Saturday, 31 March 2018
Bad Advice From Pope Francis, Who Tells Us Not To Fear
clear

by Hugh Fitzgerald

“Pope expresses concern over national policies dictated by fear,” by Giulia Segreti, Reuters, March 11, 2018:

Pope Francis on Sunday expressed concern over national policies dictated by fear, speaking only one week after Italy’s general elections which brought populist and anti-immigrant parties to the forefront.

The Italian elections were over in early March, and the parties in Italy that the Pope clearly was referring to as “dictated by fear” managed to make the greatest electoral gains. These parties are not really, as the non-Italian media and the Pope himself suggest, “anti-immigrant,” but, rather, they are “anti-Muslim immigrant.” There is a difference. Chief among these center-right parties is La Lega (“The League”), headed by Marco Salvini, who constantly declares that Islam is “incompatible with European values,’’ and unremarkably notes that Muslim immigrants are responsible for some of the country’s economic and security problems. It is to be expected that The Arab Weekly would describe La Lega as “a xenophobic and racist party that regularly speaks of an ‘Islamic invasion’ in Italy.” But the party is neither “xenophobic” nor “racist”; there is no “irrational hatred of foreigners,” but a rational fear of, and opposition to, Muslim migrants, based both on their observable behavior in Europe and on an understanding of the ideology of Islam. The “racism” canard, repeated ad nauseam, has to be refuted, just as often, by stating the obvious: Islam is not a race, opposition to Islam is not “racism.”

Pope Francis, the stout defender of Islam and Muslims, the man who has claimed “there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism,” that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” that “Islam is a religion of peace, one which is compatible with respect for human rights and peaceful coexistence,” is naturally alarmed by the increasing success of the so-called “anti-immigrant” parties. He who has made the defense of migrants and especially, of Muslims, a key pillar of his five-year papacy, finds that Italian voters do not agree.

Although the pope did not specifically refer to the elections, his words may resonate as a strong criticism of Italy’s center-right bloc which has strongly campaigned using anti-migrant policy promises.

“The world today is often inhabited by fear. It is an ancient disease … And fear often turns against people who are foreign, different, poor, as if they were enemies,” said the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

The “fear” of Islam and of Muslims that many now experience, especially in Europe, is not an unfathomable “ancient disease,” but a rational response to the unprecedented influx of people who, because of the ideology of Islam to which they are in thrall, cannot, and do not wish to, integrate into European societies. Muslim migrants are quite understandably feared not because they are “foreign, different, poor” as Pope Francis may think, but because they have been taught in their Qur’an to believe that they should regard non-Muslims as the “most vile of creatures,” that they should heed the 109 Qur’anic commandments about waging violent Jihad against the Infidels, including several verses specifying that they should “strike terror” into the hearts of those Infidels, and that they should never take “Jews and Christians as friends, for they are friends only with each other.” (5:51) There is little desire expressed in Italy, the subject of Pope Francis’s latest vaporings, to remove non-Muslim immigrants — many of them “foreign, different, poor” — including Chinese, Hindus, Filipinos, Eastern Europeans. Not being Muslims, none of these immigrants are  irremediably hostile to Italy and to Italians. After more than 35,000 terrorist attacks by Muslims around the world since 9/11/2001, it makes perfect sense to “fear” the millions of Muslims now in Europe, and to work to prevent more from coming. Instead, Pope Francis wants to welcome still more of them, wants Europeans to believe, despite all the evidence, that  there is no reason to “fear” the Muslim influx.

The Pope thinks “fear” is somehow an illegitimate emotion for fashioning political policies. Why? In 1917, the records of the Duma show, Aleksandr Kerensky mocked the Bolsheviks, even asking aloud during one particularly contentious debate, “What are you going to do — shoot us?” There was laughter from his supporters, while the Bolsheviks remained tellingly silent. We all know how that turned out. Having no experience of such people, Kerensky did not fear them, and failing to fear them, did not suppress the Bolsheviks when that was still possible. Throughout the 1930s, Winston Churchill, a lonely voice of reason, continually expressed his alarm about the policies and plans of Adolf Hitler. He “feared” what was to come if Hitler was allowed to get his way during a time of supposed peace. Churchill was correct to be “fearful” of the Nazis. Others — the Cliveden Set, Lord Halifax, Prime Minister Chamberlain — were too hopeful that accommodations could be made with Hitler; these people were not “fearful” enough of his monstrous plans. Were we in the West not right to be “fearful” of the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe after World War II? Were we wrong to create the Nato military alliance out of “fear” of Soviet military aggression? Were we wrong to be “fearful” of the powerful Communist parties in Italy and France in the postwar period, and as a consequence of that fear, we channeled huge sums to the anti-Communist left in those countries? Didn’t that do the trick, keeping the Communists from coming to power in either country?

Are we not right to “fear” Putin’s Russia, and its attempts to undermine Western democracies through meddling in our elections, spreading false news, and in many insidious ways employing social media on the Internet to weaken the social fabric of our societies? Shouldn’t we fear Vladimir Putin’s effort to control the Eastern Ukraine? Are the European nations now expressing solidarity with the British by expelling Russian diplomats wrong to fear what Putin’s agents will do unless there is a clear and united response to this latest poisoning of a former Soviet agent on European soil?

Should we not be “fearful” of China’s ruthless economic competition, its theft and exploitation of American companies’ patents and trade secrets and its unfair trade practices? Shouldn’t we be fearful of Chinese bullying of its nearest Asian neighbors, including its staking of its claims to expansive territorial waters in the South China Sea? Aren’t we right to “fear” Kim Jong-un’s nuclear threats? Should we not “fear” the war on free speech being conducted on our college campuses, where those who speak sensibly about Islam are shouted down, or their audiences by pre-arrangement walk out, or those speakers on Islam are prevented even from coming to the campus in the first place?

What about causes dear to this Pope’s heart, such as global warming? Does Pope Francis think we should be a little “worried” but not “fearful” of the consequences if we are collectively unable to limit the use of greenhouse gasses? We know what his answer to that would be. When it’s his ox that’s gored…

Similarly, should young women not be “fearful” of Muslim grooming gangs in Great Britain, now that we all know what  happened in Rotherham and so many other places (Telford, Rochdale, Oxford, Newcastle), and know, too, that elsewhere in Great Britain, similar gangs may have claimed as many as a million victims? Should non-Muslim women not be “fearful” of sexual attacks by Muslims, attacks that have soared in Europe in recent years — in Paris (especially on the metro), in Berlin, in Cologne, in Malmö, in Stockholm?

Does the Pope think it would be wrong — unwarranted, unhelpful — for Jews in Europe to be “fearful” of Muslims? When two elderly Jewish women in Paris were murdered, in separate incidents, by Muslim neighbors, with one of them stabbed repeatedly, then thrown out a window, while the other’s incinerated body is found in her apartment, which had been set on fire, might “fear” not be the clear-headed response? When a Muslim gang kidnaps a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, and for three weeks holds him hostage, torturing him until he finally dies from that torture, isn’t “fear” — along with fury — fully justified? When three small Jewish children are shot dead by a Muslim terrorist in front of a rabbi, the father of two of them, who is then also killed, should Jewish parents not feel “fear”? When Jewish pupils are taunted and beaten up by Muslim classmates so that they have to change schools? When the French Jewish leader, Roger Cukierman, already in 2015 declared that “All violence [against Jews] in France, and we must say this, all violent acts today are committed by young Muslims”? Does the Pope think it would be crazy or “unhelpful” for Jews to fear Muslims and, as a consequence, to support those policies, opposed by pollyannish Pope Francis,  to limit the number of Muslim migrants?

The absence of “fear” when fear is warranted should not be praised but deplored.  We should also recognize that there can be too little of the right kind and too much of the wrong kind of “fear”: the police in Rotherham were insufficiently fearful of what was happening to the English girls who were the victims of mass rapes, and too fearful of being called “racists” if they pursued the Muslim grooming gangs.

Pope Francis has it wrong. Those who intelligently fear Islam and the  large-scale presence of Muslims in Europe have much to be fearful about. They fear Muslim terrorists, responsible for so many tens of thousands of attacks since 9/11. Of course, they fear Muslim sexual predators, with the grooming gangs in Rotherham only the most publicized example of what has apparently been going on across the U.K. They fear the attacks on Jews, homosexuals, on priests, on those who publicly criticize Islam or Muhammad. For a few unflattering paragraphs he wrote in a 2006 article for Le Figaro about Muhammad, the teacher Robert Redeker has ever since had to live in hiding under police protection. Others, such as the writers Eric Zemmour and Alain Finkielkraut, may not be in hiding, but they do require extra security for their speaking engagements, and cannot move around without worrying about their safety, because of what they write and speak about Islam. All those who care about the freedom of speech in Europe should now be “fearful,” despite the Pope’s glib assurances that such “fear” is uncalled for.

There are other things to “fear” about the Muslim presence in Western Europe, aside from the threats and acts of violence. Europeans now find themselves faced with ever-mounting expenses, as their governments offer long-term support to increasing numbers of Muslims who are in no hurry to be employed, but eager to batten on a host of benefits — free housing, free medical care, free education, family allowances — offered by the generous welfare states of Western Europe. An estimated 40% of Muslim youth in France and 50% in Germany are unemployed, but far from destitute. Rather, they receive a wide range of social benefits. For example, an estimated 40% of welfare outlays in Denmark go to the 5% of the population that is Muslim.  According to Otto Schily, former German interior minister, speaking of immigrants in general: “Seventy percent of the newcomers [since 2002] land on welfare the day of their arrival.” As to unemployment, Christopher Caldwell notes that “in the early 1970s, 2 million of the 3 million foreigners in Germany were in the labor force; by the year 2000, 2 million of 7.5 million were.” In 2015, only 500 out of 163,000 asylum seekers in Sweden had found jobs by the next year; the rest remained on the dole. Such colossal spending on unemployed Muslim immigrants makes taxpayers angry, and because they do not see their governments willing to cut down on those benefits, also “fearful” for the future of the Swedish welfare state. Europeans have other reasons to fear the Muslim influx. They fear Muslims who, with their astoundingly high rates of criminality, fill disproportionately the prisons of Western Europe (at great expense to the state), where they conduct prison da’wah, often resulting in “convenience conversions” of non-Muslim prisoners who are eager to “join the biggest gang” (that is, the Muslim gang) in order to insure their own security. They fear the willingness of their own societies to capitulate, by authorizing prayer rooms in schools and workplaces, by granting Muslims permission to interrupt work or class schedules in order to say some of their five daily prayers, by allowing the five-times-a-day Call to Prayer to be electronically amplified and broadcast, even though such a call is no longer necessary, given that a smartphone app can vibrate at the appointed time as a “silent” Call to Prayer. Europe’s Kuffars fear that Muslims may eventually come to dominate, through demographic jihad, the countries of Europe. All those who have these fears and are not paralyzed by them are exhibiting sober signs of sanity; it is the Pope’s denial of any problem with Islam that is unhinged.

Pope Francis’s attempts to dismiss “fear” as a legitimate reaction to the Muslim invasion of Europe only serve to confuse, and to undermine the morale of, the indigenous peoples of Western Europe. May Pope Francis be persuaded to take an early retirement, like his worthier predecessor Benedict, and when the white smoke next rises from the Sistine Chapel, let us hope it will signal the choice of a successor equal to the task, someone unafraid to fear the onslaught of Islam.

First published in Jihad Watch.

clear
Posted on 03/31/2018 12:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Saturday, 31 March 2018
Two members of Islamic State cell dubbed 'The Beatles' complain of losing UK citizenship
clear

From ITV News and The Telegraph

Two British (they once held British passports - they were not British, and NEVER English) members of the Islamic State, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey, who were allegedly part of a group of British jihadis dubbed 'The Beatles', have complained about having their UK citizenship revoked. Believed to be part of a cell which became notorious for beheading hostages, the two men spoke to the Associated Press from detention in Northern Syria, saying they can't get a fair trial after losing their citizenship.

The cell gained widespread media coverage for torturing and killing several hostages in 2014 and 2015, including American, British and Japanese journalists and aid workers. The beheadings of British aid worker David Haines and US journalist James Foley are among the crimes the group is said to have committed. 

One of them said the killings of captives was "regrettable" and could have been avoided.  Though they spoke of their membership in the Islamic State group, they did not admit to belonging to the cell or to have been involved in any of the kidnappings or killings. Elsheikh called the allegations "propaganda."

Elsheikh, whose family came to Britain from Sudan when he was a child, was a mechanic from White City in west London. Kotey, who is of Ghanaian and Greek-Cypriot descent and converted to Islam in his 20s, is from London's Paddington neighborhood.

Elsheikh traveled to Syria in 2012, initially joining al-Qaida's branch before moving on to IS, according to the US State Department's listing of the two men for terrorism sanctions. It said he "earned a reputation for waterboarding, mock executions and crucifixions while serving as an (IS) jailer." Kotey served as a guard for the execution cell and "likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding," the State Department said.

In the interview, the two men denounced the media for the spreading allegations of the "Beatles" cell, at one point depicting the accusations as concocted as a pretext to kill them with drone strikes in Syria. "No fair trial, when I am 'the Beatle' in the media. No fair trial," Elsheikh said.

They also denounced as "illegal" the British government's decision in February to strip them of citizenship. The revocation of citizenship exposes them to "rendition and torture," Elsheikh said, "being taken to any foreign land and treated in anyway and having nobody to vouch for you. When you have these two guys who don't even have any citizenship ...if we just disappear one day, where is my mom going to go and say where is my son," he said.

clear
Posted on 03/31/2018 3:11 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Friday, 30 March 2018
Turkish leaders: Islamic Takeover of Europe Inevitable
clear

by Hugh Fitzgerald


Alpaslan Kavaklioglu and Turkish President Erdogan

This is not about a warning from Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, Mario Salvini, Tommy Robinson, or Robert Spencer. It is, rather, a triumphant prediction of the inevitable Islamization of Europe, through demographic Jihad, made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and by the head of the Turkish Parliament’s Security and Intelligence Commission, Alparslan Kavakl?o?lu. Read what they have to say, and send it along to others. If you were not already alarmed, now would be a good time to start. But do not let that worry paralyze you. Instead, put it to good use.

Turkish leaders, including Muslim President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a member of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, are warning

Not “warning,” but triumphantly “predicting.”

the Christian world that an Islamic takeover of Europe is taking place – an indication that the continent that once boasted a majority of Christians is giving way to Muslims’ mass migration.

Alparslan Kavaklioglu, who serves under Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the head of the Turkish parliament’s Security and Intelligence Commission, insisted that Muslim dominance throughout the European continent is already spreading, claiming that it is just a matter of time before Europe is taken over by Muslims.

