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














Thursday, 23 October 2014
Geer Wilders Interviewed in the American Spectator
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From the American Spectator:

Geert Wilders is the founder of the Dutch Party for Freedom, the fourth largest in that country’s parliament, and perhaps the Netherlands’ most controversial political figure. Wilders, whose 2008 film Fitna confrontationally opposed the encroachment of Islamic culture into Europe, has become an international figure while being prosecuted for “hate speech.” Calling himself a “right-wing liberal,” Wilders advocates curbing immigration into the Netherlands and other Western countries from Islamic nations, closing radical mosques, denaturalizing violent Muslims, and reducing the power of the European Union, among other things.

In America this week for a one-week tour, Wilders chatted with The American Spectator about Islam, the civilizational conflict, and what must be done to keep the West free.

How big is the threat to the West from Islamic civilizational jihad? Is our focus on terrorism overlooking other, perhaps more insidious means?

Islam is a totalitarian ideology aiming for world domination. It wants to establish a worldwide caliphate, ruled by Sharia law — undemocratic, intolerant, barbarian, inhuman.

Terror and violence are just one method which is used in order to achieve this aim. There are other methods, such as conquest by hijra (immigration). Muhammad himself gave this example of hijra when he conquered Medina. This town, which was originally a tolerant and partly Jewish oasis, became Islamic after Muhammad and his followers settled there and took it over.

Western leaders focus solely on terrorism, but fail to see the purpose which terrorism is serving: Islamic word dominance. They should focus on fighting the global imperialist plans of Islam and treat terrorism as one of the means used to achieve this goal.

How would you characterize the Dutch experience in assimilating Muslims?

The Netherlands failed to assimilate Islam. So did the other European nations.

Western Europe is in the grip of cultural relativism. It no longer believes in the superiority of its own Western Judeo-Christian and humanist values. These Western values have brought Europe peace, prosperity, liberty, and democracy. But, unfortunately, European political leaders no longer seem to understand this.

The newcomers were not asked to assimilate. On the contrary, the Europeans told newcomers settling in their nations: you are free to violate our norms and values because your culture is just as good, and perhaps even better, than ours. Muslims were allowed to build enclaves on European soil, where Western values are despised and hated.

The Islamization of Western Europe is a direct result of this. European nations did not assimilate Islam but rather encouraged it to continue to live according to its culture, which is intolerant, inferior, and totally incompatible with Europe’s culture and civilization.

How do you resuscitate traditional Western culture in the face of the encroachment we're seeing? Or is Europe inevitably lost? 

The European nations need to rediscover and reassert their identity. If Europe fails to stand up for its own culture and identity, it, will, indeed, be lost to Islam. Time is running out. Islam is assertive and aggressive. Europe should be assertive in countering Islam. Europe needs to turn the tide of Islamization and start a de-Islamization process.

Here are five things which should be done:

1) Europe should close its borders to all immigration from Islamic countries.

2) It should stimulate voluntary re-emigration;

3) and it should expel all criminals with a dual nationality to the country of their other nationality.

4) It should demand that everyone with a passport from an Islamic country, who wishes to remain living in Western Europe, sign a declaration in which he or she distances himself or herself from Sharia law and the violent commands of the Koran.

5) People who join the jihad have to be expelled, even it they only have our nationality. They can go and live in the Islamic State and no longer belong here. 

What message can you offer Americans about the threat posed by Islam and efforts to stifle freedom of speech critical of Islam? 

Americans are more patriotic than Europeans. That is a good thing. Europe would be in a better shape if it were more patriotic. Americans should cherish their pride in being American. They should insist that everyone who settles in America accept its values, which are based on its Western Judeo-Christian heritage.

America should close its borders to immigration from Islamic countries. There is more than enough Islam in America already.

Freedom of speech is a very important American value. In many European countries, people criticizing Islam are prosecuted. Telling the truth about Islam is considered to be offensive, because Islam feels offended by it. But the truth can never be offensive and people should never refrain from speaking it.

America should recognize that ISIS is an offspring of Islam. What ISIS does is what Islam commands. The Koran is full of commands such as sura 47 verse 4 “When ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks and cause a bloodbath among them.” When Obama, John Kerry, the British Prime Minister David Cameron, and others say that “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam” they are talking politically correct nonsense. 

Is Dutch public sentiment actively opposed to the Islamist threat, or are your countrymen still largely unconcerned? Is this a situation where the political class is being unresponsive to the concerns of the citizenry as well as oblivious to a societal threat to your country?

I never use the word “Islamist”, because there is only one Islam: the Islam of the Koran and of Muhammad.

Growing numbers of Dutch people are aware that Islam does not belong here because Islamic values are incompatible with our own. A poll last June showed that two thirds of the Dutch say that the Islamic culture does not belong in the Netherlands. The political class, however, does not voice the concerns of the people. This phenomenon can be seen elsewhere in Europe, too. It is the reason why the traditional political parties are rapidly losing the support of the people. 

Are reforms to free speech controls needed in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe to avoid further prosecutions of Islam’s critics? Is such reform possible? 

Islam is currently the greatest threat to the survival of our civilizations. People who warn against this threat, such as myself, are both threatened by Muslims who want to kill them for speaking the truth about Islam, and are at the same time prosecuted by the European authorities who want to silence them because they speak the truth about Islam. This is ridiculous. People should be allowed to speak the truth about the biggest danger that is currently threatening the survival of our Western civilization and the future prosperity and freedom of our children.

