Archive for the ‘Moral equivalence’ category

The EU-Progressive Paradigm is Falling Apart

June 27, 2016

The EU-Progressive Paradigm is Falling Apart, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, June 27, 2016

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In short, millions of ordinary people in America, England, France, and many other Western nations know that the paradigm of transnational hegemony and technocratic rule created not a utopia, but an arrogant privileged class that believes it is superior and thus entitled to boss other people around and lecture them about backward superstitions and bigotry. And it looks like these average citizens have had enough.

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Long-developing cracks in the Western political establishment’s century-old paradigm suddenly widened this year. In the US Donald Trump, a reality television star and real estate developer, improbably became the Republican Party’s nominee for president. Bernie Sanders, a socialist and long-time Senate crank, challenged the Democrats’ pre-anointed nominee Hillary Clinton, who prevailed only by dint of money and un-democratic “super-delegates.” Meanwhile in Europe, the UK voted to leave the European Union, perhaps opening the flood-gates to more defections.

These three events share a common theme: populist and patriotic passions roused by arrogant elites have fueled a rejection of Western establishments and their un-democratic, autocratic, corrupt paradigm.

That political model can be simply defined as technocratic and transnational. Starting in the 19th century, the success of science and the shrinking of the world through technology and trade created the illusion that human nature, society, and politics could be similarly understood, managed, and improved by those trained and practiced in the new “human sciences.” This new “knowledge” said people are the same everywhere, and so all humans want the same things: peace with their neighbors, prosperity, and freedom. The absence of these boons, not a permanently flawed human nature, explains the history of war and conflict. National identities, along with religion and tradition, are impediments to institutionalizing this “harmony of interests.” International organizations and covenants can be created to enforce this harmony, shepherd the people towards the transnational utopia, and leave behind the misery and wars sparked by religious, ethnic, and nationalist passions.

Technocracy, however, is by definition anti-democratic. So how can the foundational belief of Western governments – the sovereignty of free people and their right to be ruled by their own consent–– coexist with an administrative state staffed by “experts” and armed with the coercive power of the state? Quite simply, it can’t. As for the transnational ideal of a “harmony of interests,” it was repudiated by the carnage of World War I, when the Entente and Central Powers sent their young to die under the flags of their nations on behalf of their particular national interests.  Yet the West still codified that transnational ideal in the League of Nations, even as it enshrined the contrary ideal of national self-determination, the right of people to rule themselves free of imperial or colonial overlords.

This gruesome war demonstrated that people are still defined by a particular language, culture, mores, folkways, religions, and landscapes, and that nations have interests that necessarily conflict with those of other nations. That’s why the League failed miserably to stop the aggression of its member states Japan, Italy, and Germany, and could not prevent an apocalyptic second world war that took at least 50 million lives. Yet the Western elites continued to pursue the transnational dream of technocratic rule after World War II, creating the UN as yet another attempt to trump the reality of national differences with some imagined harmony of interests. In reality, the UN has been an instrument used by states to pursue those interests at the expense of other nations.

Still not learning their lesson, the transnationalists created yet another institution that would subordinate the nations of Europe to its control, on the debatable assumption that the carnage of two world wars was wrought by national particularism. They confused genuine patriotism and love of one’s own way of living, with the grotesque political religions of fascism and Nazism, both as much avatars of illiberal tribalism as nationalism grown toxic. Thus was born the supranational EU, which began modestly in 1958 with the European Economic Community, and then relentlessly expanded over the years into today’s intrusive, unaccountable bureaucracy of anonymous technocrats that has concentrated power in Brussels at the expense of national sovereignty.

Similarly, in the US the progressives of the early 20th century began transforming the American Republic based on similar assumptions. They believe that economic, social, and technological progress rendered the Constitution––particularly its separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalist protections of the sovereignty of the states––an anachronism. “The age of enlightened administration had come,” F.D.R. proclaimed, and he set about creating the federal bureaus and agencies that have over the years expanded in scope and power, and increasingly encroached on the rights and autonomy of the states, civil society, and individuals.

But the Eurocrats and progressives forgot one of the most ancient beliefs of the West, and a fundamental assumption behind the structure of the Constitution––that a flawed human nature, vulnerable to corruption by power, is constant across time and space. As Benjamin Franklin wrote during the Constitutional convention, “There are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice: the love of power and the love of money,” which when combined have “the most violent of effects.” As much as the democratic mob, any elite, whether of birth, wealth, or education, is subject to power’s corruption and abuse. That’s why our Constitution checked and balanced power: to limit the scope of any part of the government, and thus safeguard the freedom of all citizens no matter their wealth, birth, or education.

In contrast, the conceit of progressives and EU functionaries is that they are somehow immune to the seductions of power. They think their presumed superior knowledge and powers of reason make them more capable and trustworthy than the fickle, ignorant masses and the elected officials accountable to them. History, however, shows that technocrats are as vulnerable to the corruption of power as elites of birth or wealth, and that power is, as the Founders were fond of saying, “of an encroaching nature” and must “ever to be watched and checked.” The expansion of the EU’s tyrannical regulatory and lawmaking power at the expense of national sovereignty is the proof of this ancient wisdom. So too are America’s bloated federal executive agencies aggrandizing and abusing their powers at the expense of the people and the states.

Thus the dominant paradigm that has long organized politics and social life in the West is now under assault, for history has presented this model with challenges it has failed to meet. The resurgence of Islamic jihadism and terror has been met with sermons on Islamophobia and therapeutic multiculturalism. A newly assertive Russia has pursued its national interest with state violence, only to be scolded by our Secretary of State for “behaving in a 19th century fashion.” The financial crisis of 2008 was caused in part by government political and regulatory interference in the market, the same policies that have kept economic growth sluggish for over seven years. Feckless immigration policies have been worsened by a failure to monitor those who get in, and to assimilate those that do. And most important, the redistributionist entitlement regime has weakened the citizens’ character, fostered selfish hedonism, and is on track to bankrupt this country and many in Europe. All these crises have in the main been the offspring of progressives and Eurocrats, whose only solution is to cling to the policies that empower and enrich them, but degrade their own cultures and endanger their own peoples.

Millions of citizens both in the US and in Europe have been watching these developments and living with the baleful consequences that the hypocritical, smug progressive and EU elites seldom encounter in their daily lives. This long-festering anger and resentment of those who smear them as stupid racists, neurotic xenophobes, and fearful “haters,” has now burst to the surface of political life. People can see that the “we are the world,” “global village” cosmopolitanism enriches and empowers the political, cultural, and business elites, but passes on to the people the risks of careless and often deadly immigration policies, and the economic dislocations of a globalized economy. They see that coastal fat cats, who can afford the higher taxes and the costs of environmental regulations, care nothing for the flyover-country working and middle classes pinched by higher electric and gasoline bills. People who live in tony enclaves of white professionals and hipsters support unfettered immigration, while others have to live with the crime and disorder that comes from thrusting into their midst people from very different cultures and mores, including some who have a divine sanction to kill the same people who have welcomed them in.

In short, millions of ordinary people in America, England, France, and many other Western nations know that the paradigm of transnational hegemony and technocratic rule created not a utopia, but an arrogant privileged class that believes it is superior and thus entitled to boss other people around and lecture them about backward superstitions and bigotry. And it looks like these average citizens have had enough.

England has spoken in favor of popular sovereignty and self-government. Soon it will be America’s turn. Our British cousins made the right choice. Let’s hope we do too.

Barack Obama, Pacifist

May 28, 2016

Barack Obama, Pacifist, Power Line,  John Hinderaker, May 28, 2016

Barack Obama spoke in Hiroshima yesterday. The full text of his speech is here. Obama did not quite apologize for America’s use of the atomic bomb to bring WWII to an end, as some had feared. But his speech was nevertheless deeply revealing of his world view.

Let’s begin by acknowledging that parts of Obama’s address were good, or at least unexceptionable. Peace is better than war! Modern man has developed terrible weapons, and the deaths of tens of millions are tragic. But it was in his specific references to Hiroshima and the weapons used there where Obama revealed his radical core.

