It doesn’t take a concerted cyber-attack for Britain’s National Health Service to cancel operations: a neighbor, an 86-year-old lady, has so far been called to the hospital three times to have her hip replaced, only for the operation to be postponed at the last moment each time, while she remains in obvious agony. Nevertheless, the cyber-attacks affected the NHS, as well as large companies around the world. And even if they turn out to have been less devastating than the headlines initially suggested (at the turn of the millennium, airplanes were going to fall from the skies because of computer failure, but never did), the fear they evoked brings to mind a remarkable short story, “The Machine Stops,” by E. M. Forster, published in 1909.
One normally associates Forster with the trembling of genteel emotions rather than with apocalyptic visions. But in this story, set at some unspecified time in the distant future, Forster brilliantly intuited certain modern developments in the life of our species. In Forster’s dystopian tale, everyone lives in underground cells, on his own. Everything one needs is delivered on electronic command, by the simple press of a button; all food is highly processed. The air-flow is controlled and invariant. There is no need or desire to leave one’s cell and no contact with the world of nature, which is viewed with horror.
People have a horror of personal contact and communicate with one another purely by means of electronic screens. They can isolate themselves by turning their screens off; they can choose to communicate with a single person, or with many, who are their “friends.” They have a terror of silence; music is pumped into their cells. Attention spans have declined, so that a ten-minute broadcast lecture seems exceptionally long. People have no religion, but they regard the Machine that brings them everything they need, the operation of which they do not understand, and which appears to be self-reparative, with an almost mystical veneration. There are various anonymous levels of administration of the Machine, which appear to be in control of it, but which in reality are not.
Then the Machine starts to break down. At first, relatively minor malfunctions occur, but before long, the Machine falls apart completely. Panic and death ensue because no one knows any longer how to do anything for himself—not even where to find water.
How far from this situation are we? We often hear that the supply chain of food for modern cities would last only three days in the event of a serious interruption. A surveyor recently came to my house in France to map out a new chemin communal (right-of-way footpath) on my land. He did it entirely by satellite, and was young enough never to have learned how to use tape measures or theodolites. When the computers went down for three days, he had nothing to do.
Does the Machine exist, and if it does, could it break down? If it broke down, what would happen to us? It is an oddity that we all love apocalyptic visions, though not apocalypses themselves.
Attacking the Past: The Removal of the Confederate Monuments
by Daniel Mallock
The recent removal of Confederate memorials from the City of New Orleans was greeted with applause by some and tears from others. Many Confederate monuments across the country are at risk. It is important to examine why this is happening, determine the logical conclusion, and ascertain whether or not the erasure and whitewashing of our history is the best path for our troubled but great country.
The Lost Cause concept which was entrenched in American historical memory by Confederate memoirists, sympathetic historians, and apologists for over one hundred years has collapsed. This idea held that slavery was not the essential cause of the Civil War and that the South’s "peculiar institution" played a small role, if any, in the coming of the war. The delegitimization and fall of the Lost Cause idea is the most significant consequence of the recent Civil War sesquicentennial
It is incontrovertible that slavery was the essential cause of the war. This was affirmed by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens in his famous “Cornerstone” speech of March 21, 1861. Referring to the new Confederate Constitution, Stephens said:
“The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution -- African slavery as it exists amongst us -- the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the ‘rock upon which the old Union would split.’ He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact.”
Almost all of the Ordnances of Secession cite the protection of slavery as one of numerous reasons justifying secession of the state.
Just after the sesquicentennial, June 17, 2015, a psychotic racist killer committed an atrocity at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina during which nine innocent people were murdered. The killer’s social media posts showed him posing with the Confederate battle flag.
Horrified and shocked at the barbaric crime in Charleston, the country turned in grief and anger against Confederate symbolism and monuments.
In December, 2015, the mayor of New Orleans declared that three Confederate monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee prominently displayed on a 100-foot pedestal in Lee Circle near the National World War II museum would all be removed. The City of New Orleans Ordinance of Removal dated December 1, 2015 accurately asserts that the Confederate monuments “…honor, praise, or foster ideologies which are in conflict with the requirements of equal protection for citizens as provided by the constitution and laws of the United States, the state, or the laws of the city and suggests the supremacy of one ethnic, religious, or racial group over another.”
That Lee, Beauregard, and Jefferson Davis were slaveholders and defenders of slavery, not that they were secessionists and rebels, are the issues cited by the New Orleans removal order.
As the Lee statue was taken off its pedestal on the 19th of May, 2017, this growing movement to hold those associated with slavery accountable has not abated. That slavery was ubiquitous in the South and protected by the Constitution until the Civil War presents a dangerous problem, and puts us as a country on a dark road of revisionism and the eradication of important though unpleasant aspects of our history.
Thomas Jefferson owned slaves at Monticello, Washington at Mount Vernon, Jackson at the Hermitage; many more are also guilty. The New Orleans Order of Removal has a logical conclusion that should alarm all Americans. If Lee must go because of his association with slavery, so then must Andrew Jackson’s statue in Jackson square in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Then, attention must fall on Jefferson, and Washington and many others.
Will Monticello and Mount Vernon and the Hermitage be shuttered as mere monuments to slavery? It is a disturbing thought and logically not inconsistent with the road of history destruction, denialism, ignorance, and generational tyranny that we are on as a nation.
Jefferson believed that “the earth belongs in usufruct to the living” and that the living generation owed little or nothing to the past. This is an extraordinarily radical view, rejected by James Madison and John Adams (and many others) and one that now provides a justification to the present generation to remake society in whatever way they wish. It is a kind of generational tyranny.
That Jefferson’s conflicted and troubling legacy would be completely overturned and deconstructed so that he becomes now only a slaveholder requiring just retribution and accountability from the current politically correct generation would be an ultimate irony.
Refighting the Civil War, and eliminating the complexities from our conflicted and sometimes unpleasant national history is a terrible mistake whose consequences for us and the future will be catastrophic.
After the Civil War there was a period of reconciliation and forgiveness. Robert E. Lee himself was finally restored to citizenship in 1975 (his application for reinstatement had been unknown and lost since 1865). To officially mark the fact that the country was properly reunited, and that former Confederates were forgiven and back in the national fold, the U.S. Army named numerous posts after Confederate generals including: Forts Benning, Bragg, Gordon, A.P. Hill, Hood, Lee, Pickett, and Polk.
Jefferson’s view of the (temporary) authority of the present living generation must be answered. While it is so that the living generation “owns” the world by default – there are checks and balances on what it can or should do, some of them written and designed by Jefferson himself.
There must be no tyranny of the living so that our past, difficult as it is sometimes to understand and accept, will not be expunged and lost. We owe this to our forebears and to ourselves to face our past not delete it; and we owe this to the future so that all can learn the lessons of history.
In September, 1870 shortly before his death, Robert E Lee wrote this in a letter:
“The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.”
Our troubled history requires that we become expert at uniting contradictions. The war is over, the country is reunited, and Confederate history is American history. We can be ashamed and proud at the same time – we have no alternative. We are obligated to learn as best we can the sometimes painful lessons of our history. This is the only response that is honest, honorable, and accurate to our past and to ourselves.
Olivier Roy, “One of France’s Top Experts On Islamic Terrorism” (Part I)
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Olivier Roy, who refuses to believe that the acts of Muslim terrorists might actually be explained by reference to Islam, its texts and teachings, was quick off the mark in explaining the Manchester bombing:
Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a Manchester pop concert this week, started life advantageously enough: to parents who had fled Gadhafi’s Libya for a new life in Britain. But actually it was that kind of dislocation that would send him off kilter two decades later, says Olivier Roy, one of France’s top experts on Islamic terrorism.
“An estimated 60 percent of those who espouse violent jihadism in Europe are second-generation Muslims who have lost their connection with their country of origin and have failed to integrate into Western societies,” Roy says.
They are subject to a “process of deculturation” that leaves them ignorant of and detached from both the European society and the one of their origins. The result, Roy argues, is a dangerous “identity vacuum” in which “violent extremism thrives.”
As it happens, Salman Abedi did not “lose his connection” to Libya; in Manchester he lived in what was in effect a Little Libya, one of the largest communities of Libyans outside of Libya itself, surrounded by fellow Libyans, as well as other Muslims. Nor did his family sever their own connection to Libya. His parents moved back to Libya in 2011, but they, and at least two of his siblings, returned to Manchester often; his father, known as Abu Ismail, had been a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an anti-Khaddafy force that had close links to Al-Qaeda. When he was in Manchester, he and Salman Abedi regularly attended the Didsbury Mosque.
Abedi himself made frequent trips to Libya and was there, in fact, just before he returned to carry out the Manchester attack. He remained a devout Muslim, and gave no sign of falling away from Islam. His only sign of “Western decadence” was his occasionally smoking marijuana. He was not affected by “deculturation.” He did not suffer from a “dangerous ‘identity vacuum,” as Olivier Roy would have us believe. He memorized the entire Qur’an, earning the title of hafiz. He was perfectly secure in his Muslim identity. Yet Olivier Roy insists on a psychological explanation — an “identity vacuum” — for Abedi’s decision to become a shahid, despite all the evidence to the contrary. But that is because he continues to refuse to take the ideology of Islam seriously, refuses even to discuss the possibility that the clear meaning of the Islamic texts and teachings might be sufficient to explain Muslim terrorism.
If Salman Abedi did not appear to suffer from that “identity vacuum” that Roy insists explains much of Muslim terrorism, how would he explain what has prompted other terrorists, those who did not live in the West and could hardly be described as enduring that “identity vacuum” which he wrongly ascribes to Abedi? Let’s see. What was the “identity vacuum,” Olivier Roy should explain, experienced by Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the leaders of Al-Qaeda who spent their lives entirely within Muslim lands? What “identity vacuum” prompted Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, who was born and raised in Jordan, and spent his later life fighting Infidels in Iraq, including the Shi’a, whom he regarded as the worst kind of Infidels? Or Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the “caliph” of the Islamic State, who had studied Islam for years, and had three advanced degrees in Islamic studies from the Islamic University in Baghdad? None of these, nor hundreds of other Muslim terrorists, whose identities are known, and who have taken part in attacks on Infidels, appear to have had an “identity vacuum.”
Anwar Al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico, spent the first seven years of his life in America before returning with his parents to Yemen, and then spent another twelve years in the United States, serving as an imam for a year at a notorious mosque in Falls Church, Virginia before he returned to Yemen. But did he suffer from an “identity vacuum,” or was he, rather, always a committed Muslim while living in the West? How many of those who left Europe to join the Islamic State had previously suffered from an “identity vacuum,” or had wavered in their commitment to Islam? Is there an “identity vacuum” among the Muslims of Boko Haram in Nigeria, or Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines?
This psychological explanation for Islamic terrorism simply draws attention away from what is to be found in the Qur’an, hadith, and sira, that is, the duty of Jihad and of Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong. Olivier Roy, like O.J. Simpson, is “looking for the real killer” and finds it in the “identity vacuum” he claims so many Muslims suffer from.
Born in Britain in 1994, Abedi would later be drawn to violent fundamentalism after a life in limbo. On the one hand, he tried to reconnect with Libya, where he traveled shortly before this week’s attack, while on the other, he strove to emulate the same British young people he killed.
In Roy’s narrative, Abedi “tried to reconnect with Libya” — but through his frequent trips back, his family in Libya, his living within a largely Libyan milieu in Manchester — there was no need to “try to reconnect” because he never lost his Libyan connection. And Roy insists he “strove to emulate the same….people he killed.” Roy offers no evidence for this. How did Abedi strive to emulate them? Does occasionally smoking marijuana constitute an attempt to “emulate the same British people [mostly, young girls] he killed”? He had intermittent connections to a gang of Libyan Muslims in Manchester, whose property crimes against Infidels they may have regarded as helping themselves to the Jizyah that they surely believed was theirs by right. In that activity, was he emulating these young girls he targeted?
Unlike second generations like Abedi’s, third generations are normally better integrated in the West and don’t account for more than 15 percent of homegrown jihadis,” Roy says. “Converts, who also have an approach to Islam decontextualized from any culture, account for about 25 percent of those who fall prey to violent fundamentalism.”
