Please Help New English Review
For our donors from the UK:
New English Review
New English Review Facebook Group
Follow New English Review On Twitter
Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky














The Iconoclast

Sunday, 21 September 2014
clear

Sunday, 21 September 2014
clear

It's the same in Tikrit, where the Shi'ite forces of the government are battling the local Sunnis (and the Uber-Sunnis of the Islamic State, whose ranks are filled from all over the world) over the local university. You can imagine, can't you, what kind of study goes on at the "university" in Tikrit, or the "university" in Sana, or a few dozen other Arab universities. Politics, indoctrination, battles and, oh yes, perhaps the occasional course or two.

The latest from Yemen here.

clear
Posted on 09/21/2014 11:38 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Sunday, 21 September 2014
clear

Tony Blair, newly trim, just like the post-bypass Bill Clinton, appeared on CNN today. He was interviewed by Candy Crowley, who keeps trying to make people make sense about Islam, but she never goes in for the kill. Several tiimes Blair went out of his way to say that "no religious faith condones the kind of thing ISIS does" (words to that effect), when all it would have taken is a few quotes from the Qur'an, and mention of what Muhammad, the Perfect Man, did at the Battle of the Trench, to leave Blair either speechless or sputtering.

And when Candy Crowley asked him why it was that so many British citizens, just like others from around Europe, had gone off to join ISIS, when they had perfectly decent lives in those European countries, Blair responded -- the word "Muslim" was never used -- by saying that yes, in Great Britain they had free education, free health care, freedoms unavailable to them elsewhere (where, exactly, was that "elsewhere" to which he referred? Why couodn't he have simply said "in the Muslim lands, such as Pakistan or Arab countries, from which they came? Would that have been too much trouble? -- and so the reasons for their going off to join ISIS constituted a great riddle to be solved. And if, as he repeated, Islam did not in any way encourage such behavior as we have all seen, and not only in the videos proudly put out by ISIS, then why, as he then said, did this "radicalization" happen in all these mosques and madrasas? On what basis did this "radicalization" take place? What was the authority to which those spreading these so-very-foreign-to-Islam doctrines appealed? There had to be something, to make young Muslims so ready to go off to fight for ISIS, or Al-Nusra, or a dozen other groups or to conduct, or plan to conduct, such operations within the non-Muslim countries which they had no intention of leaving? And there had to something that made so many other Muslims so eager to protect and defend Islam, and to keep repeating, and to demand that non-Muslims keep repeating in unison, that Islam isa religion of peace and tolerance and so on?

Tony Blair did nothing to oppose, and so did everything to encourage, the steady immigration of Muslims into Great Britain, and when he was Prime Minister, told people that he carred around a Qur'an (this was just after 9/11) and found nothing wrong with it, indeed found it inspiring. He allowed his Administration to look the other way as Muslim atrocities, the daily atrocities to which many in Great Britain have been subjected -- and not just the underage girls who, by the tens of thousands, have had their lives ruined by Muslim predators in Rotherham, in Sheffield,and in dozens of other places, too, whose names will come out one by one -- werre committed. He did nothing to eduate himself, or the British public, about the texts and tenets of Islam. He did nothing to halt or reverse Muslim immigration. He had a duty to instruct, and he failed in that duty.

And now, even today, even though he probably knows a lot more than he did in the fall of 2001 (when he ought to have immediately set himself to school, and studied Islam and the history of Islamic conquests, its ways and its means), he still gets on television and misinforms the public. No good will come of this; only evil. He is criminally negligent, and cruel to those who need to be told the truth. And there are so many of our rulers and mind-molders who are just like him, on both sides of the Atlantic and the Channel.

clear
Posted on 09/21/2014 11:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Sunday, 21 September 2014
clear

Here.

Trotskyite, "anti-colonialist" son of an "anti-colonialist" father, viciously anti-Israel (even quoting the well-known forgery, that supposed letter that Mandela was said to have written to Tom Friedman, likening Israel's treatment of the "Palestinians" to apartheid in South Africa), Edwy Plenel  was raised in Martinique, where his father was a French official; after Muslim Arabs took over in Algeria, he decided to study there, and then became a scandal-plagued journalist involved in power struggles, scandals, misuse of his metier of journalist -- even his fellow left-wing journalists at Le Monde, fed up with him (the book by Pean and Cohen is full of examples of his malfeasance) finally revealed what he had done as the editor at Le Monde and the revelations were such that he was forced to leave his position.

Now he's written a book, "Pour les mussulmans," that celebrates the Muslim presence in France, a country which, he has just declared in a public interview, is lucky to have become the largest Muslim-populated country in Europe. Few French people, and none of those who are properly informed about Islam, would agree.

He also runs an on-line news site called Mediapart. Politically, a bend of emeritus professor Chomsky, U.N. Rapporteur Falk, and the superannuated Stephane Hessel --- all of them animated in the main, most recently, by a far-left view of the world that focusses, for reasons that need to be pondered, on the bottomless criminality of that mighty empire, Israel. In other words, Edwy Plenel is a plausible nearly-insane man, with a following among the far-left who have become the Defender of the Faith, Islam.

 

 

clear
Posted on 09/21/2014 9:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Sunday, 21 September 2014
clear

A report on Qatari support, of all kinds, for Muslim terrorism, here.

clear
Posted on 09/21/2014 9:25 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Sunday, 21 September 2014
clear

Experts such as Israel’s Dr. Shlomo Avineri, who often appear on television and radio, in Israel and abroad, and who try to explain the war in Iraq to the general public, are usually political scientists, Arabists and Middle Eastern specialists, politicians and sometimes even journalists.

Almost all of them have studied the history of the modern near east at one or a number of the West’s (and Israel’s) great universities and specialized research institutes. Since understanding the modern world is high on the agenda of today’s governments, these men and women are often well funded and many of them, like the British Jewish historian of Islam, Bernard Lewis, have become world famous and almost household names.

I have yet to come across any news agency that has seriously turned to anthropologists, archaeologists, ancient historians, Bible scholars or odder still, natural historians, to try and better explain the civil war that is now raging in Iraq. And, it would create much mirth among the news agencies and the gatekeepers of the news, to suggest that this kind of academic expertise may hold  a “solution” to this apparently endless conflict, especially given the fact that ISIS is now running wild in central Iraq.

So, I will attempt in this short essay to show how a minor branch of anthropology called “cultural ecology,” can not only give us a better understanding of the war in Iraq today, but it may help us find a workable, if rough edged, political solution to it.