This is what Obama had to say about the Second World War:

The World War that reached its brutal end in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fought among the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. Their civilizations had given the world great cities and magnificent art. Their thinkers had advanced ideas of justice and harmony and truth. And yet, the war grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes; an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints.

That is true. The war grew out of the “base instinct for domination or conquest” that prevailed in Germany, Japan and Italy. But note that Obama does not name the aggressors. He does not distinguish between the nations that started the war and those that defended themselves. He refers indifferently to the guilty and the innocent as “the wealthiest and most powerful of nations” “among whom” the war was fought–what a weaselly locution!

Similarly, Obama draws no distinction between America’s use of the atomic bomb to end the war in the Pacific and Germany’s concentration camps:

There are many sites around the world that chronicle this war — memorials that tell stories of courage and heroism; graves and empty camps that echo of unspeakable depravity. Yet in the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity’s core contradiction….

The lesson that Obama draws from World War II–the most epic conflict between good and evil in history–is the same for all nations. Those who started the war have nothing special to learn from it. On the contrary, it seems that the United States and others who possess nuclear arsenals are, at least implicitly, the most indicted by history:

We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations –- and the alliances that we’ve formed -– must possess the means to defend ourselves. But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.

What Obama calls the logic of fear is actually the logic of deterrence. But the practical need to defend oneself from evil regimes is not Obama’s concern. Rather, he calls for a “moral revolution” that will make war obsolete.

Whatever. There is no mystery as to Obama’s ideology, at least as he expressed it in Hiroshima. Obama is an old-fashioned pacifist: indiscriminately hostile to the use of force, he papers over the fundamental difference between aggression and self-defense. Pacifism of this sort was rather common during the years between the wars, but World War II refuted it, seemingly, forever. It seems that the passage of time has allowed fuzzy thinkers like Barack Obama to use that black-and-white conflict to illustrate, not the need for eternal vigilance in defense of liberty, but rather the moral case for disarmament. How far we have come in a few short years.

Obama and Ho Chi Minh: Embracing Evil

May 27, 2016

Obama and Ho Chi Minh: Embracing Evil, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, May 27, 2016

Obama Ho

On his visit to meet with Communist leaders in Vietnam, Obama criticized the United States for having, “too much money in our politics, and rising economic inequality, racial bias in our criminal justice system.” He praised Ho Chi Minh’s evocation of the “American Declaration of Independence” and claimed that we had “shared ideals” with the murderous Communist dictator.

Shortly after the “evocation” that Obama praised, his beloved Ho was hard at work purging the opposition, political and religious. When Obama references these “shared ideals”, does he perhaps mean Ho’s declaration, “All who do not follow the line laid down by me will be broken.”

Perhaps he means the euphemistically named “land reform” which may have killed up to a million people. Like Stalin and Mao, Ho Chi Minh seized land and executed property owners as “enemies of the state”. The original plan had been to murder one in a thousand. But the relatively modest plan for mass murder was swiftly exceeded by the enthusiastic Communist death squads.

Obama has consistently called for wealth redistribution. This is what it really looks like. It’s men being hung from trees or lying in dirt dying of malaria. It’s death squads coming in the night. It’s a declaration that you are to be executed because you are the wrong class in a class war. It’s a man condemned to hard labor in a New Economic Zone and a family starving to death because the regime has commanded that they must be made an example of to other peasants.

What’s wrong with a little wealth redistribution anyway?

As Obama said, on his visit to the brutal Communist dictatorship in Cuba, “So often in the past there’s been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist… And especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property… you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory — you should just decide what works.”

Does Vietnam’s Communist dictatorship work? Obama seems to think that it does, talking up the, “skyscrapers and high-rises of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and new shopping malls and urban centers.  We see it in the satellites Vietnam puts into space”. What’s a million dead when you’ve got satellites in space? What does it matter if you don’t have freedom of speech when there are skyscrapers in Ho Chi Minh City?

Unlike Pol Pot, whose genocidal crimes leftist activists like Noam Chomsky tried and failed to cover up, the Communist butchery in Vietnam that took place even long before the Vietnam War has largely been erased from common history. The victims of Ho Chi Minh and his successors have become non-persons not just in Vietnam, but in Washington D.C. Instead Obama associates one of history’s bloodiest Communist butchers with Thomas Jefferson.

What of the Declaration of Independence was there in Ho’s concentration camps? The brutal Communist regime whose ideals Obama praises, sent political dissidents to camps. Are those the ideals he shares with Uncle Ho?

Obama praises the “Vietnamese constitution, which states that ‘citizens have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and have the right of access to information, the right to assembly, the right to association, and the right to demonstrate.’  That’s in the Vietnamese constitution.”

The Soviet constitution had the same empty guarantees. The Nhan Van-Giai Pham intellectuals who were purged can testify that these words were as meaningless as those of the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence which Obama had quoted earlier. More relevantly the fourth article of the Vietnamese Constitution states that the “The Communist Party of Vietnam… the faithful representative of the interests of the working class, laborers and the whole nation, acting upon the Marxist-Leninist doctrine and Ho Chi Minh’s thought, is the leading force of the State and society.”

That means there’s no freedom of speech, press, assembly or anything else except within the confines of Marxist-Leninist doctrine and Uncle Ho’s cunning distortions that fooled almost as many American leftists as Uncle Joe’s plans for Eastern Europe fooled Western European leftists.

Obama equates a Communist dictatorship to America in an ugly display of moral equivalence. “This is an issue about all of us, each country, trying to consistently apply these principles.” Vietnam locked up political bloggers for “abusing their freedom” just this March. According to Obama, America has “too much money in politics”. Vietnam doesn’t have that problem. It only has one party.

The Communist Party.

Vietnam only has one party because its Communist leaders banned, purged and criminalized the opposition. But Obama doesn’t think that Communism is a particularly bad thing.

In his speech, he dismissed the Vietnam War as being caused by “fears of Communism” that overcame our “shared ideals”. Why were we afraid of Communism? It might have had to do something with the mass murder of 94 million people by Communist regimes. It might have a few things to do with concentration camps, bans of political parties and the imprisonment and execution of those practicing freedom of speech, assembly and the press.

Our “fears of Communism” were as real and valid as our “fears of Nazism”. It is only the fellow travelers of the left who deny this undeniable fact.

After one bout of mass murder, Ho Chi Minh dismissed his crimes with the words, “One cannot waken the dead.” Obama clearly agrees. The dead, American and Vietnamese, must be written off as part of an unfortunate conflict. We must forget why they died and embrace their killers.

Obama marked the lives lost on “both sides” as if the Communist terror squads butchering Vietnamese farmers or massacring Catholics were somehow morally the equal of American soldiers dying to stop them. Lives were also lost on both sides when America fought the Nazis. Reagan was rightly criticized for that sort of moral equivalence when he equated Nazi soldiers at Bitburg and concentration camp victims. And yet the liberals who protested that equivalence have nothing but applause when Obama equates murdered American soldiers and butchered Vietnamese families with their Communist killers.

When Viet Cong terrorists threw grenades into markets, are we supposed to mourn the children who were torn apart by shrapnel and the grenade throwers as morally equivalent? If we equate “the names of 58,315 Americans who gave their lives in the conflict” with the evil they were fighting, then we render their sacrifice worthless.

Their deaths become a meaningless mistake in an unnecessary war caused by our failure to understand our “shared ideals” with Ho Chi Minh and our irrational fear of Communist concentration camps.

That is Obama’s real message. We should have adapted some aspects of Communism and learned from our shared values. We should have closed our eyes to Ho Chi Minh’s atrocities as a matter of having to break human eggs to make Socialist omelets while celebrating him as another Thomas Jefferson.

That is the way the left saw it. That is still the way it sees it.

