Archive for the ‘Andrew Klavan’ category

Humor? | My Predictions for 2018

December 29, 2017

My Predictions for 2018, PJ MediaAndrew Klavan, December 29, 2017

Harvey Weinstein

It’s time for me to peer through the veil of the future into the face of tomorrow in order to describe the features of the New Year. Here are some events that are approximately 97 percent likely to happen in 2018.

The Super Bowl will be played between the New England Patriots and some other team. Approximately 76 people will attend the game, but the audience will be boosted by the hundreds who tune in for its live broadcast on Spike TV. The halftime show will feature Chelsea Handler singing her new hit, “Screw You, America, And Your Stinking Flag Too,” and will include a massive dance number representing the United States Army’s oppression of indigenous peoples around the world. After the Patriots win, NFL executives will hold a meeting to discuss the mysterious decline in their ratings. They will conclude they need more outreach to transgender people.

CNN will break an exclusive story detailing how President Trump personally funneled top-secret defense information to Russian ambassador Anatoly Antonov in exchange for a permit to open a new Trump resort in Moscow. Several hours later, CNN will issue a clarification stating it was not President Trump but his personal friend Melvin Hankey and it was not defense information but a bottle of wine and it was not the Russian ambassador but some girl named Lily Bernstein and it was not in exchange for a building permit in Moscow but in exchange for twenty dollars and that Hankey never met Trump but works in a liquor store Trump sometimes used to walk past. A day later, CNN will issue a clarification stating that Trump never walked past the liquor store.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will hold its annual Academy Awards ceremony at which every presenter will be played by Christopher Plummer. The star-studded event will be held at the San Pedro Elks Lodge, the only available venue large enough to handle the audience of 54 people without leaving a lot of empty seats. The audience, however, will be boosted by the hundreds of out-of-work NFL executives watching the simultaneous telecast on the Golf Channel. Ultimately Mr. Plummer will deliver the Best Picture honors to the independent production Loving Me, Loving Ewe, which the New York Times will describe as “an important look at society’s oppression of African-American lesbians forced to transition to manhood in order to consummate their relationships with farm animals.” After the event, Academy executives will meet to discuss the mysterious decline in the show’s ratings. They’ll conclude they need more outreach to out-of-work NFL executives.

The New York Times, a former newspaper, will run an issue in which the headline to every story is Donald Trump’s name with an obscenity next to it. Times editor Blithering Prevarication III will later give a press conference admitting that the paper may have strayed somewhat from its traditional standards of objective reporting. He’ll then begin repeatedly muttering Donald Trump’s name interspersed with obscenities and will finally burst into tears, sobbing, “God help me, I love him!”

Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake will make a dramatic run for elective office, promising to solve Flagstaff’s stray dog problem once and for all. He’ll be defeated by a local businessman running on the slogan, “Make Flagstaff’s Dog Pounds Great Again.”

After a judge sentences him to 39 hours of community service, Harvey Weinstein will be forced to take a job leading a workshop on sexual harassment in Hollywood. Calling a particularly attractive actress to the front of the room, Weinstein will demonstrate what men should never do on set by placing his hands on the actress’s breasts, buttocks and groin. The two will marry shortly thereafter

Working in a secret lab in the White House basement, Donald Trump will develop a cure for cancer while directing military operations that wipe out radical Islam during the greatest economic boom in American history. In reaction, National Review will run a cover story entitled, “Yes, But Is He Really an Intellectual?”

I’ll return at the end of the year to discuss how everyone else got their predictions so wrong.

A powerful totalitarian theocracy can bring peace. Of sorts.

May 2, 2015

A powerful totalitarian theocracy can bring peace. Of sorts. Dan Miller’s Blog, May 2, 2015

(The views expressed in this article are mine, and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

a1  Obama and Kahameni -building a toaster

Iran, an already powerful theocratic totalitarian state with extensive hegemonic ambitions, is about to become (if it is not already) a nuclear power. So equipped, it can extend its rule over the Middle East and beyond, bringing the “peace” of submission to Islam. Obama may favor this outcome and in any event appears to be at best indifferent.