This is an example of “how to confuse with statistics.” Is Roy speaking about Muslims in the U.K., or France, or throughout the European Union? He doesn’t say. And his assertion that the third generation of Muslims account for “don’t account for more than 15 percent of homegrown jihadis” tells us little unless we know what percentage of Muslims in the West are “third-generation.” If that third generation constitutes 15 percent of the Muslim population of the West, then their accounting for no more “than 15 percent of homegrown jihadis” is scarcely cause for celebration. If, however, they accounted for, say, 5 percent of the Muslim population in the West, but 15 percent of the homegrown jihadis, that would be cause for even more alarm than sensible Infidels already feel. Roy doesn’t tell us what percentage of the total Muslim population in the West are third generation. Nor does he tell us how he would define being “better integrated” into European societies. Nor does he tell us how Islam is “decontextualized from any culture” when Islam itself carries with it its own culture, the culture of Islam, a Total Belief-System, including a Complete Regulation of a Believer’s Life and Explanation of the Universe, based on texts that do not change in time and space.
As for “converts,” who constitute about 25 percent of those who become violent Jihadists, what percentage of the Muslims in France or the West (it still not having been made clear by Olivier Roy what country or countries, and what Muslim population, he is talking about) are converts? If they are 50 percent of the Muslim population, but only 25 percent of the Jihadis, that tells us that converts are less likely to be violent. If, on the other hand, converts are, say, 10 percent of the total Muslim population, but 25 percent of the violent Jihadists, this tells a different story. Olivier Roy again fails to provide the information needed for any judgement to be made.
It’s a pattern that can be traced from second-generation Khaled Kelkal, France’s first homegrown jihadi in 1995, to the Kouachi brothers who attacked satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015. The rule also applies to foreign fighters such as Sabri Refla, the Belgian-born son of a Moroccan father and a Tunisian mother who left for Syria at 18 “after espousing an Islam completely unrelated to our background,” says his grieving mother Saliha Ben Ali.
What exactly is the “pattern’” that Olivier Roy claims to have traced? That some second-generation Muslims in the West become jihadists? Yes, we all know this. We all know that first, second, and even third generation Muslims in the West have become Jihadists, and so have converts to Islam, and so have Muslims who have never set foot in the West. And he reports the self-serving remark by a mother (described, with unmerited empathy, as “grieving”) that her Muslim terrorist son “was espousing an Islam completely unrelated to our background.”
So what, then, was the Islam that the son’s family espoused? A bowdlerized Qur’an from which all 109 Jihad verses were excised? Or from which all the negative comments on Infidels — such as that they are “the vilest of creatures,” and that Muslims should not take Christians and Jews as friends — have been removed?
With little if any understanding of religion or Islamic culture, young people like Abedi turn to terrorism out of a “suicidal instinct” and “a fascination for death,” Roy says. This key element is exemplified by the jihadi slogan first coined by Osama bin Laden: “We love death like you love life.”
The large majority of Al-Qaida and Islamic State jihadis, including the Manchester attacker Abedi, commit suicide attacks not because it makes sense strategically from a military perspective or because it’s consistent with the Salafi creed,” Roy says. “These attacks don’t weaken the enemy significantly, and Islam condemns self-immolation as interference with God’s will. These kids seek death as an end-goal in itself.”
Olivier Roy claims that Abedi had “little if any understanding of religion or Islamic culture” — even though he was the devout Muslim son of a devout father, attended mosque regularly, associated with Muslims, lived in a Libyan Muslim environment within Manchester, traveled back and forth to Libya, and had committed to memory the entire Qur’an. On what basis, therefore, did Olivier Roy conclude that Salman Abedi “had little if any understanding of religion or Islamic culture”? What part of Islam does Roy think Abedi didn’t understand? And more tellingly, what part of Islam do we now know that Olivier Roy does not understand?
Olivier Roy makes much of a “suicidal instinct” that he thinks leads young people to “turn to terrorism.” He fails to recognize the clear distinction Muslims make between committing suicide and being a martyr, or shahid, willing to lose his life in an attack on Infidels. He claims that “We love death like you love life” is a “slogan first coined by Osama bin Laden.” He’s off by about 1350 years. The phrase originated at the Battle of Qadisiyya, in the year 636, when the commander of the Muslim forces, Khalid ibn Al-Walid, sent an emissary with a message from Caliph Abu Bakr to the Persian commander, Khosru. The message stated: “You [Khosru and his people] should convert to Islam, and then you will be safe, for if you don’t, you should know that I have come to you with an army of men that love death, as you love life.” This account has been recited in Muslim sermons, newspapers, and textbooks for years, long before Osama bin Laden mentioned it. It is remarkable that Olivier Roy appears unaware of all this, and attributes it to bin Laden.
Then there is Roy’s claim that “self-immolation” is condemned by Islam, so that the suicide Jihadis are merely fulfilling their own death-wish and not following the tenets of Islam. Suicide, by itself, is certainly condemned in Islam. But in Islam, the Jihadis who die while attacking and killing Infidels, fulfilling the commandment to wage Jihad, are not regarded as committing suicide, which is forbidden, but as being willing to risk almost certain death in the commission of a deed of derring-do against Infidels, for which they deserve to be regarded as shahids, martyrs who have earned a place in Paradise. Islam is against “suicide” — that is, taking one’s life out of despair — but not against losing one’s life while conducting an act of violent Jihad. There are many passages in the Qur’an and hadith that praise a Jihadi who knows he may well lose his life in an attack on Infidels. Roy simply refuses to credit the distinction in Islam between the suicides and the shahids, and to recognize that the latter are not, pace Roy “merely fulfilling their own death-wish,” but are carrying out one of Islam’s highest deeds.
Olivier Roy claims that the Manchester and similar terror attacks do not make sense strategically. We are asked to believe that these attacks “don’t weaken the enemy significantly.” Is that true? Haven’t the more than 30,000 terrorist attacks by Muslims since 9/11/2001 had an enormous effect on the peoples of the West? Doesn’t the palpable sense of insecurity that is now felt by non-Muslims all over Western Europe constitute a “weakening” of the enemy? Doesn’t the fact that governments in the West now must constantly reassure their populations about the “level of threat” show that Islamic terrorism is having an effect? Are crowds in Paris and London, in Stockholm and Nice and Brussels and Munich, really as carefree as they were, say, twenty years ago? Is there not, in many places, a palpable sense of anxiety, even dread? Isn’t terrorism on the tip of every tongue, each new atrocity ratcheting up the level of fear, with “terrorism” (the adjective “Islamic” ordinarily left out, but clearly understood) the subject of constant government study and pronouncements by lone academics, or solemn committees, charged with understanding the phenomenon and too often eager to claim or suggest that “Islamic terrorism” has nothing to do with Islam? Isn’t Olivier Roy himself the member of a vast tribe of “Islamic terrorism experts” that only came into being just a few decades ago?
Along with the psychic cost, there is the economic cost of Islamic terrorism. The United States has spent some $791 billion for homeland security between 9/11/2001 and 3/01/2013. From 3/01/2013 to 2017, given that costs have kept increasing by at least one-third of that $791 billion, that means to a certainty that at least one trillion dollars has been spent from 9/11/2001 to 6/1/2017 on homeland security, just in one country. Nor does that figure include the $5 trillion spent by the United States abroad, in campaigns to both defeat terrorism — the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — and to attempt to establish regimes that would meet some minimum level of decency, and thus, it was felt, dampen down the terrorist temptation. The skyrocketing sums spent in Iraq to bring good government after Saddam Hussein was toppled, and in Afghanistan to keep the Taliban off-balance and on the run, and even in Syria, with costly American support for the soi-disant “good rebels” who, it is hoped, will fight both Bashar al-Assad and the Islamic State, are expenses that can reasonably be linked, albeit indirectly, to the need to improve homeland security.
Think of the cost, too, all over Europe, for security measures made necessary by the threat of Islamic terrorism. There is now a huge security apparatus in place, increasing with each new attack. Think of the guards now deemed necessary, at airports and on airplanes, at train stations and on trains, at bus stations and on buses, at churches and synagogues and Hindu temples, at Christian and Jewish schools, at concert halls, at museums, at libraries, at sports events, at celebrations of national holidays, at Christmas markets, almost anywhere that a large and vulnerable crowd might assemble, and then might be blown up, or mowed down, by an Islamic terrorist or terrorists eager to “strike terror” in the hearts of Infidels. Think of the additional cost of the army patrols that now march through many European (and especially French) cities and towns, conducting their sweeps of sensitive or vulnerable areas, both to look for suspicious behavior as well as to reassure the populace.
Before the World Trade Center bombing, France used to deploy 20,000 soldiers at Christmas time. In 2015, it deployed 120,000. What have those extra 100,000 men cost French taxpayers? Think of the cost to the European governments of paying for those who must now monitor mosques and Muslim neighborhoods, and who also now pay large numbers of Muslim informers (whose trustworthiness is subject to debate, but whose ability to extract large sums from the government is beyond debate). Add to these the cost for extra police and detectives needed to conduct round-the-clock surveillance of some high-risk Muslims, lesser levels of surveillance for others, and the need to follow up every lead in order to prevent attacks (and the public may not realize just how many attacks have been, and will be, prevented by such tedious and expensive work). Then, after attacks, people connected to the perpetrator are picked up, with more detective work, more prosecutors, more court-appointed lawyers, more judges, and ultimately, more prison cells — all made necessary by the permanent threat of Islamic terrorism.
It’s not a small problem. In late May, MI5 admitted that there were at least “23,000 Jihadis” in the United Kingdom.
How much, do you think, constant surveillance of 23,000 wily and dangerous Jihadis costs the British government? How many police resources have had to be diverted and devoted to this task?
Think also of the economic loss when events are cancelled out of fear of possible terrorism. Among events that have been cancelled in Europe are concerts, bicycle races, Christmas festivals, concerts, and the largest open-air flea market in all of Europe, La Braderie in Lille. Most recently, the government of the U.K. even cancelled The Changing of the Guard. The direct cost is to those who had to cancel their concerts, sports events, Christmas markets, open-air markets, flea markets. But the larger loss comes from cancellations by tourists who change their plans and decide not to visit a city or country that has been the object of repeated terrorist attacks. Again, this has become a huge problem. In 2016, there were 5 million fewer tourists in Paris than in 2015. This cost Paris — its restaurants, hotels, shops, theatres, museums — 1.3 billion Euros, or 1.5 billion dollars — just in that one year. For France as a whole, how many billions of tourist dollars have been lost because of terrorism? In Nice, in Lyon, in Toulouse, cities where there have been widely publicized murderous attacks, tourism has suffered. And what has been the cost in lost tourism for France as a whole? And what further drop in tourism since 2016?
If we take all of Western Europe, how many tens of billions of tourist dollars have been lost in the U.K. (especially in London), Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia (especially Sweden, and in islamified Malmo)?Just the other day, the Russian government issued a warning to Russian tourists to avoid London, based on the attacks in Manchester and the abortive attempt to attack the Houses of Parliament which got as far as Westminster Bridge. How much of a drop in Russians going to London will there be? And what happens after the next major attack? And the next?
Travel agents and others involved in the tourism industry have made clear that the main reason tourists — especially Chinese and Japanese tourists, who happen to be the biggest spenders — chose not to visit Paris in 2016 was fear over terrorism and security in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January 2015 and the attacks in November (at the Bataclan nightclub, and the restaurant Au Petit Cambodge) of the same year. Each new attack does damage to tourism in the city, and country, where the attack took place.
If the United States has had to spend more than $1 trillion on homeland security, and the countries of Western Europe collectively spent a similar sum, and if we were to tote up both those expenditures and the tens of billions of dollars in lost revenues because of declines in tourism due to Islamic terror attacks, surely that is a major success for those waging economic jihad. Yet Olivier Roy blandly informs us that the attacks by Muslims in the West have been of “little strategic value” and “don’t weaken the enemy.” Is he right? The new expenses, for security, of a trillion here in the U.S. and a trillion there in Europe, and the tens of billions in lost tourism dollars, all of it the consequence of Muslim terrorism, is undeniably damaging — except to Olivier Roy, who denies that Islamic terrorism does indeed “weaken the enemy” and says not a word about economic jihad.
KABUL, Afghanistan — A massive explosion rocked a highly secure diplomatic area of Kabul on Wednesday morning, killing 80 people and wounding as many as 350, an attack that left a scene of mayhem and destruction and sent a huge plume of smoke over the Afghan capital.
The target of the attack — which officials said was a suicide car bombing — was not immediately known, but Ismail Kawasi, spokesman of the public health ministry, said most of the casualties were civilians, including women and children.
It was one of the worst attacks Kabul has seen since the drawdown of foreign forces at the end of 2014.
Stephen F. Cohen, an American Russia scholar, on why he doesn’t believe the New York Times, doesn’t think the DNC was hacked, and just wants the U.S. and Russia to get along. He wrote a biography of the Bolshevik revolutionary Nikolai Bukharin and is a contributing editor at the Nation, which his wife, Katrina vanden Heuvel, edits and publishes. Common sense at Slate.
