicide. About a Europe that is no longer Europe, but Eurabia, and that with its feebleness, its inertia, its blindness, its servitude to the enemy is digging its own grave. For four years, like another Cassandra, I’ve been shouting until I’m hoarse “Troy is burning! Troy is burning!” and I despair of the Danaids for whom, like Virgil in the Aeneid I weep for a city entombed in its torpor. [A city] that, through its wide-open doors receives fresh troops and joins complicit parties [inside]. For four years I’ve been repeating to the wind the truth about the Monster and its accomplices...

In Her Own Words: Freedom, Faith, And Europe

• The struggle for freedom does not include the submission to a religion which, like the Muslim religion, wants to annihilate other religions.

• The moment you give up your principles, and your values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period.

• The West reveals a hatred of itself, which is strange and can only be considered pathological; it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive.

• Without Khomeini, we would not be where we are. What a pity that, when pregnant with him, his mother did not choose to have an abortion.

• You cannot survive if you do not know the past.

• The Muslims refuse our culture and try to impose their culture on us. I reject them, and this is not only my duty toward my culture-it is toward my values, my principles, my civilization.

• In obedience to the stupid, vile, dishonest fashion of Political Correctness, the usual opportunists exploit the word Peace.

• In France, the France of Liberty-Equality-Fraternity, they burn synagogues, terrorize Jews, profane their cemeteries.

• I find it shameful that in nearly all the universities of Europe, Palestinian students sponsor and nurture anti-Semitism.

• I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. There must be some human truth that is beyond religion.

• Europe is no longer Europe, it is Eurabia, a colony of Islam, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in a mental and cultural sense.

• Because our cultural identity has been well defined for thousands of years, we cannot bear a migratory wave of people who have nothing to do with us, who aim to absorb us.

The Love Of Her Life: Alekos Panagoulis

In A Man, Fallaci attempts to immortalize the martyred poet and Greek resistance leader Alekos Panagoulis, the great love of her life. Though she calls the book a novel, A Man recounts the real story of Panagoulis's fight for Greece's freedom--a fight he continued until his death. In 1967, Panagoulis attempted to assassinate the fascist Greek dictator Georgios Papadopoulos by planting a series of bombs along the roads he traveled each day. The plan failed, and Panagoulis was captured and imprisoned almost immediately. During the next five years, the revolutionary was subjected to physical abuse as well as psychological torture in an effort to break his spirit and will. Despite the inhuman treatment, Panagoulis refused to succumb, and his repeated escape attempts and uncompromising rebelliousness finally led him to be isolated in a specially constructed cell, not much larger than a double bed, with no windows and only three paces' worth of standing room. He remained there until he was freed under a general amnesty in 1973. Two days after his release, Panagoulis was interviewed by Fallaci, and, firmly convinced that their meeting was an act of fate, the two became lovers within a few weeks.

For the next three years, Fallaci and Panagoulis shared a tempestuous relationship. According to Marcia Seligson in the Los Angeles Times, "he told her: `I don't want a woman to be happy with. The world is full of women you can be happy with... . And I want a companion. A companion who will be my comrade, friend, accomplice, brother. I'm a man in battle. I always will be.' She became all those things, surrendering her own full and independent life to follow this difficult, maddening, towering man. She lived an emotional pendulum of anguish/bliss; there was no serenity, no future, only thrills and chills." Panagoulis was killed by political enemies in an ambush made to look like an auto accident in 1976. Within months of his death, Fallaci began work on the book she would dedicate to him, and, in 1979, published what she considers her most important work,A Man.

Wanting To See The Sea One Last Time Before She Died

Riccardo Nencini... who was present in front of the Santa Chiara clinic to give his last goodbye to Oriana Fallaci, who died the day before yesterday, then mentioned his last meetings with the writer. "I spoke with her three time. The first time in New York in February, but she told me 'I am dying I want to return to Florence to die.' The second time in mid-June in Florence during a meeting that last all afternoon until late at night and she told me 'I won't make it to the end of summer, I want to go back to NY but I want to return to die here. I want to return to see the big Cupola, the river, and especially the tower of Manelli because that is where I brought the parachuted bombs from the allies in a salad basket. Find me a house here.' Then the last time I heard from her, a few days before she arrived in Florence, was a very brief telephone all. She told me, 'I have to hang up, I am about to die. I want to remember you like the last time we saw each other' and then she hung up.

Her Final Resting Place In Florence

By a twist of faith, the controversial writer, who fought some hard battles against the Islam faith, will be buried in the evangelical cemetery, the same one that is the final resting place of atheists, Orthodox Jews and also Muslims. Everything is now ready for her to go to the family tomb, the same one in which her parents and other close relations are lying. A small plot of land inside the 18th century private cemetery. Close by is a stone dedicated to her grand love, bearing the words, "In memory of Alekos Panagulis, with love from Oriana".

Oriana Fallaci's Books

I sette peccati di Hollywood (title means "The Seven Sins of Hollywood"), preface by Orson Welles, Longanesi (Milan), 1958.

Il sesso inutile: Viaggio intorno all donna, Rizzoli (Milan), 1961, translation by Pamela Swinglehurst published as The Useless Sex: Voyage around the Woman, Horizon Press (New York City), 1964.

Penelope alla guerra (novel), Rizzoli, 1962, translation by Swinglehurst published as Penelope at War, M. Joseph (London), 1966.

Gli antipatici, Rizzoli, 1963, translation by Swinglehurst published in England as Limelighters, M. Joseph, 1967, published as The Egotists: Sixteen Surprising Interviews , Regnery (Chicago), 1968.

Se il sole muore, Rizzoli, 1965, translation by Swinglehurst published as If the Sun Dies, Atheneum (New York City), 1966.

Niente a cosi sia, Rizzoli, 1969, translation by Isabel Quigly published as Nothing, and So Be It, Doubleday (New York City), 1972 (published in England as Nothing and Amen, M. Joseph, 1972).

Quel giorno sulla Luna, Rizzoli, 1970.

Intervista con la Storia, Rizzoli, 1974, translation by John Shepley published as Interview with History, Liveright, 1976.

Lettera a un bambino mai nato, Rizzoli, 1975, translation by Shepley published as Letter to a Child Never Born, Simon & Schuster (New York City), 1976.

Un uomo: Romanzo (novel), Rizzoli, 1979, translation by William Weaver published as A Man, Simon & Schuster, 1980.