Iran is ruled by Ayatollah Khamenei, its supreme political and religious power. He has the ultimate authority to approve or reject any P5+1 agreement, should there be one — which seems increasingly likely due to Obama’s ludicrous efforts to concede every possible matter of substance. Obama wants a foreign policy legacy and needs a “deal;” Iran does not need a “deal.” It has already benefited greatly from sanctions relief. Other nations have also benefited economically to the point that even were the U.S. to try to reimpose sanction such trade would continue and expand. Moreover, it is highly likely that Iran has done all of the necessary technical research on nukes and on delivery devices to the extent that, regardless of whether there is a “deal,” Iran can have deliverable nukes within a few months if not sooner. As I pointed out here, the insanity of the 2013 framework, adhered to except when arguably in America’s favor, led inexorably to this result.

The North Korea – Iran linkage makes the problem worse. Chinese nuclear experts recently revised their estimation of North Korea’s current possession of nukes:.

China’s top nuclear experts have increased their estimates of North Korea’s nuclear weapons production well beyond most previous U.S. figures, suggesting Pyongyang can make enough warheads to threaten regional security for the U.S. and its allies.

The latest Chinese estimates, relayed in a closed-door meeting with U.S. nuclear specialists, showed that North Korea may already have 20 warheads, as well as the capability of producing enough weapons-grade uranium to double its arsenal by next year, according to people briefed on the matter. [Emphasis added.]

Iran and North Korea have a long history of nuclear cooperation. Delivering North Korean technology, materials and nukes to Iran would not be very difficult. I addressed the problem here, herehere and elsewhere.

Consequences of a nuclear Iranian theocracy

The Iranian Shiite theocracy is totalitarian in every sense of the word; it has not moderated under “moderate” President Rouhani. To the contrary, it seems to have worsened. To the extent that credible figures are available, sexually transmitted disease has risen and the birth rate in Iran has fallen, considerably in recent years. Despite sanctions relief, poverty has increased. Where has the money gone? Iran pursues its hegemonic ambitions, most recently to help the Houthi in Yemen, while continuing to provide economic, logistical and weapons support to its other proxy terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and others. Iran is very likely motivated by its own desire eventually to control the Middle East and beyond.

The recent Iranian hijacking of a cargo ship under “U.S. protection” may well have been an Iranian warning to Saudi Arabia, an American ally and leading opponent of the Iranian proxy war by Houthi in Yemen, that it can and might close the Strait of Hormuz to Saudi oil exports.

Strait-of-Hormuz

Although obligated under treaty to come to the defense of the Marshall Islands-registered cargo ship, the Obama Nation did not. Instead, it simply watched as the Iranian Navy fired shots across her bow and took her to an Iranian port to the North at Bandar Abbas. The ship and her crew remain there. Caroline Glick, in an article titled The Marshall Islands’ cautionary tale pointed out that

The Maersk Tigris is flagged to the Marshall Islands. The South Pacific archipelago gained its independence from the US in 1986 after signing a treaty conceding its right to self-defense in exchange for US protection. According to the treaty, the US has “full authority and responsibility for security and defense of the Marshall Islands.” [Emphasis added.]

Given the US’s formal, binding obligation to the Marshall Islands, the Iranian seizure of the ship was in effect an act of war against America.

. . . .

If the US allows Iran to get away with unlawfully seizing a Marshall Islands flagged ship it is treaty bound to protect, it will reinforce the growing assessment of its Middle Eastern allies that its security guarantees are worthless.

As the Israel Project’s Omri Ceren put it in an email briefing to journalists, “the US would be using security assurances not to shield allies from Iran but to shield Iran from allies.” [Emphasis added.]

