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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














Monday, 20 October 2014
Fitzgerald: Constructing The 'Other'
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[First posted on December 22, 2005]

It has become a peculiar sort of conventional wisdom among those of a particular intellectual and ideological bent — the idea that each generation of Americans seems to identify a particular enemy, contrived to fit ideologies or economic necessities. Americans must always find “The Other” whom they can then hate and fear.

“The Other” was, of course, Edward Said’s favorite topic. He kept talking about the need of the West to create the Islamic “Other,” but said nothing about the fact that the Original, the Ur, the Other of All Others, was the one that was created by Islam to sustain Believers. The most perduring “Other” is the Infidel, who must be hated no matter what good he “appears” to do, what kindness he “appears” to offer — such as those hapless American soldiers in Iraq who wonder why everyone wishes to kill them as they build schools, hospitals, electricity grids, and roads.

But no one is concerned about that. Everyone know that the real “Other”-constructor, the real villain of the “Other” piece here, is not the Islamic world but the West — the need for white, European, racist, colonialist Europe/America to “construct” that “Other” that it can then despise. For without that “Other” to hate, that miserable, racist, dysfunctional, poverty-stricken, ruinous, chaotic, violent, worthless bunch of countries and peoples who ridiculously call themselves the West, or, even more absurdly, “Western civilization,” and who have given the world absolutely nothing of value, would scarcely be able to justify its own chaotic and confused existence. After all, just compare its ridiculous accomplishments with the scientific achievements and immortal works of art produced over 1350 years everywhere that Islam has planted itself.

 

It was not enough for the West to have constructed “the Other” of Hitler and the Nazis, and to have caused World War II thereby, with all the enormous suffering that could have been avoided. It was not enough for that West to have constructed “the Other” of Lenin and Stalin and the Politburo, and to have deliberately inveigled the Red Army into Eastern Europe to seize control for local Communists so that, all over the West, people would be filled with quite unnecessary alarm and dread.

 

No, now they are at it again, having somehow tricked a few misguided people, a handful of extremists who were putty in the hands of the C.I.A. and the Mossad, to here and there plan their pathetic little attacks (with, admittedly, one or two actually succeeding — to the great delight, you can be sure, of the master puppeteers in Langley and Tel Aviv). And what about all these so-called “plots” that they discover, with all that fanfare, all over Europe, or all these people picked up and charged with “terrorism” all over the United States? What is that if not a sustained effort at scaring people, all cooked up to make them think there is a problem with Islam?

Yes, I know what you are going to argue. You will say — but they never actually mention Islam. All they talk about is the “war on terror.” Exactly. Exactly the point I was trying to make. It is precisely the refusal of Western governments to blame the teachings of Islam in any way, to even go out of their way even to mention Islam, that is the most diabolical part of it.

It’s the old “don’t put beans up your nose” strategy. By failing so noticeably and so obviously to mention Islam, the government is actually doing everything it can to make people focus on precisely that — Islam. For people are not fools. Or rather, you can only fool those people in some ways, and not in others. By now everyone in the West knows that their own governments are not to be trusted, that they are run often by the very foolish people who foolishly try to fool them. But they can’t do it. The fools who rule are even bigger fools than the fools they rule over, who cannot be so easily fooled as the ruling fools think.

And that is why, you see, when the ruling fools engaged, for the third time in less than a century (the Nazis, the Communists, and now the helpless, innocent so-called “Muslims”), in constructing “the Other” (oh, don’t believe me — read Gil Anidjar, professor at Columbia University, on the “construction of the Other” — i.e., Jews and Arabs, peas in a pod, identical victims of European hatred, and for exactly the same reasons), with that “Other” today being “Muslims,” they realized that the very best way to construct that Other was — not to construct it! By not naming Islam or Muslims, everyone who had grown to distrust the leaders would focus manically on the subject of Islam and Muslims.

Have I made it clear?

Good. I thought I would.

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Posted on 10/20/2014 7:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 20 October 2014
Iranian Official: We Will Make The World Hell For The Saudi Ruling Family
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The threat was not to a country, as the title of this report in YaLibnan suggests, but to a family, the Al-Saud. Israel's relentlessness on the subject of Iran's danger must be looking better and better to more than a few in Saudi Arabia; without Israel, Iran would by now have several nuclear weapons; with Israel remaining strong (and that means strong enought to defend itself, which means holding on to those parts of Judea and Samaria known as the "West Bank"), there's a chance that the worst threats will be removed, or held in check. This is something intelligent members of the Al-Saud, those not consumed by inculcated hatred of Jews and Israel, must be beginning, dimly at first, to recognize. And certainly in the Emirates, and also in Egypt, among the most advanced there must be --hesitantly, reluctantly -- a similar understanding.

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Posted on 10/20/2014 7:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 20 October 2014
Obama, The Iran Farce, And Congress
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Posted on 10/20/2014 7:01 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 20 October 2014
Holder Justice Department Engaged in Fraud to Collect Millions
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Federal Prosecutor Alleges Boss Pressured Him To Engage in 'Unethical Conduct'; Judge Calls Abuses 'Egregious,' 'Pervasive,” and “Reprehensible.”  Story here.
 

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Posted on 10/20/2014 6:21 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Erdogan Repeats: We Won't Let Amerians Arm The Kurds
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How often does he have to say this, before the American government decides to read him the riot act, and articles about kicking Turkey out of NATO appear everywhere, and begin to be taken seriously by the big shots?

Story here.

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Posted on 10/19/2014 5:01 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Iranian Official Hails Houthi Victories In Yemen
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This won't make the Al-Saud more inclined to cut their oil production in order to support oil prices and keep Iran's current account deficit from ballooning.

The story here.

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Posted on 10/19/2014 4:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
The Monuments Men Of ISIS
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They've been paying their respects, here.

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Posted on 10/19/2014 4:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Good Old Reliable Lebanon
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The latest n choose k possibility for conflict, here. 