Insciallah, Rizzoli 1992, translated by James Marcus, published as Inshallah, Doubleday, 1992.

Rage and Pride, published as La rabbia e l'orgoglio, Rizzoli, 2001.

The Force of Reason, published as La forza della ragione, Rizzoli, Nov 2005.

List courtesy of the Biography Resource Center

The Blogosphere And Others Remember Oriana Fallaci

Robert Spencer - Jihad Watch: She was one of the most fearless and courageous defenders Western civilization had in these latter days, and the West rewarded her by hounding, persecuting and vilifying her.Such is the state of the society and culture she loved and tried to save from itself. Many times in her last months, after she did me the honor of calling me her friend, I thought to myself, What can I do for Oriana? Of course, the only answer was to do exactly what I am doing here at this site, and in my books, and in traveling around the country speaking, trying to alert people to the reality and magnitude of the global jihad.

R.I.P Oriana.: Here's a poignant paragraph from "Rage and pride"--

"In this world there is room for everybody, I say. In one's own home, everyone is free to do what they please. If in some countries the women are so stupid to accept the chador, or the veil where they have to look through a thick net at eye level, worse for them. If they are so idiotic to accept not going to school, not going to the doctor, not letting themselves be photographed etcetera, well worse for them. If they are so foolish as to marry a prick that wants four wives, too bad for them. If their men are so silly as to not drink beer, wine, ditto. I am not going to be the one to stop them. Far from it! I have been educated in the concept of liberty, and my mother used to say: "the world is beautiful because it is varied". But, if they demand to impose these things on me, in my house… and they do demand it. Osama Bin Laden affirms that the entire planet Earth must become Muslim, that we must convert to Islam, that either by convincing us or threatening us, he will convert us, and for that goal he massacres us and will continue to massacre us. This cannot please us. It has to give us a great desire to reverse roles and kill him. However, this will not resolve itself, it will not be exhausted with the death of Osama Bin Laden. This is because the Osama Bin Ladens number in the tens of thousands now and they are not confined to the Arabic countries. They are everywhere, and the most militant are in the West. In our cities, our streets, our universities, in the nerve centers of our technology. That technology that any obtuse can manage. The Crusade has been underway for a while. It works like a Swiss watch, sustained by a faith and a malice which compares only to the malice of Torquemada when he led the Inquisition. In fact it is impossible to deal with them. To reason with them, unthinkable. To treat them with indulgence or tolerance or hope, is suicide. Anyone who believes the contrary, is deluding himself"

Giselle Fernandez, Journalist and Filmaker: We suffer the sad loss of an icon today in the passing of Oriana Fallaci in her native Florence. This passionate and powerful voice of the 20th Century was forever bold and brazen in her dissection of politics, power and ego, and their devastating effects on democracies everywhere. She wrote with an integrity and force of character that defined her life's work up until the very last days. Fallaci was perhaps my greatest inspiration as a journalist. Her dynamic, dramatic and distinct point of view on the demise of democracies, especially in her latest works that evoked death threats against her, did nothing to silence her conviction or her writings. She died as she lived -- with passion, conviction, purpose and power. They don't make writers like her anymore.

Debbie Schlussel: Fallaci's essays, columns, and articles over the last several years were so spot on and well written that my father would constantly send them to me, even though we knew that before this new era of her enlightenment she was the Islamofascists' useful idiot in friendly interviews with the likes Yasser Arafat--she called the terrorist murderer "charming" (though, at least, in an interview with Ayatollah Khomeini, she attacked Islam's lack of women's rights). Fallaci's newer work was the truth she had denied for so long. For that, Islamofascists repeatedly tried to silence her, stop the publishing of her material in countries like France, and she was put on trial. They don't have the free speech in Europe that we have here. It's ironic because Fallaci-- at the age of 10 in 1939--joined her father in the anti-fascist freedom fighter resistance against the Nazis. She lived to see them defeated early in her life. But she did not live to see the new Nazis--Islamofascists--defeated. And she warned that they may win, in her books, "The Rage and the Pride," and "The Force of Reason."

A Second Hand Conjecture: Fallaci was one of those figures who at some point in time could not have failed to inspire you and yet enrage you at another time. Anyone who says differently never read or listened to her. She offended everyone and inspired us all who paid attention. No one who remembers can forget her interview ripping off her Chador in the presence of Khomeini. She fought against the Nazi's, covered wars from Vietnam to the Middle East and was beaten in Mexico city during the protests of 1968.

David Horowitz - Front Page Magazine: A great warrior is gone... Oriana Fallaci has died after a long struggle with cancer at the age of seventy-seven. Her last years were spent in the United States in part because she was hunted in her own beloved Italy because of her war against the Islamic jihad. A fatwa calling for death was issued an Islamic jihadist; an Italian judge attempted to put her in jail for offending the invaders. She found refuge in the United States. But she also embraced America as her homeland in exile because she understood that America was the global center of resistance to the Islamic threat.

Victor Davis Hanson: Rarely has the death of a public intellectual affected me as much as the passing of Oriana Fallaci. I never met her, and only received a brief note once from her accompanying a copy of The Rage and the Pride. The story of her career is well known, but her death, at this pivotal time, was full of paradoxes and yet instruction as well... Her fiery message was as timely as it was caricatured and slandered: Muslims who leave the Middle East to live under the free aegis of the West have a moral duty to support and protect the civilization that has welcomed them, rather than romanticize about what they have forsaken; Christianity is more than a religion, but also a powerful emblem of the force of reason, in that it seeks to spread belief by rational thought as well as faith; and that affluent and leisured Westerners, bargaining away their honor and traditions out of fear and for illusory security, have only emboldened radical Islam that seeks to liquidate them. I wish she were still alive to scoff at the politically correct, the appeaser, and the triangulator, but alas she is gone, defiant to the last.

Stephania: The Italian writer Oriana Fallaci has died in her Florence.Although I found some of her expression too exaggerated and tended to disagree on some of her statements, I admired her so much for her courage in denouncing Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism.She has never feared to say what she thought. She stood up for her rights in saying what she thought. She was a target of the Islamic fascists. But she has never refrained from denouncing the dangers of multiculturalism and unassimilated immigration. She spoke directly to the consciences of the European rulers, who opted for silencing her by inventing show trials organized by notorious Islamic fundamentalists (for example, the Italian Adel Smith, a Muslim convert who adores Bin Laden and had thrown a crucifix outside a hospital's window, other than offending Jesus Christ). I'm sure the Islamic fundamentalists are celebrating as they celebrated when the 9/11 atrocities occurred and as they celebrate when innocent civilians are killed by their "militants", a term invented by the mainstream media.Because they love death, as they themselves say.