What can other nations, with which America has treaties calling upon us to come to their defense, expect from the Obama administration if attacked by Iran? Precious little.

Under credible threat from nuclear attack by Iran and lacking actual (as distinguished from verbal) support from the Obama administration, Middle East Arab nations cannot be expected to resist very effectively, even as they seek to obtain their own nuclear arsenals.

Israel, the “Little Satan?” She would fight fiercely to the end, but might be overcome. Perhaps she will take the initiative and destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities before they become too extensive and better protected, perhaps by missiles provided by Russia. I suggested here that she can and should do so. Here is a link to a far more detailed analyses of what she can and should do, soon.

America, the “Great Satan,” is not immune to an Iranian nuclear attack. As I suggested here, a nuclear armed Iran could launch an EMP attack to drive the U.S. back to the stone age. Such an attack would increase Iran’s hegemonic potentials, and hence ambitions, by foreclosing the possibility of American help to nations with which we have protection treaties. However, even without an EMP attack, Obama would not provide much help. Therefore, I wonder whether — despite all of the continuing Iranian “death to America” bluster — Iran would be foolish enough to do it before Obama leaves office. He does His best to help Iran get nukes and pursue its hegemonic ambitions. Why try to kill a staunch friend like Obama’s America?

The Obama administration — and many voters — view global warming, climate change, climate disruption and whatever new phrases as may be developed as the most severe threat to humanity. An interesting article titled Progressives at the Poker Table compares “Progressive” attitudes toward “the threat of climate warming and that of a nuclear-armed Iran.” Predictably, the Obama Administration and most of the “legitimate news media” are far more concerned about the former than the latter, even though there is little if anything that we can do, even at great expense, about climate change (mostly natural in origin). If so disposed, there is quite a lot that we could do about the far greater, and in any event more immediate, threat from a nuclear Iran. Perhaps it’s simply easier to stage pious shows about costly but ineffective ways to “save the Earth” than to make useful efforts to save humanity from Islamic ravages.

Church of climatology

Conclusions

Andrew Klavan ridicules Obama’s P5+1 “deal” here:

The Congress probably won’t do anything to stop it, so Iran will very likely have nukes and the missiles with which to deliver them soon — if it does not already have them.

Hitler made a “deal” with Prime Minister Chamberlain years ago and returned from Munich to display a piece of paper signed by Hitler. Crowds cheered. Hitler laughed and continued his hegemonic pursuits throughout Europe. Hitler could have been stopped with relative ease long before World War II erupted but wasn’t. The “Peace in our time” meme was too powerful. Then we fought WWII.

Is that how the current mess with Iran will turn out?

code pink on Iran

Andrew Klavan: Obama’s Nuclear Disaster

May 1, 2015

Andrew Klavan: Obama’s Nuclear Disaster, Truth Revolt, May 1, 2015

 

Andrew Klavan: Good News, Beheaded Christians

February 27, 2015

Andrew Klavan: Good News, Beheaded Christians, Truth Revolt, Andrew Klavan via You Tube, February 26, 2015

 

“Extremist” Islam is not extreme.

February 13, 2015

“Extremist” Islam is not extreme, Dan Miller’s Blog, Dan Miller, February 13, 2015

(The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

“Extremist” Muslims believe that the Koran and the Hadith must be taken literally and that Sharia law, rather than “man made” law, must control everyone. Secular Muslims seem to disagree or not to be very interested. “Extremist” Roman Catholics believe that birth control, abortion and pre-marital sex are sinful and oppose governmental support for them. Secular Roman Catholics seem to disagree or not to be very interested. 

“Extremist” Muslims are “literalist,” because they believe that the Koran is the word of Allah as faithfully transcribed by Mohamed, his messenger, and that there is no room for interpretation. The many conflicting verses in the Koran present a problem.

