Rarely in history has a ten minute phone call, like that on Friday December 2, 2016, been credited with raising fears of new tensions in international politics. According to TheNew York Times on December 4, 2016, the “protocol shattering” phone call between President-elect Donald Trump and the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Democratic Progressive party, is “rattling Asia.”
Irrespective of whether the telephone call was well planned for tactical reasons, orchestrated by former Senator Bob Dole, or a diplomatic gaffe on the part of Trump, or a clever political overture by Tsai Ing-wen to strengthen relations with the US, or simply a polite message of congratulations to Trump on his victory, The New York Times, the mainstream media, and the political correct have erred once again in their assessment of a minor event.
So far, the anticipated shaking, rattling, and rocking in Asia has not materialized. Instead, a short, polite congratulatory courtesy call from a democratically elected head of a friendly political entity has been transformed into high drama, and drawing attention to China policy. Even if the phone conversation included a brief exchange of political views or proposals, those ten minutes did not attempt to change US policy toward China, let alone the world. The call did not constitute a formal US recognition of Taiwan.
The short phone call did not ignite any activity except in the US mainstream media, nor did the courtesy call by the Taiwan leader lead to any discussion of or indication of policy by the incoming US administration towards the Far East, or touch on future US policy on the controversial relationship between China and Taiwan.
Political language, George Orwell asserted, is designed to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One can ask wherefore is the telephone call from Tsai different from the many other similar calls that Donald Trump received from leaders in the world, including Communist China, and Russia.
At the outset two thing are important. Since the U.S. Constitution says nothing to the contrary, the critics of the Tsai phone call, whatever their political views, should acknowledge that US citizens, even a President-elect, have a perfect right to talk to whomever they like. American citizens certainly do not need approval of the Communist China regime, or even The New York Times, before making or taking phone calls.
Trump was not naïve in accepting the call and it was not a gaffe, but rather gave a signal of political goodwill towards Taiwan. It was certainly not as purposeful as the actions by President Barack Obama in reestablishing diplomatic relations with Cuba severed in January 1961, exchanging embassies, restoring commercial flights, negotiating agreements on a number of issues, or aiming to promote a “democratic,” prosperous, and stable Cuba.
The second matter is that Trump addressed Tsai as “President” of Taiwan, thus indicating recognition of Taiwan as a distinct political entity and independent state. Does this suggest a change in US policy and stronger support for Taiwan or simply recognition of the legal position of Tsai?
At the core of the issue is the definition of the “true” China. Taiwan was founded by the Kuomintang (KMT), Chinese nationalist party, led by Chiang Kai-shek, that had ruled the Asian mainland until overthrown by the Communist party led by Mao Zedong. The KMT fled and established their own political system, now a country of 23 million with its own political and military structure. The inherent dilemma is that all recognize Taiwan is a province of China, but there is no unanimity on what is China? Is the concept of “One China” fact or fiction?
For the U.S. the issue seemed to be resolved in 1979 with the agreement between President Jimmy Carter and Mao Zedong and Deng Xioping that recognized China as one sole legitimate country and the US had no official diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Communist People’s Republic was recognized as the official country while Taiwan, that had held the seat in the UN for “China” until 1971, was named as the Republic of China. Official ties between the US and Taiwan were abrogated.
What is important is that the US does not specifically or legally approve the policy of “One China.” It simply accepts that the two sides, China and Taiwan, agree on the concept. Moreover, the 1979 Agreement upholds the right of the US to maintain cultural, commercial, and unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan. President Trump must do this and more.
Those relations are ongoing with Taiwan which is now the US’s 9th trading partner. In 2016 the US exported $21,344 million supply of products to Taiwan and imported $32,580 million, a deficit for the US of $11,236 million. The US sold Taiwan $12 billions in arms, and by the 1970 agreement the U.S. is obliged to helped Taiwan to defend itself. After early years of authoritarianism, Taiwan can be said to have become part of the democratic world as was shown by the first direct presidential elections in 1996.
The Trump administration has to deal with the yearning of Taiwan to be recognized as a sovereign political state. Taiwan already has diplomatic relations with 22 countries, though they are small and developing ones, and has signed 23 agreements with China to which it sends 40 % of its exports. Trump must consider adding the U.S. to the 22 countries.
Throughout his electoral campaign, Trump underscored his criticism of China, its currency manipulation, and trade sanctions. His promise was to “bring back jobs” from China. A persistent theme was the threat of imposing a tariff on Chinese goods. The fundamental problem is that China with 1.3 billion people is now the world’s largest economy and expanding, though with variations, at 6.5-7 % a year. Its GDP is over $20 trillion, while that of the U.S. is $18.5 trillion. However, Chinese GDP per capita is $15,000, while that in the US is $57,000.
Trump must face reality. China is the world’s largest trading power: 130 countries have China as their most important bilateral trading partner, more than double the figure for the U.S. Moreover, the U.S. is the world’s largest debtor while China is a creditor, the largest buyer of U.S. debts, and holds 10 % of U.S. national debt, and has largest foreign currency reserves. The US imports 18% of China’s exports.
China is militarily and technologically strong with its aircraft carriers, strategic bombers, cyber weapons, fighters, intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles, and powerful fast supercomputers.
Trump has made overwhelmingly clear the US economic problem of trade with China, its currency manipulation, and military buildup. Already he suggests tariff on goods imported from US companies located abroad, particularly in China and Mexico. Trump’s main argument has been to bring back jobs from China.
Trump must counter the Chinese challenges especially in the South China Seas and the Spratly Islands, more than 100 small islands or reefs, 500 miles from the Chinese mainland, where China is building and expanding reefs to provide radar and military facilities, and where it claims almost all the potentially resource rich waters.
Trump must also consider a shift in diplomatic relations with Taiwan, strengthening its democratic character, and also expending the US navy in the East and South China Seas. This will take more than a 10 minute phone call.
Jordan Peterson exposes "the great liberal death wish"
by Conrad Black
I have just endured the sobering experience of watching the always very intelligent and professional Steve Paikin chair a panel about the trans-gender controversy that centres on University of Toronto professor Dr. Jordan Peterson. I had vaguely followed the story as it percolated up in the press, much of the frothings in which must usually be taken lightly. It was, I fear, a piercing glimpse into what great and venerable statesmen of my youth such as Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, and Louis St. Laurent called "days that I shall not see." I did not, until now, grasp the fine balance between gratitude and wistfulness in their invocation of that phrase; as a young person, I thought it the license of the great to engage in histrionics, and I now claim it as the right of lesser yet aging people, such as myself.
For those who have sagely ducked or otherwise been spared exposure to this controversy, Dr. Peterson rejects the right of his students to require him to address them, if they are trans-people (i.e. in some state of flux between the male and female poles of gender identification — not their orientation, whether they are homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual or asexual has nothing to do with it), otherwise than in a way that consigns them to the claustrophobic confines of being male or female. "Ze" for he or she and "Zir" in place of his or him are the sticking points, but what is accumulating behind these imbecilic distinctions is quite sinister. The tape Steve Paikin ran of Dr. Peterson being reviled and shouted down and physically intimidated at the University of Toronto was distressing and we may be on the edge of a defining moment in our jolly and progressive Canadian civilization. Dr. Peterson sees it as a matter of freedom of expression and believes that others do not have the authority to require him to address them in a newly-hatched vocabulary devised to oppress the "gender-binary" conventional practice, while his opponents profess to believe that in refusing to do so, he is committing a hate crime punishable by human rights commissions or tribunals.
Those hoary-headed monsters, whose egregious trespasses on freedom of expression in the name of despotic political correctness has been heroically and successfully contested by my friends Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant and others, does not prescribe imprisonment under the articles invoked by Dr. Peterson's assailants, but a fine is possible. As if to assure the least possibility of a quiet end to this preposterous issue, Dr. Peterson has declared that he will not pay a fine, and if imprisoned for not paying it, would embark on a hunger strike. While my sympathies are with Dr. Peterson, this is an unjustified hypothetical escalation. If it came to that, the authorities would attach his bank account or his income and collect the fine in that manner rather than imprisoning him and provoking a hunger strike.
Dr. Peterson's approach is so inflexible and so entirely righteous, without much using the powerful weapon of ridicule that is available to him, he may not attract the full range of support the virtue of his arguments and his personal courage deserve. But on the substance of the issue, he is, of course, correct. We must always be wary of the majoritarian tyranny, which has preoccupied many civil libertarians, including the principal authors of the Constitution of the United States, especially James Madison and Alexander Hamilton (who agreed on little else). But the transgender community is less than one per cent of the population. As I have written many times in many contexts over many tears, rights do not exist only for the numerous, and a litmus test of the legitimacy of a society is its observance of the rights of minorities, including especially minorities of one. The jurisprudence of all great democratic nations is replete with famous cases to this effect: Capt. Dreyfus, Dr. Samuel Mudd (who was prosecuted for treating the assassin of Abraham Lincoln though there was no evidence that he was involved in the plot), even the British Archer-Shee affair made famous in the drama, the Winslow Boy.
The Peterson affair is threatening to cross the double white line. All people must be treated with respect, equally. But there are only two genders, two sexes; our species and all other mammals are "gender-binary." All people may state their sex, and if that is contrary to physical appearances, that remains their right. But no individual or group has the right to invent a new vocabulary and a new co-equal gender because of a state of ambivalence or confusion about which sex they are. Every legally competent individual has a perfect and absolute right to declare their sex, but not to create a new legal status and legally require the use of a new vocabulary for those in flux between the only two sexes we have, mercilessly binary though their finite number may be. The individuals in that condition may change their registered sex each day if they wish, but not treat anyone who declines to address them in terms that debunk the gender-binary world as guilty of a hate-crime, punishable by imposable fines.
About six months ago I wrote a column in this space about the acceptance by the Supreme Court of Canada to hear an appeal of judgments from well-reasoned local courts, a request from a British Columbia band of native people numbering 900, who claimed that 25 years of consultation was constitutionally inadequate over a proposed ski area that an elder of their band was supernaturally advised (and after a lapse of some years told his people) would drive off the spirit of the grizzly bear that was central to the religion of that band. I concluded the column with the shabby polemical device that I only employ rarely, a rhetorical question, in this case "Are we all mad?"
Of course we are not, and we still live in a country where people can self-identify as they wish, even if it diverges from apparent realities. But we are almost at the point where people who decline to be legally forced to acknowledge the more implausible applications of this right are subject to persecution by social justice warriors and, quite conceivably, the government.
We are terrifyingly reluctant to impose normal rules of free discourse over the agitations of people who are using an imagined unlimited latitude on sexual self-description to gag, dictate to, and prosecute reasonable people exercising their rights to free expression. It is another manifestation (of which the hypocritically respectful lamentations about the Stalinist despot Fidel Castro are another), of what my late friend Malcolm Muggeridge called "the great liberal death wish." The great majority do not want to go along for that ride, and this time, the great majority must be heard and obeyed.
Jimmy Carter, Lord Caradon, the Palestine Mandate, and U.N. Resolution 242 (Part I)
by Hugh Fitzgerald
The glad news is that Jimmy Carter is again bringing peace to the Middle East, by saving Israel from itself, as he has tried so many times before, and without a moment to lose. He wants to make sure that the American government, while still under Obama, joins 137 other countries in recognizing a country called “Palestine.” It’s the “solution” of “two states, living side by side in peace,” about which we have heard so much over decades. Carter’s plan is sure to satisfy the “Palestinians” because, according to Carter, he’s gotten nothing but “positive feedback” from them. As for those pesky Israelis, the ones who keep building those awful “settlements” on “occupied Palestinian land,” they’ll just have to be satisfied with those “borders” they had prior to the Six-Day War, the ones that worked so well before.
ATLANTA — We do not yet know the policy of the next administration toward Israel and Palestine, but we do know the policy of this administration. It has been President Obama’s aim to support a negotiated end to the conflict based on two states, living side by side in peace.
That prospect is now in grave doubt. I am convinced that the United States can still shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a change in presidents, but time is very short. The simple but vital step this administration must take before its term expires on Jan. 20 is to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine, as 137 countries have already done, and help it achieve full United Nations membership.
Back in 1978, during my administration, Israel’s prime minister, Menachem Begin, and Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, signed the Camp David Accords. That agreement was based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which was passed in the aftermath of the 1967 war. The key words of that resolution were “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security,” and the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”
The agreement was ratified overwhelmingly by the Parliaments of Egypt and Israel. And those two foundational concepts have been the basis for the policy of the United States government and the international community ever since.
This was why, in 2009, at the beginning of his first administration, Mr. Obama reaffirmed the crucial elements of the Camp David agreement and Resolution 242 by calling for a complete freeze on the building of settlements, constructed illegally by Israel on Palestinian territory. Later, in 2011, the president made clearthat “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines,” and added, negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.”
Today, however, 38 years after Camp David, the commitment to peace is in danger of abrogation. Israel is building more and more settlements, displacing Palestinians and entrenching its occupation of Palestinian lands. Over 4.5 million Palestinians live in these occupied territories[if we count Gaza, which is no longer “occupied” by Israel], but are not citizens of Israel. Most live largely under Israeli military rule, and do not vote in Israel’s national elections.
Meanwhile, about 600,000 Israeli settlers [Israelis] in Palestine [Judea and Samaria]enjoy the benefits of Israeli citizenship and laws. This process is hastening a one-state reality that could destroy Israeli democracy and will result in intensifying international condemnation of Israel.