A self-described “leading” Muslim group is fundraising on the back of “jihad” in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, using pictures of President Donald Trump, Brexit leader Nigel Farage, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, and UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on its material.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council UK (MPACUK) issued a tweet at 1:30pm EST on Monday May 29th with an alleged hadith (story/quote) from the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. It reads: “The best Jihad is the word of Justice in front of the oppressive ruler”.
It is also unclear how Mr. Farage, pictured above, could be considered a “tyrant” while holding no executive office, and indeed how UK PM Theresa May would fit, given her repeated declarations in favour of Islam.
Some may reflect upon the insensitivity of promoting a word or belief system that was used just days before to slaughter innocent people in the West.
The link in MPACUK’s tweet takes readers to a LaunchGood crowdfunding page, where they claim to be seeking 20,000 GBP ($25,000 USD) in order to build an “Anti-Islamophobia Nerve Centre”.
The website quotes Sulaiman Ghani, a preacher who backs the idea of an Islamic caliphate, and has previously targeted Ahmadiyya Muslims who are routinely oppressed by Sunnis in the United Kingdom and abroad.
In his amusing play The Odd Couple, Neil Simon depicted a bizarre pair, the slovenly and easy going Oscar and the tidy, neurotic Felix. By chance, recent events have presented the opportunity to comment on an incongruous political duo, with totally disparate characteristics and contrasting styles of behavior, Charles de Gaulle and Donald J. Trump.
Karl Marx wrote that all great world historical facts and personnages appear for the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce. It would be fallacous and unfair, as some critics have done, to asign these roles to the French and American leaders, especially the latter. Indeed, the two agree on what is their central issue, reshaping policy in making their country great again, playing an independent role in international politics as well as accenting the creation of internal prosperity, and challenging the accepted consensus position.
Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, campaigning for a fourth term, expressed in a beer hall rally in Munich on May 28, 2017 her disapointment with the statements and behavior of President Donald Trump at the NATO summit conference in Brussels on May 25 and at the G7 meeting in Taormina on May 28, 2017. Trump had not told his fellow leaders in both venues what they wanted to hear, on climate change, trade, Russia, and explicitly on U.S. committment to Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty. He did tell them emphatically to their discomfort that they were not paying their equitable share of NATO expenses, and in addition critized European trade and immigration policies.
Merkel is clearly unhapy about Trump's nationalism, American first policy, and protectist outlook, but she did not specifically respond to Trump's blunt message that most of the 28 members of NATO were not fulfilling their obligation to provide at least 2% of their GDP for defense purposes. Her response is that Trump is not a reliable partner, and that Europe must take its fate into its own hands. The time, she said, in which we could completely depend on others, is, to a certain extent, over.
By coincidence, reminders of this argument over independent action are present as a result of an incident in a small French village, about 150 miles from Paris. Despite its name Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, the small village, population 736, about 150 miles from Paris, has only one church. The claim to fame of this peaceful village is that it was the home of Charles de Gaulle who lived there from 1934 until his death in 1970, and is buried there in the local graveyard. In the village a museum is dedicated to de Gaulle, and there is a monument shaped as the Cross of Lorraine, the symbol used during World War II by the Free French movement that de Gaulle founded and headed.
The village has come to attention because on May 27, 2017 vandals damaged the tomb monument to de Gaulle in the cemetary, destroying the cross at the top. The outrage was probably the work of a disturbed individual without any apparent political motive. Yet recent electoral political results raise doubts. In the first round of the presidential election on April 23, 2017, right wing candidate Francois Fillon got 38.54% of the vote, Marine Le Pen 31.23%, and Emmanuel Macron 11.26%. In the second, final round on May 7, 2017, Le Pen gained 54.76% of the vote and Macron 45.24%. The village is clearly oreinted in a rightward political direction.
All the candidates in the election, in one way or another, invoked the memory of de Gaulle and claimed the inheritance of a brave soldier, an extraordinary, towering figure in French history, in spite of the fact that de Gaulle for the most part stood aloof from political parties until he founded the Fifth Republic in 1958. However, it was de Gaulle's strong assertion of French independence that found echoes in the political rhetoric of the candidates and can now be compared with the equally strong if more bluntly expressed argument of Donald Trump.
In fervent fashion, though he was not an authoritarian figure, de Gaulle personified popular sovereignty, often referring to himself in the third person as Julius Caesar did by speaking of himself, in Gallic Wars, as "Caesar" not "I." He expressed this emphically in his speech of Janury 29, 1959: "By virtue of the mandate the French people have given me and of thenational legitimacy that I have incarnated for 20 years." This was a justifiucation of his refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of the French Vichy regime which in August 2, 1940 had sentenced him to death by court martial in absentia for challenging the French regime by creating the Free French movement in London to resist the German Nazi occupation..
De Gaulle is honored in many places. including Carlton Gardens in London where a plaque remembers him as the President of the French National Committee that occupied the building as its headquarters from June 18, 1940 on. Though only a newly appointed Brigadier-General he was the leader of Free France from 1940-44. and president of France 1958-1969.
Of course, considering their differences in grace, charm, elegance, behavior, and personal morality, Charles de Gaulle and Donald Trump are an impropable duo, but they are analogous in one respect, their fierce assertion of their country's independence to act alone if necessary, action which causes consternation among other countries . That consternation increased with de Gaulle's expression of his view that no nation has friends, only interests.
De Gaulle expressed this in an ungenerous way when on August 25, 1944 he celebrated his entrance into Paris after the city was liberated from Nazi control. Though U.S. forces had really done most of the fighting, de Gaulle remarked of the city."Liberated by itself, liberated by its people with the assistance of the armies of France, with the support and assistance of the whole of France."
Winston Churchill was not the only person who thought of de Gaulle as an "unpleasant and impossible" individual. But he also understood the difficult nationalist. De Gaulle, he wrote, had to be rude to the British to prove to French eyes that he was not a British puppet."
President Trump was similarly rude and discourteous in emphatic stress on American nationalism and priority, pride of country, and his sense of mission. In this regard Trump resembles de Gaulle whose opening statement in Memoires is that France is not really herself unless in the front rank and that our country must "aim high." Trump is expressing about the U.S. though in a different way de Gaulle's remark that France cannot be great without grandeur.
De Gaulle and Trump, for all their differences, are similar in various ways. Both express themselves by direct appeal. De Gaulle remarked in The Edge of the Sword: "one does not move crowds other than by basic feeling, violent images, brutal innovations." Trump promoted American unity in his populist-like rhetoric. De Gaulle and Trump both quarreled with supposed partners: de Gaulle with Britain and the U.S., and Trump with fellow members of NATO.
In his politics of French grandeur, de Gaulle withdrew France from NATO's military command, launched an independent nuclear development program, and proposed a Europe of sovereign states rather than a supranational Europe. Similarly Trump, so far, has been cautious about the value of international organizations, even if still supportive of NATO.
in a number of hand written documents, de Gaulle revealed himself as a lonely, embittered, and often angry person while believing in himself as the embodiment of France. He was critical of the U.S. for their World War II strategy, as Trump is critical of NATO policy.
Finally, there is an intriguing resemblance between the two leaders regarding Russia. Criticizing American World War II policy, de Gaulle praised the Soviet Union for making war without restrictions, and that why he was warmer to it more than to any other country. He congratulated Stalin in November 1942 on the 25th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Trump is unlikely to offer similar congratulations to President Putin, but one wonders whether the seemingly unending current Congressionsl inquiries into Trump administration relations with Russia will reveal a similar warmth towards Russia.
Britain has been invaded. Whitehall has revealed that there are 23,000 suspected terrorists inside the UK. What it didn’t say is that the British army reserve has just 29,940 active personnel. The implications are clear, but no politician will admit them. When the number of enemies inside a nation nears the number of its active army reserve, the nation cannot hold. Britain and the Commonwealth states should be on a war footing. That means closing borders, strengthening treason laws and bolstering defence.
Islamists are engaged in total war against the West. The latest figures on jihadis in Britain prove their success in penetrating the heart of Western democracy without our knowledge. Intelligence agencies in Britain, the US and Australia appear to be concealing the immensity of the jihadist threat within. We must question why British intelligence did not reveal the staggering number of potential jihadis in the country before now. We can ill afford intelligence services that tell us half-truths and lies by omission that protect an enemy within committed to our destruction.
Following the Manchester bombing, the British government finally told the truth about what decades of multiculturalism have produced in Britain: 23,000 terrorists. The Times reported that the initial figure of 3000 jihadists was a function of MI5 operational limits, not reality. The intelligence agency can keep eyes on about 3000 individuals at any one time, so it creates a priority classification list with categories such as active and residual risk. But the three major jihadist attacks on Britain in recent years were conducted by men who had been investigated and subsequently removed from the active terror watch list. These residual jihadis number about 20,000.
The revelation that there is a potential jihadist army inside Britain about 7000 personnel short of Britain’s army reserve raises the question of war. But Britons must surely question also why the state withheld such critical information during the Brexit debate when issues of national security, border and immigration policy determined the outcome. The concealment of such information begs the question of how many other intelligence services are concealing the true state of the jihadist threat within the West.
I warned in 2015 that the West would win the battle against Islamic State but lose the war against Islamism unless Western leaders recognised jihad as a substantive ideology. Jihad is an ideology first and last. Its militant expression is Islamic terrorism whose primary purpose is not to instil terror but to destabilise and exhaust the protective capacity of legitimate governments. In that sense, jihad is akin to militant socialism. The end of revolutionary socialism is the communist state. The end of revolutionary jihad is the Islamic state.
I warned in 2015 that the West would win the battle against Islamic State but lose the war against Islamism unless Western leaders recognised jihad as a substantive ideology. Jihad is an ideology first and last. Its militant expression is Islamic terrorism whose primary purpose is not to instil terror but to destabilise and exhaust the protective capacity of legitimate governments. In that sense, jihad is akin to militant socialism. The end of revolutionary socialism is the communist state. The end of revolutionary jihad is the Islamic state.
There are two things to know about the British newspaper The Guardian. One is that it is comically, even ludicrously far left. The second is that, though militantly secular in all other respects, the newspaper remains a staunch apologist and Defender of the Faith, as long as that faith is Islam.
Morrissey (he goes by a single name), a former singer for the British pop group The Smiths, and Mancunian by birth, wrote the following on his Facebook page the day of the Manchester bombing:
Celebrating my birthday in Manchester as news of the Manchester Arena bomb broke. The anger is monumental.
For what reason will this ever stop?
Theresa May says such attacks “will not break us”, but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues. Also, “will not break us” means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken – thanks all the same, Theresa. Sadiq Khan says “London is united with Manchester”, but he does not condemn Islamic State – who have claimed responsibility for the bomb. The Queen receives absurd praise for her ‘strong words’ against the attack, yet she does not cancel today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace – for which no criticism is allowed in the Britain of free press. Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an “extremist”. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?
In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private.
Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.
The Manchester-born singer Morrissey has hit out at politicians for their reaction to the bombing in his hometown that has killed 22 people and hospitalised 59 more.
In his statement, the former Smiths frontman claimed that politicians are safe from attacks, while the rest of the country is left vulnerable. The MP Jo Cox was murdered by a rightwing extremist last June.
That last sentence about the murder of Jo Cox is an attempt by The Guardian reporter to undermine Morrissey’s first claim, by suggesting 1) that politicians are not as safe from attack as Morrissey claims (just look at what happened to Jo Cox); and 2) since Morrissey clearly has in mind the Manchester attack, by a Muslim, The Guardian is quick to divert attention to the “rightwing extremist” who killed Cox, implicitly one among many examples of rightwing violence that might be cited.
A response to The Guardian would note, in the first place, that the murder of Jo Cox was practically a one-off; in the past three decades, the only politicians killed in the U.K., aside from Cox, have been Ian Gow, a sitting MP, in 1990, by the Provisional IRA, and a county councillor, Andrew Pennington, killed in 2000 as he tried to protect an MP who was being attacked — not for political reasons — by a certifiably insane killer.
Morrissey’s point remains: politicians don’t have to worry nearly as much as ordinary citizens about Muslim terrorists attacking them, given their state-supplied security; it is the politicians who have the “close protection officers,” the kind who stopped the Muslim terrorist Khalid Massood when he tried to attack the Palace of Westminster. It is not true — and I think Morrissey would now agree — that “politicians are [completely] safe from attacks” — but Morrissey is certainly right to see them as enjoying much greater security than ordinary Britons. They have guards at work and, if of sufficient rank, round-the-clock security. Theresa May does indeed live in a “bullet-proof bubble” and is unable to grasp how uneasy ordinary citizens now feel about their own security. As to 2), the murder of Jo Cox is the only murder by “rightwing extremists” in the U.K. in at least the last half-century, though The Guardian reporter clearly wants us to believe that there were plenty more where that “rightwing extremist” came from.