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Posted on 10/19/2014 9:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Revealed, the private academy set up by teachers barred over Trojan Horse plot
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From the Sunday Telegraph

Teachers sacked, suspended or banned for their roles in the Trojan Horse plot have set up a private academy and are continuing to teach children.

It can also be disclosed that Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, has written to one of the five school at the heart of the plot, expressing regret at the publication last week of highly critical Ofsted reinspection reports saying the schools had done little to fix their problems. Mrs Morgan questioned the timing of the reinspections, which were done early in the new term, saying they were only a "snapshot" of the position at that time and claiming that "a great deal of progress" had been made in the month or so since. The developments come amid growing impatience with Mrs Morgan’s handling of Trojan Horse scandal,

Last week, the government commissioner who investigated the issue, Peter Clarke, said the revelations so far were merely the “tip of the iceberg” and disputed Mrs Morgan’s claim that the Government had “got to the bottom of the problem”. Mrs Morgan was also criticised last week by MPs on the education select committee for her “complete lack of urgency” amid indications that the plot was flaring up again and key individuals were still active in education

Monzoor “Mozz” Hussain, the former head of Park View, the school at the centre of the scandal, was handed an interim order in August banning him from the profession for his role in the plot. . . 

However, last month Mr Hussain helped to set up the Aim-High Private Tuition and Education Centre in Wolverhampton. It offers “specialised intensive courses” for children at “all levels from Key Stage 1 to A-level” and was advertised on his Facebook page. Companies House records show that Mr Hussain’s wife, Salma, also known as Salma Akhtar, is Aim-High’s sole director.

Another person involved with Aim-High is Mr Hussain’s brother, Maz, another former teacher at Park View who handed pupils a worksheet stating that women “must obey their husbands”. . . He has since been suspended for his role in the Trojan Horse plot. The new centre’s premises are owned by a third Hussain brother, Akhmed, a former deputy head at a school in Bradford where a plot to force out head teachers has also been alleged.

The banning regulations do not apply to private tuition colleges not registered with the Department for Education, but MPs last night said that they should. DfE sources said that the Disclosure and Barring Service, which prevents unsuitable people working with children, could be used to ban Mr Hussain from involvement in any kind of unsupervised teaching, training or instruction of young people. 

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Posted on 10/19/2014 11:08 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Turkey Opposes American Military Aid To Kurds And Should Be Asked To Leave NATO
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Turkey, under the Erdogan re-islamizing regime, is an enemy, an enemy that in Washington everyone pretends is still a friend. It should be threatened with expulsion from NATO if it continues to fail to live up to its NATO obligations. The Islamic State is clearly at war with the West; NATO members, save for Turkey, make up that West; it is the duty of NATO members to come to the aid of other members who have been subject to attack, and the killing of NATO nationals on camera, and the threats to conduct terrorist attacks all over the West, certainly constitute an attack on the West. Turkey has not allowed, pace Susan Rice, the Americans to make use of their own air base at Incirlik, have refused to allow Kurds in Turkey to fight the Islamic State, have refused entry to wounded Kurdish fighters from Kobani. Why is Turkey in NATO? Think of how salutary it would be for the rest of the world to see that the West means business, and that it is perfectly willing to throw Turkey out of NATO. By allowing it to stay in, the responsiblities of NATO membership are mocked, and the West perceived as unwilling to take decisive action to defend itself. Dropping Turkey from membership would get the attention not only of the Turks and weaken the prestige and power of Erdogan within his country (though he will attempt, and perhaps temporarily succeed, at rallying support through inflaming resentment at this treatment to be presented as unfair), but of other countries that are our enemies but that we keep calling allies and frends. And among them, first on the listen-up list ought to be Qatar, which assumes that because the United States has a base there, it needs Qatari support. It doesn't need the base, and it doesn't need Qatar which, even more than Turkey, is our enemy.
 

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Posted on 10/19/2014 8:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Listen to Lisa Benson Show Today, 4PM EDT& 9PM EDT in US with author of You Lie! Jack Cashill and Jerry Gordon
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Posted on 10/19/2014 8:13 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Scott Atran, And His Hopes And Dreams In A World Of Fear
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Listen to Scott Atran being interviewed by Christa Tippett, she of the deeply earnest and saccharine voice, on her Sunday-morning show devoted vaguely to what are dismally called "spiritual" topics, the modestly-named "On Being," here.

Scott Atran is an anthropologist, with a research sinecure in Paris, and other posts,  too, supposedly useful "credentials" useful for him to list and offered by way of impressing the impressionable, at the University of Michigan, and some place called "Harris Manchester University" in Oxford (which some may be led to think makes it just like Balliol or Christ Church), and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. who has apparently had a run as an "advisor" to assorted government offices on what makes Muslims -- that is "terrorists" -- commit acts of terrorism. He's self-assured, appears never to have been subjected to real cross-questioning, and his analysis of Muslims engaged in violent Jihad (not more dangerous, in the end, than those who employ the other, non-violent, instruments of Jihad) describes them always as youths with "hopes and dreams" (just like young people everywhere), youths with a sense of "adventure" (and what better way to have an adventure than, say, blow up the Atocha station in Madrid, or the World Trade Center, or hundreds of other sites, and tens of thousands of other victims of such terrorism). He never mentions the ideology of Islam, because for Scott Atran, ideas never matter. It's all about Family and Friends. It's about the close connection between these people who, he claims, always seem to know each other, are from the same village, or are cousins. He's quick to adduce his own direct experience, so much more fascinating and convincing, than mere book-learning, reading dusty old tomes about the ideology of Islam and the history of the Islamic conquest of so many different lands and peoples, and what happened to them once subjugated to Muslim rule. He tells us about a visit to Tetuan, in Morocco, to find that almost all of the Atocha bombers were from there, which must mean that it's a Family-And-Friends Affair.
Sira. I suspect he is insufficiently famiilar with Qur'an and Sunnah, has never heard of C. Snouck Hurgronje (and, for example, his study of the Acinese), or Joseph Schacht, or fifty other Western scholars of Islam. Nor has he taken seriously the temoignages (let's pretend to be French, given Scott Atran's absurd position at the French CFSR, no doubt the result of connections made, and the French folly of misoverestimating, as the Younger Bush would say, because of linguistic failures, certain Americans, from Jerry Lewis to Paul Auster).