Obama’s trip to Vietnam is not a mere strategic journey, but yet another opportunity for him to remind us that the left has not repented or recanted of its solidarity and support for Communist terror whether in Cuba, in Vietnam or anywhere else. It still sees every Communist dictator as a role model worth emulating and every Communist mass grave as the price that must be paid for a better world.

Leftist Violence and Double Standards

May 3, 2016

Leftist Violence & Double Standards, Front Page MagazineAri Lieberman, May 3, 2016

Violence and MSM

The so-called “mainstream” national media has developed a penchant for focusing on violence originating from certain quarters while all but ignoring hooliganism emanating from others. The disparity in treatment is due primarily to an agenda being pushed by leftist elements within the media establishment including but not limited to, MSNBC and the New York Times.

Violence emanating from Trump supporters buttresses a false narrative that many within the establishment media wish to propagate; namely that Trump’s immigration and border policies are laced with racist undertones. The issue is not framed within the context of securing borders, protecting U.S. citizens from crime and terrorism and curtailing an already overburdened entitlement system for illegals. Rather, Trump’s opponents and their allies in the media have succeeded in framing the issue as one involving racial divisiveness and incitement.

That narrative, displayed over and over again in print as well as social media has succeeded in fueling extreme left-wing violence at Trump rallies far outweighing the violence exhibited by a very limited number of Trump supporters. Yet violence by Trump supporters is still given prominence despite its limited scope and scale. Isolated incidents involving violence at Trump gatherings are given disproportionate coverage far beyond their importance.

Consider the side-by-side contrast of media coverage in two separate instances of violence at Trump rallies. On March 10, a 78-year old senior citizen punched an anti-Trump demonstrator in the face at a Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The action was inexcusable and the perpetrator was arrested and rightfully charged with misdemeanor assault while his victim required no medical attention.

On Thursday and Friday, a large unruly mob of anti-Trump hooligans, some of whom displayed Mexican flags, assembled at the Orange County Fairgrounds in California where a pro-Trump rally was held. The mob quickly resorted to violence, blocking traffic, throwing bricks, ransacking police cars and attacking policemen. One bystander, who had the misfortune of wearing a Trump T-shirt was slugged in the face, knocked to the ground and required several unsightly stitches to close his wound. Several police cars were damaged and a police horse was injured. The resulting damage will reportedly cost the fairgrounds tens of thousands of dollars.

The former case involving the pro-Trump senior citizen made headlines nationally. Video of the incident was shown in an endless loop. Elements within the establishment media made certain to frame the issue as one with racial overtones, since the perpetrator was white and the victim, black. Coverage of the incident – which involved a single punch and no real injury – lasted for weeks with MSNBC and other media commentators noting (falsely) how Trump rallies draw racist crowds. Trump’s supporters were unfairly painted with a broad brush.

In the latter case, while the incident received prominent local media coverage, it lacked the national staying power of the Fayetteville incident even though the resultant violence was far more extreme and damaging. CNN tried to “balance” its reporting of the incident by citing claims by the louts that they were merely there to demonstrate their angst against Trump’s “message of hate.” Vandalism and property damage was justified as a “mere symptom of hate speech.” CNN bent over backward to provide justification or at least understanding of the demonstrators’ baleful actions. No such slack is ever afforded to Trump supporters.

Of course, there was no justification for the violence in Orange County just as there was no justification for the violence in Fayetteville. But for some inexplicable reason, in the eyes of agenda-driven leftist media outlets, not all acts of violence are created equal.

Bullying and hooliganism of the sort that had been characteristic of the radical right has now become part and parcel of tactics employed by the radical left. Whether it’s a professor calling for “some muscle” to eject a student reporter at the University of Missouri or pro-Palestinian activists disrupting a peaceful gathering at San Francisco State University, the methods are becoming more violent and their use, more frequent.

These incidents of radical leftist hooliganism are given mere scant coverage by the leftist media. Often, they are entirely ignored by left-wing media and only belatedly covered after non-mainstream bloggers bring it to the community’s attention by creating a social media storm.

In the case of Trump, it is readily apparent that certain elements within the mainstream media have sacrificed journalistic integrity to advance a particular ideology. It is indeed a sad reflection of the present state of journalism.

The Self-Contradictory Liberals

April 23, 2016

The Self-Contradictory Liberals, Gatestone InstituteDenis MacEoin, April 23, 2016

♦ Many liberals — not least the large numbers of students involved in campus demonizations of Israel, Jews, white people and other supposed public enemies — are morally and politically confused, not to say profoundly selective and bigoted, often in direct contradiction to their own expressed principles of peace, tolerance, diversity, and multiculturalism.

♦ These liberals repeatedly contradict their own ideals, not least when it comes to free speech, Israel, the Middle East, Islam, and the rights of Muslim women. Many self-declared liberals behave much as did the Nazis of the early years of the Third Reich.

♦ It would appear that, whatever Israelis and their government do may be dismissed as mere “whitewashing” to cover Israel’s original “sin” of being Jewish.

♦ Using an abusive form of political correctness and insisting on an absolutist version of multiculturalism, many devotees of liberalism often betray the ideals for which earlier human rights activists, feminists, anti-racists, and freedom fighters fought and even gave their lives.

♦ Amnesty International, a left-wing non-governmental organization (NGO) put its pro-Muslim politics above women’s rights — a remarkable step for the world’s best-known human rights agency.

It is no secret that politicians on both the “right” and “left” lie, dissemble, equivocate, misrepresent, misinform, falsify, whitewash and cover up. Not even the noble and honest Cicero was immune to fudging and shifting sides. It is the nature of politics. For much of the time we put up with it until it grows so far-fetched, we can no longer shut our eyes and let ourselves be lulled into further acquiescence. We all put up with this, do our best to spot the lies, or rely on investigative journalists to dig beneath the surface of what governments claim or their opponents hide.

But something strange has been happening to people calling themselves liberals. (Note: The term “liberal” differs enormously between the U.S. and the UK. Americans use it to describe anyone from the Democratic Party through to those even farther to the left. But the British use it for people from the political centre towards the right, and it has no connotations of far left extremism. It is used here in the American sense.) The far left — the Marxists, Trotskyites etc. — the campus extremists, even the new leadership of Britain’s Labour Party have started to contradicting their own ideals, not least when it comes to free speech, Israel, the Middle East, Islam, and the rights of Muslim women.

All sides of the political spectrum share many ideals in their original form: advocacy of human rights, equal justice under the law; the rights of racial and religious minorities, homosexuals, workers, women. They also share an opposition to racism, anti-Semitism, fascism, and religious fundamentalism. These are ideals in any democratic nation — views demonstrated by modern legislation across a host of democratic parliaments.

But many liberals appear to distort all this. They take extreme positions, guided by three linked but often confused issues: political correctness, cultural relativism and moral relativism. There seems to be a deep-seated belief, not only that all cultures possess and practice different values (the original premise of neutral cultural relativism in anthropology); or that, God forbid!, Western values are better than non-Western ones. Many liberals appear, instead, to think, that non-Western values are better or certainly no worse, than Western ones.

The idea that Western states, heirs to imperialism and still practitioners of indirect colonialism, have imposed their values on the rest of the world, makes the values of the “victim” — the “oppressed” and the “occupied” — superior to those of the West. But it is precisely Western values and laws that have been responsible for the very concept of human rights, for efforts to free former colonies, to bring aid to Third World countries, to grant rights to minorities, to introduce high-quality education, to advocate for women’s rights, and more.

No other former imperialists, not least those of the many Muslim empires throughout history, have acted in this way towards the subjects of their former colonies. Unfortunately, many self-proclaimed liberals have responded to this commitment to human rights by charging the West with some form of original sin requiring Europeans and Americans to carry a heavy weight of guilt (as documented so well by the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner in books such as The Tyranny of Guilt).

One of the greatest examples of the excessive focus on the West is universal condemnation of the transatlantic slave trade, supposedly divorced from the Muslim/Arab slave trades, which continues without protest from these liberals in some places to this day. This, even though the Islamic trade was larger and longer-lasting than the Western one. Mauritania today holds anti-slavery protestors in prison, despite slavery there having been outlawed since 1981.