Finally, Morrissey’s grievance against those politicians who utter boilerplate banalities, or proffer canned compassion, but refuse to properly identify terrorists as “Muslims,” may also have been prompted by his unstated recognition of what British citizens now have to endure beyond the constant threat of terrorism. It’s the grooming-gangs of Rotherham, and people afraid to report the truth for fear of being labelled “racists.” It’s the Muslim-on-Infidel crimes of every sort, as Muslims help themselves to the Jizyah that they believe they have a perfect right to take. There are the is the gigantic cost of every sort of welfare-state benefit, such as subsidized housing, free medical care, free education, unemployment benefits, family allowances, that Muslims disproportionately receive. And, finally, there is the heightened cost of security — think only of the increased cost to guard airports, bus terminals and buses, trains and stations of the Underground, national monuments, museums, libraries, churches and synagogues, Hindu and Sikh temples, Christian and Jewish schools, concert halls, sports stadiums, beach promenades, everywhere that large crowds gather and offer an inviting target.
Morrissey cited government immigration policy among his complaints saying the prime minister would never change her immigration policy in the light of the attacks. It is believed that the bomber named by police, Salman Abedi, was British-born and from Manchester.
The Guardian’s comment that Salman Abedi was “British-born” is meant to mock Morrissey’s criticism of the government’s immigration policy. The Guardian’s point is clear: changing immigration policy would not have prevented Salman Abedi from attacking, for he was not an immigrant, but born in the U.K. This deliberately misses Morrissey’s point. After all, had Abedi’s parents been prevented from coming to the U.K. from Libya in the first place, there would have been no Salman Abedi born in the U.K. to attack the Ariana Grande concert.
Morrissey is furious that the British government, that is, Theresa May, refuses even to discuss the possibility of changes to her immigration policy. That would mean discussing limits on Muslim immigrants, for it is Muslims who are the ones responsible for the wave of terrorist attacks all over Europe, in the U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Denmark. The more Muslim immigrants to Europe, the more Muslims will be born in Europe of immigrant parents, and the more of both, of course, the more some of them will become tireless missionaries, in the prisons, on the streets, in the council houses, making converts of those who find that faith a natural psychic fit, for it offers to all, including the confused and the criminal, who are well represented among the converts, an Instant Bruvverhood, a Total Regulation of Life, and a justification for what would otherwise be seen as criminal behavior. The theft of Infidel property can now be justified as proleptic Jizyah. The contempt of some Muslims for Infidel women, resulting in attacks on those who are supposedly, as in Cologne last New Year’s Day, “just asking for it” (by their dress, by their general aspect) can also justify what is, in fact, criminal sexual behavior.
Morrissey wants the U.K.’s leaders to publicly recognize a simple truth that they find so disturbing that they keep trying to avoid discussing: Islam is the cause of Muslim terrorism. No one in British politics, save for those constantly demonized as “far-right,” will point out this obvious fact. Nor another equally obvious fact: the more Muslims – whether immigrants, or children of immigrants, or converts to Islam — the more Muslim terrorists.
Morrissey also appeared to suggest that politicians were afraid to refer to Abedi as an Islamist extremist.
Well, is he right? Are politicians afraid, or not? No political figures in the U.K. who are regarded as respectable (Tommy Robinson, Paul Weston et al having long ago been consigned to the outer darkness as “far-right,” so whatever they say can be ignored) have yet described Abedi “as an Islamist extremist,” or better still, as an “Islamic extremist,” or best of all, simply as a “Muslim terrorist” or even as “a Muslim” tout court. Even now, when it is known that Abedi was a hafiz, that is, someone who has memorized the entire Qur’an, and that in recent months he was wont to chant verses while sitting on the sidewalk, he’s still being referred to only as “an extremist” — only this and nothing more. The mayor of Manchester himself now says that “Abedi was a terrorist, not a Muslim.” Does The Guardian have any examples it can adduce of politicians referring to Abedi as an “Islamist extremist”? No? Why not?
The claim that politically correct leaders routinely refuse to mention Islam when referring to terror attacks carried out by people holding a violent interpretation of the religion is common on the far-right.
This is The Guardian, tendentiously editorializing, as it suggests that the claim by Morrissey that “politically correct leaders routinely refuse to mention Islam” is a common charge on the “far-right.” It’s clear how The Guardian defines “far-right.” It means anyone who is critical of the way the subjects of Muslim terrorists, and Islamic terrorism, and Islam itself, continue to be misrepresented. It means anyone who is critical of Islam, and you are especially “far-right” if your criticism is based on an detailed knowledge of the Qur’an, Hadith, and sira, the texts and teaching of Islam.
Such knowledge makes one especially “far-right.” “Far-right” applies to anyone who refuses to be cowed by those wielding the lexical scimitar “Islamophobic.” It means anyone who is anti-Islam, no matter how far-left in every other respect that person might be. Is the rock musician Morrissey “far-right”? When did he become so? Just the other day, when he said the unsayable on his Facebook page? Are Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq far-right? Did Pim Fortuyn or Theo van Gogh or Oriana Fallaci — all of them well known for having always been on the left — suddenly become “far-right” just as soon as they revealed that they were deeply worried about Islam and the swelling numbers of Believers in Europe? Can The Guardian not recognize that many people who came to some grim conclusions after studying Islam’s texts, and observing Muslim behavior, never were”far-right”? John Quincy Adams, Tocqueville, Bertrand Russell, Winston Churchill come to mind. Were any of them “far-right”? It’s time retire this calumniating label of the mentally lazy, this Homeric epithet mechanically affixed to anyone who refuses to be delighted at Islamic deeds of murderous “martyrdom,” and for some reason insists that the demographic conquest of the advanced civilization of Europe by those who wish for that civilization’s destruction is not a consummation devoutly to be wished.
“In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private,” the singer wrote on his Facebook page. “Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.
“Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an ‘extremist’. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?”
Criticising the prime minister, he claimed that “her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues”.
This goes to Theresa May’s remoteness from life as it is now lived in the U.K. by ordinary people.
The musician added: “Also, ‘will not break us’ means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken – thanks all the same, Theresa.”
Morrissey also criticised the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, who he said had failed to condemn the Islamic State group after it claimed responsibility for the attack. A link to the terrorist organisation has not been confirmed by the security services, who are still working to identify whether or not Abedi worked alone or as part of a cell.
The Guardian is offering as an excuse for Sadiq Khan not condemning the Islamic State group — that it was unclear at the time Khan issued a statement about the bombing whether the attacker was linked to the Islamic State group. But Khan issued his statement after the Islamic State group had claimed responsibility; it was that claim of responsibility, that taking ownership of the attack, that should immediately have prompted condemnation of the Islamic State, whether or not it had actually been responsible. Sadiq Khan might easily have issued a statement on these lines: “The Islamic State group ‘claims responsibility’ with its wonted indecency for this latest atrocity by Muslim fanatics. It’s proud of its martyr’s feat, blowing up a bunch of teenagers. The brave muhajideen strike again, this time in Manchester. Our disgust is limitless.”
Here’s what Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, did say:
In a statement released on Tuesday, Khan said: “London stands united with the great city of Manchester today after this barbaric and sickening attack. This was a cowardly act of terrorism that targeted a concert attended by thousands of children and young people.”
Sadiq Khan, a self-described Muslim “moderate,” offers the usual boilerplate (“barbaric and sickening attack,” “cowardly act of terrorism”). He’s no Dick Whittington he, but still he should have the decency to turn again, and now that the identity of the suicide bomber is known, put out another statement, denouncing “this latest atrocity by a Muslim fanatic.” Could he do it? Isn’t it, after all, the truth? What else was Abedi but a “Muslim fanatic”?
Also in line for criticism from Morrissey was the Queen, who he said had received “absurd praise for her ‘strong words’ against the attack, yet she does not cancel today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace – for which no criticism is allowed in the Britain of free press”.
Morrissey’s criticism of the Queen shows the extent of his fury, of his willingness to take on even a much-beloved monarch. It’s impossible to see how The Guardian could fit Morrissey’s remarks on the Queen within any conceivable definition of “far-right.” How upsetting it must be for the biens-pensants to have a rock musician from a famous band now show himself in a take-no-prisoners mood and, mirabile dictu, in the anti-Islam camp.
The Guardian may deplore Morrissey’s remarks, but many others, however, will not only welcome Morrissey’s truth-telling, but hope that now, while he has a suddenly larger audience for his views, thanks in paradoxical but pertinent part to the negative attention given his remarks by The Guardian, he will put that paper on the spot in another Facebook entry.
For this he simply need post a half-dozen Qur’an quotes, with no gloss necessary. There are so many passages from which to choose, both from the 109 “Jihad verses” and others equally unpleasant on such matters as the treatment of blasphemers, and apostates, and women. I wonder if even a single one of those verses has ever been quoted verbatim in the thousands of articles related to Islam that The Guardian has published since 9/11/2001. Perhaps now, in replying to Morrissey’s second Facebook entry, the paper can remedy its oversight.
Here are a few recommendations of Qur’an verses that deserve notice and that Morrissey might post:
Qur’an 2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them — such is the recompense of unbelievers;
4:89: “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”
8:12;“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] …”
8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to strike terror thereby into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatsoever you expend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged.”
9:5: “Then, when the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.”
9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and do not practice the religion of truth, even if they are of the People of the Book — until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.”
And then Morrissey could post, under these verses, a simple request to The Guardian:
Egypt bus attack: Christians 'chose death' over converting to Islam to save their lives
'We take pride to die while holding on to our faith,' Bishop Makarios says. From the Toronto Sun
CAIRO — Video interviews with survivors of a deadly attack by Islamic militants on a bus taking Egyptian Christians to a remote desert monastery are painting a picture of untold horror, with children hiding under their seats to escape gunfire.
The videos surfaced on social media networks on Sunday, two days after 29 were killed in the attack on a desert road south of the capital. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on Friday. It was the fourth attack against Christians in Egypt since December to be claimed by the IS. The string of attacks have killed more than 100 and injured scores.
A young woman speaking from her hospital bed said the assailants ordered the women to surrender their jewelry and money before they opened fire, killing the men first and then some of the women. The woman said the gunmen were masked and wore military uniforms.
Bishop Makarios, the top Coptic Orthodox cleric in Minya, the province where the attack took place, said the assailants told Christian men they ordered off the bus they would spare their lives if they converted to Islam.
“They chose death,” said Makarios, who has been an outspoken critic of the government’s handling of anti-Christian violence in Minya, where Christians account for more than 35% of the population, the highest anywhere in Egypt. “We take pride to die while holding on to our faith,” he said in a television interview aired late Saturday.
Makarios confirmed that the assailants stole the women’s jewelry and his contention that the men were ordered off the bus before being killed was also confirmed by a video clip purportedly in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. This video showed at least four or five bodies of adult men lying on the desert sand next to the bus; women and other men screamed and cried as they stood or squatted next to the bodies.
In the Vatican, Pope Francis, for the second day in a row, expressed his solidarity with Egypt’s Coptic Christians following Friday’s attack. He led thousands of people in prayer Sunday for the victims, who Francis said were killed in “another act of ferocious violence” after having refused to renounce their Christian faith.
Speaking from his studio window over St. Peter’s Square, he said: “May the Lord welcome these courageous witnesses, these martyrs, in his peace and convert the hearts of the violent ones.”
No one is ever likely to mistake Donald J. Trump for a lyric soprano at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Yet Trump, the political performer, resembles a musical performer in capacity to express himself, colla voce, taking the lead in a free manner and having others follow his tempo and rhythm. In conciliatory style President Donald Trump showed this as a rock star in his command of the stage in Saudi Arabia and at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. He was equally central in his more confrontational behavior at the NATO summit meeting in Brussels in May 2017 which was not greeted with applause, and at the G-7 summit at Taormina, Sicily on May 26-27, 2017.
Irrespective of any of his controversial utterances, Trump displayed his presence physically in assertive manner if not in assault tactics, as well as in his remarks. While touring the new lavish glass NATO headquarters in Brussels, he shoved aside a fellow member Dusko Martovic, Prime Minister of the tiny state in area and population of Montenegro, about in June to become the 29th member of NATO, in order to claim the spotlight according to the prearranged family photo with assigned positions of the leaders. Photos also show Trump engaged in what is possibly history's most intense, prolonged handshake with Emmanuel Macron, new President of France, with its formidable display of white knuckles and clenched jaws.