Rather than explain away inconsistencies in passages regulating the Muslim community, many jurists acknowledge the differences but accept that latter verses trump earlier verses. Most scholars divide the Qur’an into verses revealed by Muhammad in Mecca when his community of followers was weak and more inclined to compromise, and those revealed in Medina, where Muhammad’s strength grew. [Emphasis added, footnotes omitted.]

Classical scholars argued that anyone who studied the Qur’an without having mastered the doctrine of abrogation would be “deficient.” Those who do not accept abrogation fall outside the mainstream and, perhaps, even the religion itself.  [Emphasis added.]

Islamist literalism coupled with abrogation now has temporal, and often fatal, consequences for non-Muslims as well as for “apostate” Muslims because, as Mohammad grew stronger, his words became stronger and more violent toward apostates and other non-believers.

According to an article titled “What is Islam?” Revisited by Father James V. Schall, S.J., posted at Catholic World Report on January 8th,

Islam considers itself the only true religion. It has a “narrative” of itself that all branches of Islam hold, although they differ somewhat on how it is to be achieved. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

In the Quran, there is no mention of the Trinity or Incarnation, except explicitly to deny them. It is blasphemy to believe in them, as well as to question anything connected with the Quran. Allah intends the whole world to observe the Sharia, the Muslim legal code, observing its letter. As soon as it can, this law is imposed in every Muslim land or smaller community, even in democratic states. No distinction between Islam and the state exists. Everyone is born a Muslim. If he is not a Muslim, it is because his parents or teachers corrupted him. It is impossible to convert from Islam to another religion, without grave, often lethal, consequences. [Emphasis added.]

It is not against the Quran to use violence to spread or enforce Islamic law. Those Islam conquers, even from its beginnings till now, it either kills, forces conversion, or imposes second class citizenship. The Islamic State, now so much to the forefront, seems to have the correct understanding of what the Quran intends and advocates.  [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

Dialogue is looked upon as a sign of weakness unless it can be used to further Muslim goals. In the case of the killings that Coren lists, if they are looked upon as legitimate means, there is no need either to talk about them or to cease their presumed effectiveness in spreading Islam. One cannot really appeal to the Quran to cease these killings, as there is ample reason within it to justify them as worthy means. Had it not been possible to justify these means in the Quran, the whole history of Islam would be different. Indeed, it probably never would have expanded at all. [Emphasis added.]

Similarly, “extremist” Christians can be characterized as “literalist” because they believe, for example, that Jesus was literally conceived immaculately and literally ascended bodily into Heaven. These views now have no deadly temporal consequences for Christians or anyone else.

As for the crusades and the inquisition, which Obama used to try to divert our attention from Islam,

Obama - crusades

Islam is the only religion the textual core of which actively and unequivocally defames other religions.

Blasphemy

Soon after Muslim gunmen killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo offices, which published satirical caricatures of Muslim prophet Muhammad, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)—the “collective voice of the Muslim world” and second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations—is again renewing calls for the United Nations to criminalize “blasphemy” against Islam, or what it more ecumenically calls, the “defamation of religions.”

To ban “defamation” of Islam —  in reality to ban accurate factual analyses of its core tenets — is to engage in jihad via lawfare with the help of non-Islamic nations, including Obama’s America, while violent Islamic jihad against all religions except “true” versions of Islam continues apace.

Yet the OIC seems to miss one grand irony: if international laws would ban cartoons, books, and films on the basis that they defame Islam, they would also, by logical extension, have to ban the entire religion of Islam itself—the only religion whose core texts actively and unequivocally defame other religions, including by name. [Emphasis added.]

For example,

Consider Christianity alone: Koran 5:73 declares that “Infidels are they who say God is one of three,” a reference to the Christian Trinity; Koran 5:72 says “Infidels are they who say God is the Christ, [Jesus] son of Mary”; and Koran 9:30 complains that “the Christians say the Christ is the son of God … may God’s curse be upon them!”

. . . .