Michael Ledeen: Orianna was one of those bigger-than-life personalities who dwarf everyone around them, and there wasn't much grey in her world, things were always sharply defined. This made friendship a challenge, since at any given moment you were either dearly beloved or this week's dolt. But it didn't really matter, since she prized friendship, and last week's idiot was invariably destined to return as tomorrow's beloved; you had to accept that it would happen, and it would pass, and we were fortunate to know her and be provoked, stimulated, embraced and insulted. She was a hell of a lady.

The Anchoress: Fallaci was an unapologetic woman of the left who - like Christopher Hitchens - had the brains, moral courage and obstinacy to depart from leftist orthodoxy when intellectual honesty demanded it. She was no one to simply "fall in line" with the prevailing thought-of-the-day. She dared the left to honor its pretensions to liberalism and open-mindedness by speaking her mind in dissent. And the left never forgave her for it, either.

Publius Pundit: The great Oriana Fallaci, a clear-eyed journalist and universal freedom fighter for democracy, has died. We all knew she had cancer but this is very sad and affecting news. Her impact on world events cannot be underestimated. The Italian journalist went places no one else would go and saw through everything. No dictator could fool her. She exposed and clarified clowns like Khaddafi and others so that we could see what the real tyrannical enemy was like. At the end of her life, she denounced Islamofascism and extolled the value of civilization, with the courage of a lion. This makes me so so sad.

Wretchard: At the time of her death Oriana Fallaci was facing a suit in Italy for daring to suggest that her country and culture were under threat from radical Islam. In her youth she did not bow to Hitler; and in her old age she hurled defiance at yet another tyranny. The darkness came and yet the darkness claimed her not.

Tigerhawk: Oriana Fallaci died, and the West has lost one of its great warriors... Her vision was startling, and if you have not read The Force Of Reason and The Rage And The Pride , now's the time... They are the first two books of a completed trilogy, a cri de coeur really, over the degradation of Western culture in the face of resurgent Islam. We await the English translation of the third book with great anticipation. Fallaci always did her own English translations; I hope she finished it before she died.

The Jawa Report: She was in exile from a country which has enacted draconian hate speech laws.
Fallaci's crime was for "defaming Islam". She will be missed."

Aussie Jim at Tim Blair: God damm that woman had bigger balls than 99% of blokes that I know, she might have been half crazy but I admire that. To paraphrase Colonel Kurtz, if I had two divisions made up of women like her, this war would be over within a year.

Anti-idiotarian Rottweiller: Oriana Fallaci Dies at 76…and a guiding light in the fight against Islamic Fascism and the creeping conquest of the West goes out. I first learned about her shortly after 9/11, when her book "The Rage and the Pride" came out, a book that no home should be without a copy of. Oriana was a kindred spirit, somebody who understood that, in order to have any hope of defeating an enemy, you must first acknowledge its existence and realize the true nature of it, without excuses, squeamishness and the cowardly unwillingness to face reality that the modern West has become infamous for. And she did.

Jeremayakovka: They called her aggressive, abrasive -- racist, even. Her mind was the fierce, gifted offspring of a most felicitous marriage of reason and emotion: each book an assault on the citadel of postmodern European presumption, each sentence a cavalry charge. Were we to conduct an intellectual autopsy on Fallaci, were we to behold her brain we would have to compare it to a cannonball; her sex we would have to compare to its etymological source, to a sword's or dagger's sheath.

Michelle Malkin: Deeply saddening news at the end of this 9/11 anniversary week. The outspoken lioness Oriana Fallaci has died of cancer... She refused to candycoat her criticisms of Islam. She refused to submit to jihadi thugs. Her books, her life, her rage and her reason serve as fiery inspirations in an era of flinching dhimmitude.

All Things Beautiful: I must take a moment to pay tribute to one of my greatest heroines, and one of the most renowned journalists of our modern era, Oriana Fallaci, who died of cancer today aged 77. Relentlessly opposing Islamic extremists until her dying breath, she lived a life of passion and died a courageous death, always fighting for what she believed in. An inspiration to us all, I loved her deeply not only for everything she bravely stood for, but for having the magnificent courage to say it. I am greatly saddened by her departure form a world which needs her now more than ever. Constantly forewarning us of the inevitabilities of an "Islamic colony" formerly known as Europe, she predicted much of the decay we see all too evident today.

OS - Objectively Speaking: Heroes get harder and harder to find. If you have not discovered this one, do so. They help to fuel the soul.

Vanishing American: Always passionate and outspoken, she powerfully articulated the rage which has been so suppressed throughout the West; in spite of the constraints of Political Correctness, or perhaps also because of it, she became more harsh and more insistent in her later years. Her voice was a much-needed one in an emasculated and passive Europe, and throughout the West. Of course her bluntness provoked controversy in a world which prizes 'sensitivity' and hypocritical niceness over truth, but her eloquence and passion spoke for many people whose voices are silenced in today's PC-strangled atmosphere.

Zrinyi's Last Stand: To the last warrior of Europe, the Florentine fighter of fascism, Oriana Fallaci, I wish you well, and thank you for your printed page. Your rage is mine and reason has its force only through its conduits. I wonder if a merciful God would grant you repose in Heaven, or allow you to return to haunt your civilization still. Beware the ghost of Europe past, oh cowards of this day, when brave souls still fought against fascism, rather than submitted to it. Europe, you shameful land of cowards. Today died a woman who as a young girl demonstrated more fortitude, more of that peculiar Florentine idea of virtu, than the all the men there today. Have you no spirit, have you no soul, have you nothing in your sack!

Eamonn Fitzgerald Rainy Day: It is tragic that Oriana Fallaci died during the week when the world is remembering 9/11, and it is a further tragedy that she is not here now to add her voice to the debate surrounding the Pope's address in Regensburg. Back in May, Margaret Talbot created a memorable portrait of Fallaci in the New Yorker. In The Agitator, Talbot writes that "Fallaci's virtues are the virtues that shine most brightly in stark circumstances: the ferocious courage, and the willingness to say anything, that can amount to a life force." We shall miss that life force.