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Posted on 10/23/2014 7:47 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 23 October 2014
The West Wins, in Spite of Itself
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A merciful confluence of events is softening the impact of the foreign-policy errors of the United States and its traditional allies. It must be allowed that U.S. foreign policy in this new century has been a bipartisan failure. There has not really been a policy that could be sustained, or that any sane foreign-policy architect would wish to sustain for more than a few years. Through much of the Obama administration and the preceding Bush era, almost the entire ground-forces combat potential of the United States was mired in the Middle East, while the Western alliance has steadily loosened, and the United States has withdrawn toward its own shores. As has been endlessly recounted, the country has become, in Peggy Noonan’s phrase, “war-wary” — as the Korean, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq Wars (though not the Gulf War of 1991) dragged on interminably and only the Korean and possibly Afghanistan Wars produced even a partially satisfactory outcome. Nowhere was the United States defeated militarily, but it suffered serious strategic setbacks in Vietnam and Iraq. The impulse to be less internationally adventurous is understandable, and the implosion of the Soviet Union drastically reduced the need for American-led resistance to anti-democratic forces in the world. From the end of the Cold War there was much talk of the “peace dividend,” and it was assumed that substantially less resources could be consecrated to national defense.

But as has been lamented here and elsewhere, as brilliant as the containment strategy, pursued from the Truman through to the elder-Bush administration, was, no articulated or consistent policy has succeeded it. George H. W. Bush spoke of a “new world order,” and he and his secretary of state, James Baker, had considerable aptitude for organizing foreign affairs. Amiable ad hoc policymaking followed with President Clinton, but with finesse in the expansion of NATO, firmness in the Straits of Formosa, and considerable grit in pursuing the North American Free Trade Area. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on New York and Washington understandably distracted the George W. Bush administration, which then propagated the theory that, as democracies don’t make war on one another, democracy should be indiscriminately promoted. This policy took no account of the fact that, when democratically consulted, countries not accustomed to democracy frequently elevate anti-democratic movements. This is what occurred in Gaza with Hamas, Lebanon with Hezbollah, and Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Obama administration has been incoherent and dissimulative: promoting democracy in Egypt and ignoring the undemocratic encroachments of the resulting Muslim Brotherhood, drawing and then backing off a red line in Syria, moving from “reset” with Russia to sanctions largely on the rich friends of the Kremlin, pretending that terrorism had been eliminated in the aftermath of the tragic fiasco at Benghazi, and snorting back at the unforeseen Islamic State only when it began jubilantly decapitating Americans on film. (This “junior varsity,” as the president described it, would not have arisen if the U.S. had not so abruptly withdrawn completely from Iraq, leaving the country to crumble under the ungrateful Iranian puppet Maliki. This was not the disposition for which Americans fought and died there.) The somewhat indecorous move to the exit in the Middle East was covered for a time with a lot of portentous talk about a “pivot to Asia” that in fact consisted of putting a small detachment of Marines at Darwin, Australia, which has not been troubled by an intruder since a Japanese air raid more than 60 years ago.

In general, it must be said that American foreign policy was spectacularly successful from Roosevelt’s quarantine Speech of 1937 through to the Democratic emasculation of the Nixon administration and abandonment of Indochina in 1973–75, that it fully recovered its senses with Reagan and Shultz and George H. W. Bush in the Eighties (though the Bush-Baker lectures in Kiev and Belgrade on the virtues of the Russian and Yugoslav federations were ill-considered)​, and that President Clinton’​s generally plausible improvisations in the Nineties did include mortally under-calibrated responses to the Khobar Towers, East African embassies, and USS Cole terrorist attacks that incited the outrage of 9/11. But there is no precedent in American history for foreign-policy planning to have simply walked off the cliff as it has in the last decade.

However, where deliberate policy has failed, the natural forces of regional power balances have miraculously come to the aid of the West.

 

As the United States has pulled back, most of its longtime allies have been exposed as having been egregious freeloaders. During the Cold War, the Europeans claimed that the greater risk imposed upon them by relative proximity to the Soviet threat could be fairly compensated for by the greater defense burden borne by the United States. When the Cold War ended and the Euro-federalists had the upper hand in Western Europe, there was much talk of a European strike force and “projection of Europe’s influence” in the world. It was all nonsense, of course; Bosnia was “the hour of Europe,” said the chief European official (Jacques Poos), but a few weeks later the Europeans were begging for American assistance. France’s President Sarkozy and Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron plunged into Libya to rid it of Moammar Qaddafi but ran out of ordnance in a few days and had to be resupplied by the United States.

Europe has no influence anywhere, and, among its important member states, the only ones pulling their weight are the British (almost always relatively reliable) and the Poles, who are, after all, on the edge of the historic volcano. Of the G-7 leaders (mercifully, Russia’s sojourn in that group has been terminated), Canada’s Harper talks a good game but he has so reduced Canada’s defense capability that his voice doesn’t count for much. Germany’s Merkel is also quite sound, but she has allowed German military capabilities to deteriorate badly and is hamstrung by the ideological schizophrenia of her grand-coalition partner, the Social Democrats. She has not even appreciably reduced German imports of Russian natural gas, though other and friendlier sources, especially Canada and the United States, are available. Japan’s Prime Minster Abe is energetic and clear-sighted, but is still struggling to end the prolonged agony of Japanese economic sluggishness. The American, British, and French leaders are not up to it, and the Italian leader has compromised authority in a divided and economically and politically demoralized country.