It is not hard to see why so many liberals– not least the large numbers of students involved in campus demonizations of Israel, Jews, whites and other supposed public enemies — are morally and politically confused, not to say profoundly selective and bigoted, in direct contradiction to their own expressed principles of peace, toleration, diversity, and multiculturalism.

If this sounds a little abstract, here are some examples to show this confusion at its worst.

As a telling example of hypocritical behaviour, for many years now, a range of LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) organizations have campaigned against the state of Israel. They have marched, carrying rainbow banners, alongside far-left extremists and far-right Muslims, shouting abuse against Israel and calling for an end to the “occupation” of the West Bank.

The annual National Conference on LGBT Equality, Creating Change, is an event held by the US National LGBTQ Task Force, based in Washington D.C., one of the most important bodies in the struggle for gay rights. The 2016 Creating Change conference was held in the Hilton Chicago between 20 and 24 of January.

Writing about this event, leading human rights and pro-LGBT activist and lawyer Melanie Nathan declared that, “This week will go down in history as one of the saddest and most destructive, ever, in the lives of LGBTQ Jews. We became the target of antisemitism disguised as protesting alleged ‘Israeli oppression.’ Anyone who truly understands the history, the context and milieu will clearly access the bottom line and that came in the form of the chant that served to helm the onslaught by LGBTQ protesters at the Creating Change 2016 Conference, who yelled: ‘Palestine will be free from the river to the sea’.” As is well known, the river is the Jordan and the sea is the Mediterranean, meaning that Israel will be replaced by a large Palestinian state from which Jews will have been ethnically cleansed.

A pro-Israel LGBT organization, A Wider Bridge, had planned to host an all-inclusive Shabbat reception on Friday 22nd, with the aim of introducing delegates to visiting Israeli LGBT guests. On the 18th, however, conference organizers caved in to anti-Israel demands and banned the reception. Many people strongly objected to this divisive move; on the following day the banning decision was reversed. Clearly, trouble lay ahead, and, true to form, an enormous band of Anti-Israel demonstrators from the LGBT community disrupted the reception, chanting the rhyming slogan above while carrying printed and home-made posters saying “Zionism sucks,” “No Pride in Apartheid”.

That Palestinians sometimes beat and kill gay men is irrelevant to their way of thinking, as is the moral inconvenience that homosexuality is illegal in all Muslim states, and punished there by imprisonment, execution, or mob violence. These facts are of no apparent interest to those determined to slander Israel at all costs.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East — and most of Africa and Asia — where gay rights are guaranteed by law, where Gay Pride parades are held, and where gay tourism is encouraged. Yet, surprisingly, LGBT groups in the West never march or demonstrate to condemn countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others where gay men are hanged from cranes, beheaded, stoned or thrown from high buildings.

LGBT attacks on Israel and the distortion of gay rights as “pinkwashing” — claiming that the state of Israel uses its freedoms for all its gay inhabitants in order to whitewash its supposedly evil persecution of the Palestinian people — represent something psychologically troubling. Israel should be a major source of pride and admiration for LGBT people. Yet the very idea of rights for the LGBT community is simply cast aside in favour of deeply distasteful, profoundly misguided, and frequently anti-Semitic agitation that calls for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state. Liberal politics, post-colonialism, and a staggering inverted moral relativism work together to cancel out all the good that Israel does and all the safety it offers to all its citizens.

The charge of “pinkwashing” carries an even broader message. It would appear that, whateverIsraelis and their government do may be dismissed as mere “whitewashing” to cover Israel’s original “sin” of being Jewish — whether it be the remarkable international aid it provides in disaster-stricken regions or even the work of Israeli volunteers rescuing and feeding refugees in the enemy state of Syria, the 17 field hospitals and surgical centres Israel runs to help Syrians, its many advances in life-saving medical treatment, or the protection it affords to many persecuted minority religious communities from Christians to Baha’is. This blanket condemnation of Israel also carries another message: that whatever crimes other nations commit — from Iran to Saudi Arabia to Sudan, or whatever acts of terror Muslim groups or Palestinians carry out — these may be passed over in silence or even supported. And they are. There is even another clear message: that even the most positive side of the people we hate is really just a cover for sinister conspiracies. This view falls in line with the conspiracy theories familiar from Tsarist Russia, the Third Reich, Soviet Russia, the Baathist regimes in Syria and Iraq. Those are never healthy models to follow, above all for those who think of themselves as moral or enlightened.

Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Palestinians, members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, member states of the UN, and hundreds of other anti-Israel and anti-Zionist campaigners, supposed intellectuals, and politicians repeatedly argue that Israel is an illegal colonial entity, and that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is illegal under international law. In fact, Israel’s presence in the West Bank is perfectly legal.[1]

If there are allegations that Israel has taken land by force and claimed sovereignty contrary to international law, it has not. All Israel’s wars have so far been defensive. Either Israel was attacked first or has responded to a legitimate casus belli (legal cause for war) such as the closure by Egypt of the Strait of Tiran in 1967). There are allegations that Israel carries out “ethnic cleansing;” it does not — and much more.[2]

But when Israel’s supporters point out that its opponents are referring to lies that have no relevance to Israel — and when these supporters list UN resolutions (notably resolutions 181, 242, and 338), League of Nations rulings establishing the Palestine Mandate, and a host of other documents designed to enforce international law — Israel’s opponents shout and declare all these legal instruments to be invalid — for no apparent legal reason, but presumably that they demonstrate the falsity of their own claims. In other words, they show themselves to be not in the least respectful of international law. International law seems respected by them only if it can be distorted to be used as a weapon against Israel.

On the face of it, liberals often claim to share values that the rest of us hold, too. They declare themselves to be anti-racist, they call for rights for women, for sexually anomalous people, for the restoration of rights for people living in former colonies, for the rights of formerly oppressed people to self-determination, and much else that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But they seem never satisfied by the straightforward promotion of these rights through democratic processes. They appear to prefer angry demonstrations, occasional rioting, and even sometimes terrorism.[3] Using an abusive form of political correctness and insisting on an absolutist version of multiculturalism, many devotees of liberalism often betray the ideals for which earlier human rights activists, feminists, anti-racists, and freedom fighters fought.

Take racism: Liberals rightly work against discriminating against people of colour. But when it comes to the Jewish people, history’s most abused and persecuted ethnic and religious community, the pretence of being anti-racist is dropped and hardline liberals explode into racist fury, adopting all the techniques of far-right anti-Semites. In Europe, large numbers of liberal activists have joined forces with ultra-conservative Muslims to march through the streets of Britain, the Netherlands and elsewhere chanting “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas,” or listening as their terror-supporting Muslim allies sing “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahud: Jaysh Muhammad sa ya-ud” (which loosely translates as “Remember the Battle of Khaybar, O you Jews: the army of Muhammad is coming back.” Khaybar refers to the 629 A.D. assault led by Muhammad against the last Jewish tribe in Arabia.

697July 2014: Demonstrators in The Hague, Netherlands chant “Death to the Jews”, while flying the black flag of jihad. (Image source: Twitter/@SamRaalte)

Were these left-wing demonstrators to chant and march and threaten to exterminate any other race, they would be known for the racist thugs they really are. But Jews are apparently fair game. Many self-declared liberals behave much as did the Nazis of the early years of the Third Reich.

This clear anti-Semitism by the liberal-Islamist alliance is given another ironic twist that seeks to cover its racism by placing the argument on what appears to be a purely political footing. Although the UN Charter and other mainstream instruments call for the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination, as in Ireland, Turkey, South Africa, India, Pakistan and elsewhere liberal support for self-determination is betrayed by an almost total refusal to recognize the rights of one ethnic (and ultimately indigenous) people: the Jews. Of the post-imperialist states, one alone is singled out for opprobrium: Israel. Rhetoric about Israelis being imperialists, colonizers or fascists, leads one to think that Israel’s enemies know nothing about the vast Ottoman empire that was the last legitimate regime to control the territories from which Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the disputed territories all spring. The “Palestine will be free” marchers evidently know nothing much about history. Israelis — just like citizens in their neighbouring states — are a people freed from the tyranny of the Muslim Ottomans and awarded a new destiny precisely because Europe’s imperial powers, the League of Nations, and the United Nations, relinquished their right to rule in favour of Jewish sovereignty.