“The fortune and wealth of the world is moving from the West to the East,” Kavaklioglu recently declared, according to the Gatestone Institute. “Europe is going through a time that is out of the ordinary – its population is declining and aging, it has a very old population, so people coming from outside get the jobs there.”

Or receive generous welfare benefits, as so many Muslim migrants do.

Kavaklioglu then laid out the evidence that Europe is already in the midst of a Muslim takeover.

“But Europe has this problem: All of the newcomers are Muslim – from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey,” he alerted Europeans. “Those who come from these places are Muslim. It is now at such a level that the most popular name in Brussels, Belgium is Mohammed. The second most popular name is Melih [Malih] and the third one is Ay?e [Aisha].”

The Muslim Turkish leader gave his take on what is on the near horizon for most of the area that was once the former Ottoman Turkish Empire in the not-too-distant past.

“[With this continuing trend], the Muslim population will outnumber the Christian population in Europe,” Kavaklioglu stressed. “This… has increased the nationalistic, xenophobic and anti-Islam rhetoric there. Hence, marginal, small parties have started to get large numbers of votes… But there is no remedy for it. Europe will be Muslim. We will be effective there, Allah willing. I am sure of that.”

In a commentary for the Gatestone Institute, Turkish journalist Usay Bulut, who is now based in Washington, D.C., pointed out that Kavakl?o?lu’s pro-Muslim jargon is similar to that of Erdo?an’s.

“Kavaklioglu is not the first Turkish official to stress the importance of population growth,” Bulut noted. “In 2009, President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an – who was prime minister at the time – called on the public to have at least three children per family. The greater our numbers, he said, ‘the stronger we will be.’ Since then, Erdo?an has been trying to encourage Turkish nationals to multiply.”

A strengthened plea was heard again by Erdo?an in 2013.

“We need a young and dynamic population,” insisted the leader of Turkey, whose population is 99-percent Muslim. “Right now, the West is in trouble. But we do not want to put Turkey in the same trouble. I am calling on my country through mothers: Do not take this sensitivity of ours lightly. We need to make this widespread, in waves. We need to make this happen. The [value] of this cannot be measured with money or any other physical wealth.”

Just last year, Turkey’s president encouraged his fellow Muslims throughout Europe to overrun the once-Christian nations.

“The places where you work and live are your homelands and new countries now,” Erdogan assured Muslim migrants in Europe in 2017, according to the Gatestone Institute. “Drive the best cars. Live in the most beautiful houses. Make five children – not just three. For you are the future of Europe.”

Current conquests undertaken by Turkey in decades past and today indicate that it is his aim for Muslims to be the norm – not the exception – in Europe.

Turkey Islamized northern Cyprus through a military invasion in 1974, [but] to Islamize the much more powerful European continent … Turkey has been promoting demographic – rather than military – jihad,” Bulut pointed out. “Yesterday, while many Europeans are still pilloried for viewing mass migration from Muslim-majority countries as a threat to Western culture – and are still accused of ‘xenophobia,’ ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘fear-mongering’ – the city of Afrin, in the Kurdish area of Syria, fell to Turkey.”

According to a quote published by Cumhuriyet.com, Erdo?an did his homework on how to invade new lands.

“Economic growth happens in parallel with population growth,” Erdo?an said, as reported by the foreign news site. “The population of Greek Cypriots is more than one million. Just make your own population grow.”

Tactics of the past have given way to modern methods, as violence has been substituted with a buildup of seemingly innocuous mosques all over the European continent – just as the proliferation of mosques is seen in the United States.

“The Turkish military terrorized the indigenous Greek Cypriots, causing them to flee to the south,” Bulut noted. “The Turkish government then imported thousands of illegal settlers from Turkey to northern Cyprus, to change the demographic structure of the illegally occupied territories. This attempt by Ankara to guarantee that Muslims outnumber Christians globally has been accompanied by the erection of mosques – ‘from Europe to Africa, from the Balkans to the Central Asia’ – by Turkey’s government-funded Diyanet (Religious Affairs General Directorate).”

In just several years – from 2010 to 2016 – Europe’s Muslim population jumped from 19.5 million (3.8 percent) to 25.8 million (4.9 percent), according to the Pew Forum.

If Turkey’s leadership is correct, just a couple of decades is all it will take to make Muslims’ European takeover complete.

“Kavaklioglu claimed Europe’s fate will be sealed within 20 years,” WND noted. “He said the greatest obstacle to the successful Islamization of the U.S. is President Trump and his alliance with Israel.”

If Turkey’s leadership is correct, just a couple of decades is all it will take to make Muslims’ European takeover complete.

“Kavaklioglu claimed Europe’s fate will be sealed within 20 years,” WND noted. “He said the greatest obstacle to the successful Islamization of the U.S. is President Trump and his alliance with Israel.”

Top atheist fears Islamic takeover

Fearing that the Muslim invasion of Europe is more than just a fading trend or hot air spewed by Muslim leaders, one of the world’s foremost atheists, Richard Dawkins – a best-selling author and evolutionary biologist – alerted his followers on social media that celebrating the demise of Christianity in Europe is not wise.

“Before we rejoice at the death throes of the relatively benign Christian religion, let’s not forget Hilaire Belloc’s menacing rhyme: ‘Always keep a-hold of nurse – For fear of finding something worse,’” Dawkins posted on Twitter Wednesday.

Impressing [sic] his warning, Dawkins actually lamented the decrease in number of those adhering to Christianity – a faith he has relentlessly attacked for decades – and feared the ramifications of the skyrocketing numbers of Muslim youth. He noted an article published by The Guardian, ’Christianity as default is gone’: The rise of a non-Christian Europe,’ that showed research indicating that a dozen European nations now have a majority of young people who do not identify with any religious faith.

A professor of theology and religion at St. Mary’s University in London, Stephen Bullivant talked about the burgeoning numbers of Muslims in Europe.

“The Muslim birthrate is higher than the general population, and they have much higher [religious] retention rates,” Bullivant told The Guardian.

A self-professed “equal opportunity religion basher,” Dawkins has come under fire for his hard take on Islam, as well as on Christianity.

“Dawkins has previously voiced concern over the decline of the Christian faith, ‘in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse,’ which he echoed in his tweet,” Fox News reported.

According to the Christian Post, Dawkins recently warned that the religion of Islam is much more dangerous than any other faith on the planet.

“It’s tempting to say all religions are bad, and I do say all religions are bad, but it’s a worse temptation to say all religions are equally bad because they’re not,” Dawkins told The Christian Post. If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world, it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam.”

For that commonsensical and truthful remark, Dawkins deserves our thanks.

And in a different way, two malignant and disturbing Turks, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Alparslan Kavaklioglu, have helped by saying what they believe to be true, about the inevitability of a Muslim Europe, thereby making it harder for the ostriches among us to still keep their heads firmly in the sand.

First published in Jihad Watch.

clear
Posted on 03/30/2018 8:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Friday, 30 March 2018
Apply The Political Rules of the Game
clear

by Michael Curtis

In his brilliant film, La Regle du Jeu, often considered one of the greatest film ever made, the director Jean Renoir, tackling a serio-comedy of manners in a French upper class setting of the late 1930s, discusses the rules of the game, the mores that specify proper behavior, though they may be applied differently. Each clique in the world has its own customs, mores, and language. Breakage of those rules is seen as a moral transgression as well as outrageous cheating.

When should rules be enforced and who should be punished? Realistically, political and official organizations like human beings lie and cheat, tell white lies, utter what Winston Churchill once called "terminologicaly inexactitudes," in conduct that contradicts generally accepted ethical codes but is not a cause for alarm or condemnaton. This was not, however, the case with the breakage of the rules of the game by the Australian cricket team playing in Cape Town in the third test match with South Africa. Australia was losing and in an act of despersation deliberately tampered with the ball to get advantsge in the game. Three members of the team conspired to alter the ball by using sandpaper to change its trajectory to make the ball swing more than normal, making it more difficult to hit. 

Cricketers are supposed to be role models, and not cheaters. On March 25, 2018 the three players of the test team,  Steve Smith the captain, David Warner, deputy captain, and Cameron Bancroft a  batsman were sent home in disgrace as a result of behaving  "not in the laws of the game," euphemism for cheating. Two were banned from playing for a year and the third for 9 months by the official group Cricket Australia. It was a bitter experience for Smith, the "golden boy of cricket," whose test batting average of 947, the second best ever after the immortal Don Bradman with 961, earns him the title of the top ranked cricket test player in the world.

Cheating of this kind is not unknown. A particularly infamous incident in the U.S. was the scandal concerning the "golden boy" of football, quarterback Tom Brady who was accused of conspiring to deflate footballs used in the AFL Championship game in January 2015, and who was suspended for four games in 2016 for violating NFL policy on integrity of the game. The Australian case was more meangingful since cricket is the national sport, important in the image of Australian national identity. It is said that the position of cricket captain is second in importance only to that of the prime minister.

The rules of the game are important for sport, why not for politics? The Australian captain confessed his responsibility for cheating and apologized. The difference in political behavior is the unwillingness to admit breakage of the rules, or indeed even refusal to admit that they exist. Many cases can illustrate this but a few examples can suffice.

First is Russia, now accused by more than a dozen countries for being responsible for use of a military grade nerve agent in an attempt to murder a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Salisbury on March 4, 2018. The poison is now understood to have been applied to the front door of their house. Russian authorities, masters of moral gymnastics, persist in denying any responsibility, protest against the decisions to expel Russian diplomats, and threaten to retaliate against the actions of more than 20 countries and organizations in expelling more than 150 Russian diplomats and intelligence officers.

Russian assertions are shameless. On one hand, they say that Russia does not have any information on the lives of Russian citizens on the territory of Britain, on the other hand they know the British intelligence special services  played  a role in the poisoning. They hold that the British authorities have adopted a prejudicial, biased, and hypocritical stance. They argue those authorities have acted at the expense of common sense, rules of civilized interstate dialogue, and principles of international law.

Russia denies the use of nerve gases, including Novichok, more deadly than VX, that target part of the body's nervous system, though the agent is made in the Russian lab Yasenevo, run by SVR .    

Britain was slow to deal with the 14 suspicious deaths in the last decade of various Russians living in the country. Now the UK has begun to implement the rules of the game. It is beginning a counter offensive against fake news by Russia as well as terrorists on social media to combat propaganda, misinformation, and extremist material. Prime Minister Theresa May is aware that there are 2,800 bots, computer programs that generate posts on social media, and at the least can cause disarray and confusion. Every part of the government and every agency will participate in examining these.

The UK is also examining, as are US authorities, the extent of money laundering by anonymous owners in the country. According to the US Treasury, some $300 billion is laundered in the US every year. Estimates for UK suggest it is $125 billion. In both cases, it is probable that the largest share is held by Russians, including property transactions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Unexpectedly, we have just learned that the rules of the game apply in the Far East. The meeting on March 26-27 in Beijing of Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean President Kim Jong Un may have been harmonious and intimate, but the Chinese leader reminded his guest of the rules. The elder generations of leaders of the two countries maintained cordial relstions, trusted, and supported each other, and "wrote a fine story" in the history of public relations. But Kim had broken the rules since he came to power in 2011. He had purged officials close to Beijing; one of them was his uncle Kim Jong-nam whom he had murdered by having him smeared with VBX in Malaysia. The North Korean also had conducted weapons tests on Chinese holidays and events.

In Asia educational rules are disregarded with frequent cheating at exams in India as examiners are not interested in honest behavior or are being paid off. Question papers are leaked, examiners dictate the answers while 10 million students take the tests for the 600,000 public funded university seats. Democratic India has misplaced the rules of the game.

In the Middle East the Palestinians also have been unwilling to recognize rules of the game. Two instances need  be mentioned. One is that the U.S. Taylor Force Act suspends aid  to the Palestinian Authority as long as it pays stipends both to the families of terorists killed while attacking Israelis, and to captured terrorists. Yet the PA still pays directly to the families, providing $343 million, 7% of the PA annual budget. A second issue concerns Hamas which is organizing a March of 100,000 Gazans to storm the Israeli security fence around Gaza. This is supposed to signify the return of Gaza "refugees" to their homes though in effect it may be the heralding of a third Intifada. Left unsaid is the non existence of more than a few "refugees". A refugee born on the same day of the creation of Israel on May 14, 1948 would be almost 70.

A third persisting issue in which the rules of the game are absent is the flagrant antisemitism in the British Labour Party, and the inabiliy or unwilliness of the leader Jeremy Corbyn io deal with it, to condemn forthrightly manifestions of this disease, and to expel from the party those responsible for it. Since he became leader in 2015 more than 300 cases of antisemitism by Labour Party members have been referred to Corbyn. In recent weeks a number of breakage of rules have appeared. An MP named David Lammy, one of the few black Labour MPs, was attacked by  leftists in the party who want to deselect him from Parliament because he expressed solidarity with the Jewish population in his constituency. He had attended a rally with the theme "Enough is Enough."

It gets worse. A few Labour websites have proclaimed that it was the Jews, in the form of the Israeli Mossad, who were responsible for the Salisbury poisoning.

A former mayor, the Pakistani born Salim Mulla, of Blackburn declared that Israel was behind the recent school shouting in the U.S and behind ISIS. Worst of all, a more prominent person, Christine Shawcroft, member of the Labour executive committee, head of the "disputes panel" and director of the Trotskyist group Momentum defended two despicable characters:one was a former LP candidate who had posted on Facebook article denying the Holocaust. The candidate Alan Bull, had been suspended for posting the article that was entitled, "The International Red Cross confirms the Holocaust of 6 millions Jews is a hoax." The other person is a former mayor of the London borough of Tower Hamlets, a Bangladeshi born British politiciam Lutfur Rahman, who was dismissed from his office for election fraud.

Perhaps we need a new formula, a film, a documentary, even a musical, to explain the meaning and significance of the rules of the political game. Our leaders must stress the importance of the principles that uphold moral conduct, and punish without qualification the transgressors who break the rules.

clear
Posted on 03/30/2018 6:57 AM by Michael Curtis
clear
Thursday, 29 March 2018
Do You Agree with Pope Francis? There is No Hell?
clear
clear
Posted on 03/29/2018 1:09 PM by Rebecca Bynum
clear
Thursday, 29 March 2018
On the pointless death of Arnaud Beltrame
clear

Aldo Sterone, is an Algerian-French auto pundit, who is seen in a short video at GOV  talking about the recent Islamic terror attack in Trèbes.