But in the vacuum left by the feckless lassitude of the U.S. and Western Europe, the Chinese have overplayed their hand in Burma and virtually been expelled, and in the China Sea they have brought together a tightening coalition of India (now under the most impressive and sensibly purposeful leader in its post-British history, Narendra Modi), Abe’s rearming Japan, Indonesia under its reform president-elect (Joko Widodo), the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia (now led by the strongest leader of the traditional Anglo-Saxon countries, Tony Abbott). As those countries, which are collectively 20 percent more populous and have a substantially larger collective GDP than China, spontaneously counteract Chinese friskiness, an unimaginably benign scenario is unfolding in the Middle East. Beneath the near-hysteria about 20,000 to 30,000 Islamic State fanatics, the West has won the bounce. The 900-pound gorilla in the room in the Middle East for 90 years, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, fumbled its way out of popularity and power and we dodged that bullet; and the Saudis, who have done much that has made it hard for us to like them and are a model of illiberal government, have become so exasperated with the antics of Iran in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Gaza, and with Russian meddling in the region, that they have sharply increased oil production. This, coupled with rising American production and the long-expected decline in Chinese oil imports as that country’s economic growth has slowed (despite the deafening decades-long alarm of those who thought the Chinese progress to headship of the world on a quick march was inexorable), has lowered the world oil price, from $100 per barrel to around $80. The Saudis can continue this to $50 without serious inconvenience to themselves, but Iran and Russia will be in financial extremis anywhere below $70. 

The Saudi oil-price offensive is the chief explanation for Russia’s sudden retreat from the Ukrainian border, and if Iran does not mend its ways, its economic condition will, in Hillary Clinton’s infamous threat, become “crippling” after all. This development coincides with the United States’s quiet strengthening of Israel’s ability to destroy the Iranian nuclear program from the air, on the condition that no such attack can be undertaken without American agreement (giving Washington plausible deniability). Such an Israeli strike would be greeted with relief, if mutedly, by the Turks, Saudis, and Egyptians, as the Jewish state would have done the world’s dirty work for it again. Turkey, though it should be advised that it is close to expulsion from NATO because of its adversarial behavior, has lightly supported the anti-Assad and anti-extremist forces in Syria. In the Middle East as in the Far East, the correlation of regional forces is realigning in terms that are convenient for the West. The Russian de-escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, under the Saudi pressure on oil prices, after completely outmaneuvering the Americans and Germans, is a bonus. It is a little like the Saudi-generated rollback of oil prices to squeeze the USSR in the mid Eighties, after the Reagan administration sold Saudi Arabia AWACS air-defense aircraft.

It is right that these regions should sort themselves out. It all could have been faster, less suspenseful, and more gratifying to the West if our own statesmen could claim any contribution to this dénouement (though Obama may deserve credit for helping to enable Israel opposite Iran, after long restraining and harassing that country). The contemptible defeatism of the Pentagon and the State Department over the heroic Kurdish defense of the Syrian town of Khobani is a particular contrast with the bold conduct of indigenous ISIS opponents. Let no one now doubt the occurrence of miracles: As our official statesmanlike aptitudes fled, fortune astonishingly appeared, clad mainly in the distinct apparel of the House of Saud. Americans may have more blessings than they imagined to keep in mind this Thanksgiving, even if their own leadership is not among them. 

First published in National Review.

— Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full, A Matter of Principle, and Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership. He can be reached at [email protected] .

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Posted on 10/23/2014 5:45 AM by Conrad Black
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Thursday, 23 October 2014
Eric Zemmour's Le Suicide Francais And Its Effect
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Le Suicide francais, a best-seller, and being read. and understood.

Here.

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Posted on 10/23/2014 5:31 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 23 October 2014
Dore Gold Interviewed on Defensible Borders for Israel
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In Mosaic magazine:

How has the tumult in the Middle East affected the debate over Israel’s territorial requirements? For an answer, Mosaic approached Dore Gold, head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, who has long promoted the concept of defensible borders primarily as a means of meeting Israel’s security needs in the West Bank. Our exchange was conducted by email. 

Q. Before we get to the idea of “defensible borders” itself, can you begin by telling us about your involvement in it?  

A: I became immersed in this issue when I was serving as foreign-policy adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first term in the late 1990s. I was tasked with converting the IDF’s “Interests Map” for the West Bank into a form that could be presented to President Bill Clinton; I joined the prime minister for that presentation in the White House Map Room. Four years later, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asked me to condense the work for his meeting in the Oval Office with President George W. Bush.

This formed the nucleus of what, starting in 2005, would become a series of monographs on the subject published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Copiously illustrated with maps and photographs, they featured essays by such prominent authors as Moshe Yaalon, now Israel’s defense minister, Yaakov Amidror, until recently Israel’s national security adviser, and Major General (ret.) Uzi Dayan. The latest edition in the series was released this year, by coincidence just prior to the Gaza war. [Mosaic linked to a number of chapters here Eds.]

Q. What was the original idea, and has it changed at all in light of regional developments over the years?

A: The idea was first put forward by Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon after the Six-Day War of 1967. As commander of the pre-state Palmah, Allon was one of the architects of Israel’s national-security doctrine, and had also been a mentor of Yitzhak Rabin. His essential point was, and is, simple enough: Israel must retain certain territories on the West Bank for its security.

Q: What about the Palestinians? That land, after all, is increasingly referred to as occupied Palestinian territory.