Today’s new anti-Semites ignore or are wholly ignorant of the long and unprecedented history of the Jewish diaspora.[4] No other people has longed for self-determination for so long or with such sustained intensity.

To leave Israel for a moment, we can find an important anomaly among liberal feminists who actively support the wearing of the Muslim veil and even choose to turn a blind eye to the misogyny of Islamic law, forced marriages, child marriages, female genital mutilation, honour killings and the stoning of women accused of adultery. This is, perhaps, the most hideous example of hypocrisy and double standards — finding fault with even the most trivial of Western attitudes to women while doing nothing to protect Muslim women simply because it supposedly is “racist” to condemn Muslims. It appears that the fear of being called racist is more important to many than a genuine concern for the human rights of a group that is clearly oppressed. A Western man calling women “chicks” may expect the full force of feminist wrath, but a Muslim man who beats his wife because the Qur’an advises him to, is exonerated because wife-beating is part of his different and purportedly inviolable culture.

Writing in Tablet magazine last year, Heather Rogers relates how she at first dismissed criticism of misogyny within Muslims communities because “Westerners have no right to tell Muslims how to live” and downplayed arguments about the rate of Islamic honour killings. It was only on later reflection, she said, that she began to pose questions such as, “Why aren’t more non-Muslim feminists speaking up about violence against women in Muslim-majority countries?” She then gives an example of how liberal feminists distort matters. “In searching the Internet,” she writes, “I begin to find the vestiges of a discussion of the subject among Leftists, which suggests some reasons why many non-Muslim feminists choose to stay silent. One controversy is to do with an essay Adele Wilde-Blavatsky wrote in 2012 for The Feminist Wire, an online women’s studies journal. Her piece says the hijab is a symbol of male oppression. A storm ensued. One response, signed by 77 academics, writers, and activists, said the essay was an assertion of Wilde-Blavatsky’s “white feminist privilege and power.” Instead of facilitating a discussion, however, The Feminist Wire editorial collective took down the comments, pulling the essay along with them.”

Rogers then cites the 2010 case when Amnesty International fired the head of its Gender Unit, Gita Sahgal, who had protested the charity’s alliance with a former Taliban fighter and misogynist, Moazzem Begg, an extremist who still refuses to condemn the stoning to death of women. Sahgal’s credentials as a secular Asian woman defending the rights of Muslim women in general were and are undeniable. But Amnesty International, a left-wing non-governmental organization (NGO) put its pro-Muslim politics above women’s rights — a remarkable step for the world’s best-known human rights agency.

It is surprising, yet all too predictable, to find pro-peace organizations and political leaders supporting violent and intolerant opinions and groups. The simplest example is the current leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn regards war as a last resort and has been active in a number of anti-war movements, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the hyper-pacifist Stop the War Coalition, which informs his current position in parliament. He continues to oppose renewing Trident, Britain’s nuclear missile capacity. We have to assume that Corbyn is, in principle, opposed to the use of violence except in extreme circumstances. How, then, is it that he has described the brutal terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah — the latter declared on 11 March to be a terrorist state by the Arab League — both of which have an open agenda of committing genocide against Jews, as “my friends”? He explains this as “diplomatic language in the context of dialogue.” Dialogue? This answer confirms that Corbyn has read neither the Hamas Covenant nor Hezbollah’s Risala maftuha (Open Letter). How does a man of peace enter into dialogue with Hamas? Here are two sentences from its Covenant/Charter:

“Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” [Author’s emphasis]

I have an Arabic copy of the Covenant in front of me: the translation is perfectly correct.

Here, from the Hizbullah Open Letter, is much the same thing:

Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people. Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated.

We vigorously condemn all plans for negotiation with Israel, and regard all negotiators as enemies, for the reason that such negotiation is nothing but the recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Therefore we oppose and reject the Camp David Agreements, the proposals of King Fahd, the Fez and Reagan plan, Brezhnev’s and the French-Egyptian proposals, and all other programs that include the recognition (even the implied recognition) of the Zionist entity. [Author’s emphases]

Dialogue, anyone? In his obsession with dialogue, Corbyn has gone further. In a notorious interview with Stephen Nolan on Radio Ulster last year, Corbyn was asked six times, “Are you prepared to condemn what the IRA did?” — referring to their use of terrorist violence. Each time he refused to give a straight answer. As Nolan himself put it at the beginning of the interview, quoting from a Daily Telegraph article in June: “This is a man who sympathised with violent Irish republicanism in the 80s, invited IRA representatives to the Commons a fortnight after the Brighton bombing in 1984 and at a Troops Out meeting in 1987 he stood for a moment’s silence for eight IRA terrorists killed in an SAS ambush.” He is also a man who invited Hamas and Hezbollah representatives into the UK parliament. Even The Guardian, regarded by many as anti-Israeli, has castigated Corbyn for this and his other associations with terrorists and anti-Semites.

It does not stop there. During an interview with one of Britain’s most eminent political journalists, Andrew Marr, Corbyn called for dialogue with Islamic State. A week later, in The Spectator, Toby Young wrote an article entitled, “Jeremy Corbyn and the hard left are wilfully blind to the evils of Islamist Nazis.” Of course, Corbyn himself did not volunteer to fly out to Raqqa to have a cosy chat with Islamic State’s self-proclaimed leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a spirit of dialogue.

What is the reason for this staggering naïveté? You can find some of the answer by looking at again at the Hamas Covenant and Hizbullah’s Open Letter. Here are some sentences from the former:

The Islamic Resistance Movement [i.e. Hamas] found itself at a time when Islam has disappeared from life. Thus rules shook, concepts were upset, values changed and evil people took control, oppression and darkness prevailed, cowards became like tigers: homelands were usurped, people were scattered and were caused to wander all over the world, the state of justice disappeared and the state of falsehood replaced it. Nothing remained in its right place.

Here is a single statement from the latter:

As for our friends, they are all the world’s oppressed peoples.

In other words, both Hamas and Hizbullah supposedly exist to fight for the rights of the oppressed, Franz Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth,” the victims of Western imperialism and colonialism, of American arrogance, of a worldwide Jewish/Zionist/Masonic conspiracy. What socialist would not reach out to condemn his own people and his own culture, would not repudiate his own history, merely to reach out to these victims? If Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic State, al-Qa’ida, the Iranian regime, and all the other promoters of violence proclaim themselves to be the champions of the downtrodden masses, are they then to be applauded, rewarded and financed?

It is not just the “hard left” that does this. The broad liberal press, newspapers — such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Independent, Haaretz — together with a broad consensus of politicians and church leaders, are always happy to tell us that when terrorist groups maim and kill innocent civilians it is not their fault, for the conditions of oppression under which they live have purportedly given them no choice other than to fight back; that the Palestinians have given up hope, that they and their children have no other choice but to shoot and stab their way to yet more years of failure, despair and security measures.

Most of us in the West have much to thank many real liberals for: the abolition of slavery, the cause of civil rights and anti-racism, recognition of the rights of homosexuals, empathy for the disabled, free education, the campaign against religious intolerance, and much more. Liberals share these achievements with many others from the “right” and centre, with Jewish and Christian ethical standards, with a growing sense of a shared humanity as set out in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But many pseudo-liberals have betrayed these same values and proven themselves unworthy of the work of their own ancestors — men and women who would never have sat side by side with terrorists, lied about Israel, fostered anti-Semitism or tolerated the abuse of women and children.[5] In all likelihood they would never have denounced the values of Western civilization, or valued the monstrous over the humane.

Dr. Denis MacEoin is an academic and journalist specializing in Islam and the Middle East.


