Monthly Archives: January 2015

Burn Those Books Morons

One of the more basic arguments about the Middle East turns on the question of whether Islamic cultures are inherently pre-modern. One side will cite the glories of Islamic scholarship which preserved a good deal of the Western world’s knowledge (a claim which is contested). The other side will say that the real Islam of the Wahabbis is dedicated to the destruction of all that is not “Islamic”.

ISIS has cast its vote.

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A thought

The King of Saudi Arabia is dead. His successor is rumoured to be suffering from dementia. Saudi’s oil war is reducing revenue to the Kingdom. ISIS has already begun border attacks and there is rumour of fifth column activity in the Kingdom. Yemen is under Iranian backed Shi’te pressure with its capital overrun. In the Eastern province, where the oil is, there is a pro-Iranian Shi’te majority.

At this point the survival of Saudi Arabia in its current form is in some doubt. Certainly ISIS has no reason not to continue to attack. Running the table from Medina to Mecca looks like a stretch but that takes the loyalty of the Saudi Army and Air Force for granted. Are they loyal? And it is no stretch to note that the non-royal Saudis are not over enthusiastic about their lot in life. Less so when cuts to the Saudi welfare state occasioned by the reduction in oil revenues begin to bite.

ISIS is now in a stalemate in Iraq with the Iranian backed militias and the Iraqi army holding a line West of Baghdad. For ISIS to continue it needs to keep its momentum and wheeling south may be the best way to do that. Hitting the sacred territories of Islam could draw recruits and, weirdly, Saudi money from people who will back the perceived strong horse.

The derisory airstrikes of the anti-ISIS coalition have damaged but not destroyed ISIS. The logic of their strategic position combined with the politics of the Caliphate may make Saudi the right target at the right time. Which could make the entire situation radically more dangerous.

It might be time for the West to think more seriously about how and why it is conducting war in the Middle East. Air war is clean, low casualty and somewhat effective;it is not, however, decisive. Does it make sense to put boots on the ground and, if so, whose? Or are there other strategic options. China has a large Army. And buys a heck of a lot more Middle Eastern oil than the US.

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Swiss reaction

The Swiss unpegged the franc against the Euro.

Do they know something the rest of world doesn’t.

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New Charlie Cover

Charlie Hebdo Cover

(h/t bcf)

This should be on the front page of every paper in the world that has run “Je suis Charlie” graphics of any sort. Because either you are willing to print an image that might well be Mo or you are not. If you are then you support free speech. If not, then shut up and cower.

UPDATE: The Lying Jackal has a smarmy post up on the topic he says (and I screen shotted it):

Almost a decade ago, a global debate raged about cartoons depicting the prophet Mohamed as a terrorist – and my colleague Ezra Levant’s decision to display them in the magazine he then published. The cartoons set off a wave of emotional protests and threats on a global scale – and fostered a vigorous debate about what constitutes free speech. Was the publication of those cartoons satirical, or was it hateful?

When we attempt to answer that question – honestly, diligently, impartially – we will quickly ascertain the difference between an act of mischief (say, spray painting a graffiti artist’s tag on the doors of a synagogue), and an actual expression of actual hatred (say, spray-painting “DEATH TO THE JEWS” on the doors of a synagogue). Certain words and images can stir up actual fear and pain and hate. Others don’t, or shouldn’t. the lying jackal

Of course the Jackal does not let me comment, but you cannot help but admire the sheer finesse with which the scumball avoids answering the question of whether or not Ezra’s decision to publish the cartoons all the news was about was right.

UPPER DATE: Daily Mail runs the cover story – doesn’t show the cover.

Telegraph – story no picture, just the title.

Order-Order.comLoud and Proud

Guardiannot a splash but it is there – Good for them. “The Guardian is running this cover as its news value warrants publication.”