A: Let’s back up a bit. At present, no one has sovereignty over the West Bank. The last sovereign power there was the Ottoman Empire, which formally renounced its claim after World War I. The West Bank then became a part of British Mandatory Palestine, which was designated to become the Jewish national home. The 1948 Arab war to annihilate the newly established state of Israel ended with the West Bank in Jordanian hands, and there it remained until 1967. In June of that year, Jordan joined an Arab war coalition, led by Egypt, that was aimed explicitly at finishing the job begun in 1948. That war ended with Israel in control of territory on several fronts, one of which was the West Bank.

Because Israel had acted in self-defense in 1967, noted scholars of international law, including Stephen Schwebel, who later served as president of the International Court of Justice, and Eugene Rostow, a former dean of Yale Law School and Under Secretary of State in the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, recognized its claims as stronger than those of any other party. Indeed, UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted in the aftermath of the June 1967 war, affirmed that Israel was not required to withdraw fully from the West Bank or return to the pre-1967 lines, but rather was entitled to “secure and recognized boundaries” that were still to be determined through negotiation.

In short, the West Bank remains disputed territory to which both Israel and the Palestinians have claims. The West Bank is not “Palestinian” territory; there was no Palestinian state there prior to 1967, and the Palestinians never had sovereignty there. For its part, Israel has legal rights that need to be acknowledged, and security concerns that must be incorporated into any understanding of where the final borders will lie. One thing that Israeli prime ministers from Golda Meir to Benjamin Netanyahu have made clear is that Israel cannot withdraw to the pre-June 1967 lines, which were a permanent invitation to attack—in a word, indefensible.

A: Are there Israeli experts who disagree with you? And have recent events, including in Gaza, strengthened their position or yours?

A: In the internal Israeli debate, some have argued that the whole concept of defensible borders has become outdated. In 1967, they remind us, the threat to Israel along its eastern front came from the combined strength of the armored and infantry formations of Syria and Jordan, plus an expeditionary force from Iraq. The IDF at the time was built around a small standing army that only gained full strength after the mobilization of reserves–which is why, if Israel were again to face a surprise attack, strategic depth was critical. It was in this environment that Yigal Allon put forward his plan.

And today? Israel remains a small country with a limited population base—certainly in comparison with its much larger neighbors—and there also remain real and persistent constraints on its ability to disperse its military capabilities. Critics of defensible borders like to point out that the constellation of hostile forces has changed markedly. The Syrian army has been badly degraded, the Iraqi army has been battered by war and domestic chaos, and Egypt and Jordan are at peace with Israel. Thus, they conclude, the danger of attack by large conventional armies is no longer. Of course there is terrorism, but that’s a different matter, and besides, the critics say, it’s not on the same scale as the previous threats faced by Israel.

My response is that, for at least the short term, the terrorist threat to Israel from the east is unlike anything we have seen before in terms of scale and character. Terror used to be conducted by small squads of three to five men who penetrated Israel’s borders in order to seize hostages or place explosive devices under vehicles or in public places. Today, organizations like the Islamic State (IS), in possession of robust weaponry that includes sophisticated anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, have defeated whole divisions of the Iraqi army and confiscated vast amounts of equipment and money.

This year, operating with battalion-size formations, IS and its ideological cousin the al-Nusra Front have defeated Syrian armored forces and made deep inroads into the heart of Iraq. Despite recent setbacks thanks to American-led airstrikes, this is no mere tactical nuisance.

As for the longer term, no one can speak with any certainty. It’s true that, for the moment, a conventional assault by an existing state is unlikely. But the Middle East region is changing so dramatically before our eyes that Israel needs to be prepared for any eventuality. 

Q: Even without an army like IS’s, Hamas was able to smuggle weapons into Gaza and tunnel its way into Israel itself. Doesn’t that call into question the idea of defensible borders on the West Bank?

A: To the contrary. The war this summer disclosed the sheer size of the arsenal that Hamas had managed to build up over the years. But how did most of those weapons arrive? In withdrawing from Gaza in 2005, Israel gave up a strip of land on the perimeter, called the Philadelphi Route, which had served to separate Gaza from the Egyptian Sinai. Thereafter, the number of tunnels under this route mushroomed, as did the quantity and quality of the weapons passing through them to Hamas and other groups.

On the West Bank, our outer perimeter is the Jordan Valley, which Israel controls. If Israel were to withdraw from the valley, weapons would flow to areas adjacent to Israeli cities.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Shoulder-fired missiles that can take down aircraft were found among the items smuggled into Gaza. No such weapons have been brought into the West Bank—yet. If they did get in, the security of Ben-Gurion airport would be placed at severe risk. To guarantee a demilitarized West Bank, then, Israel must retain the Jordan Valley, the functional equivalent of Gaza’s Philadelphi Route.

Q: Many commentators insist that, since Israel has such a strong army, it can afford to be more forthcoming with concessions and take greater risks for peace. 

A: We’ve just gone through the third Gaza war. The first time we withdrew from Gaza, it was said reassuringly that if Hamas failed to keep the peace, we could just re-invade and resume our control of the territory; what’s more, if attacked by even a single rocket, we would have international legitimacy to retaliate with the full power of the IDF.

We learned, painfully, that this was not the case. Israeli towns came under attack by Hamas rockets that were embedded in Palestinian civilian areas, making the effective use of Israel’s superior power much more difficult. Not only that, but after finally taking action in Operation Cast Lead in 2009, Israel was pilloried by the Goldstone Report and faced international condemnation at the UN Human Rights Council. The same thing is happening now, in a diplomatic atmosphere that if anything is more hostile, and more solidly stacked against Israel, than before.