M in Boston: I first came to know the work of Oriana Fallaci through her Vietnam memoir, "Niente, e cosi sia", which I found at random while shelving books as a work-study student in my university library. I leafed through it, then took it home to read it non-stop - and have admired her writing ever since. In a way, Oriana was our Cassandra, in the classical sense, not the colloquialism. She didn't want to be right about the threat, but she was, and there is no denying events have proved her right. Wishing her peace and rest.

Clarity and Resolve: She was an extraordinary giant of a woman with a courageous soul. Her defense of Western values and freedoms was unparalleled and will surely inspire many generations to come.

Roger L. Simon: One of my personal heroes is dead. What can you say about Fallaci except that she was a human being of tremendous courage? She was also an extraordinarily beautiful woman and a great writer. To say that she will be missed is a vast understatement. She was crucial to our times and leaves a void. Her death makes me cry as if I had lost a family member.

Dinocrat: Oriana Fallaci's life stands for many things. Among them is the proposition that reason should govern the thoughts and actions of men. As such, there never can be such a thing as "the only accepted religion on earth," and Fallaci battled that idea for many years. But reason did not make her the enemy of religion.

Shining full Plate and a good broadswoard: There is no doubt that in our circle, she is a hero beyond description. She is a true martyr, who gave her remaining years to a cause she thought worth fighting. She could have whiled away happily and counted her blessings peacefully while making "her peace" with the world, but she didn't. She put up one of the hardest fights which has inspired millions of us. Her face belongs on a T-Shirt and her name belongs in pop culture.

Neptunus Lex: Fallaci had scored an interview with the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, shortly after the triumph of his Islamic Revolution. Asked to wear a chador for the interview, Fallaci complied but asked increasingly direct questions about why an Italian woman, or any woman at all for that matter, must be obliged to cover her hair because of someone else's faith. Eventually enraged by the Ayatollah's pat answers, she ended up ripping off the chador right in front of the astonished Ayatollah, who stalked out of the room, effectively ending the interview. She managed to calm herself down, and extracted a promise from Khomeini's handlers to conclude the interview on the following day, subject to the condition that she ask no more questions about the chador. Sitting across from the old man at her next interview, her first question was on the issue of the chador. I don't care what you think about women's rights, you have to admit to her courage.

Sissy Willis :As we noted, the celebrated and reviled Italian journalist, indicted in her native Italy for criticizing the Religion of Peace,™ was for years a voice in the wilderness trying to warn the West of the gathering forces of darkness... Perhaps sensing her time was running out, she gently but firmly chided her soulmate in an essay last summer on the London bombings... urging the Pope not to whitewash the "illiberal and anti-democratic -- no, cruel --essence of Islam" in the name of interfaith "dialog." Benedetto's uncompromising words this week would have reassured and comforted Fallaci...

Red State: Not speaking Italian - and not being one for political books - my only experience with her work was what showed up online. I found her sometimes objectionable, sometimes insightful, often polemic and always interesting: I am not entirely certain that if we had ever met that she would not eventually damn me for a optimistic fool wrt Islam - a group with which she had epic battles. The world of letters will be lessened by her absence.

Claudia: That's so sad, she was my favourite writer and one of my heroes too (I've had the pleasure to meet her more than once)...and..let's not forget she was a great woman...GREAT...really.
Rest in peace my dear. You will not be forgotten and I will miss you, endlessly.

Cao's Blog: She will be missed. She had no husband and no children. She told it like it is, which is no small feat.

Tammy Bruce: With her death, we have lost a woman who reminds us what our voices are for. Her books on the scourge of Islam, "The Rage and the Pride" and the follow up volume, "The Force of Reason," put into remarkable perspective the nature of our enemy, and the righteousness of our outrage against their savagery.

Anna's Clue Tank: Friday saw the death of a courageous woman, Oriana Fallaci, of cancer at the age of 77. What a life she did lead. Interviewing the Ayatollah Khomeni in Tehran, making Henry Kissinger look unprepared, and capturing the odiousness of Yasser Arafat. To being beaten and shot in 1968 during student protests in Mexico. Being threatened with violence by radical Islam for her books calling upon Europe and the West to wake up. But I think the absolute zenith of her thought provoking journalism has to have been when Switzerland wanted to put the handcuffs on her and arrest her for what she has written. Shades of the Inquisition there, practiced by the Swiss no less.

Life As If: Oriana Fallaci... Died yesterday. She had cancer. I love her. I am so sad.

Atlas Shrugs: Oriana passed away in her beloved Firenze (which she said was destroyed and stolen by the barbarians.) My heart is broken. A warrior in the fight against militant Islam. G-d bless her soul. Phyllis Chelser pointed out to me that despite Fallaci selling millions of books, she was not heroized by the Italian intellectual establishment who turned against her (and in her view became “fascists”.) She could not risk returning to either Italy or Switzerland due to the Islamic lawsuits against her which might have meant her imprisonment upon landing. Europe is dead and Fallaci fought to revive the corpse.

Maggie's Farm: Brains, spirit, beauty, hutzpah, grace, toughness, and writing talent. Not bad with a camera, either, but a Lady of Letters. A loss for the Italy which persecuted her, and for the world.

Cross Connections: I do love Oriana for doing what she did. She risked her life and so many people in the media do. I have often been harsh on the profession and will continue to do so, but sometimes one has to grudgingly admit that it's like capturing the world in a few words. I'd love to see how Oriana Fallaci would interview god...

Sam Houston - Throwing Heat: We have lost a good soldier in the fight against Islamist fascism, a voice belonging to a woman who was not afraid to tell the truth about the threat to Western culture to which she refused to submit. For almost all of the last ten years, she fought the cancer that eventually killed her...but it hardly slowed her down. May you now rest in peace, Oriana. A sad, sad day indeed. May she find peace - the world has lost a wonderful voice and soul today.

Rand Simberg: A Brave Woman And a great journalist. Oriana Fallaci, rest in peace. Don't know where she'll end up--she was a devout atheist, but unlike many of her (non)religious cohorts, she was able to make the distinction between modern Christianity and the medieval Islamists with whom we are war.

Her Blog - Kim Pearson: Oriana Fallaci, 77, who died today, brooked no compromises and took no prisoners... Since September 11, 2001, Fallaci has been best known as a strident -- or some might say, rabid -- critic of Islam. But years before, she made her mark as one of the most extraordinary interviewers in journalism -- so extraordinary that in 2004, she interviewed herself about her own impending death.