New York Times – No…

Washington PostYes

CBC – no mention of cover at all

The AustralianYes – full image

UPDATE #2 – Boris Johnson shows the Jackal how it’s done:

London Mayor Boris Johnson said Charlie Hebdo had “no choice” but to print the cover it had, following the unity marches in France and defences of press freedoms in the wake of the attacks.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “You cannot have a march through the streets of Paris attended by 46 world leaders, four million people, climaxing with a shout of ‘We are not afraid’ and then not print the central object of contention.

“Of course they are right to do that and I am afraid it is absolutely vital now that everybody stands up and defends their right to publish.

“You may not agree with what they have done, you may be offended by what they have done, but you should defend their right to publish it.” Daily Mail

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Another March

pegita

How now Frau Merkle?

As expected the PEGITA rally in Dresden tonight attracted a record crowd,

A record 25,000 people have joined an anti-Islamisation rally in Dresden, Germany, called in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

The protesters defied calls from German politicians to stay away from the Pegida organisation’s rally.

Elsewhere across Germany, tens of thousands of people joined anti-Pegida rallies. bbc

If the BBC is saying 25,000 I have to bet closer to 35,000 actually marched. Likely a doubling. And not much of a surprise.

The ordinary people have had it with Islam’s rise in Europe. Charlie Hebdo was a horrible, violent, incident. As such it was a, as I put it, Useful Horror. It underscored how desperately wrong the present immigration, asylum and multicultural policies in Europe – and Canada – have gone wrong. We have too many of the wrong people arriving and then excluding themselves from our societies for political/cultural reasons.

The demonized “far right” politicians recognize and address this fact. The bien pensant political leaders of the left, centre and right are flailing in the face of a problem they created and the anger of their citizens that this should be so.

The mainstream media demonstrate a combination of cowardice and confusion in the face of the anger of their public. Their craven refusal to print the cartoons their fellow journalists were killed over demonstrates just how badly we are served by the press whose freedom we have sought to enshrine. Their willingness to go along with the line that CH had nothing to do with Islam and not to call politicians on this nonsense shows how completely they have been captured by the political class.

The question which now confronts us all is whether the collapse of the political elite and their lapdog media is going to be allowed to matter. The thousands of pro-Farage comments, the presence of 30,000 plus Germans in the streets of Dresden, suggests ordinary people have had enough.

And that is a start.

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A casualty

This is a sad story. It is also what happens when a nation forgets who it is. The France that marched yesterday included it’s Jews.

Not for much longer.

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What is to be Done?

So, the parade is over. The political class and a lot of white French people have expressed their solidarity with the dead. Now what?

Western leaders have pledged to increase security and surveillance of the “tiny minority” of extremist Muslims which is nothing less than what you would expect in the circumstances. There has not, however, been much chat about what to do about things like “No go” areas.

Nigel Farage was rude enough to point out that having a fifth column in your country is a poor idea. British politicians fell all over themselves explaining what a bad fellow Nigel was for making a political statement about a tragedy. The British public was delighted that at least one politician was willing to say what many were thinking.

But identifying the problem – “a fifth column”, “too many Islamists”- is not the same as trying to solve it. And a lot of the solutions ranging from outreach to outright deportation are dangerous because they fail to protect Western values while almost certainly failing to actually solve any of the underlying issues.

Fixing a decades old problem is not going to be done in a day or a month but starts can be made on a number of fronts.

First, suspend immigration and indeed travel from parts of the world where there is a significant Islamist presence. This would have two immediate effects: it would prevent the current problem from getting significantly worse and it would say to the Islamists and their supporters that actions really do have consequences.

Second, retake the no go areas. Canada does not have this problem yet but France, the UK, Holland, Sweden and German do. Retaking the areas should begin with a well re-enforce police presence. It should simply assert the sovereignty of the state throughout the state.

Third, make the promotion or enforcement of sharia a serious, prosecuted, criminal offence with serious jail time for citizens. This is nothing more than the assertion by the state that there is only one law of the land. Hardly a controversial position.