The Carter Center has continued to support a two-state solution by hosting discussions this month with Israeli and Palestinian representatives, searching for an avenue toward peace. Based on the positive feedback from those talks, I am certain that United States recognition of a Palestinian state would make it easier for other countries that have not recognized Palestine to do so, and would clear the way for a Security Council resolution on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Security Council should pass a resolution laying out the parameters for resolving the conflict. It should reaffirm the illegality of all Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 borders, while leaving open the possibility that the parties could negotiate modifications. Security guarantees for both Israel and Palestine are imperative, and the resolution must acknowledge the right of both the states of Israel and Palestine to live in peace and security. Further measures should include the demilitarization of the Palestinian state, and a possible peacekeeping force under the auspices of the United Nations….
That is the piece by Jimmy Carter that appeared in the New York Times on November 28. It disturbs for many reasons: the indifference to Israel’s security needs, the disregard for the relevant history, the inattention to Israel’s legal, moral, and historic claims, especially those based on the Mandate for Palestine and the “secure and defensible borders” provision of U.N. Resolution 242, and the ignorance Carter shows about Islam, and of what explains the unappeasable Muslim hostility to the Jewish state, no matter how tiny that state may become.
Let’s start with Carter’s attempt to describe what U.N. Resolution 242 says. He claims that the key words of that resolution were “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security,” and the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”
These are not the key words of Resolution 242. In fact, the first phrase he quotes, about the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security” is not even to be found in the Resolution proper, but appears in the non-binding preamble to it, a statement of principle only. And what’s more, Carter wants you to think that the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” refers to Israel, and its winning, by force of arms in the Six-Day War, of the Sinai, Gaza, and the territory we have fallen into the habit of calling the “West Bank,” the name given to it after 1949 by the Jordanian Arabs, who were determined to efface, as too obviously Jewish, the place-names Judea and Samaria, though they had been in use in the Western world for 2000 years.
But it is Jordan, and not Israel, to which that phrase “inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war” properly applies. It is Jordan that had no legal claim, but only the claim of a military occupier, since hostilities ended in 1949, to the “West Bank.” But Israel’s claim to the same territory (the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, if we want to respect and resurrect the most venerable of toponyms) is based on the Mandate for Palestine; that legal and historic claim survived the 1948 war and the Jordanian occupation that lasted from 1948 right up to the war of June 1967. Though Israel’s claim remained unchanged, after the Six-Day War one thing did change: that claim could at last be satisfied. In other words, while the Six-Day War created the conditions that allowed Israel to now enforce its legal claim under the Mandate for Palestine, it is that Mandate, and not the 1967 military victory, that is the original basis of Israel’s claim as of right and not of sufferance. And that claim is further buttressed by the requirement, in Resolution 242, for establishing “secure and defensible borders.”
In 1922, the British, as Mandatory authority, had unilaterally declared that all of the territory east of the Jordan River that had previously been allocated to the Mandate for Palestine, constituting fully 77% of its original land area, would no longer be open to Jewish immigration. This was done for reasons of big-power Realpolitik. The British wanted to have territory to offer to the Hashemite Emir Abdullah, the older brother of Feisal, whom the British installed on the throne of Iraq. They were worried that if Abdullah were not given some territory to rule, he would likely make a move on Syria, and thereby complicate matters for the British in their relations with France, the Mandatory for both Syria and Lebanon. So they chose to lop off from the Mandate for Palestine all of the territory east of the Jordan and present it to Abdullah, as what became the Emirate of Transjordan. That meant that the territory allocated to the future Jewish state was thereby reduced to 23% of what had originally been envisioned.
And while the Mandate for Palestine was intended for the establishment of the Jewish National Home, at the same time the Arabs were provided with four mandates by the League of Nations. These included Lebanon and Syria, with France as Mandatory, and Iraq and Jordan (its actual status being somewhat more complicated) with Great Britain as Mandatory. Jimmy Carter doesn’t want anyone to remember what the Mandate for Palestine was all about, much less take a look at its precise terms. He doesn’t want you to know that the 1948-49 war did not extinguish Israel’s claim to all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean (with a southern border from Rafah to the Gulf of Aqaba, and a northern border that was roughly a straight line from the Mediterranean to Metulla, and then northward up to the Golan Heights.)
Carter certainly doesn’t want the world to remember how well-provided the Arabs were with mandates, and even endowed with territory taken from the proposed Jewish National Home. Nor does he think worth mentioning the fact that the total land area of the 22 members of the Arab League is 13,000,000 million square kilometers, or roughly 600 times Israel’s land area of 22,000 square kilometers. That might put things in perspective, and equity is not Carter’s strong suit. He wrongly calls the armistice lines of 1949 the “borders” of Israel. And Carter simply accepts as a given the existence of a “Palestinian people” who have apparently existed forever, instead of understanding that they came into being as a deliberate construct, created for political reasons, so that the Arab and Muslim war on Israel could be presented, more acceptably, as a simple matter of “two tiny peoples, each struggling for its homeland.”
The Weaponization of the Internet: Options & Tactics for States
by Jesse Sandoval
In the world of state-sponsored cyber hacking and propaganda, there is no one-way street. Major state actors like China, Russia and the U.S. are victims of internet-enabled strikes just as much as they are the perpetrators of strikes against other state actors. The body of evidence surrounding this field is obfuscated by how state actors intentionally conceal their tracks, in a manner that is uniquely possible over the Internet, but less so in physical warfare.
In this article, we will analyze the Weaponization of the Internet, defining its permutations as denial of service (DoS) and censorship, hacking to gain unauthorized access, and Internet-enabled propaganda to disrupt or influence public opinion. We will then delve into case studies of state actors: China, Russia and the U.S. We will advance the argument that Internet-based offensive technologies will not only become an integral part of state-security, but they will also become the first line of offense against other states. Lastly we will argue that prevailing defenses aimed at preventing hacking and propaganda are insufficient, and therefore the orientation of defensive thought must shift from building higher firewalls to predicting security breaches before they occur.
The rise of the Internet and related technologies has transformed the world, revolutionizing nearly all aspects of everyday life, including crime. Broadly speaking there are three mutually exclusive categories of InternetWeaponization: (1) blanket attacks on states, communities & infrastructure, through: DoS, worms, malware, and censorship; (2) targeted attacks (‘cyber hacking’) on individuals, organizations & companies through phishing & user-identification attacks; and (3) non-criminal propaganda which uses social media & news media outlets to disseminate information with the intention of swaying public opinion.
Virus, Malware & Denial of Service
The most lethal computer virus in history, ‘ILoveYou’, was released by a non-state actor (a Filipino computer science student) on May 5, 2000 spreading over email with a title subject “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.txt.vbs" resulting in $10 billion in damages to government and corporate networks. Between April 27 and May 9, 2007 Estonia served as a testing ground for coordinated attacks by a distributed group of Russian hackers, including: ‘flood attacks’, ‘smurfing’, and ‘bricking’, shutting down Estonia’s government & banks for twelve days. Lastly, the release of ‘Stuxnet’ by the Israel’s Mossad in concert with U.S. Cyber Command in June 2010 represented a quantum leap in malware complexity. Stuxnet succeeded in shutting down 1,000 centrifuges at Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, and rendering impossible the activation of the Bushehr nuclear facility. These examples demonstrate both the evolution of viruses from trivial individual use to state-sponsored use, and its growing complexity.
Internet censorship takes the form of controlled suppression of what can be accessed, published or viewed freely elsewhere. Political censorship becomes the weapon of choice for non-democratic governments attempting to suppress subversion to their authority, most notably the shut down of the Internet by ex-President Mubarak on January 27th 2011 during the peak of the Arab Spring, and similar curtailment of the Internet in other Arab states. However the largest ever orchestrated censorship of the Internet remains China’s ‘Great Firewall’ (Golden Shield Project 2003), a massive surveillance and censorship program affecting 700 million users (roughly 25% of all internet users).
Undoubtedly the most lethal form of Internet Weaponization remains targeted hacking with criminal intent. The most popular method, ‘Phishing’, describes an attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, financial detail for malicious reasons (theft, extortion), by disguising as a trustworthy entity. Attempts directed at specific individuals or companies have been termed ‘Spear Phishing’. ‘Social Engineering’ involves using social skills to obtain or compromise information, and ‘Cross-site scripting’ refers to type of code injection attack incorrectly validating user data, inserted on a page via an altered link or web form.
While cyber hacking remains the practice of choice of criminal organizations and hacktivists, it requires statecraft-level thinking to serve as an effective means of waging cyber warfare against a state. Thus cyber hacking techniques are part of the arsenal of intelligence departments worldwide, and especially used by Beijing, Moscow and Washington.
The use of propaganda by organizations or states to advance political goals is nothing new. However, its effective use over the Internet is a relatively new concept. Given the reliance of search engines and social media on the ‘credibility’ of the news source to engender its news worthiness to the top of search results, propaganda requires many page views and ‘likes’ to be successful.
Much attention has been focused on Islamic States’ successful use of propaganda as a recruitment tool (both for people joining the so called Caliphate, and for me too attackers in the West). Islamic State, must, however, focus its efforts on emotionally captivating media on a sentimental audience (namely other Muslims). Alternatively Russia’s efforts at cyber propaganda combine traditional news outlets (RussiaToday & Sputnik), cyber hackers, trolls and bots to take ‘rig’ search results into displaying fabricated stories irrespective of their factual validity. Examples of these strategies in action abound, from propaganda campaigns in Ukraine, to the Scottish independence referendum, the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
State Actors: China, Russia, and The United States
China’s primary offensive requirement for the Internet is (1) domestic censorship, and (2) corporate and military espionage. These requirements reflect China’s own geopolitical condition: one where national unity and the Communist Party’s monopoly on power rests on its ability to deliver economic gains while simultaneously suppressing dissent. To that effect, China’s Ministry of Security Service (MSS) released in 2006 the Golden Shield Project ‘Great Firewall’ resulting in censorship for 700 million users. Additionally, China’s elite hacking group within the People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398 has scored an impressive array of hits against American defense industry, civil administrative departments, and the United States Armed Forces.
However, whereas China relies on sheer manpower to engage in cyber hacking against geopolitical enemies (be that Japan, Taiwan, U.S.) fully relying on an army of 1.5 million hackers distributed across the mainland, it lacks the speed and skill that Russian hackers have cultivated over twenty years, or the asymmetry of access which America’s Directorate of National Intelligence commandeers. Going forward, China remains most vulnerable to subversive propaganda oriented towards discrediting the Communist leadership.
Russia’s primary offensive requirement for the Internet is as an (1) extension of its military arsenal when advancing its geopolitical goals, and (2) as a form of ‘digital sovereignty’. Russia’s experience in cyber warfare is unparalleled, having successfully utilized denial of service tactics to complement two ground offensives (Georgia 2008 and Ukraine 2014) & additionally in Estonia in 2007. Indeed, Russia’s ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’ outlines the user of cyber warfare as an integral part of ‘hybrid warfare’ whereby there is no direct culpability to Russian ground forces of a military strike. Nevertheless, these measures reflect tried & tested Soviet doctrine to engage in ‘active subversive measures’ to destabilize enemies in order to advance its geopolitical goals. Americans came face-to-face with this updated method of warfare known as ‘insinuendo’ propaganda, during the 2016 Presidential elections. A combination of state-sponsored news (RussiaToday and Sputnik), bots, fakes news webpages and cyber hackers managed to expose weaknesses within American political institutions (namely the Democratic Party Convention) to undermine trust in the electoral process.
Secondarily, Russia’s government sees an unregulated Internet with suspicion. The Kremlin has over the past five years enacted laws to encroach on the freedom of information of the Internet to the point where some suspect a similar firewall will exist to that of China. The political objectives of Internet censorship are oriented towards steering public opinion in favor of Russia’s ruling party, and also depriving Western technology firms of access to identifying details of Russian citizens; hence their objective of ‘digital sovereignty’.
Going forward, Russia has a target rich environment of opportunities to deploy its army of hackers, bots, and mainstream news agencies to advance its geopolitical interests (be that undermining NATO or the European Union). These include propaganda in support of Eurosceptic nationalists parties in upcoming elections like France, Germany and Serbia. Conversely, Russia’s ruling party is at risk of similar tactics deployed against during the 2018 elections, should the U.S. seek to deploy large-scale digital resources to unseat the incumbents.
Lastly we turn to the United States, which maintains a near asymmetric dominance of Internet surveillance, big data computing power, and best-in-class signals intelligence (SIGINT) and satellite intelligence (SATINT) to back that up. America’s offensive requirement for the Internet are oriented towards (1) asymmetric dominance of access; and (2) neutralizing threats to America and its allies.
The extent of America’s surveillance and cyber hacking power was not publicly known until Edward Snowden released a trove of National Security Agency (NSA) files related to the existence of PRISM, a mass, global internet & telephony surveillance program. PRISM is a tool used by the U.S. NSA to collect private electronic data belonging to users of major Internet services like Gmail, Facebook, Outlook, and others. It’s the latest evolution of the U.S. government’s post-9/11 electronic surveillance efforts, which began under President Bush with the Patriot Act, and expanded to include the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) enacted in 2006 and 2007. NSA programs collect two kinds of data: metadata and content. Metadata is the sensitive byproduct of communications, such as phone records that reveal the participants, times, and durations of calls; the communications collected by PRISM include the contents of emails, chats, VoIP calls, cloud-stored files, and more.
While China and Russia maintain their own domestic surveillance programs, neither has unfettered access to global user metadata as the U.S. Directorate of Intelligence. This program alone has advanced America’s national security interests (particularly in counter terrorism), but elsewhere too.