In order to better understand the dynamics of today’s Iraqi conflict we must first recognize its four different ecological niches. The first is upper Mesopotamia, which includes the northern and central parts of the Tigris-Euphrates Rivers and whose southern frontier is around the city of Baghdad on the river. Lower Mesopotamia goes from near Baghdad downstream until it reaches the Persian Gulf. The highlands are found in the mountainous north. The desert begins west of the two river valleys, and merges with the eastern deserts of what is now Syria and Jordan.

Each one of these regions has its own micro-climate, its own distinct vegetation, its own distinct forms and combinations of livestock and agriculture and its dominant, regional, ethnic identity. If you look at the map reproduced below(care of the American CIA), you will see the ethnic breakdown of contemporary Iraq and the areas where each of these major ethnic groups dominates their part of the country.

iraq_suni_shia

To the north and northeast in Iraq, is a mountainous area inhabited by different tribes of Kurds, coloured green on the map. The Kurds are a non-Semitic, Indo-European speaking group of clans who have developed a national identity. Although they are largely Sunni Muslims (some are Shia), they do not identify with the Arabic speaking Sunni Muslims to the south and southwest of them, nor with the Shia Arabs in the far south of Iraq. And, they have so far avoided the religious fanaticism of the Sunni and Shia Arabs, so when indigenous Christians and Yazidi have been driven out of their ancestral Iraqi homelands, they continue to give them refuge in the Kurdish dominated part of the country.

North and west of Baghdad you will see red on the map, representing the homeland of tribal Arabs (the Sunni tribes or clans, referred to so often in the press) and which dominate central Iraq along the Tigris and the Euphrates (upper Mesopotamia according to the geographers). Despite his avowed and very strange totalitarian secularism, this was the ethnic and linguistic heartland of the former dictator Saddam Hussein, and from where he drew his military and political support. ISIS is now dominant in this area but that may not last, as the traditional tribes who have let them run wild, may desert them under military pressure from the West.

To the south of Baghdad along the Tigris and Euphrates (lower Mesopotamia according to geographers) you will see beige, the heartland of the Arabic speaking Shia Muslims whose territory goes all the way to the mouth of those rivers that empty into the Persian Gulf south of Basra. Simply put, the ecology of contemporary Iraq consists of Kurds in the mountains, Sunni Arabs in the upper river valley, and Shia Arabs in the lower river valley. The nomadic Bedouin Sunni Arabs inhabit the Western deserts.

Anthropologists who practice cultural ecology often look at the long term social identities that correlate with distinct ecological niches. Very often they find that the names may change, but the people stay the same.

If they decided to look at Iraq according to the map below, they would immediately point out that the Turkish Ottomans Muslims, who ruled Iraq  for centuries until they lost the middle east to the British and the French during WWI, divided Iraq into three administrative districts; the Vilayet of Mosul for the mountainous north, the Vilayet of Baghdad for the Sunni center and the Vilayet of Basra for the Shia south. This corresponded to and still correlates with Iraq’s three major ethnic groups, Kurds in the North, Sunni Arabs in the centre and Shia Arabs in the south.

OttomanIraq

By taking a cultural ecological approach to the war in Iraq, we may then find the “root ecological cause” of the conflict, not just centuries earlier during Ottoman times, or even during the time of the Roman and Hellenistic Empires, but all the way back to the time of Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees, or even before; for it is the ancient historians, the Bible scholars and archaeologists who would be the first to point out the three ecological regions of contemporary Iraq correspond roughly to three ancient ethnic groups, who seemed to be in near constant conflict with each other. If that is indeed the case, then we may conclude that this is the natural historical condition for this part of the world, a rather sobering insight, but one worthy of consideration for contemporary policy makers and peacekeepers.

The Sumerians of southern Iraq (beginning around 4,000 BC) were the first civilization to develop writing, scribes, temples, and theology, bureaucracy, urban elites with dependent peasantries, trade, craftsmen, social hierarchies, empire, a polytheistic religion with ziggurats and all the things we mean when archaeologists talk about urban civilization (Their language was neither Semitic nor Indo European). Their ancient homeland is almost identical with the area that is now inhabited by Iraq’s Arabic speaking Shia Arabs.

The Sumerians flourished for centuries and were then conquered by Semitic speaking people from what is now central Iraq, about two thousand years later, the most famous of them being the empire builder Sargon of Akkad, who established his capital somewhere near modern Baghdad, and whose culture adopted much of what the Sumerians had to offer, but, who ruled with an iron fist and incorporated the south into his empire. Other subsequent Semitic empire builders include the Babylonians and Assyrians, familiar to readers of the Bible. This is the area of Iraq now inhabited by the Sunni Arabs. Occasionally, the Sumerians in the south revolted, but eventually the Semites, whether Babylonians or Assyrians dominated them.

In the north lived the Guti, mountain tribes, who may actually be the direct ancestors of today’s Kurds and who although sometimes were conquered, inevitably rebelled as is often the case with so many mountain dwellers.And so when one enters university libraries one reads ancient texts such as this one, written centuries after Sargon of Akkad conquered much of ancient Iraq, from the hand of a Babylonian scribe.

Sargon, king of Agade [Akkad], came to power during the reign of Ištar and he had neither rival nor equal…He crossed the sea in the east. In the eleventh year he conquered the western land to its farthest point. He brought it under one authority… and ferried the west’s booty [treasures] across on barges. He stationed his court officials at intervals of five double hours and ruled in unity the tribes of the lands. He marched to Kazallu and turned Kazallu into a ruin heap, so that there was not even a perch for a bird left. Afterwards, in his old age, all of the lands rebelled again and surrounded him in Agade. Sargon went out to fight and brought about their defeat. He overthrew them and overpowered their extensive army. Afterwards, Subartu attacked Sargon in full force and called him to arms. Sargon set an ambush and completely defeated them. He overpowered their extensive army and sent their possessions into Akkad.

This ancient quotation is not a bad evocation of the recent history of Iraq. For Sargon, you could substitute Saddam Hussein, who has now been succeeded by ISIS. In the south where the Sumerians once thrived, Al Maliki’s Shia are ready to fight the Sunnis and in the north, where they Guti used to rebel, the Kurds, under various branches of the Barazani clans in the mountains are willing and able to take on all comers.