In Saudi Arabia Trump received warm treatment and was feted like royalty. Indeed, he was met at Riyadh airport by King Salman. His trip was not only successful economically in the $110 billion deal in US arms sales and new investment that is likely to result in thousands of jobs but also in political accord. Trump, following his speech on May 20, 2017, appeared to be successful in persuading Saudis decision makers, who spoke of his vision, strength, and decisiveness, that they were pursuing the same objectives as the US in dealing with counter-terrorism, the threat from Iran, and regional security. He carefully avoided in Saudi Arabia discussing, especially not reprimanding his hosts, of troublesome issues such as deficiencies of human rights and discrimination against women, and in Israel the issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
In stark contrast, Trump’s welcome in the Belgium capital was cool, and this reception indicated that Trump is not beloved by most of the leaders of the NATO countries. In Brussels he lectured his fellow leaders on the issues important for him, while paying little attention to the issues stressed by the Europeans, climate issues, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, trade issues, and defense preparations against possible Russian aggression.
Trump’s reluctance at Brussels and then at Taormina on May 26-27, 2017 to agree to the Paris accord of November 2016 on climate change is understandable due to Trump’s emphasis on the importance of coal for US jobs, a political dilemma and balancing act. Yet the contrast on the issue with his predecessor was too conspicuous. This became even more striking with the article by Barack Obama published in The Guardian on May 26, 2017, with his assertion that of all the challenges in the world, “the challenge of climate change is the one that will define the contours of this century more dramatically perhaps than the others.”
Trump was criticized most strongly for his failure in Brussels to mention in precise explicit fashion the US commitment to Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty of April 1949. This Article commits all member states to consider an armed attack against one member state in Europe or North America to be an armed attack against them all.
This principle of collective defense was initially created to counter the risk of the expansion of the Stalin controlled Soviet Union into Europe. It has been in fact been invoked only once, by the US after the 9/11 attacks. Presumably Trump believed the US commitment to the Article and to the Treaty is so obvious that there is no need to mention it explicitly. Perhaps the European point of view embodies an old saying: if a commitment is so obvious that it does not need to be mentioned, it goes even better if it is mentioned.
Trump however hammered home his thoughts on two other issues: the financial contributions of members to defense and therefore indirectly to NATO; and the imperative fight against Islamic terrorists. The basic NATO agreement since 2006 was that all countries would contribute at least a minimum of 2% of their GDP to defense purposes and therefore could contribute to NATO. Europeans were forewarned by Trump. In almost every one of his campaign speeches and continuing since he reached the White House, Trump has emphasized the general refusal to honor the 2006 agreement.
Trump is not the first US official to criticize Europeans for their lack of allocating funds for defense purposes. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in 1954 warned of a “agonizing reappraisal” if allies of US didn’t make a more serious effort to approve the European Defense Community and necessary funding, and agree on the commitment to European security. During the 2016 presidential campaign both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton spoke of the need for Europeans to spend more on defense.
The 2006 agreement has been regarded as a guideline, a baseline, rather than a decree with penalties, and consequently states have rarely fulfilled their financial commitment. President Trump is not the first to complain that the US has always been the main contributor, far more than its fair share of total capabilities.
The disproportionate US contribution to NATO is understandable since other countries cannot afford some of the high end military capabilities, aircraft carrier forces, ballistic missile defenses, electronic warfare and global logistical capabilities. The NATO alliance therefore depends mainly on the US for these long range capabilities. Without them the most countries would not be able to mount an effective deterrent.
Nevertheless, the disproportion of the contribution to NATO for collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security has to be addressed and Trump is correct in emphasizing this . Consider the current NATO military budget. Cost sharing arrangements of the 28 countries in the NATO–common-funded budgets in 2017 range from the lowest Albania, 0.08% to the highest , the US, 22.1%. Budgets of this kind in previous years have supported operation costs in various conflicts such as Afghanistan, and also for training, exercises and communications, A civil budget provides funding costs for NATO headquarters and staff.
The current contribution in defense of each country in 2016-17 runs from 3.61% by the US to 0.44% of Luxemburg. The main cause of discontent by Trump and others is that only five countries adhere to the 2% agreement: U.S., Greece, Britain, Estonia, and Poland. France contributes 1.78%, Germany 1.19%. and Italy 1.11%. Of the total amount of $2,052 million in direct contributions, the US pays $455 million, Germany $301 million, France $218 million, and UK $202 million.
Trump may have been too abrasive and clearly was undiplomatic in his lecturing to the leaders of the other 27 countries of NATO. But Europe today, if politically troubled and bedeviled by the issue of Brexit, is not poverty striken. It is able to reach compromises with the U.S. on the complex issue of trade and open markets.
It is appropriate for the European countries to heed the scolding of Trump and engage in burden sharing for common objectives and priorities. It is also incumbent for them to join with the U.S. in what Trump while in Saudi Arabia called the fight of good against evil. Climate, trade, relations with Russia , are all important issues, but first with overwhelming priority is the fight against Islamic terrorists. That is NATO’s first task.
After Jihad Mass-Murder in Manchester, A UK Musician and an Aussie Journalist Have Had Enough of Flowers, Tea-Lights, Tears and Platitudes
Morrissey, in a blazing FB post, and Janet Albrechtsen, in a blazing column at "The Australian" that has garnered over 1000 comments.. and counting.
Both are worth reproducing, that they may be spread abroad.
Morrissey, first. On 23 May, the day after a Muslim human bomb detonated himself amongst the young fans of an American pop singer, at the Arena in Manchester, murdering 22 people and gravely injuring many, many more, this is what Morrissey put up on Facebook.
"Celebrating my birthday in Manchester as news of the Manchester Arena bomb broke.
"The anger is monumental.
Yes, Agreed. I too am angry. Angry as I have been after so many of these vicious Mohammedan mass-murders of defenceless infidels, all over the world, in the West and also beyond the West ... notably, most recently, Egypt, where only days after the Manchester atrocity, jihadis mass-murdered Christian Copts. It is about time that somebody, in public, used the words 'anger' and 'angry' and meant it, as a wholly human and natural and healthy response to the news of Mohammedan mass-murder of our fellow-Infidels on their - said Infidels' - home soil. - CM
"For what reason will this ever stop?
"Theresa May says such attacks "will not break us", but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues.
"Also, "will not break us", means that the tragedy will not break her or her policies on immigration.
It's Muslim immigration, mate, that needs to be discussed, in public. Got Muslims? Got Jihad. The Muslim who carried out this mass-murder of Infidels - mostly young girls - in Manchester, was the son of immigrant Muslims who got into the UK by claiming to be in need of 'asylum'. Had they been refused, and told that they had 56 other Muslim countries besides Libya to live in, he and his brothers would not have been born in the UK, he would not have been in the UK, and therefore, he could not have done what he did. - CM
"The young people of Manchester are already broke - thanks all the same, Theresa.
"Sadiq Khan says, "London is united with Manchester", but he does not condemn Islamic State - who have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Good catch, Morrissey. - CM
"The Queen receives absurd praise for her "strong words" against the attack, yet she does not cancel today's garden party at Buckingham Palace - for which no criticism is showed in the Britain of free press.
That's a tad unfair, mate. There were probably plenty of other happy social gatherings - weddings, christenings, engagement parties, birthday parties - all over the country, that went ahead despite the terrible atrocity in Manchester. I would suggest writing to Her Majesty to propose that next year she invite the survivors of the attack, and their families, and the families of those who were killed, to a special garden party; perhaps in company with others who have suffered injury and /or bereavement as a result of other Muslim Mob acts of war on British soil - notably Lee Rigby's family, and those affected by the London bombings in 2005, and by the Westminster bridge attack not so long ago. You - one of Manchester's famous sons - could offer to perform on the occasion, as part of the entertainment provided. - CM
"Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an "extremist".
"An extremist what? An extreme rabbit?"
Bravo! - CM
"In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private.
Not only in Britain, either... - CM
"Politicians tell us that they are unafraid, but they are never the victims.
"How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire.
The closest the pollies have gotten, so far, to feeling at all at-risk, is the Westminster attack; the jihadist mowed down ordinary citizens on the bridge, but was then taken down by the "outer perimeter" before he could get anywhere near an actual politician. - CM
"The people have no such protections." - Morrissey, 23 May 2017.
Not bad, not bad at all.
And now to Australia, and Janet Albrechtsen, columnist at "The Australian", writing on 27 May 2017. She, too, is angry.
"First Islamic terrorists chose to kill Jews in their (that is, Jews' - CM) homeland, and beyond.
"Then they murdered Americans working in New York's tall buildings.
And Aussie holidaymakers, and holidaymakers from many other infidel nations, who happened to be in a nightclub in Bali in 2002. - CM
"They murdered people travelling on London trains and buses, too,
And they murdered people on Spanish trains, and on trains in Mumbai, and murdered little kids and their parents and grandparents in a school in Beslan in the Russian Federation, and people in a theatre in Moscow, and a Dutch film-maker in broad daylight in his own city in his own country. - CM
then French journalists and cartoonists.
And French soldiers, and a French-Jewish schoolgirl and a rabbi and his two little sons, in Toulouse, France - CM
Islamic terrorists struck Paris again, slaughtering people at a rock concert and in nearby restaurants.
'Islamic terrorists blew up people at an airport and a train station in Brussels, and drove into people strolling along Nice's promenade, people walking along London's Westminster Bridge.
'A Copenhagen street, the Boston Marathon, a Sydney cafe, Berlin's Christmas markets, a pedestrian mall in Stockholm.
A mall in Nairobi, Kenya; hotels and a Jewish guest-house in Mumbai India (2008); a school in Nigeria - 200 girls taken captive, raped, abused, force-veiled, gloatingly displayed in videos. A railway station in the Russian federation. A Christmas party in San Bernardino, California. A gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The list goes on and on and on. And that's only the attacks that hit the news; if one reads Barnabas Fund newsletters, or if one reads the Israeli English-language news, or if one follows what is happening in southern Thailand or the Philippines, or keeps an eye on what is happening with the Copts of Egypt, one could list dozens of murderous Muslim assaults upon non-Muslims, a neverending list of rapes, robberies, arsons, and murders ranging from killings of one or two, on up to killings of ten or twenty or more people at a time. - CM
'Christians, Yazidis, and Muslims across the Middle East.
The Muslims are targeted because they are deemed insufficiently sharia-compliant, or else because, being other-sect, they are 'reclassified' as Infidels and therefore as lawful prey. - CM
'Thousands slaughtered by Islamic terrorists with no borders, physical or moral.
'On Monday, Islamic terrorists murdered children in Manchester.
Let's cut to the chase. Here's the grim reality. "On Monday, Muslims murdered Infidel children in Manchester". - CM
"One image sticks. A little girl with a head-band, the kind little girls like. Her leather jacket makes her look older than her tender years. Her eyes are glazed, wide with shock. She's hand in hand with a woman, hopefully her mum.
"One voice sticks, too. The raw agony of another mum, ringing CNN, pleading to hear from her 15-year-old daughter Olivia, who went to the Ariana Grande concert, but hasn't been seen since. Olivia, along iwth 21 other children, teenagers, young people, and parents, has been murdered by a 22 year old Islamic terrorist.
By a 22 year old Muslim who set out to "slay and be slain" just as the Quran instructs him to do. A Muslim human bomb who deliberately detonated himself in the midst of a dense crowd of the hated, filthy Infidels - exactly like the Muslim human bomb who, 16 years ago, in the Sbarro pizzeria in Israel, also detonated himsefl in the midst of a crowd of young people and families, guided by his handler with the intention of causing maximum harm to the softest imaginable target. To hurt, to cause grief, to cause pain, to 'cast terror' into the hearts of the survivors. - CM
'Where does this end? How? When? It being Britain, many are saying "Keep calm, and carry on". Politicians reach for a formula of pacifying words, every time Islamic terrorism strikes.
Every time a Muslim obeying the diktats of the Religion of Blood and War mass-murders - or attempts to mass murder - those whom he is taught to view with contempt, with enmity and hatred, because they are not Muslims, because they follow another faith, or no faith. Just being-Infidel is enough to make one a target. - CM
"We are united. Terrorists will be defeated. Love conquers hate. Freedom stands up for itself, our own (Aussie - CM) Prime Minister once said.