This is the transcript of Part 2 in which he makes two important points:

First he suggests that this horrific event, one among many of recent years, is being turned into a kind of ‘good news story’ about heroism thereby deflecting anger about the reality, and second on the concept of honor which he shows to be completely absent in Islamic thought – In other words you can’t really act with honor if your opponent doesn’t even have the concept of honor. Below is the transcript in readable form:

Good day my friends. This morning I learned with a lot of sadness about the death of the officer of the gendarmerie.  Monsieur Arnaud Beltrame, who was a lieutenant colonel of the gendarmerie, and who gave his life to be exchanged for a hostage, a woman, in fact; and what makes me sad as well is to see the politicians talk about “his honorable gesture”. Since when are those politicians aware of the meaning of the word “honor”?

So today they are trying to —sorry for being the wake-up caller — but what I find out today is that they are trying to — by this heroic act, on which they are focusing all the attention— they are in fact trying to transform this story into a “happy ending”, literally. That means that they know that people have had enough of negative stories, and if from time to time there is a heroic act, or something out of the ordinary which allows for them to believe one more time in humanity, then they should be served that. And then it helps to make them forget the absolutely disturbing realities, which they don’t want to talk about.

For example, the failure of the French strategy in the fight against terrorism. As if such a thing even exists! Because I don’t call “fighting terrorism” having the police write down the [names of] the potential terrorists, put them in a file which they call an S-file, and then wait until the terrorist acts and kills people. If you call that a “strategy of the anti-terrorist fight”, sorry, you’re not there yet. That was my first point.

Secondly, I would like to remind you one thing: you know there was this guy, [in France] who was called public enemy number one. He wore glasses and he drove a large BMW. I think his name was Mesrine. Jacques Mesrine. Voilà; I remember the name now. Jacques Mesrine. And Jacques Mesrine — I saw a documentary about him, and he was at some point surrounded by cops; he was in a flat in Paris, he was surrounded by cops and he asked their chief to come, to come upstairs; so, the chief arrives. He enters the apartment in which he was surrounded. Mesrine serves him champagne. They drink, they drink a glass each, and then Mesrine decides to follow him and he surrenders to the police. If you watch even movies of that time, fictions, of the time, they presented the criminals as having a certain “honor code”. At the time there was one.

With the Islamists, I would like to tell you, I thought that the authorities understood that since the time Islamists have been attacking France, I thought it was a fact that was understood, but in fact I can see that it’s not [understood] yet. The Islamists, when they go to commit an attack, it’s with intention of killing and being killed. And they strictly don’t have any honor “code” in this story.

I invite you to watch a video, an abominable one made about three weeks ago, where for one hour I’m reading a book, (I’ll put it in the description) a book by which the bearded ones, who train the jihadists, are inspired. But not only that. It’s a book you can find in the universities of the Islamic world, in the mosques, in the courts, all that; it’s a book which is relatively known, but it’s an extremely important book for those who study the doctrine and those who are in charge of communicating the doctrine. Volume thirteen, page forty, is about I brought you, just, voilà, this is the first page, and this is page forty which I read at about 1:45 of the video I told you about. Well, what is it about?

I can tell you from the memory, I don’t need to look at the text. I’ll tell you in Arabic and then I’ll translate it. So, what is it about?  At the time when two armies would meet to fight there was always at the beginning, at the beginning of the battle, it was a custom that one person would come forward from the adversary camp and said to Muslims:

“Send me one of your men! I will fight with him man to man!” So, they would meet one to one and they would fight.  So sometimes there would be one duel, two duels, three duels; depending on the motivation of both sides. What does this text, this theological text of reference, tell us? What does it say? It says:

If a non-believer comes forward to ask for a duel, man to man, sword against sword, or fist against fist, or whatever, it is authorized, it is lawful —speaking in the Islamic terms — to kill him with a shot of an arrow. Because he is a non-believer, a mushrik, as he is described exactly in the text, which means he’s an associator [with Jews and Christians]. And there is no word to give him [and to keep].

So, [you see] cowardice is totally permitted. This means that if this group of gendarmes was faced for example with bandits surrounded in a bank, who demanded, I don’t know, who demanded a getaway car and the possibility of leaving with their booty and a hostage, at that point you could still negotiate. You could still try to talk to them man to man; if they held a woman hostage, you could tell them: “Listen, let the woman go. Let her go. We have all day, we will do it man to man; I’ll come, I’ll replace her, everything will be all right.” You could have had this conversation! You could!

 But with the Islamist terrorists IT DOESN’T WORK. They won’t appreciate the gesture. They won’t enter in a treaty with you; they won’t give you their word and respect it. They won’t talk to you man to man. There is no notion of “honor”. You will never manage to put them into this logic of “man’s honor” even if it was a thug’s [honor]. It doesn’t exist where they come from. Explicitly, they have the explicit duty of not doing that with you; of not respecting their word given to you.

So, ignoring this —if we go and recount the story in an extremely factual way —The French state offered one of its men, a lieutenant colonel in this particular case, offered him in holocaust, offering him in sacrifice to a terrorist. That’s all. I know that there was a story, a back story. But the facts are there: the French State offered one of its men from the constabulary to a terrorist who then assassinated him.

So what I would advise you, what I would advise you today, is to go and be trained by the Algerians, to be trained by the Russians, whom you hate, because the media told you that Putin is an abominable monster who kills the terrorists, or the “moderate rebels”, my bad, sorry. I invite you to be trained by the Israelis, by the Americans. I’m citing for you nations that don’t offer their men to terrorists.

Today, today, this country, which we call France, is sending us an image such that you ask yourself if they are really like that, or if there’s someone doing this on purpose. A similar submission to the terrorists is unheard of anywhere else in the world. No country in the world is submissive like that; I’m sorry.

clear
Posted on 03/29/2018 11:30 AM by Sally Ross
clear
Thursday, 29 March 2018
University withdraws job offer because of candidate's 'abhorrent' right wing views
clear

From the Falmouth Packet

In February, Dr George Whale was offered a job as a research fellow in the field of digital creativity, but last Friday the university's HR department withdrew the offer when they found out about his political activities online.

Dr Whale said: "You have a situation here where an employer is looking at the history of what you do in your own time and saying 'we don't want you to work here . . . Even if people don't like my opinions, freedom of speech demands that unpopular opinions be heard."

He said: “By excluding educated dissenting, i.e. non-left-liberal, voices, (universities) are limiting high-level debate and discussion of some of the most pressing issues of our time, such as mass immigration, Islamisation, globalisation. If the academic elites find my views and those of others like me so deplorable, and are so confident of their own moral and intellectual correctness, then why are they so damn terrified of engaging with us?”

In 2015, Dr Whale stood as the candidate for Lewisham West and Penge for the anti-Islamisation party Liberty GB, which he had co-founded two years before. Liberty GB describes itself on Facebook as "a patriotic, anti-Islamisation party promoting Christian civilisation, Western freedoms and British culture", but its focus is opposition to the spread of Islam.

Last year, the party's leader Paul Weston made international headlines when he was arrested for quoting Winston Churchill on the steps of Winchester Guildhall.

In an email sent to Dr Whale, Mark Smalley, the university's head of human resources, said: "During our pre-employment checks we have undertaken a search of the world-wide web and have found publicly available (and readily accessible) information associating you with anti-Islamic and anti-migrant views that, both in terms of the views themselves and the way they are expressed on-line, are incompatible with the values and policies of the university, particularly those pertaining to equality, diversity and inclusion. . . If the university were to become publicly associated with this material by employing you, ... there is a high risk of serious reputational damage to the university."

Replying to the university's email, Mr Whale wrote: "It is, of course, no secret that British universities are dominated by the hard left, that seeks at every opportunity to enforce and impose its intolerant, anti-English dogma and drive out alternative voices. This explains why at least 80 percent of UK academics are leftists, and free speech is disappearing from academia."

“Everything I have done and said has been within the law - I do not have a criminal record. Moreover, I reserve the right to voice unorthodox, politically inconvenient opinions. Many gave their lives to defend this fundamental freedom.”

Dr Whale believes that the university retracted his job offer so as not to upset the student and lecturer population. He said: "I think it was just a practical measure, they were worried about the reaction they would get from students. There's a gross inbalance inside the universities. It's a very Soviet tactic, to try and silence your opinions."

Dr Whale holds a PhD in Creativity and Cognition, an MA in Computing and Design, and a BA in Fine Art, and as well as his political writings has published numerous academic works about digital design. He has held research positions in universities such as the University of Westminster, and Queen Mary, University of London, but says he has been unable to find work in academia over the last few years because of his political beliefs.

clear
Posted on 03/29/2018 10:41 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Thursday, 29 March 2018
Pressured by Public Opinion, Geneva Opens An Investigation of Tariq Ramadan
clear

by Hugh Fitzgerald

“Geneva launches Ramadan school probe,” SwissInfo, March 21, 2018:

Canton Geneva authorities have called in two experts to conduct an external investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct alleged to have been perpetrated by Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan against pupils he taught in local schools.

The role of the canton’s education department in the affair will also be probed following allegations that some students had raised the alarm between 1984 and 2004 when the Islamic scholar taught in the area.

Ramadan is currently in prison in Paris facing three accusations of rape. In November a Swiss newspaper reported allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct by four unnamed Swiss women. He denies the allegations and is currently on leave of absence from Oxford University.

The Geneva investigation has been launched in the wake of mounting public pressure for answers. Earlier this month, a letter signed by some well-known figures in the French-speaking part of Switzerland was sent to the cantonal authorities demanding that action be taken.

The education department said it could not launch an internal inquiry as Ramadan no longer held a post in Geneva. [!] A preliminary report from the newly formed external inquiry is expected towards the end of this year.

The two investigators are being granted access to all relevant documents relating to the case, while current and former education department employees would be released from confidentiality obligations, the authorities said.

Here are a few questions for the Canton of Geneva:

1) Why did it take a public outcry by “well-known figures in the French-speaking part of Switzerland” to get the Canton of Geneva to open an investigation into Tariq Ramadan’s sexual behavior with four girls he taught in a Swiss high school?

2) If it is true that “students [high school students of Tariq Ramadan] had raised the alarm between 1984 and 2004 when the Islamic scholar taught in the area,” how could twenty years of such alarm-raising continue without any internal investigation?

3) What were these “confidentiality obligations” concerning Ramadan that education department employees in the Canton of Geneva are to be released from only now?

4) Why does the Canton of Geneva estimate it will take until the end of the year, 2018, for this external investigation to be complete — that is, not for another 9 1/2  months?

5) Is there any evidence of pressure being brought to bear to delay (so that the statute of limitations would apply), or even to prevent,  an investigation into Tariq Ramadan by the Canton of Geneva? In particular, has there been any pressure from any Islamic group, especially one associated with the Gulf Arabs who now own so many high-end properties in Geneva, Montreux, Lausanne, Vevey?

First published in Jihad Watch.

clear
Posted on 03/29/2018 5:19 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Thursday, 29 March 2018
Italo-Moroccan ISIS militant nabbed in Turin,'set to attack'
clear

Arrests in Italy. From ANSA, Associated Press via ABC News and Reuters

(ANSA) - Rome, March 28 - An Italo-Moroccan accused of belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS) Islamist terror group was arrested in Turin on Wednesday and police said he had been planning to use trucks for attacks and seeking 'lone wolves' to carry them out. Elmahdi Halili, 23, the author of the first ISIS propaganda message in Italian, was captured at the end of a probe by anti-terrorism police in the northwestern Italian city.

At the moment of his arrest, Halili reportedly shouted "Tyrants! I'm going to prison with my head held high".

Turin Police Chief Francesco Messina said "he is a very motivated individual, with no intention of repenting. We had to act immediately to eliminate this threat: Halili could have carried out attacks. He had moved from self-indoctrination to trying to contact others, 'lone wolves', who could carry out terrorist actions, and he was weighing how to use knives and how to prepare trucks for attacks,"  In some cases he met these lone wolves, Messina said, who were Italians converted to Islam, Ghanaians and Moroccans, often already known to police for other crimes.

The head of the DIGOS special security police in Turin, Carlo Ambra, who coordinated the operation, said "it was time to intervene. We couldn't afford to let him identify a target to strike. There was a need to act immediately".  Ambra said the operation was called 'Love and Hate' because "Halili said that Islam is a balance between these two feelings: love for believers and hate for unbelievers".

I don't know if these further arrests are of the 'lone wolves' that Halili was trying to form into a pack, or other jihadists.

Italian police say they have arrested five people connected to Anis Amri, the Tunisian who carried out the 2016 Berlin Christmas market truck attack and was later killed in a shootout with police in Italy.

In a tweet Thursday, police said one of the five was believed to have procured the fake Italian identity papers that allowed Amri, a failed asylum-seeker, to move around Europe. The arrests were the latest in a marked uptick in recent police operations targeting suspected extremists.

clear
Posted on 03/29/2018 5:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Wednesday, 28 March 2018
Tommy Robinson suspended from Twitter - possibly permanently
clear

Most of the newspapers have the story within the last hour. 

Tommy Robinson - ex-leader of the English Defence League - has been banned from Twitter.

His account is marked as being "suspended", but the BBC has learned that the US company has decided to permanently revoke his access.

Twitter declined to comment, but it is understood the decision was taken after Mr Robinson was judged to have breached its "hateful conduct" policy. It had previously temporarily suspended the activist several times.

In addition, Twitter has acted against another account - @tommysnewspage - which had also been associated with the 35-year-old.

Mr Robinson continues to operate a Facebook page, a YouTube account and a personal website.

Robinson told Breitbart London exclusively on Wednesday: “I saw this coming. They’ve been building up to it for some time. It’s coming from politicians who have been threatening social media firms, and telling them who they want on their platforms and who they don’t.

Robinson made explicit reference to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who recently travelled to Austin, Texas, to threaten social media firms for allowing opinions contrary to his on their platform.

The author of Mohammed’s Quran added: “The establishment wants to be able to say things about us without us being able to say things back, without being able to defend ourselves or explain our positions. This is how indoctrination works. Now people will only get one side of the story on Twitter.”

I expected the Hope not Hate funding Mirror newspaper to be jubilant. But the comments are most critical at this attack on free speech. The best rated comment (thus far) sums it up

"What about the jihadists Twitter accounts they are still allowed one rule for one and another rule for anything politically correct."

clear
Posted on 03/28/2018 10:55 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Wednesday, 28 March 2018
The United States Must Leave the UN Human Rights Council
clear

by Michael Curtis

By now it is clear that the UN Human Rights Council, created in 2006 with noble intentions on the basis of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is one of the international organizations that has little interest in the real violations of human rights in the world. The majority of the 47 members of the UNHRC have shown little concern for their mandate, to be responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe, for addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them.  How sanguine could one be about a group that includes Cuba, Congo, Burundi, Angola, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela, China, UAR, and Pakistan.