Further research may suggest that the three major ethnic groups of Iraq also have an ancient, genetic continuity that goes back to the Sumerians. In the case of the Arabic speaking Shia Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq a recent genetic study concluded:

Overall our results indicate that the introduction of water buffalo breeding and rice farming, most likely from the Indian sub-continent, only marginally affected the gene pool of autochthonous people of the region. Furthermore, a prevalent Middle Eastern ancestry of the modern population of the marshes of southern Iraq implies that if the Marsh Arabs are descendants of the ancient Sumerians, also the Sumerians were most likely autochthonous and not of Indian or South Asian ancestry.

Perhaps it is time for the diplomats and politicians of America, Europe and the Middle East to recognize the cultural ecological imperative that shows that the three main ethnic groups of Iraq have been fighting it out since the time of Abraham, if not before.

At the start of the last Iraq war, I heard Israeli political scientist Shlomo Avineri being interviewed on an English-speaking radio station. He argued that Iraq is really three countries and should be treated as such. He explained that a unified Iraq was an invention of the British after WWI and had never really worked out. He said a solution to the conflict there would only occur when this is clearly recognized.

He did not mention that this has been the case for about four to five thousand years and will not change soon. Perhaps he needed to probe a bit deeper to strengthen his argument, for, oddly enough, it is still the “great powers” who created Iraq (with America) after WWI, who may still be able to influence its future, for the Arab world and the Arab League are clearly unable to do so.

Bearing all this in mind, the creation of three autonomous states in what was once modern Iraq can provide some balance among these eternally warring groups, and allow them to learn how to cooperate, instead of fight. In a region desperately short of viable solutions, this one may be worth trying.

The powers that be and that can influence the future of Iraq, including the Israel government, need to listen to experts like Dr. Avineri. I would argue that his initial insight now has the weight of cultural ecology behind it. I hope he will make use of it.


First published in the Times of Israel.

clear
Posted on 09/21/2014 7:37 AM by Geoffrey Clarfield
clear

Sunday, 21 September 2014
clear

Well, first of all, it is an honour and a privilege to be asked by the EDL to come here and speak today. Thank you very much.

Secondly, I'm not going to talk about left wing and right wing here – I'm going to talk about good and evil, civilisation against barbarianism, right against wrong. And when I look at this sea of proud, British, brave patriots, and then I look across there and I see quislings, cowards and traitors … it's just a shame we're not a bit closer.

I [want to have a little chat] with David Cameron today, because David Cameron thinks that every single one of you here is 'sick', as he calls it. The Left is sick, Islam is sick, but most importantly David Cameron is not just a coward, he is sick and he is a traitor to this country.

David Cameron is on YouTube video saying there are too many Christian faces in the British government. David Cameron is on YouTube video saying he looks forward to the day there are more Muslims in our army, in our police force and in our government. Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat MP, looks forward to the day that there's a Muslim Prime Minister in this country. Well, we don't and I don't!

David Cameron is essentially a fully-fledged traitor to his country. He needs to be told this. And David Cameron – when Fusilier Lee Rigby was beheaded – Cameron said, this has nothing to do with Islam – as a Muslim stood over him with a bloody knife quoting the fucking koran.

When David Haines was beheaded by a British Muslim in Syria, David Cameron said, this has nothing to do with the religion of peace called Islam. Cameron, you're a liar and you're a traitor!

David Cameron needs to be asked the question: Who was Mohammed? Was Mohammed, Mr Cameron, a Muslim? Yes, he was – and if he was here today he would be in Syria, jihadding his way across the continent, beheading, raping and murdering as he went; and there is no way you can say that the religion that this man inspired has nothing to do with the behaviour of beheading, raping Muslims today. You're a coward and you're a fucking traitor, Mr Cameron.

When I came down here today I walked past the war memorial in my town, and I stood and I looked at all of those names on that war memorial that died to give us the freedom that all the Guardian readers and the BBC traitors take for granted. They died for our democracy, and these people are handing our democracy over on a plate to the most savage, backward, barbarian, vicious, violent, evil ideology known to mankind – and it IS called Islam, and it is NOT a religion of peace.

Now, I don't know how many people from the EDL we've got down here today and how many people are here who are not with the EDL – but I want to see the EDL grow into the biggest street movement in Europe. And then, in six months' time, I want to see you come back here with ten thousand people, I want to see us march from here down to the BBC headquarters where we can let those fellow traitors and quislings in the BBC know exactly what we think about them, in no pure, unadulterated terms at all.

Now, thank you again so much for asking me to speak here, it has been an absolute honour. You are the best, proudest people in this country. Thank you very much, very much. Thank you.

clear
Posted on 09/21/2014 5:22 AM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Sunday, 21 September 2014
clear

From the Sunday Telegraph

Few outsiders have noticed, but radical Islamists now control Libya's capital. These militias stormed Tripoli last month, forcing the official government to flee and hastening the country's collapse into a failed state. Moreover, the new overlords of Tripoli are allies of Ansar al-Sharia, a brutal jihadist movement suspected of killing America's then ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and of trying to murder his British counterpart, Sir Dominic Asquith.

Barely three years after Britain helped to free Libya from Col Gaddafi's tyranny, anti-Western radicals hold sway. How could Britain's goal of a stable and friendly Libya have been thwarted so completely?

Step forward a fabulously wealthy Gulf state that owns an array of London landmarks and claims to be one of our best friends in the Middle East.

Qatar, the owner of Harrods, has dispatched cargo planes laden with weapons to the victorious Islamist coalition, styling itself "Libya Dawn". 

Western officials have tracked the Qatari arms flights as they land in the city of Misrata, about 100 miles east of Tripoli, where the Islamist militias have their stronghold. Even after the fall of the capital and the removal of Libya's government, Qatar is "still flying in weapons straight to Misrata airport", said a senior Western official.

So it is that Qatar buys London property while working against British interests in Libya and arming friends of the jihadists who tried to kill one of our ambassadors. A state that partly owns 1 Hyde Park, London's most expensive apartment block, and the Shard, the city's tallest building, is working with people who would gladly destroy Western society. I would love to take the trip (£25 + - much dearer than the London Eye) up the Shard to see London from above. I will not do so while the building generates Islamic finance on such a scale. 

The remarkable truth is that few in the Middle East would be shocked. From Hamas in the Gaza Strip to radical armed movements in Syria, Qatar's status as a prime sponsor of violent Islamists, including groups linked to al-Qaeda, is clear to diplomats and experts. 

Qatar's investment in Britain is so extensive, and the Foreign Office is so anxious to win its favour, that some question whether UK diplomats will have the resolve to ask robust questions. "If diplomats are focused on winning commercial contracts, there is a danger they will be reluctant to ask tough questions on the funding of unsavoury groups," said Mr Barclay.