Marta: "I sat at the typewriter for the first time and fell in love with the words that emerged like drops, one by one, and remained on the white sheet of paper ... every drop became something that if spoken would have flown away, but on the sheets as words, became solidified, whether they were good or bad." Oriana Fallaci Italian author, journalist and uncompromising political interviewer. Person that I truly admire.

PC Free Zone: Oriana Fallaci, a former Resistance fighter and war correspondent, writer, journalist, and warrior passed away. She is a Hero to those seeking the truth. Oriana Fallaci was one of the few journalists in the world who dared to attack Islam and the fact that Europe had surrendered to terror...

Lawhawk: Oriana Fallaci, an indefatigable Italian woman who repeatedly issued warnings over the clash of civilizations taking place in Europe and the failure of Islamic immigrants to assimilate into European culture has died in Florence at the age of 76. She was apparently the first to coin the term "Eurabia" to describe the situation of Europe sliding into an Islamic mess.

Faustas Blog: Fallaci's own words: A Sermon for the West : "the West does live in fear. People are afraid to speak against the Islamic world. Afraid to offend, and to be punished for offending, the sons of Allah. You can insult the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Jews. You can slander the Catholics, you can spit on the Madonna and Jesus Christ. But, woe betide the citizen who pronounces a word against the Islamic religion."

Our Children Are The Guarantoors: I strive to commemorate her as Mr. Spencer has now suggested: by emulating her actions. The more people do as she did, the less chance there will be for the arrival of the dreaded condition in which it will be unexpected, surprising for any non-Muslim to die in bed. Into the company of G-d's Righteous you go, Oriana Fallaci. Rest in peace.

Liberty and Justice: Oriana is one of the women, in that small list of outspoken critics of Islam, who have had a great impact on the way many people think about before mentioned subject. She was an inspiration to many. Although she now has died, her books / writings will live on. She has left a gigantic legacy, one that will continue to have an impact on millions and millions of individuals.

Anja Partenon - Sweden: She was brave and honest woman, a real anti-fascist. Strange that she dies just as the anti-Benedictus madness rises. Btw- When I have been to England and went to some bookstore i found lots of David Icke' anti-semitic filth there but no any Oriana Fallaci's book. I asked WHY no Oriana Fallaci but lots of David Icke's They answered ;''David Icke is a free speech but Oriana Fallaci is a hate-speech''

Protein Wisdom - Dan Collins: Today I mourn and celebrate the passing of Oriana Fallaci, who finally succumbed to her cancer. Fallaci was in some respects the Christopher Hitchens of Italy. Once celebrated by the left, she recognized the danger to her civilizational values posed by radical Islam, and for speaking out her understanding was made a pariah by the European socialist news apparatus and the Western lefty blogosphere. I owe Fallaci this debt: when I studied in Italy I learned her Letter to a Child Never Born as a model for how to write clear, concise Italian. She was an interviewer (and interviewee) of devastating intellect, and although an atheist herself understood the importance to Europe of its Christian heritage.

Political Musings: I knew this day was not that far off but it still leaves me saddened. A hell of a woman and a hell of a cook.

Kesher Talk: Fallaci is best known since 9-11 as a fervent champion of Western civilization, foe of Islam, and severe critic of multiculturalist ideology. Her proud passion for European culture planted a flag in the ground that a depressed and confused people could rally around, if they chose. A few did, most were ambivalent, some tried to have her flag torn out and destroyed.

: My pedestal is empty, again… Oriana Fallaci, the famous Italian journalist, died, last night…She passed graciouly, the way she lived I admired her for her interviews she did with Yasser Arafat, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi or the ayatollah Khomeiny. But more than that, for 'The Rage and the Pride'...

Environmental Republican: The very brave and brilliant writer and resistance fighter Oriana Fallaci has died...Fallaci enraged the Muslims and leftists (but I am redundant) in Europe by speaking out about the Muslim threat to western ways. She also got the lefties in America worked up as well... She was what journalists should be and will be missed.

Blogmeister USA: It took cancer to silence the woman who would not be silenced by her critics. Oriana Fallaci, the Italian journalist who penned books "The Rage and the Pride" and "The Force of Reason" (both highly critical of Muslims and Islam), died today... Fallaci refused to be cowed by Islamic fascists and their supporters, whose main goal is to silence any who would dare to go against them. We should all follow her lead.

Israpundit: Oriana Fallaci provided exactly the kind of rhetoric that we need to save our civilization from being overrun by mindless hordes of savage barbarians whose openly-stated goal is to either convert us to their violently-primitive beliefs or slit our throats. When a horde of bloodthirsty savages encamps outside your walls– or even worse, has already infiltrated your cities and countryside– you raise the call to arms with the most direct and explicit language you can find. "The Redcoats are coming!" cried Paul Revere as he rode through the countryside. "Japs Bomb Pearl Harbor!" proclaimed two-inch (at least) newspaper headlines on 8 December 1941. "Nazis Invade Poland!" the same headlines had screamed in 1939. "Militant Islamic Invaders Cut Theo Van Gogh's Throat, Rape European Women!" We must state the facts bluntly and even brutally if we are to save our culture and indeed our lives.

Red Hot Cuppa Politics: I don't know that Oriana Fallaci dwelt very much on her own spirituality or the afterlife, but if there's any justice in the world, the Lord will find a place for her among the other warrior angels.

Sma' Talk Wi' T: I write this post to perpetuate the memory of one of the most outspoken, bravest women in the global fight against Islamo-fascism. Oriana Fallaci died today at the age of 77 from a long battle of cancer. With outside beauty of renowned Italian women, and beauty inside of the most tenacious 14th century saints who would travel thousands of miles to harangue the Pope into making righteous decisions, Oriana took on Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVII. How fitting on the week she passes into eternity, Pope Benedict XVII steps up to the plate and denounces the evil regimes of Islamo-fascism.

Relapsed Catholic: Thoughtful Catholics will have noted that Oriana Fallaci died on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. And recalled that she was one of the first laypeople to whom the new Pope granted a private audience, much to the amazement of those who are forever "amazed" by the bloody obvious. And that, coincident with her passing, the Pope is literally under attack by Bronze Age Fanatics.

Alarmingnews: The terrorists have won just a little bit today. Oriana Fallaci dies in Italy

Marathon Pundit: Journalist Oriana Fallaci died today in Italy. The world is a lesser place without her in it. She was a foe of political-correctness, and late in her life she was not afraid to confront the intolerance of Islamo-fascism.