The biggest weakness in America’s indiscriminate Internet surveillance is the legal framework and civilian oversight under which it is held to account (arguably a major source of strength). Whereas China and Russia do not have oversight boards governing use and monitoring noncompliance, the U.S. does, curtailing its scope of use. However, despite these controls, U.S. intelligence engages in the use of malware, cyber hacking, and to a lesser extent propaganda, to further its pursuit of organized criminals, terrorists, and against states.
The Book of Genesis tells us the story of Joseph, who has been given the gift of foretelling the future. This gift enables Joseph to foresee a shortage of grain within the Egyptian kingdom, and engage in history’s first example of a futures contract, buying and taking possession of grain stocks in advance of a famine.
In this article we have presented a comprehensive overview the universe of methodologies available to conduct warfare via the Internet (be that through state actors or non-state actors). For governments, organizations and corporations operating or subscribing to managed security service providers (MSSP’s), building adequate defenses doesn’t start with stronger and higher firewalls, but with identifying security breeches before they materialize. To accomplish this task, security and analytics efforts must shift their thinking towards artificial intelligence-based algorithms that analyze data from over millions of sources across the open, deep, and dark web, in all languages, and in real-time. The task, practically impossible ten years ago, is now feasible through so called ‘Web Intelligence Engines’. By identifying keywords, hashtags and zero days that bubble-up to a critical level, potential victims of cyber hacking are able to prepare defenses in advance of planned attacks.
Jesse Sandoval is a graduate of Stanford University in International Relations & Economics. Jesse Sandoval is based in Los Angeles, works in the private equity industry and actively blogs on foreign affairs. He may be contacted at [email protected]
Auntie Does Dawa: Yet More Islamopuffery from Australia's ABC As We Hear About Naive Infidels Listening to Smiling Muslims Telling Them Lies for Islam
A wise commenter over at Robert Spencer's Jihadwatch once remarked that Islam comprised thuggery plus image management. This year has seen - notably in Israel with the stabbing jihad ongoing, but also in Syria and Iraq as the beleaguered Christian remnant can testify, and in the Infidel West, to wit, Cologne and Brussells and Nice and the USA (Muslim mass-murder at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida) and even in Australia (Muslim stabbing murder of two hapless backpackers; Muslim attempted stabbing of a man in a park walking a dog; Muslim attempted murder-by-fire of customers waiting in a bank), and then we could add the activities of Boko Haram and other Muslims in Northern Nigeria and of assorted Muslim mobs in Pakistan - multiple examples of Muslim thuggery, all of it fully in accord with the Sunnah of the murderous warlord who founded the cult.
Naturally enough, some Infidels who have been paying at least some attention to such of these events as get reported, start to become just a tad wary of the proudly-uniformed Allah Gang members whom they encounter in their daily life.
And so we get the Image Management. Worried infidels are warned against the cardinal sin of "Islamophobia", "Islamophobic", and urged to "Meet a Muslim", a sweetly-smiling elegantly-and-exotically-garbed soft-spoken Muslim who will tell them in soothing tones that there is nothing, nothing at all to worry about, and that everything -the misogyny, the murders - has nothingtodowithIslam, and will then adopt an injured tone and insinuate that, if anything, it is Muslims who should be pitied and flattered and given extra special consideration, because they are so afraid of the mean old Infidels who are so oddly and baselessly prejudiced against them, those poor persecuted little Muslim petals. If you have the stomach for it, click on the link for the story I am about to discuss, and look - just look - at the photos of the falsely-smiling Muslims, half of them exquisitely-made-up hijabettes fluttering their eyelashes, and the wide-eyed and uninformed Infidels happily swallowing down all the nonsense-and-lies that they are being fed. And then think of the scene in the Disney version of the "Jungle Book", where Kaa the snake is singing Mowgli to sleep as he envelops him in his crushing coils.
And so to our report, from Georgia Hitch and Elise Pianegonda, neither of whom, I am willing to bet good money, has ever even glanced at one page of the Quran, let alone the Sira or the Hadiths, nor examined any of the trenchant critiques written by former Muslims such as Ibn Warraq, Wafa Sultan, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
"Meet a Muslim: Canberrans Urged to Break Down Barriers".
Every time I hear this line about 'breaking down barriers' - which always, always focuses not on the barriers, such as the rule that Muslim females cannot marry a non-Muslim man, that Muslims have and keep inexorably in place against Infidels, but on any sign of resistance offered by non-Muslims against Islamisation - I think of the Arabic term futuhat, 'opening', the term that in Islamic texts can refer to Muslim invasion of Infidel lands, 'opening' them up for Islamisation. It's all about removing the barriers from the Infidel side only; there must be no resistance to the expansion of Islam, no questioning, no complaints. - CM
'In a bid to remove stigma from the religion and its followers, Canberrans are being encouraged to "meet a Muslim" and ask anything they've been wondering about Islam.
But none of the uninformed or underinformed seems to have thought to ask about the wife-beating verse (4.34), or about little Aisha and just why it is that child 'marriage' is so prevalent and often so fiercely defended in so much of the dar al Islam, or about the concept of the dar al Harb and the dar al Islam, or about al Wala wa al Baraa and Quran 48.29 with its grim statement that those who follow mohammed are 'harsh to the unbelievers' and compassionate only amongst themselves, or about Mohammed's declaration that "I have been made victorious by terror", or about the apostasy law that causes so many ex-Muslims to live in fear and in hiding under changed names (or else with an armed bodyguard everywhere they go), or the blasphemy law that is so murderously in effect in Pakistan and animated the riots in response to Danish cartoons and in response to a truthful - if ill-made - film about Mohammed, and inspired the murderers of Theo Van Gogh and of a room full of French cartoonists; or about the many many verses that decry any real friendship or alliance with unbelievers, and the permission to lie to protect and advance Islam. Or the story of the Khaybar Oasis, and the rapes of Safiyya and Rayhana, and the many, many Quran verses that ooze and incite hatred and aggression against Jews qua Jews. Oh no, none of that came up, at all. Nobody asked questions about that. Nobody seems to have brought along a Quran full of bookmarks, or a copy of the Sira, similarly bookmarked, and read things out loud, and then, having mentioned muruna and darura and taysir and mudarat and taqiyya and tawriyyah, remarked casually that, given such a proliferation of technical terms to do with strategic deceit, why should Infidels even waste their time listening to 'explanations' that are most likely nothing but Jihad of the Tongue? - CM
'The first event was held in the national capital on Monday night, where a group of Muslim representatives (all very carefully presented, and no doubt very carefully selected, and carefully 'primed' beforehand - CM), did their best to answer questions from more than a dozen Canberrans.
None of whom came equipped as they should have been. For some idea of what that might mean, one might read Hugh Fitzgerald's "Ask a Muslim Girl" article.
"We've always wanted to do an event like this only because we've realized how powerful basic human interaction can be". - Organiser, Saba Awan.
Suuure. But then why does the Quran and why do the Hadiths repeatedly tell Muslims not to form genuine, lasting friendships or alliances with non-Muslims? Why is there a Hadith that says, "We grin at some people, though our hearts hate them"?, in a context that clearly indicates that the hated people are non-Muslims, hated for being kuffar, and the people offering fake grins, are the Muslims? - CM
"What really pushed us that bit further was a poll that came out in September that showed 49 percent of Australians supported a ban on Muslim immigration, and for us that was a huge shock to the system".
I bet it was! It frightened you because it indicated that, if only a small additional percentage of Aussies joined that 49 percent, and it tipped over into 50-plus percent, Muslim immigration into Australia - the hijra, the immigration-invasion, the process of infiltration and subversion that is intended to conclude with the Islamisation of Australia (for more, see Patrick Sookhdeo, 'Faith, Power and Territory', and 'Islam in Britain", and Sam Solomon, "Al-Hijra: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration" - might be stopped. Or even reversed. And then the expansion of Islam, Islam, Islam would be curbed, in Australia. Horrors!And hence, this transparently obvious attempt at a bit of image management, dawa, and downright Lying For Islam, to try to fool Aussies into thinking that Islam is not dangerous, that the global Jihad currently in full swing (by various methods, including not only open and violent jihad of the sword, but also jihad of the womb, pen, purse and tongue) on all inhabited continents has nothingtodowithIslam, and that the influx of Muslims into Australia - despite the deadly fruits already evidenced and the ever-proliferating plots that ASIO and the AFP are run ragged trying to keep on top of - must continue unabated. - CM
"We thought, 'If that's what people are saying, we have to do something about this".
"We can't get mad about it or upset about it (because we are as yet in Australia too few and weak to resort to open violence to impose Muslim dominance over the non-Muslims- CM) but we need to reach out and speak to people."
In other words: we will tell a lot of soothing lies and play the victims for all we are worth, in hopes of suckering as many gullible Infidels we can, into thinking that our Death Cult, our Religion of Blood and War, petrodollar turbo-charged and bent on Total World Domination, is Nothing To Worry About.
And now the ABC reporter asks one of the naive Infidels: "Why did you come along tonight?"
Rachel, "I think it's important for people to build relationships with people who aren't the same as they are".
Question for Rachel: Have you ever heard the terms "Dar al Harb" and "Dar al Islam"? What do they mean, and what is the relationship between them, according to classic, historic, orthodox Islamic doctrine? According to Joseph Schacht, in his book 'An Introduction to Islamic Law", "The basis of the Islamic attitude towards unbelievers is the law of war: they must be either converted, or subjugated, or killed". How do you propose to "build relationships" with people in whom such an attitude has been inculcated toward all such persons as yourself? - CM
"As a teacher, we say we're lifelong learners... and it would be good to get some factual information, because there's a lot of what, I think, is inaccurate". - Peter.
What, precisely, is that information that you deem 'inaccurate', Peter? Have you, yourself, ever read an - Islamically-approved - translation of the Quran, one of the many versions done by English-speaking converts to Islam? Or the standard commentary upon such? Or either the Muir or Guillaume translations of the canonical "Sira", the life of Mohammed? Let alone picked up a copy of the Bukhari or Muslim Hadith collections? Would you say, Peter, that the formidable French sociologist Jacques Ellul must have got it all wrong, when he stated that Islam was "fundamentally warlike"? That Sir Winston Churchill got it all wrong when he referred to Islam as "the religion of blood and war"? On what basis do you, Peter, take it upon yourself to assume prima facie that anyone expressing misgivings about Islam must be in error? And if you had read Coptic-American scholar Raymond Ibrahim's discussions of Islamic deception, or some of the work of ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish, you might realize that, as a infidel, you might just possibly not get honest answers to any awkward questions you happen to ask of a Muslim. Would you expect to be told the truth about Scientology, by a signed-up Scientologist? - CM
"I'm interested in how these guys deal with and recncile how the conservative, or right-leaning views, in Australia, affect them and some of the intra-Islamic community politics'. - Luke.
Dear Luke: please research the history of interactions between Sunnis and Shiites, past and present. Do some research on the current treatment of, say, Copts - an indigenous non-Islamic people-group - by the dominant Muslims, in Egypt; or the current treatment of non-Muslims in West Papua, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, and then ask yourself whether Muslims anywhere in the West are suffering anything like what their co-religionists routinely dish out to all non-Muslims qua non-Muslims, wherever they - Muslims - rule. And please get out of your head your prima facie assumption hat Muslims are poor helpless victims of baseless prejudice. - CM
"What have your experiences as a Muslim in Canberra been?" (this the reporter, handing the Muslim a perfect opportunity to cry victim. But before we proceed, let's play a little game. Let's replace that word "Muslim" with "Jew", "Buddhist", "Sikh" or "Hindu". Would it even occur to anyone to have to ask the question? And if not, why not? Why are we being inundated with reports about 'Meet a Muslim" Events, and "Open Days" at Mosques, and a parade of articles featuring exquisitely-made-up hijabettes trying to make out that Muslims in Australia are just sooo misunderstood, sooo badly treated? We are not having any 'Meet a Buddhist/ Sikh/ Hindu/ Jew/ Taoist" Events; we are not being exhorted - even by political leaders - to attend special Open Days to be held at synagogues, gurdwaras, temples and shrines, in order to dispel all our unaccountable and negative misconceptions about Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc. Why is it so imperative that we Meet the Muslims? Why do we need all this Islamopuffery?
The reporter then takes a photograph of a smiling Muslim male, Rayeed Rahman, with that very special ear-to-ear grin, and gets the response, "By and large Canberra is awesome but [discrimination] is there".
"I've found that there's this idea here that Muslim women who wear headscarves are in some way oppressed".
Actually, mister, t's the message the Slave-Rag wearers are sending about the status of the "easy meat' or "uncovered meat", all of us unislamically-dressed females, that is what I don't like. Here's Daniel Greenfield discussing the subject in an article entitled "Free to Molest".
",,,the clothing of Muslim women is not a personal fashion choice. Muslim women don't wear hijabs, burkas or any other similar garb as a fashion statement, or even an expression of religiou piety. Their own religion tells us exactly why they wear them: "O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies that they may thus be distinguished and not molested" (Koran 33: 59). It's not about modesty. It's not about religion. It's about putting a "Do Not Rape" sign on Muslim women. And putting a "Free to Molest" sign on non-Muslim women....".
"How do you respond when the media shows Muslim women who are oppressed?"
(This to a perfectly-made-up Egyptian Muslim female; who proceeds at once to deny and evade the subject - CM).
"My experience coming from Egypt, my people are campaigning against that [oppression].