He enjoys telling us not about his book-learning -- because he doesn't think, as an anthropologist, he has an obligation to find out a bit more about Islam -- but about his own experiences among Muslims, which presumably are much more important, more authentic, the same way a television news report is supposedly enhanced if the reporter is actually standing there, in Kosovo or Baghdad, even if what that reporter says is ill-informed, shallow and banal, and another report, by someone well-prepared and intelligent, but is still in the studio, is deemed less convincing. So he tells Christa Tibbett (she of the insufferably saccharine voice)  about a visit to Tetuan, in Morocco, from where almost all of the Atocha bombers were from. Get it? Not Islam, but fellow villagers, with loyalties to each other. But why then do not fellow villagers from, say, Italy or Thailand not get together and blow up their enemies? He is careful, too, to tell about his visit to Sulawesi (in Indonesia) where, he claims, those tempted by terrorism were dissuaded from doing so not by force, but by appeals from Salafis. He is vague on what the Salafis said -- he claims they said there were other, better ways to obtain "justice" (it's a word he keeps using, for he claims that among the "hopes and dreams" of these (Muslim) young people he meets all over he world, the estabalishment of "Justice" is high on the list -- he fails to realize that for Muslims, "justice" means the right rule, that is the rule of Islam and, ideally, the imposition of the Shari'a everywhere. There's a lot of sudden, and likely deliberate vagueness, whenever he begins to discuss what these Muslim "youths" really want. And when he minimizes the terrorist threat -- claiming that no more than 7% of the world's Muslims have expressed a desire to participate (a figure for which he offers no authority, a factoid merely  pulled out of some gibus by this glib prestidigitator)--he fails to go on to discuss that most Muslims are not in a position to take immediate part in violent Jihad through terrorism, but that this does not mean they don't support or (cleverly) defend it. Many Musliims believe that there are better ways to conduct Jihad, through instruments now more effective, and that the same goal -- the removal of all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam -- that the terrorists have in mind, can be achieved through other instruments, the propaganda jihad ("pen, tongue"), the economic jihad ("wealth"), the diplomatic and political Jihad (seen in the U.N. and, especially, at its human rights succursale in Geneva) and, above all, in the demographic jihad -- swarming in, and living on the Western dole, and outbreeding two or three to one the indigenous non-Muslims -- that is the most dangerous and unsettling of all, far more dangerous than mere terrorism.

The interview that Christa Tippet ran today (and that in listening too required I up the ante on my lisinopril bet) was first recorded in 2010. Scott Atran sounded silly at the time; in 2014 he's absolutely idiotic. About that Family-and-Friends explanation for terrorism -- it's just bored and idealistic youth (but what are those "ideals"? And where do they come from? Why those particular "ideals" -- to promote the power and spread of Islam by striking terror into the hearts of Infidels, by striking at their necks, and so on, all taken from the Qur'an)-- how does that accord with the  large-scale acts of terrorism, against Yazidis, Christians, and Shi'a (and therefore Infidels, to Uber-Sunnis of the Islamic State), committed not by people from the same village (as Tetuan) or the same family network, but from all over the world, from Chechnya and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, from France and England and Canada and America and Germany and the Netherlands, one Great Brotherhood of People united only in the awareness that they are Muslims, and while the duty of Jihad is a communal one, when Islam is "threatened" (and it's easy for Muslims, when Infidels refuse to yield to their demands, however outrageous,  to believe that it is threatened) that duty becomes individual and some, obviously mostly young males (but not only), stream in to conduct the terrorism on camera, killings of hundreds of Shi'a soldiers, blowing up of churches, excited tales of mass killings and rapes and enslavements, that make the hearts of so many Muslims beat faster all over the world.

Scott Atran had his little moment, just like Robert Pape and others who have tied themselves in knots trying to find an explanation, other than that of Islam, to explain the behavior of Muslims, in the conduct of Jihad. They are careful always not to define Jihad, indeed hardly ever to use the word, and careful, too, to pretend that the only problem is "terrorism" (in this they have been so ably aided and abetted by George Bush with his "War On Terrorism" nonsense), and not the other, slower, steadier, harder to recognize instruments of Jihad

But his moment is or should be over. He need not be consulted by any credulous government agencies. His students, if he has them, in Paris, or Michigan, or Oxford (at "Harris Manchester"), at John Jay, having weighed his words and his methods (a would-be Levi-Strauss of the world of terrorism, but his goose is, through his own words, now more cooked than raw), should feel free to mock him, or abandon him. Outside, it is 2014, and too much has happened that is forcing people to figure out about Islam, despite the scott-atrans of this world who have been zigzagging along the field, attempting to hide the Islamic ball, and to instead, having failed with that business about the West's supposed need "to create and hate the Other" (Islam itself is the original creater of The Other; Islam itself uncompromisingly divides the world between Muslim and Unbeliever, and requires unending conflict between the wo until the latter submit to the former), to focus on two themes -- the "Humiliation" felt by Muslims (meaning: the resentment they feel, especially in the West in Infidel lands, not being on top, as they should be), and the "Fear" that we are assured is felt by non-Muslims everywhere, and that is entirely baseless, merely a frantic expression of our how too-human need for new boogeymen to replace whatever we had before (at this point the scott-atrans of this world usually refer to the Cold War, but they fail to realize that many non-Muslim peoples and countries were indifferent to that Cold War, and yet still are fearful of Islam). Scott Atran himself,  has in this re-run interview exposed himself as yesterday's man, just as he has in his baselessly self-assured writings, and made himself, not a moment too soon,  Time's Laughingstock.