My conclusion: it’s far better for Israel not to put itself in a position in which its vulnerabilities invite aggression but it is unable to respond with power. Once again, strategic depth makes a difference.

Q: A final question. You argue that the Jordan Valley must be kept under Israeli control. Why can’t Israel agree to international peacekeeping teams instead of the IDF, as is often proposed?

A: Israel has always been reluctant to base its defense on international forces, and when it’s agreed to them it has suffered. Under challenge, such forces invariably back down or collapse. During the lead-up to the 1967 Six-Day War, President Nasser of Egypt demanded that the UN withdraw its peacekeeping force in Sinai. UN Secretary-General U Thant agreed to Nasser’s demand, thereby removing the lone buffer between Israel’s southern border and 90,000 massed Egyptian troops.

It used to be said that no one would ever dare attack international peacekeepers; the thought was just too outrageous to be entertained. That illusion has likewise been put to rest over the years. Overt acts of aggression can force UN peacekeepers to leave, while the mere threat of aggression has demonstrably compromised their neutrality or led to their being co-opted by enemy forces like Hizballah. Only the other week, on Israel’s Golan Heights border with Syria, the al-Nusra front captured a contingent of Fijian soldiers from the UN Disengagement Observer Force and successfully held them for ransom. For all of these reasons, Israel’s position has always been that it cannot leave itself exposed, and must defend itself by itself.

As for the Jordan Valley, it’s worth remembering that, a month before his assassination in November 1995, Yitzhak Rabin declared in the Knesset that the future security border of Israel would be in the Jordan Valley, in the widest sense of that geographical term.

This is what’s meant by defensible borders. Until the lion lies down with the lamb, there is simply no alternative to them, and no amount of wishful thinking will change that fact.

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Posted on 10/23/2014 5:17 AM by Geoffrey Clarfield
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Thursday, 23 October 2014
Paris Opera lays down rules over Muslim veils
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From the French edition of The Local

The management at Paris Opera have issued a memo to staff not to allow entry to anyone whose face is covered. It comes after a Muslim woman was asked to leave a performance of La Traviata earlier this month after she was spotted wearing a niqab face veil.

A memo to staff, that was seen by Le Monde newspaper, instructs them that entry should be denied to anyone whose face is hidden by "a veil, a mask or a hood". It was signed by Deputy Director Jean-Philippe Thiellay the day after a Muslim woman from the Gulf region, who was sitting on the front row, was spotted by actors wearing a full face veil, at a performance of La Traviata.

After they reportedly threatened not to sing unless something was done, staff approached the woman asking her to leave if she refused to take off her veil.In the end she and her husband decided to leave the show of their own accord.

Opera management admitted they are unsure how the woman was able to gain entry to the auditorium without being approached by staff.

Opera staff have been reminded that any head covering where only the eyes are visible is illegal, although wearing a Muslim headscarf that only covers the hair is permitted. "Naturally, in the case of employees of the Opera, professional clothing or artistic costumes are exempt from this ban," the memo to staff read.

Staff were also reminded however that only the police in France have the power to forcibly remove someone’s veil or physically eject them from a place. In the aftermath of the incident at the opera, France’s Ministry of Culture said they intended to issue a reminder of the law to all theatres, museums and other state institutions.

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Posted on 10/23/2014 3:16 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 23 October 2014
Suspected Ottawa Gunman Likely Mentally Ill: Friend of Shooter
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But he was kind to his old Mum, and "brought her flowers and that". Not that she is talking to the press - she's keeping her multi-kulti head down. Here comes the usual nonsense from a fellow convert at the mosque.

From the Globe and Mail

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the slain 32-year-old suspected killer of a Canadian Forces soldier near Parliament Hill, was a labourer and small-time criminal – a man who had had a religious awakening and seemed to have become mentally unstable. Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was born in 1982 and was the son of Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman who appears to have fought in 2011 in Libya, and Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. The two were divorced in 1999. So his childhood was not exactly poor and downtrodden then. 

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau grew up in Eastern Canada, including Ottawa and Montreal, and had spent time in Libya before moving to Western Canada to become a miner and labourer, according to friend Dave Bathurst. Mr. Bathurst said he met Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau in a Burnaby, B.C., mosque about three years ago.

He said his friend did not at first appear to have extremist views or inclinations toward violence – but at times exhibited a disturbing side. “We were having a conversation in a kitchen, and I don’t know how he worded it: He said the devil is after him,” Mr. Bathurst said in an interview. He said his friend frequently talked about the presence of Shaytan in the world – an Arabic term for devils and demons. “I think he must have been mentally ill.”

Mr. Bathurst last saw Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau praying in a Vancouver-area mosque six weeks ago. He spoke of wanting to go to the Middle East soon. Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was blocked from fulfilling those plans. Sources say he intended to travel abroad, but he had not been able to secure a valid travel document from federal officials, who have been taking measures to prevent Canadians from joining extremists overseas.

His father’s history offers a hint of what Mr. Bathurst was concerned about. In 2011, a Montrealer named “Belgasem Zahef” was quoted in a Washington Times dispatch from the front in Libya, where he had travelled to join the rebel fight.

At the Burnaby mosque, Mr. Bathurst said his friend’s “erratic” behaviour – he did not elaborate – caused frictions with the elders at the house of worship, who asked him to stop attending prayers.