[T]he Christian Cross, venerated among millions, is depicted—is defamed—in Islam: according to canonical hadiths, when he returns, Jesus (“Prophet Isa”) will destroy all crosses; and Muhammad, who never allowed the cross in his presence, once ordered someone wearing a cross to “throw away this piece of idol from yourself.” Unsurprisingly, the cross is banned and often destroyed whenever visible in many Muslim countries.

Reforming Islam

Egyptian President al-Sisi — who appears to be a fairly secular Muslim — told Muslim clerics in Cairo on New Years Day (on or about the date when Mohamed’s birthday is celebrated) that Islam needs to be reformed, substantially. He “accused Islamic thinking of being the scourge of humanity—in words that no Western leader would dare utter.” Following his address,

Sisi went to the St. Mark Coptic Cathedral during Christmas Eve Mass to offer Egypt’s Christian minority his congratulations and well wishing. Here again he made history as the first Egyptian president to enter a church during Christmas mass—a thing vehemently criticized by the nation’s Islamists, including the Salafi party (Islamic law bans well wishing to non-Muslims on their religious celebrations, which is why earlier presidents—Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak, and of course Morsi—never attended Christmas mass). [Emphasis added.]

(Under the Coptic calendar, Christmas falls on January 7th.)

Obama, who continues to oppose al-Sisi and recently met with supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, ignored al-Sisi’s words and deeds. So did a spokesperson for His State Department which, in January

met with a delegation aligned with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood . . . . It is understood that the group, which included a leading Brotherhood-aligned judge and a Muslim Brotherhood parliamentarian, discussed their ongoing efforts against the current Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. [Emphasis added.]

El-Sisi came to power after he deposed the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist government in a popularly backed coup. After only one year of Muslim Brotherhood rule, 15 million people came out onto the streets demanding an end to their rule.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s stated goal is the recreation of an Islamic caliphate, although they follow a policy of the gradual implementation of sharia law. [Emphasis added.]

The Muslim Brotherhood, and “extremist” Islam in general, are Obama’s friends and advisers. They are also now the largest and most destructive enemies of western civilization; Obama assists them at every opportunity.

Meanwhile, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, Hamas, is busily training thousands of youth to attack Israel, the only free and democratic nation, as well as the only outpost of western civilization, in the Middle East.

On February 10th, a Jordanian columnist wrote, consistently with President al-Sisi’s remarks, that

“The escapism that mainstream Islam has nothing to do with those atrocities does not hold water anymore because Wahabism and Islam have become indistinguishable. To understand the crisis of Muslims today, one has to remember that Wahabism exists in several textbooks containing the alleged sayings of the Prophet Mohammad, or books of  ‘Hadith,’ revered by so many. What we must confront is the undeniable fact that it is from many stories found in these books that the unprecedented cruelty of groups such as the so-called Islamic State and Jabhat Al-Nusra emanates. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

“There is obviously a propensity towards eliminating ‘the other’ imbedded deep within Wahabist ideology. It is not only foolish to deny this fact, it is also dangerous, for we would be covering the cancerous tumour with a bandage. What we cannot deny is that many of the Wahabist textbooks are the same operating manuals that Islamist butchers use to justify their savagery. For example, very few people know that while [the Jordanian pilot] Muath was being set on fire in that macabre video, the voiceover was a recitation of an Ibn Taymiyah fatwa deeming the incineration of unbelievers a legitimate act of jihad. Ibn Taymiyah is not some obscure scholar on the fringe of Sunni Islam. In the Sunni world, he is universally venerated with the title ‘Sheikh of Islam,’ elevating him to an almost infallible clerical status. [Emphasis added.]

“If we really want to defend Islam as a religion of mercy, if we really want to be believed when we proclaim the innocence of this religion, we need to do more than just repeat this meaningless mantra about us having nothing to do with [ISIS]. We have to muster the courage to identify the specific texts that actually defame Islam, denounce them and permanently cleanse Islamic tradition of them.” [Emphasis added.]