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Posted on 10/19/2014 6:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Walid Jumblatt, Now Trying To Get Druze To
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Though he succeeded his father, as he assumes his son will succeed him, there are others who might better represent the Druse. His constant vicar-of-Bray shifts are insufficient to protect the Druse from Arabs, Sunni and Shi'a. The destruction of a mosque, by Druse, in a village (mentioned in this article) shows the ill-will that exists. And Druse on or near the Golan have discovered, as the Druse in Israel discovered long ago, that their only sure protector, the only place they can be safe, as Druse, is Israel. That is something Walid Jumblatt can't possibly allow himself to recognize.
 

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Posted on 10/19/2014 4:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
The Baying Mob Will Not Get To Darren Wilson
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Michael Brown,seen on that video threatening, and lifting up, as if in a cartoon, the tiny store clerk (a video the existence of which horrified his supporters, who were pushing quite a different view), left his blood on the car, the gun, the body, of Officer Darren Wilson, the mild-mannered policeman bravely, under the circumstances, trying to fulfill his responsibilities. That's the latest information to come out,

Can Darren Wilson, once absolved, sue members of the baying mob, including those who egged it on, such as Al Sharpton, who tried to create a hysterical atmosphere that might influence the Grand Jury? Wouldn't that be satisfying?

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Posted on 10/19/2014 4:24 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
U.S. And Allies Issue Pointless Call For "End To Violence In Libya"
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The most idiotic parts, with comments on them, have been put in bold:

 

U.S., four European countries call for end to violence in Libya
By Eric Beech

WASHINGTON: The United States and four European countries jointly called on Saturday for an end to violence in Libya.

The governments of France, Italy, Germany, Britain and the United States said in a statement that they "agree that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis" and expressed dismay that calls for a ceasefire had not been respected.

Dozens of people have been killed in Benghazi in days of fighting between Islamic militant groups, including Ansar al-Sharia, and pro-government forces led by former General Khalifa Haftar, who began an offensive on Wednesday.

Libya's "fight against terrorist organizations can only be sustainably addressed by regular armed forces under the control of a central authority." [but there is no central authority to have control over anything -- that's what Haftar is trying to remedy]

Libya has failed to build up state security forces and disarm former rebels who helped remove Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled the country for 42 years until his downfall in 2011.

The United States and its four European allies also condemned Ansar al-Sharia and said "Libya's hard fought freedom  [what a pious mischaracterization of what's been going on in Libya over the past few years] is at risk if Libyan and international terrorist groups are allowed to use Libya as a safe haven."

The statement threatened sanctions against individuals who "threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya or obstruct or undermine the political process."

Libya also is struggling with two competing governments vying for control after armed groups from the western city of Misrata seized the capital of Tripoli in August, forcing the government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni to withdraw to the east.

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Posted on 10/19/2014 4:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Quoting Islam -- A Useful Compendium
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Here.

Print it out, send it by email far and wide. Have it with you to quote from, at the next meeting with political figures or people in the press. They can't be allowed to keep ignoring what is in the Qur'an and Hadith, can't keep pretending that Muhammad was, in his life, as an exemplar for Muslims, somehow akin to Jesus and Buddha. Hold up for ridicule those who keep misinforming the public, and help thereby to shame them, and shut them up.

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Posted on 10/19/2014 3:44 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Downing Street set to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood
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An unpublished report commisisoned by David Cameron into the Muslim Brotherhood will link it to up to 60 charities, groups and even television channels operating in the UK. 

David Cameron launched an inquiry into the Brotherhood earlier this year, prompted by concerns it was stoking an Islamist ideology that had encouraged British jihadists to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, who is an adviser to the review, is reported to have described it as “at heart a terrorist organisation”. The Brotherhood insists it is non-violent and seeks to impose Islamic rule only through democratic change. The slow jihad, the stealth jihad, demographic jihad, is still jihad.

A senior source close to the inquiry said its report – compiled but not yet published – had identified “an incredibly complex web” of up to 60 organisations in Britain, including charities, think tanks and even television channels, with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which will all now come under scrutiny.

The inquiry, aided by the security services, has also investigated its network abroad. One expert said that the Brotherhood was now operating from three major bases – London, Istanbul and Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Dr Lorenzo Vidino, who is understood to have worked on the Cabinet Office report, presided over by Sir John Jenkins, Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: “It is clear that the Brotherhood has many dark spots, ranging from its ambiguous relationship with violence to its questionable impact on social cohesion in Britain.”

The Government crackdown will stop short of outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood  (but of course!)

The source said: “We cannot ban the organisation, but that was never the intention of the review. We can go after single individuals, not for terrorist-related activity, but through the Al Capone method of law-enforcement. We cannot get them for terrorism but I bet you they don’t pay their taxes. One of the big things is piling pressure on the charitable missions. Until now it has been very hard to monitor all the groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.” 

 Dr Vidino, an academic who has written a book about the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, has identified a number of groups linked to the organisation, including the Muslim Association of Britain and the Cordoba Foundation, both of which had their bank accounts closed down by HSBC in the summer. Mr Cameron, while in opposition, accused the Cordoba Foundation, run by Anas Altikriti, of being a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. A number of individuals – including Mr Altikriti and other supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK, as well as their families – also had their HSBC accounts shut down. The bank said it was “applying a programme of strategic assessments to all of its businesses” after a £1.2 billion fine in 2012 over poor money-laundering controls, but offered no further explanation for its actions. 

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Posted on 10/19/2014 2:33 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Myths, Lies, and the National Health Service
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The philosopher Mary Midgley tells us that myth is not just an obstacle to thought, or even merely an adjunct to thought, but an essential part of human ratiocination itself. Whether this is actually so or not in the philosophical sense, namely that human thought is completely impossible without the making and use of myth, I do not know; but what is certainly the case is that mythology is a powerful force in human affairs, not least in politics. And myth can do harm as well as good.