A Foreign Office spokesman insisted there was no such risk, saying: "We encourage further progress to prevent terrorist financing from individuals in the [Gulf] region. We have honest and robust conversations with all our Gulf partners on these issues, including Qatar." 

Last month, Gerd Müller, the German international development minister, implicated Qatar in the rise of Isil. "You have to ask who is arming, who is financing Isil troops. The keyword there is Qatar," he said.

Yet a state endowed with large reserves of gas and oil and one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds can wield immense influence, even over Berlin. Qatar was duly able to secure a formal withdrawal of this charge from the German government. On Wednesday, the 34-year-old Emir of Qatar, who was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst, took pains to deny the accusation while standing alongside Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor. 

But Qatar's willingness to support extremists has caused private dismay. "It's a puzzle and, to be honest, it's a distasteful one," said a former Western official who has dealt with Qatar. "There are people around the Gulf who are supporting people who are grotesque in their values and seem incapable of translating it into their minds how grotesque it is." 

clear
Posted on 09/21/2014 1:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear

Sunday, 21 September 2014
clear
clear
Posted on 09/21/2014 12:04 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear

It's the war of Islam not against just  the West, but against All The Rest.

Here.

clear
Posted on 09/20/2014 11:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear

Here.

Why would they wish to think that? It's too painful to recognize that the Islamic State is a product of Muslims simply following the dictates of the Qur'an to the letter, by those who wish to follow as well the Sunnah and the example of Muhammad. That would be impossible to even allow oneself to consider. So the Islamic State must be seen as a creature of the CIA (or the Mossad). That is the only way to explain it, and still keep intact one's ability to avoid confronting the nature of Islam itself.

And conspiracy theories are most prevalent among those who have been encouraged since early childhood to submit, not to question, and have been discouraged from any display of free and skeptical inquiry, because the most obvious target of such free and skeptical inquiry would be Islam itself, and in Islam, the true object of worship is Islam itself.

 

clear
Posted on 09/20/2014 11:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear
Tags:
clear
Posted on 09/20/2014 9:01 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear

The latest from  Libya here.

Islam -- the books of Islam, the heroes of Islam, including its supreme hero and object of worship and emulation Muhammad -- are all about violence. Submission to the Ruler is commanded, as long as the Ruler is a Muslim. But if there is no Caliphate, and in the absence of a strong  local Ruler, then Muslims are free to mete out Muslim justice, to those they consider insufficiently submissive to the dictates of Islam. Anarchy and violence, or absoute submission to a despotic regime (Muammar Qaddafy, Saddam Hussein, the Al-Assads, the Al-Saud, the Vilayet-e-Fiqh of the Iranian theocrats) that controls all of the armed forces and security services,  are the two natural states of societies suffused with Islam. Those that over time have managed, through an enlightened leader -- Ataturk, Bourguiba -- to constrain Islam, can for a while prove exceptions to this rule, as long as the forces that support such constraints remain firmly in charge.
 

clear
Posted on 09/20/2014 6:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear

Following on a column I wrote for this space two weeks ago, in which I enunciated a number of criticisms of the federal government’s current performance, many readers have asked me to provide some suggestions of how the business of government might be conducted more effectively. Trying never to repeat the same column, I have avoided recycling past suggestions, but hope to be pardoned if a little of what follows seems to some to be similar to comments I have made before.

It is very late to introduce any new fiscal initiatives in this parliament, scheduled to be dissolved in time for an election in October, 2015. Neither the late Jim Flaherty nor the present Finance Minister, Joe Oliver, have lacked the imagination desirable in that position, but they have been hemmed in by the prime minister’s election glide-path, and possibly by an ideologically rigid approach to the HST. It is not hard to demonstrate that the best method for stimulating an economy is reduction of personal and corporate income tax rates, and that the best way of reducing deficits is to increase some taxes on elective sales and transactions, though not on the necessities of life such as groceries and sub-luxury residential rental payments.

The government entered office committed to reduction of what was then the GST and did so, though it was this tax, as well as the shuffling of spending responsibilities off on the provinces without corresponding revenue-raising sources, that led to 14 consecutive federal budget surpluses under governments of both traditional parties. This policy has had the additional benefit, and Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty deserve great credit for it, of reducing the share of GDP represented by federal government spending to the lowest point in decades, while ending the former (Liberal) federal penchant to use the treasury and its capacity to borrow to enter provincial fields of responsibility, effect policy changes in them, and generally to incite what was often inflationary economic growth by reckless public sector spending of borrowed money. A return to that system would be retrograde, but an exoneration from income tax of the 10% of current taxpayers with the most modest incomes, and a reduction in rate for the lowest 75% of those who remain, offset in revenue terms by 2% higher taxes on most financial transactions, luxury goods sales, and purchases of goods and services not vitally connected to basic needs of health, food, shelter, education and employment, would increase economic growth while preserving the bi-partisan attachment to deficit-avoidance.

The last train leaving this parliament for anything innovative was in Jim Flaherty’s last budget, where he was constrained from acknowledging that we were practically back in surplus and required to withhold anything interesting for a pre-election budget, and forced to offer what amounted to an unfitting valedictory for such a successful and long-serving Finance minister: the statement that “boring is good,” which is generally inaccurate as well as pedestrian.

The regrettable fact is that Canada’s economic performance is quite inadequate. In the last full year (2013), according to the CIA Factbook, which is generally more reliable than the United Nations, and at least as dependable as the IMF, Canada’s economic growth was in a five-way tie for 152nd position in the world, at 1.6%, in a dead heat with, among others, riot-tossed, quasi-communist Venezuela.

In fairness, the rate is increasing slowly, and most of the European countries are behind Canada, because of the deflationary pressures that have been applied to deal with the debt crises in parts of the Eurozone. And it is an unambiguously good thing that all of the 90 fastest-growing economies would qualify as under-developed countries, except China, Chile, the United States, Singapore and Latvia. The presence of the United States at about 4.3% in 2013 is not anything that should elicit the habitual Canadian unease vis-à-vis that country, as this is the least one would expect from the current administration’s vertiginous 80% increase on the $10-trillion of debt accumulated in the previous 233 years of American independence. Less explicable is that Australia’s per capita income has been about 15% greater than Canada’s for some years.