Some of the facts of Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau’s life bear broad parallels to another Canadian terrorist who surfaced this week – Martin Couture-Rouleau, another “high-risk traveller” who police shot dead in Quebec Monday after he ran down two soldiers. But while Mr. Couture-Rouleau is not known to be connected to any other terrorism suspects, Mr. Bathurst said his friend knew Hasibullah Yusufzai, a Vancouver-area resident who was charged in July by the RCMP with travelling to Syria with the intent of joining a deadly terrorist group.

Authorities have issued an international warrant for Mr. Yusufzai, but he remains at large.

Mr. Bathurst said he believes the two cases are distinct. “I don’t think they were linked,” he said, explaining how the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had called him to ask about Mr. Yusufzai but not Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau. 

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Posted on 10/23/2014 2:57 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Boy Returns To Yemen To "Get In Touch With His Roots"
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Posted on 10/22/2014 7:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
A Musical Interlude: The Varsity Drag (Penny Singleton)
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Listen (and watch) here

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Posted on 10/22/2014 6:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
In The Islamic State, The Diwan Of Knowledge Goes To Work
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In the Islamic State, the Diwan of Knowledge issues its curriculum guidelines and dress code.

Details here.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 6:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Bill Maher On Asya Bibi's Death Sentence In Pakistan
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It was not a lone killer, Maher notes, but the High Court of Pakistan, enforcing the law of Islam, the Shari'a, which Pakistani law takes as a model (though it does not yet coincide completey with it), that reaffirmed the death sentence for a Christian woman who was accused of saying something bad about Islam.

 

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Posted on 10/22/2014 12:07 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
ISIS Graduation Ceremony, Graduates Trained In Three Things
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You can view the graduation ceremony here. No speeches were given by someone telling the graduates to "follow their bliss" and  to "give something back." They're already following their bliss. And soon enough, all over the Middle East and the Western world, just like those who graduated before them, or as adept auto-didacts needed no further training, they'll be giving something back.

There are three equally indispensable parts to that training. The first two will be familiar to those who have undergone basic training in any military, but take careful note of the third:

1. Physical figtness.

2  Weapons training

3. Shari'a.

 

Got that? Shari'a. That is the constitution of the Caliphate, of any Caliphate. And since Obama, and Kelly, and Cameron, and so many other Western leaders, and so many Muslim leaders and spokesmen and propagandists, too, have told us that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam, then when a carefully-crafted law is passed that will allow us to declare war on the Islamic State, and on those who give aid and comfort to the Islamic State's sole goals -- the removal of all obstacles to the spread of Islam, in order to make sure that the Shari'a, sooner or later, is imposed everywhere -- they will not be able to call this an attack on Islam, because nothing that the Islamic State wants, they are all repeatedly on record as declaring, has "anything to do with Islam."

The proposal I made earlier today at NER, about the careful crafting of a Declaration of War,  was important. I think it deserves attention elsewhere. Please help to disseminate the idea.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 11:34 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Muslim Killers Attack Parliament Building And Other Targets In Ottawa
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Breaking story here.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 11:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Ottawa:Shots fired on Parliament Hill, multiple injuries reported
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From Canada.Com

Shots were fired on Parliament Hill and at the nearby Canadian War Memorial on Wednesday morning, and one uniformed soldier guarding the cenotaph was injured and taken to hospital.

A dark-clothed gunman fired the shots just before 10 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and  is still on the loose, according to multiple reports. He is said to have fled for Parliament Hill, where more shots were heard in Centre Block. Shots were also heard within the main legislative building that includes the Peace Tower, near the Library of Parliament.

Ottawa police have tweeted confirmation shots were fired near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. One person was injured, a soldier who has been taken to hospital. CPR was being performed on the victim at the war memorial before he was taken to hospital. Soldiers post guard at the war memorial 24 hours, seven days a week.

There are multiple reports the active shooter is dead, though amid all the confusion there’s concern of a second shooter.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 9:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
A Musical Interlude: The Little Things You Used To Do (Helen Morgan)
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Listen here.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 7:39 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Trying To Remember Not To Forget
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I used to be able to remember everything, about everything. I could recall everything, always, no matter what. But that's not true anymore.

Last night I tried to remember the name of a female professor I had seen, not a week ago, at a symposium I crashed. I had disliked her for decades, but mainly by reputation, and when I saw her, and heard her speak, gesticulating with both hands, I had further reason to dislike her. So I ought to have remembered her name last night. And when I couldn't, this sent me into a frenzy. But I read Peter De Vries -- there is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away -- and went to sleep.

But I didn't forget my ordeal. Just a few minutes ago, I remembered that last night I couldn't remember something. But I couldn't remember exactly what it was that I had been unable to remember. Then, magically, I suddenly remembered what it was I had been trying to remember ("name of obnoxious professor at symposium") and then, a second later, I managed somehow, squeezing the meninges, to remember her name.

If you are of a certain age, and worried about such things, you'll know how relieved I was.

Whew.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 7:29 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Why A Declaration Of War, Carefully-Drafted, Is Needed
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What is the Islamic State? It is an incomplete embodiment of, and a complete representative of, an idea: the idea is that of a Caliiphate, a unification under one rule of all Muslims. And in that Caliphate, the Sharia (Islamic law) will be imposed. The Sharia requires, among other things,  the permanent subjugation of all non-Muslims (or, if they are not Christians or Jews, like the Yazidis, or Hindus, or Buddhists, or atheists, should be killed) .