In Britain, the most powerful political mythology (perhaps for lack of any other) attaches to the National Health Service (NHS). This way of organising our health care was born with original virtue in 1948, since its conception, in more senses than one, it has become more and more immaculate. If the service had a slogan, it would be Noli me tangere. No British politician would dare admit that its institution was anything other than an unmixed blessing; no British politician, at any rate none who aspired to office, would dare do anything other than tinker with it at most. Against the mythology, Mrs Thatcher herself was as helpless as a day-old kitten.

In part, the attachment to the service rests upon an historical myth, namely that before the NHS, the poor had no health care available to them, or none that was worthwhile. For the first time, then, they had access to healthcare of the highest quality available at the time. No longer would healthcare be available only on the basis of ability to pay, but henceforth on the basis of need. To each his treatment according to his illness, from each taxation according to his income.

It would not be difficult, of course, to find horror stories of terrible treatment, both in its medical and social aspects, from before the start of the health service. Indeed, such stories are trotted out regularly and are not in themselves false. People who recall terrible treatment are not liars or confabulators, though in legal circumstances they may tend to exaggerate for obvious reasons.

The problem is, of course, that terrible stories can be told about treatment in any system whatsoever. For example, if future historians want to denigrate the NHS they will have a cornucopia of horror stories to choose from, all of them true and well-attested, and this might give future readers a misleading impression about just how bad it was. So long as the world remains imperfect, we need numerators as well as denominators in making comparative judgments. To have the latter only is like trying to play Hamlet without the Prince.

In the circumstances, we can only resort to statistics; and, rough as they are, they do not support a providential role for the NHS. For example, the rate of decline of the infant mortality rate and the rate of increase in the life expectancy of the population did not accelerate after the arrival of the new system but remained pretty much what it had been before.

Now of course this neither vindicates nor damns the NHS, because we cannot be sure what would have happened without it. It seems to me most likely that the NHS had little effect one way or the other, but it is possible that without it mortality would not have declined so much, or would have declined more. Certainly by comparison with our nearest neighbour, France, the NHS had not done well: in 1948 life expectancy in France was 6 years fewer than in Britain and it is now 2 years more. The same is true of Italy and Britain. But life expectancy is determined by much more than by systems of health care, so that all one can say is that the performance of the NHS is not outstanding.

More surprising, perhaps, is that the difference in the health between the richest and poorest deciles of the population has increased since the establishment of the NHS. Before the NHS was instituted, the variation in the death rates of the richest and poorest deciles had remained constant for at least forty years; it began to increase almost at once. In particular, it accelerated markedly during the period when expenditure on the health service went up enormously from 1997 to 2006 (the additional spending accounting for a third of our national debt, incidentally).

Again, one cannot positively say that the difference in healthcare outcomes for the rich and the poor increased because of the NHS: we don’t and can’t know what would have happened without it. But at the very least one can say that it did not, and does not, have the expected and vaunted egalitarian effect that was its justification in the first place. Again, it is easy to show that equality as such cannot be a desirable thing, because a perfectly dreadful health care system could be egalitarian: but I am here taking equality as desirable for the sake of argument. And on that argument, the NHS has not succeeded, even if its lack of achievement is not its fault.

Again, international survival rates after such conditions as cancer and myocardial infarction do not favour the NHS. No doubt such comparisons are fraught with difficulty, but at the very least one can say that on most measures the NHS comes near the bottom of the European league. Death rates after heart attack in Sweden, for example, are about half of those in the NHS.

Moreover, there are regular scandals involving the NHS, some of them large scale. I read some of the report of the inquiry into the Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, where hundreds of patients are thought to have died of poor treatment. Some of the nursing sounded distinctly pre-Florence Nightingale, and firmly of the Sairey Gamp school. It would not be true to say that this is universal, but you don’t have to go far in Britain to meet people with horror stories of the NHS to tell. I should add two things: first that I have no complaints myself of the NHS, or only very trifling ones, and second that I have heard horror stories from around the world, including the United States.

My point is not that the NHS is uniquely awful, though I have never met a European resident in Britain who would not rather avoid it if he were ill. It is rather that the British population is unreasonably and irrationally attached to it, as though it were a pearl above price, the greatest of all British accomplishments, far better than anything that anyone else has. The British believe in the NHS with religious intensity, but not in the reality of it: rather they believe in the myth of it, a myth that is the consequence of intense and continuous propaganda. And in so far as Britain is not a totalitarian country the myth is all the more tenacious, for in totalitarian countries mythologists are obvious and transparent liars, whereas in free countries they are not.

First published in Salisbury Review.

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Posted on 10/19/2014 6:06 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Sunday, 19 October 2014
Just One Effect Of Muslims On French Schools
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En 1950, les enfants de paysans parlaient patois en entrant à l’école à 5 ans et ne savaient ni lire ni écrire. Leurs parents avaient quitté l’école à 11 ans, ils avaient d’autres chats à fouetter entre 18 et 21h que de s’occuper de leurs devoirs. Or, à 11 ans, bon nombre d’entre eux ne faisaient plus de faute d’orthographe, condition requise pour être admis lors du concours d’entrée en 6° que beaucoup réussissaient. L’arithmétique de l’école primaire d’alors : 2 trains partent de 2 villes à une heure différente et à une vitesse différente. Quand et où vont-ils se croiser ? Sans poser d’équations qui étaient évidemment inconnues à l’école primaire, grâce aux seules vertus de la règle de trois.
Il y avait quelque chose d’infiniment touchant à voir leurs parents, ces paysans qui étaient allés à l’école au début du siècle prendre un crayon et un papier et poser une multiplication ou une division avec leurs grosses mains, ne pas oublier la retenue, je pose 4 et je retiens 2, ils n’avaient pas oublié le peu qu’ils avaient appris car on le leur avait inculqué.
C’est que dans une société culturellement homogène on peut se permettre une discipline absolue et d’être très exigeant à l’école sans aucun risque d’interférence des parents. Tout était possible pour les instituteurs, y compris que des enfants de pauvres dont ils avaient la charge dépassent les enfants de riches, c’était leur grande fierté.
Tout s’écroula, d’abord avec l’intrusion du pédagogisme et le ravalement du maître d’école souverain en son école au rang d’enseignant, de fonctionnaire récitant la doxa pédagogiste; puis avec l’intrusion du multiculturalisme à l’école et la fin concomitante de la discipline et des punitions, frappées qu'elles furent dès lors, du sceau d’infamie de la xénophobie dès qu’on s’avisait d’en faire usage.