Really? Shall we discuss honour murders, FGM (which is rife in Egypt, because of the prevalence of the Shafiite school of Sharia which declares the cutting-out of the clitoris to be obligatory), and the rampant and entirely Islamically-orthodox kidnappings, sexual abuse and forced 'conversion' to Islam of Coptic girls and women, many of them underaged? Shall we mention ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish's book on sharia, "Cruel and Usual Punishment", and how she - as a girl and young woman raised in a Muslim family in Muslim Egypt - observed and experienced the outworking of specifically Islamic concepts and rules to do with marriage and sexuality? - CM
"There is patriarchy in every country, just like women are fighting domestic violence here, they also do it in Muslim countries".
Shall we discuss Quran 4.34, the wife-beating verse? No other world religion openly and explicitly tells men that if they so much as 'fear' that their wives might rebel, they are to beat them. Then there is the Abu Dawud Hadith collection, Book XI, number 2142 - "The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife". Here is another classic article, by one 'Spengler, discussing wife-beating and the sharia versus western law.
Spengler notes - "The practice of wife-beating, which is found in Muslim communities in western countries, is embedded too profoundly in sharia law to be extracted. Nowhere to my knowledge has a Muslim religious authority of standing repudiated wife-beating as specified in Surah 4.32 (sic: 4.34) of the Koran, for to do so would undermine the foundations of Musllm society. By extension, the power of the little sovereign of the family can include the killing of wayward wives and female relations...". - CM
"Why do women wear headscarves?'
Why? Because they will get into trouble if they don't (Muslim girls and women have been killed, within the west, for refusing to wear hijab) and also in order to set themselves off over against the infidel sluts and whores around them. See the Daniel Greenfiedl article already mentioned, above, with analysis of Quran 33.59, about being distinguished from non-Muslim females and therefore not "molested". See also N Maruani's outline and summary of the views of French-resident ex-Muslim or dissdent, Chahdortt Djavann - a strong advocate of the French hijab ban in schools and burka ban on the streets - on the subject of the slave rag / sharia badge and its significance as political statement.
"She [Djavann] writes that the veil cannot be presented as a personal choice, disregarding centuries of Islamic history... it is inappropriate to probe the motivations of every young girl wearing the veil, when what is at stake is a political agenda. Djavann explains further, "The veil has never been innocent or innocuous. It has always signified the submission of women to men and the denial of legal rights to women in Islamic countries." More... "It [the veil] constitutes a constant call to order by Islamic law."..."the veil is the symbol, the flag and the keystone of the Islamic system".
Just bear those words in mind - the words of a woman who experienced forced veiling when Iran went Sharia under Khomeini - as we listen to the rote response of a perfectly-made-up hijabette, whose picture in the article is captioned with the words, 'Hafsah Faouk said she wore a headscarf to be closer to God".
"I don't judge other Muslim women who don't wear it, or think they are less dedicated because it is a personal choice. For me it was the next step to take to show my dedication to God (sic: to the allah of Islam; the Biblical God is willing and able to hear a woman's prayers whether she is covered-up or not - CM). But for me I made the decision to wear it to be closer to God".
To 'Allah', who won't listen to a Muslim female who is over puberty and not veiled. In the Abu Dawud hadith collection, Aisha is represented as saying "The Prophet... said: Allah does not accept the prayer of a woman who has reached puberty unless she wears a veil" - Book 2, Hadith number 641. - CM
Next, our ABC reporters give us a picture of a cheesily-grinning Mohammedan male, who informs us: "As someone who doesn't like shaking women's hands, I do it out of respect".
"Having said that, I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable because that's not respectful (suuuuure you don't; but the behaviour of so many, many Muslim males toward non-Muslims in general and non-Muslim females in particular, world-wide, is so appalling, and so completely in accord with the general contempt for and aggression toward the filthy unbelilevers, that is inculcated in the core texts of Islam, that I will reserve the right to treat your protestations with a heaping tablespoonful of salt - CM) so often I will just shake their hand. Ultimately, though, the way one person acts doesn't represent the rest.
That statement is unintentionally revealing. What if it is you, Mr Khalid Abdo, smiling and shaking hands in Australia where the Ummah doesas yet have the upper hand, where Muslims are not yet free to treat non-Muslims as Quran, Sira and Hadiths prescribe, whom we ought not to naively regard as a representative ? - CM
"On headscarves, unfortunately women bear the burden of discrimination in non-Muslim countries. As men, we feel guilty".
In what way, pray, are Muslim females, proudly displaying their sharia badges, their Allah gang membership uniform, suffering a 'burden of discrimination' in non-Muslim countries? I don't see that they are suffering anywhere near the sort of thing that non-Muslim women in Cologne in Germany suffered at the hands of mobs of Muslim males, at New Year's, this year. I don't see that they are being targeted for kidnapping, rape and forced conversion to another belief system, as are the Hindu and Christian girls of Pakistan. I don't see that Mulsim underaged girls, in the West, are being preferentially targeted, as Muslims, by multiple gangs of Infidel males, for 'grooming' and pimping as de facto sex slaves. In Australia, it was not gangs of Infidel males preying upon underaged Muslim girls and gang-raping them; it was the reverse, gangs of Muslim males targeting underaged Infidel girls. - CM
"Do you think Muslims impose their values on society?"
Answer to that? - denial and evasion. And, of course, no acknowledgement of the traditional definition of Islam as "the religion of domination". - CM
"Diana Abdel-Rahman said it was sad that people believed Muslims were trying to introduce Sharia law in Australia.
She implies that this belief is unfounded. It is, however, based on awareness of the public statements made by not a few Muslims, in the course of the past ten years and more; not to mention, awareness of the extent of the halal certification racket, and the spread of 'sharia finanace', and the continual accommodation of Muslim demands for this and that. - CM
"Our culture is different how than it was ten years ago, and it will be different again in ten years.
Why the ten-year increments, miss? And in what ways, specifically, will it be different? - CM
"I was talking to a young man" (says this Muslimah - CM) about this the other week, who said immigrants were changing Australian culture. I told him our culture is always changing, and often has nothing to do with who is coming to the country, or what their religion is."
That is not an answer; it is an evasion, a deflection. Note that weasel-word, "often". For a reality check, see ex-Muslim Patrick Sookhdeo, "Islam in Britain", in conjunection with his analysis of the Islamic drive to conquer and hold this-worldly turf, "Faith, Power and Territory"; and another ex-Muslim, Sam Solomon, 'Al Hijra: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration", in which the process whereby Muslims impose upon and Islamise a host society is set out, step by step. - CM
"It's all talk and somehow it gets picked up. It's this hearsay, it gets regurgitated over and over. Same with Sharia law, who said they wanted to introduce it? Have they actually tried to implement it".
"It's really sad, when you hear these things, especially from politicians."
But would any discussion with Buddhist, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs or Taoists even have to involve the asking and answering of questions of this sort? And if not, why not?
And since Ms Abdel Rahman has airily dismissed the idea that any Muslims, in Australia, might be pushing for dominance and for the imposition of the sharia, let's conclude by bringing to mind the words of a pious Muslim jihad gang boss, Abdul Nacer Benbrika (Abu Bekr), who led a gang of jihad plotters, on Australian soil, some years ago. In November 2005 he was interviewed on the ABC and this is what he said - and every word of it is consonant with the programme clearly set out in the Islamic texts and followed to the letter by many, many Muslims throughout the history of Islam: "I am telling you that my religion doesn't tolerate other religion. It doesn't tolerate. The only law which needs to be spread, it can be here or anywhere else, has to be Islam."
Interlude for the Day of Saint Nicholas, Patron Saint of Children
The sixth of December is the feast-day of Saint Nicholas of Myra, who among other things is the patron Saint of children.
From Benjamin Britten's exquisite cantata "Saint Nicholas", let us hear part seven, which reflects upon one of the lesser known legends of the Saint: the haunting tale of the raising to life of three murdered children. In a world full of disappeared children, children abducted, trafficked, abused, raped and tortured and enslaved and often murdered, so many of them victims of Muslim jihad - whether in Africa (the girls of Chibok), in Pakistan, in Egypt, in Syria and Iraq, or even within the West (the thousands of underaged British girls dragged down into a special kind of hell-on-earth by Muslim 'grooming' gangs) - let this strange little story stand as a defiant affirmation of Christian hope, the conviction - guaranteed by the resurrection of our Lord - that there is, and there will be, as David Bentley Hart puts it, "a future that overcomes all endings."
Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.
A joyful Saint Nicholas' Day to all Christian readers of New English Review.
Outrage: Obama White House tells survivors and WWII vets to get over “feeling embittered” over Pearl Harbor
USS Arizona burning Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
Yesterday, Josh Earnest, outgoing Obama White House spokesperson, had the effrontery at a press conference to accuse the few survivors and their generations of families and WWII vets to get over their being ‘embittered’ over the Japanese sneak attack that resulted in 2,117 dead and 960 missing and presumed dead on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941. Earnest apparently conveyed the President’s concern over gestures towards the visit by Japanese Premier Abe who will accompany Obama paying a visit to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii signifying "comfort" but no apologies on behalf of all Japanese citizens on the 75th commemoration. Abe is the first Japanese Prime Minister to make such a visit in memoriam to the victims of the Pearl Harbor attack. The President and Premier Abe will be holding their last summit before the President’s final term in office ends.
That dastardly attack is forever engraved in American history of WWII as “the day that will live in infamy” intoned by FDR at the rostrum of a joint session of Congress on Monday, December 8th when he declared War against the forces of Imperial Japan.
The toll at Pearl Harbor stood until the morning of 9/11 when 15 Saudi, Egyptian and Yemeni Islamikaze of Al Qaeda seized commercial air flights at Boston’s Logan Airport, Newark International Airport and Dulles International Airport in Virginia destroying the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan, taking out a section of the Pentagon and being overcome by the heroic passengers on board Flight 93 forcing it to crash in a field in southwestern Pennsylvania. The sneak attack of 9/11, what we and other’s have called the Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century killed more than 2,996 injured 6,000 others.
There is something more productive that the Obama White could do in the remaining weeks of its second and final term in office. They could right a wrong done to the Pacific Fleet commander, Admiral Husband Kimmel and US Army, Lt. General Walter Short. They were relieved of commands, demoted one star each, and falsely accused of incompetence that day. Reinstating their full ranks along with absolving them of unfounded accusations with apologies to their families and service colleagues is long overdue.
The story that emerged is one of slipshod communications by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and protection of the breaking of the Japanese Diplomatic and Naval codes by the US in the 1930’s. Monitoring of those reports revealed the Japanese Imperial government intent that upon the breakdown of oil boycott negotiations with the FDR Administration, Japan would declare war and unleash the attack. The CNO archives revealed a memo on December 4, 1941 revealing their Japanese intent but the Pacific fleet command was belatedly alerted. Earlier Admiral Kimmel had made repeated requests for long range reconnaissance aircraft that might have detected the fleet of six carriers approaching the Hawaiian Islands under radio silence. Then there was the confusion over radar signals that morning, given the simultaneous arrival of a squadron of B-17s from the West Coast. 353 torpedo, dive bombers and fighters swept in from the north of Oahu to unleash their attack and destruction at Hickham Field, Schofield Barracks and scuttling of the Pacific fleet inflicted grievous harm on sailors, soldiers, airmen, nurses and civilians.
Naval Marshal General Isoroku Yamamato graduate of the US Naval War College and Harvard University, who planned, assembled and executed the surprise attack was famously quoted on January 9, 1942 saying: "A military man can scarcely pride himself on having 'smitten a sleeping enemy'; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack.” That successful counterattack came six months later in the Battle of Midway, when Naval intelligence, and a decision by Pacific Commander Admiral Nimitz, scored a major victory sinking four of the six carriers involved in the Pearl Harbor attack- the Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu. Yamamoto was eventually targeted by Naval intelligence and his Japanese command aircraft and escort fighters were ambushed in Operation Vengeance by a USAAF squadron of P-38 “lightnings” on April 18, 1943, over Buin, Papua, New Guinea.
There are two engrossing PBS documentaries that will reprise on December 7, 2016, about battleships attacked 75 years ago on December 7, 1941. One is a poignant story about the return of remains to the grandchildren for closure and interment of a young ensign who served on board the Oklahoma, a Naval Academy grad and communications officer, who perished that day. The PBS documentary includes surviving eye witness testimony.
The second documentary is an amazing video of a visit paid to the Arizona by expert scuba divers and underwater video personnel from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Research Center in Massachusetts and US Park Service experts, watched by a survivor of the Arizona bombing who was horribly burned that day
Thus, the Obama White House warning to Pearl Harbor survivors their generations of families and all WW II veterans falsely accused of “feeling embittered” deserve an apology. In sharp contrast they recognize closure on their pain of loss from the visit of Japanese Premier Abe and his "comfort' for the victims on this 75th commemoration of Pearl Harbor.
‘Pakémon’ Stickers Found Plastered Across London Urge Deporting of Sadiq Khan
I held off sharing these in the hope I could spot some myself while up London yesterday, but I think the authorities have cleared them all down. The London papers have been describing them as 'vile' and racist'. Personally I think most of them are in a good satirical tradition and fair comment (as well as being most amusing) British Transport Police are treating them as a 'hate' crime and one arrest has been made. There is a text alert line to the British Transport Police if you spot one of these; I didn't and I wouldn't. From Breitbart and Metro
A man has been arrested after satirical “Pakémon” stickers were plastered across London, featuring well-known Muslims with the tagline “Gotta catch and deport them all”.
The posters mimic Pokémon playing cards, which sport the tagline “Gotta catch ‘em all” along with stats on Pokémon characters. The spoof posters assign “Terror points” as well as giving a description of each person and listing a “weakness”.