[1] The occupation is perfectly legal in international law under UN Resolution 242 (1967), and was reaffirmed in the Oslo II Accord, Article XI. See Alan Baker, “The Legal Basis of Israel’s Rights in the Disputed Territories,” Jan. 2013.

[2] For a very full and wholly tendentious list of these “violations” see here.

[3] Liberal support for terrorism has recently been demonstrated by the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who has famously described Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends.”

[4] For a broad discussion of this, see Kenneth Marcus, The Definition of Anti-Semitism, Oxford U.P., 2015, chapter 6

[5] For a detailed and eloquent account of how the political left lost its way through the twentieth century and the early twenty-first, see Nick Cohen, What’s Left? London, 2007.

Op-Ed: The Left stands with the Islamist thought police

April 1, 2016

Op-Ed: The Left stands with the Islamist thought police, Israel National News, Giulio Meotti, April 1, 2016

The interview with Die Zeit is astonishing: “I feel much freer in Algeria than in France.” This shocking disclosure is from an Algerian writer who collected literary prizes in France, from the Mauriac to the Goncourt for his first novel.

On January 31, 2016, Kamel Daoud published an article on the events in Cologne in the French newspaper Le Monde .

What Cologne showed, says Daoud, is how sex is “the greatest misery in the world of Allah”.

So is the refugee a ‘savage?’

“No. But he is different. And giving him papers and a place in a hostel is not enough. It is not just the physical body that needs asylum. It is also the soul that needs to be persuaded to change”.

A few days later, Le Monde ran a response by sociologists, historians and anthropologists who accused Daoud of “recycling orientalist cliches” and of being an “Islamophobe.”

It was anathema for the “bête noire des intégristes”, (the fundamentalists’ bad guy) as Daoud was defined. The writer announced his decision to abandon journalism.

The attacks on this brave Algerian novelist and journalist also came from the London Review of Books, the journal of the Anglo-Saxon liberal elites, which defines Daoud as “irresponsible”. Rafik Chekkat called Daoud “the native informant,” arguing that “his decision to leave journalism would be the only good news in the midst of all this noise.” The Mediapart electronic magazine wondered: “Is Daoud Islamophobic?”, while its patron, Edwy Plenel, asked Daoud to issue an “apology.”

Olivier Roy, an Islamic scholar, published an article in Libération that, without ever naming Daoud, charged the writer of stigmatizing the Muslims. Jeanne Favret-Saada, an orientalist at the Ecole pratique des hautes études, wrote that Daoud “spoke as the European far right.” Jocelyne Dakhlia, professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, charged Daoud with “a culturalist vision of sexual violence.”

Daoud received a supportive phone call from the Prime Minister of his country, Abdelmalek Sellal, and has been openly defended in the press only by a few Arab colleagues.

One is Karim Akouche, who wrote in the magazine Marianne: “Our time is absurd, ridiculous, violent. They shoot without warning to those who dare shake (question, ed.) clichés (…)The voice of Daoud is more essential than ever for healing the ‘disease of Islam’”.

The Franco-Tunisian writer Fawzia Zouari wrote in Libération that the Left is silencing criticism like the bearded terrorists do, while Serenade Chafik, the author of “Repudiation”, pointed that “while the Islamists around the world shouted ‘death to blasphemers’, some journalists accused their colleagues from Charlie Hebdo of xenophobia. ‘Islamophobia’ has become the verdict of the new inquisitors and their Islamo-leftist Western friends.”

The Moroccan entrepreneur Ahmed Charai defended Daoud saying that “the intellectuals, at risk of their lives, are fighting for the universal values, but they are treated as ‘Islamophobic’. This is a great defeat of thought.”

Boualem Sansal, the author of the successful novel “2084” (Gallimard), said that Daoud is attacked by a “thought police lurking in the tall structures of culture and information.” According to Sansal, “saving Daoud means saving freedom, justice and truth.”

It is what happened to Salman Rushdie after the release of the “Satanic Verses”, when so many left-wing writers attacked not the Iranian Khomeini, but the writer: Roald Dahl, celebrated author of amusing children’s books, said that “Rushdie is a dangerous opportunist,” George Steiner, one of the most respected cultural critics, declared that “Rushdie has made sure to create a lot of problems,” Kingsley Amis commented that “if you go looking for trouble, you can not complain when you find it,” while the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper said to enjoy the suffering of Rushdie.

And it will happen again with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the most brave and important Islamic dissident. In the book “Murder in Amsterdam” and in a series of articles for the New York Review of Books and The New York Times, leftist relativists such as Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash attacked Hirsi Ali. Her call for the emancipation of women marked her as an “Enlightenment fundamentalist.”

A few days after the murder of Theo van Gogh, The Index on censorship, the magazine founded by Stephen Spender to defend freedom of expression during the Cold War,  published an essay by Rohan Jayasekera, associate director of Index, which described Hirsi Ali as a silly girl manipulated by Van Gogh in a “relation of exploitation.”

And when the Netherlands deprived Hirsi Ali of the bodyguards she needed for protection, the appeal to assign her protection of the European Union, promoted by French Socialist Benoît Hamon, failed in the absence of a sufficient number of votes, when only 144 of 782 supported the motion.

This is the terrible meaning of the “Daoud Affair.”

A great Arab writer told some important truths and the European intellectuals, instead of thanking and protecting him while Islamists threaten him with death, exhorted this novelist to choose silence, to take refuge in the novel, to surrender to his executioners.

It is an echo of what happened to Tahar Djaout, another famous Algerian writer, killed in 1993 by Islamists. The manuscript of his last novel was found among his papers after the assassination.

It recalls André Glucksmann’s famous title: “Silence on tue.” Silence, it kills!

No More Hug-A-Terrorist

March 23, 2016

No More Hug-A-Terrorist, Gatestone InstituteRaheel Raza, March 23, 2016

(Please see also, Islamic Reformation and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. — DM)

♦ How hard is it to understand that radical Islamist jihadis have declared war on the West? In simple English this means: they will find you and kill you wherever and whenever they can.

♦ Time and again, many of us concerned Muslims have highlighted the dangers of political Islam/Islamism, which stems from one of three sources: the Muslim Brotherhood, Wahhabi/Salafism or Khomeinism.

♦ The West has been asleep at the wheel, waffling about how to address the issue with “sensitivity.” Calling out the truth should never be subject to political correctness.

♦ The world needs to take the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to task and challenge it about what it is doing to stem the tide of violence emanating from the Muslim world. The world needs to understand that ISIS is not trying to set up a Caliphate. OIC is the Caliphate.

The terrorist attacks at an airport and Metro station in Brussels has by now claimed at least 34 dead and 250 injured.

Shocking, sickening and appalling — but surprising? No.

How hard is it to understand that radical Islamist jihadis have declared war on the West? In simple English this means: they will find you and kill you wherever and whenever they can.

Why? Because the Islamists have pinpointed the West to be “Dar al Harb” (land of war), a concept that allows them to justify killing anyone on this land. You, me and everyone in between — from the USA across to Canada, the UK and Europe.

Just this year, there have been terrorist attacks all over the globe, including Paris, Turkey, San Bernardino, Israel, Toronto, Ivory Coast and yesterday in Belgium. Whether carried out by groups or so called “lone wolves,” these attacks are not isolated and have one thing in common.

They are all the result of a dangerous, violent and sick ideology. Time and again, many of us concerned Muslims have highlighted the dangers of political Islam/Islamism which stems from one of three sources: the Muslim Brotherhood, Wahhabi/Salafism or Khomeinism. This ideology has been on the rise for 35 years while the West has been asleep at the wheel, waffling about how to address the issue with “sensitivity.” Calling out the truth should never be subject to political correctness.

How are we Muslims dealing with this ongoing terror in the name of our faith? Social media tells us a lot. There are the usual deniers and apologists; there is a comparison that “while we show solidarity for Brussels, we must simultaneously remember every other country of the world,” hence watering down the impact of the horror and carnage that has just taken place in Belgium and showing a rancid face of inhumanity and deflection from the real issue.