In cumulative economic real growth (eliminating inflation), over any recent period, Canada has trailed Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Mexico and Turkey. Despite European austerity and the fact that the United Kingdom is neither naturally rich nor an especially strong manufacturer any more, Britain has an advantage of at least one full point in both economic growth and unemployment compared to Canada.

This country should do better. Combining economic facts with the case I tried to make two weeks ago about the desirability of Canada being a more plausible source of firm leadership in the Western Alliance, which has been reduced virtually to cobwebs by the irresolution of most of its traditional members, particularly the United States, the economy could be stimulated, unemployment reduced, and credibility conferred upon the purposeful foreign policy remarks of the prime minister and foreign minister, if we expanded our defence capability. We are down to 15 functioning navy ships and 15,000 people in the army. The Air Force is in somewhat better condition, but could be stretched seriously if the Russians start in earnest at their old game of consistently flying up to, and slightly in, our air space.

The prime minister recently told an inquiring journalist that he did not think increased military expenditure justified, but I don’t think he has thought this through. Air force expansion could be projected in a way that landed Canada a position in military aircraft consortia greatly exceeding what we now get. Shipbuilding, which this government has promised for eight years but not delivered, backs very conveniently into steel and other industries, and all the armed forces are a boon to high technology industries. Expansion of personnel would facilitate adult education and career training, as the United States, in particular, has shown.

This is a rich country and we are all in the West forced to accept the reality of a substantial American retrenchment in the world. That country carried us all on its back for decades, and no one should forget that the defence of Canada was successful in the Cold War because of the American guaranty of Canada’s territory, given originally by FDR at Kingston, Ont. in 1938. While the United States sorts out what it is prepared to continue to do in alliance terms, the Europeans and ourselves are going to have to account for more of the burden. Paul Martin indicated a willingness to do this, but left office before he could do anything about it.

As has been written here and elsewhere, Canada had one or two aircraft carriers from 1943 to 1970, and has had none since. Helicopter and VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) carriers, with amphibious and command capability are available from France and the Netherlands, and probably the United States also. Everything is available, including the prospects of a resulting shot in the arm in terms of economic consequences and national morale, for Canada to grow into the role the prime minister’s righteously strident foreign policy assertions indicate a desire to play.

The same investment would greatly increase the country’s ability to respond to natural disasters around the world. In straight political terms, as an election year approaches, supporters of the armed forces are a much larger and more reputable constituency than the Conservatives’ knuckle-dragging Neanderthals of the jail’em, flog’em, hang’em sub-culture being extravagantly pandered to with infamous crime legislation promising the erection of redundant prisons that will largely be occupied by native people who don’t belong there.

There is little point in Stephen Harper slagging off Justin Trudeau for his vapid reflections on the “root causes” of terrorism if his own reaction to the same acts is perceptive bellicosity unsupported by any ability to participate usefully in an effective Alliance response. (The six aircraft we sent to Poland to encourage Ukraine have been redirected to Balkan countries not under threat, and in such a high-stakes game are only a token and a solo gesture in any case.)

The Canadian electorate is not a vast kindergarten that can be propelled into transports of gratitude by pre-electoral distributions of its own money. It may be too late to do much that is original in this parliament, but a believable disposition to pursue economic growth responsibly and to match military capabilities to bold words in sensible strategic spending over time would be welcome in itself, and would be popular. But no one should imagine that another empty promise of imminent rearmament will be seen as anything but the production of a still-born rabbit from a tattered hat.

First published in the National Post.

clear
Posted on 09/20/2014 2:40 PM by Conrad Black
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear

To Downing Street to take the message to No 10.

Making my way up Whitehall I came upon the UAF rally first where speeches were in full swing. This is Weyman Bennet.

"Comrades - I ask you to be patient. The EDL like a drink; they must have a drink first. They say it will be a march. It will be a stagger. And we will be here sober to meet and oppose them"

Having a beer is what the English do. Or in the case of Nelson's navy, a tot of rum.

The admins were setting up the EDL site outside the Ministry of Defence so I went back to the UAF area. The second speaker was the other Sikh against the EDL. 

There are at least two Sikhs against the EDL - in Walthamstow last year he was a much younger man (either that or the uphill paper round is taking its toll.) You just never see them together.

He said that the EDL (who have great respect for Sikhs) do not speak for most Sikhs, and that he, as a Sikh and as a Trade Unionist is appalled to see the EDL permitted yet again on the streets of London. 

It's called free speech and democracy, and our ancestors fought and died for it. I should not have been appalled at the amount of Trade Union banners in their enclosure. My former union, PCS. The National Union of Journalists. Unite. Unison. Paddington RMT. I am more convinced than ever that the PCS collusion in the Labour Government cull of a whole cadre of Civil Servants of the old school, upright, incorruptible and honest was a small, albeit indirect, part of this almighty cover-up.

I carried on to Trafalgar Square to watch the muster.

And then down Whitehall to the tune of 'We're coming, we're coming, we're coming down the road. 
We're the volunteers of the EDL and we're coming down the road'.

Flyers were handed out, although some of the tourists were a bit bemused; that is the drawback of weekend demonstrations in London. 

Some little boys and girls in black on the other side of the road were shouting 'Nazis! Nazis!' The police kept them in order, and I'm not sure sticking one's tongue out is completely Antifa. 

While the EDL filed into their rally area to wait for the speakers (above) I went to see what the UAF were up to (below)

I was quite intrigued as to what sort of people would opposed a group who were protesting about child abusers and rapists. There were a few more of them than in Rotherham last week. In Rotherham (where a coach took them all out of the town centre to Sheffield) I suspect none were local. With local feeling running as high as it is against the police and the local authority it would be very foolish of an employee of Rotherham council to show her face in tacit support of sex gang groomers. London is more anonymous. But if you do see any of these faces at the front of your child's class, or with a clipboard in the council offices, be aware.

The EDL's first speaker who outlined the background to today's demo.

 

 

Having seen an antifa sticker already I had to go take a look when I spotted an Antifa flag flying from the UAF compound.

 

 

 

The chants were not very varied. "When I say Nazi - you say scum. 
Nazi - scum! Nazi - scum! "

"EDL go to hell, take your Nazi friends as well."

And the favourite, but inaccuarate -  "We are black, white, Asian and Jew - there are many more of us than you" 

While the youngsters were up the front alternating these usual chants the grown ups were doing a bit of bonding in the quiet at the back.