The governments of the Western world, beginning with the American government, ought to declare War, not against the Islamic State alone, but against all those who give aid or comfort in any way to those who wish to bring about that Caliphate, or wish to create the conditions which will enable the spread of the imposition of the Sharia.

Such a declaration of war, including the description of the enemy as being all those who work for the imposition of the Sharia, must be carefully crafted. Clever legislative drafters exist; they will know what to do. 

And then Article 3, Section 3, Clause 1 may be properly applied:

 

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

 

And similar laws can be passed in Canada, in France, in Great Britain (which has an unwritten Constitution, but one whose contents, including the definition of treason, are well known), Italy,  the Netherlands, Belgium, and the rest of the civilized non-Islamic world. The non-civilized parts of the non-Islamic world will know what to do, and do it, without the need for such considerations.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 6:40 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Caliphate Dreams In Tunisia
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Several things to note:

1) the theme of unifying all of the Arabs, in the Caliphate, supports the understanding of pan-Arabism not, as it was always presented, an altnerative to pan-Islamism, but as an initial version of it. d pan-Arabism, now seen as what it always was, not an alternative to Islam's dream of a universal caliphate, but or pan-Arabism was always

2) the desire to give meaning to  miserable lives, made miserable by the economic, political, and social conditions that Islam itself causes, even in Tunisia, a state that, thanks to Bourguiba and others who shared and share his attempt to constrain Islam (as Bey Essebsi), by going off to join the Caliphate about which tales have been told, and there is no horror expressed at what goes on in the Islamic State (and the reporter naively takes at face value those who claim they believe the stories of atrocities toward non-Muslims and women are false, which is what they would tell a reporter, rather than admit that they know or suspect them to be true, and are indifferent, or even approve).

3) the scariest, for Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar is the thought expressed that under a Caliphate the rich Arabs of the Gulf will have to share their trillions with all the others in that Caliphate. And after their fear about their own survival as ruling familities, that is the second main reason for the Gulf states (with Qatar still an outlier, having supported the fanatics of the Muslim Brotherhood and their ilk, in Libya, in Egypt, in Syria, and in Gaza) to oppose the Islamic State. It certainly has nothingto do with surprise or shock at the killing of Yazidis, or the enslavement of women "taken in battle" (massacres), or the stoning to death of women, or anything that shocks non-Muslims.

The story here.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 6:13 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
The Convert To Islam Offers Islam Undiluted
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And while Muslims will wince at the spectacle --to be repeated over and over again -- of the convert to Islam (and converts to Islam are almost all from the socially and psychically marginal, for they are exactly the kind of people attracted to a Faith that is full of violence and aggression, that justifies their own behavior against the circumambient Infidels, and that provides a Total Explanation of the Universe and a Complete Regulation of Life. That's exactly what such people want. Solemn studies, with multi-million dollar government grants, not always handed out to the right people  (see Mia Bloom, who has tripled her salary, as one more "terrorism expert" (because she wrote an idiotic book, that makes her an expert), now getting in on that just-awared government grant to a center at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell ) will eventually have to come to this understanding and conclusion. But anyone should be able to figure it out.

 

And meanwhile there is nothing those born into Islam, who want to stay in the West, and whom there is no reason to trust will not continue to defend Islam by misrepresenting it to non-Muslims, will have to see convert after convert kill or attempt to kill, and have to issue or utter those same statements, that no longer fool anyone, of horror and shock, and incomprehension, as to how anyone might think Islam has anything to do with this.

But it won't end.
And even the dullest and the most resistant -- save for the most fanatical of those who insist that we must, at all costs, be "tolerant" no matter what it means for our own safety, or our own laws and customs, or our own understanding of history, or our own cultural coherence --will begin to see Islam as the quickest-minded, even if they had not made Islam their sole or main subject of study,  did long ago.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 5:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Baby killed as car rams crowd in Jerusalem terror attack
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From the Times of Israel

A three-month-old girl was killed Wednesday afternoon and eight others were injured when a car crashed into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem in what officials said was a terrorist attack.

The suspect, identified by an Israeli official as a member of terror group Hamas, attempted to flee the scene on foot and was shot and badly hurt by police, a police spokesperson said.  “A private car which arrived from the direction of the French Hill junction hit a number of pedestrians who were on the pavement and injured nine of them,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement. “Initial indications suggest this is a hit-and-run terror attack,”

The baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, died at the nearby Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus a few hours after the incident. A spokesperson for Israeli rescue service Magen David Adom said a 60-year-old woman and seven other people, including the baby’s parents, were also lightly and moderately wounded in the attack.

Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson Ofir Gendelman wrote on his official Twitter feed that the suspect was a Hamas member. The alleged attacker is Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, a former Palestinian prisoner from the flashpoint neighborhood of Silwan. Police confirmed that the suspect was from Silwan and had previously served in Israeli prison.

A Hamas spokesperson said in response to the reports that if indeed it was a terrorist attack, then it was a natural response to Israel’s actions in Jerusalem,

The light rail has in recent months been repeatedly attacked by stone-throwing Palestinians in the neighborhood of Shuafat, located just north of where Wednesday’s incident took place.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 5:06 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Canadian Convert Suspected In Parliament Attack
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From Sky News and the Toronto Star

A Canadian man said to be a convert to Islam is being investigated as a possible suspect after a soldier was shot and killed at a war memorial and dozens of shots were fired inside the country's parliament.Police are hunting two gunmen after another was shot dead inside the parliament building.