Until “extremist” Islam reforms itself, as al-Sisi (and a few other Muslims) contend that it  must, Islam in all of its manifestations will remain an existential threat to what’s left of western civilization. If Islam manages to reform itself Obama — who considers Islam to be just peachy now — will, once again, be shown to have been on the wrong side of history.

Nuclear Iran

Unfortunately, Obama’s place on the wrong side of history may become apparent long before Islam is reformed, when Iran gets (or is permitted to keep) and uses “the bomb.” Iran, and perhaps Obama, have availed themselves of the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya, which

allows Muslims to have a declared agenda, and a secret agenda (Jihad, slaughter, and mayhem) during time of weakness, this is called Taqiyya.” To put it in simpler words, it is the “art” of deception, or more correctly, of deceiving non-Muslim infidels. [Emphasis added.]

Barack Mitsvah

As noted in a Gatestone Institute article titled Iran speeding to nuclear weapons breakout, Prime Minister Netanyahu is a lone voice crying in the wilderness.

[H]e is one of the two world leaders in the West telling the truth, warning of what is to come (Geert Wilders of the Netherlands is the other). This burden of responsibility for his people (how many of us wish our leaders had even a bit of that?) has earned him only the venom of the Obama  Administration, who see him as trying to spoil their strategy of leading by procrastination. [Emphasis added.]

It is also becoming increasingly clear that the Obama Administration’s policy consists of running after Iran, in order to concede everything it wants, just to be able wave a piece of paper not worth the ink on it, claiming there is “a deal.” Iran, for its part, would probably prefer not to sign anything, and most likely will not. Meanwhile, both sides continue strenuously to claim the opposite. [Emphasis added.]

Iran seems likely to get and use, or to keep and use, nuclear weapons by virtue of the essentially bilateral Iran – US nuclear negotiations. Please see also The Iran scam continues, which I wrote in January of last year. The situation has worsened since then, with substantial concessions to, and few if any of significance by, Iran.

Obama and Netanyahu

The U.S. concessions have, in part, been in exchange for Iran’s “help” in defeating the Islamic State and hence becoming the major power in the Middle East.

Iran would be the hegemon of the Middle East. Some states would ‎accept Tehran’s authority, striking deals and kowtowing in order to survive. Europeans would ‎accommodate Iran, based on its control of the flow of Gulf oil. Israel and Saudi Arabia, nations ‎that Iran’s rulers have threatened to wipe from the map, would be left to fend for themselves.‎ [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

Doran cites evidence that in the first year of Obama’s first term, there were more ‎White House meetings on Iran than any other national security concern. Detente with Iran was ‎seen as “an urgent priority,” but the president “consistently wrapped his approach to that priority ‎in exceptional layers of secrecy” because he was convinced that neither Congress nor the ‎American public would support him.‎ [Emphasis added.]

A year ago, Doran further reports, Benjamin Rhodes, a member of the president’s inner ‎circle, told a group of Democratic activists (unaware that he was being recorded) that a deal with ‎Iran would prove to be “probably the biggest thing President Obama will do in his second term ‎on foreign policy.” He made clear that there would be no treaty requiring the Senate’s advice and ‎consent.‎ [Emphasis added.]

The president believes that “the less we know about his Iran plans, the better,” Doran ‎concludes. “Yet those plans, as Rhodes stressed, are not a minor or incidental component of his ‎foreign policy. To the contrary, they are central to his administration’s strategic thinking about ‎the role of the United States in the world, and especially in the Middle East.” ‎ [Emphasis added.]

Obama’s plans may well blow up in His face and, of greater importance, ours. Iran, particularly with the help of Russia and North Korea, will be able to do it. Here is a

short animated film being aired across Iran, [which] shows the nuclear destruction of Israel and opens with the word ‘Holocaust’ appearing on the screen, underneath which a Star of David is shown, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Tuesday.