Then the victim ideology kicks in and it’s all about the fear of a backlash. I say let’s speak out, take responsibility and deal with the backlash — it will be worse if we remain silent.

Added to this are people like the repulsive British politician, George Galloway, who says Europe is to blame for what has happened. No one wants to touch the real issue.

The real issue is that this violence will continue and get much worse unless all of us stand up and acknowledge the ugly virus within us and say no to armed jihad. All of us, in once voice, need to denounce and condemn armed jihad as a seventh-century construct, not applicable in this day and age.

How have media addressed the issue? They immediately brought in “experts” to analyze the motives of the attackers to smithereens. There is nothing left to analyze. It is simple: It is a war against us. Let us stop the talking heads and take some action.

Political correctness should not trump the truth.

To bring home this point: Following an attack on two Canadian military officers in Toronto on March 14, 2016, I was invited the next day by a local TV station to comment. At first, the media did not wish to publish the words spoken by the attacker: “Allah made me do it.” The next day, the news reported that the attacker had “mental health issues.” Again, no surprise here. Mental health issues are a good “fallback.” But I said on the news that if a person has the wherewithal to find a specific military location and attack two officers, he is capable of being a terrorist.

Once again, we failed to connect the dots. The CTV News clip of my interview never made it to the internet. Are they not able to handle the truth?

1522Following a terrorist attack on two Canadian military officers in Toronto last week (left), the media initially did not wish to publish the words spoken by the attacker: “Allah made me do it.” Following yesterday’s bombings in Brussels, the media immediately brought in “experts” to analyze the motives of the attackers. There is nothing left to analyze. It is simple: It is a war against us.

Our leadership, meanwhile, has developed a philosophy of “hug-a-terrorist” and deflecting the conversation into a politically correct Kumbaya mode.

On October 22, 2014, I wrote an open letter to Canadians on my blog. In this I made some clear suggestions about the dangers we face, and solutions. The backlash was fast and furious, not only from Muslims but from bleeding-heart white liberals — those who do not help our cause by promoting the victim ideology.

So, once again we are standing where we were many years ago, but worse off because hundreds more civilians have been slaughtered in the radical Islamist war against the West.

Countering this armed jihad is our responsibility because the problem emanates from the House of Islam and the lives of our next generations are at stake here.

There are solutions. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has a membership of 57 Muslims states spread over four continents, is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations. The world needs to take the OIC to task and challenge it about what it has done or is doing to stem the tide of violence emanating from the Muslim world. The world needs to understand that ISIS is not trying to set up a Caliphate. The OIC is the Caliphate. Its members conveniently look away in face of blatant terrorism because their only focus is to dislodge Israel and condemn the West.

We cannot let the OIC speak for us. We face a simple choice: We can either speak out ourselves or wait for Mr. Trump to be elected and he will do it for us.

Raheel Raza is president of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow and founding member of the Muslim Reform Movement.

Not Satire | Anti-Trump protesters are patriots

March 17, 2016

Anti-Trump protesters are patriots, Boston Globe, Renée Graham, March 17, 2016

(Please see also, US democracy at stake amid campaign violence, major Jewish group warns.

Humpty Dumpty words

— DM)

Aniti trump protestors
Protesters are removed as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C., on March 9, 2016.

Donald Trump slams protesters at his rallies as “thugs” but, as usual, the unhinged GOP presidential front-runner is dead wrong:

They’re patriots.

By now, any protester at a Trump rally knows what they will face. The lucky ones will only be ridiculed by the candidate, have their anti-Trump signs yanked away and torn to pieces, and be hustled out of the arena. At worst — at least so far — they’ll be peppered with racist or anti-Semitic invective, manhandled by security guards, spat on, or sucker-punched by some moron sorry only that he couldn’t have inflicted more lethal damage.

With Trump nearly sweeping this week’s primaries, those rallies will become more hostile toward anyone pushing against his hideous rhetoric. Yet those patriots will still come, not just because they oppose Trump but for the love of their country which is being shoved toward the abyss. As poet Adrienne Rich wrote in “An Atlas of the Difficult World”:

A patriot is one who wrestles/ for the soul of her country/ as she wrestles for her own being.

Odds are these aren’t the people who fueled an all-time spike in Google searches on moving to Canada after Trump won multiple states on Super Tuesday. They weren’t checking real estate prices in Toronto or job openings in Vancouver. Patriots don’t surrender their nation to a preening narcissist or to his supporters, who, like goats unable to discern between what they should chew up or spit out, swallow whole all the nonsense they’re fed.

Armed with nothing more than the unshakeable certainty that their nation will collapse under the weight of Trump’s insatiable ego, they walk into arenas where they will be met with scorn, even physical retaliation. This stunningly frightful time demands more than hash tags, and these protestors have placed themselves on the front line.

That’s a lot more than Trump’s fellow GOP candidates have done. On “Meet the Press” last Sunday, Governor John Kasich of Ohio said, when asked if he would support Trump as the presidential nominee, “It’s tough.” Actually, Governor Kasich, it’s not. Likewise, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas condemns the bombastic billionaire’s bruising style, but in his next breath says he will back the party’s nominee — even if it’s the troubling GOP front-runner. Kasich and Cruz would rather save their floundering party than the nation they claim to love.

For his part, Trump told CNN that if he doesn’t get the nomination, “I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen.” That veiled threat is nothing more than a dog whistle for Trump’s rowdiest supporters.

Still, even under the risk of mayhem from those supporters, rally protesters are determined to keep that craven man with his dark dreams from running this nation into the ground. That is the essence of patriotism.

Especially after 9/11, patriotism was remade into something regressive and divisive, not unlike what extremists have done to various religions. It became flag pins and “freedom fries,” while dissent became tantamount to treason. Too many were left sputtering in enraged silence. Perhaps spurred by the success of the Black Lives Matter movement, many have found again the lasting power of voices joined in a common cause.

And that cause is to stop Donald Trump. Those who oppose him — and they will grow in number as he racks up primary and caucus wins — will not relinquish their country to the kind of made-for-television tyranny that Trump spews as easily as he breathes. A true patriot knows that for America to be great, it must be wrested away from this vain, empty man who believes in nothing but himself.

Trump and the Left’s Accusations of Fascism

March 16, 2016

Trump and the Left’s Accusations of Fascism, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, March 16, 2016

trump

Donald Trump’s success in the primaries and his rhetoric have sparked troubled meditations about an awakening of fascist impulses among his supporters. Bret Stephens has drawn an analogy with the Thirties, “the last dark age of Western politics,” and compared Trump to Benito Mussolini. On the left, Dana Milbank, in a column titled “Trump Flirts with Fascism,” wrote about a campaign rally at which Trump was “leading supporters in what looked very much like a fascist salute,” a scene New York Times house-conservative David Brooks linked to the Nuremberg party rallies.

Much of the rhetoric that links Trump to fascism or Nazism is merely the stale ad Hitlerum fallacy used by progressives to demonize the candidate. They did the same thing when they called George W. Bush “Bushitler.” This slur reflects the hoary leftist dogma that conservatives at heart are repressed xenophobes and knuckle-dragging racists lusting for a messianic leader to restore their lost “white privilege” and punish their minority, immigrant, and feminist enemies. As such, the attack on Trump is nothing new or unexpected from a progressive ideology whose totalitarian inclinations have always had much more in common with fascism than conservatism does.

What Auden called the “low dishonest decade” of the Thirties, however, is indeed instructive for our predicament today, but not because of any danger of a fascist party taking root in modern America. Communism was (and in some ways still is) vastly more successful at infiltrating and shaping American political, cultural, and educational institutions than fascism ever was. But the same cultural pathologies that enabled both fascist and Nazi aggression still afflict us today. These pathologies and their malign effects are more important than the reasons for Trump’s popularity–– anger at elites, economic stagnation, and anti-immigrant passions–– that supposedly echo the “waves of fear and anger” of Auden’s Thirties.