If he really meant that - that Freedom stands up for itself - then let the lands of the Free, the lands of all unsubmitted Infidels, close and defend their borders against the Slaves of Allah, and set about evicting all those Slaves of Allah already found within our gates. That would be freedom standing up for itself, defending itself against a belief system that, from top to bottom, is all about slavery and oppression, discrimination and Abuse. - CM
'Keep calm and carry on? Not this time.
'Keeping calm has promoted a comatose citizenry. Light a candle or tweet a hashtag. Talk of unity, love and strength. Gather at a vigil, then go home.
Yes, yes, yes! - CM
"Don't ask hard questions about why Islamic terrorists are able to keep murdering us.
Don't ask why so very many Muslims - including quite recent converts to the cult - seem so very eager to murder Infidels - CM
"Love did not save the lives of eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos or 18 year old Georgina Callender.
'Unity did not save the lives of the two mothers waiting in the foyer of the concert hall for their daughters or teenage sweethearts, Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry.
'And unity around what, exactly? Too many in the West refuse to unite behind the most basic moral clarity about Islamic terrorism.
About the Global Jihad. Ms Albrechtsen: please read Conor Cruise O'Brien, "The Lesson of Algeria: Islam is Indivisible". Back in 1995, he wrote - "What is going on today in the Muslim world is not the advent of some aberrant thing called Islamic fundamentalism, but a revival of Islam itself - the real thing - which Western ascendancy and Westernised post-Muslim (or semi-Muslim - CM) elites no longer have the capacity to muffle and control. The Jihad is back...". Here's the link, for any person here reading who may not have heard of Mr O'Brien. The article is a classic.
'This week, of all weeks, our public broadcaster made light of Islamic terrorism, invited onto its television shows commentators who mocked terrorism and who told us not to jump to conclusions about terrorism.
'The ABC's own journalists struggle to mention the Islam element. Our politicians talk about terrorists as marginalised and vulnerable, as if we are to blame for the murders of young children in Manchester.
'Keep calm about these useful idiots? Not a chance.
'In Riyadh this week, US President Donald Trump reminded more than 50 Arab Muslim leaders that "the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them... A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists."
They can't. They won't. The terrorists and 'extremists' crystallise continually and naturally out of the Ummah, the Mohammedan Mob. They are the army of Islam, the soldiers of allah, Allah's enforcers (as ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish puts it in her book on Sharia, "Cruel and Usual Punishment"), waging jihad fi sabil allah. The 'better future' that all pious Muslims seek is not the same as the 'better future' that we Infidels seek; all card-carrying Muslims are duty bound to seek Total World Domination, to dream of and work toward a global sharia despotism. All the world's infidels, all the world's infidel sovereign states, must be forced to Submit, either as Dhimmis or as converts to Islam... or be annihilated. That is the 'peace' to which Islam aspires, that is the 'better future' of which the jihadis and their recruiters, inciters and financiers dream, that is the goal of Islam. Investigative journalist Arthur Derounian, under the pen-name 'John Roy Carlson' summed it up in the title of a chapter of his book "Cairo to Damascus" (1951) - "World of the Koran. Islam, Islam Uber Alles." - CM
"Drive. them. out.", he said. "Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth".
But they - the House of Saud and all the rest of the Ummah, the whole boiling - won't, because they can't; because the jihadis are inextricably part and parcel of the Ummah, the Mohammedan Mob, the Allah Gang. - CM
'Trump offered up the kind of moral clarity that drove the West to defeat Nazis and Soviet communists.
The advice - wasted upon the House of Saud, and upon every other Islamic entitty there present; it will be totally ignored or at best receive only half-hearted attention- would have been better offered to the countries of the lands of the Infidels; notably, the nations of western Europe, but also Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and also any number of other historically-infidel nations that, of late, have found themselves with aggressive and expanding colonies of Muslims. And it would have been a call to raid, search and demolish the mosques - which as ex-Muslim Sam Solomon has pointed out, in his book "The Mosque Exposed", are the nerve centres and foci and rallying points and recruitment points of Jihad - and to close their gates against all further entry of identifiable Muslims - period - and to expel from their lands such Muslims as were already present within the gates. That would have shown real moral clarity about this war that is upon us, which is but the latest phase of a war that the Ummah (whenever it felt strong enough) has been waging against all infidels within reach, for the past 1400 years. Drive them out! - CM
'What has happened to us in the interim? Paralysed by political correctness, we walk on eggshells so as not to offend.
We walk on eggshells so as not to offend the Muslims. The Muslims who have shown themselves all too ready to take violent offence, as in the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, and the violent riots and threats and attempted assassinations in the wake of the publication of the Danish cartoons, and the burning down of the house of Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist who had drawn some 'Modoggies", and the assassination of Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh, who had dared to assist an ex-Muslim to make a film critical of Islamic misogyny, and a near-riot in Sydney at which Muslim children beside their veiled mamas held up placards saying "Behead those who insult the Prophet".- CM
'Ask hard questions about immigration? (Correction: Ask hard questions about Muslim immigration? - CM) You're a racist.
'Talk about Islam and terrorism? (Correction: Talk about the jihad doctrine of Islam? - CM). You're an Islamophobe.
'Keep calm and stay quiet? Not any more.
'It's time to get angry.
Yes, yes, yes, and again yes. Not stupidly, blindly angry. Coldly, rationally, intelligently angry, angry because you have read the Enemy's books, and you have read up on some history - the history of the past 1400 years of Jihad - and you know exactly where all the Muslim riots and mass-murders and rapes and kidnappings-for-ransom and threats and blackmail and nonsense-and-lies are coming from. - CM
'Examining the causes of terrorism (sic: Muslim terrorism - CM) without reference to Islam, the Prophet (sic: 'the so-called 'prophet' Mohammed' - CM), and the Koran (sic: 'the Koran, Sira and Hadiths' - CM) is as intellectually vacuous as looking at the causes of World War II without reference to Nazism, Hitler and Mein Kampf.
Exactly. - CM
"It's no coincidence that those who are angry are making the most penetrating observations. Morrissey, the former lead singer of the Smiths, was angry when he posted this - "Sadiq Khan (London's mayor) says "London is united with Manchester", but he does not condemn Islamic State - who have claimed responsibility for the bomb... Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an 'extremist'. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?" Brendan O'Neill from 'Spiked" is angry, too. "The terrorist seeks to weaken our resolve, the powers-that-be want to sedate our emotions, retire our anger, reduce us to wet-eyed performers in their post-terror play. It's a dual assault on the individual and society".
Yes. Yes and again yes. How I would like to see a group of people, in the wake of Manchester, stand in the City Square and read out, aloud, with all due emphasis, Oriana Fallaci's fiery diatribe, "The Rage and the Pride", which was written, at white heat, in the immediate aftermath of the Muslim mass murder of infidels in New York City and at the Pentagon on 11th September 2001. It does not date. It is as applicable in the wake of any of the other myriad Muslim murders of Infidels that have taken place on infidel soil since that moment, as it was then. - CM
"British commenter Piers Morgan funnelled his anger into more questions that demand answers. The bomber, Salman Abedi was someone's son, friend, brother and neighbour.
'His behaviour changed in recent times. He grew a beard, wore Islamic garb, dropped out of university and retreated from his youthful drinking days.
But even in those youthful drinking days there were ominous signs. In one newspaper report I read, one who knew him recalled that while at college - unclear whether this was high school, or tertiary - he punched a girl in the side of the head, because she wore "a short skirt". Muslims, one must recall, are taught that they are 'the best of people', 'commanding right' (that is: commanding what Islam deems to be permissible) and 'forbidding wrong" (forbidding - denouncing, and ideally, putting a stop to - anything that Islam deems to be forbidden.. which things include practices such as the keeping of pet dogs, painting pictures of living beings, playing the flute or a stringed instrument, displaying crosses, and...if female.. going about unislamically dressed). - CM
'Mohammed Saeed El-Saeiti, a local Manchester imam, recalls seeing "the face of hate" on Abedi after a sermon against Islamic State.
All such backside-covering statements should, however, be taken with a large pinch of salt. - CM
'Abedi's cousin said Abedi's parents were concerned their son was turning to violence. "We knew he was going to cause trouble. You could see that something was going to happen, sooner or later", said the cousin.
Suuure you did. - CM
"A family friend told The Times that Abedi had been "radicalised by mosques in south Manchester; there are many people who are suspicious about him."
Which 'mosques' in south Manchester, exactly? - CM
'Who raised an alarm? Rather than staying calm and carrying on as usual, it's time to ask Muslim communities to step up some more.
Waste of time.
There is only one possible use of such a demand: to put them publicly on notice that it will not be 'business as usual.' And if they don't 'step up', in any genuine or fruitful manner, after a certain period of time (set by the Infidel party making the demand; and the length of this 'test period', whatever it is - three months, six months, a year - should not be made known to the Muslims who have been put 'on the spot'), if it begins to be clear that they are not cooperating with Infidel law enforcement or even actively causing obstruction and hindrance, then it must be assumed that they are in collusion with the jihadis. That they must be viewed in the same light as an outlaw motorcycle gang, or an organised crime syndicate, and treated accordingly. - CM
'At the Albert Square vigil after Monday's atrocity, Tony Walsh recited his poem. "This is the place that has helped shape the world, and this isi the place where a Manchester girl named Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side led a suffragette city with sisterhood pride". That's nice.
'But the Manchester suburb (of Moss Side - CM) is better known as the home of Islamic bombers, Islamic State recruiters, and jihadists, than the home of a suffragette. Another 16 convicted or dead terrorists (that is: convicted or dead Muslim jihad terrorists - CM) lived within four kilometres of Pankhurst's birthplace.
Hm. If the City of Manchester wishes to throw down the gauntlet, then let it call in the army to provide security and hold a public showing of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's beautiful and bleak little film "Submission", that intelligently and memorably criticises and exposes Muslim misogyny, the very misogyny that was exhibited by the Muslim human bomb who blew himself up amongst a predominantly female crowd - indeed, a crowd mostly composed of little girls, tweens and teens - after they had attended a concert presented by what the Islamic texts ferociously denounce as a 'songstress"; and invite Ms Ali, and other famous ex-Muslim critics of what Islam does to women - Wafa Sultan, and Nonie Darwish, and Taslima Nasreen - to speak publicly on the same subject, on the same evening. That would be an appropriate act of defiance. - CM
'Keeping calm and carrying on encourages more sweet-nothings.
'Where and when will the next terrorist attack happen? In Australia?
In Egypt, in fact. Coptic Christians, many of them young children; butchered by Islamic State jihadists, as those Christians travelled on pilgrimage to pray at a historic monastery. - CM
'Our hardworking security agencies have foiled 12 imminent attacks since September 2014 when Australia's national terrorism alert level was raised to 'probable'. Twelve. In less than three years.
Any one of those attacks had it succeeded would likely have murdered as many people as the attack in Manchester. - CM
'This week NSW Coroner Michael Barnes revealed how our immigration system, court system and senior policing policies failed us when Man Haron Monis took hostages in the Lindt cafe, holding them for 17 hours, culminating in the death of two beautiful people, Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson.
'The Coroner found that Monis wasn't mad. Monis murdered in the name of Islamic State.
'Keep calm and carry on? No. Not again.
'Evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing more than offer up platitudes, light candles, post hashtags, and recite poems."
There were over one thousand comments to Ms Albrechtsen's article. I have read them all, and I commend them to others. (If you google the title of Ms Albrechtsen's article, you should be able to read both it and the comments). Many commenters showed themselves to be very well informed about Islam and its core doctrine of Jihad, and its hard-wired hatred of Infidels qua Infidels. Many, many commenters - armed with this grimly realistic knowledge of what Islam, and Muslims, are all about - were discussing the sorts of measures they thought should be taken in national and civilisational self-defence: of all such measures, stopping Muslim immigration into Austraia was top of the list, closely followed by measures such as internment and deportation. One hopes that all of those commenters were making the same points in letters to the relevant government Ministers, and to their elected representatives in Federal Parliament. - CM
Didsbury Mosque’s YouTube channel still features videos from clerics including American Abdullah Hakim Quick. He called for homosexuals to be killed and death for those who do not follow Islam.
Hate preacher Abu Qatada delivered a speech at Manchester’s Didsbury Mosque in 1999, a former worshipper has claimed. Speaking outside the mosque before Friday prayers, Mr Alyrani said: “This mosque was always a peaceful place but then it started to change. I was there from 1994 to 1999 and left because I had arguments with people as I spoke out against Abu Qatada. He was invited to the mosque several times to give lectures. I was assaulted inside the mosque by another worshipper and had my nose broken because I spoke out against him.”
Mosque trustee Fauzi Haffar said: “I have never seen Abu Qatada. I cannot say if it’s true or not.”
