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Recent Publications from New English Review Press
The Tongue is Also a Fire
by James Como
Out Into The Beautiful World
by Theodore Dalrymple
Unreading Shakespeare
by David P. Gontar
Islam Through the Looking Glass: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J. B. Kelly, Vol. 3
edited by S. B. Kelly
The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
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
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum

Wednesday, 25 November 2015
President of Iceland fears Saudi Arabian funding of Reykjavík Mosque will fuel Muslim extremism in Iceland

From the Iceland Magazine

The president of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, fears that Saudi Arabian financing of a Reykjavík mosque will fuel radical Islam in Iceland. The president told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service that he was shocked to the point of paralysis when he learned last March, in a meeting with Saudi Arabian Ambassador, that the government of Saudi Arabia had decided to interfere in Icelandic religious life by donating one million US Dollars to the planned mosque. 

The president claimed Saudi Arabia has not only fostered religious extremism but also forces which have attacked the West and western values. 

In a second interview with the local radio station Bylgjan, following the Paris terrorist attacks, the president had warned that Iceland could no longer act as if violent religious extremism did not concern Iceland and that we should not let "childish naiveté" delude us to think these problems could be solved simply with tolerance and social reforms.

“But we must come to terms with, in a realistic way, that we are not an island in the world. And when we learn, as I did while meeting the representatives of a foreign state some while back, that a state which has fostered radical Islam and the forces which have attacked Western Civilization, has decided to interfere in the religious life of Iceland, it is of course a sign that we are not an island in the word. And there are many examples which show us we cannot discuss this issue as if it was a problem of somebody else. This decision by a foreign state to begin to interfere in Icelandic religious life in the same way as it has done around the world, financing schools where radical Islam is cultivated, and young men trained in those views, it is a reminder to us Icelanders we must begin a new discussion. At the same time we must not condemn refugees and run away from a society of multiculturalism and tolerance we should not live in childish naiveté that we can deal with this problem with some actions of tolerance and social reform.”

These statements, especially the statement about “childish naiveté”, has caused some controversy in Iceland, as some feel the president has been stoking the fires of islamophobia. Others have raised questions as to why the president did not make his concerns over the planned Saudi Arabian funding of the Reykjavík mosque known immediately.

According to the diary of the President on the president's official web page the Ambassador told Ólafur Ragnar at the meeting that Saudi Arabia would donate one million US dollars toward the building of a mosque in Iceland and that he had visited and inspected the location of the planned mosque.

In an interview on Sunday for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service Ólafur Ragnar said he had been shocked by the announcement. Asked whether he had protested the planned gift at the meeting in March the president explained he had not because the news had taken him by complete surprise. In fact, he been virtually paralyzed by surprise and shock:

“I didn’t [register objections] at that meeting, because this took me completely by surprise, and I was, at the end of the meeting, I simply didn’t know how to react. So, I was really just so surprised, and so paralyzed, by this announcement, that I just accepted it, and then sat down and thought it over, and decided I should make it public, as I did.”

At the time the president did make the announcement known on his web page. He has not explained why he choose to stay quiet about his concerns for more than eight months.

He was damned if he did and damned because he didn't. The apologists would have criticised him whatever. Also I suspect that the massacre in Paris, a worldshattering single event, is actually less of a worry than the constant and increasing state of fellow Scandinavian countries. The violence in Malmo, the rape epidemic in Oslo, he won't want that in Reykjavík.

Posted on 11/25/2015 1:54 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
A French Interlude, II: Chant a Sainte Jeanne d"Arc

A poem by Saint Therese of the Little Flower, given a rousing and beautiful musical setting by Vincent Lecornier.



Posted on 11/24/2015 7:05 PM by Christina McIntosh
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
A French Interlude, I: The Bells of Notre Dame De Paris

In 2013 the Cathedral, 850 years old, received a new ring of bells.

Listen to the voices of the Bells of Notre Dame: Emmanuel, Marie, Gabriel, Anne-Genevieve, Denis, Marcel, Etienne, Benoit-Joseph, Maurice, and Jean-Marie.


Here is the first sounding of the new bells on 23.3.2013.




And here is a recording of the Sonnerie du Grand Solennel: Plenum.

Posted on 11/24/2015 7:00 PM by Christina McIntosh
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
After the Tears and Flowers and Songs, Young French Patriots Are Applying to Join the Army

Which is an entirely natural normal and healthy response to the acts of war committed by jihad ghazi raiders against Paris - the capital city of France - within the past year.

As reported - one wonders with what chagrin and dismay - by Jon Henley for the grovellingly Islamophile 'Guardian', here:

"Paris Attacks Lead to Surge in Applications to Join French Army".

'Military says requests for information and applications through website trebled to 1,500 a day after massacre.

'Applications to join the French army have soared since the Islamic State attacks on Paris, according to figures obtained by the newspaper Le Monde.

'The military did not want to announce the figures during France's three-day period of national mourning, but has now said that requests for information and applications through its website had tripled, from about 500 a day to about 1,500 a day, since the 13 November attacks, the paper reported.

Dear France: if they're sound in wind and limb and of sound mind sign them all up (except for any that are Muslim; you don't want a Fort Hood-style attack from within) and put them through boot camp. You will need them all, and then some, for homeland security, soon enough. - CM

'The series of suicide bombings and shootings (carried out by Muslim ghazi terror raiders - that's the bit that "The Guardian" prefers not to mention - CM) at a popular music venue, the national stadium, cafes and restaurants killed (sic: murdered - CM) 129 people from 19 countries, but most of the victims were French and many of htem young, on a Friday night out.

On a Friday, nota bene. This attack was carried out, as so many Muslim terror raids are carried out, on a Friday, the Muslim 'holy' day. - CM

"I'm staggered", Col Eric de Lapresle, head of the army recruitment service's marketing and communications department,  told the paper.  "This is an entirely unprecedented phenomenon".

'The French president, Francois Hollande, partially reversed planned military personnel cuts in the wake of January's Charlie Hebdo attacks, which left 17 people dead (sic: which murdered 17 people - CM), and has now frozen them entirely.

Common-sense kicking in.  And if the flood of eager and rationally angry new recruits wanting to sign up to defend their country - themselves, their families, their friends and fellow citizens - against the Global Jihad that struck home so horribly on 13 November continues, then M le President would be wise to increase resourcing of the military and sign up every one of those new recruits who is capable of holding and firing a rifle and put them through boot camp, pronto. - CM

'As a result, De Lapresle said, the army needed 15,000 new recruits this year, and 16,000 in 2016.

If 1500 a day are applying, and this maintains itself over the next year, say, without falling off, then the numbers will more than exceed requirements.  Sign them all up, mate, while the iron is hot. - CM

'Applications had already jumped from around 130 a day in 2014 to 500 a day since the Charlie Hebdo attacks (what a fascinating coincidence - CM) and had now multiplied further.

Excellent. - CM

'De Presle said the army's five recruitment centres were also experiencing unprecedented demand.

Like I said; if they're sound of mind, wind and limb and can hold and fire a rifle, sign them all up and put them in boot camp.  Whatever it costs. This is about the survival of France as a free Infidel country. -  CM

'The French army had around 115,000 personnel in 2014, some 3,000 of them deployed across Africa.