Moreover, the geographical distribution of membership is weighted in favor of Africa and Asia: African states 13; Asia and Pacific 13; Latin America and Caribbean 8; Western Europe and others 7; and Eastern European 6. Membership can also be evaluated in the light of the Global Gender Gap report of the World Economic Forum that lists the gap in 144 countries: almost at the bottom are Pakistan, Qatar, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, members of UNHRC.

It is not too strong to argue that UNHRC has been perverted to such a degree that it is a useless and worthless organization, hypocritical and skilled in its formulation of double standards for different countries. Those double standards mostly relate to the disproportionate amount of time and number of critical resolutions relating to the State of Israel. As of 2017, Israel was condemned 78 times, compared with peace loving Syria 29 times, friendly North Korea 9 times and Iran 6 times. Most non-democratic states, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China, have never been condemned.

Every observer recognizes that the agenda of the Council is biased against Israel, virtually transforming it into an international anti-Israeli platform. Only one country is permanently on the UNHRC agenda, Israel. Every March, UNHRC spends two sessions to debate human rights violations in the countries of the world. and one whole session devoted just to Israel

What is most disappointing in the operation of UNHRC is that the democratic states have been reluctant to end the anti-Israeli bias, but have acquiesced in it, often by abstaining. The continuation and the extent of the bias was fully displayed by the meeting of the 37th session of UNHRC on March 23, 2018 which approved eight critical resolutions, one each on the peace-loving countries, North Korea, Iran, and Syria, which evidently have not troubled the world, and five on Israel that it apparently considers a menace to the world.

It is worth looking at the five specific anti-Israeli resolutions, to see the extent of the hypocrisy and bias of UNHRC.  Details have been drawn from the analysis of Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch.

The first is a resolution drafted by Syria and submitted by the Islamic group. UNHRC is deeply concerned at the suffering of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan due to the systematic and continuous violation of their fundamental and human rights by Israel since the Israeli occupation of 1967. The resolution was accepted, 25-14 and 7 abstentions.

A second resolution called on all states to ensure their obligations of non-recognition, non-aid or assistance with regard to the serious breaches of “peremptory norms of international law” by Israel. In particular, it referred to the acquisition of territory by force, and called for cooperation to reverse Israel’s illegal policies and practices.  This was passed by 43-2 (Australia and U.S.) and 1 abstention. Besides the U.S., Australia, a new member of UNHRC, was the only country that voted against this and all the other anti-Israeli resolutions.

The third resolution expressed grave concern at the continuing violation of international humanitarian law and the systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power. This agreed by 41 countries to three disagreements (Australia, Togo, U.S.).

The fourth called on all states not to provide any assistance to be used specifically in connection with the settlements in the territories occupied since 1967. This included financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements, provision of services, and other economic and financial activities benefitting Israeli settlements. It passed 34 to 4 (Australia, Hungary, Togo, U.S.), and eight abstentions.

The fifth resolution, somewhat incoherent, called on everybody to implement the recommendations in three reports: the independent commission of inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict (written by William Schabas); the independent international mission on the implication of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, and cultural rights of the Palestinian people; and the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone report). Most important was non-involvement in the provision of arms to Israel.  It passed by 27-4-15, and the majority included Belgium.

Interestingly regarding this resolution, left unsaid were two factors. One was that Schabas had worked as a legal consultant of the PLO and his report cannot be considered neutral. The other was that the report by Judge Richard Goldstone was critical, but in April 2010 he retracted many of the charges he made in it.

In the voting, Australia and the U.S. by voting against all the five resolutions demonstrated political sanity in this theater of the absurd. Surprisingly, Germany voted in favor of three, and the UK in favor of two resolutions.

The UNHRC has been obsessed with the question of Israel and disputed or occupied territory, and Israeli settlements. In September 2014 it approved, by 32 votes and 15 abstentions, a data base of companies doing business in areas under Israeli “occupation” including East Jerusalem and Golan Heights. In February 2018, it reported on 206 companies with ties to settlements, in effect a backlist of Israeli and multinational companies active in disputed territory, and really advocacy of BDS.

The biased resolutions of UNHRC are not simply obstacles to any hopes for progress for negotiations to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict and are thus counter-productive. They are also an obstacle to any real discussion of violations of human rights in the world, and are therefore a defeat for anyone interested in ending these violations.

The UNHRC resolutions have no enforcement mechanism but they are a disgrace to impartial analysis and do not reflect any perspective for a just and lasting solution of the conflict. U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley has been strongly critical of the UNHRC, has said that U.S. patience with it is not unlimited, and has threatened to leave. The time to leave is now. President Donald Trump, in disappointment with international organizations, has already quit UNESCO, and cut UN funding. He should now withdraw the U.S. from UNHRC.

clear
Posted on 03/28/2018 7:54 AM by Michael Curtis
clear
Wednesday, 28 March 2018
The Strange Case of Mitsutoki Shigeta
clear

by Theodore Dalrymple

You have to be of a certain age to remember how important the Domino Theory was to American foreign policy in the 1950s and 60s.

This was the theory according to which all the countries of Southeast Asia (and beyond) would fall to communism if one of them did so. It was therefore vital to prevent any of them from falling.

It is difficult to assess the worth or otherwise of this theory. Counterfactual history is hardly a science, or even a branch of knowledge. Who can say what would have happened in Southeast Asia if the Americans had acted differently, according to some other geopolitical theory? It is not even possible definitively to decide whether the policy followed was a success or failure. Even at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and untold destruction, to say nothing of the economic cost to America itself, it did not prevent the spread of communism in Indochina. On the other hand, communism spread no further, nor did it last indefinitely. Whether its durance was longer or shorter because of the war will remain forever a matter of speculation.

The Domino Theory seemed to have held in Eastern Europe, though in reverse. Leonid Brezhnev enunciated a doctrine of his own, namely that a country, once communist, could not return to capitalism (a Marxist equivalent of the Islamic doctrine that once Islamic, a country could not revert, which is one of the reasons why Spain, or al-Andalus, looms so large in the mind of fanatics). But it was obvious that once an Eastern European country had seceded from communism, the holdouts — Romania and Albania — could not long survive.

Recently there has been another kind of contagion in Southeast Asia, that of surrogate motherhood. Rich foreigners, for some reason unable to have children, have sought surrogate mothers, first in Thailand, then Cambodia when the practice was prohibited in Thailand, then Laos when it was prohibited in Cambodia. There had been a domino effect in prohibition.

A case has recently been settled in Bangkok (after 4 years of legal wrangling) in which a young Japanese billionaire, Mitsutoki Shigeta, who paid thirteen mothers in Thailand to have his children before the prohibition came into force, has been declared their sole legal parent. His initial explanation of his rather extraordinary behavior was that he had political ambitions and wanted to create voters for himself, though this, if meant seriously, would have suggested that he wasn’t very good at arithmetic; but the judgment took into account the fact that he was certainly in a position to bring the children up in comfort, if not happiness.

The surrogate mothers were poor women from the countryside and Shigeta paid them about $15,000 each to bear his child. This was surrogacy on an almost industrial scale, on the production-line model. In awarding sole parenthood to Shigeta, the court took notice of the fact that he was in a position to give the children a good upbringing, at least from the material point of view, and that he was the only parent who had actually wanted the children.

Most people’s immediate reaction to this story is one at least of distaste, and even of disgust. On the other hand, they do not find it easy to construct an entirely rational reason for their instinctive feeling that people (and particularly someone like Shigeta) should not be permitted to behave in this way. It is, in fact, rather easier to construct the opposite argument.

Thirteen women, who were not coerced into agreement, were enabled to accumulate a capital sum that would probably otherwise have been beyond them to accumulate. It would give them the opportunity to start a small business, perhaps; and if you argued that they were coerced by their economic circumstances into agreeing to Shigeta’s whim, you are in effect arguing against free will.

In a sense, everyone is coerced by his circumstances, for no one lives, acts or takes decisions in no circumstances whatsoever that are not of his choosing; the degree of coercion differs, no doubt, but it was never alleged that Shigeta held a gun to the women’s heads. He tempted rather than coerced them; and probably (though I have no evidence of this) the women succumbed to the temptation with the agreement of others around them. The situation, then, was the product of free human choice.

Whether the thirteen children brought into this world in this unusual fashion will be happy or emotionally well-cared for must be a matter of pure speculation. As far as I know, no one has ever behaved in precisely this way before, and so there can be no evidence, even merely probabilistic, either way. In any case, we do not insist on parents guaranteeing their children a happy life before granting them a licence to reproduce. Such a remedy would be far worse than the disease of bad parenting that it is supposed to cure.

Moreover, it is unlikely that Shigeta’s example will be followed by many people. He is clearly a strange man, for only someone very strange could even have thought (I was about to say conceived) of such a mode of conduct. He doesn’t pose a threat to society, Thai, Japanese, or any other. Indeed, Japan is suffering from so low a birth rate that the accession of thirteen children to it might be counted a blessing.

Such are the arguments in favour of permitting people to behave as Shigeta and his surrogate mothers behaved, yet I think that many people would be left unsatisfied by them. Their instinct would tell them that this is not the way humans should behave, that in some way not easily definable it was turning humans into objects merely to meet whimsical desires and instrumentalising human life: and this would be so even if everything turned out happily for all concerned, and the surrogate mothers and consequent children were all treated well.

There is a conflict between the Promethean view of life, that it should be entirely without limits (except, perhaps, those suggested by a utilitarian ethic), and the view of life that accepts limitations that are neither of our own devising nor rationally arguable but only agreed by instinct and tradition. My own view is in unstable equilibrium between the two. I find it difficult to be entirely consistent.

First published in the Library of Law and Liberty.

clear
Posted on 03/28/2018 7:03 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
clear
Wednesday, 28 March 2018
Will and Haass vs. Trump
clear

What we have here is a failure to appreciate the president.

by Conrad Black

It is distressing to see my friend of nearly 40 years, George Will, writing such words of frenzied despair about the president and his national-security adviser–designate, John Bolton. It is also worrisome to see my cordial acquaintance of 20 years, Richard Haass, writing as mournfully as he did last week of the end of the Liberal World Order. One expects, a year into an administration that went to war in the election campaign against the entire political class in both parties and among the national media (such as George Will) and the foreign-policy establishment (and Richard Haass is one of the very best of them), that there will be panic below decks. One hears it every day from Joe Scarborough and Wolf Blitzer and their legions of screeching sound-alikes. But George Will and Richard Haass are eminent men, flag officers on this ship. That George Will has a cultural and temperamental problem with Donald Trump is no surprise, and neither is Richard Haass’s concern that the Western Alliance is crumbling (though that, if true, has more to do with the Alliance-deaf previous two administrations and the flabby complacency of most of America’s so-called allies).

George Will is one of the country’s outstanding polemical writers, but he should not be squandering that talent on mind-reading and misrepresenting the president. John Bolton absolutely does not think and will not be “suggesting that the United States should seriously consider embarking on war crimes.” George has no standing to say that “Trump has no convictions.” Whether or not George or others agree with it, the president has done his best to enact the program the voters approved when they elected him. He has appointed judges who believe they should carry out the law and not the current political reinterpretation of what that great paragon of modern liberal jurisprudence Eliot Spitzer described as “a flexible constitution.” Trump has drastically reduced illegal immigration, reformed and reduced taxes, deregulated, stimulated economic growth, succeeded in gaining China’s serious cooperation in dissuading North Korea from gaining a nuclear first-strike capacity, and armed the Ukrainians with anti-tank weapons and committed to providing Eastern Europe with anti-missile defenses. He is working to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, has assisted importantly in raising oil production by 5 million barrels a day, and emancipated the American people from President Obama’s mad promise to reduce American carbon use by 26 percent in the next twelve years (in the Paris climate agreement), while the world’s leading polluters, China and India, pollute more, and Western Europe does nothing, though with great unctuousness.

With a more suave individual enacting the same policies, George Will would, on past form, be an appreciative supporter; it is very dismaying that such a substantive person and eminent commentator and old friend is unable to distinguish often annoying (though usually rather entertaining and even refreshing) Trump flimflam and posturing from the substance accomplished by an administration that has, despite the continuing war with most of the political class, had the most successful first year of any newly elected administration since Eisenhower’s, if not Franklin D. Roosevelt’s. It is also worrisome, given his stature, that George Will is not setting a more thoughtful example, and has gone back to snide name-calling, as in his still-remembered reference to George H. W. Bush as emitting “the tinny ‘arf’ . . . of a lapdog.” Donald Trump as a public personality is an acquired taste, or not, but, like all holders of high public offices, he has the right to be judged on his record.

George Will presupposes that “this scatterbrain’s Swiss-cheese-style tariffs are too sloppy to reflect forethought.” Mr. Will is not a trade wonk and the whole point is to shrink the trade deficit. Steel and aluminum were as good a place to start as any. Of course China will compromise; the trade specialists will work out something so complicated that no one can figure it out, but the result will be a sharp reduction in the present imbalance in China’s favor, and some repatriation of jobs to the U.S. At the least, George Will should give the president some credit for opposing Chinese theft of American technology. The takeaway from the initiative to reduce the trade gap with China is that the administration is confident that the North Korea arrangement is already practically in place. Trump said to the New York Times at the time of his visit to China several months ago that he had indeed deferred taking action with China on the trade front because of the need for China’s entire cooperation to deter Pyongyang from nuclear military deployment by a method short of precise American attack on its military targets. His assertion to the Chinese and North Koreans that if North Korea did not desist, the United States would eliminate the North Korean nuclear program militarily, should promote an agreement a little like that over missiles in Cuba in 1962: no nuclear weapons in either Korea, a divided peninsula, and no attempt at regime change. Both sides would get what they originally wanted.

The Iran agreement was insane: It gave Iran ten years to become a nuclear power, if it chooses to honor the porous and ineffectual monitoring program the treaty provides. But the agreement covers only fissile material, not the Iranian missile program or Iran’s development of a nuclear warhead compact enough to be delivered by a missile, and both of these activities are proceeding apace. The method to combat this is essentially the same formula that has been employed with North Korea, though without a Chinese analogue: draconian sanctions and explicit threats that, if a reasonable agreement that no such nuclear military capability will be sought is not concluded, there will be U.S. military interdiction of it. Once the Iranians realize the administration is serious, they will act rationally. The portrayal of this policy as the aspiration to commit “war crimes” is shameful and outrageous.