Among those featured, is London Mayor Sadiq Khan, dubbed ‘Hamaskhan’, a reference to the Palestinian terror group Hamas.
Below a photo of Khan, the text reads: “Description: Probably the most dangerous Pakémon, Hamaskhan believes that Londoners should learn to accept Islamic terrorism whilst he is mayor.
“Weaknesses: Hamaskhan’s hatred of Christians and Jews will result in him losing power and a long prison sentence.”
He has been assigned 200 ‘terror points’.
Another features Muslim convert Jordan Horner, who called for sharia law in London.
The text reads: “Gingermo is not a true Pakémon, having converted to Islam believing he might make some friends who are as angry and weak-minded as himself.” His “weakness” is listed as an “allergy to sunlight”.
Barack Obama is also featured (he’s not actually Islamic but is described as ‘the USA’s Muslim in Chief’), along with offensive racist caricatures such as ‘Uberrapey’.
Stickers have been reported all over the capital, including Bromley, Surbiton and Waterloo.
A spokesman for British Transport Police urged people to report any sightings of the stickers.
He said: ‘British Transport Police is committed to preventing incidents of hate crime and prejudice and all incidents of this nature are investigated thoroughly. Everyone has the right to travel on the rail network without fear or intimidation. Racially or religiously motivated crime will simply not be tolerated.’
Guatemala Holds the Key to Defeating Illegal Immigration
by Steve Hecht
Guatemala may fly under the radar of US media, but how Donald Trump handles this Central American nation will be crucial to restoring the rule of law on immigration. As William La Jeunesse noted on Tucker Carlson Tonight, “the real problem the border patrol is experiencing now isn’t Mexicans trying to sneak in, but Central Americans wanting asylum.”
With a 540-mile border and more than 130 entry points into Mexico, Guatemala is the jumping-off point for both domestic emigrants and those of neighboring countries, as well as from Asia and the Middle East on their way to the United States. Mexico has proved incapable of stemming the flow of illegals transiting north.
The Guatemalan government has almost no presence in the rural areas that border Mexico, as local armed gangs suppress the population and oppose development projects. They operate with protection from the national government, which acts under pressure from the Obama administration.
Naturally, rural Guatemalans yearn to escape, as they suffer from violence, lack of opportunity, and little to no confidence in their nation's future. This law of the jungle also leaves no viable way to process and impede foreign migrants on their way to Mexico and the United States.
The Obama administration's response has been the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), first announced in late 2014. The $3.75 billion funding for five years — with oversight from USAID, US ambassadors, and local governments — is supposed to go to projects with private-sector participation.
The true objective of these funds, however, has been to garner submission from the purported beneficiaries. The lever opens the door for a collectivist foreign-policy agenda, which directly undermines the economic development of these nations and the livelihoods of the would-be emigrants. An ironic symptom of this approach is that private investors are unwilling to partner with Alliance for Prosperity projects, which do have potential to promote development.
Vice President Joe Biden made three trips to Guatemala from mid-2014 to mid- 2015, one of which was to meet only with President Otto Pérez to discuss one topic: the extension of the UN-appointed Anti-Impunity Commission (CICIG). When asked by the press about the future of the commission, Biden said it would stay, period.
The commission is under the thumb of its major funder, the Obama administration. Its collectivist orientation has brought it into coalition with the nation's Marxist faction, including violent groups that descend from the guerrilla of Guatemala's decades-long internal armed conflict. The CICIG commissioner and the US ambassador even smile for cameras with leaders of violent groups such as the Committee of United Campesinos (CUC).
The Obama administration’s policies in Central America have been driving those countries toward the anti-American autocrats that run Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Reuters reported that Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have joined forces to petition Mexico and other countries to forge a joint strategy regarding the new U.S. administration. “Trump's election upset has sent shockwaves through Mexico and Central America, which rely heavily on U.S. remittances and bilateral trade.”
Instead of viewing Trump as an adversary, Latin American nations can work with his administration to bring development and stability to their region of the world. That is the real solution -- a win-win outcome in which Latin Americans need not flee their homelands and Trump can avert illegal immigration before it arrives at his proposed border wall.
For his part, Trump should see through the top-down approach of the collectivists who preach concern for and claim to represent the indigenous population. The truth is the indigenous population of Guatemala, the majority of emigrants, would welcome liberation from self-proclaimed human-rights advocates, bankrolled mostly by Europeans and protected by the Obama administration and the United Nations.
Trump need only make clear that he will support Guatemala to immediately enforce the laws on the books. In particular, that means going after the armed gangs that deprive indigenous campesinos of their liberty and economic opportunity. Guatemalan officials already have the capability, but they've been reluctant to stand up to the Obama administration and its UN surrogate.
The proper application of Guatemala's laws and resulting development would not only reduce the incentive to emigrate, it would attract some expats to return and reduce the flow of other immigrants through their country. Guatemala could then pave the way for other Central American nations to foster a positive relationship with the United States and emulate the success.
Trump's promise of decentralization and a confrontation with the crony classes is just the medicine Latin America needs as well. For centuries, collectivists and mercantilists have consolidated power, impeded competition, and kept Latin American people in poverty. Now the president-elect and the Congress have the opportunity to set the wheels in motion for that to change, to unleash prosperity south of the border — because prosperous neighbors are the best neighbors.
Steve Hecht, a graduate of Columbia University, is a businessman who has lived in Guatemala since 1972. He has written widely about the country’s politics and produced the mini-documentary “From Hillary With Love” that details the Clinton-Obama role in imposing a collectivist regime on Guatemala.
Fergus Hodgson contributed to this article. Based in Argentina, he is the chief executive of Antigua International, the roving editor of Gold Newsletter, and a research fellow with the Tax Revolution Institute in Washington, DC.
Now that Francois Hollande has taken himself out of the running for President of France, knowing that he was certain to lose, it is time to consider his continuing education, and mixed signals, on the subject of Islam. In his speech on December 1, he worried about “extremism,” by which he apparently meant not Muslim terrorists but rather Marine Le Pen, whose Front National is outspoken in its opposition to the growing Muslim presence in France, a position that has earned the National Front the usual misleading epithets of “right-wing” and “extreme right-wing.” From this one might conclude that Hollande had learned little about the Islamic threat during his quinquennat. But just months before, in October, an astonishing book appeared, A President Should Not Say That… (Un président ne devrait pas dire ça…), which details 61 private conversations Hollande held with Le Monde journalists Gerard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme between 2012, shortly after his election, and this year.
Hollande showed in his replies to the journalists that he had indeed learned something about Islam, and consequently was anxious about the future of France in light of its burgeoning Muslim population.
The revelation that Francois Hollande is worried about the influence and power of Islam, disturbed by the demographic gains made by Muslims, can only be regarded as salutary, for if a Socialist President expresses alarm about Muslims, this acts as a license for others to do likewise. There is less inhibition, less fear of being tarred with that epithet “Islamophobic” when even Socialists— first Manuel Valls, and now Francois Hollande — speak some home truths about Islam in France.
What did President Hollande say? He admitted what was obvious to many, but a big leap for the Left, that France has a problem with Islam: “it’s true there’s a problem with Islam. It’s true. It’s not in doubt.” And while he hadn’t recognized it before (before, that is, the series of Muslim terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice and Rouvray and Magnanville and Toulouse), he has also changed his mind on mass Muslim immigration; he now warns that “I think there are too many arrivals.” Everyone understood that he meant by that “too many Muslims.”
His most contentious and misunderstood remark was that “the veiled woman of today will be the Marianne of tomorrow.” Marianne is, of course, the symbol of France, the France of liberty and reason. Hollande’s remark was taken out of context, with many assuming he meant it as a warning of a Muslim takeover. Hollande himself explained that what he meant was merely this: that a Muslim woman who did not wear the hijab, who was “liberated” and fully integrated into the culture of France, could indeed symbolize France: “In a way if we can offer the conditions for her self-fulfillment, she will free herself from her veil and become a French woman, whilst remaining religious, if she wants to be, capable of having an ideal,” Hollande said. “This woman would prefer liberty to subjugation.”
The confusion here is not yours, dear reader, but Hollande’s. He seems to believe that a Muslim woman can still be considered a Muslim – by other Muslims – even when she not only stops wearing the veil, but becomes “a French woman,” which would mean, among other things, enjoying complete equality with Muslim men. What Muslim cleric, what Muslim man, would consider such a woman to be a “Muslim”? What Muslim man would permit his wife, or his daughter, to behave as if they were equal to men, no longer subject to his commands? In what way could such a hypothetical Muslim woman “remain religious,” if she sheds everything that is required of Muslim women, including their submission to their husbands and fathers? Such a woman might well “prefer liberty to subjugation” — but the subjugation of women is central to mainstream Islam. Hollande’s hypothetical Muslim Marianne is only a forlorn hope, a Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only Muslim. But at least Hollande admitted that a Muslim, if veiled, should not be considered to be “French.”
Where does this leave Francois Hollande on the subject of Islam? Confused, and confusing. On the one hand, he says that “it’s true there’s a problem with Islam.” He does not say – he cannot allow himself to say – that this “problem” is not susceptible of solution, but only of amelioration (by limiting the number of Muslims in France, and by ending the support of all kinds, from every level of government, on which Muslim families batten, including free or heavily subsidized housing, free medical care, free education, even family allowances for children or, in some cases, free food), because that “solution” would require tampering with the texts of Islam, above all with the immutable Qur’an that cannot be touched. He says that “there are too many arrivals,” but does not follow that observation with a commonsensible demand for a halt to all Muslim immigration, and still less would he have dared to suggest that Muslim migrants ought to be sent home. He seems to think a Muslim woman can become in every respect a “French woman” and somehow still remain a Muslim in the eyes of other Muslims, which means he misunderstands the permanently subordinate role of women in Islam, an ideology that describes women as clearly inferior to men.
On December 1, announcing his decision not to run again, Hollande – as noted in the first paragraph above — spoke of his fear of “extremism.” By this, he made clear, he meant not the “extremism” of certain Muslims in France whose presence has forced the French nation into a permanent etat d’urgence (state of emergency), with both police and the military out in force in cities, towns, and even villages all over France (offering an unnerving contrast to the many gaily-lit Christmas markets that are under special protection), but rather, Marine Le Pen, the one political figure who has consistently focused on the problem of Islam and is prepared to do something about it. And finally, as his last confusing word on the subject, Hollande tweeted on December 1 that “I only have one regret, and that’s to have proposed a policy allowing the government to strip citizens of their nationality. I thought it would unite us, but it has divided us.” For his only regret to be about what was perhaps his most sensible proposal, to strip convicted terrorists with dual-citizenship of their French nationality, and then to deport them, is disturbing.
So, when the hurly-burly’s done, and the battle’s lost and won, and the French election is over, and the successful candidate – whether Valls or Fillon or Le Pen, any one of whom will be harder on Islam than Hollande was while in office — would it be too much to ask of Francois Hollande to tell us exactly what he has learned about Islam in France, and what he thinks ought to be done about it, to speak without any regrets or backtracking, since now, out of office, he should feel freer to speak his mind, in order to clear up the confusion which he has exhibited so far, and left, so far, as his main legacy? Please, help us out, aidez-nous. Will the real Francois Hollande please stand up?
It is with deep sadness I witness what is taking place in Europe today. I have a connection to the Continent since I spent my army time stationed in Germany (1966-1968) as well as five years in Milan, Italy (1982-1987). I have deep affection for both countries, especially Germany where I return time and time again principally to the town where I was stationed (Erlangen). I wrote a book on the history of Erlangen which enabled me to make many friends there, academics with the university, archivists, historians, and local politicians.
I hate to see what is happening in Germany, Italy and most of the rest of Europe. To be sure, Europeans share in the blame. To be blunt, they did not go about immigration in the right way. First, they needed manual labor. In the 1960s, I was able to see the Italian workers in Germany. If anything, they were the most successful. Today, many of them have become entrepreneurs. It is not an exaggeration to say that in many towns, there are more Italian restaurants than German.
Then came the Turks. They came in droves to Germany, and to be sure, they faced discrimination. Decades ago, a German writer with a swarthy complexion posed as a Turk and worked as a laborer. He wrote a book called, "Ganz Unten" (At the very bottom) about how badly he was treated by Germans around him. Many Turks still remain in Germany and many have set down roots, but it hasn't been easy. They also had to tend with the minority who were involved in drug trafficking.
But all that was nothing compared to what is happening in Europe today. Countries decided they not only needed labor, but more diversity and sheer numbers of people who would work to support their aging populations. Europeans tend not to produce enough offspring to keep themselves going. Thus, they needed more people. The problem is that they forgot about the idea of assimilation. They proceeded to import people largely from Muslim nations in the Middle East and North Africa, who were not willing to assimilate and adopt the liberal, egalitarian values that the Europeans professed especially when they conflicted with Islamic teaching. Thus, countries like Sweden, Holland, Norway, France, the UK, and Germany found themselves with an unassimilated population living in ghettos, which were dangerous to enter. Riots and crime became common. Sweden has become the rape capital of Europe. And now we have the specter of ISIS, which has attracted many European-based Muslims who go back and forth bringing terror to their own nations-witness France and Belgium in particular. Meanwhile Jews living in European cities cannot walk the streets wearing Jewish garb lest they be assaulted, insulted, or spit on-not by Europeans, but by Muslim immigrants. For Jews in Europe, it is the 1930s again. They are emigrating in droves.