They will be needed on home ground, soon enough, to combat the Mohammedan fifth columnists, now reinforced by the thousands upon thousands of menacing, glowering military-age Muslim males that are pouring into Europe from the south-east.  Time to take a leaf out of Israel's book - or Switzerland, or Singapore - and focus grimly on training your young people for homeland defence. One day soon you will need to take back the banlieues, and the only thing that works with the Mohammedan Mob is overwhelming force unhesitatingly deployed. Those young French Infidels -  I would hazard the guess that those rushing to sign up, in the wake of the jihad ghazi raids, are all Infidels - who are now showing fight must be welcomed and trained in the arts of war, as quickly as possible.  - CM

'In the past it has relied heavily on conscription to fill its ranks, but military service was abolished by President Jacques Chirac in 1996 and formally ended in 2001 - although young people must still register with the armed forces for possible conscription if needed.

If 1500 would-be French soldiers a day continue to apply over the next year, that would add up to at least 300 000 young French volunteering to fight for their country - more than twice the number of the present standing army. 

Here is another story on the same topic, on what seems to be a military-issues website.

'Young French People are Flocking to Enlist in the Wake of Paris Attacks".

'The number of young French people hoping to enlist in the armed forces has tripled since the November 13 terror attacks that killed 129 people in the French capital (sic: "since the November 13 terror attacks in which seven Muslim ghazi raiders murdered 129 people in the French capital". - CM), army officials have said.

'Colonel Eric de Lapresle, head of marketing and communications for the army's recruitment arm, told French daily "Le Monde", that he was "floored" by the surge in applications.

'According to de Lapresle, the army's recruitment website -, which translates as "enlisting" - is currently fielding an average 1,500 applications a day, versus 500 a day before the attacks.

'France's Armed Forces Information and Recruitment Centres are also facing an influx of candidates, although exact figures have yet to be released.

'On the "Why Enlist?" page of its website, the army's recruitment service lists several arguments for joining the military, including the chance to "defend the French, France and its values", and to "experience a brotherhood of arms".

'The site offers recruitment options to candidates who have dropped out of high school, candidates with a degree, and those with up to five years of secondary education.  

'The rise in enlistment comes just three days after President Francois Hollande opened his extraordinary address to both houses of parliament with the statement, "France is at war".

'In a speech that indeed had all the tones of a call to arms, the president compared Friday's tragic attacks to "acts of war".

Correction.  That should have been, "The president identified the attacks on Friday as acts of war."  They were not 'tragic'. They were acts of war, acts of deliberate and focused human malevolence with the aim of furthering the expansion and dominance of the Dar al Islam. - CM

"I know I can count on the devotion of police officers, gendarmes, soldiers, and you, representatives of the nation", Hollande said in the televised speech.  "You know the meaning of duty and, when the circumstances require it, the spirit of sacrifice."

'Holland also announced that he would freeze planned military personnel cuts through 2019, and suggested using the country's reservists to form a home guard.

Good idea. - CM

'The government had already reviewed proposed defense cuts in the wake of the January 2015 attacks that left 17 people dead (that murdered 17 people - CM) in and around Paris, when radical Islamic militants (sic: Muslims engaging in a ghazi terror raid - CM) attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket.

'According to Le Monde, the French army will have 15,000 new recruits by the end of 2015 - 5,000 more enlistments than in 2014.  The estimated number of new recruits for 2016 is 16,000.

'The 15,000 who join the army in 2015 will be recruited from a pool of 160,000 applicants, with only 60,000 candidates submitting to the various physical, medical and psychological evaluations and tests required to join. Still, the number of people considering a career in the military is significantly up from 2014, when 120,000 people filed their initial application.

Soon enough, they will find they need every French non-Muslim of fighting age who is capable of firing a rifle and following orders.  And not for any overseas adventures, but for taking back control of the soil of France. - CM

 'This can partly be explained by the army boosting its recruitment efforts following the January attacks, and raising the number of annual recruitment drives from three to five.  But, according to de Lapresle, "Even when we stopped advertising, numbers did not go down or went down very little."

'In 2014, he told Le Monde, the army's website was fielding an average of 130 requests a day through its website (up to 300 or 400 during an advertising campaign) with those numbers soaring to 500 in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks (up to 800 during an advertising campaign),,,",

There were Comments permitted for this story.  One read as follows, from 'Rothbard' - "For better or for worse, I'll be off to join them in the FFL in July."

Paris, bloodied and disfigured by the global Jihad, is calling....Which makes one wonder just how many applications the French Foreign Legion will be receiving, too, from now on, from among Infidels of suitable age, fitness, freedom of action and grim Islamo-awareness.

And now, a final piece, written by one Theo Chapuis, that introduces us to a few of these young Infidel French - three men, and a young woman - who are seriously considering joining the army.

'Four Young French People Explain Why They Want to Join the Army'.

'Laura, Maxandre, Theo and Benjamin - four young French natives with one thing in common: they are all seriously considering joining the army following the Paris terror attacks of Friday 13 November.

'And, as it happens, they're not alone.  According to the French army, unprecedented numbers have started inquiring about the recruitment process; Colonel de Lapresle...speaks of "colossal" popularity.

',,,While not everyone has the makings of a career in the military, the enthusiasm for the job is very real.

'We spoke to these four young people to find out how the current climate has led them to reflect upon a career in the army.

'I've come to realize that no-one is safe'.

'Maxandre lives in Paris's 17th arondissement.  The 17-year-old high school student explains that, while the idea of becoming a soldier had already crossed his mind, last week's attacks triggered something else within him.  He wants to fight against "insecurity" and "defend others".

He states: "You can hear everyone offering up ideas each better than the next, but for me, the best thing to do is to get moving and defend ourselves...I told myself, "Shit, I can't sit here with my arms crossed."

Bravo, mate.  Now, study the stories of Jean Parisot de Valetta, and Charles Martel - and find out that you are the but the latest to step forward to defend the Camp of the Infidels.  Go to the great basilica Saint Denis and at the tomb of Charles Martel "the Hammer' swear to him that what he saved, you will defend, so that he may sleep in peace. - CM

'The same motivations are cited by Theo, an 18 year old studying economic science and management at Lille University.  Referring to his twelve years of karate, he states that he has no problem with "discipline and respect" which are "the bases of martial arts". He claims simply to want to "defend [his] country" and others:

"I've come to realize that no-one is safe, and that we need to defend the people, whether they be in France or elsewhere. To defend them, we need to be deployed where the threat is."

I  hope you will soon come to understand, dear Theo, that the main threat is now within, lodged within all the cities of France, wherever there are mosques, wherever there are Muslims swarming and strutting and threatening jihad and teaching their children to hate and despise everything that we mean by France. Wherever there are Msulims, there is Jihad. There are many Muslims in France, and they feel very strong, and so there is Jihad: attacks upon and murder of Infidels, Jews and Christians and atheists, first many smaller attacks (e.g. the kidnap and murder of the Parisian Jew, Ilan Halimi, and the murderous attacks by Mohammed Merah upon French soldiers and French Jews) and finally, this year, the mass murder of 'blasphemous' cartoonists and of Jewish shoppers, and the massacre at the Bataclan. - CM

'Laura is 19 years old and has lived in Aix-en-Provence for a short time; before, she lived in the Paris region.  "Shocked" by the attacks, and undecided on her future career path, she saw the army as more than just a vocational stream; she saw it as a real "revelation".  Just like the others, her willingness to serve comes from altruistic and selfless reasoning. Talking to these young people, one would assume that it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

"I want to do something meaningful, and help people....But it would be much better if we didn't need this kind of job".

'She continues, speaking of her "admiration" for the men and women (I assume, law enforcement, first responders, and the military - CM) that she has seen risking their lives, sometimes live on television, such as last Friday, when she was impressed by these peoples' "courage".