And neither Mr. Will nor Mr. Haass shows the least recognition of the fact that Donald Trump is the only possible savior of the nuclear non-proliferation system. It must be said for the Iranians that at least they correctly identified the hypocrisy of the existing non-proliferation regime: a club that others could join if they didn’t seem likely to be irresponsible, although all were piously urged to abstain and leave a monopoly of ultimate military power in the hands of the incumbent cartel-members, who haven’t really done anything to fulfill their promise to disarm (nor should they, as the whole concept is insane). The five founders of the United Nations achieved nuclear military status; then India had to do so as China had, Pakistan because of India, and Israel was a special case. South Africa renounced its status when the apartheid system was dismantled. Ukraine renounced the nuclear capability it inherited from the Soviet Union and all major powers guaranteed its borders, a promise Putin’s Russia has flagrantly violated, and President Trump is the only head of a guarantor country who has done anything about it.

Trump’s chief offense has been breaking ranks with the bipartisan coalition that produced the only period of absolute and relative decline in American history.

If I did not have such high regard for Richard Haass, I would fear that he had taken leave of his senses in writing, as he did last week, that the Trump administration had taken the “decision . . . to abandon the role [the U.S.] has played for more than seven decades” in the world. It is difficult to imagine what possessed him to utter such nonsense. The whiplash between George W. Bush’s almost mindless promotion of democracy (even to setting up a prefabricated failed state in Iraq and supporting anti-democratic parties in democratic elections, as in Gaza, Lebanon, and Egypt) and the feckless pacifism and appeasement of the Obama administration certainly shook the confidence of the world — whether friend or foe — in the United States. Richard Haass purports to believe that declining to ratify the Paris climate accord and to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and seeking to renegotiate the $70 billion trade deficit with Mexico and drastically amend the Iran nuclear arrangements, are evidence of Trump’s scuttling of America’s preeminent and indispensable role in the promotion of democracy and the free market, which goes back to Roosevelt’s Quarantine speech in Chicago in 1937. This is bunk; Trump is returning to that policy.

Richard also decries that “the U.S. is experiencing unprecedented attacks from its own president on the country’s media, courts, and law-enforcement institutions,” and relates this to the rise of “authoritarianism” in such places as Turkey, Russia, and China, and to Britain’s Brexit vote. Trump isn’t the problem, but among the symptoms of the problem are that the director and deputy director of the FBI have been fired for cause as the Bureau virtually became the dirty-tricks arm of the Democratic National Committee, and that, as the Center for Media Studies and Pew Research have both recorded, 90 percent of national-media comment on Trump is hostile. Trump may have aggravated some of the current nastiness, but his chief offense has been breaking ranks with the bipartisan coalition that produced the only period of absolute and relative decline in American history.

If Trump succeeds, the abrasions he sometimes causes will be worth enduring. I commend to my hand-wringing friends the wisdom of dual citizen (Australian and American) Nicole Kidman, who advised her Hollywood peers to have some respect for the elected president and some understanding that if he does well, the country does well. These are almost the only sensible words that have been heard from Hollywood since Ronald Reagan left there for Washington in 1980 (to have dinner at George Will’s house).

First published in National Review Online.

clear
Posted on 03/28/2018 4:56 AM by Conrad Black
clear
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
Enough is Enough - Huge crowds join Jewish community protest against antisemitism, in Westminster
clear

Yesterday the Board of Deputies of British Jews said ‘enough is enough’ by publishing a fierce letter calling Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to task for aiding and abetting anti-Semitism in his party.

This was followed by a demonstration in Westminster in which about 1500 people came out to protest and condemn the Labour leader’s “systematic failure” to deal with what some feel has become his party’s endemic anti-Semitism. 

The letter and the demonstration follow on from recent revelations regarding Mr Corbyn’s beliefs and associations – three Facebook groups to which he belonged which were all teeming with anti-Semitic tropes and his support for a mural painted back in 2012 that was obviously anti-Semitic.   

The work, Freedom for Humanity, was painted near Brick Lane in London’s East End by “graffiti artist” Kalen Ockerman (see above) and showed businessmen and bankers counting their money in a style that could have emerged directly from the pages of Der Sturmer.

So enough was enough. Here is an extract from the Board of Deputies letter to Corbyn:

Jeremy Corbyn did not invent this form of politics, but he has had a lifetime within it, and now personifies its problems and dangers. He issues empty statements about opposing anti-Semitism but does nothing to understand or address it. We conclude that he cannot seriously contemplate anti-Semitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far-left worldview that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities.

When Jews complain about an obviously anti-Semitic mural in Tower Hamlets, Corbyn of course supports the artist. Hizbollah commits terrorist atrocities against Jews, but Corbyn calls them his friends and attends pro-Hizbollah rallies in London. Exactly the same goes for Hamas. Raed Salah says Jews kill Christian children to drink their blood. Corbyn opposes his extradition and invites him for tea at the House of Commons. These are not the only cases. He is repeatedly found alongside people with blatantly anti-Semitic views but claims never to hear or read them.

Again and again, Jeremy Corbyn has sided with anti-Semites rather than Jews. At best, this derives from the far left’s obsessive hatred of Zionism, Zionists and Israel. At worst, it suggests a conspiratorial worldview in which mainstream Jewish communities are believed to be a hostile entity, a class enemy.

…There is literally not a single day in which Labour Party spaces, either online or in meetings, do not repeat the same fundamental anti-Semitic slanders against Jews. We are told that our concerns are faked, and done at the command of Israel and/or Zionism (whatever that means); that anti-Semitism is merely “criticism of Israel”; that we call any and all criticism of Israel “anti-Semitic”; that the Rothschilds run the world; that Isis terrorism is a fake front for Israel; that Zionists are the new Nazis; and that Zionists collaborate with Nazis.

Rightly or wrongly, Jeremy Corbyn is now the figurehead for an anti-Semitic political culture, based on obsessive hatred of Israel, conspiracy theories and fake news that is doing dreadful harm to British Jews and to the British Labour Party.

It would seem that someone close to Corbyn understood that these issues were calling into question the moral basis of the Labour party itself, so the Labour leader responded to the Board of Deputies with this  letter: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-43540795

Thank you for your letter to the Labour Party concerning anti-Semitism issued as a press statement last night.

First of all, let me acknowledge the anger and upset that provoked it, and repeat my offer of an urgent meeting to discuss the issues you have raised as soon as possible.

I stated yesterday, and repeat today, that I will not tolerate any form of anti-Semitism that exists in or around our party and movement. I am committed to eliminating anti-Semitism wherever it exists.

As I told the Labour Party conference in 2016, anti-Semitism is an evil that led to the worst crimes of the 20th century. Prejudice and hatred of Jewish people has no place whatsoever in the Labour Party, and every one of us has a responsibility to ensure it is never allowed to fester in our society again.

I recognise that anti-Semitism has surfaced within the Labour Party and has too often been dismissed as simply a matter of a few bad apples. This has caused pain and hurt to Jewish members of our Party and to the wider Jewish community in Britain. I am sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused, and pledge to redouble my efforts to bring this anxiety to an end.

While the forms of anti-Semitism expressed on the far Right of politics are easily detectable, such as Holocaust denial, there needs to be a deeper understanding of what constitutes anti-Semitism in the labour movement. Sometimes this evil takes familiar forms - the east London mural which has caused such understandable controversy is an example. The idea of Jewish bankers and capitalists exploiting the workers of the world is an old anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. This was long ago, and rightly, described as "the socialism of fools".

I am sorry for not having studied the content of the mural more closely before wrongly questioning its removal in 2012.

Newer forms of anti-Semitism have been woven into criticism of Israeli governments. Criticism of Israel, particularly in relation to the continuing dispossession of the Palestinian people, cannot be avoided. Nevertheless, comparing Israel or the actions of Israeli governments to the Nazis, attributing criticisms of Israel to Jewish characteristics or to Jewish people in general and using abusive phraseology about supporters of Israel such as "Zio" all constitute aspects of contemporary anti-Semitism. And Jewish people must not be held responsible or accountable for the actions of the Israeli government.

The Labour Party has always opposed anti-Semitism, old and new, and always will. We are proud of our deep historical links with Jewish communities, and to have fought alongside generations of Jewish men and women against fascism, prejudice and discrimination. This is a part of our common heritage from which we will never be separated. But I acknowledge that anti-Semitic attitudes have surfaced more often in our ranks in recent years, and that the Party has been too slow in processing some of the cases that have emerged. Early action has nevertheless been taken, and we will work to speed up procedures, to deal with cases of anti-Semitic abuse or attitudes.

I am committed to making our Party a welcoming and secure place for Jewish people. Zero tolerance for anti-Semites means what it says, and the Party will proceed in that spirit. That demands among other things the overdue full implementation of the recommendations of the Chakrabarti report, including a programme of political education to increase awareness and understanding of all forms of anti-Semitism.

The battle against anti-Semitism should never become a party-political issue. It must unite all of us if we are both to honour the memory of the victims of the bestial crimes of the 20th century and build a future of equality and justice for all.

In that spirit, I must make it clear that I will never be anything other than a militant opponent of anti-Semitism. In this fight, I am your ally and always will be.

This letter is welcomed but with caution.  Melanie Phillips, questions its sincerity.

I think too that It remains to be seen just what Mr Corbyn will do to erase the perception that he and his allies are deeply anti-Semitic. 

They are anti-capitalist and anti-West, and because they see Israel as part of the West they question her very existence. They have sided in the past with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran in seeking Israel’s destruction, and Jews who mostly support Israel, even if subliminally, are therefore guilty by association. 

But as it is ‘racist’ to be anti-Semitic and racism is a big no-no, Jews are not officially the enemy of the Corbynistas, but Israel probably still is.    

 

 

clear
Posted on 03/27/2018 1:40 PM by Sally Ross
clear
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
Isis supporter jailed for life for trying to build child army in London
clear

From the Guardian, the local newspaper the Newham Recorder 

An extremist who attempted to build an army of child jihadists has been jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years for a range of terrorism offences.

Umar Haque was convicted of attempting to groom children as young as 11 at the Ripple Road mosque in Barking, east London, where he showed them footage of beheadings and conducted terrorism role-play exercises. The self-confessed Isis supporter was also convicted of planning to use guns and a car packed with explosives to strike 30 high-profile targets including Big Ben, the Queen’s Guard and Westfield shopping centre in east London.

The court heard he played Isis propaganda to students at the fee-paying Lantern of Knowledge Islamic school in east London, where he taught an Islamic studies class despite having no teaching qualifications and being employed only as an administrator.

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said Haque, 25, wanted to do “something big” and his ambition was “extreme and alarming”. 

He was a “very real” threat to the young and old alike, the judge said, adding: “Haque was a dangerous liar. He is intelligent, articulate and persuasive, with an easy smile. He is narcissistic and clearly enjoys the power he wields over others.”

The judge told Haque: “You have violated the Qur’an and Islam by your actions, as well as the law of all civilised people. It is hoped you will come to realise this.” He said this on Friday when sentencing Ahmed Hassan for his bomb at Parson's Green tube station. I dread to think where he is getting it from; some senior Ministry of Justice official I expect. 

Haque could be heard talking about “domination” and “hunger and insecurity” as he was sent down.

Fundraiser Abuthaher Mamun – 19, from Barking – who was said to have “renounced” Haque’s extremist view of Islam, was jailed for 12 years with a further year on extended licence.

Haque’s confidant Muhammad Abid – 27, from Newham, a qualified cupping therapist – was handed four years and three months in prison for failing to report the plot.

Left to right Umar Haque, Muhammad Abid, Abuthaher Mamun

In bugged conversations, he talked about being inspired by the Westminster Bridge atrocity in March last year. Haque said: “We are here to cause terror, my brother. We are a death squad sent by Allah and his messengers to avenge my Arab brothers’ blood.”

In the months before his arrest, he bragged about recruiting 16 children, telling Ripple Road youngsters he intended to die a martyr and IS was “good”.

One of the youngsters later told police: “Umar has been teaching us how to fight, do push-ups, given strength and within six years he was planning to do a big attack on London. He wants a group of 300 men. He’s training us now so by the time I’m in Year 10 [aged 14-15] we will be physically strong enough to fight.”

Police believe Haque attempted to radicalise at least 110 children at the mosque and the school, with 35 of them now receiving long-term support. Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said a specialist social worker had assessed nine of the boys affected by Haque’s indoctrination. “Although they are clear what they saw was wrong, they are left conflicted and without answers which leads them to be particularly vulnerable to grooming. Some speak of having flashbacks of the videos and nightmares centred around fear of death and punishment in the after life, perhaps in reference to (the video) of the young boy seen buried and in a grave.”

The Charity Commission previously opened a statutory inquiry into the Lantern of Knowledge Educational Trust. It is also investigating the Ripple Road mosque.

clear
Posted on 03/27/2018 11:38 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
The March of Time, Washington and Paris
clear

by Michael Curtis


Paris 1968

"Everywhere I hear the sound of marchin', charging feet, cause summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the street." The words were written in 1968 by Mick Jagger who said he wrote it after an anti-war rally at the U.S. Embassy in London, and he was inspired by the student rioters in Paris in May 1968. At that time protests in various countries of Europe, in the U.S., in Mexico City, in Brazil, were directed against the Vietnam war, but the most spectacular events, the May Days in Paris, sprang from the student led protest movement that began on March 22, 1968 as an anti-war rally at Nanterre University, and became a revolt against the political and academic establishment.

It is tempting to compare those events on its fiftieth anniversary with the remarkable youth organized demonstrations, the March of Our Lives, on March 24, 2018 protesting against gun violence, in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere in the U.S., resulting from the murder of students on February 14, 2018 at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida where 17 were killed by a teenage gunman. The D.C. march attracted an estimated crowd of 800,000 youngsters and supporters, and was accompanied or financed by celebrities such as George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Spielberg, the Gucci group, pop artists and performers.

In his address on March 25, 2018 at the Palm Sunday service in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis, without specifically alluding to the Washington demonstration, urged young people not to let themselves be manipulated.  "Young people," he directed, "you have it in you to shout. It's up to you not to keep quiet." Certainly, young people in 2018 had done this as they had in May 1968.

Since the writings of Polybius, the Greek historian of the Hellenistic period, the question has been discussed of history as repeating a cycle of events, of regular patterns, of people animated by the same desires and passions.  Youth in 2018 and 1968 have expressed those qualities, displaying energy, and a spirit of resistance and defiance, even quasi-revolt. Yet, even admitting that history can be seen as a sequence of causes and effects the two events show we are not doomed to repeat the past.

Both events, 1968 and 2018, began with a particular incident: one, the university administrative actions against student activists at Nanterre University, the new campus in the suburb of Paris; the other the Parkland massacre. Both called for change of some kind, university or more broadly social. Both can be regarded as nation-wide movements.