In the UK, the demands of the aggressive Muslims, led (up to his recent imprisonment) by Angem Choudary, have the British government cowering as they demand sharia law and have set up sharia compliance patrols near mosques.
Now, with the wars raging in Syria and Iraq, we have refugees and those posing as refugees. They are flooding Europe, as well as the migrants coming from Africa fleeing poverty and looking for a comfortable welfare state in Europe to support them. Indeed, many if not the overwhelming majority of the "refugees" are young, military-age men unaccompanied with any wives or children ("widows and orphans" as President Obama likes to call them). In Italy, Muslim worshipers create makeshift mosques that spill out onto the streets with overflow worshipers blocking pedestrians and businesses as they do their prayers. In Milan, residents have seen the basements of their apartment buildings turned into make shift mosques with worshipers coming at all hours to pray.
Put all that together and what you have is a perfect storm raging in Europe. France is dealing with rioting migrants living in tent cities first in Calais, now in the heart of Paris, terror from ISIS, and violence all around. Germany is flooded with migrants, and sexual assaults are through the roof. Just this week, Germany is grappling with the rape and murder of a young girl, Maria Ladenburger, in Freiburg. The alleged killer is a 17-year-old Afghan who arrived unaccompanied. Coincidentally, the victim's father is a high-ranking EU official, and Maria and her family had been active in helping refugees in Freiburg.
Europeans are outraged, but their political leaders will not listen to them. Those who speak out face the possibility of being prosecuted, fined or imprisoned for engaging in "hate speech." Dutch politician Geert Wilders, arguably the most courageous man in Europe, is once again being prosecuted for hate speech and will probably face a fine of 5,000 Euros for speaking the truth. In Austria, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf was prosecuted and fined for similar speech. Nevertheless people are organizing and demanding that their governments stop the inflow and take measures to protect them from the out-of-control crime and threat of terrorism. The most notable group is PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer gegen die islamizierung des Abendlandes or Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West), originally formed in Dresden,Germany with branches now spreading to other countries. Naturally, they are branded as racists and neo-Nazis by the political elite and leftists.
What is particularly outrageous is the unwillingness of the political class and the police to crack down on the miscreants. They are afraid of being called racists, and hate speech laws in Europe are strong. (There is no such thing as the First Amendment in Europe.) Germany especially is ever-mindful of its past, and is very reluctant to take any police measure that would bring back accusations of acting like Nazis. Chancellor Angela Merkel, in particular, has taken the lead on admitting refugees and migrants. She has been tone deaf to the protests against what can only be termed an insane immigration policy.
Many feel that Europe is lost and will become majority Muslim sometime in the mid-21st century. If the demographic current trends and policies continue, I agree. What can stop it?
For one thing, Europe still has elections. If the voters are angry enough - and I think they are - political change may be coming. Most of the Western European countries have rising conservative parties that want to stop the immigration flood. France has just had a primary election which resulted in the center-right Republicans' choice of Francois Fillon, who will challenge Marine Le Pen next year for president. Fillon is considered a liberal, but has been speaking very strongly about Islamism and the threat it poses. The current president, Francois Hollande, announced he will not run again. (I wouldn't either if my approval rating was 4%.)
In Germany, Merkel is running for re-election next year. I cannot imagine she would be successful.
In the Netherlands, Wilders' Vrijheid ("Freedom" Party) is very strong and could rise to power next year. God grant that Wilders would become prime minister of the Netherlands. In the UK, Nigel Farage's UKIP party is also quite strong. Need I mention Brexit, which Farage championed? Even in ultra-liberal Sweden, you have the rising Sweden Democrats under Jimmie Åkesson, a charismatic young leader still in his 30s.
The future of the EU is in doubt with Brexit, the possibility of a Le Pen government in France, and this week's resignation of Matteo Renzi in Italy following the failure of his referendum to cut down the size of the Italian parliament.
Another good sign is that the Eastern European nations are showing more common sense. They don't want the mass inflow of people and they say so.
So if rightist parties in Europe can sweep out Merkel and the rest, will all this madness stop? Will all these hundreds of thousands of migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, and future jihadists be sent packing? It will be a massive undertaking. Here in the US, we are talking about whether Donald Trump can really deport 11 million illegal aliens - and most of them are simply working. But if Europe wants to preserve its civilization not to mention its security, safety and freedoms, they must remove as many as they can - certainly the ones who are up to no good or who simply want to come and live off welfare. If that fails, the only thing that would stop this invasion is World War III.
The study, commissioned by David Cameron as prime minister and carried out by Dame Louise Casey, recommends a new strategy to help bridge divides in the UK, including an “integration oath” to encourage immigrants to embrace British values, and greater focus on promoting the English language and securing “women’s emancipation in communities where they are being held back by regressive cultural practices”.
Dame Louise Casey said she strongly opposed forcing people by law to remove veils, but explained that public bodies needed a “common sense” approach and that people and organisations should be able to debate the issue openly...said she would rather Muslim police officers and midwives did not wear a face veil, “Do I think that police officers or midwives, should be fully veiled? No I don’t. I want to see their faces, most of us do, [but] the very fact that we can almost not have that conversation, is part of what I’m saying here.”
Her report highlighted the plight of women in some Muslim communities, who she said were less likely to speak English and more likely to be kept at home. "Misogyny and patriarchy has to come to an end," Dame Louise said, adding that public institutions must not fear being racist or Islamophobic.
Critics said its focus on Muslim communities ignored other issues such as equality and racism, and was potentially damaging to community relations.
Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said “any initiative that facilitates better integration of all Britons” should be welcomed. But he said the Casey report was a missed opportunity...
He said the MCB in its submissions to the Casey report had pointed out that Muslims had to endure “a media echo chamber which amplifies the misconception that Muslims and their faith are incompatible with life in Britain”.
“We dispute these notions,” he said. “It assumes that Muslims are not equal, and not civilised enough to be part and parcel of British society. It leads to discrimination against Muslims, alienation amongst Muslims where the national conversation dictates that they are not part and parcel of society, and, at worst, violent attacks against Muslims.”
Rita Chada, of the refugee and migrant charity Ramfel, described the report as a “hotchpotch” that had set refugees and migrants back 20 years.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said it was an "inflammatory" and "divisive" report, that deliberately targeted one community over others. "Sadly in today's Britain, Muslims are seen as an easy target to attack by politicians, commentators and parts of the media without any regard for the impact this has on communities. There was no mention about the responsibility of the white community to help with integration, as many white families flee mixed areas as ethnic minorities move into a particular area," Shafiq said in a statement. “We are saddened that once again British Muslims have become a political football which is bashed from time to time without any regard for the impact this has on individuals who then are subjected to threats and violence,”
Ukip’s immigration spokesman, John Bickley, welcomed what he described as a “damning” report. “It pulls no punches and is an excoriating critique of the Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrat parties’ support of mass immigration, multiculturalism and political correctness,” he said. “For years Ukip has been the only political party willing to point out the failings of mass uncontrolled immigration and multiculturalism … The main parties have singularly failed to address the impact of uncontrolled immigration on mainly working-class communities, and the British people have had enough.”
In a brief statement Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, responded on behalf of the government, describing the report as a “valuable contribution”
Most of our readers will be familiar with her illustrious husband, Elie Kedourie, but did you know his wife was also a Middle East scholar? The Telegraph:
Sylvia Kedourie, who has died aged 90, was the widow of the historian Elie Kedourie and herself a distinguished scholar of the history of the Middle East.
She was born Sylvia Haim on December 19 1925 in Baghdad and educated there at the French-language Alliance Israélite Universelle girls’ school, where she experienced as an adolescent the growing oppression and persecution of Iraq’s two-and-a-half-millennia-old Jewish population.
Having travelled with her father and an elder sister to visit France and Britain in 1947, Sylvia enrolled at the University of Edinburgh to study Philosophy....
Today is the first day of the appeal hearing at the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the High Court in favour of the cabal of wealthy beau monde who are trying to stop the progress of Brexit. We were expecting a rally, lead by Nigel Farage for Brexit in the Parliament square area near the Supreme Court (which is in the building that was formerly Crown Court Middlesex Guildhall, and before that the County (or guild) Hall of the County of Middlesex. This was postponed but there was still activity outside the court in readiness of the hearing. I couldn't stop long as I had to continue elsewhere; friends of mine were able to stay longer and take in more of the activity. These are some photographs of people who want the democratic vote of 17 million people to be heeded, and those who want it trampled on for their own 'elite' purposes.
Movement for Justice - we fight to win - by any means necessary. Hummmm.....
This bus advertising a dating agency seems to be taking a pro EU, pro unrestricted movement of people line, almost to the point of endorsing marriages of convenience.
Dancing defrocked priest Neil Horan was there dancing spryly. He has some unconventional views; his support for Israel, and Brexit and his distrust of Islam are sound in my opinion, others go beyond the barmpot and into the realms of fantasy. But it takes all sorts, which is what we had in the days before 'diversity'.
A happy day today, December 4th, 2016: Fidel Castro is being burned, his ashes stashed. Amidst a culture that, here and there, worries over micro-aggressions, one of the most egregious macro-aggressors – not least against his own people – has passed into Hell. (I’m not judging, Lord, I’m just sayin’ . . . )
Why bother to rehearse his history of misery? That would be based on the premise that knowing it would matter to the alt-Left – the DiBlassios, Redfords, Keith Ellisons, Steins, Justin Trudeaus and so many woefully ignorant (willfully ignorant), posturing college students who celebrate this vile dictator’s “achievements.” Yet here we have, not a tragedy but a farce: knowing the truth about this gargoyle – including that he died probably a billionaire – would not stay their ideological exhibitionism. After all, he instituted universal health care, didn’t he? As though the same weren’t true of Cell Block D at Sing Sing.
Next to me as I write is Granma: Organo Oficial De Comite Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba, dated November 26th, 2016. (I will translate as necessary.) The headline reads, “Towards victory always, Fidel!” Beneath the death notice is the Decree of the National Counsel respecting National Mourning and a press release from the organizing committee: on November 28th, between the hours of 9am and 10pm the population will give a much merited homage to the their leader. Radio and television will be limited to news only.
The entire rag is eight tabloid pages long, the inside being covered by photos of Himself, mostly old, many over fifty years old from the glory years. A two-page spread tells us that “the world says goodbye to a giant of history” (and includes nine tweets), and the back page describes “un revolucionario de talla [size] mundial.” My favorite piece, though, comes at the middle fold and is titled “the humanist and humanismo.” (Interesting to me is the utter absence of any mention or image of the serial-killing, homicidal maniac Che Guevarra, whose early popularity in those heady days was such that Castro had to send him abroad, eventually to his death in Bolivia.)
All this must remind one of 1984, but it made me feel like what I imagine a paleontologist must feel like when, on a dig, he finds an artifact, say a piece of odd, abandoned crockery that needs explaining, then discovers that people still use this crap. It should be a piece of history, dead and discarded. But no: it – what it stands for – survives, even if as an anachronism, useful to Lenin’s Useful Idiots who would co-opt a fictitious glory and so feel the glow of fifth-hand revolutionism.
Odd, isn’t it, how the alt-Left confuses dystopia and utopia?
It is a hyperbolic overstatement to say that the center cannot hold and mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, but it is fair to recognize that the tectonic plates of European politics are shifting. In one week in November- December 2016 this actuality was illustrated by electoral results in France and Italy, and to a lesser extent in Austria.
In France after the victory on November 28, 2016 of Francois Fillon to be the candidate of the right wing Republic party in the 2017 presidential election, and the growing popularity of Marine Le Pen the leader and candidate of the far right Front National, the incumbent socialist President Francois Holland declared he would not compete in the presidential election. The public opinion polls indicate that since Fillon and Le Pen are leading, a socialist candidate, whether Prime Minister Manuel Valls, or someone else is unlikely to get to the second round, let alone win.
In Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi faced a crisis over referendum that was defeated by 55% to 45% on Sunday December 4, 2016. The 41 year old center-left Renzi wanted by a complex referendum to change the constitutional system by which both chambers of parliament had virtually equal powers, and often blocked legislation. Renzi proposed limiting the power of the Senate, thus facilitating the legislative process, and reduce the power of Italy's regional governments, thus providing stronger central government.
The complex referendum, not easily understood by voters, in essence became one on Renzi and his leadership, and on Italian nationalism. For some voters implicitly expressing unhappiness with the EU, the vote was in favor of Exit Italia, the Italian version of Brexit. More important, it showed, as has been the case in other European countries, opposition to immigration. So far in 2016 Italy has taken in 171,000 migrants.
The referendum was primarily opposed by the left leaning Five Star Movement (MSS), by the far right Northern League, and to some extent by the center right Forza Italia. The MSS, founded in 2009 and led by former comedian turned politician Beppe Grillo, who wants Italy to abandon the euro, is a populist, anti-establishment, environmental group. He sees Italy as a “country stuck in the mud.” In the 2013 parliamentary election it gained the second highest number of votes, and won 109 of the 630 parliamentary deputies. The MSS has done well in mayoral elections throughout Italy, as well as in parliamentary elections.
The right wing Northern League founded in 1991wants Italy to become a federal state, and sometimes called for the north on secede and form its own system. It gets about 4 % of the poll.
The advances of the far right in European politics however were halted on December 4, 2016 with the defeat of Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the far right Freedom party, as a candidate to become president of Austria. A victory would have been symbolically important, making him the first far right politician to become head of state in a European country since the end of World War II. Nevertheless, his relatively strong performance will be an encouragement to his own party and also to similar nationalist ones seeking power in other countries.