'Benjamin is 22 years old, and has all the airs of a true sportsman.  A third-year student of a physical education course, this young man from Nantes - who lifeguards when he's not in school - states that he trains "six days out of seven" with the idea of joining the French Armed Forces at the back of his mind.

"In the long term, I would like to join an intervention platoon; at best GIGN (National Gendarmerie Intervention Group), at worst PSIG (The Gendarmerie Investigation and Surveillance Platoon)."  It is not that he does not enjoy the studies that he has undertaken but he fears "regretting not getting involved now".  

'He continues:

"I said to myself that France needed a certain number of people (given Muslim demographics, Infidel France will need every able-bodied son and daughter that she has, in the near future - CM) and upon inquiring here and there, I came across entry tests for the GIGN and information about their daily life (training, etc).  That's exactly what I think I am made for.  As well as that, you have to add in the gratifying aspect of protecting other innocent human beings".

And sometimes, to do that, you have to kill those who intend murder and not only murder but the destruction and enslavement of your entire society and the civilisation of which it is a part. - CM

'These young people, among whom some are currently destined for something else entirely, know that they will have to carry a gun...and sometimes use it.  They have shared their desire to become a soldier with their friends and family.

'The parents of 18 year old Theo aren't opposed to the idea, "But they want me to start off as a sous-officier (a non-commissioned officer) not a militaire du rang (a superior ranking)".  There is no talk of discouraging him; on the contrary, his friends support him, while some of them even tell him he is "made for it".  "That's perhaps a sign", he says.

'On the other hand, Maxandre's family and friends are much more doubtful.  Like when one of his friends asked him if he "wanted to kill", an issue he admits he still feels uncomfortable with. "That is very awkward as a question, so I avoid talking about it".

'As for his family, he counts on his parents-in-law to "sweeten the pill" at the dinner table when the conversations are sometimes "stormy" owing to his parents' anti-military sentiment.  

One may hope that his parents, reflecting on the Muslim massacre of hapless unarmed Infidel civilians in Paris, may be rethinking their opposition to the army. - CM

'Benjamin is still at the research phase, and hasn't spoken about it to his parents, yet..."...".

'While they all refer to the need to "protect their country' not one among them evokes a feeling of vengeance or a blind need for violence...".

Of course. These are civilised young French people, not Mohammedan mobsters.  God bless them, and all the others like them who - whether they understand fully what they are doing, or not - are preparing to step up and into the firing line against the Global Jihad. 



Posted on 11/24/2015 5:29 PM by Christina McIntosh
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Russian rescue helicopter 'shot down by Syrian rebels' while searching for pilots of plane downed by Turkey

First, the Turkomen on the ground shot the Russian pilots in cold blood as they descended in parachutes.

Anthony Bond writes in The Mirror:

A Russian rescue helicopter has been shot down by Syrian rebels while searching for pilots missing after Turkey downed a Russian jet.

The helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing in a government-held area in Syria's Latakia province.

A Syrian insurgent group, which uses U.S. Tow missiles, said its fighters hit the helicopter with an anti-tank missile.

Video footage has emerged online appearing to show the helicopter after it crashed in dense woodland.

Plumes of smoke can be seen coming from the aircraft.

Vladmir Putin earlier warned Turkey of "significant consequences" after the Russian plane was shot down.

The Russian President also said the action by Turkey was a "stab in the back" and said it would have serious consequences for his country’s relations with Turkey.

Turkey claimed it shot down the fighter jet because it violated its airspace.

However, Putin said the jet was shot down in Syria, 4km from the Turkish border.

He told a media conference: "This event is beyond the normal framework of fighting against terrorism.

"Of course our military is doing heroic work against terrorism... But the loss today is a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists.

"....Our aircraft was downed over the territory of Syria, using air-to-air missile from a Turkish F-16."

Posted on 11/24/2015 6:18 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Everytime I hear it, it's like nails on a chalkboard. Stop it. All of you. Now.
Posted on 11/24/2015 2:33 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
At Least 12 Dead in Attack on Tunisia Military Bus

Probably another ISIS sucess story from ABC:

TUNIS — At least 12 people were killed on Tuesday after an explosion tore through a bus full of Tunisian presidential guards in an attack one source said was probably carried out by a bomber detonating his explosives in the vehicle.

Ambulances rushed wounded from the scene and security forces closed off streets around Mohamed V Avenue, one of the major streets in the capital Tunis and where the charred wreckage of the bus lay not far from the interior ministry.

It is the third major attack to strike Tunisia this year after a militant killed 38 foreigners at a beach hotel in June and gunmen killed 21 tourists at the Bardo Museum in Tunis in March. Islamic State claimed both those attacks.

Posted on 11/24/2015 1:59 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
ISIS claims responsibility for bombing in Egypt’s Sinai

From Reuters via Al Arabiya

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) Egyptian branch claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed four people in a hotel in North Sinai capital al-Arish on Tuesday where judges overseeing a parliamentary election were staying.

A suicide bomber tried to drive a car bomb into the hotel before security forces opened fire on him, causing the car to explode, security sources said. At least two judges were among the injured, authorities added

The statement by the Sinai Province group was circulated by its supporters on Twitter and the encrypted messaging system Telegram.

“A brother ... seeking martyrdom hit with his car bomb the security force protecting the Swiss (Inn) hotel were 50 judges were staying only to be followed by a lion ... who broke into the judges’ base with his automatic weapon ... then blew up his explosive belt among them,” read the statement.

Posted on 11/24/2015 11:24 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Why did Premier Valls Raise the CBW Threat after the Paris Attacks?

Microscopic Cryptosporidium oocysts

Last Sunday’s Lisa Benson Show had a segment on the possible Chemical and Biological threat posed by ISIS to  Europe and the West in the wake of the November 13th Massacres in Paris and the battle in the predominately Muslim St. Denis banlieuse suburb.  Belgium and especially Brussels continues under lockdown as there could be another series of devastating attacks by ISIS operatives given the significant presence in the significant Muslim population with radicalized  elements in suburban Molenbeek. On the Lisa Benson Show segment we asked why French Premier Manuel Valls had raised concerns over possible ISIS operatives use of chemical and biological agents?  Dr. Jill Bellamy, noted bio-warfare threat reduction expert, whom we have interviewed in the NER, provided some answers. See our January 2013 interview her, The Dangers of Syria’s Bio-Warfare Complex Should Assad Fall.

 Following the program, Dr. Bellamy posted her assessment of what triggered Valls ‘comments; the theft of bio-protection suits and threats to France water supply system.  See her Biological Warfare blog post, “France and Belgium Prepare for CBW Attacks While Europe Sleeps.”

In May 2013, we posted on the possible terrorist to US water supply systems after two incidents had occurred. We refer to the arrest and arraignment by federal prosecutors in Manhattan of Ahmed Abassi, a Tunisian national and chemical engineering graduate of Laval University in Quebec, on Asylum fraud and an alleged WMD attack on a municipal water system, the Quabbin reservoir in Massachusetts.  The possible biological agent involved is cryptosporidium (Crypto).  We noted:

In the US we have had two mass Crypto outbreaks in water supply systems in Carrollton, Georgia in 1987 and in Milwaukee in 1993.  The Georgia outbreak affected 13,000 out of 16,000 residents.  Because the Milwaukee water supply system draws from Lake Michigan, Crypto pathogens might have entered from drainage or in ice breakup during the early spring.  In the Milwaukee case, the epidemiologists and public health specialists estimate that more than 400,000 succumbed to Crypto causing massive outbreaks of watery diarrhea over a period of two weeks or more.  108 deaths occurred involving those with immune deficiencies from cancer treatment, AIDS and other maladies. Within immunocompromised communities, exposure frequently leads to severe and permanent diarrhea, decreasing absorption of nutrients resulting in progressive dehydration and eventual death.