But there are important differences.  May 1968 was concerned at first with a specific issue, rigidity in the hierarchy of the French University, with students wanting more political freedom since political meetings were normally forbidden. However, it became transmuted into a wider more disjointed affair, including calls for overthrow of institutions; 2018, at least so far, is pinpointed at a concrete, single purpose.

The 1968 events had started as the result of a specific action, the detention of student in the anti-war rally, but with provocative slogans, and spreading to the main Sorbonne and other Paris educational units, it transformed itself into a revolt against established institutions, advancing social changes, and protests against capitalism and U.S. imperialism.

May 68 exhibited ideological confusion indicating different left wing political orientations, as well bizarre slogans "imagination in the leadership," and "demand the impossible." In contrast, 2018 is not partisan or ideologically expressed in any real way. Students in France in May 68 were joined by support from factory workers who organized a general strike, the largest in France, and 11 million workers who occupied factories went on strike. No similar action has been contemplated in support of 2018. In May 68, word spread in the streets, while in 2018 social media spread the word in an instant, and the whole world is aware of the issue. Above all, May 68 quickly became violent; March 2018 has been noisy but non-violent.

In May 68, universities and factories were occupied throughout France. Paris was the scene of cobble stones being torn up in the pavements, barricades, street fighting with the police, cars overturned, and stores looted. At one point the turmoil and threats seemed so serious that President Charles de Gaulle on May 29 fled the country, for a day, to go to a French military base near Baden Baden in Germany.

The protest of May 68 was violent but became mixed or even incoherent with the infighting among the student groups, Trotskyists, Maoists, anarchists, surrealists, moderate Socialists. It was not a unified or cohesive group but a number of individual personalities among the various improvised leftists fighting among themselves, even if some vague concept of anti-imperialism emerged. They had no coherent program or structure, but claimed to act in "uncontrollable spontaneity" that gave them impetus without it being canalized. Jean Paul Sartre was impressed with this, with the attempt, as he said, to implement imagination into reality.  

Others were more critical. Raymond Aron saw the student participants as actors imitating the French revolutionary past, a kind of "psychodrama," and merely acting in a rehearsal held almost two centuries after the play had been staged. The students were actors imitating the figures of the 18th century French Revolution. Indeed, some student protagonists labelled themselves as Les Enrages, not a unified party but the radical extremists who opposed the Jacobins in June 1793, and who spoke on behalf of the poor.

In May 68 some leaders emerged, the most well-known being Daniel Cohn-Bendit, nicknamed "Danny the Red," because of the color of his hair. Born in France of German parents. a philosophy student at Nanterre, an anarchist if he can be classified, he inspired the movement with his captivating oratory, courage and humor. So far, no single similar figure has emerged in 2018 as similarly inspiring, though some 17 year olds have been eloquent, and expressed rhetoric that has gone beyond the single issue of controlling guns. One speaker went beyond the manifest purpose of the March, not openly by demanding more general social change, and getting rid of politicians, but also by enthusiastically giving the black power salute at the end of his peroration.

May 68 did lead to some social and political changes, including raising minimum wages. It also led to President de Gaulle calling a referendum on April 27, 1969 on government decentralization and for changes in the French Senate. It was rejected by 52% of the voters, and de Gaulle resigned the presidency the next day. It remains to be seen if there will be similar political consequences of the March of Our Lives. 

clear
Posted on 03/27/2018 10:52 AM by Michael Curtis
clear
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
French police quiz radicalised girlfriend of supermarket gunman
clear

From France 24

French investigators on Monday quizzed the radicalised girlfriend of the Islamist gunman who shot dead four people last week in southern France, including a heroic policeman killed after taking the place of a hostage. . . police continued to question his 18-year-old girlfriend, who converted to Islam at 16 and had also been on the watchlist of potential radicals.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters that said the 18-year-old woman “shows all signs of radicalization.” (that) she shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) while in custody but denied any prior knowledge of Lakdim's attack plans. But Molins said the girl posted online a Quran verse “indicating that infidels were promised to hell” just a few hours before the attacks.

A 17-year-old man described as a friend of Lakdim's who was under his sway, is also in custody over the attack. He too denies any involvement, Molins said.

Under France's anti-terrorism laws, the two suspects can be held for up to 96 hours without charge.

clear
Posted on 03/27/2018 8:28 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
'Social Justice' Is About Anything but Justice
clear

by David Solway

Most people are blissfully unaware of the havoc wrought by our misnamed “Social Justice” and “Human Rights” ideology until they are themselves hit by a summons, a legal suit or a ruling in law that deprives them of their peace of mind, robs them of productive time and leaves them substantially out of pocket. It is like being struck by a bolt of lightning while believing oneself to enjoy adequate shelter. My wife and I have been struck by such unexpected intrusions into our lives on three separate occasions over the last few years.

Indeed, the first strike was like a political klaxon alerting us to the perils of telling the truth in a climate of moral evasion and widespread hypocrisy. We received a notice of defamation from a large Muslim organization in response to a candid article my wife had written when she was editor of Freedom Press Canada, an online journal run by my publisher at the time. This was our first experience of lawfare in action. Apprized by legal council that a court case could set us back two or three years and up to a quarter of a million dollars with little to no prospect of winning, we had no choice but to settle. Since we live in a country in which Muslims are regarded as innocent victims of bigotry and anti-Islamophobia legislation is pending, the alternative would have been bankruptcy.

A short while later, my wife found herself once again under siege as the result of a complaint of discrimination brought by a disgruntled student before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. The charges were baseless and plainly refutable by email records and other evidence. The fact that there was “nothing there,” as our lawyer commented, did not deter the HRT from pursuing a hearing. After two years of our living under a cloud of anxiety, the case went to mediation and the charges against Janice were “disappeared.” (The proceedings are described in her recently posted Fiamengo File series.) But the legal fees were astronomical and, since we were not engaged in a Civil Court trial but an HRT tribunal operating according to its own arbitrary laws, the costs were not reclaimable. We asked our lawyer whether we could counter-sue the student for defamation and related damages, but it turns out that, unlike the process in Civil Court, HRT complainants are protected from “reprisal.” “My experience was just a little glimpse,” Janice wrote in an introductory comment to the video, “into how a society becomes totalitarian when it decides to work outside the law (or too often, now, even within the law) to create ‘justice for the weak’ rather than justice for all.”

More recently, we found ourselves once again victimized by the Social Justice cult in the form of its residential tenancy boards. We used to rent out a small apartment whose monthly yield was in effect transferred to our mortgage -- until the tenant decided to stop paying his rent. Generally speaking, the tenancy boards are set up to protect tenants, who are regarded as society’s casualties, members of an oppressed class or prey of a pitiless economic system dominated by businessmen and landlords. After five months of non-payment of rent, several checks bouncing like basketballs, innumerable broken promises, and no indication of anything ever changing, we were forced to hire an eviction agency, supply a ten-day notice, pay for a Writ from the Supreme Court, and finally retain the services of a bailiff.

As if this were not enough, we were shocked to learn that the tenancy laws required us to assume the costs of removing and storing the defaulter’s furniture, which amounted to several thousand dollars more. In the sequel, lost revenue and ancillary expenses, including repairs to the damage caused by the tenant, cratered our resources. If we did not have a credit line that allowed us to meet our mortgage costs, our house would have been repossessed by the bank.

The financial tally of these three events, apart from the years of lost time and continual stress, amounted to a crippling sum we could ill afford. But since we are obviously bigots, racists, homophobes, transphobes, white supremacists, what have you -- readers know the drill -- and part of the one percent to boot, merciless capitalists and oppressors of the weak and helpless, exploiting Muslims, students and tenants with ruthless unconcern, the blow was surely well-deserved.

What we have experienced is merely one small example in a cascading avalanche. I know of seven couples who have endured similar or even more egregious ordeals at the hands of the Civil Courts and Social Justice Tribunals, in one appalling case absorbing a penalty of several hundred thousand dollars. Extensive research into the history of the Tribunals has confirmed the inequitable devastation these outfits wreak -- to take just one instance among a burgeoning number, a Nigerian Christian compelled to pay $12,000 in damages to a Muslim couple about to leave his rental unit. His transgression? Failing to remove his shoes when showing the apartment to a prospective occupant, a violation of Islamic ritual. “We don't have a justice system,” comments one viewer of Janice’s video. “Instead we have a system of laws.” The difference between the two has become increasingly undeniable.

It obviously isn’t possible to calculate the ratio of genuine victims to freeloaders and con men, but in almost every case that I am familiar with, the parasites are in ascendancy. Although there are legitimate claimants to compassion, many of the “disadvantaged” I have met or know of -- thank God not all -- have turned out to be lazy and conscienceless, addicts, swindlers, idlers and leeches, non-contributors to the health and prosperity of the country, most animated by a sense of grievance. It is always society’s fault, never theirs. Responsibility and personal agency are not part of their psychological make-up.

I refer to renters who don’t pay what they owe, students who don’t concentrate on their studies but have plenty of time to pursue groundless suits against their teachers, professional litigants who gain their living from the courts and Tribunals, lawyers and adjudicators profiting off the public dime, welfare recipients who wouldn’t think of applying for a job, people who fake injuries so as to continue living on the public dole, people who take refuge in narcotics rather than struggle to right themselves, members of groups with protected status who drain the public purse, lawfare specialists, women who advance their own agendas against men, often with permanent, life-altering consequences for their targets -- in short, barnacles on the ship of state, wards of the Social Justice mentality.

Though former Prime Minister Stephen Harper dismantled the more abominable measures of the Federal Social Justice Commission, he ruefully admitted to me in a conversation some years ago that he had no jurisdiction over the provincial bodies. Thus our Human Rights Tribunals staffed by Social Justice Warriors are free to continue their depredations against hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying and fundamentally decent citizens, at the price of civic degradation and social decline.

What we are witnessing is a subtle national policy of wealth redistribution under the rubric of Social Justice, a project in which society’s “losers,” the “marginalized” and special interest groups become the fiscal beneficiaries of the entrepreneurial and dynamic classes conscripted to subsidize the tax-exempt non-earners. It is bad magic for the accomplished and the capable, leading, as I wrote in a previous article on the subject, to the empowerment of the lowest common denominator until the entire system, failing a decisive change of course, must inevitably go bust. In the ongoing debate about the relative claims of justice and mercy, mercy will often trump justice, as it occasionally should, but we should remember, too, that real justice can be a form of mercy.

For it is basically immoral to steal from the resourceful to profit those who deliberately live off the sacrifice of others. As philosopher Roger Scruton wrote in The Meaning of Conservatism, “The greatest threat to just dealings between people is the attempt to remake society from above, in conformity with a conception of ‘social justice’.” It is an ideology which leads, as Nietzsche said in Beyond Good and Evil, to a “communal feeling of power” promoted by “socialist dolts and flatheads” wishing to usher in social justice movements that militate against individual autonomy and personal distinction.

As well, we might add, that prevent toiling citizens, through supernumerary taxes and wealth redistribution, from disposing the major share of their income as they see fit.

Whereas Obama’s redistributive economics had America reeling for eight years, this tactic of subversion has been festering in Canada under many different administrations. Of course, runaway social programs have also been eating away at the economic soundness of both countries since the Elysian 1960s and even before. Wealth redistribution is a key element in bringing about an unsustainable social utopia predicated on the levelling of natural differences, aptitudes, motivations and virtues among individuals.

 

…..

 

I suspect we will be denounced by liberals and leftists as heartless conservatives, but this is merely a canard. My wife, who for many years donated one fifth of her salary to charity, is anything but a heartless conservative, and I have gone out of my way to help people in distress. We do not reject the social safety net intended to assist the unfortunate who have, as they say, “fallen through the cracks.” But helping measures must be closely and fairly monitored so that the indolent and inept do not gradually displace or usurp the productive and the competent, to everyone’s ultimate disadvantage. A difficult task, to be sure, but worth undertaking. “Social Justice” makes no attempt to distinguish the one from the other.

Unemployment Insurance (now rebranded here as EI, Employment Insurance) is a needed compensatory fallback in a market economy. A limited number of public assistance programs, scrupulously chosen and controlled, are certainly acceptable. However, indiscriminate or gratuitous re-allocation of a substantial part of licit personal revenue by a governing authority on behalf of a perennially dependent socio-economic and cultural stratum is nothing less than a socialist breach of property rights and a statist infringement of democratic principles. It is also economically calamitous. The old saw that development grinds to a halt when there are as many or more people riding in the wagon as pulling it applies with a vengeance.

As Maggie Thatcher brilliantly put it, socialism will fail as soon as it runs out of other people’s money. The egalitarian prepossession, rooted in untenable theory and programmatic envy, blights whatever it touches. And with it goes both the moral and pragmatic foundation on which the lawful well-being of a viable society relies.

First published in PJ Media.
clear
Posted on 03/27/2018 7:32 AM by David Solway
clear
Monday, 26 March 2018
Announcing Phyllis Chesler's A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killing
clear

New English Review Press is pleased to announce the publication of our twenty fifth book, A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killing by Phyllis Chesler. It will be published April 24. Pre-Order available now.

An honor killing is the cold-blooded murder of girls and women simply because they are female. Being born female in a shame-and-honor culture is, potentially, a capital crime; every girl has to keep proving that she is not dishonoring her family; even so, an innocent girl can be falsely accused and killed on the spot.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler has been studying the nature of honor killings for the last fifteen years. During that time she has published four studies at Middle East Quarterly and is working on a fifth. While this barbaric custom is tribal in origin, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Islam have not tried to abolish it as a crime against God or humanity.

Honor killings are also a family conspiracy, one in which women (mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, mothers-in law), as well as men (fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, grandfathers) play a role. Those girls and women who manage to escape must live in hiding for the rest of their lives as their families will never stop coming after them.
A girl s fertility and reproductive capacity is owned by her family, not by the girl herself. If a girl is even seen as damaged goods, her family-of-origin will be responsible for her care for the rest of her life. This is a killing offense. Her virginity belongs to her family and is a token of their honor. If she is not a virgin, the shame belongs to her family and they must cleanse themselves of it with blood; her blood.

Most Westerners refuse to understand that this crime is not like western-style domestic violence and requires different approaches in terms of prevention, intervention, and prosecution.

Honor killings (or femicide) is part of a shame-and-honor tribal culture as is gender apartheid. It is a human rights violation and cannot be justified in the name of cultural relativism, tolerance, anti-racism, diversity, or political correctness. As long as tribal groups continue to deny, minimize, or obfuscate the problem, and Western government and police officials accept their inaccurate versions of reality, women will continue to be killed for honor in the West.