Don’t worry; be happy

Obama what me worry kid

Here’s the Revolting Truth from Andrew Klavan, which debunks everything bad ever said about Obama. Sort of.

Oh. And He’s not a narcissistic jerk either.

ALL of My policies are the best ever

ALL of My policies are the best ever

Andrew Klavan: Attack of the But-Heads!

January 29, 2015

Andrew Klavan: Attack of the But-Heads! Truth Revolt via You Tube, January 29, 2015

 

We Are Charlie: Free Speech v. Self-Censorship

January 8, 2015

We Are Charlie: Free Speech v. Self-Censorship, Gatestone InstituteDouglas Murray, January 8, 2015

(How many of our “allies” against the (non-Islamic, we are told) Islamic State, et al, take comparable measures under their laws against those who “insult” Islam or its prophet? Why does Obama persist in advancing, directly or indirectly, the notion that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam?” Does the future instead belong to Islam and its prophet? Unless and until the evil that is Islam is recognized as an existential evil that threatens our lives as well as our freedoms, rather than ignored and/or tolerated, the future may well belong to it. How will the appeasers of all things Islamic react when Iran gets “the bomb” and uses it, not only on the “evil” they perceive as Israel, but on them as well?– DM)

— DM)

It is easier to denigrate the people warning us about a danger . . . than it is to address the danger they are warning us about. The same holds true for Europe’s policy toward Israel: It is easier to bully an open, pluralistic democracy than to take on all those terrorists and the countries that support them, and it is to do what is necessary to get them to stop.

***********************

Will we keep on blaming the victims? Perhaps the media assume that it is easier to force good people to keep quiet, or keep their own media offices from being attacked, than to than to tackle the problem of Islamic extremism head-on. It is easier to blame Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Lars Hedegaard, Suzanne Winters, Salman Rushdie or Charlie Hebdo — and even put some of them on trial — than to attack the attackers, who might even attack back!

The press and the media seem to prefer coerced self-censorship: It is your own fault if you get hurt: none of this would be happening to you if you had only kept your mouth shut. It is easier to denigrate the people warning us about a danger than it is to address the danger they are warning us about.

Do you think a country should change its policies because segments of one community will run into newspaper offices and gun people down if you don’t?

If those in positions of influence do not deal with this problem now, we will not like those who deal with it later.

Wednesday’s massacre at the Paris offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo was not just a barbaric act of jihadist violence. It was also a test for the West and for the freedom of speech in the West. It is a test that we all have been failing.

Those of us who have proposed that all Western — and in particular European — news outlets should multilaterally publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons have been greeted in return with a terrified and terrifyingly self-conscious silence. The papers and broadcasters do not want to do it. Last time they refused to republish the cartoons, from Denmark’s Jyllands Posten, they said it was because the cartoons were from a “right wing” newspaper. This time they refuse to republish cartoons from a “left-wing” newspaper. It does not matter what the politics are — it is not about the politics, it is about the cartoons. The sooner the press at least has the guts to admit this, the better.

But there has been much worse than the cringing surrender that this refusal denotes. Consider just a couple of even worse examples from the mainstream media’s coverage of these barbaric events.

In the United Kingdom on Wednesday, the Daily Telegraph newspaper was straight out of the starting blocks. Within a couple of hours of the attack, as the bodies of the slain journalists had not even been identified, The Telegraph chose to run a report headlined, “France faces rising tide of Islamophobia“!

The press was already blaming the victims. Commentators on CNN opined that Charlie Hebdohad been “provoking Muslims” for some time. Perhaps they assum that it is easier to force good people to keep quiet, or keep their own media offices from being attacked, than to tackle to the problem of Islamic extremism head-on. It is easier blame Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Lars Hedegaard, Suzanne Winters, Salman Rushdie or Charlie Hebdo — and even put some of them on trial — than to attack the attackers, who might even attack back!