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Posted on 10/19/2014 5:20 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 18 October 2014
East Africa / Israel Partnership
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Posted on 10/18/2014 6:11 PM by Geoffrey Clarfield
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Saturday, 18 October 2014
Commons Home Affairs Select Committee Rotherham report
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The  Commons Home Affairs Select Committee report on Rotherham is published today. Different newspapers report on different aspects of their findings, but it doesn't make good reading.

The Independent reports that: 

Fears of a “deliberate cover-up” by public officials of the sexual abuse of children in Rotherham have been fuelled by the large number of documents detailing the scandal which have vanished, an investigation by MPs has concluded. They urged the Home Office to launch an immediate search for the missing paperwork and to examine claims that files warning about the activities of paedophile rings were stolen from a locked council office in the South Yorkshire town.

In a report published on Saturday, the Commons home affairs select committee said the “shocking” failure to act on repeated warnings of systematic exploitation had exposed more victims to abuse. The committee, in its second inquiry into Rotherham, said there was “compelling evidence” that the town’s council and South Yorkshire Police ignored “numerous, credible warnings about the scale of child sexual exploitation”.

And it raised suspicions that officials colluded to conceal evidence which could have uncovered the scandal years before it came to light. 

The MPs heard private evidence from a former researcher who was hired by Rotherham Council to find ways of catching men who tried to lure girls and vulnerable young women into prostitution. She referred in a report, which was about to be sent to the Home Office, to the “alleged indifference towards, and ignorance of, child sexual exploitation on the part of senior managers”, the committee said. 

“The researcher told us that an unknown individual subsequently gained access to her office and removed all of the data relating to the Home Office work. There were no signs of a forced entry and the action involved moving through key-coded and locked security doors. “She was also subjected to personal hostility at the hands of Council officials and police officers,” the committee said.

The MPs said: “This is not the first case in which it has been alleged that files of information relating to child sexual exploitation have disappeared. The proliferation of revelations about files which can no longer be located gives rise, whether fairly or not, to public suspicion of a deliberate cover-up.

The Times starts with allegations about police corruption:

A corrupt police officer was on the payroll of men who targeted and sexually abused children in Rotherham, a charity worker has claimed. The rogue officer is said to have passed information to grooming networks, undermining efforts to protect girls and target offenders.

The corruption allegation, against an unnamed police officer, was made in evidence to MPs by a charity that supports the families of exploited children. Pace (Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation) employed a family support worker in Rotherham from 2002 until 2006. She was said to have “faced an extremely difficult working environment, with hostility from RMBC [Rotherham council], inaction from South Yorkshire Police and intimidation by perpetrators”.

“This project worker believes at least one police officer was undermining her work and potentially putting her personally at risk as he/she was being paid by pimps/groomers for information,” the charity said in a written submission to a parliamentary inquiry. Former abuse victims have told The Times that some police officers in Rotherham were on friendly terms with the men using and selling girls for sex.

The Guardian leads with details of the payoff to the head of Rotherham Children's services:

Rotherham council gave a £40,000 payoff to its former head of children’s services after she left her job in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal. Joyce Thacker left her role by mutual agreement and with immediate effect last month. “The agreement was for payment of £40,000, which was less than the contractual notice entitlement,” the council said in response to a freedom of information request made by the Sheffield Star newspaper.

In September, she appeared before MPs on the Commons home affairs select committee, which called for her to resign. Thacker went on sick leave on 15 September and her departure was announced four days later. The scandal has also resulted in the resignations of Rotherham council leader Roger Stone, chief executive Martin Kimber, and the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, Shaun Wright.

News of the payoff came as the home affairs select committee called for an urgent investigation into whether public officials sought to cover up the extent of the scandal. The MPs want a full, transparent and urgent inquiry and have called on the Home Office to do everything in its power to locate any missing files in its possession relating to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and other places.

An internal Home Office inquiry is being overseen by NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless and Richard Whittam QC, but is yet to begin.

It was around this period that the Labour Government started to cull many of the more mature Civil Servants in both the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office. At the time I believed one of the reasons we were being removed was that our replacements would not resist poor quality corner cutting initiatives - they would accept shoddy practices because they knew no different. I now believe this was part of the preparation for a cover-up beyond anything I imagined.

And to conclude The Telegraph reports on changes to remove unsatisfactory Police Commissioners:

The select committee suggested a commissioner should be removed from office if the police and crime panel in the police force area – comprised of local councillors and independent members - passes a vote of no confidence. The commissioner would also have to go if local councils representing at least half of the population of the police force area pass a similar vote, the committee suggested.

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Posted on 10/18/2014 3:23 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 18 October 2014
Whitehall Vigil for Asia Bibi
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To Whitehall for the Vigil organised by the British Pakistani Christian Association in support of Asia Bibi.

It wasn't a big crowd but it was organised at short notice after the bad news on Thursday that Asia Bibi's appeal against the death sentence for blasphemy had been dismissed in Pakistan. But what it lacked in numbers it made up for in energy, tunefulness and suggestions for practical action by the public. Other Christians joined the BPCA, including a family from Christian Voice. 

The Chairman of BPCA, Wilson Chowdry was speaking as I arrived. He explained to the passing crowds what Mrs Bibi had done to merit the death sentence. That she had given water to other workers in the fields. They were Muslim women who accused her of polluting their water. They berated her for her Christian faith, which she defended, telling them, "Jesus Christ died for me, what did your Mohammed ever do for you?" She was arrested, tried and sentenced to death. She has been held in prison for five years during which time she has been beaten, raped and attempts made to kill her ahead of the sentence. In 2011 the Govenor of the Punjab, Salman Taseer said she should be pardoned; he was murdered by his own bodyguard who was quite open about his motives. Two months later the Minister for Minorities in Pakistan, Shahbaz Bhatti, also a Christian, publicly defended her and was also murdered.