MPs accused the mosque of playing a part in Abedi’s radicalisation. Labour’s Khalid Mahmood said: “It has to be asked where a 22-year-old man born and bred in Manchester gets that sort of hatred from. We tend to think the problem is the internet and social media. (you might - I don't) But people don’t just turn up one day and look at things online.”
The trio were allegedly secretly recorded discussing using explosives, guns, knives and vehicles for ‘mass murder’. They are suspected of targeting key sites across London including Parliament, City banks, Heathrow and the Queen’s Guard.
Police believe the alleged terror cell was inspired by Khalid Masood, who left four dead on Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing a police officer in March.
Islamic scholar Umar Ahmed Haque, 24, Muhammad Abid, 26, and 18-year-old Abuthaher Mamun were arrested in raids across east London last week. They appeared before Westminster magistrates’ court charged with offences under the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006. A fourth man, Nadeem Ilyas Patel, 25, appeared alongside them charged with attempting to supply them with a firearm.
Kashif Malik, prosecuting, told the court: ‘The Crown’s allegation is that Haque was planning a terrorism attack in the UK involving mass murder. He intended to use a heavy vehicle laden with explosives, he certainly had the know-how, as documented in the instruction manuals which have been recovered from his address, on how to make explosives. Or he was going to use a knife – and again manuals were recovered from his address on how to carry out knife attacks. Or he was intending to use a firearm and we say he was trying to acquire one from Patel who was willing to provide one.. ."
The court heard Haque is accused of possessing a handwritten list of possible targets including government buildings, foreign embassies and tourist attractions. At Patel’s home, police allegedly found two guns, one in the style of a Walther P99 pistol capable of firing gas pellets and a .22 air pistol.
The men’s lawyers did not apply for bail and chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot remanded them in custody to next appear at the Old Bailey on June 9.
In further developments, a barber shop in Manchester was raided with one theory that Abedi may have obtained hydrogen peroxide - a chemical used in the hairdressing industry but which can also be used to construct bombs - from the salon.
Abedi’s finances are a major ‘theme’ of the police inquiry amid growing alarm over the ease with which jihadists are able to manipulate Britain’s welfare and student loans system to secure financing. One former detective said jihadists were enrolling on university courses to collect the student loans “often with no intention of turning up”. Abedi was given at least £7,000 from the taxpayer-funded Student Loans Company after beginning a business administration degree at Salford University in October 2015.
It is thought he received a further £7,000 in the 2016 academic year even though by then he had already dropped out of the course. Salford University declined to say if it had informed the Student Loans Company that Abedi’s funding should have been stopped.
Separately, the Department for Work and Pensions refused to say if Abedi had received any benefits,
Sometimes A Picture Really Is Worth A Thousand Words
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Look at this photo showing the backs of seated dignitaries waiting for Trump to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport. You may remember — it was last week, after all — the photos of Trump and Company being welcomed on the tarmac at Riyadh. The welcoming party was a very limited group of people: all of them males, all of them Muslims, all of them Sunnis, all of them Arabs, all of them very rich indeed, and many of them, unsurprisingly, members of the very same family. There was one odd man out, an odd man out precisely because, you see, she wasn’t a man but a woman, a foreign photographer, snapping away both for ephemeral posts and for posterity.
The rest of the visit offered the same narrow range of dramatis personae. The audience for Trump’s speech consisted only of Muslims, that is, of Sunni Muslims, and almost entirely of male Sunni Muslims, that is, of male Sunni Muslims who were either despots themselves, or representatives of despots. I did make out one, possibly two, females in the audience — either despots themselves, or representatives of a despot. To sum that audience up: no females (unless the head of a Muslim state, or his deputy), no Christians, no Jews, no Hindus, no Shi’a, no atheists, no democrats (in the Periclean not Clintonian sense).
Then there was the Ardah Sword Dance outside the Murabba Palace. Small Wilbur Ross, tall Rex Tillerson, and very briefly, Trump himself, all tried their hand at the ceremonial ardah dance, traditionally performed before battle, a symbolic celebration of male martial prowess, but now performed on all sorts of occasions. (“Available for weddings, but not yet bar mitzvahs,” as a future skit on Saturday Night Live will have it). They linked arms with their Saudi hosts, and briefly moved their swords out toward the floor, then up, at a 90-degree angle to the floor, and again, all the while swaying slightly. Their Saudi hosts, including King Salman, were bemused. As at the airport, the Americans found themselves in a sea of Sunni Muslim males, many of them members of the ruling family, the Al-Saud. But what else would one expect in a country named after the Wahhabi founding family, “Saudi” Arabia? And in any case, the Dance of the Sword isn’t what frightens us about the Saudis and their coreligionists — it’s the Verse of the Sword. As for the American guests and their eager-to-please hosts — all that glitters in the kingdom, it turns out, is gold, and a good and lavish and over-the-top time was had by all. After all, the Saudis have only one request to make of the Americans right now. All the Saudis want is for the Americans to keep those Rafidite dogs in Tehran on a short leash. Even the real “solution” to the permanent problem of Israel — not its size, but its existence — the Saudis are now willing to postpone for a later date, an attitude that President Trump and others have misinterpreted as a Sunni Arab “readiness for peace.” And what will the United States get in return for dealing with Iran? Well, spending hundreds of billions on arms from the Americans is the best way the Saudis have to show their appreciation, and they’ve already started to spend.
I was prompted to muse on these matters when I saw the photographs of those awaiting Trump at the tarmac in Tel Aviv and compared them with what had just happened in Saudi Arabia. The Israeli soldiers at the airport included machine-gun-toting girls. This was Israel, after all, where, since 1949, military service has been mandatory for both sexes. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive, and cannot travel abroad, and are not supposed to even leave the house alone, without a male relative’s permission. And even the time spent by a woman with male fellow workers is deliberately limited. The religious police, the mutawwa, are everywhere present to insure that the Shari’a is observed.
One photograph, the one above, taken at Ben Gurion Airport, particularly struck me. It was taken from behind a group of seated dignitaries, with their varied head coverings. I saw a bearded, orthodox Jew, whose face was caught in profile. Then there was a high Catholic prelate — a bishop, to judge by his red skull cap, or zucchetto. Several Greek Orthodox priests, with their distinctive dress — perhaps one of them was Russian Orthodox. A Druze, with his white cylindrical cap, though no Druze women with tantours in evidence. And then others whom I could not identify from behind — Protestants perhaps, of varied denominations, Orthodox or secular Jews, Christian or Muslim Arabs almost certainly. For despite all the BDS talk of Israel as an “apartheid state,” Muslim and Christian Arabs are everywhere in Israeli political life. A dozen of them are members of the Knesset; they serve on the Supreme Court (one of them, Salim Joubran, has lifetime tenure); they serve in the Israeli foreign service, and two of them are presently ambassadors, with many more at the consular levels. Others serve as judges at the local level. There are Muslim and Christian Arabs in the Knesset. There are Christian and Muslim Arabs serving, as volunteers (for unlike Jews they are exempt from mandatory service) in the Israeli military. Of particular note and value are the nearly 2,000 Bedouin in the Israeli army, famous for their skills as desert trackers.
That’s what Israel has to offer. It does not have a Dance of the Sword. Nor a Verse of the Sword. It does have the Hatikvah. It does have compete equality of the sexes. Israel cannot spend hundreds of billions of dollars on American arms, but Israelis have proven invaluable in helping in the development of some of the most advanced American weapons, including the Arrow missile system, the F-35 “Adir” stealth fighter plane, and the Tactical High Energy Laser (Nautilus). One wonders if, in the vast Saudi arms arsenal, there is even a single item that the Saudis themselves managed to produce. And as for intelligence sharing, in the Middle East it is the United States that depends on Israel, more than Israel on the United States, for no other country has the intelligence-gathering abilities in the Middle East equal to those of the Israelis.
The photograph of Sunni Muslim males, dripping with gold chains, who owe their fabulous wealth not to hard work, nor inventive talent, nor entrepreneurial flair, but only to an accident of geology, and who greeted Trump’s plane in Riyadh, tell one story. The airport welcome by Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze, both men and women, who met Trump’s plane in Tel Aviv, tell quite another.
That’s what that photograph, the one which I put at the beginning of this piece, the one taken at the tarmac at Tel Aviv, prompted me to think about. I thought I’d share those thoughts with you.
Ramsgate gang rape: Four men found guilty of raping teenager above takeaway
From Kent on Line The jury came back with a verdict this morning. All four defendants guilty of raping the lost 16 year old girl; as the prosecution said, 'her every orifice was penetrated by them', and they laughed as they did it.
Shershah Muslimyar, 20, of Hovenden Close, Canterbury, restaurant owner Tamin Rahani, 37, of Northwood Road, Ramsgate and Rafiullah Hamidy, 24, of no fixed address, and Hamid Mohamadi, 18, from Wye - who we can now name for the first time - all denied three charges of rape but were convicted.
They were remanded in custody pending reports on the danger they pose but they were all warned they face long sentences in July.
Officers who raided the home of Salman Abedi discovered a working bomb factory with a huge stash of explosive chemicals and other components.
Security sources now believe that Abedi assembled the bomb himself after learning his trade in Libya.
But the amount of material in his home has led to fears that he could have built more than one device and and distributed them to other British-based extremists. A security source told the Telegraph: "The worry is there was enough to build two or three bombs and we can't rule that out."
Upon publication of the NER/Iconoclast post we received an email from retired Hebrew University Professor Raphael Israeli, author of a 2003 book, Islamikaze: Manifestations of Islamic Martyrology. Israeli’s neologism appeared to us to describe the Islamic extremism of the Abedi family of Libyan refugees, among whose progeny was Salman, the suicide bomber, a “soldier of the Caliphate,” ISIS and Al Qaeda. With the arrest in Libya of the father and a brother involved with Islamic terrorism, perhaps they also might be deemed Islamikaze.
Following the July 7, 2005 Islamikaze attacks on the London Transport system that killed 52, injuring over 700, Israeli sent a letter to then Labor PM Tony Blair. He criticized official condemnations of the worst Islamic terror attack in the UK as the act of ”criminals. ” Instead Israeli suggested the UK government should brand the native born Muslim youths as Islamikazes. Israeli argued that by identifying them as Islamikaze it would communicate that the perpetrators of this heinous attack were committing the “holy” act under Qur’anic doctrine. By do so they became shahids, martyrs, sacrificing their lives to follow in the way of Allah; jihad against Kufr, infidels, innocent fellow British citizens.
Former UK PM Tony Blair
What follows is Professor Israeli’s letter to the UK PM Tony Blair:
Professor Rapahel Israeli
On Hebrew University Letterhead
The Honorable Tony Blair
England 14 July, 2005
Dear Mr Prime Minister,
Like with most Israelis, my heart went for you and your people during the tragedy that has been inflicted upon you. I hear many British officials stating their "shock" that the perpetrators were British, and the British public in general expressing their incredulousness that such a home-grown plight could be permitted to develop under the noses of the authorities.
More than two years ago my book entitled Islamikaze: Manifestations of Islamic Martyrology was published and distributed in London (Frank Cass, 2003), identifying the danger very concretely, with the names of its instigators and their deeds, including the young Britons from Leeds who were recruited and sent to Afghanistan to train for exactly this kind of horror. To my knowledge, no one in a position of responsibility heeded those warnings nor did anything about them. The wishful thinking of "peaceful Islam" and the liberal treatment of Muslim murderers who found refuge in Britain overshadowed all other considerations, and now the British common people are paying this horrendous price.
I was also struck by the announcement by the Chief of Scotland Yard to the effect that the perpetrators were just "criminals", thus skirting their attributes of "Muslim fundamentalists" or "Islamikaze". Criminals usually take their risks for economic gains which they try to enjoy by surviving and escaping punishment. Islamikaze, by contrast, are ideological murderers, who take risks and even sacrifice themselves for an idea (of Islamic dominion) . To call them "suicide bombers" therefore, not only misses the point but may even evoke some sympathy for them and attempts to "understand" why they performed their abominable act.
A new thinking is needed, Mr Prime Minster, not only by England but also by the rest of Western countries in general if we are all to survive and then overwhelm this relentless wave of Islamic terrorism (no other poor, disadvantaged, "frustrated" etc. group of people has ever launched such a murderous assault on Western culture).
I have put in the mail, and will also channel via your Ambassador in Israel , the relevant pages from my book which have sounded the alarm two years ago, but were unfortunately ignored.