The battle for women's rights is central to the battle for Europe and for Western values. It is a necessary part of true democracy, along with freedom of religion, tolerance for homosexuals, and freedom of dissent. Here, then, is exactly where the greatest battle of the twenty-first century is joined.

clear
Posted on 03/26/2018 11:26 AM by NER
clear
Monday, 26 March 2018
Standing Up in France
clear

by Ibn Warraq

On Friday, March 23, while he screamed “Allahu Akbar,” Redouan Lakdim killed three people in a supermarket in Southwestern France, where he had just taken hostages. First known to the police as a drug dealer, more recently Lakdim became known as a jihadi, an Islamic militant who proclaimed his allegiance to ISIS. He had demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect in the Islamic State attacks that killed 130 people in Paris in 2015. Yet he was allowed to circulate freely. Why?

All too often, the first reaction to such acts of Islamic terrorism is not horror at the barbaric acts and compassion for the victims, but an obsessive fear that “Islamophobia” will increase. In France, editorials in liberal outlets will once again warn against “conflation” (in French, the expression is “pas d’amalgam”), by which is meant that there should be no automatic identification of acts of terrorism with Islam. Islam is a religion of peace, we are instructed, and terrorists know nothing about true Islam. Liberal publications deny the evidence of the Koranic texts, Islamic principles, and the 1,400- year history of jihadi terrorism, which began with the Prophet Muhammad himself. They also ignore the writings of “modern” jihadists such as Sayyid Qutb, Abdullah Azzam, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the Ayatollah Khomeini, which provide ample justification for holding Islam itself responsible for acts of terror.

Unfortunately, “Islamophobia” has now entered the dictionaries of all modern languages. It is at once a way to deflect any criticism or critical examination of Islam, on the one hand, and, on the other, a means for apologists to play victim. It is also no less than an attempt to stifle the fundamental principles of democracy and one of the glories of Western civilization—freedom of thought and expression. By demanding separate and privileged treatment, Islamists undermine another fundamental Western achievement—the concept of equality before the law, irrespective of race, gender, or religion. Islamists argue that they have been humiliated and victimized by French secularism; thus, their demand that we accept their Islamic laws, which they claim comes from God himself, but which reduce women and non-Muslims to an inferior status. If they prevail, the Islamists will undermine the principle that, more than any other, has resulted in unprecedented peace and prosperity in the West: the separation of state and religion, state and church, or state and mosque.

This brings us to the recent declaration by 100 French intellectuals against Islamist totalitarianism, published in the Paris daily newspaper Le Figaro. “We want to live in a world where no religion lays down the law,” it concludes. Some of the signatories have personal experience of the pernicious effects of new laws designed to protect the tender sensibilities of Muslims, and only Muslims. For example, award-winning historian Georges Bensoussan was acquitted in March 2017 of charges of incitement against Muslims; he had quoted an Algerian scholar who said that “in French Arab families, babies suckle anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.” Another signatory, Mohamed Louizi, is being taken to court for defamation for having implied that French president Emmanuel Macron had been politically hostage to the Islamist vote. Louizi has an intimate knowledge of Islamists, since he’s a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Several other signers are also ex-Muslims, such as Walid al-Husseini, Boualem Sansal, and myself. We, too, have firsthand knowledge of Islamist ideology.  We value the freedom of religion and from religion, which includes leaving or changing one’s faith, or not having any faith. Female signatories, such as Fatiha Boudjahlat and Fawzia Zouari, underline the need to defend women’s freedom to live their lives without interference from fundamentalists. Many signers are distinguished philosophers—Alain Finkielkraut, Luc Ferry, Renée Fregosi, Vincent Descombres, Rémi Brague, Philippe de Lara, Jean-Pierre Le Goff, Damien le Guay, and Yves-Charles Zarka—while others are historians, essayists (Pascal Bruckner), and professors. All are dedicated to secularism and the firm separation of state and religion; all, of course, value the free discussion of ideas, wherever it may lead.

Our worries are founded on facts, not irrational fears. Well-known Islamologist Gilles Kepel has remarked upon the inexorable rise of Islamist propaganda and proselytism in universities, where the ideas of the Salafists and Muslim Brotherhood are often promoted. Thankfully, French authorities have recently shut down 20 mosques and prayer halls that they found to be preaching radical Islamist ideology—hatred of non-Muslims and advocacy of jihad.

The French suburbs are rife with Islamic militants proselytizing among the young, imposing sharia on all (especially women), segregating swimming pools, demanding halal food, and so on. Incidents of anti-Semitism in France have multiplied dramatically, almost all of them perpetrated by Muslims. But if I were to say so in France, I might well be prosecuted for “Islamophobia.”

First published in City Journal.

Ibn Warraq is the author, most recently, of The Islam in Islamic Terrorism.

clear
Posted on 03/26/2018 9:47 AM by Ibn Warraq
clear
Sunday, 25 March 2018
Our Canadian legal system is failing us every bit as badly as journalism is
clear

Journalists may be held to a less exacting standard than lawyers, though a free press is scarcely less important to democracy than a fair justice system

by Conrad Black

As a party to, in legal parlance, “the matter of Hollinger Inc.,” I received last week, along with dozens of other people, a notice that the “matter” was now concluded: there are no more resources or issues outstanding involving the company and the corporation will be wound up.

This meant that the legal and accounting professions, with the self-satisfied approval of the commercial courts, had not just picked the last meat and flesh off the bones of a once- and long-prosperous company, but had pulverized the bones, put the powder in their champagne, and downed that too. One of the legal beneficiaries of this financial orgy signed off to all his fellow professionals, forgetting perhaps that they were not all fellow bloodsuckers: “T’was a mighty run.” This assertion, nothing but the shameful truth, put me in mind of the question that I frequently ask myself, of whether my disappointment is greater in considering the current state of the legal profession or that of the craft of journalism. I have qualifications in both fields, as a law graduate and frequent contributor to many publications and former media co-proprietor. It is a grippingly close race.

In 2005, my associates and I proposed the privatization of Hollinger Inc., retaining a litigation fund for anyone who wanted to sue us. We very carefully worked out with Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) staff a plan that would take public stockholders out, safely and fairly. The director of the OSC championed our proposal at the public hearing that some of the independent directors requested, petrified (with reason) about the future of their $100,000-a-month directors’ fees. Commissioner Susan Wolburgh Jenah presided at the hearing. However, our chief tormentor in the United States, former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Richard Breeden, “lectured” our local commission, as he proudly told The Globe and Mail. Jenah disregarded the OSC staff and rejected our proposal.

The directors had been implicitly facilitated by then-justice Colin Campbell, of the Ontario Superior Court, even though their fees constituted an emolument of unheard-of extravagance. Campbell had evicted almost all the directors who had any knowledge of the company’s business (newspapers), and expressed comfort in the presence of former junior provincial cabinet minister Gordon Walker, with that $100,000 monthly director’s fee. The new management, led by Newton Glassman and the unfeasible Wes Voorheis, drained the treasury, quarrelled (as such people usually do with each other), and Hollinger Inc. went into bankruptcy two years later.

Accounting firm Ernst & Young collected well over $20 million from Campbell’s appointment of them as inspectors and, later, receivers, performing entirely redundant activities and failing to unearth one misspent cent under our regime. A competent bookkeeper could have accomplished the same task at one per cent of the cost. I collected a historic $5-million libel settlement from Breeden and his fellow authors of the infamous special committee report, and regiments of legal and accounting saprophytes took until last week to transfer to their own pockets the last cent of what had rightfully been the shareholders’ money. Jenah has flourished, despite her role in what knowledgeable observers have described as the stupidest and most unjust decision of modern Canadian securities regulation.

Jenah is associated with a prominent law firm, which represents her as an asset; Campbell is in the arbitration business. I had a considerable legal sleigh-ride in the United States but it ended satisfactorily. I was never accused of wrongdoing in this country and a couple of civil suits were abandoned or settled, and I am spending my golden years laboriously rebuilding my fortunes. Life goes on quite well, but my wife, Barbara, a distinguished writer, editor and former journalist, whom Campbell removed as a director although she was never accused of the slightest impropriety, sent this (and more in the same spirit), to the celebrant of the “mighty run” and his fellow-glutton addressees: “To call you a bunch of jackals would be to defame that noble creature. You managed to suck fees out of a bankrupt company — whose thousands of shareholders you betrayed while lining your own pockets and feasting like vampires until now.” She revisits this in one chapter of her book, which will appear later this year (and will be a page-turner).

This is an extreme instance of the failings of the legal system. But it is symptomatic. There are too many lawyers, too many laws and regulations, and the lawyers who legislate and decree the regulations are, even if inadvertently, constantly expanding the number and onerousness of their authority, forcing the entire adult population and all officially incorporated or registered institutions into ever greater and more costly reliance on the legal profession to comply with the herniating mass of new restrictions and penalties each year.

The whole process is absurdly expensive, clogged, impossibly time-consuming, and filled with people whose financial interest is served by the protraction of all legal questions and most of whom despise and resent their clients as largely less educated than themselves yet holding them in the demeaning position of being the people who pay them. The law is one of the greatest pillars of democratic civilization and it does not now deserve a passing grade, but gets by with cozy and contemptible self-regulation, a 360-degree cartel swaddled in pious claptrap about a society of the rule of law.

Journalists rarely put on the airs of a learned profession, do not enjoy a monopoly, and are not notoriously avaricious. Thus they may be held to a less exacting standard than lawyers, though a free press is scarcely less important to democracy than a fair justice system. There is now little distinction drawn in practice between reporting and comment, and the great majority of journalists are entirely focused on getting and publicizing a story and are very unlearned about the more complicated events they are describing, reducing public information to faddish media opinion.

The whole process is absurdly expensive, clogged, impossibly time-consuming, and filled with people whose financial interest is served by the protraction of all legal questions

Here are two current examples of this: Canadians don’t like Donald Trump, largely because his confident and sometimes boorish manner is un-Canadian. He is in some respects a caricature of the ugly American. But he has been relentlessly exposing the U.S. federal police (FBI) as having been politicized and virtually transformed into the dirty tricks division of the Democratic National Committee. Few now doubt that the former FBI director, James Comey, was fired for cause, and the current director, backed by the impartial inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility, asserts that Comey’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, was also fired for cause. There are shocking revelations of the Justice Department’s illegal use of the spurious Steele dossier, paid for by the Clinton campaign, and of dishonest conduct in the Clinton email investigation, the propagation of the nonsense that Trump had colluded with Russia, and of criminal indiscretions and lies in sworn testimony by Justice officials. It is an epochal shambles without the slightest precedent in American history (certainly not the Watergate piffle), yet our media slavishly cling to a faded story of possible impeachable offences by the president.

The American refusal to adhere to the Paris climate accord is routinely portrayed as anti-scientific heresy and possibly capitulation to corrupt oil interests. The world’s greatest polluters, China and India, did not promise to do anything in that accord; Europe uttered platitudes of unlimited elasticity, and Barack Obama, for reasons that may not be entirely creditable, attempted to commit the United States to reducing its carbon footprint by 26 per cent, at immense cost in jobs and money, when there is no proof that carbon has anything to do with climate and the United States under nine presidents of both parties has done more for the ecology of the world than any other country. Journalistic failure on this scale, and across most of what is newsworthy, added to an education system that is more of a Luddite day-care network, produces a steadily less informed public, who, while increasingly tyrannized by lawyers, elect less capable public office-holders.

Lenin famously wrote: “What is to be done?” We must ask ourselves the same question but come up with a better answer than he did.

First published in the National Post.

clear
Posted on 03/25/2018 8:07 AM by Conrad Black
clear
Saturday, 24 March 2018
Football Lads in Birmingham
clear

The Football Lads, as the DFLA (Democratic Football Lads Alliance) marched in Birmingham today, where they joined forces with the Justice 4 the 21 campaign. Young or non UK readers may not remember the IRA campaign of bombing on the UK mainland in 1974. They set off a bomb in the Tavern in the Town and Mulberry Tree pub in Birmingham and 21 people were killed. 6 men were convicted, but later released on appeal (although not before they had served a good 17 years imprisonment) but the authorities have never pursued anybody else for the murders. The thinking seems to be that this might upset the 'peace process' - senior men of the IRA like Gerry Adams who know things, and would have had a hand in giving the orders if they didn't make and plant the bombs, have a veneer of respectability men now and are friends of Jeremy Corbyn.  The families of the victims want justice for their lost relatives. 

The DFLA stand against all forms of extremism and today their focus was on the grooming gangs; Telford is in everyone's mind, and more convictions in Oxford were reported only today. The original FLA also marched - their speakers were Tommy Robinson and Anne Marie Waters. 

I didn't go but many of my friends did, and one in particular took photographs and video of the DFLA march and rally. I can't get the video onto You Tube for technical reasons, but there are some stills from them. 

The march entered the Square in front of the Town Hall singing Justice for the 21. 

The first speaker began by saying that today is to show the government and the establishment that we mean business. He thanked the Blues, Villa and Albion (the three big Football league teams in Birmingham, Birmingham City, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion) and admins from up and down the country. From the south coast and London to Newcastle in the far north east.

He thanked Justice 4 the 21 for organising the stage and said 'to all our wives and girlfriends - this will all be worth it' He continued, That you are all standing here, and withour incident, is testament to all the hard work that has been put in. For too many years we have been talked about as working class football thugs. We do stick to our teams, we are a bit tribal, but that is part of being an island race. But Blues, and Villa and Albion have worked together and have become friends.

~~~~

~~~

I won't precis all the speeches.

UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge. He said: “I will stand by you. We will fight for the Justice4the21, fight for the Victims of Telford, Rotherham and Rochdale. We won’t give in until justice is done.”

UKIP MEP Gerrard Batten said: “What cause could be more deserving of legal aid than the Birmingham pub bombings. They need and deserve justice.”

But the last speech was by a lady from Justice 4 the 21 who thanked the police, a local councilor and everybody else for their help today and in the past. One of the groups who support Justice 4 the 21 are Ghurkahs and their families and two young Nepalese girls performed a traditional dance as a finale. 