Norbert Hofer had almost won the presidency in May 2016 obtaining 49.7% of the vote when his opponent Green party candidate Alexander Van der Bellen obtained 50.3 %, an advantage of 30,800 votes. However, because of irregularities in postal ballots in 94 of 117 districts the election result was declared invalid and a rerun was held on December 4, 2016.
The Austrian Freedom party was founded in 1955 by a former general in the Nazi SS and has a history of antisemitism. Today, some members of the party wear blue-cornflower on their clothes, a symbol of German nationalism that was used by Nazi Germans as a secret symbol.
The chair of the party since 2005, Heinz-Christian Strache, is a populist, far right politician, more extreme than Hofer. In April 2012, he posted on Facebook a caricature of a Jewish banker with hooked nose. He called Nazi death camps “punishment facilities.” He has attacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for allowing an unlimited number of migrants into Europe. His platform states, “the uncontrolled influx of migrants alien to our culture who seep into our social welfare system…makes civil war in the medium-term not unlikely.”
Presidential candidate Hofer is a 45 year old former aeronautical engineer who carries both a walking stick as a result of a paragliding accident in 2003, and a pistol on him. Like Marine Le Pen and unlike Strache, Hofer distanced himself from antisemitism, past and present.
Hofer’s policy is similar to other European far right groups: anti-immigration, fear of Islamic terrorism, anti-elite, opposition to globalization, and emphasis on national identity. One of his main slogans in his electoral campaign resembles similar rhetoric in the 2016 US presidential campaign: “Your homeland needs you now.” Vienna, he declares, must not become Istanbul. As a strong nationalist, Hofer expresses concern about Turkey and Turks entering Austria. He expresses concern about Turkey, and Turks entering Austria.
If elected he would have called for a referendum on membership of the EU, and for South Tyrol (Alto Adige), which became under Italian control in 1919, and has been an autonomous province since 1948, to be incorporated into Austria. Even more strongly he argued that Islam is not part of Austrian values, and that criminal penalties should be imposed on immigrants committing crimes like rape.
This attempt to limit immigration of Muslim into Europe comes a moment when the belief that Muslims may not be part of the national community is understandable. A poll in UK in December 2016 shows that Muslims in the country live in enclaves on their own housing estates, have their own schools, and TV channels. Paradoxically, the report criticizes the British police for “pandering” to ethnic minorities.
43% of Muslims in the country want at least some aspects of Sharia law to be in force and to replace British law. It is disconcerting that a considerable number of Muslims in UK believe conspiracy theories. Some 31% believe that the US government and 7 % believe that Jews were responsible for the 9/11 attacks in US. Only 4% blamed al Qaeda for the terrorist attack on the US.
Many other European countries have seen electoral gains by far right and nationalist parties. They include Switzerland (Swiss People’s Party with 29%), Hungary (Jobbik with 21%), Denmark (Danish People’s Party 21%), Netherlands (Freedom Party 10%), Greece (Golden Dawn 7%). Even in Germany the far right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) in September 2016 got 14% of the vote in the Berlin state election, entering that state parliament for the first time. Indeed, the AfD is now represented in 10 out of Germany’s 16 state parliaments.
In all these countries there is revolt and popular anger against what is seen as the elite and the centrist politics of the country. The populist backlash that took Trump to the White House and Britain out of the European Union is continuing. President Trump and his administration must formulate policy in the light of the growing populist strength in Europe and the growth of anti-system, extremist nationalist parties.
Some Muslims lead such separate lives that they believe Britain is an Islamic country where the majority of people share their faith, according to a report to be published this week.
Evidence gathered by Dame Louise Casey, the government’s community cohesion tsar, will lift the lid on how some Muslims are cut off from the rest of Britain with their own housing estates, schools and television channels. Her report finds that thousands of people from all-Muslim enclaves in northern cities such as Bradford, Dewsbury and Blackburn seldom, if ever, leave their areas and have almost no idea of life outside...the report will send ‘shock waves’ through the system by attacking the Government, and particularly the Home Office, for failing to manage the consequences of mass migration and promote integration.
...the report will (also) criticise the police for ‘pandering’ to ethnic minorities and say some institutions are so politically correct that they are playing into the hands of the far Right.
Dame Louise reportedly had her review delayed by the Home Office because of concerns over its critical tone. Those familiar with the report say Casey, who investigated failings by children’s services at Rotherham council after the child abuse scandal, has seen off attempts by the Home Office to water down her report. One insider said it was going to prove ‘quite hard reading for some people’.
Downing Street declined to comment last night.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, the departing chief inspector of schools, warns today that about 500 schools in England are either 100% white or 100% ethnic minority — and pupils in them are at risk of alienation and radicalisation.
Wilshaw told The Sunday Times that parallel communities were developing in Britain and children growing up in monocultural schools in these communities were in danger of being cut off from British values and vulnerable to either far-right or Islamist causes. The teaching unions are so far-left that I don't think any child is in danger of exposure to any even vaguely right views in a British school.
Casey has examined the social alienation felt by the white working class. Although her report will not dismiss the far right it will say that Islamist extremists pose a more serious threat.
The chief inspector said that he was particularly worried about a cluster of 21 schools in Birmingham — many of them primaries with predominantly Muslim pupils — where there were no white pupils. Nearly half of the schools have been judged “less than good”.
The post-electoral media buzz over the president-elect is surrealistic, in that it seems to reflect the almost universal inability of the U.S. national media to grasp the fact that no one is listening to them and no one cares what they think of anything. The liberal media, the natural enemies and incredulous denigrators of the Trump campaign, have done even more savage violence to their reputation than the anti-Trump conservatives have done to theirs. (The ne plus ultra of this latter bedraggled group is poor Gabe Schoenfeld, who two months ago was soliciting my help in denouncing Donald Trump as a Nazi, but tweeted the world this week that I was just "a convicted felon." Yes, Gabe, and proud of having successfully fought the injustices of genuine American fascists – the Chicago prosecutors.)
Some of the media are focused on the supposed need for Donald Trump to divest himself of his business interests, rather than just hand control of them over to his family, because of the corrosive danger that he might speak with family members in ways that could redound unfairly to the benefit of those interests.
This is nonsense. He need not be held to a higher standard of enforced disinterest than any of his predecessors just because he is the first serious and successful businessman to be elected president. Obviously he has to avoid direct conflicts and must take effective measures to be sure that his family's interests do not benefit unfairly from insider information. Some mechanism will have to be put in place to give some assurance on these points, but it is a bit rich for the media, which were pretty quiescent with the long-running Clinton pay-to-play casino, to become so unctuous about the moral imperative of Trump putting the company he has run for more than 40 years so far out of reach that no one he ever sees or speaks with has any association with it.
Equally absurd is the continued overreaction of elements of the media to the president-elect's teaser-tweets. During the campaign, he was admonished not to allow his opponents to goad and provoke him into undignified reactions. It wasn't bad advice, but the counselors in that case should heed their own advice. Donald Trump knows perfectly well that citizenship rightfully acquired can't be revoked, and that most legally competent people have a perfect right to burn an American flag if they wish, just as they can burn a fire-log or autumn leaves. Perhaps this mad notion arises from the same neuralgic zone of his mind that inflicted on us the fatuity of the birther controversy, and that reads the National Enquirer. In some circumstances, excessively provocative or offensive displays of disrespect for national symbols can be sanctioned, though not with the draconian consequences of imprisonment and expulsion from citizenship (the punishment the Soviet Union meted out to Alexander Solzhenitsyn).
The media should by now have learned the lesson that it is a more complicated business than it thought it was to assess when Trump is serious, when he is maneuvering tactically, and when he is simply engaging in self-amusement. The country, including the press, has not seen enough of him in this new role to do any more than cautiously report facts. The impulse to lunge, as if at a beleaguered, forlorn hunchback, lingers like an addiction.
All free societies require a free press that contains important responsible elements. The United States is now almost without that, and no one but the media can rebuild the media's credibility, and they can do it only by imposing professional standards of integrity on themselves and steadily rebuilding their professional reputation from the archeological levels it has plumbed in the late election campaign.
The media seem not to have noticed that Trump is preparing a mighty policy revolution, fulfilling explicitly his reform promises that won him the nomination and the election. All of his selections to date to important positions have been impressive, though there is some legitimate concern about the conspiracy-theory vocation of Breitbart, formerly directed by counselor-designate Stephen Bannon. The initial effort to portray Bannon as an anti-Semite was a complete fiction, and his performance as campaign strategist was impressive. The new education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is a strong champion of charter schools and her appointment presages the de-emphasis of the state education systems that have almost been destroyed by the shameful antics of the teachers' unions, to which the Democratic party is bound, hand and foot.
Nominating Elaine Chao, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell's wife, as secretary of transportation seems somewhat inspired, as she will be largely responsible for implementation of Trump's New Deal like program for putting the unemployed to work repairing scandalously decayed American infrastructure. The new health and human services secretary, Tom Price, is the Congress's ranking expert for the promised radical reform of Obamacare, and Steven Mnuchin, apparently the next Treasury secretary, appears to be well qualified to carry through Trump's promised tax reforms and spending reductions. Attempts to tar him with the brush of Wall Street, 14 years after he left Goldman Sachs and moved to California and set up his own hedge fund, are piffle.
Although we are awaiting the nomination of a secretary of state, it is clear that, as promised, the mad Obama love-in with Iran is almost over, and Trump was right to warn Raúl Castro that if he doesn't do better for the people of Cuba, Trump will revisit Obama's precipitate embrace of that ghastly Stalinist dictatorship, which, in 57 oppressive years, has driven almost all of Cuba's middle class to Florida, where they greatly enriched that state, and helped deliver it to Trump on Election Day. Everyone who is on the national-security team and most of those auditioning for it look like they will help the new president enact an Eisenhower program – one in which the country has a realistic strategic interest, steers clear of needless danger, and executes theatrical shows of strength where there is no risk. (Eisenhower ended the Korean War and stayed clear of Vietnam, and the Marine landings in Lebanon and the Gilbert and Sullivan saber-rattling over Quemoy and Matsu did not cause a single American casualty.)
The emerging story is that Trump is packing his government with people admirably equipped to work closely with the Republican leadership in the Congress. (It was only nine months ago that Ms. Chao's husband was advising his congressional colleagues to be ready to "drop [Trump] like a hot rock," and two months ago that Speaker Ryan was running like a gazelle for the tall grass.) Trump has declared his intention to put through a comprehensive reform of taxes, spending, infrastructure renovation, health care, campaign financing, immigration, and trade in the first Hundred Days of his administration. The Republican leadership in Congress are working feverishly to prepare the agenda, while the Democrats debate the fate of the vaguely amiable Democratic antique, Nancy Pelosi.
It is obvious to everyone except the myopic Washington press, fumbling about like punch-drunk prizefighters too often concussed to swing at a moving target accurately, that Donald Trump is preparing to come out of the gate like a fire engine and join Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Ronald Reagan as a transformative president. Now that he is about to take the oath, apart from a few diversionary tweets, he is cranking up to do what he promised, and has been given a mandate, to do. If the outgoing president had done the same, Mrs. Clinton would be moving back into the White House.
German officials have detained a 20-year-old Afghan on suspicion of being a member of the Taliban. The man had fought against security forces in his home country, German prosecutors say.
German authorities identified the suspect as Hekmat T. on Friday, saying that the Afghan joined the Taliban as a teenager in 2013. He was repeatedly involved in the attacks on the Afghanistan police and security forces before traveling to Europe, Karlsruhe-based federal prosecutors said, without providing details on why he was in Germany.
The news of the arrest in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate comes only two weeks after the police in nearby Bavaria detained another young Afghan national. According to the prosecutors, the 17-year-old boy also joined the Taliban in 2013 and took part in armed clashes until 2015.
Both men are to stay in jail until their respective trials.
Last month, a powerful truck bomb also targeted the German consulate in the Mazar-i-Sharif city, killing six people and injuring over a hundred more. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack
Muslims win as Kidero bans beer festival in CBD at the last minute
This headline has itself been criticised on the Nairobi News facebook page
"Ruto Zephy this reporter need to be trained on how to report issues its not about who win between Muslims and the other team its about the residents" and comments both on the Nairobi News and another Kenyan newspaper The Star seem to favour the ban, and consider the event to be 'disrespectful' so near any place of worship. It has been suggested that Uhuru park would be a better venue; I seem to remember that Nairobi's Anglican cathedral is adjacent to the park.
Police and city askaris were on Friday deployed to stop a beer fest that was set to kick off at 6pm next to the Jamia mosque
Governor Evans Kidero banned the Tusker Street Bash at the last minute following a protest by Muslim leaders over the beer fest that was to be held near their worship place.
Kidero on his facebook page said, "While we respect the need for business to roll out their marketing activities, we must be conscious and not lose sight or respect for principles and beliefs of different religions". On his twitter handle, Kidero said through a hashtag 'keeping our word' that his government was committed to offering better city life to all regardless of their status.
Jamia Mosque Committee Secretary General Abdul Bary Hamid, in a protest letter, had told Dr Kidero that the noise from the street party will affect Friday prayers. In the letter seen by the Star, the committee said facilitating the promotion of alcohol right at their doorstep of the mosque was not only an anathema but a provocation to members of the Muslim community.
"We have gravelly noted that Tusker promotion event by East African Breweries is being organized right outside our mosque. It is well known that due to adverse health and social effects of alcohol consumption, strict regulations aimed at limiting the consumption of alcohol have been enacted in the country and we cannot understand why the county council is going out of its way to encourage its consumption more so at the doorsteps of a religious institution," read a letter addressed to governor Kidero.