Mr Chowdry called upon David Cameron to take a strong stance over Pakistan's human rights record. He urged the passing members of the public to lobby their MPs and MEPs. He reminded us of the Billions of pounds of taxpayers money given to Pakistan in aid. he urged that this be curtailed or even stopped until Pakistan stops these abuses of human rights and ceases persecution of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and all other minorities.

Worship songs were sung, in particular How Great is Our God. Two singers from the band Ooberfuse sang songs they had written about Asia Bibi and Shahbaz Bhatti. As Mr Chowdhry pointed out to the passers by, in England we are free to sing about God and Jesus. In Pakistan such a song, sung in public, would result in our deaths. The restrictions on open worship are not the only persecution. It is a regular occurance that young Christian girls are kidnapped, raped and forcibly married to Muslim men. 

This one was a rap, the verses by male voices told of the events leading up to Mrs Bibi's conviction, the chorus was a sweeter refrain sung by the young woman, of 'Free, Asia Bibi'.

Inbetween songs members of the BPCA handed out flyers and postcards and signed people up to the mailing list so that they could sign the online petition

There is a big TUC march today protesting against government cuts. Trade Unionists were making their way up Whitehall towards Trafalgar Square. Most were polite, but I am afraid I also witnessed the unedifying spectacle of a man bearing the red flag of the Unite Union, using that flag to distainfully push away the flyer held out to him by a smiling young Asian woman.

As well as the music for singing a dancer was expected, however she was unable to perform. At 12.59 precisely three muscular, short cropped men dressed in navy blue entered the demonstration area and required the vigil to pack up now, as it was to end at 1pm. These turned out to be the enforcement officers of Westminster Council. But they all took flyers pleasantly and there was no arguement.

As I said in 2011 Asia Bibi reminds me so much of Esther John, the Pakistani Christian convert who was murdered in 1960. I still do not want this faithful mother of a young family to die that way. I want her to be honoured as a servant of Christ for her work for her neighbours during a long life. 

Please readers of the NER, write to your MPs, or if you live outside the UK whoever represents you. Urge them to see that pressure is put on the government of Pakistan to not just free Asia Bibi but to allow all Pakistani citizens freedom of worship. 

If nothing else please sign this on line petition. Here.

 

Photographs E Weatherwax London October 2014.

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Posted on 10/18/2014 9:33 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 18 October 2014
The Middle East’s Strange, Strange Bedfellows
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As U.S.-led airstrikes help Kurd militias push back the ISIS fighters laying siege to the Syrian city of Kobani, events have demonstrated the nonsensical nature of the objections raised by Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau to the Canadian government’s move to send our CF-18 aircraft to the bombing campaign while assisting the official Iraqi army.

As I and other commentators have suspected, the long-term military threat from ISIS has been exaggerated — partly because of its psychotic desire to disgust all civilization with filmed and televised decapitations of the innocent; and partly because ISIS’ advances have been largely earned at the expense of Iraq’s instantly collapsing army, some members of whom buried their uniforms in order to surrender, in their underwear, as purported civilians. (Similar patterns help explain the astonishing success of the Allies in the Gulf War of 1991 and the Iraq War of 2003. In both, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi soldiers were killed, captured or deserted their posts, at a loss of only a few hundred on our own side). Another contributing factor to the hysteria over ISIS may be the elements of the media that love to exaggerate any Western setbacks and to accentuate the menace of Islam.

The ISIS claim to occupy securely a broad swath of land from the Syrian-Turkish border to the suburbs of Baghdad is quite impossible. They have not more than 20,000 to 30,000 effective fighters, and they are like a thinly spun spider web over parts of that area. Contrary to the fears of such military experts as Thomas “Clausewitz” Mulcair (who frets, “Will Canada be stuck a decade from now, mired in a war we wisely avoided entering a decade ago?”) and Justin Napoleon Trudeau, in its present strung-out condition, ISIS does not have the personnel to defend itself, conduct an offensive, extort revenue from occupied oil interests, carry on a comprehensive logistical supply operation, and endure the inconvenience of relentless and precise American and allied air strikes. Unlike the 1999 air campaign against Serbia, which was armed with sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons, this bombing mission doesn’t face serious ground-to-air resistance and can give close air support and take out ISIS targets at point-blank range at almost no risk.

The battle at Kobani, though fierce, has been the subject of some exaggerations. The Kurds evacuated the civilians beforehand. Despite defeatism in the Pentagon, and ululations of imminent success by ISIS, the Kurds have stopped the “Islamic State” jihadis and seem to be holding most of Kobani like a Verdun. This tenacity, where others have fled before ISIS, may have the added benefit of solidifying support behind an independent Kurdish state, which the West has frequently gestured toward over the last nearly 25 years since the first Gulf War, but whose benighted population we have scandalously under-assisted — from the no-fly zones in the Saddam Indian summer between the Gulf War and the Iraq War, to our ineffective assistance under the treacherous ingrate Nouri al-Maliki (Saddam’s eventual successor) and at the initial emergence of ISIS.

By any measurement, ISIS forces are bogging down and the U.S.-led aerial assault is bound to become more severe. ISIS will retain some terrorist capacity, but starts from a cruder and less well-financed base than al Qaeda did. We should remember the widespread predictions after 9/11 as we listened to the mouthy videos of the late Osama bin Laden, that terror would haunt every Western country. There have been a few nasty incidents, though nothing like the original attack on New York City and the Pentagon. There is no reason to imagine ISIS possesses the potential for international destruction that al-Qaeda did.