Here are excerpts from Dr. Bellamy’s Biological Warfare post.

On the missing bio-protection suits and Eau de Paris water supply.

While France and Belgium prepare their populations for continued terrorist attacks and the possible use of chemical or biological weapons, other EU states avoid the obvious conclusion that a prepared public is better than an unprepared one. Several smaller states, excluding Spain and Germany, continue the drum beat that there is no significant threat to them or their civilian populations. In study after study this has not been proven to be the case and public preparedness has been shown to reduce casualties. PM Valls statement on the bio-chem threat was in part motivated by the apparent loss of several bio-chem suits from a Paris hospital. While its possible these suits were misplaced or that inventory lists were incorrect, and warnings are not based singularly on bio-chem suits being unaccounted for, the French have taken appropriate measures.  Belgium has increased security at its nuclear facilities and France has increased protection for water supply facilities taking note of analysis by French intelligence  that ISIS is capable of producing crude chemical agents.


"Eau de Paris, the capital's state-run water company, has banned access to six sensitive sites to all but key personnel following the Government's decision to declare a state of emergency for three months.”Our eight security agents are the only ones to be accredited by the defense ministry and are in permanent contact with the terrorism cell of Paris police headquarters," a spokesman told Le Parisien." "The storage and treatment sites have protective fencing and special sensors to detect intrusion. To limit the risk of contamination, Eau de Paris has increase the amount of chlorine added to water at five supply sites." "The dose injected has been raised," said Celia Blauel, president of Eau de Paris. Chlorine is a key indicator of any anomaly in the water. "When the chlorine level drops, it means there is a biological contamination." she said." 

"It emerged last week that hospitals and emergency services across France have been supplied with the most powerful antidote to sarin and other nerve gas chemicals for the first time. Under a November 14 decree, the army's medical service was ordered to distribute stocks of the drug atropine. Manuel Valls, the French prime minister, said that the country could rule nothing out when it came to terrorists bent on mass murder, including "chemical and biological weapons".

On French and Belgian CBW intelligence and threat reduction capabilities.

The security services of both France and Belgium are to be commended. Both countries share similar population demographics and have extensive experience with terrorism. Additionally, they have both worked, since 911, to prepare their populations for such bio-chem attacks, some of these scenarios I developed and ran myself with their government officials in attendance. Far from being the weakest link, as some media outlets have portrayed the situation, they are in fact the best prepared within the EU to counter such threats.  The weakest link are those countries who have not prepared their public, are currently bombing IS and have announced it on the nightly news without one moment of thought to the risk they have placed their population in and no counter-terrorism or counter intelligence experience to fall back on. 

In 2005, French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin called for international cooperation against bioterrorism at an Interpol meeting in Lyon. He promoted the idea of creating a joint database and a rapid alert network for theft, diversion and illegal transfer of biological agents, as well as a list of designated groups and individuals of concern. De Villepin also proposed the creation of an international center for monitoring bio terrorist threats. Mr. de Villepin went on to plead for a better coordination of Biotox style (the French government response to the deliberate introduction of the smallpox virus) plans at European level. "Why not to imagine for example a European reaction plan against a biological attack?"he asked. Furthermore, he added, the EU should initiative an update on reserves of vaccines so that each country knows the nearest country to turn to in case of emergency." See:

For over a decade the French government has established itself as the gold standard when it comes to bio-security, bio-safety and certainly countering, on the ground threats from would be bio-terrorists. In 2003, French authorities discovered ricin like substances in Gare du Lyon train station. Subsequently nine suspects of North African descent, who had trained in the Pankisi Gorge and were associated with AQ were arrested. While this is just one high profile example of a possible bio-threat, the French have developed outstanding and what I would describe as comprehensive capabilities to counter the threat of bio-terrorism. This depth of expertise offers a lot from which Member States within the EU could well benefit. 

As well, as we trust the US and UK bio-terrorism threat reduction programs.




Posted on 11/24/2015 10:06 AM by Jerry Gordon
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Giving Hypocrisy a Bad Name

How horrible is it to be a mischievous and malignant hypocrite. In recent days in November 2015, religious and American academic groups have unabashedly illustrated that false face hides what the false heart knows.

On this seventieth anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials of the Nazi criminals, it is well to remember the words of Robert H. Jackson, the chief American prosecutor, on November 21, 1945. He spoke of the wrongs that have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated.  He urged prosecution of those Nazi leaders who had possessed great power, who used it to set evils in motion, and who terrified the world.  

Some mainstream religious groups, the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches, are not as willing as was Jackson to label and name those responsible, those gangsters and militarists, in the modern world for racial hatreds, terrorism and violence, arrogance and cruelty of power.  

The two religious groups have issued statements on the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015. Both of those statements, well-meaning in their usual fashion, suffer from refusal, hypocritical or not, to tell the whole truth. They do not identify the people and the ideology that committed evil. 

The Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches on November 14, 2015 stated in English, French, and Arabic that “the people of Paris again confronted terror, violence and death, following attacks that left more 120 people dead and hundreds more injured.” The WCC articulated that its hearts and minds were with the victims, but was silent about who were the murderers. Surely the WCC does not really believe that aliens from outer space were responsible for the evil act of terror in Paris. Or does it, since the name of the Islamist terrorism by the Islamic State, ISIS, or that of any other group, is never mentioned? 

Similarly, Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, condemned the November 13 attacks. He urged, “these acts of horrific violence not be mistaken as part of a war between Christianity and Islam.” Mr. Winkler not only has forgotten the name of the perpetrators in Paris but also the events of history. The last Christian Crusade to defend Holy Places against Muslims ended in 1291 when the last city controlled by the Crusaders, the town of Acre, was captured by Muslim forces.  

In this respect it is unfortunate that President Barack Obama on February 5, 2015 made an ill-advised moral comparison when speaking of “the terrible deeds in the name of Christ” committed during the Crusades and the Inquisition. Of course, Christians have committed terrible deeds in the past, but Obama’s emphasis on the atrocities of Christians can be seen as an example of moral equivalence between Christians and Muslims. The non-Muslim world has not declared war on Islam, but only on Islamist terrorism which has declared war on the civilized world, terrorism which the WCC and the NCC have difficulty in specifically condemning. 

It is symptomatic of the political correctness, shameful ignorance and unsatisfactory nature of present day academics in American universities that they seem ignorant of, or dismiss as irrelevant, the existing menace to world civilization by Islamist terrorists and those responsible for the evils committed in Paris, Brussels, Beirut, and Mali, to take only the most recent. Instead, whether out of prejudice or bias, or as a result of weakly succumbing to unremitting Palestinian pressure organizations, some academics register indignation and urge action against what they see as the one, and only, violator of human rights in the universe, the State of Israel.  

Apart from a lunatic Arab fringe element, no political or religious group has attributed the massacre of 130 people in Paris to instructions by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to citizens of the State of Israel or in particular to the ubiquitous Mossad that the fringe element regards as engrossed in plots of world conspiracy. 

Certainly members of the American Anthropological Association do not believe this, or at least have not started it publicly. But they did, after three years of Palestinian organization and pressure, on November 20, 2015 at a meeting in Denver of 1,400 of its members, pass a resolution by 1040 to 36 calling for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. A final vote on this resolution will be taken by all AAA 10,000 members at its annual meeting in April 2016.  