And this shows their 'peaceful' non-violent credentials 

No, its not Rick Wakeman; it's the EDL's second speaker, a very knowledgable Northern man who I noticed in Rotherham last week. Among other things he spoke of the despicable Joyce Thacker, Head (until her departure yesterday) of Rotherham Children's Services. In particular he spoke of her time working in another Yorkshire town Keighley, where as fast as the MP, the brave and upright Ann Cryer, was trying to expose the grooming of young girls by Muslim men, Thacker was threatening to sack any employee who dared mention the facts.

More evil wrought by Trades Unions who forgot that they exist to protect their members, where those members have acted honestly; not to protect rapists. 

"Look behind you" he said. "We are standing by the memorial to the Women of World War II. Do you see a burka there? No! Let's have a cheer for the women who fought for our freedom."

Then there was a round of applause for the guest speaker, Paul Weston of Liberty GB.

He said he was honoured to be invited today, and to stand with brave patriots who were not afraid. Compared with the quislings and traitors of the UAF, the Communist Party, the SWP, the Socialist Party and the Labour Party to name but a few. But he saved his main passion and remarks for David Cameron, sitting opposite in his residence at No 10 Downing Street, who he says is a traitor to his country. How dare such a man call patriots 'sick' for speaking up for what they believe in. (Update A video of his full speech is now up further up the Iconoclast, here) 

Whether Cameron heard him from behind his barracade and security we will never know. I am old enough to remember having my picture taken outside No 10. Not no more, such a world they have made for us.

After closing remarks the rally dispersed in the general direction of Trafalgar Square. But not before another last chorus of 'Coming down the Road' sung towards Downing Street to remind David Cameron that we won't be going away.

Photographs E Weatherwax London September 2014.

clear
Posted on 09/20/2014 2:05 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear

What the world needs now may be love, but more urgently it needs the end of Islamist jihadism, the greatest danger to Western civilization and values. The arrest on September 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia of 15 alleged jihadists, local Islamic State supporters, preparing to kidnap at random innocent persons and behead them in a gruesome spectacle in the streets of Sydney, is another reminder of that urgent need.

No wakeup call is required to realize that the same kind of direct threat exists against the homeland of the U.S. It serves no purpose to minimize, as some spokespersons for the Obama Administration have done, the danger to the U.S. and Western countries of terrorist attacks. Similarly shortsighted is the view of Daniel Benjamin, former State Department counterterrorism adviser, that public comments about the ISIS threat have been a “farce.”

It is equally pointless to relax one’s guard on the belief that there is no credible information of an impending attack on the West from IS. The world is now full of Jihadist groups, whether al-Qaeda, the Nusra Front, or the Islamic State, some of whose supporters are trained to carry out terrorist attacks in their Western countries of origin. For policy purposes, it is useful to list some of the groups to which attention should be paid.

The groups exist around the world: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP); Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrab (Aqim) in Mali; Boko Haram in Nigeria; Al-Shabab in Somalia; Taliban in Afghanistan; Ansar al-Sharia in Libya; Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia; Jemaah Islamiah in Indonesia; Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines; Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis in Egypt.  

Above them all is the Islamic State (IS), (formerly ISIS or ISIL), in Iraq and Syria, a ruling state, a Caliphate, as well as a terrorist organization.

It needs to be repeated that IS, a Caliphate with enormous wealth, large quantities of weapons, and an appetite for power, has ambitions to expand its territorial control in the Middle East. Under its ruthless leader the Caliph and Commander in Chief, formerly known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who claims to be descended from the Prophet, the IS is first consolidating its rule, then plans to conquer the bordering Muslim states, and then to “battle against the Crusaders” (the West). IS has a governing structure and a functioning bureaucracy with two parts, one for Syria and the other for Iraq, each with 12 Governors, an eight-man Shura Council, the religious monitor, and a number of committees, each responsible for specific services.

Along with the ambition of IS in the Middle East, the Western individuals who have joined the ranks of IS pose a potential danger to their countries of origin, including the U.S. homeland. Thus the need for strong Western response to the threat is urgent. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has reported on his attempts to form a coalition, to enlist allies in the fight, to obtain the support of ten Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and some promises from others. Saudi Arabia has proposed training facilities and providing equipment for Syrian rebel fighters, though it will not commit troops against fellow Muslims.  

How should the West respond? There still appears to be no clear vision or comprehensive long-term U.S. strategy except the refusal to deploy ground forces. Vice President Joe Biden spoke of going to the “gates of hell” to deal with IS, but didn’t say where that was or who would be leading the charge. President Obama has cautiously vacillated in his decisions and in general is not willing for the American military to be involved in quarrels in foreign countries. The projected U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan indicates the misapprehension of this policy, since the Taliban are likely to become more powerful there. Obama has made clear on many occasions that American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq.

Above all, Obama is no lone ranger: his policy is alone together. He has increased the number of air raids on IS bases in Iraq, but not yet in Syria. He did send 475 troops to assist the Kurds with training, intelligence, and equipment. If there is to be a meaningful coalition of nations it is imperative that U.S. political and military leaders agree on a serious plan of action.

Troops from European countries, and certainly from the United States, are unlikely to participate in military action on the ground. The NATO countries are unlikely to provide much assistance. Indeed, only four of them (US, UK, Greece, and Estonia) spend at least 2 per cent of their GDP on defense as required. Britain did send four Tornado jets to Cyprus for reconnaissance flights, and also a Rivet Joint intelligence gathering aircraft.

Action by Western countries must continue embracing air strikes over Syria as well as Iraq, training those rebel groups in Iraq and Syria who are prepared to fight IS, monitoring of the borders of Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, controlling ISIS funds, and preventing would-be home grown jihadists from joining IS. An initial problem is that training of the rebel groups has been slow and should be speeded up.

Above all, Western help to the Kurds is crucial. The Syrian Kurds must be strengthened, even though the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) is designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. and Turkey. The Kurds, occupying parts of Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey, the largest ethnic group in the world that is stateless, deserve a regime of their own. Whether or not one accepts this conclusion they should be supplied with heavy weapons, including tanks and helicopters, with which to fight IS.

One country that is reluctant to join any international coalition is Turkey, though it is a NATO country with a large army. Turkey, which has a 560-mile border with Syria, was partly responsible for allowing ISIS to gain strength by allowing weapons, material, and foreign fighters from Europe and elsewhere to enter its country and travel through Syria to join ISIS terrorists.

So far Turkey has been unwilling to act for two stated reasons. The first is that the IS holds hostage 49 Turkish diplomats and their families who were captured in June 2014 when ISIS overran the Turkish Consulate in Mosul. The second is the animosity between Turkey and the Kurdish PKK, the group which has been among those leading the fight against IS.