The letter said the loud noise out of the event would interfere with prayers at the mosque.
Police deployed at the venue of the planned beer fest outside Mojo's Club ordered for the immediate dismantling of tents and sound system (below) that had been set-up to entertain revellers
Performances by musicians Khaligraph Jones and Wangeci were expected.
I don't know Swahili but the English language comments mostly support the Governer and criticise the brewery for chosing the wrong street.This is a sample.
"I am in full agreement. We do not need these so called festivals that are actually a lame excuse for debauchery."
"Medi Medi Not Muslim won......common sense prevailed, humanity and self conscious won the day."
Tommy Robinson visited Israel: A response to the Jewish Chronicle’s attack
by Brian of London
I invited Tommy Robinson to Israel for two reasons. I wanted to show him the real boundaries of Zionism today and give him a glimpse of the almost unfathomably deep connection between Jews and Israel.
I achieved both on our first day, starting from the beach in Tel Aviv, swinging through Arad and driving all the way north across Judea and Samaria along the west bank of the Jordan river, passing Massada and the Qumran caves as we headed to our destination on the shores of the Kinneret.
Tommy certainly has a colourful past and it’s all explained in his book, Enemy of the State. I’ve known him years but hadn’t met him till I arrived to pick him up from the beach in Tel Aviv where I told him and his friends to wait for me on the first morning of our trip.
Tommy learned of the amazing links between Jews and our land over the next few days. He saw Jewish and Christian history and our obvious, deep love for our land. He saw the stunning country we built out of the diseased ruin it had become under a succession of emperors, sultans, caliphs and Imperial British troops.
Since his earliest days opposing supremacist Islam on the streets of Luton, Tommy knew most of what he heard about Israel in the mainstream press was distorted. He knew how badly his own story had been twisted and could see the same being done to Israel.
We met Arabs, Jews, including an Aramaean Christian priest, IDF soldiers, Beduins, Palestinian “refugee” children, a Christian Arab exiled from Gaza and rude Jordanian guards on the Temple Mount. Tommy spoke with everyone with an open mind and heart. And we tweeted it all to his “142,000 followers”.
Tommy with Aramaean Christian Priest, Nazareth – Photo: T.T.
When we tweeted an unplanned picture on a tank on the Golan Heights, a Muslim pressure group in the UK seriously suggested that Tommy posing in shorts and flip-flops while gingerly holding a gun, was equivalent to Jihadi John beheading journalists in Syria.
I don’t believe Marcus Dysch has met or even spoken to Tommy Robinson yet he writes with great authority that Tommy’s
‘support’ for Israel and Jews was designed simply as a provocation to British Muslims”.
What nonsense. Do you hurl this baseless accusation at Douglas Murray, Col. Richard Kemp, Pat Condell or many other non-Jews who proudly support Israel? Why not? Why do you single Tommy out? Is it his accent? Did he use the wrong fork at dinner? He didn’t go to the right college at Oxford? He didn’t go to Oxford, unless you include his speech to the Oxford Union. One can only think it is your own bigotry. You clearly have never bothered to asked Tommy why he supports Israel.
Tommy had no need of seeking out new provocations in the UK. He challenged Muslims’ reverence for some of the very questionable deeds of their prophet. That was all the “provocation” they needed: everything can be a provocaiton if they wish. The death threats and repeated attacks on his life did not stem from waving an Israeli flag. Perhaps you don’t understand that the very existence of a non-dhimmi, Jewish State of Israel, rejecting Islamic Sharia and refusing to bow before Islam is a provocation to Muslims. Non-Jews who support Israel are no such provocation.
Your timid Jewish community in Britain, which is so careful not to rock the boat or vigorously defend “settlement activites” may not “desire any links whatsoever with Robinson and his ilk”. But I can assure you that strong and proud Jews in Israel feel much the same about you and the subservient parts of UK Jewry who seem more concerned with their future peerages than the real security of Israel.
Tommy has suffered persecution at the hands of the British state that rivals stories I’ve heard from Natan Sharansky about the Soviet Union. You might not want to believe that your host nation is capable of forcing a man to plead guilty to ridiculous charges to avoid having his wife jailed, but it is.
Through my friendship with Tommy, I can reach out to his growing following. That goes beyond him, reaching the large numbers of disaffected people in the UK who voted to leave the EU and Europeans preparing to elect new leaders, as well as Americans who have sent Donald Trump to the White House.
Most of these people don’t hate Jews. It is counter productive to malign their honest fears for a future where their daughters risk being beaten for venturing outside with short sleeves. They haven’t been poisoned by the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. But if you reject them and dismiss their fears as Islamophobia or racism, you compromise the integrity of the Jewish people?—?and this is what could send some of them into the arms of the real Jew-haters and xenophobes. That is why I showed Tommy (and by extension, his followers) the boundaries of Zionism. Zionism’s physical boundaries are the borders of the State of Israel. They have nothing to do with some ridiculous conspiracy about a globalist takeover.
Tommy’s followers are people who know Islam because they live alongside it in the UK. What they see is not the ingratiating Islam you meet in your gentrified interfaith dialogue sessions. No?—?what they see every day is the Islam that beat up my gay, Guardian-reading-friend (who formed the EDL’s LGBT division) on the streets of Tower Hamlets or that drove the Luton Hebrew Congregation out of Bury Park in Luton in 2001.
Tommy was amazed (as I am too) at the level of co-existence between Arabs and Jews in Israel. I hope he saw that having our strong Jewish identity here allows us to live with Islam better. He was horrified at the manufactured conditions of poverty in the refugee camp in Bethlehem (we sneaked inside). He heard the inhabitants express their contempt for the PA fat cats who steal billions of dollars and euros in aid and keep kids living with pictures of terrorists on every corner as heroes.
Your organ’s article about Tommy constituted the worst of prejudice and even lashon hora. You presume to ascribe the very worst motives to a man you’ve never bothered to listen to.
Israel is poorly understood. Tommy has been fighting against Islamisation in the UK for so long that he always knew hatred of Israel, which often includes hatred of Jews, was a basic feature of the Islamic ideology he sees in Britain. Anti-Israel demonstrations, including expressions of support for terrorist organisations that deliberately target Israel’s Jewish citizens, are common on British streets. Expressions of support for Palestinians seem more often than not to be outright denials of Jewish Israel’s right to exist.
The Green Line doesn’t exist for Jew hating enemies of Israel: they want the entire Jewish state gone, Green Line or no. For Israelis, the Green Line is fading. It’s becoming irrelevant as we showed Tommy by driving across it too many times to count.
Tommy’s time in Israel confirmed to him that he is on the right side of a fight that will define Europe. On which side will British Jews line up? That remains to be seen.
Janice Fiamengo explains how Canada's Social Justice Tribunals work on the principle that you can force people to respect others by punishing them over even trivial misunderstandings or honest expressions of opinion.
Recently Senator Schumer made a threat: unless President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee was in the Mainstream, the Democrats would oppose him; this when the President-Elect was urged to name someone in the tradition of Antonin Scalia, who, apparently, was not within that magic flow.
Notice the four assumptions contained in the threat: that 1/ there is a mainstream, 2/ all reasonable people recognize it as such, 3/ it is more nourishing to the commonweal than any other stream, and 4/ Schumer will define it for those who do not know it. I suggest the time is ripe for rejecting the last three, as well as the first as normally understood.
The same assumptions, with the same recommendation, apply to the mass media of communication. There are the putative mainstream media, with the Times leading the current, and the . . . the what? Fox News? Breitbart? The Daily Kos? Rush? Politico? Rolling Stone? But the Times is no more mainstream than the others I’ve named, its authority stemming from its consideration as the paper of record and its editorials as dispositive. (The Wall Street Journal has more weekday readers.) It’s rather like Daniel Boorstin’s definition of a celebrity as someone who is famous for being well-known.
In that light, our political struggle over the past five-plus decades (certainly since Goldwater’s presidential candidacy) has been, in part, over definitions, an ongoing attempt to establish a New Normal, ‘mainstream’, debt, GDP growth, or anything else: that has certainly been Obama’s intent. Thus the image of our political spectrum has shifted Left, but the on-the-ground reality very much less so and only selectively. Thus the surprise of so many pundits, Progressives, and professors: they bought into the new image of normalcy.
And why not? It is theirimage – creation by definition (which Aristotle teaches is the first of the inventional topoi. (Invention here meaning the discovery of arguments, and topoi being those lines of thought that help us to think matters through and then to communicate the results.)
Just so does an unborn child become merely a fetus (as with any species), then “a mass of cells” (even though no one has ever asked a pregnant woman how her fetus or cells are doing), as does same-sex union become ‘marriage’, and as does the previously unknown ‘alt-Right’ (both real and repulsive) enter our lexicon without an ‘alt-Left’ when clearly there is one, in the Green Party, Black Lives Matter and other race hustlers, Paul Krugman, Senator Warren, the flag-burners and -removers, and many of those who play identity politics.
C. S. Lewis has uncle Screwtape counsel his nephew Wormwood that a good start in winning a soul for “Our Father below” is the corruption of language. I believe exactly that has happened with ‘mainstream’ (and other concepts), and too often the supposed counter-cultural media have played the same word-game. Okay, so then call and raise: after all, isn’t the discernment of a new mainstream at the core of President Obama’s recent complaint about Fox News? That it’s everywhere? It’s time for the image to catch up with the reality and for the new mainstream to start the defining.
In other words, if you believe that there is a mainstream in the first place, and you have half the population with you, and you have a ready-made lexical tool, then use it: say out loud that another Antonin Scalia would beprecisely ‘mainstream’.
This past week or so I have watched the news reports about the fires raging in Israel with sadness and outrage. These are not accidental fires rather cases of arson. Suspects have been arrested, and it is pretty clear that these fires are the latest terror tactic of the Palestinians. Indeed, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are celebrating in their usual style. They heartily approve of these outrages.
Just as they heartily approve of other acts of terror against innocent Israeli citizens-not to mention acts of terror against the US, such as 9-11.
I am old enough to remember the late 1960s and 1970s, after the 1967 war launched against Israel by her Arab neighbors, a war won in 6 days by Israel. (To be accurate, Israel launched a preemptive strike as Arab armies were gathering on her borders.) I clearly recall the skyjackings carried out by Palestinian terrorists. I also recall the 1972 Munich Olympic terror attack that wiped out the entire Israeli team. I was living in Italy in 1985 when the Achille Lauro Italian cruise ship was boarded by Palestinian killers. An elderly American Jew named Leon Klinghoffer was shot and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by those savages.
It was the Palestinians who gave those outrages to the world. Unlike the Israelis and Jews they sought to murder en masse, Palestinians were contributing nothing else to the world in the way of inventions, arts, science, music, sports, or anything else. Just murder.
But then the Palestinians gave us suicide bombings, suicide belts and blowing up buses. That was the new tactic since skyjackings had become too difficult. Long security lines at airports, which we still endure today, had cut those to a minimum (notwithstanding 9-11. That was not conducted by Palestinians; they just celebrated.). Soon, Israelis had to fear boarding buses or going to a simple pizza parlor lest some Palestinian walk in with a bomb strapped against his or her waist. Mothers were now raising their children to be suicide bombers.
Naturally, the Israelis had an answer to that. They built a wall, not to keep their own citizens trapped inside a'la the Berlin wall, but to keep murderers out and protect Israeli citizens. It has been pretty effective. Yet, US college campuses have wailed in protest. How dare Israel hinder the travel of Palestinians? How dare they set up humiliating check points?
Of course, while all this was happening, the noble government of Gaza (otherwise known as Hamas) was periodically lobbing rockets into southern Israeli schools in places like Sderot. The Israelis responded militarily trying to attack the Hamas fighters while minimizing civilian deaths, an impossible task especially when you consider that Hamas shields their fighters by using civilians and their homes and schools from behind which they fight. Again, the world reacts in selective outrage against Israel.
Then there is the West Bank under the control of Mahmoud Abbas. This is the entity that US presidents expect Israel to negotiate a peace treaty with. All they do is educate their children that Jews are evil monsters via textbooks, music and cartoon shows that would make the old Nazi publisher and Gauleiter, Julius Streicher, and his Der Stuermer blush with envy. In addition, every once in a while, killers set forth to murder Israelis living in the disputed settlements. In one truly infamous case in 2011, two young Palestinians entered the home of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itimar and slit the throats of Ehud and Ruth Fogel and three of their children as they slept in their beds. Even their 3-month-old baby was murdered in its crib. And what was the reaction of the Palestinian population? They danced in the streets and passed out sweets-just as they did on 9-11. The killers were celebrated as heroes. What kind of culture is this?
Now the Palestinians have added a new facet to their celebrated culture: Forest fires and arson. And once again, the people cheer and celebrate the actions-not of pyromaniacs, but cold-blooded arsonists.
I am no expert on the origins and history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am not denying that Palestinians may have some valid talking points and grievances, Yet, when they embraced terrorism as their weapon, murdering innocent Israelis, Americans and others in pursuit of their goal, they lost my sympathy a long time ago. At this point in time, they have not demonstrated to me that they are worthy of running their own country. At this point an independent Palestinian state would be nothing more that a base for terror against Israel and any country that has friendly ties with the Jewish state.
Like the United States.
That is why I take issue with the American college students and their faculty enablers who support the Palestinian cause. They damn Israel for trying to protect itself while totally ignoring the murderous culture of the Palestinians, a murderous culture of death that seeks to eliminate every last Jew from the Holy Land.