The march then walked to St Phillip's Cathedral where they laid their wreaths in honour of those who died in 1974 as a result of IRA terrorism. You can see the teams and the distance people had traveled today. PNE is Preston North End in Lancashire, a very old club. Millwall, Arsenal and Watford are London clubs, Coventry and Leicester from the Midlands, Middlesborough the North east. 

~~~

The Birmingham Mail had enough reporters to cover the FLA march and rally, and the left-wing Stand Up to Racism counter protest here. 

 

 

Photographs RF Birmingham 2018

clear
Posted on 03/24/2018 11:55 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Saturday, 24 March 2018
Child sex gang of seven 'predatory' men who abused girls as young as 13 in a 's*** wagon' with licence plate ending 'SHG' are convicted after jury took 24 DAYS to reach their verdict
clear

I have been trying to keep up with this trial since last year. I could hardly believe when the cause list showed the jury going out, then legal submissions, then they went out again and so on for weeks. I knew there was a reporting restriction but it this was completely outside my experience. However the reporting restriction was lifted this afternoon and the local and national press have the story. From the Daily Mail the Oxford Mail and the BBC

  • Assad Hussain, 37, of Iffley Road, Oxford, guilty of five counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault, not guilty of one count of indecent assault.
  • Kameer Iqbal, 39, of Dashwood Road, Oxford, guilty of three counts of rape.
  • Khalid Hussain, 38, of Ashhurst Way, Oxford, guilty of rape and indecent assault, not guilty of one count of rape.
  • Kamran Khan, 36, of Northfield Road, Bolton, guilty of indecent assault and false imprisonment, not guilty of rape.
  • Moinul Islam, 41, of Wykeham Crescent, Oxford, guilty of rape, two counts of indecent assault and supplying cannabis, not guilty of false imprisonment.
  • Raheem Ahmed, 40 of Starwort Path, Oxford, guilty of two counts of indecent assault and false imprisonment, not guilty of rape.
  • Alladitta Yousaf, 48, of Bodley Road, Oxford, guilty of indecent assault.

(Top L-R) Khalid Hussain, Alladitta Yousaf, Kameer Iqbal, Assad Hussain (Bottom L-R) Raheem Ahmed, Moinul Islam, Kamran Khan. 
Two others who stood trial, Saboor Abdul and Haji Khan, were acquitted of all charges. Two other men involved in proceedings cannot be named for legal reasons.

Those are the bare facts. I don't want to get into the realms of 'witness statement porn' (yes, there is such a thing) but it will do the public no harm to know a little of what these young girls suffered by these specimens. 

The group of seven men aged between 37 and 47 were described as 'predatory and cynical' by a judge after being convicted on Friday following a five-month trial, at Oxford Crown Court. The court heard how the gang would often abuse girls aged between 13 and 15 in a 's wagon' with licence plate ending 'SHG'.

A jury of four women and seven men took a record-breaking 107 hours and 31 minutes, over the course of 24 days, to reach their verdict.

During the trial, Oxford Crown Court heard accounts from the victims, all of whom were aged between 13 and 15 at the time, who said they were plied with drink and drugs and took part in sex parties.

Opening the trial in October, Mr Saxby said: 'Each of the young girls we are dealing with shared one very important characteristic, they were vulnerable. Perfect prey for, in the main, young men prepared to exploit them for casual sexual gratification that was easy, regular and readily available.'

One girl was taken to a B&B in Iffley Road and told to have sex with older men, who one of the defendants described as "uncles", he said. Mr Saxby added: "She says she has lost count of the number of 'uncles' she had sex with... After sex she would sit in the shower and scrub herself.

During the trial one victim recounted how she would be pressured into sex at numerous locations across Oxford, between February 1998 and February 2001. She told jurors how Assad Hussain, Kameer Iqbal, Khalid Hussain and Alladitta Yousaf had all indecently assaulted or raped her on various occasions.

Another woman, who was aged 14 at the time, was sexually assaulted by Moinul Islam, the court heard, while at Cronin's B&B in Iffley Road. 

In other instances of abuse the girls were plied with drink and drugs as part of what prosecutors called the 'grooming process'. They were made to take part in 'sex parties' at a number of addresses across Oxford involving large groups of men. At one such party, which took place at a flat in London, one girl said that she was forced into sex with Khalid Hussain.

A number of the woman also recalled a black Nissan Serena people carrier in which many sexual abuses are alleged to have taken place, including gang rape. One woman said of the vehicle: 'They would pick the girls, have sex with them, and dump them. Everything happened in that Serena.' The same woman said that the men would 'take it in turns' to have sex with her and that gang rapes would take place after she was plied with booze and drugs.

Another woman told police in 2015 that she was 'mind-f*****' by the group during the ordeal of repeated rapes and sexual assaults.

The men will be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court in June. 

clear
Posted on 03/24/2018 11:20 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
Saturday, 24 March 2018
France And Election Campaign Funding
clear

by Michael Curtis

Was the presidential election swayed by the use of illegal funding for campaigns or by outside influence?  In the United States the issue is arguable and polemical and remains a moot question. Now the issue has become potentially politically explosive in France. We don't need the song to tell us that every moment of the year we love Paris when it sizzles with political scandal. Other countries of course have their own versions of infamous financial and political transgressions, whether in the Congo, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Equitorial  Guinea, or the U.S., but none of them can ever reprise those in the French capital where the trees are said to be dressed for spring.

The new French issue, concerning Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of France , 2007-2012, is the most spectacular scandal since the 1959 Ballet Roses sex affair involving girls, 15 to 17,  taking part in "ballet peformances" that ended in orgies, attended by Andre Le Troquer, then president of the National Assembly, who was charged with an offence against morality. Finance has replaced sex at the center of the new story which is engrossing with its cast of characters, Libyan spies, arms dealers, money launderers, shadowy middlemen, carriers of money brought in suitcases stuffed with cash.

Sarkozy was examined by French police in connection with a probe into alleged financing by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi  for Sarkozy's campaign for president in 2007 which he won. After examination, authorities have brought preliminary charges against him for corruption. If convicted this would not only end ambitions for his political career but also carry a sentence of up to ten years in prison. He has been barred from traveling to a number of countries.

Are these charges against Sarkozy poetic justice? Previous French political leaders have been involved in venal behavior. Particularly dishonorable was conduct that stemmed from the neo-colonial and paternalistic system known as francafrique, with networks and unofficial emisaries, originally devised to influence policies and actions of leaders in former French African colonies after their countries became independent in 1960. Over the years francafrique appeared to change into France a fric, Africa as a source of cash and gifts.  President Valerie Giscard d'Estaing received large gifts of diamonds from Jean-Bedel Bokassa, self-proclaimed Emperor of the Central African Republic. It was relevation of these gifts that led to Giscard's failure to be reelected president in 1981. Former president Francois Mitterand was also accused of receiving gifts of diamonds from corrupt African despots, especially from Congo and Gabon.

African leaders are also alleged to have given cash  to former president Jacques Chirac and former prime minister Dominique de Villepin for help in funding electoral campaigns. A Paris lawyer and political operator in the shadows, Robert Bourgi, confessed he delivered thousands of dollars in cash from Africans to Chirac and Villepin delivered not only in briefcases, but also in a set of African drums, and sports bag. He complained he got a backache from carrying the money. He claimed five African heads of state, including Mobutu president of Zaire (Congo),  and leaders of Ivory Coast and Gabon, paid about $10 million towards Chirac's 2002 election campaign.

Other problems involved behavior within metropolitan France. Former president Jacques Chirac was convicted for misusing funds when he, as Mayor of Paris, 1977-1995, gave 28 "phantom employees" civil service jobs paid for by City Hall for work done for RPR, his political party. Chirac, the first head of state to be convicted since Marshal Petain in 1945, got two years suspended sentence for embezzling public funds, abuse of trust, and illegal conflict of interest. A property dealer and banker, Jean-Claude Mery, collected illegal funds from companies for Chirac and RPR through managing public works contracts, and claimed he gave £500,000 to an aide of Chirac.

On January 30, 2004 Alain Juppe, prime minister, 1995-7,  Mayor of Bordeaux , head of the center right UMP party, and presidential hopeful, was found guilty of corruption, and barred fom holding public office for a decade. He had, when Chirac was Mayor, misused City of Paris public funds to pay salaries of political alllies, party workers. The paradox in his case is the fact that he would have challenged Sarkozy for the presidency and probably won.

Nicolas Sarkozy has led a complex colorful life, including  marriage to the beautiful Carla Bruni, French-Italian model and songwriter, whom he married in 2008. A soccer fan and cyclist, he has been critically appraised for his "bling bling" high life style, expensive suits, stylish sunglasses, friend of Johnny Hallyday and hip hop rapper Doc Gyneco. But his legal and political problems stem from allegations in a number of cases connected to electoral campaign funding.

One of them is the financing of his campaign, which failed, for president in 2012 when he was defeated by Francois Hollande. Known as the "Bygmalion affair," the charge is that Sarkozy's campaign engaged in a system of false acounting to conceal the very large overspending, more than 11 million euros, mostly on rallies and U.S. like stadium events. The politician Jean-Francois Cope, then leader of Sarkozy's UMP, was forced to resign from his position for involvement in the affair.

Another is the case of Eric Woerth, then minister of labor and treasurer of the UMP, Sarkozy's party, who was accused of getting money 150,000 euros in cash from Liliane Bettencourt, L'Oreal heiress and richest woman in France, in March 2007 to fund Sarkozy's campaign.

Sarkozy had a complex relationship with the bloodthirsty dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the unsavory character, the corrupt archetype of African dictators, held responsible of blowing up in 1988 Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, as well as for other terrorist acts and mass killings. Sarkozy in July 2007 negotiated the release of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian, convicted of infecting Libyan children with HIV. He hosted in December 2007 a five day visit to Paris of  the "Brother Leader" who set up a Bedouin tent near the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the president. However, the relationship changed when he and British Prime Minister David Cameron led NATO air strikes to support rebels against Libyan military forces. These strikes led to civil war in Libya, the assassination of Gaddafi and the end of his regime after 41 years, and the beginning of the mass migration of Libyans that has perplexed Europe.

Sarkozy's present difficulties stem from allegations that Gaddafi gave his electoral campaign 50 million euros, more than $60 million, in illicit funds. The case started in March 2011 with a demand made on French TV by Saif Gaddafi, a son of the dictator, that Sarkozy give back the money he got from his father. It became more serious in April 2012 when a businessman and alleged arms dealer named Ziad Takieddine, uncle of Amal Clooney, the Lebanese-British barrister married to film star George, claimed he personally carried five million euros in 200 euro and 500 euro notes in suitcases stuffed with cash in late 2006 and early 2007 to give to Sarkozy's chief of staff, Claude Gueant when Sarkozy was minister of the interior and interested in running for president. .

The case was spurred by the arrest in London of Alexandre Douhri, French-Algerian businessman resident in Switzerland, accused by France of fraud and money laundering, funneling money, said to be 500,000 euros, from Gaddafi to Gueant for Sarkozy's campaign. Douhri is fighting extradition to France.

Sarkozy has launched a counter offensive against his accusers whom he terms the "Gaddafi gang of assassins." However, even if the affair does not reek of camembert, it is significant for rethinking the issue of limits that might be imposed on electoral campaign spending. It is certainly relevant to the U.S. case of McCutcheon v. Federal Electoral Commission of April 2, 2014 decided by the Supreme Court on a 5-4 decision. Sarkozy's problem should lead to further thoughts on the Court's decision to declare that limits imposed on the contributions individuals can make over a two year period to national party and federal candidate committees were unconstitutonal.

clear
Posted on 03/24/2018 7:55 AM by Michael Curtis
clear
Saturday, 24 March 2018
Spain: Ten Algerians Arrested For Sexual Abuse of Underage Girls
clear

This is in Breitbart and taken from French newspaper Le Point. I can't find it elsewhere yet, probably because I don't speak a word of Spanish and don't know where to look. The MO sounds VERY familiar. 

Ten Algerian migrant men were arrested in eastern Spain this week after they were alleged to have sexually abused three underage girls by luring them to an apartment offering drugs and money. The ten migrants were brought to court on charges of sexual abuse in the city of Alicante, where they are believed to have sexually molested and assaulted three girls aged 14, 15, and 17, Le Point reports.

All three of the girls, according to the Spanish police, had run away from a boarding school for troubled young people shortly before they met the group of migrant men.

A police statement about the affair stated that one of the girls “was locked up for 24 hours, during which group members assaulted her and sexually abused her repeatedly.”

 

clear
Posted on 03/24/2018 6:23 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
clear
clear
Showing 1-26 of 103 [Next 25]

Available at Amazon.com & Amazon UK

Your shopping matters.
Shop at
http://smile.amazon.com/ch/56-2572448 and Amazon donates to World Encounter Institute Inc.

Subscribe

Recent Posts

Categories

A.J. Caschetta (6) Alexander Murinson (1) Andrew Harrod (2) Bat Ye'or (6) Brex I Teer (2) Brian of London (32) Christina McIntosh (843) Christopher DeGroot (2) Conrad Black (323) Daniel Mallock (3) David P. Gontar (7) David Solway (70) David Wemyss (1) Dexter Van Zile (73) Dr. Michael Welner (3) Emmet Scott (1) Esmerelda Weatherwax (9058) Fred Leder (1) Friedrich Hansen (7) G. Murphy Donovan (56) Gary Fouse (75) Geert Wilders (12) Geoffrey Clarfield (307) Hannah Rubenstein (3) Hossein Khorram (2) Hugh Fitzgerald (20604) Ibn Warraq (10) Ilana Freedman (2) James Como (16) James Robbins (1) Jerry Gordon (2496) Jerry Gordon and Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah (1) Jesse Sandoval (1) John Constantine (118) John Hajjar (5) John M. Joyce (379) Jonathan Hausman (4) Joseph S. Spoerl (10) Kenneth Lasson (1) Kenneth Timmerman (25) Lorna Salzman (9) Louis Rene Beres (37) Mark Anthony Signorelli (11) Mark Durie (7) Mary Jackson (5066) Matthew Hausman (31) Michael Curtis (453) Mordechai Nisan (1) Moshe Dann (1) NER (2550) Nidra Poller (68) Nonie Darwish (3) Norman Berdichevsky (86) Paul Weston (5) Peter McLoughlin (1) Phyllis Chesler (13) Rebecca Bynum (7128) Richard Butrick (24) Richard Kostelanetz (16) Richard L. Benkin (21) Richard L. Cravatts (7) Richard L. Rubenstein (44) Robert Harris (78) Sally Ross (37) Sam Bluefarb (1) Sha’i ben-Tekoa (1) Steve Hecht (25) Ted Belman (8) The Law (90) Theodore Dalrymple (790) Thomas J. Scheff (6) Thomas Ország-Land (3) Tom Harb (2) Walid Phares (28) z - all below inactive (7) z - Ares Demertzis (2) z - Andrew Bostom (74) z - Andy McCarthy (536) z - Artemis Gordon Glidden (881) z - DL Adams (21) z - John Derbyshire (1013) z - Marisol Seibold (26) z - Mark Butterworth (49) z- Robert Bove (1189) zz - Ali Sina (2)
clear
Site Archive