Turkey has not acted as an ally or even a friend. It has allowed exiled members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to reside in its country. It has benefited from the oil smuggling by ISIS, at least $3 million a day, and from banking transactions. It generally minimized the threat of ISIS. It refused to sign the statement of September 11, 2014 issued in Saudi Arabia when regional leaders agreed to help stop foreign jihadists and funds going to the Islamic State. 

Turkey has declared that the U.S. cannot use the air bases on its territory, especially the large one at Incirlik, for airstrikes against IS. It appears that IS has some kind of unofficial office in Istanbul and has been actively recruiting in that city. More than 1000 Turks have joined IS, either for ideological reasons or for money, said to be $150 a day. This is attractive for Turks, of whom 17 per cent live below the poverty line. Turkey has also allowed anti-Assad Islamic extremists to operate within its territory. If Turkey is not forthcoming, a good case can be made for its removal from NATO.

The Obama Administration must persist in the effort, difficult though it is, to assemble a coalition of nations to overcome the most threatening menace in the world today, and to lead from in front.

First published in the American Thinker.

clear
Posted on 09/20/2014 7:59 AM by Michael Curtis
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear

Scotland rejects the two state solution. Backed by the nuclear armed British army, navy and air force, the once sovereign state of Scotland is to continue as just another large neighbourhood of the United Kingdom.

Israel has so many great friends amongst the Scottish people (we assume) because the ones who make the most noise don’t seem to like the prospect of an independent homeland for the Jews remaining here.

Lets hope that Yvonne Ridley’s dream of a “Zionist free zone” in Scotland is now sunk too.

And let us not forget that Scotland is the original place of creation of George Galloway (heaven help them). Perhaps they’re glad he no longer lives there.

Nevertheless, overall it would appear the majority of people in Scotland still think that rule by the British Empire is preferable to self determination under people like Alex Salmond who got in a bit of a twist last week seemingly equating Israel and ISIS.

So it seems that independence is not the answer to everything and having one’s own state, even for a people who have a long, distinct history; an absolutely clear and recognisable culture; their own specific ancient foods (not only deep fried, battered, Mars bars); what amounts to a unique and distinct language (I canneee understand Glaswegians I tell yeeee), is not the best thing in the world. Ever.

So farewell then Scottish Indipendence,
for now.

We knew you well,
even if you didn’t know yourself,
well enough to say.

Yes.
It was No.

B.J.Thomas 17¾

First published in Israellycool.

clear
Posted on 09/20/2014 7:54 AM by Brian of London
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear

Makes sense to me. Breitbart:

Western countries must stop "playing war games" in Ukraine and "poking the Russian bear with a stick" and instead work with Vladimir Putin to defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State, Nigel Farage has said.

Speaking to the European Parliament, the UKIP leader said that Putin is "on our side" in the battle against Islamist extremism, and accused to EU of helping start the ongoing conflict in Ukraine by "directly encouraging" the uprising that toppled Viktor Yanukovich, which "led in turn to Vladimir Putin reacting".

The Russian President has also been blamed by the West for prolonging the Syria crisis by supporting dictator Bashar al Assad, thus allowing ISIS to grow in power as the rebellion stalled. Putin has repeatedly blocked motions of censure against against the Assad regime in the United Nations.

Mr Farage said, however, the West needs Putin on side if it is to defeat ISIS, an enemy that presents much more of a threat than Russia.

He told the European Parliament: “Perhaps we better recognise that the West faces the biggest threat and crisis to our way of life we have seen for over 70 years.

"The recent beheadings of the British and American hostages graphically illustrates the problem and of course we have our own citizens from our won countries engaged in that struggle too.

"In the war against Islamic extremism, whatever we may think of [Putin] as a human being, he is actually on our side.

"I suggest we grow up, I suggest we recognise the real threat facing all of our countries, communities and societies, we stop playing war games in the Ukraine and we start to prepare a plan like Syria, like Iraq, like Kenya like Nigeria or Syria and help the deal with the real threat that faces us. Let’s not go on provoking Putin whether we like him or not."...

clear
Posted on 09/20/2014 5:51 AM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Saturday, 20 September 2014
clear

TPNN:

A bill introduced by Senator Ted Cruz, which would revoke the U.S. citizenship of Americans who leave the United States to join the barbaric Islamic group.

Senator Cruz introduced the Expatriate Terrorist Act (E.T.A.) of 2014, earlier this month, which would also keep the traitors from returning to the United States. 

On Thursday, Senate Democrats blocked the bill after Cruz asked for unanimous consent. Specifically, Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono from Hawaii, objected to the bill, citing “fundamental constitutional rights.”

"Legislation that grants the government the ability to strip citizenship from Americans is a serious matter, raising significant constitutional issues,” Sen. Hirono said in her support of constitutional rights for terrorist traitors.

“It is unfortunate that Democratic senators chose to object to this to prevent this common-sense change in law, and I would note when it comes to the constitutional concerns, I don’t know if anyone in this Senate has been more vigorous or more consistent in terms of defending the constitutional rights of Americans that I have endeavored to be during my short tenure here,” Cruz said.

“I will yield to no one in passion for defending constitutional liberties … it is current law right now that if you go and join a foreign nation and take up arms against America, that act has long been recognized as constituting a constructive renunciation of United States citizenship,” Cruz proclaimed. 

 

clear
Posted on 09/20/2014 5:44 AM by Rebecca Bynum
clear

Friday, 19 September 2014
clear

Here.

Everyone who has bothered to look into Islam knows this. But no political figure in the West will say it. Instead they earn the contempt of the well-prepared by insisting that the "Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam." If they mean it, their ignorance is unacceptable. If they don't mean it, but are afraid to tell the truth, it's intolerable.

clear
Posted on 09/19/2014 10:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Friday, 19 September 2014
clear

Al Qaeda in North Africa, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda in the Subcontinent.

They seek them here, they seek them there, those Yankees seek them everywhere. Are they in Yemen, or in Hell, those demmed elusive ( can't think of a word to rhyme with "Pimpernel" but perhaps you can).