The brutality and criminality of ISIS actions should be denounced by everyone, especially those genuinely concerned with the maintenance of human rights. The actions have gone far beyond any moral parameters of human behavior. All true humanitarians are mourning the deaths and injuries of hundreds in Paris and should urge that the evil ISIS perpetrators be brought to justice.  

Even admitting that real problems exist in Israeli-Palestinian relations and must be solved, it appears weird if not pathological for supposed scholars, few of whom in the AAA have any real expertise in the complexities of Middle East affairs, to focus on what it calls Israel’s systematic maintenance of the occupation and denial of basic rights to Palestinians.  Instead of stressing compassion and comfort for the victims of ISIS terrorism, and calling for a response to it, the AAA fritters away its time and calls for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions until these institutions end their (unstated) complicity in violating (unstated) Palestinian rights.  

The AAA resolution is the result of prejudice against the Jewish State, and is counterproductive in excusing and even abetting the Palestinian unwillingness to come to the bargaining table to make peace. But like the statements of the WCC and the NCC that of the AAA is hypocritical. Indeed, it gives hypocrisy a bad name. The AAA resolves that the boycott, part of the broader BDS movement, pertains only to Israeli academic institutions and not to individual scholars. One is left wondering who remains in the academic institutions who are not individual scholars. The answer can only be the janitors and cleaners of the building. 

Those janitors should complain to the International Criminal Court that their basic human rights are being violated by the leaders of the American Anthropological Association, and those leaders should stand judgment at a modern version of Nuremberg, not for abstract speculation of which scholars are fond, but for practical harm they are causing to innocent and hard-working Israeli people.

First published in the American Thinker.

Posted on 11/24/2015 7:33 AM by Michael Curtis
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Another Hotel, Another Day, Another Attack


CAIRO — Militants attacked a hotel in the northern Sinai Peninsula of Egypt with explosives and gunfire early on Tuesday, killing at least three people, including a judge, according to the military.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place at the Swiss Inn Resort in El Arish. The hotel was housing judges who were monitoring voting in Egypt’s parliamentary elections.

Militants belonging to an affiliate of the Islamic State have carried out numerous attacks in the northern Sinai, and last month they claimed responsibility for bringing down a Russian plane carrying tourists from the Sinai resort of Sharm el Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board. They were also behind a bombing at a police club in El Arish this month that killed four officers.

Posted on 11/24/2015 7:11 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Those Muslim “Refugees”

The murders in Paris on November 13 did not halt the invasion of Europe by the forces of Islam. Muslim masses are still on the march toward Europe, by the hundreds of thousands this year alone, joining the tens of millions of Muslims already in Europe who came during the last few decades. These Muslims arrive as “refugees” claiming a “right of asylum.” They claim this right because they are fleeing something. What is that something? It’s the chaos and cruelty, the internecine violence, of Muslim peoples and polities. Many Muslims would like to flee these places. Were they able to make the connection between the chaos and cruelty and Islam itself, that would be one thing. But they do not make that connection. They do not flee from Islam itself, but bring it with them in their mental baggage.

Some of those “Muslim refugees” take Islam very much to heart, others perhaps not quite as much. But many non-Muslims to whom we look for guidance — writers for The Guardian, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Hillary Clinton – are quite definite in their dismissal: they continue to assure us that “the attacks in Paris had nothing to do with Islam.” What you think of that assertion? What texts were in the minds of those killers in Paris? What models of conduct did they have in mind? When someone tells you that Muslims in the Islamic State, or Al Qaeda, or just plain-vanilla Muslims, when they carefully quote the Qur’an, or adduce a hundred Hadith, to explain and justify their behavior, don’t you worry a little bit about their grasp of Islam? Don’t you wonder why they continue to hold up for inspection and discussion such prompters of hostility and hate toward non-Muslims as Qur’an 9.5 and 9.29, among more than one hundred “Jihad verses,” and in addition to the Qur’anic passages, many hundreds of “authentic” Hadith from authoritative (sahih) collections, especially those by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, offering the words and deeds of Muhammad himself, so full of malevolence toward Infidels?

Is the desire to flee violence enough to earn, for Muslims, both Sunni and Shi’a, right of entry into non-Muslim lands, into the heart of the civilization of the West? Are we not a little too quick with our compassion, a little too willing to welcome, a little too incurious about the ideology of Islam? Millions of Muslim refugees have fled Iraq and Syria for such neighboring Muslim countries as Jordan and Turkey. Do they not have such places still available to them? And are there not vast areas in many other Muslim countries where they ought reasonably to find or expect refuge? Why must the Infidels of Germany, or Sweden, or France be expected to admit them into their Infidel midst? Why must they go to Germany, or Sweden, or Norway? For Shi’a, there are still plenty of places – Iran or Hezbollah-controlled parts of Lebanon, to start with, and still much of Syria, and Baghdad, and southern Iraq – where Shi’a are in control and where other Shi’a could find security. And Sunni Arabs who want to flee the violence of Iraq and Syria have Turkey and Jordan, to which so many have already fled, and instead of being made Europe’s responsibility, the refugees could be asked to knock on the doors of Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, all of which have need of foreign workers, and none of which have to date taken in more than a handful of those Muslim refugees who might serve as those workers.

Why don’t we ask the obvious question: why do 800,000 Muslims seek refuge just in Germany alone this year, and none of those 800,000 seek refuge closer to home? Why aren’t those Muslim refugees requesting admission to Kuwait, Qatar, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia? And why aren’t Kuwait, Qatar, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, requesting those Muslim refugees to come on in, because they are needed?

Remember: Muslims are taught – all Muslims, not just members of the Islamic State or Al Qaeda – that they have a duty to conduct the struggle, or Jihad, to remove all obstacles to the spread and then the dominance of Islam, so that ultimately, all over the world, Islam will dominate and Muslims rule. Now given that, why should any non-Muslims anywhere make that Jihad easier? Or why should Europeans pretend that that solemn duty of Jihad is an islamophobic figment, or try to convince themselves that thoroughly modern Muslims don’t take that duty to heart? This is a policy that could please only a Pollyanna – or a Hillary Clinton.

Now there is a category of people fleeing Syria and Iraq who, unlike Muslims, really are without any place of refuge in the Middle East (save, of course, for these people possibly settling in the “West Bank” in an an exchange of populations, where they would be traded for Muslim “Palestinians”). We call these people “Christians.” Assyrians and Chaldeans in Iraq, Catholics and Orthodox and Armenians in Syria, Copts in Egypt – these people, to varying degrees, and at various times (sometimes more, sometimes less) have suffered the same fate at the hands of Muslims: attacks on their churches, disruption of their ceremonies, kidnapping and forced conversion and rape and enslavement of their women, murder of their menfolk. But the Muslims who seek to enter Europe neither need nor deserve that refuge, for there are vast areas of the Muslim world that could be open to them.

These Muslim “refugees” are obviously interested in more than just a refuge...

Continue reading at Jihad Watch.

Posted on 11/24/2015 6:39 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Turkey Shoots Down Russian Plane

Another reason Turkey has no business being part of NATO. They are completely unreliable and they are helping ISIS fight the Kurds in Syria and Iraq - at what point do their interests coincide with the other NATO members? This moronic move is in no one's best interest.

Story here.

Posted on 11/24/2015 5:11 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
MSNBC's 'No-Fly List Is Islamophobia' Poster Boy Arrested in Turkey as Part of ISIS Cell

Patrick Poole writes in PJMedia:

A man, who just two years ago was the poster boy for the far-Left media's attacks against the U.S. government's no-fly list for "unfairly" targeting Muslims, finds himself and several family members sitting in a Turkish prison -- arrested earlier this month near the Turkey-Syria border as members of an ISIS cell.