Fourth, make the promotion of sharia or violence by non-citizens an offence leading directly to deportation after a fair, but expedited process. The standard of proof should be administrative rather than criminal as such non-citizens are present by way of administrative leave.

Fifth, look for ways to encourage people who are unhappy or unsuccessful in their new country to go back to their old country. Frankly, French level benefits go much further in Algeria than Paris. For France to pay generous benefits to encourage people to leave is likely to reduce France’s costs in the long run.

None of these steps will solve the problem of I mass Islamic immigration but they will reduce its impact and the disruptions it causes. And none of them do significant damage to the basic principles of Western liberal democracy. There is no inherent right to migrate to the West or to spread the politics of Islam once you’ve arrived.

High Risk

The French government seems to think hosting world leaders and several hundred thousand French citizens at rallies for unity is a step towards the social cohesion which was damaged by the Paris atrocities. They may be right.

There is the obvious risk of more terror. Put a lot of people in one place at a pre-annonouced time and you create a target. I hope and pray the French security services are up to the job.

The greater risk is that the people who show up will be the lily white crowds who have attended the “Je Suis Charlie” demos to date. Will that build unity or will it serve to illustrate the two solitudes which have emerged in France. Without black faces and headscarves the rallies risk underscoring the essential problem Islam poses for France.

The gains from such rallies are ephemeral. If they are successful everyone will feel a little better. The downside risks are long term. Even without a terrorist outrage the stark divisions present in French society may well be underscored.

For France’s sake I hope the rallies are a huge success but there is no question that they represent huge risks for minimal gains. And on Monday the very real problems ill thought out mass Muslim immigration pose for France will be just as intractable.

UPDATE: The March has come and gone and other than anyone trampled by Sarkozy as he pushed his way to the front row, it was without terrorist incident.

And, with the exception of the President of Mali, it was a collection of 1.5 million white French people. I have been scanning the pics but I’ve seen no signs of any black faces. No doubt there were some which I have missed. No headscarves that I could see. I may have missed some of those as well as it was a cold day and people were bundled up.

However, I think it is fair to say that if the demographics of the crowds out today were the actual demographics of France the atrocity at Charlie Hebdo would not have happened.

Non-white, Muslim immigration to France has been a failure. There has been no integration at any sort of mass cultural level. Realistically, one reason why there are so few obvious Muslims at the Charlie Hebdo rallies is because they would have been made to feel deeply unwelcome. As they have been for fifty years.

The Solidarity rally reminded French people of a France which has vanished from day to day life. At the rally there were no “No go” zones.

The sullen, sometimes violent, black, Arab and Muslim immigrants whom the majority of the French population ignore or, sadly, despise are out of sight at the rally. As they are in the parts of France the rally goers will tend to come from.

Tomorrow the rally will be over and the intractibily of the French problems with race, religion and radicals will return.

A cunning plan

Whenever I want to get a sense of how the left is going to spin something I pop over to sites like Dr. Dawg’s. There you can see the left’s talking points being test driven.

On the Paris atrocity the first round was that the atrocity was horrible but only to be expected given how rude to Islam Charlie Hebdo was. Collateral to that was the idea that reprinting the cartoons would cause needless offence.

Then the lefty spin, faced with hundreds of thousands of people in the street in support of free speech and the right to cartoon without being murdered, became “this can’t have anything to do with Islam and if you make it about Islam the terrorists will have won”. A sub-theme to this is that only an Islamophobic racist bigot could think that Islam was in any way connected to the atrocity. The left loves to be able to “play the man” rather than actually thinking outside its comfort zone.

In this narrative the terrorists had rough lives which left them vulnerable to people who, themselves had a preverted understanding of Islam, and who recruited them to commit acts which real Muslims cannot condone. This narrative is very much in line with the political spin of both the political class and their media enablers who solemnly pronounce on what is and is not “Islam”.