Committees of Correspondence: The Passing Of A Warrior - On Friday September 15, 2006 Oriana Fallaci ended a Lifetime of Battle against the Forces of Intolerance, Fascism, Totalitarianism and Oppression. She now rests at the Heart of All That Is In The Land Of Dreaming Thunder. Though she may not have been of the Ani Yun Wiya (the Total of All Real People) I am certain Sky Father will receive her with all honor due such a valiant warrior.

Ania: cried this morning when i found out oriana fallaci died my dad forgot to tell me yesturday and i found out this morning she did have cancer and i knew it was going to happen but she was so passionate and feirce and her death made my heart the more heavy today.

Woman Honor Thyself: A brilliant, outspoken woman who was always under the gun for her fiery statements and what many considered “controversial views” on relations between the western world and Izlam. I am humbled by her strength, which was her trademark. Always on the forefront of fights to defend women’s rights, and never backing down in the face of threats. Rest in Peace Oriana. You blazed the trail.

Babalu Blog: Fallaci, a journalist of the left, was a life-long foe of Italian Fascism. She was very well known before 9/11, having confronted and interviewed many powerful people, not the least of which was the Ayatollah Khomeini, who was not pleased with a woman being so bold and uppity with him. I had heard and read Fallaci many times before. I can't honestly say I agreed with her on many things, she was a leftist after all, but what I did know was that she was a fiercely honest interviewer, a person of integrity who had no agenda other than her deeply held convictions. She was one of the last of our great warriors.

Technomancy For Fun And Profit: Oriana Fallaci passed away in her home town of Florence, Italy... She was considered a troublemaker, a firebrand, a racist, a hatemonger and all sorts of other crass terms used against people who refuse to behave. Her most acidic pieces that criticized Islam earned her death threats and even a frivilous lawsuit in her home country. And yet she never stopped and never backed down no matter what. We lost a voice of reason. Hopefully there will be others that take her place.

Chicago Boyz: Ms. Fallaci was an Atheist who valued the cultural heritage of the West, and correctly saw that it was in grave danger from Islamic violence and terrorism. She met with Pope Benedict XVI, to discuss these matters not long before her death. The Pope is willing to say things Muslims don't like, without apologizing for it, either. Good.

Freedom Fan - LGC: As the great Oriana Fallaci passes into the next life, lovers of freedom throughout the world mourn, but we find hope and courage for the future. Eventually the timorous and rudderless flawed souls among us will grasp the wisdom and humanity of the noble giant named Oriana Fallaci.

Tomsdich: In Praise of Oriana Fallaci - She died yesterday in Florence. Before I became a fan of hers, for her fiery anti-Islam book "The Rage and the Pride" (2002) Charlie had admired her for her novel , "A Man," about her lover who was (probably) assassinated by Greek rightwingers in 1976. She has been virtually the only high-profile writer to say what everyone thinks about the Islamis but is too chickenshit to say.

Boker tov, Boulder: Oriana Fallaci has died. I mourn the loss of one of my greatest heroes and a brutally honest, clear and courageous voice for freedom. May G-d bless and keep her holy soul. When the going got tough, she stood with Israel, she stood with the Jews. She was a fighter. I will always be deeply grateful to her, and I will miss her terribly... "... in my country house, in Tuscany, there is a tiny little chapel. It's always closed. No one goes there since my mother died. But I go there sometimes, to dust, to make sure the mice haven't made a nest, and despite my secular upbringing I feel comfortable there. Despite my priest–hating tendencies, I move there with casual ease...." from The Rage and The Pride of Oriana Fallaci, zt"l (the memory of the righteous)

In the final chapter of The Force of Reason, Oriana calls us to hope and to renewed faith by bearing courageous witness in words that reflect, even if unknowingly, a Christian typology. She says there:
"I think: we cannot lose. We cannot lose because Islam is a pond. And a pond is a cavity full of stagnant water. Water that never moves, never runs, never purifies itself, never becomes clean. The pond does not love Life...The West, instead, is a river. And rivers are courses of living water. Water that runs, that flows, and in flowing it purifies itself (and) renews itself."

Sunday, September 17

Oriana Fallaci - Citizen of the World

Oriana Fallaci looses her battle with breast cancer September 15, 2006

We suffer the sad loss of an icon today in the passing of Oriana Fallaci in her native Florence. This passionate and powerful voice of the 20th Century was forever bold and brazen in her dissection of politics, power and ego, and their devastating effects on democracies everywhere. She wrote with an integrity and force of character that defined her life's work up until the very last days. Fallaci was perhaps my greatest inspiration as a journalist. Her dynamic, dramatic and distinct point of view on the demise of democracies, especially in her latest works that evoked death threats against her, did nothing to silence her conviction or her writings. She died as she lived -- with passion, conviction, purpose and power. They don't make writers like her anymore.
-Giselle Fernandez, journalist and filmmaker

Citizen of the World - Prophet of Decline
WSJ, June 23, 2005

NEW YORK--Oriana Fallaci faces jail. In her mid-70s, stricken with a cancer that, for the moment, permits only the consumption of liquids--so yes, we drank champagne in the course of a three-hour interview--one of the most renowned journalists of the modern era has been indicted by a judge in her native Italy under provisions of the Italian Penal Code which proscribe the "vilipendio," or "vilification," of "any religion admitted by the state."

In her case, the religion deemed vilified is Islam, and the vilification was perpetrated, apparently, in a book she wrote last year--and which has sold many more than a million copies all over Europe--called "The Force of Reason." Its astringent thesis is that the Old Continent is on the verge of becoming a dominion of Islam, and that the people of the West have surrendered themselves fecklessly to the "sons of Allah." So in a nutshell, Oriana Fallaci faces up to two years' imprisonment for her beliefs--which is one reason why she has chosen to stay put in New York. Let us give thanks for the First Amendment.

...The impending Fall of the West, as she sees it, now torments Ms. Fallaci. And as much as that Fall, what torments her is the blithe way in which the West is marching toward its precipice of choice. "Look at the school system of the West today. Students do not know history! They don't, for Christ's sake. They don't know who Churchill was! ... Europe needs a Cavour."

Ms. Fallaci describes herself, too, as "a revolutionary"--"because I do what conservatives in Europe don't do, which is that I don't accept to be treated like a delinquent." She professes to "cry, sometimes, because I'm not 20 years younger, and I'm not healthy. But if I were, I would even sacrifice my writing to enter politics somehow."