It's a long way from 2013 when Saadiq Long's cause was being championed by MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Glenn Greenwald, and Mother Jones, and was being represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) terror front.

His story got considerable media attention when his CAIR media representatives here pushed the story that Long wanted to return to his native Oklahoma from his current home in Qatar to visit his ailing mother but couldn't because he was on the TSA's no-fly list. They said his case represented institutional "Islamophobia."

Long's cause got international attention when Glenn Greenwald published an article at The Guardian saying that Long was "effectively exiled from his own country." Kevin Drum of Mother Jones branded it the "Kafkaesque World of the No-Fly List." CAIR has 22 article entries related to Long's case on its website.

After several months of wrangling between his CAIR attorneys and the Department of Homeland Security, Long was temporarily removed from the no-fly list and allowed to return to Oklahoma.

Once home, however, he was still subject to FBI surveillance according to claims he made during a press conference with his CAIR handlers.

After an incident with local police and the FBI, Long was apparently placed back on the no-fly list, preventing his return to Qatar.

That prompted even more outrage from the far-Left media and garnered him an appearance with his CAIR handler on Chris Hayes' MSNBC show.

Eventually, Long boarded a bus to Mexico and got on a flight there to return home to Qatar.

U.S. and Turkish officials confirmed Long's arrest to PJ Media, saying that he was arrested along with eight others operating along the Turkish-Syrian border. So far, no U.S. media outlet has reported on his arrest.

Long's Facebook page has not been updated for several months. The last entry on his wife's Facebook page was October 23.

I have emailed Long's CAIR handler, Adam Soltani, asking for comment. An email to his attorney Gadeir Abbas was returned as undeliverable.

Posted on 11/24/2015 4:48 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 23 November 2015
Channel 4 Dispatches at 9pm tonight: Secret cell of British Muslim women encouraging others to join Islamic State exposed

From the Telegraph

A secret British cell of Islamist women is brainwashing young female Muslims in the UK and encouraging them to join Isil, an undercover investigation has revealed. 

One of the women resides at the same address as a well known British extremist while another lives with another fanatic.

They were caught on camera, at meetings were young children were present, attacking the “filthy Jews” and telling young Muslim women that Britain is waging against them.

One of the meetings is held in a local Government-funded community centre without the managers realising what is going on. 

Police were on Monday examining the footage and one former senior prosecutor said some of the comments may have broken the law.

One of the leading members of the group is a woman who goes by the Twitter name Umm L. Her real name is Rubana, a mother-of-four who lives in London with a known extremist and leading member of a now banned organisation. She also once set up the women’s wing of the now banned al-Muhajiroun group. There are dots to be joined here, does 2+2 = 4? 

Another of the women is called Umm Saalihah, who has lived at the same address as Mohammed Shamsuddin, who was arrested last year on suspicion of encouraging terrorism and being a member of al-Muhajiroun.

A third woman, under the name Umm Usmaan, wrote on Twitter: “Go to Sham (Syria) for it is the best of Allahs lands on earth.” 

Posted on 11/23/2015 2:20 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 23 November 2015
Can't George Stephanopoulos Google?

ABC refuted Trump's claim: While there were images of people cheering the towers’ collapse in parts of the Middle East, there is no record of such celebrations in New Jersey.

Meanwhile back in googleland, Washington Post September 18, 2001

In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners' plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.

I remember that too. It was a clear sign of sedition during wartime.

UPDATE CNN: Both Politifact and The Washington Post's Fact Checker analyzed Trump's claim. Politifact rated it "pants on fire" and The Washington Post gave it "four Pinocchios."

This is getting funny.


Posted on 11/23/2015 2:03 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 23 November 2015
Ahmed Mohamed family wants $15 million from Irving, Irving ISD

This should be laughed out of court, but Obama's DOJ will probably put pressue on Irving to settle. Fox News:

Give us $15 million – or else.

That’s the demand from the family of the world’s most famous clockmaker, Ahmed Mohamed, to the City of Irving and Irving ISD. The city and district were each sent letters on Monday demanding money or else a lawsuit would be filed.

The family wants $10 million from the City of Irving and $5 million from Irving ISD for damages it claims Ahmed and the family suffered after the teen was arrested. The family also wants an apology from the two entities.

Mohamed, 14, was arrested by Irving police in September after he brought a homemade digital clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb by Irving MacArthur High School faculty. The subsequent fallout made international headlines.

Mohamed and his immediately family are now overseas in Qatar and enrolling in school after a foundation has offered to pay for his education. The letter demanding money from the city and district says that the family wants “more than anything to come home” to Irving.

The letter gives both the city and the district 60 days to pay up or else face a lawsuit.

City and district officials didn’t have any immediate comment on the letter.

Posted on 11/23/2015 12:29 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 23 November 2015
Iran's Elite Forces Enduring Rising Casualties in Syrian Offensive

A little good news. From IPT:

Fearing the overthrow of Bashaar Al-Assad's regime, an emboldened Islamic Republic of Iran has drastically increased its involvement in Syria, despite suffering heavy losses among its elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

That finding is detailed in a new report by Raz Zimmit of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Since the 2011 start of Syria's civil war, Iran has directed the military campaign to maintain the Assad regime's control over Damascus and strategic strongholds in the north. Until recently, Iran's presence in Syria resembled interventions in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen – involving several hundred advisors and thousands of Shi'ite fighters – including Hizballah – under the direction of the IRGC's Quds Force. However, Iran deployed 1,500-2,000 of its own troops to support Syria's northern military offensive launched in early October.

A joint Iranian-Syrian operations room was created in Aleppo to serve as a command and control center for the purposes of coordinating the offensive – involving the IRGC, Syria's military and Iranian sponsored Shi'ite militias under the cover of Russian aerial support. However by the end of October, rebel organizations including al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State, maintained control over key areas targeted by the Iranian-led offensive.

At least 53 IRGC troops have been killed since, marking a significant increase in Iranian casualties. According to the analysis, the vast majority of Iranians killed are from the IRGC's regular fighting units – including high-ranking officers – indicating that they are fighting on the front lines. Moreover, IRGC's elite Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani personally directs the military operations in northwestern Syria, suggesting that Iran is diverting critical assets from Iraq to the Syrian theater.

Meanwhile, Iran continues to enhance terrorist networks in the Golan Heights, using Hizballah, Druze, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operatives to strike Israel. In August, PIJ terrorists – reportedly under Iran's directions – fired four rockets at Israeli territory.

Further examination of the Iranians recently killed shows that many of the fighters hail from special, highly trained units, including the Ansar al-Mahdi security unit and the Saberin brigade. The sharp increase in deaths has forced Iran to justify its involvement in Syria, launching a media campaign to bolster public support for the military intervention. This campaign emphasizes the importance of protecting Shi'ite religious shrines in Syria and the extent to which the Assad regime serves the Islamic Republic's national interests.

Growing dissention among the IRGC ranks surfaced amid reports that several senior commanders, along with junior officers, reportedly refused to obey orders to continue the military campaign in Syria. Growing defiance has forced Iran to court-martial several personnel for "mutiny and treason," as the rising death toll contributes to deteriorating morale among the IRGC ranks. There may even be some disagreement among Iran's leadership concerning continued involvement in Syria. In a recent address to a group of students, IRGC commander Mohammad-Ali Jafari suggested that some Iranian officials questioned Iran's steadfast support for Assad.

Despite rising casualties and internal dissention, Iran's leadership appears firmly committed to propping up the Assad regime in its bid to maintain a critical ally that serves the Islamic Republic's expansion and regional hegemonic ambitions.