The unenlightened ordinary people seem a bit resistant to the “nothing to do with Islam” line. Stupidly they have fallen for the literal meaning of phrases like “we have avenged Allah”. And, not unnaturally, they are flocking to support people like Le Pen and Farage who are openly skeptical of the “nothing to do with Islam” line being touted by serious politicians of both the right and the left.

The media chorus sings from the “come together in the wake of tragedy” hymn book as if the murders in Paris were some unforeseeable, unpreventable act of Nature. Of course, commentators and politicians are as one in urging restraint and the avoidance of even a hint of Islamophobia. (And the elites are working very hard to ignore the celebrations the murders were greeted with in Algeria. (And possibly other parts of the Muslim world.))

For the bien pensant ignoring the possibility that the Paris murders are part of a bigger problem, namely Islam itself, is the essence of political respectability. Averting one’s gaze, being deeply civil, searching for clues and root causes, ignoring pretty much the entire sweep of Islamic history and pretending that the wars in Syria and Iraq and the allure of IS are irrelevant is a full time intellectual occupation. Mental busy work to avoid thinking about less attractive possibilities.

Keeping the lid on is what the lazy, distracted, denialists of the political and media classes do best. Not for them to notice the complete absence of headscarves at the Je Suis Charlie rallies. The fact the Jews are fleeing France to emigrate to “that shitty little country” and North America is easily dismissed. No go areas where the law of France does not run? Only a racist bigot would suggest this has anything to do with Islam – it is poverty and prejudice all the way down. In lefty land there are only a few acceptable root causes and Islam is not one of them.

The more the politicos and media tout this “nothing to do with Islam” line the more divorced from reality and public opinion they become. You can gauge the pushback be reading the comment streams when this sort of silliness is being peddled. And, tellingly, in many instances comments are not being allowed at all on Charlie Hebdo stories.

Twenty years ago political elites and their media enablers could largely control this sort of political story. They could demonize dissent by referring to dissenters as “racists” or “bigots” knowing that this label would be echoed in the monopoly media. The internet has smashed that monopoly. The mobile phone records the ineptness of the cops and the Islamic battle cries of the terrorists:the people draw their own conclusions.

Hollande, Cameron and Meikle look feckless in the face of militant Islam. They make their impotence, their lack of creative solutions, their irresolution painfully clear. If they remain in denial of the essentially Islamic nature of this week’s barbarism they will be rejected by their more clear eyed publics.

Denial is not a long term strategy. Pretending that terrorism is not deeply rooted in Islam is a poor idea. Ignoring the support in Muslim communities for sharia law and cultural repression of women and girls is precisely the sort of anti-progressive hypocrisy which makes the media and political classes so easy to mock.

Faced with the political problems created by badly thought through massive Muslim immigration, the political classes are desperately trying to change the subject. It won’t work.

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Maryse Wolinski, wife of murdered cartoonist tells RTL: “We have got rid of those two but many many more remain.”

I woke up to the second seize in Paris and, as I write, it looks as if both seiges have ended with the deaths of some or all the terrorists. Let’s hope. The fact that there seemed to have been a link – either pre-existing or forged on the spot between the Charlie Hebdo killers and the man who took the hostages in the Kosher supermarket is disturbing but not surprising.

For Islam all the faithful have the obligation of jihad. It is an organizing principle which lies at the heart of this overtly militant and political organization. So it makes perfect sense for extremists to undertake combined if not planned action.

Disrupting the Islamic political project requires that we, like Nigel Farage, recognize that Islam is a fifth column, a hidden, political unit masquerading as a religion and directly and indirectly attacking the fabric of Western democracy. Farage took a lot of criticism from the likes of Cameron, Clegg and Milliped for daring to speak politically about the threat posed by Islam. Judging from the 40:1 pro Farage comments at the Daily Mail Farage has captured the deep anger and frustration of the general public at the great and good’s abject failure to confront and destroy the Islamic political project.

Close the mosques. Eliminate Islamic immigration.

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