..."You cannot survive if you do not know the past. We know why all the other civilizations have collapsed--from an excess of welfare, of richness, and from lack of morality, of spirituality." ...

"The moment you give up your principles, and your values . . . the moment you laugh at those principles, and those values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period." ...

"I feel less alone when I read the books of Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI ]." ... "I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion."

Ms. Fallaci, who made her name by interviewing numerous statesmen (and not a few tyrants), believes that ours is "an age without leaders. We stopped having leaders at the end of the 20th century." Of George Bush, she will concede only that he has "vigor," and that he is "obstinate" (in her book a compliment) and "gutsy. . . . Nobody obliged him to do anything about Terri Schiavo, or to take a stand on stem cells. But he did." ...

John Paul II--"Wojtyla"--was a "warrior, who did more to end the Soviet Union than even America," but she will not forgive him for his "weakness toward the Islamic world... The scant hopes that she has for the West she rests on his successor. As a cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI wrote frequently on the European (and the Western) condition. Last year, he wrote an essay titled "If Europe Hates Itself," from which Ms. Fallaci reads this to me:

"The West reveals . . . a hatred of itself, which is strange and can only be considered pathological; the West . . . no longer loves itself; in its own history, it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure."

As the great Oriana Fallaci passes into the next life, lovers of freedom throughout the world mourn, but we find hope and courage for the future.

Eventually the timorous and rudderless flawed souls among us will grasp the wisdom and humanity of the noble giant named Oriana Fallaci.

Saturday, September 16

Islam: Pope Sparks Controversy With Jihad Remarks

[Pope] Benedict, in a speech in his native Germany, quoted a medieval Christian emperor who said Islam had only brought the world "evil and inhuman" things," such as "the command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Speaking on September 12 at Germany's Regensburg University, where he taught theology in the 1970s, the Bavarian-born pope chose to quote a written criticism of Islam by Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus. Manuel ruled the Orthodox Christian empire from what is now Istanbul in the 1300s.Benedict quoted a conversation that the emperor wrote about having with "an educated Persian."

The quote read: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."...Benedict then repeatedly quoted Manuel's argument that spreading the faith through violence is unreasonable, adding, "Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.

Wow, the Pope has balls! What a "ChristoFascist" as liberals would say. Of course, Muslim leaders were quick to go hysterical, because spreading the Islamic faith by violence is central to Islam. Violence is hardly "unreasonable" to a Muslim; it's called "Jihad", which is the duty of every Muslim.

It is also the Muslims' duty to speak taqiyya and deny that violence is their mission just before they kill you shouting "Allah Akbar!".

This was indeed a very important event. True, reform of radical Islam must come from within, but it is up to the West to keep pressure on Muslims until they are shamed by their silence as their Islamist buddies routinely murder in the name of "Allah".

Instead, look for goofy Muslims to start rioting and killing innocent people in protest of the Pope's message that faith should not be spread by violence. Just be glad that the Pope did not draw a silly cartoon of Muhammad.

Friday, September 15

Maybe a chat with Robert Novak...

All day, whenever thinking about Maverick McCain, a certain thought kept dancing through my head, and when I perused Taranto's Best of the Web, I found it there very well articulated.

If the restrictions on interrogations that Powell and McCain
advocate result in another 9/11, then they will have sacrificed the lives of women and children in order to protect soldiers. Isn't it supposed to be the other way

Yes, James, it is supposed to be the other way around. One can only hope that the House version of the bill prevails in the committee and that the President holds firm. We need to be able to use some more coercive methods to gleam information from these terrorists... we can't expect them to be as chatty as Richard Armitage (though that is an entirely different post)... or we will have to be willing to suffer the consequences.

Of course, I do not think that we should give carte blanche to our interrogators, because getting truly medieval is a bit too much to ask of them, but there are some effective methods of interrogation that mean making the guests at Club Gitmo a little uncomfortable. We do owe our interrogators a set of guidelines as to how far they can push the envelope while we protect them from being subject to prosecution our lawsuit themselves.

Monday, September 11

little green footballs - september 11, 2001

dark day

I don't have words for what I feel.

Shock and incredible rage.

We are at war.

by charles at 08:04 AM PST

Sunday, September 10

Four September Good-Byes

I’ll take the subway from here, she said, or you’ll be late.
She leaned towards him quickly, beautiful in her sexless b-suit,
and they kissed quickly before she stepped out onto the curb.
See you, they said. She walked away from him,
past the brownstones where the men wait all day in limousines,
and disappeared forever into Manhattan’s impersonal shuffle.

His wife was still asleep when the carpool arrived.
His mother was up as usual, making breakfast for the kids.
She gave her son the little lunch she had made for him,
feeling guilty as always that it was so plain and thrown-together.
She lifted the kids onto the window seat so they could wave good-bye.
If she said good-bye herself, she could never remember afterwards.

Last night she told him that she was unhappy, with no love in her voice.
She still smelled drunk. He touched her bare shoulder and kissed it.
In the dark hallway he put one hand on the kids’ door for a moment.
He could picture them through the door, asleep in the rubble of childhood.
He wanted to stay home, but what had she said? Time to grow up.
So he grabbed his gear and went to the station, feeling strangely charged.

She woke as she always did: early, alone, and still tired.
The emptiness and sameness of her apartment felt unbearable that morning,
so she cleaned off some of the crust of age and left for work early.
She passed through Harlem on the way, and she remembered seeing it
last Easter, when people were walking to church, the little girls in Easter bonnets.
She smiled at the memory. Without knowing it, she said her last good-bye.

Thursday, September 7

Remembering Samira Bellil

Samira Bellil honored as one of 12 Mariannes representing the face of France - Wikipedia

You never really die, if your memory's still alive."

Samira Bellil died on September 3, 2004, at the young age of 31, from stomach cancer.

You may not have heard of her, so I will tell you about her life.

She was a beautiful woman who didn't deserve what befell her. You wonder why fate hands down such brutal judgements against some and spares others.

Samira, a blue-eyed Algerian girl, was born on November 27 1972 in Algiers, and moved to Seine-Saint-Denis, an immigrant enclave outside of Paris, France with her parents.

Her home life appeared troubled from early on, as her father was arrested and jailed for what Samira called, "stupidities". She was sent off during this period to a foster home in Belgium, a peaceful and happy place for her, a time of contentment away from home.

She returned unhappily to her family after five years, summoned back to her parents "like a parcel" she said, and found her freed father, distant and violent.

