Saturday, July 29, 2006

When I really pitied the Lebanese

As I mentioned in my previous post, when Israel begun military operation in Lebanon, most people were quick to express sympathy for the Lebanese. I didn't hurry, because I was angry at them for their complains against Israel and their calls for international intervention to achieve immediate cease-fire. My thoughts were generally as follows:
"Why do you say you have nothing to do with Hezbollah actions, after you have a Hezbollah minister in your government? But even if you hadn't this minister, aren't Hezbollah acting from your territory? Or you don't mind armed thugs on your land, as long as they shoot at someone else? Then, don't turn into crybabies at the moment when somebody begins shooting at you.
Imagine that I live alone. A man comes to live with me, shoots at my neighbour from my window, then kidnaps his sons and hides them in my house. My neighbour invades my house, hits me, smashes my furniture while looking for his sons and the kidnapper. I scream, "Don't touch me! And spare my furniture! I'm innocent! It was a big bad guy who harmed you! And I'm not his girlfriend, he's just raping me! Anybody help me!" Then people could be excused if they think, "You must quite enjoy the raping."
Dear Lebanese, until recently you didn't mind Syrian occupation forces. You don't mind Hezbollah even now, just some of their side-effects. But you are against the Israeli troops. What, any army or militia is welcome to trot on your land except IDF? This is what people call anti-Semitism.
And what is your so-called army doing while the Israelis are fighting Hezbollah? A foreign army is fighting a gang of armed thugs on your land and your army is standing by! Such an army is a joke. Such a country is a joke. Nobody can take it seriously."
Such were my thoughts and I don't think I was wrong, though I admit it's cruel to think this way when hundreds of civilians are dead and hundreds of thousands are fleeing. It was a short post by Big Pharaoh that made me feel real pity for the Lebanese: his friend, a young Lebanese woman who was demonstrating against Syria, has now fled to Syria (
Perhaps because for me possibly the worst thing that can happen to somebody is - to be forced to speak or act against what he really feels and thinks, against what he is. Loss of identity. Death is of course also awful, but we are all mortals, and if somebody has an identity and keeps it until his last moment, even if his life has been relatively short, people usually say that it has been meaningful.

The faces that launched a thousand warplanes

I wanted to show here photos of the Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser, 31, and Eldad Regev, 26, but Blogger refuses to accept the images. Anyway, their faces launched a thousand warplanes and burnt the topless towers of Beirut.
The story, told very shortly, is as follows: Last month Hamas "fighters" from Gaza emerged through a tunnel, killed two Israeli soldiers and kidnapped one, Gilad Shalit (19). Israel began a military operation in Gaza. One of the thing I dislike most in Islamists is that they are ambitious and cannot bear to see their fellow Islamist as the star. They immediately rush to follow and, if possible, to outperform him. Remember how Palestinian suicide murders intensified after Sept. 11? Well, now Hezbollah opened a second front from the north, killing 8 Israeli soldiers and kidnapping two (mentioned above). Israel is bombing Lebanon, the country seems to be already in ruins but, unfortunately, the same cannot yet be said about Hezbollah. The war isn't promising to be a blitzkrieg.
By the way, the names of the two kidnapped soldiers seem Jewish but several sources reported that they are Israeli Arabs, members of the Druze minority. Most Druze live in Lebanon. They are an old Muslim sect and have often been regarded as heretics and treated cruelly by other Muslims. As far as I know, military service for non-Jewish Israeli citizens is optional, although it is useful for your career if you can write in your CV that you have been in the Army. So we see here two Arab citizens of Israel who, instead of sitting in a dusty corner and complaining how bad their country is, to treat them as second-class citizens, stepped forward to prove that they are first-class citizens, no worse than any Jew.
Now of course everybody is shedding crocodile tears for the humanitarian disaster in Lebanon, blaming Israel for its "disproportionate" use of force and demanding restrain. I wonder, what reaction would be considered as appropriate? Perhaps Israeli Prime Minister Olmert should have written an indignant e-mail to Mr. Nasrallah, the Hezbollah ringleader?
My advice to Israel: Smash the bastards.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Remembering a man of piece

With this post, I am joining Robert Spencer's appeal to mark the 15th anniversary of Hitoshi Igarashi's murder(; the photo is also from there).
Don't know who he was? I am pasting his very short Wilipedia page (
"Hitoshi Igarashi (...1947July 11, 1991) was the Japanese translator of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses.
After Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the death of "the author of the Satanic Verses book, which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Qur'an, and all those involved in its publication who are aware of its content...", he was stabbed to death on July 11 1991 at his workplace, the University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki."
Hitoshi Igarashi is usually remembered anonymously just as The Satanic Verses' Japanese translator. I have imagined him either a champion of free speech or a hard-working expert whose professional honour forbade him to succumb to fear. The truth was quite different - I am citing Spencer again:
"Igarashi, known to be one of Japan's leading young Islamic scholars, a man who had lived in Iran, decided to translate The Satanic Verses to act as a mediator between Khomeini (and the Muslim world) and Rushdie...
Igarashi's translation was not an attempt to force the Muslim world to accept the Western value of freedom of expression in an absolute form. It was a third-party effort to show common, middle ground, in order to end the conflict.
For his search for common ground, a kind of search that is suggested almost everyday now in media and politics in the Netherlands and other western countries as the right approach towards the jihadists, he paid with his life.
And that shows the effectiveness of that approach. Those who are calling for us to do the same thing now should take heed.
Remember him on July 11 and say to the jihadists: No more.
And may his memory be eternal."
Here are some of the comments to this article: "I think I'll pass on celebrating Mr. Igarashi's efforts. I find Theo Van Gogh a more suitable martyr, someone who paid a horrendous price for daring to pursue freedom of speech in his own land." "Mr. Igarashi was a tragically flawed, pathetic figure. But I do not mourn tragically flawed, pathetic figures. I mourn fallen heroes."
I understand these opinions, words of people in the middle of a war. Just look at the photo - Hitoshi Igarashi seems a man of another era, of another world, possibly a world which could never become a reality. 15 years after the burtal murder of this man of piece, it seems that piece itself has been killed and cannot be resurrected.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Trud publishers showing muscles to blind people