The whole Middle Eastern theatre is now obscured by cross-currents and rivalries more intense than ever. Saudi Arabia, irritated by Iran’s open-ended meddling in Syria and Yemen, which the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei apparently regards as an Iranian encirclement of the Arabs, has assisted in tanking the world oil price by sharply increasing production, which coupled with an American production increase and a decline in demand from China, has brought the world oil price down to $85 per barrel. It is generally believed that at $70, Russia and Iran would be in very serious financial difficulties, while Saudi Arabia has no problem going as low as $50 per barrel. Ukraine could be a collateral beneficiary of the Saudi ambition to punish Russia and Iran for their support of the Assad regime in Syria, and this week’s withdrawal of Russian forces from the Ukraine border is a sign that Saudi Arabia, not NATO or the United States, is securing Ukraine from the grasp of the Kremlin.

All indications are that Khamenei is determined not to make any concessions on the ongoing nuclear talks, and is as determined as ever to prop up Syrian leader Bashar Assad and continue to meddle in Lebanon via Hezbollah. The indications that the Turks will co-operate with American-led air strikes in Syria has put additional strain on Iran. Turkey must, by its anti-Western posturing, be close to warnings of an expulsion from NATO, which tired and enfeebled though it has become, is a more serious organization than anything Turkey’s newly rediscovered Arab friends have put together since Cheops was a construction site.

There is a possibility, and it would be foolhardy to claim it as more than that, that the vacuum created by the American withdrawal from the world (these air strikes notwithstanding), aggravated by the pathological inconsistency of the Obama administration, will have brought to the surface the natural rivalries of the indigenous powers in the Middle East, so that as Saudi Arabia puts an oil-price rod on the backs of Putin and the ayatollahs, the Turks tip the internal balance in Syria against both Assad and the extremists, including ISIS, and the atmosphere becomes so generally fraught that Israel blasts the Iranian nuclear facilities in air attacks that the Arab world would generally welcome, if mutedly.

The Iranian nuclear facility at Parchin blew up two weeks ago under mysterious circumstances that no one is publicly speculating about, but the combination of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the most improbable spontaneous coalition that could be imagined, may lay the demented theocrats in Tehran low. This would be an unhoped-for sequel to Europe and the United States, after a decade of noisy simulations of King Lear at his most blustery, having ignominiously folded their tents like the proverbial Arab (though the sanctions against Iran do appear to have been an inconvenience). As a bonus, Putin’s Russia, with $70 oil, will be in no position to continue to threaten Ukraine like Mussolini preparing to ravish Abyssinia.

In all of these very complicated circumstances, it is piquant that the British Parliament, with the entire government abstaining, voted a non-binding resolution to recognize Palestine, claiming a hope to reactivate the two-state solution “before it is too late.” That solution has been the only possible one since British foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour promised Palestine in 1917 as a homeland for the Jews without affecting the rights of the Palestinian Muslims. The territory always had to be divided and the division was delayed for decades because the Israelis did not accept the legitimacy of a Palestinian state and the Arabs did not accept the legitimacy of the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. Israel relented over 20 years ago, but has essentially been negotiating with itself. The Arab powers, despite the caterwauling in the anti-Semitic Western left, generally supported Israel’s recent, very provoked, thrashing of Hamas in Gaza, and with the Sunnis and Shiites at each other’s throats and Saudi Arabia cutting its own income in half to punish Iran and Russia, Israel will have a blank check to bring the bunkers down on the Iranian nuclear program (with newly supplied American aircraft and ordnance to do it).

That excruciating minuet could end happily, and the Arab powers may finally relinquish their right to maintain the Palestinians as a displaced haven of terrorists whose antics have distracted the Arab masses from the misgovernment they have suffered for 65 years. The Middle East remains an inexhaustible storehouse of mysteries, dangers and surprises, but the West’s good fortune may prevail where its statesmanship, latterly, has failed.

First published in the National Post.

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Posted on 10/18/2014 8:33 AM by Conrad Black
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Saturday, 18 October 2014
Gordon Brown and Scottish Independence
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Gordon Brown was never as detestable as Prime Minister as Anthony Blair because incompetence is less appalling than evil. Mr Brown may have been a flawed, even a very flawed, human being, but he was at least recognisably human. And he had one quality that moved me and in my opinion lent him great dignity: he never made political capital of, or sought public sympathy for, his personal handicap.
 
You have only to imagine what Mr Blair might have made of such a handicap to understand the significance of that quality. Indeed the mind turns away from the very thought of it. I am a very poor sailor and can make myself queasy at the thought of a boat, but the very idea of Mr Blair talking of his injury and handicap gives me full-blown nausea.
 
This does not extenuate in any way Mr Brown's part in the creation of the chronic economic crisis in which we now find ourselves, and which I expect to last to the end of my days. But more recently he has deserved well of his country, in that he assisted considerably, perhaps even decisively, in keeping the Union together and in avoiding the conjuration of terrible problems both north and south of the border from nothing, even worse than those that still remain.
 
Of course, there was considerable Labour self-interest in this: it is as dependent on Scotland as Scotland is on England (except in the imagination of the Scots Nationalists). But I think it would be unfair to ascribe Mr Brown's intervention as merely to self-interest. However much there was in his great eve-of-referendum speech with which one might disagree - he seemed to make the NHS and social security almost the sole touchstone of a common patriotism, meaning that, in effect he believes not in a one-party but one-policy state, a state whose unity is guaranteed only by the benefits culture - the fact remains that it was infinitely more effective than any speech or action by any Tory. I do not think his passion was feigned, and perhaps the best moment was when he said that during the two world wars wounded British soldiers did not ask of each other which of the constituent countries they came from.
 
But no victory is final. The Nationalists plan to bore the Scots into independence: they will never get rid of referenda until they get the vote right. It is an excellent plan, from their point of view.     
 
First published in Salisbury Review.
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Posted on 10/18/2014 8:28 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Saturday, 18 October 2014
The Bell Curve 20 Years On
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Posted on 10/18/2014 8:11 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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