Didsbury mosque distances itself from Manchester bomber
On Tuesday they couldn't praise Papa Abedi enough (lovely man, lovely voice, and the boy was so quiet and respectful and devout). But now the information about the family jihad cell and the network is coming out...
From the Guardian and the Independent
A mosque attended by Salman Abedi and members of his family has called for anyone with information about the bombing to contact the police and attempted to distance itself from the attacker.
In a strongly worded statement, Didsbury mosque and Manchester Islamic Centre called the bombing an act of cowardice and insisted it had worked peacefully at the heart of the community for half a century.
The Manchester mosque where bomber Salman Abedi used to pray has accused the media of “manufacturing stories” after it was reported the attacker worked at the centre. Representatives for Manchester Islamic Centre expressed concern that a “small section” of the media were making “unfounded points without any verification.”
Spokesperson Fawzi Haffar denied Abedi had ever worked at the centre and condemned the “horrific atrocity” as having “no place in our religion.” He said: “Some media reports have reported that the bomber worked at the Manchester Islamic Centre. This is not true. I assure everyone, listeners, viewers in the UK, around the UK, this bomber has never worked in this centre. . ."
But the mosque and centre refused to answer questions about Abedi’s links with them. The Guardian has learned that his father worked at the mosque before leaving for Tripoli and one of the imams, Mohammed Saeed, has described how Abedi attended regularly and had once looked at him “with hate” when he gave a sermon criticising Isis and Ansar al-Sharia in Libya.
A new report is dominating discussion of Central America policy, but it glosses over one pivotal problem. The authors' deference to the status quo puts them at odds with the Trump administration's search for solutions to problems bleeding across our southern border.
The self-described nonpartisan Arsht Center of the Atlantic Council — funded in part by US taxpayers and foreign governments — issued the report on May 4: “A Blueprint for Central America’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador).”
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly delivered the keynote for the report's release. He noted the US border “begins 1,500 miles south.” That's the 595-mile, very porous border between Mexico and Guatemala.
The report identifies a myriad of symptoms — horrors really — and proposes specific actions for the United States, mostly through the Alliance for Prosperity aid program:
Illicit activity combined with the push of migrants north, makes the region a national security priority.… Economic development, rule of law, and security in those countries will make the United States safer as well.
The authors, however, leave a gaping hole. They fail to mention lawless groups whose impunity stems from US policy. Today, successors of Castro-supported guerrillas dominate Guatemala’s rural areas and force inhabitants into their criminal agenda — from blocking police access to destroying factories and infrastructure.
For the Atlantic Council's proposals to have their stated effect, undoing the Obama Administration's embrace of Castro-supported guerrillas in Guatemala is critical.
Just as President Barack Obama pivoted towards Cuba, his State Department prevailed upon Guatemalan leaders. His agents got allies of guerrillas from Guatemala’s internal conflict (1960-96) appointed to government positions, which politicized a judiciary that now protects the leftists.
Political opposition to this policy has been muted by threats of prosecution and US visa cancellations. The US embassy has followed through, and retribution lurks via notorious violations of due process and law.
A key ally is the Orwellian, UN-backed Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), which the report wrongly praises. The UN secretary general appoints the Cicig Commissioner (Iván Velásquez), who names his staff. The United Nations does not audit the Cicig, nor does anyone else; its personnel are not subject to any law anywhere. The Cicig embodies impunity.
To fortify their allies’ control over Guatemala, as Obama's holdovers leave the State Department, the Cicig commissioner and US Ambassador Todd Robinson are illegally pressuring the Guatemalan Congress to change the Constitution. The “reforms” violate the Alliance for Prosperity, because they degrade the judiciary and give it supremacy over the other branches.
The United States cannot help the Northern Triangle countries establish the rule of law if US officials act criminally and support criminal parties, a fact omitted by the Atlantic Council report. Further, without reliable oversight of the Cicig, we risk wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and putting national security at risk.
While Secretary Kelly has correctly stated that economic development and safety in the Northern Triangle are necessary, the anti-Trump bias of the report is hard to escape. The Atlantic Council webpage announcing the report blares, “Trump described Mexican migrants as rapists.” Immediately following, it quotes Secretary Kelly as saying migrants are “good people as a group,” implying a split with the president.
The report’s task force co-chair John Negroponte endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. He is unlikely to look into her secretary of state role as executor of the Obama policy, which continues under Ambassador Robinson.
Hillary Clinton personally involved herself in Guatemalan affairs, including a phone call to Guatemala’s then president. Even after her tenure, she pressured him to reappoint a guerilla ally as attorney general.
Another co-chair, Eduardo Stein, former foreign minister and vice president of Guatemala, is the vice president of ASIES. This NGO backs the constitutional changes to consolidate power in the judiciary — the same judiciary that is shutting down businesses and supporting violations of due process against Robinson’s and Velásquez’s opponents.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala stated that a recent high-court suspension of hydroelectric plants opposed by "radical ideological...conflict groups" risks $4 billion investment, 445,000 jobs, and $780 million annual tax revenues.
The Guatemalan government's abandonment of rural areas to Obama’s allies nourishes drug and sex trafficking, extortion, potential terrorist crossings and illegal immigration. Technical help will not address these problems. Only law enforcement will, to the benefit of the oppressed rural population.
The immediate removal of Robinson and the encouragement of proper application of the law to Guatemala’s countryside would free the people and businesses to pursue their legitimate desires. The results would be increased security and control over the flow of illegal persons and contraband through what Secretary Kelly has recognized as our real southern border.
Here’s to the Winners in the Fight against Terrorists
by Michael Curtis
Niccolo Machiavelli writing in 1513 did his best to warn Donald J. Trump. In Chapter VI of The Prince he wrote, "nothing is more difficult to set up ...than a new system of government, because the bringer of the new system will make enemies of everyone who did well under the old system, while those who do well under the new system still won't support it warmly."
This assertion has been confirmed by a report coming from the US Ivy League on May 23, 2017, specifically in a study by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. It reported that in the first 100 days of the Trump administration, the news coverage of it had been 80% negative to 29% negative, with CNN and NBC leading with a 93% negative tone, and the Wall Street Journal had 70% negative and even Fox News 52%.
These findings of course were obvious and hardly needed an elaborate statistical analysis, after the plentiful media coverage of mistakes by the new president and concentration like short sighted detectives on allegations and false information about connections of some kind between the U.S. administration and Russia. However, in view of recent events, what is surprising is that the negative tone was 82% on foreign policy and 70% on the threat of terrorism.
It is probably true that President Trump does not know the name of the president of Romania or the prime minister of Estonia, is unaware of the relations between Albania and Kosovo, and has no insight on whether Montenegro should become the 29th member of NATO. But he is right on two far more important issues: the reassertion of American leadership in the Middle East; and on the main contemporary issue of foreign affairs, overcoming and ending the threat of Islamic terrorists, the crucial issue today.
That reassertion was forcefully made in Trump’s address on May 21, 2017 to the large number of Arab leaders in the palace of the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, an address that can be considered a belated reaction to the speech of President Barack Obama in Cairo on June 4, 2009. Predictably, the major media were critical of the Trump speech for not dealing with the problem of women’s rights and human rights in general, the need for political reform in Saudi Arabia, or Arab political instability.
In an academic paper, or in the U.S. Congress, this criticism would be wholly in order, but Trump explained “we are not here to lecture, to tell other people how to live.” Instead the US was offering partnership with countries, even those that have autocratic or less than democratic systems, who are pursuing the same objectives as the U.S. in fighting terrorists.
What is new and important is the dramatic change in the U.S. from the policy or non-policy of President Obama on Middle Eastern issues. Those policies meant no intervention against the Assad regime in Syria, even after the “red line” was crossed, lack of support for President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, tacit approval of the Muslim Brotherhood, less than enthusiastic support of Israel, coolness toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and a nuclear deal at all costs with Iran.
Whatever one’s opinion of Obama policies they were interpreted as weakness which in the Middle East is said to breed contempt. Obama’s policy was unwelcome and criticized by Saudi Arabian leaders. King Abdullah often urged the U.S. to “cut off the head of the snake” by destroying Iran’s nuclear program. He declared his country was disturbed by President Assad’s war against the Sunni majority in Syria, including his use of chemical weapons against civilians, and by the Syrian subservience to Iran. Because of American policy and United Nations inaction on Syria the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in September 2013 cancelled his speech to the UN General Assembly.
A month later, Saudi Arabia rejected the offer to be a member of the UN Security Council for two years as a non-permanent member because of its frustration at US policy, and the UN inaction. The Saudis called for comprehensive reform of the UN system based among other things on regional balance. Saudi Arabia however was ironically elected to a three year seat on the UN Human Rights Council, and is a member of UNESCO.
Saudi criticism of President Obama intensified as a result of the article in The Atlantic, April 2016 which repeated the President’s earlier comment that a number of American allies in the Persian Gulf were “free riders,” eager to drag the U.S. into conflicts that had little to do with American interests. The strongest rebuke and undiplomatic tongue lashing came on March 14, 2016 from Prince Turki al-Faisal, head of intelligence and former ambassador to the U.S. He replied directly to Obama, “We are not the free riders to whom you refer. We lead from the front and we accept our mistakes and rectify them.”
That rectification may now be starting. Saudi Arabia because of the strong influence of Wahhabism in decision making has long been responsible for spreading religious Sunni extremism and consequent jihadism. President Trump himself was suspicious of the country for aiding the 9/11 terrorists. The Saudi position now appears to have changed and overlaps with that of the U.S. President on crucial issues. Saudi leaders and the Gulf Cooperation Council now unequivocally reject jihadism and have agreed to join Trump not only in the fight against Islamic terrorists but also in limiting the power of Iran. That country, the leading Shia state, must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon, and must cease immediately its funding, training, and equipping of terrorists and expansion of military forces.
The primary objection to the Trump initiative is that Saudi Arabia is hardly the epitome of democracy. Serious disconcerting factors remain. Most obvious is the gender rights gap. Women are discriminated against in marriage, divorce, child custody, inheritance, property ownership. Guardianship of women is still the rule, education is single sex, and women are still not permitted to drive a car. The Sunni Muslim religion is dominant and final political decisions are made by the Ayatollah and religious dignitaries. Moreover, there is religious intolerance. No non-Muslim clergy can enter the country to conduct services. The country has a poor human rights record, being marked by a considerable number, perhaps 3000, political prisoners, and the judicial system is characterized by arbitrary arrest, secret trials, and long detention periods.
Yet change, small as it is, has been occurring in the country. In 2013, three women were appointed to the 150 member Shura Council, a consultative body. Women can now vote and be candidates in municipal elections. Women can run businesses, including law firms, and newspapers. They publish novels and direct films. There are more women than men in higher education, and a considerable number of the total of 150,000 who study abroad are women.
This is only slow progress but should not prevent common policy by the US and the Saudis on the main issues. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners. The old saying is still pertinent, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Put forthrightly, the enemy of Iran is a friend of the U.S. and of Israel. For all three countries, Iran is an existential threat, and all agree that Iran must not have nuclear enriched facilities, or stockpiles of enriched material.
The Trump visit, both in its symbolic and realistic aspects, cannot end sectarian rivalries, the endless and brutal war in Syria or the reality of Arab political instability in the Middle East, or terrorist activity against Israelis. It was telling that on the very same day as Trump’s visit to Israel, Palestinian terrorists were active in the coastal city of Netanya, stabbing an Israeli police officer, and in Abu Dis, attempting to strike another police officer. Moreover, and again on the same day, Palestinian TV featured a woman terrorist, who had murdered 16 Israelis, declaring that “We long for the days of the Intifada, the days of the revolution.”
Yet, though the continuation of terrorist attacks is troubling and needs to be ended, the Trump visit in an optimistic way signifies two possibilities. One is a major shift by Saudi Arabia, which already benefits from US arms sales and infrastructure investments, and other Sunni countries, towards common action with the U.S. The continuation of this is all the more meaningful considering that two thirds of the Saudi population is under 30, and almost half of the 27 million people is below the age of 24. The other is that it may at last create the conditions for negotiation of a peaceful settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Not everyone relishes President Trump’s blunt language and not all will agree with his plainspoken and straightforward and Frank Sinatra-like description of terrorists as “losers,” or his portraying the fight against them as one of good against evil. But, without denying other serious Middle East problems, no one can mistake the essential objective is to defeat the Islamic terrorists, especially ISIS and al-Qaeda, who threaten the world and the urgent need to crush their hateful millenarian ideology. Significantly, British Prime Minister Theresa May on May 23, 2017 after the terrorist bombing in Manchester, England, vowed “to take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence.” The improbable coalition of countries must focus on ending the violence of Islamist extremists.