Posted on 11/23/2015 11:11 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 23 November 2015
Terror Trial Shown Back Garden 'Bomb Test' Video

From Sky News

Jurors in the trial of an alleged suicide bomb plotter have been shown a film said to show him experimenting with home-made explosives.The footage appears to show Mohammed Rehman filming himself detonating a bomb next to a child's bicycle in his back garden, the court was told.

Prosecutors said Rehman, 25, planned to "up-scale" the explosives for a deadly attack in London ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings.

Rehman is on trial with his secret wife Sana Ahmed Khan, 24, who is accused of helping him plan the atrocity. 

An image of a hunting knife, similar to the one brandished by British Islamic State militant Mohammed Emwazi, known as "Jidahi John", was also among the evidence presented at the Old Bailey. The knife was found at Rehman's home in Reading when the pair were arrested on 28 May.

Extremely dangerous chemicals, including more than 10kg of urea nitrate, which is extremely explosive and had the potential to cause "multiple fatalities", were also discovered, the court heard. A bomb was just days from being completed, jurors were told.

Rehman is accused of buying ingredients for the explosives on eBay with the help of his wife. 

He also allegedly claimed to have planted explosives at his bedside which could be triggered at the touch of a button, saying: "Nobody gets in the way of my Jihad"...


Posted on 11/23/2015 10:54 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 23 November 2015
‘Ben Hur,’ but Bigger and Better

Adam Kirsch writes in The Tablet:

Captivity, the newly translated novel by the Hungarian writer György Spiró, offers a good reminder not to judge a book by its cover. When I first saw this particular cover, with its black background, stark white typography, and surreally floating sculptured bust, the imagery—combined with the book’s Central European provenance, gloomy title, and Jewish focus—made me think that this would be a brooding modernist enigma of a book, perhaps along the lines of Imre Kertész’s Holocaust fictions. In fact, Captivity turns out to be just the opposite—a sprawling (more than 800 pages), picturesque, old-fashioned historical novel about the Roman Empire, in the showy tradition of Ben Hur and I, Claudius. In fact, both Jesus and Claudius, the main characters of those books, make cameo appearances in Captivity, as do other boldface names of the 1st century CE, including Caligula, Pontius Pilate, and Philo of Alexandria. What sets Captivity apart is that it makes the rare attempt to view all these historical phenomena—from the rise of Christianity to the flamboyant vices of the emperors—through a distinctively Jewish lens.

Considering how little we know about the ancient world in general, the first century CE is a surprisingly well-documented era. In creating his pageant of Jewish Rome, Spiró can draw on the Roman histories of Tacitus and Suetonius, the Jewish writings of Josephus and Philo, and the Christian New Testament—in addition to the Talmud, which preserves many features of Second Temple-era Jewish life. These sources tell us about three distinct Roman cultures, each focused on a different metropolis: the grand politics of imperial Rome, the religious fervor of Jerusalem, and the ethnic strife of commercial Alexandria. Accordingly, these are the cities in which Captivity is set, in the period roughly spanning the death of Jesus, in 33 CE, and the destruction of the Temple, in the year 70.

Our tour guide through these cities and their Jewish communities is Gaius Theodorus—or, to use his Jewish name, Uri. When the novel begins, Uri is a very unpromising young man, living with his poor family in a hovel in the Jewish neighborhood of Rome—Transtiberim, the neighborhood “across the Tiber” from Rome proper. (It’s now familiar under the Italian version of the name, Trastevere.) He is brainy and good at languages, but physically unprepossessing, ugly and scrawny; and his bad eyesight keeps him from doing any useful labor. Still, he is, crucially, a Roman citizen—unlike his grandfather, who had been a slave, or his father, a mere freedman—and this entitles him to free provisions from the government. In this way, Uri helps to provide for his family—both the mother he disdains and the father who disdains him.

From the first chapter, Captivity makes clear that its main concern is not plot or character, but setting. Uri is almost a nullity, an undistinguished person about to be thrust into the wide world, like Voltaire’s Candide. His passivity means that he seldom does anything; rather, things happen to him, and he serves as a fly on the wall during the great historical events he chances to blunder through. Spiró is not particularly concerned even about the consistency of the few character traits Uri is assigned. He starts out weak and myopic, but when necessary he’s capable of surviving harsh ordeals and describing fine details.

Where Spiró excels is dramatizing the world through which Uri moves—its political institutions and social arrangements, its sights and smells. In just the first section of the book, set in Rome, we are treated to gladiatorial combat, a client’s morning visit to his patron, and a brutal public execution. These archetypal scenes of Roman life shock us into realizing the ways in which the ancient world differed from our own—the extreme brutality, the fixed and undisguised hierarchy, the omnipresent corruption.

These features interact to make the lives of all Romans, from imperial courtiers to poor plebs living on the dole, highly insecure. A typical predicament arises when Uri’s father, a middling merchant, is casually asked for a huge loan by Agrippa, a Jewish prince who is the bosom friend of Caligula. Saying no is not an option—in this society, the lower ranks always oblige the higher—and so Uri’s father is forced to go deeply into debt, knowing all the while that Agrippa has no intention of repaying him, and that there is no way to compel him to do so. Later in the book, Uri learns that the whole amount Agrippa borrowed—200,000 sesterces, a fortune—was spent on a single banquet.

Doing Agrippa a favor, however, means getting a favor in return, and what Uri’s father asks for is permission for his feckless son to join a group of Jewish pilgrims traveling from Rome to Jerusalem, bearing the annual tribute for the Temple’s upkeep. (This feature of ancient Jewish life is described in detail in the Talmud’s Tractate Shekalim, which Spiró has clearly drawn on—just as he makes use of the Talmud’s rules about eruvs, and its description of the splendid Basilica in Alexandria.) Though Uri dreads the prospect of leaving home and setting out on a long, dangerous journey, this turns out to be his big break, narrative-wise. He escapes Rome’s Jewish ghetto and ends up visiting two major capitals of ancient Judaism—Jerusalem, the religious center, and Alexandria, the commercial center.

There is always something a little comic about historical fiction that enlists real personalities as characters. The comedy comes from the overdetermination: The only witness to life in Jewish Alexandria that we possess is Philo, the philosopher, and so it is inevitable for Uri to become Philo’s confidant. Likewise, no novel set in Judea in 33 CE is going to miss the chance to bring Jesus on stage, and Spiró does just that. Indeed, circumstances work out perfectly for Uri to be thrown in jail in the very same cell with Jesus and the two thieves on the eve of the crucifixion. But Spiró handles this episode with a light touch—Jesus goes unnamed, and it takes the reader a moment to realize that the middle-aged, balding, puffy prisoner is actually the Christian messiah. Uri himself doesn’t realize this until much later in the book, when the growing cult of “the Nazarenes” has turned Jesus into the Son of God. “I saw him! I spoke with him!” Uri tells his own son, Marcellus, who has converted to Christianity. “He was human just like you or me! … He was a man, a wretched, decent, and honest man like you or me!”

Where another novel—like Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur, whose subtitle is “a story of the Christ”—would place this encounter at its center, in Captivity it is just one of many strands that go to make up a complex and thoughtful portrait of what Judaism meant in ancient Rome. If Spiró has a message, it is that Judaism was, and has always been, a diverse civilization, rather than a coherent ethnic or religious identity. Uri’s own family is a case in point: In Rome, he observes, most of the Jewish men came to the city as slaves and either converted to Judaism or married women who did. Uri has no idea what his own ancestors looked like—they could have been German or Greek or African as easily as Judaean.

Continue reading here.