The press and the media seem to prefer a policy of coerced self-censorship: It is your own fault if you get hurt; none of this would be happening to you if you had only kept your mouth shut. It is easier to denigrate the people warning us about a danger on than it is to address the danger they are warning us about. The same holds true for Europe’s policy toward Israel: It is easier to bully an open, pluralistic democracy than to take on all those terrorists and the countries that support them, and it is to do what is necessary to get them to stop. That is also what Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel broadcast in her New Year’s message when she warned against the anti-Islamic “Pegida” marches in Germany: she said it was the marchers against Islamic extremism that have “coldness” in their hearts, not the propagators of Islamic extremism.

And so the Telegraph’s first response piece listed the terrible events of the rise of right-wing and other forces — as though the attack were the response to radical Islam, rather than even suggest that it might be radical Islam itself that was at fault. Once again, the “backlash” against Muslims took precedence over the actual murder of non-Muslims at the hands of Muslim fanatics.

Over in New York, The New York Daily News is not a newspaper that tends to pull its punches. But consider what it did while the dead were still lying in the magazine’s offices. It ran a story which showed images of a Parisian policeman at the moment that the terrorists — shouting “Allahu Akhbar” [“Allah is Greater!”] — gunned him down in cold blood. It also showed an image from 2011 of Charlie Hebdo editor and publisher Stéphane Charbonnier standing outside his firebombed offices, the last time the magazine was attacked, holding up an edition of the paper with an image of Mohammed on the front. But the image was pixelated. Yes — that’s right. The paper was willing to show a man who had been alive that morning in the process of being murdered. But they chose not to publish a cartoon of a historical figure who died 1400 years ago.

871Stéphane Charbonnier, the editor and publisher of Charlie Hebdo, who was murdered yesterday along with many of his colleagues, is shown here in front of the magazine’s former offices, just after they were firebombed in November 2011.

This is the pass that the free press has come to, even in countries such as America, and even in places where there has been no attack on a newspaper’s offices for “insulting” somebody else’s prophet. And then again, in the tide-wave of bafflement, the same excuses have begun to get rolled out:

“Has this to do with France’s foreign policy?” interviewers and pundits have mused. In this particular instance, the answer to that question is “no more than usual.” But the follow-on bit of the answer should be even more easily said: “So what if it were?” Let us say that you do not like France’s foreign policy. Do you think that a country should change its policies because segments of one community will run into newspaper offices and gun people down if you don’t?

Another diversionary question has been, has been, “Does this have something to do with the situations in which many French Muslims find themselves – the banlieues (less-affluent French suburbs) and so forth?” The only answer I have so far managed to give to this question is that there are really people out there who may not like where they live but do not run into newspaper offices with Kalashnikov rifles and start firing off. Many people do not like their neighborhoods. It is not the point.

Other media have gone straight for the placatory option. Across in Britain, from left to right, the response was the same: “British Muslim leaders all come out in opposition to Paris magazine attack.” As though head-shaking constituted some great breakthrough. There seems to be a long-term pattern — no matter how often the attackers shout “Allahu Akbar!” or announce, as yesterday, that, “The Prophet [Mohammad] has been avenged” — of condemning terrorist attacks in general, accompanied by bewilderment at the thought that they that it could have anything do with “Islam.”

There are also great loud woolly condemnations of “terrorism,” but never accompanied by naming the men or groups involved. And will we keep on blaming the victims? This all bodes very ill.

Charlie Hebdo was — I hope I can still say “is” — a magazine that satirizes any and all ideas. Their targets have included not only Mohammed, but also Christians, Jews, the French novelist Michel Houellebecq and the Front National leader Marine le Pen. At this moment, mainstream media and politicians should be ensuring that they understand the concerns of their publics, rather than treating them as radioactive “racists” and “Islamophobes.” If those in positions of influence do not deal with this problem now, we will not like those who deal with it later.