They are investigating a man named as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who US agencies have been advised is a Canadian convert to Islam, as a potential suspect, a source told the Reuters news agency.

At one stage police told the AFP news agency that possibly up to three shooters were feared to be on the roof of the building, which remains in lockdown.

Minister Julian Fantino told the Toronto Sun that parliament's head of security, Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, had shot a suspect dead inside the building. Ottawa Hospital has received three patients, two of whom are in a stable condition.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the attack. (which of course, has nothing to do with Islam)

The soldier shot dead while guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa Wednesday is Corp. Nathan Frank Cirillo. Cirillo, who was a corporal with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was an active social media user and photos on various sites show he was a young father and a dog lover. 

Kevin Vickers, Parliament Hill's sergeant-at-arms and former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, shot and killed the suspect, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino told the Toronto Sun"All the details are not in, but the sergeant-at-arms, a former Mountie, is the one that engaged the gunman, or one of them at least, and stopped this," Fantino said. "He did a great job and, from what I know, shot the gunman and he is now deceased."

Vickers, a 57-year-old New Brunswick native, was appointed sergeant-at-arms in the House of Commons in 2006. Before that, Vickers, a 29-year veteran of the RCMP, served as director of security operations for the House of Commons, providing security services for dignitaries, including Prince Andrew and members of the Canadian royal family. Which sounds slightly odd to an Englishwoman but of course The Queen is also Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elswhere in the Commonwealth. I must not be arrogant and forget that.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 4:29 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
When You Think Of Canada, Don't You Want To Think Of Kevin Vickers?
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Here.


 

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Posted on 10/22/2014 4:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
So Few Muslims, And Late, And Mild, Condemn The Persecution Of Christians
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An article from lefigaro.fr that appeared in August; I had overlooked at the time, but having just read it, think it worth posting now.

Here.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 3:07 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
An "Explosive" Report On Islam In French Prisons
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At lefigaro.fr, here.

In prison the converts are made. How does it happen? Well, first you need to belong to a group or gang that will protect you. There is the gang of Corsicans. There is the gang of blacks, Africans and Antillais. There is the gang of Muslims. If you are a non-Corsican white, you cannot make yourself Corsican, or black. But you can make yourself a Muslim, and now your Muslim brothers will protect you. And Islam jsutifies everything bad you've been doing, or will want to do -- go ahead, steal from, attack, rape, do whatever you want to those Infidel French. They refuse to recognize the superiority of Islam and of Muslims, refuse to allow themselves to be subjugated, refuse to let Muslims impose a Jizyah So take that Jizyah, any way you can, despite what the man-made laws of Infidels might say. 

That's by way of a gloss on the report.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 3:00 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Should Muslims Be Allowed To Drive?
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The latest attempt at mass murder using a car took place in Jerusalem, where eight Israelis were deliberatey run down by a young male Muslim, a member of Hamas. A baby was killed, the others wounded. This comes a week or two after a Muslim commandeered a truck; other cases in Israel involved tractors.

In the United States, where so many of our taxidrivers are Muslims, who knows what a suicide-driver could do, if willing to die himself, not only to a crowd, but to his passengers. But dare anyone discuss this, at all? So many find it preferable to pretend it hasn't happened -- it has -- or that it won't happen -- it will -- or that, in any case, they wail, "but we just can't do that." Lots of things that were once unthinkable can be done in wartime, even if that wartime is permanent (for there is no end to Jihad) to protect yourself.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 1:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Canadian soldier has died.
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A nation is in shock, a soldier reported dead, a gunman slain and at least one other person injured after multiple shootings in the nation’s capitol Wednesday morning.

Postmedia has confirmed the soldier, shot while guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa, has succumbed to his injuries.

A dark-clothed gunman fired the shots just before 10 a.m. at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa, where a uniformed soldier was shot. The gunman then fled for Parliament Hill, where he unleashed more gunfire inside Centre Block. A security guard was injured before the sergeant-at-arms shot the suspect dead. 

Police suspect there are still one or two shooters on the loose, officials have told the Canadian Press. The RCMP are asking people not to share officers’ locations on Twitter. Ottawa police have tweeted confirmation shots were fired near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 9:52 a.m.The RCMP are asking people to stay away from the scene, remain in doors, away from windows and roofs.

Shots were also heard within the main legislative building that includes the Peace Tower, near the Library of Parliament. As many as 50 shots rang through the building. Snipers are keeping watch from roofs around the Capitol region, where government buildings as far as Hull, Quebec, and even the CBC studio are on lockdown. Multiple bridges in the capitol are also closed. Ottawa Police stations, RCMP buildings and anything related to the military is also on lock down or high alert, as are provincial legislatures across the country.

A witness reported that a man drove up in a black vehicle, got out carrying a rifle and ran into the Centre Block. Witnesses heard shots in several different corridors. The prime minister cancelled a planned event in Toronto on Wednesday evening, where he was to bestow honorary citizenship on Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

Chuck Bronley of Ottawa said he was near the memorial when he heard four shots and saw a man running away carrying a rifle. A tourist from the Netherlands was also nearby when he heard four shots, and saw an armed man with long, dark hair fleeing. Police were yelling at bystanders, shouting that there was still a shooter on the loose. “DND member is down,” one officer was overheard saying.

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

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Posted on 10/22/2014 1:10 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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