Posted on 11/23/2015 10:41 AM by Geoffrey Clarfield
Monday, 23 November 2015
PODCAST: Humanitarian Jihad and Refugees as ISIS Weaponized CBW Vectors, Morten Storm, Dr. Jill Bellamy and Nidra Poller

Listen to an extraordinarily informative Lisa Benson Show for National Security that aired Sunday November 22, 2015 on KKNT960The Patriot in the aftermath of the ISIS jihad in ParisLisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon and special guest Richard Cutting co-hosted  this show.

Our guests were:

Morten Storm . Storm is a former Muslim convert and apostate who became a double agent for Danish Security and Intelligence Service and CIA who penetrated Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula  targeting the late Anwar al Awlaki. He is the author of Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA  and been frequently, interviewed on Fox News and CNN.  Storm picked up on a private discussion this past week with more than 100 callers including members of the National Security Task Force of America launching a “know your Imam” campaign. He did that  this past weekend. In the private NSTFA call he stressed not to be complacent about additional ISIS attacks in Belgian, France and major EU countries now inundated with hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants, especially young men in detention camps.

Dr. S.Jill. Bellamy   was  interviewed by both  Cutting and Gordon in a segment on possible ISIS Chemical and Biological agent threats to  Europe and the US.  Bellamy is a recognized international expert on biological warfare and is a member of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Task Force. She has previously developed and run NATO sponsored policy programs on biological terrorism and has published extensively in related fields. Her papers have appeared in the National Review, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Le Monde, Le Temps, New English Review and the Jerusalem Post. Over the past twenty five years she has worked in non-proliferation and counter terrorism.  She has developed and run nuclear and biological war games and scenarios supported by European Ministries of Defense.  Currently she advises governments on national strategic stockpiling and force protection. She is the founding Director of Warfare Technology Analytics.  Bellamy suggested that French Premier Valls expressions of concerns over possible use of  CBW by ISIS in terror attacks  in  the West were reflective of recent uses of chemical weapons by the Islamic State in Syria .  She suggested that was reflected in  confirmed reports on mustard gas against both Syrian Kurdish YPG and Iraqi Peshmerga forces, as well as Sarin gas that may have been used to kill hundreds of civilians in a suburb near Damascus in 2013. Those reports led to the Hague based Organization for the Prohibition   of Chemical Weapons that removed only a fraction of the Assad Regimes stockpile. She pointed out that ISIS ,and other Islamic terror groups like al Nusrah and Hezbollah, wouldn’t refrain from using CBW, as they simply consider  them another weapon in their inventory. She said they would have no compunction against the use of such silent killers given the burning alive of a downed Jordanian pilot.  That would extend to using the hoards of teeming refugees in UN  camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon as the equivalent of human weaponized vectors to spread disease and pathogens causing a pandemic.  She also responded to queries about major silent killers Anthrax, Smallpox and botulinum toxin developed by the Syria Scientific Research Center that might fall into the hands of ISIS and other terror groups like Hezbollah.  It  has been reported that ISIS may  have established laboratories and acquired research scientific personnel which  could pose a threat to the EU and  the US.  Bellamy covered the extent of protection against these silent killers  under US and international vaccine stockpile programs.

Nidra Poller  provided an eye witness report of what was unfolding in France. Poller is a Lisa Benson Show  Advisory Board Member, American  writer and translator, resident of Paris, France, since 1972,  contributor to The Wall Street Journal, National Review, FrontPage Magazine,  The New York Sun and New English Review, author of the forthcoming, The Black Flag of Jihad stalks la RepubliquePoller spoke of her experiences in Paris following the November  13th massacres and the  November 18th St. Denis banlieuse  battle that resulted in the deaths of the alleged Belgian born ‘mastermind’ Abdelhamid Abaaoud, his French born cousin Hasna Ait Boulahcen and third, as yet to be identified suicide bomber. In a New English Review/ Iconoclast post, “Bonjour Tristesse”, she considered them as “punk’ jihadis akin to those who burned vehicles banlieuse nightly in Paris and other French cities for weeks in 2005. She spoke of the muted aftermath following the recent terror events in Paris and the myopia of the international media following these stories forgetting about rallies in July 2014 at which the ISIS banners were prominent in rallies condemning Israel during Operation Defensive Edge fighting Hamas at the statue of Marianne, the symbol of France, at la place de la Republique. She also returned to the theme of , Humanitarian Jihad,  a chapter in her latest book,  to describe how the conflict in Syria  with ISIS and other terror groups had sent hundreds of thousands refugees and illegal migrants bursting the open borders of Europe’s Schengen system . She said that was an unwarranted intrusion of national sovereignty and western values with reports of destructive behavior by migrant Muslim young men in reception centers in EU countries. She said that was triggered by the EU and international response to the imagery a drowning victim, Aylan Kurdi, a three year old  Syrian Kurdish child  from an overloaded a life raft  provided by Turkey headed for the Greek Island of Leros.

Posted on 11/23/2015 9:27 AM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 23 November 2015
The Islamophobia Industry in Britain
'British Muslims report big rise in Islamophobia' said the headlines of an article in the Guardian for 12 November. From the headline, I thought I would read that there had been an increase in the number of vicious attacks on Muslims qua Muslims, or at least of acts of physical desecration.
Not a bit of it. What I read instead were things like the following, taken from a survey of Muslim opinion:
  More than two-thirds of Muslims told the survey that they
   had heard anti-Islamic comments by politicians, and half
   thought that politicians condoned Islamophobic acts.
   Subtle effects of discrimination are also on the rise, the study
   suggests, with 63% reporting “being talked down to or treated
   as if you were stupid; having your opinion minimised or
   devalued”, up from 38% in 2010.
These figures by themselves mean very little. They could indeed mean that more anti-Islamic remarks are being passed, or they could mean that Muslims are increasingly sensitive to mistakenly-perceived slights, or indeed both. We do, after all, live in a society in which complaints such as 'having your opinion minimised' are treated as justified just because they have been made. The definition of bullying in the hospital in which I worked was that someone felt bullied, with no necessity for there to be an objective correlative of the feeling. Needless to say, complaints of bullying increased because they were auto-justifying.
Feeling that you have been talked down may be as much in the receiving ear as in the transmitting mouth, but in any case is hardly evidence of an unreasoning hatred or fear of Islam. I dare say that if I were to search my memory, I could find an instance of having been talked down to in the last year. Even if there are instances of Muslims being talked down to because they are Muslim, this is not necessarily because of hatred or fear of Islam: condescension is often a manifestation of a misguided attempt to be kind or understanding.
A man described as a Professor of Racism Studies, who therefore has a vested interest in the survival of racism, is reported as saying that there 'is increasing hostility on the streets in terms of physical attacks and abuse,' and I am prepared to believe that there might have been; in view of the activities of at least some of the followers of Mohammed, and the crudity of so many of our fellow-countrymen, it would be surprising if there had not. But it is curious how the article gives no figures for actual physical attacks. I wonder why not?
First published in Salisbury Review.
Posted on 11/23/2015 8:43 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 23 November 2015
US honors WW II Japanese internment camp critic: Could history repeat itself?
Hope so - with deportation to follow. CSM here.
Posted on 11/23/2015 8:37 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 23 November 2015
Prince Charles, Meet Bernie Sanders
Posted on 11/23/2015 8:25 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 23 November 2015
But Don't Worry, Someone just "got hands on some fairly conventional weapons"

Homeless man finds stolen Massachusetts armory guns near Yankee Stadium - Fox News

Obama quote in title here.

Posted on 11/23/2015 8:10 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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