Here.

clear
Posted on 09/19/2014 9:42 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Friday, 19 September 2014
clear

He wants to make the war of self-defense against Islam into something else: "Humanity" against "Inhumaity," with plenty of Muslims, as he pretends to see it, on the right side. But the handful of Muslim nations -- only the Emirates comes to mind -- willing to fight the Islamic State, and openly declare it, and the great enthusiasm, growing by the minute (though not "exponentially"), for the Islamic State among Muslims, the more the West noisily opposes it, suggest the truth: the Islamic State is not an aberration, but embodies the truest, most uncompromising, understanding of the Qur'an and Hadith. Those Muslim states that oppose it do not do so out of solicitude or horror at the treatment of Christians or Yazidis, including mass killings, destruction of churches, and sex-enslaavement of Yazidi women. That doesn't matter to them. What matters to them is that the Islamic State appeals to those Muslims, living in such places as Saudi Arabia, where the tribe of the despots takes most of the national wealth. The Al Saud are worried only about their own position, the stability of their own country. And that is true of the other despots. The Emirates, while each is ruled by a local despotic family, appears to have somehow made itself civilizationally somewhat more advanced than the other states, and it is possible to believe that at least some of its rulers would like -- if only it could be done -- to have some kind of avoidance of Islamic reality, some kind of understanding that Islam is not really what any reading of the texts -- Qur'an, Hadith, Sira -- and observation of the behavior of Muslims, over 1400 years and across a vast area -- would lead one naturally to conclude.

Modi's remarks, made out of a desire to keep the lid on Muslms in India (where there have been many terrorist attacks, and not only the spectacular ones in Mumbai and on the Parliament building in Delhi, but up and down the land, most entirely unreported in the West), by denying the impossibility of preventing Muslimis, once aroused, to remember that their supreme and only loyalty must be to Islam.

So he's doing what Camron and Obama and others in the West do, but Modi is doing it not out of ignorance but because he's not sure what other tack to take, and he'd like at least to begin by trying out the let's-pretend appeal to Muslims, and to non-Muslims too. Whistlng in the dark, in magical Bharat, here.
 

clear
Posted on 09/19/2014 11:05 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Friday, 19 September 2014
clear
clear
Posted on 09/19/2014 10:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

Friday, 19 September 2014
clear

Roma litiga per “via Oriana Fallaci”: speriamo sia solo questione di parole

All’indomani dell’ottavo anniversario della morte della Fallaci, l’idea di intitolare alla grande giornalista fiorentina una via o una piazza nella Capitale fa discutere e spacca la classe politica romana. L’Urbe infatti ha detto “no”, anche se solo momentaneamente, ad una strada intitolata ad Oriana Fallaci.

E come (troppo) spesso accade quando si parla di una grande giornalista come la Fallaci, i toni diventano subito accesi: è successo e sta accadendo anche in Campidoglio dove l’assemblea capitolina ha bocciato una mozione, presentata da un consigliere di NCD e firmata da tutti i gruppi capitolini, che prevedeva l’intitolazione di una via alla giornalista e scrittrice. A votare contro però sono stati sia il PD che SEL che hanno contestato una frase all’interno del testo del documento considerata “inneggiante all’odio religioso”.

fallalci1D’altronde, non sono una novità le posizioni “decise” della reporter nei confronti dell’Islam. Fatto sta che con 18 voti contrari, 14 favorevoli e 2 astenuti, l’Aula Giulio Cesare ha bocciato la mozione presentata dal consigliere NCD, Marco Pomarici, per l’intitolazione di una strada alla giornalista; e pensare che inizialmente era stata firmata da tutti i gruppi capitolini. La frase incriminata che ha fatto decidere PD e SEL per il “no” è contenuta all’interno della mozione e recita così: “Le intuizioni della giornalista sul pericolo di una deriva islamica si sono puntualmente avverate. Secondo la scrittrice fiorentina – si legge nella mozione – staremmo assistendo ad un pianificato tentativo del mondo musulmano di islamizzazione dell’Occidente, basato su quelle che, a suo parere, rappresentano le strutture portanti del Corano”.

Alla fine a spiegare le posizioni sono gli esponenti della politica capitolina: “Siamo ovviamente d’accordo all’intitolazione di una strada a Oriana Fallaci ma all’interno della mozione presentata c’è un riferimento all’islamizzazione dell’Italia – ha spiegato il capogruppo di SEL, Gianluca Peciola – e il testo aveva un contenuto di odio ideologico verso l’Islam che non ha nulla a che fare con il radicalismo di alcune minoranze”.

Di parere simile il coordinatore della maggioranza di governo, Fabrizio Panecaldo: “Abbiamo bocciato la mozione perché c’erano un paio di incisi nel testo della mozione che avrebbero potuto creare problemi. Ci sono apparsi pesanti. Ma abbiamo già depositato un ordine del giorno, che voteremo a fine della seduta di oggi, per intitolare una strada ad Oriana Fallaci. Vedremo se l’opposizione lo voterà”.

Insomma il nodo si può sciogliere, basta togliere dal documento la frase incriminata: d’altronde può piacere o meno, si può essere d’accordo con lei o no, ma sul valore della professionista e sul suo contributo alla storia di questo paese non ci possono essere dubbi. Tuttavia la Fallaci è destinata a far discutere: succedeva quando era viva, figurarsi ora che si parla di un argomento sensibile come l’Islam. Sul quale le ideologizzazioni si sprecano: “Credo nel tentativo del mondo estremista musulmano di islamizzare l’Occidente e allo stesso tempo il mio paese che si chiama Italia e che io difenderò fino alla morte. Oriana Fallaci è stata profetica – ha commentato Pomarici subito dopo la bocciatura – e tutto quello che ha scritto ora si sta avverando. Il PD, dilaniato ancor più al suo interno si è ritrovato nel votare contro un documento che esprime il pensiero della stragrande maggioranza dei cittadini italiani e romani”.

Come dire, quando si parla della Fallaci non si può prescindere dalle sue posizioni. Unica consolazione il fatto che a essere spaccata non è solo Roma ma anche la città natale della giornalista scomparsa nel 2006, Firenze. Anche il sindaco Dario Nardella è intervenuto sulla questione: “Ogni cosa a suo tempo – ha detto – passo dopo passo: analizzeremo tutte le condizioni, tutti i fattori che possono portare ad una decisione in questo senso prima dei dieci anni dalla morte, previsti dalla procedura ordinaria”.

Fernando Serrano

clear
Posted on 09/19/2014 10:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear

clear
1 2 3 4 5 Next Last


Guns, Germs and Steel in Tanzania
The Thinking Person's Safari
Led by Geoffrey Clarfield
Most Recent Posts at The Iconoclast
Search The Iconoclast
Enter text, Go to search:
clear
The Iconoclast Posts by Author
The Iconoclast Archives
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30     
clear

Subscribe