The most important delusion of the Thirties still active today is the idealistic internationalism that had developed over the previous century. A world shrunk by new communication and transportation technologies and linked by global trade, internationalists argued, meant nations and peoples were becoming more alike. Thus they desired the same prosperity, political freedom, human rights, and peace that the West enjoyed. Interstate relations now should be based on this “harmony of interests,” and managed by non-lethal transnational organizations rather than by force. Covenants and treaties like the Hague and Geneva Conventions, and institutions like the League of Nations and the International Court of Arbitration, could peacefully resolve conflicts among nations through diplomatic engagement, negotiation, and appeasement.

The Preamble to the First Hague Convention (1899) captures the idealism that would compromise foreign policy in the Thirties. The Convention’s aims were “the maintenance of the general peace” and “the friendly settlement of international disputes.” This goal was based on the “solidarity which unites the member of the society of civilized nations” and their shared desire for “extending the empire of law and of strengthening the appreciation of international justice.” Two decades later, the monstrous death and destruction of World War I should have shattered the delusion of such “solidarity” existing even among the “civilized nations.” Despite that gruesome lesson, Europe doubled down and created the League of Nations, which failed to stop the serial aggression that culminated in World War II.

But the League wasn’t the only manifestation of naïve internationalism. The Locarno Treaty of 1925 welcomed Germany back into the community of nations with a seat on the League of Nations council. Nobel Peace prizes, and wish-fulfilling headlines like the New York Times’ “France and Germany Bar War Forever,” were all that resulted. The Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928 “condemn[ed] recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce[d] it as an instrument of national policy” in interstate relations. The signing powers asserted that “the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts . . . shall never be sought except by pacific means.”

All the future Axis Powers signed the treaty, and they all soon shredded these “parchment barriers.” In the next few years, Japan invaded Manchuria, Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland in gross violation of the Versailles Treaty, and Italy invaded Ethiopia. By the time Germany annexed Austria, and Neville Chamberlain’s faith in negotiation and appeasement handed Czechoslovakia to Hitler, all these treaties and conventions and conferences were dead letters, and the League of Nations was exposed as a “cockpit in the tower of Babel,” as Churchill suggested after the First World War.

However, such graphic and costly evidence showing the folly of “covenants without the sword,” as Hobbes put it, did not discredit this dangerous idealism over the following decades. Indeed, it lies behind the disasters of Obama’s foreign policy. Just consider his “outreach” to our enemies, his acknowledgement of our own “imperfections,” his reliance on toothless U.N. Security Council Resolutions, his preference for non-lethal economic sanctions to pressure adversaries, and his belief that negotiated settlements and agreements can achieve peace and good relations even with our fiercest enemies. All reflect the same failure to recognize that our adversaries in fact do not sincerely want to reach an agreement, for the simple reason they are not in fact “just like us,” and so they do not want peace and prosperity and good relations with their neighbors and the “world community.”

The catalogue of Obama’s failures is long and depressing. The “reset” with Russia and promise of “flexibility,” the empty “red line” threats against Bashar al Assad, the arrogant dismissal of a metastasizing ISIS as a “jayvee” outfit, the alienation of allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, the cultivation of the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood, the ill-conceived overthrow of Muammar Ghaddafi, and the rhetoric of guilt and self-abasement are just the most noteworthy failures. The nuclear deal with Iran, of course, is the premier monument to this folly. Yet despite the increasing evidence of its futility­­––Iran’s saber-rattling in the Gulf, capture of U.S. military personnel, genocidal rhetoric, and testing of missiles in blatant violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution–– Obama still clings to this internationalist delusion.

A recent article in The Atlantic on Obama’s foreign policy shows, despite his protestations of hardheaded “realism,” that he has not learned from his failures. Thus he still thinks that the vigorous use of force is usually an unnecessary and dangerous mistake, and that verbal persuasion and diplomatic engagement are more effective. He also still believes that “multilateralism regulates [U.S.] hubris” of the sort that George W. Bush showed when he recklessly invaded Iraq, and that American foreign policy has frequently displayed.

Obama’s delusional faith in rhetoric, especially his own, comes through in his rationale for the infamous 2009 Cairo speech: “I was hoping that my speech could trigger a discussion, could create space for Muslims to address the real problems they are confronting—problems of governance, and the fact that some currents of Islam have not gone through a reformation that would help people adapt their religious doctrines to modernity.” The idea that Obama’s mere words could start a “discussion” that would transform 14-century-old religious doctrines fundamentally inimical to liberal democracy, human rights, and all the other Western goods we live by, is a fantasy. Obama’s self-regard recalls Neville Chamberlain’s boast after his meeting with Hitler at Bad Godesberg that he “had established some degree of personal influence with Herr Hitler.”

Or consider Obama’s take on Vladimir Putin:

He understands that Russia’s overall position in the world is significantly diminished. And the fact that he invades Crimea or is trying to prop up Assad doesn’t suddenly make him a player. You don’t see him in any of these meetings out here helping to shape the agenda. For that matter, there’s not a G20 meeting where the Russians set the agenda around any of the issues that are important.

A “player,” in Obama’s foreign policy universe, is a leader who uses “smart power” like diplomacy and negotiated deals, and recognizes that the use of force will backfire and lead to costly “quagmires.” As Secretary of State John Kerry suggested, Putin is using outdated “19th century” instruments of foreign policy like military force in a world that presumably has evolved beyond it.

In contrast, a genuine “player,” as Obama fancies himself, attends summits and conferences, such as the useless climate change conference in Paris, and “sets the agenda.” And like his rationale for the Cairo speech, as the leader of the world’s greatest power, his rhetoric alone can be a force for change. Thus just saying that Syria’s “Assad must go,” while doing nothing to achieve that end, is still useful, and refusing to honestly identify the traditional Islamic foundations of modern jihadism will build good will among Muslims and turn them against the “extremists.”

Meanwhile, Putin and Iran fight and bomb and kill in Syria and Iraq, and now they are the big “players” in a region that the U.S. once dominated, but that now serves the interests of Russia and Iran. I’m reminded of Demosthenes’ scolding of the Athenians for refusing to confront Phillip II of Macedon: “Where either side devotes its time and energy, there it succeeds the better––Phillip in action, but you in argument.”

In other words, for Obama as for Chamberlain, appeasing words rather than forceful deeds are the key to foreign policy––precisely the belief that led England to disastrously underestimate Hitler until it was too late. And that same belief has turned the Middle East into a Darwinian jungle of clashing tribes, sects, and nations.

Obama wraps his foreign policy of retreat in claims to “realist” calculations of America’s security and genuine interests, and buttresses his claim by citing his strategically inconsequential drone killings. But such rhetoric hides an unwillingness to risk consequential action and pay its political costs. And it reflects a commitment to the internationalist idealism that gives diplomatic verbal processes an almost magical power to transform inveterate enemies into helpful partners. Europe tried that in the Thirties, and it led to disaster. That’s a much more important lesson from that sorry decade’s history than the lurid fantasies about fascism coming to America on the wings of Trump’s rhetoric.

Humor+ | Laugh. It’s the Best Medicine. Then get serious again.

February 11, 2016

Laugh. It’s the Best Medicine. Then get serious again. Dan Miller’s Blog, February 11, 2016

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

Obama and Hillary are evil and some Republican candidates are bad. Stay mad, but laugh occasionally because it’s refreshing. Then, let’s take America back.

Sometimes life is hard.

Yeah, but wouldn’t it be terrible if everything always happened just as we want it to?

This is pretty much how government really works. They just aren’t this good as telling us.

Jimmy Buffett manages to offend just about everyone while being funny as he does it. That’s good!

It’s about time for a drink.

 

OK, it’s time to get serious again.

Obama said, “You didn’t build that.” Yes we did; He didn’t, and He keeps trying to tear her down and to rebuild her in His own image.

Now she’s ours. We intend to keep her and to make her as productive, strong and hopeful as she once was. Xenophobic? Damn right.

We can take her back. Will we? You betcha!