I have several times cited Trud, the most popular Bulgarian daily newspaper. This is not because I like it. On the contrary, I'd advise readers to put rubber gloves on their hands before even touching it. But we have to read some paper, how else can we can be (dis)informed. Trud's German publisher, WAZ (Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung), widely believed to be connected to the former Communist secret police Stasi, has monopolized Bulgarian newspaper market. Demokratsia, the daily paper I used to read, was driven out of business. So I read Trud sometimes, although I don't like it at all. It has grown into a sub-empire and has its own publishing house with ambitious business goals.
A monopolist is of course expected to be insolent and nasty, a bully to everybody thought to present even the slightest challenge to his monopolism. But these days I read about some actions that seem to go too far even for a monopolist. Trud Publishing House has acquired the copyright over the works of Elin Pelin, Angel Karaliichev and other 20th century Bulgarian classics (or at least Trud people say they have the copyright - nobody has been shown any documents!). By the way some of these works are taught at school, so every Bulgarian schoolkid has to give money to Trud in order to do his study. But the most outrageous thing is the action against Victor Lubenov and his site Blind since childhood, Victor created this site to help other visually impaired people to use computer and widen their world. Among other literature classics, he had uploaded some works by E. Pelin and A. Karaliichev in a format suitable for use by the blind. However, Trud notified him that they had the copyright and he had to remove these texts from the site. To stay out of harm's way, he complied, but that was not enough. Trud complained to the National Service for Contol of Organized Crime (NSBOP), a specialized police department. Victor was summoned there and intimidated. (Bulgarian police is too often hired by those who can pay and used as a weapon against those who cannot.) So far go Trud people in their effort to get every possible penny, even from the blind.
When Victor and his supporters complained to the few non-WAZ media, the answer was, "We cannot tell your story to the public - our policy is not to criticize other media." Finally, Weekly Mail ("Sedmichna poshta") published a report and so I learned about the case. This paper contains mainly ads and is distributed freely to Sofia residents' mailboxes. I usually pay no attention to it, considering it a spam.
Details in the Web: in Bulgarian at, in English at, in both languages at and The last site contains, at, e-mails of Trud Publishing House where one can send his opinion about their anti-blind campaign.

Monday, July 03, 2006

A racist post

A Gypsy ghetto in Sofia, built on mucipality land without any permissions, was scheduled for demolition last Friday. However, Tsvetelin Kanchev, leader of the Euro-Roma party, notified members of the European Parliament. Four of them (from the Green Party) sent a furious letter to the Bulgarian Prime Minister Stanishev. As a result, the demolition is postponed (a link in Bulgarian,
I've posted earlier both about the Gypsies ( and the EU (
Let me first say who Tsvetelin Kanchev is. I'm translating his page in Wikipedia: "He feels a Gypsy by soul... Media call him Don Tsetsi... He was elected in Parliament in 1997 in the group of the Bulgarian Business Block party, later moved to the Euro-Left party. Founder and then chairman of the Euro-Roma party (founded in 1998)... Stripped of his immunity in 1999, sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment in 2000 for beatings and abductions... Released in 2003, pardoned in 2005..."
As you see, the self-appointed defender of the Gypsies is a convicted felon. Also, he isn't of Gypsy origin. In fact, he tried to present himself as a Gypsy, but too many people had witnessed and talked about his birth and growth in a Bulgarian family. One should ask, what motivation had this criminal to embrace the Gypsies? I guess, he sensed that there are much Euro-money and power associated with the Gypsy cause ("Euro" is another buzz word in the above citation).
Gypsies, the only surviving nomadic people of Europe, got swamped by the modernization wave of the 20th century. Without having ever been very productive, they degraded to a parasitic and aggressive community becoming more numerous, parasitic and aggressive with every generation. Gypsies originate from India and so have a slightly darker skin colour that other Europeans, which allows everybody talking about the Gypsy problem to be labeled as a racist. Yes, racism and discrimination against the Gypsies do exist, but they aren't the real trouble. The real trouble is that Gypsy adults don't work and Gypsy kids don't go to school, and no name-calling can change this disastrous fact.
To be solved, the Gypsy problem requires indefinite supply of funds, resolve, expertise and goodwill. Unfortunately, none of this is available in Bulgaria and, as I see, in the EU even less. The EU is virtually hijacked by the brainless and destructive Left. There are basic rules of economy (You cannot distrubute more that is produced), upbringing (Never encourage unwanted behaviour) and law (Nobody must be allowed to benefit from his guilty behaviour). The Left, on the contrary, think that all problems in the society can be solved by taxing productive law-abiding people and distrubuting the money among non-productive and law-breaking people. The Left particularly like taxing white people in order to subsidize coloured people. And the more parasitic and aggressive these coloured people are, the more they are viewed by the Left as victims and darlings. These leftist attitudes transformed the Third World immigrants into the greatest menace for Europe. Without the Left, I'm sure, these immigrants would be ordinary workers and taxpayers. I bet that without the Left even the famous Palestinians would by today be an unremarkable community of olive producers. I wish to tell the European Leftists, "Please leave us alone with our minorities! Unlike yours, ours at least don't put bombs in subways. But if you continue to mess, nobody knows."