You have to imagine what her home life was like for Samira. She lived in the Projects, the French version of the Ghetto, or HLMs.

These enclaves or Quartiers were originally set up by the French, to provide cheap housing for North African and Turkish Muslims, and other poor immigrants who provided unskilled labor, doing the jobs, like collecting the trash, that the French abhored.

But over the years, the Quartiers degenerated in to prison blocks, high rise bastions of unemployment, non-assimilation, and despair, intermixed with strict Islamic customs. Women and girls bore the brunt of these hostile conditions, inhabiting a no-man's land of crime, rape, and hopelessness.

In this environment, the "Message" was given to all Muslim females like Samara. As Rebecca Hillauer tells us in Sight and Sound, the "Message" was: take on traditional female roles, dress chastely, don't go out and most importantly, remain a virgin until you marry.

It was during her teenage years, that Samira started rebelling against the "message", going out, meeting boys, standing up against the tight societal structures of her Muslim background and the Quartier. They were acts of defiance on Samara's part, and acts of courage, because girls that went against the norm suffered dire consequences.

One such dire consequence happened to 18 year old Sohane Benziane of Vitry-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris. As Rebecca Hillauer tells us, on October 4, 2002, Benziane,

the daughter of Kabyle immigrants, was burned alive. The perpetrators were two men her age of North African descent. They lured the girl, who refused to submit to the "norms of the neighbourhood", into a cellar. While one kept watch outside, the other poured gas over Sohane and set her on fire with a lighter.

Sohane died.

Samira, I think, probably wished she too would have died, than face what happened to her.

She was raped.


As Samira sorrowfully noted in an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes: "I was gang raped by three people I knew, and I couldn't say anything, because in my culture, your family is dishonored if you lose your virginity," says Bellil. "So I kept quiet, and the rapes continued. The next time, I was pulled off a commuter train and no one lifted a finger to help me. Everybody turned their head away. They were all looking out the window."

Rose George writing in The Guardian, has an even more graphic description of what happened to Samira: Samira was first gang-raped when she was 14, when her boyfriend handed her over to three of his friends. They beat her viciously, raped her all night, and then made her breakfast. A month later, the most violent rapist, K, dragged her off a train by her hair, while other passengers looked the other way, and she was gang-raped again.

In all, Samira bore the agony of three gang rapes, or what the French call "tournates," or pass-rounds, because the girl was passed around like a joint.

Raped by multiple youths and men. And not uncommon.

As Samira said in a CNN Interview, There was a trial in Lille where a 13- year-old girl was gang raped by 80 men. Yes. Sometimes it's 80 or 50 or 10. It's absolutely terrible.

Samira further told CBS' 60 Minutes about a case in Argenteuil, "In the case of Argenteuil, it was horrible. A young woman was raped in a school. Of course, everybody knew, but they're so afraid of these young men that they prefer to close their eyes. That's the price of peace in the ghettos."

After the rapes, most of the victims remained silent. Silenced by custom. Silenced by their faith. Silenced by fear. Silenced by their families.

There was and is a real fear for the victims of these rapes to report such horrible deeds. The danger of reprisals in the Quartier is great. Apartments have been burned down, family members threatened with further rapes, the victim killed. Those are the physical effects. The mental anguish these girls faced, came from reporting a rape and bringing shame and humiliation to themselves and their custom-laden Muslim families, with the victim being cast out, tossed aside by their humiliated families and sentenced to a life of degredation on the streets.

These same fears plagued Samira and she too remained silent.

Until she found out, in talking with two of her friends, that one of her attackers K had raped them too.

Samira had had enough. She was furious.

She filed charges against K, who was found guilty, and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Results were predictable.

Her Muslim family threw Samira out on the streets - her neighborhood, the Quartier rejected her.

Foster homes followed for Samira, squatting in abandoned buildings, life on the streets, hopelessness, self-loathing, years of drug abuse.

Time passed, and Samira found a sympathetic psychologist, a kind person to confide in, who helped her, as she underwent years of therapy to restore her spirit and self-worth.

She made a decision to write a book about her experiences, to show other young women that there was a way out. In 2002 her courageous book, Dans l'enfer des tournantes or In the hell of the tournantes (gang-rapes) was published. It was an autobiographical look at the horrors and degradations that she and other women encountered in the French ghetto and how she survived them. As she said in the book's dedication, to her fellow sisters in trouble, about coping with and surviving such horrific experiences, "It's long and it's difficult, but it's possible..." She also bravely used her real name in the publication of the book and a picture of herself on the cover, despite the fact that she was once again living in the same Quartier as her attacker, K.

It was in the same year of 2002, that Samira rallied for her fellow sisters in trouble after becoming infuriated upon learning of the torturous death of Sohane Benziane, who as mentioned earlier, was doused with gasoline, set on fire, and burned alive by a gang leader. Said Samira to CNN, Before, they would rape us. Now, they're burning us alive. Sohane can't speak anymore, so I'm going do the talking.

And talking she did, as Samira became a patron of Ni Putes Ni Soumises, which in English translates to, We're neither whores nor doormats, a movement that sprang out of the ghettos, made up of mostly immigrant women who fought back against, the gang rapes and violence that plague their neighborhoods. In her role with Ni Putes Ni Soumises, Samira led demonstrations and marches across France, speaking out against the violence and rapes, and lobbied to, set up shelters to help protect the women at risk.

However, it was a heavy toll for Samara. As she told Rose George, "I can't carry all that violence forever".

Still, she seemed to have finally turned a corner with her life. She was close once again with her two sisters and reconciled with her mother. She had moved back to her Quartier, working there as a youth worker and doing drama, which she loved...and she even decided that not all men are bastards, as she put it...and she wanted to fall in love.

And then she was struck down with stomach cancer.

She died two years ago, this month.

We wish her the peace, she was denied in life.

Postscript: To honor her courage, the French government chose Samira, as one of the new Mariannes, the new faces of France.... In 2005, to honor her memory, France named a school in l'Île-Saint-Denis after her, the Ecole Samira Bellil.


Samira Bellil - Wikipedia

The Guardian - Obituary - Samira Bellil: Courageous writer who forced France to confront the outrage of gang rape

CBS News, 60 Minutes: The New French Revolution - Population Of France Is Almost 10 Percent Muslim

Sign And Sight: Neither whores nor submissive

CNN: Insight - Muslim Women Rebel In France

Washington Post: Samira Bellil, French Author and Rights Activist, Dies

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