Forward to the past 7

What does a conservative in the US most want to conserve? We would say: A commitment to liberty, the founding principle of his country. American conservatives may differ from each other on questions of religion, foreign affairs, entitlements and the economic “safety-net”, homosexual marriage and abortion, even on defense, but if they are not loyal to the Constitution and the idea of individual freedom that it enshrines, they are not true conservatives.

In Britain too, conservatives are dedicated to the defense of the traditional and hard-won liberties of the people.

In Russia, being a conservative means something different. The very opposite. What Russian conservatives want to conserve is their long and almost completely unbroken tradition of tyranny. The quarrel within their ranks would now, in post-Soviet times, be chiefly over whether they want a return to the Red Tyranny of Bolshevism, or the older tradition of Tsarist oppression, where cause for national pride may more confidently be found.

Owen Matthews, author of  Stalin’s Children, writes in the Spectator (UK) about a conservative Russian military leader:

Strange times throw up strange heroes — and in Russia’s proxy war with Ukraine, none is more enigmatic than the Donetsk rebel leader Igor Girkin, better known by his nom de guerre of Igor Strelkov.

In a few short months, Strelkov has gone from being an obscure military re-enactor to the highest-profile rebel leader in eastern Ukraine. But at the same time Strelkov’s fame and outspoken criticism of Vladimir Putin for failing to sufficiently support the rebels has earned him the enmity of the Kremlin. Moreover, Strelkov’s brand of sentimental ultra-nationalism, extreme Orthodoxy and Russian Imperial nostalgia offer a frightening glimpse into one of Russia’s possible futures.

In the West, we are used to seeing Putin cast as a dangerous adventurer and nationalist. But to Strelkov, and to the millions of Russians who have come to admire him, Putin isn’t nearly nationalist enough.

Within weeks of his arrival in eastern Ukraine in May this year, apparently on his own initiative, Strelkov quickly became the highest-profile rebel leader thanks to his discipline and military bearing. A veteran of wars in Bosnia, Transnistria and Chechnya, Strelkov is a reserve colonel in the Russian army and a former (and possibly current) officer in Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU. With his clipped moustache, pressed fatigues and careful charm, Strelkov styles himself on a pre–revolutionary Tsarist officer. In May he mustered a 2,000-strong local defence force in Slavyansk, banned his troops from swearing and ordered two of his own men to be summarily executed for looting.

He wrote a manifesto calling his troops “an Orthodox army who are proud that we serve not the golden calf but our Lord Jesus Christ” and declared that “swearing is blasphemy, and a Russian warrior cannot use the language of the enemy. It demeans us spiritually, and will lead the army to defeat”.

Russian state television built Strelkov up as a hero. The nationalist writer Egor Prosvirnin praised him as the “Russian God of War” who “rinks the blood of foreign mercenaries to the last drop, and then asks for more”. …

And then, in mid-August, Strelkov mysteriously resigned his post as “defence minister” of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic — along with two other Russian citizens who had been the civilian heads of the rebel Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. All three rebel leaders were replaced by Ukrainian citizens.

The most obvious explanation for the reshuffle is that Moscow is preparing a negotiated settlement where the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine — or Novo-Rossiya, “New Russia”, in Russian nationalist parlance — will be given some degree of autonomy within Ukraine. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — from young soldiers’ Instagram selfies tagged to locations inside Ukraine to the Russian regular soldiers taken prisoners of war on Monday by Kiev’s troops — Moscow has also continued to insist that it is not a combatant in Ukraine. Clearly, having Russian citizens at the helm of supposedly autonomous rebel republics and their armed forces was a diplomatic inconvenience to the Kremlin which needed to be fixed — and pressure was put on Strelkov and his cronies to quit.

But there’s another, deeper meaning to Strelkov’s fall from favour. Though he’s often portrayed as a stooge of Moscow, Strelkov has in fact been consistently critical of the Kremlin’s failure to act decisively to annex eastern Ukraine as it annexed Crimea in spring. “Having taken Crimea, Putin began a revolution from the top,” Strelkov wrote in June. “But if we do not support [this revolution] now, its failure will sweep aside both him and the country.”

Strelkov’s close associate Igor Ivanov, the head of the rebel army’s political department, has also furiously denounced the “Chekist-oligarchic regime” of Vladimir Putin and has also predicted that Putin will soon fall, leaving only the army and the church to save Russia from chaos.

This mix of militarism, religion and a mystical faith in Holy Russia’s imperial destiny to rule over lesser nations has deep roots. Ivanov was until recently head of the Russian All-Military Union, or ROVS, an organisation originally founded by the White Russian General Baron Pyotr Wrangel in 1924 after the victory of the Bolsheviks in the civil war. Its guiding motive was to preserve the Tsarist ideals of God, Tsar and Fatherland. For much of the 20th century, ROVS was the preserve of elderly emigré fantasists — before a new generation of post-Soviet nationalists like Ivanov breathed new life into the organisation as a home for Russian ultra-nationalists who hate Putin’s brand of crony capitalism.

A similar outfit is the Narodny Sobor, or People’s Assembly, which describes itself as an “Orthodox-Patriotic organisation devoted to fighting ‘liberasts’ and western values, to promoting Orthodoxy, and to preserving the traditional family”, according to a recent study by Professor Paul Robinson of the University of Ottawa. In Russia, the Narodny Sobor has, along with the Russian Orthodox church, successfully campaigned for a tsunami of conservative legislation to be passed by the Duma, from banning swearing on television and in films to prohibiting the spreading of “homosexual propaganda”. The head of the Narodny Sobor’s Ukrainian branch is Igor Druz — a senior political advisor to Strelkov who has denounced the Kiev government as “pederasts and drug addicts”.

On the face of it, Strelkov and his ilk and Putin should be on the same side. They share a nostalgia for a lost Russian greatness — indeed Strelkov has a degree in history and was until recently an enthusiastic military re-enactor, playing White Guard and second world war officers. And this year, in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, Putin has abandoned years of hard-edged pragmatism and economic prudence and moved towards the kind of mystical, Orthodox nationalism so beloved of the ROVS and Narodny Sobor crowd.

Yet as Putin prepares to sign off on some kind of compromise peace deal with the Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, there will be millions of Russians brainwashed by months of state television’s patriotic propaganda who will agree with Strelkov that Moscow is selling the rebels down the river.

Strelkov himself has little chance of becoming a serious opposition figure to Putin; he is too stiff and too weird for public politics. But Putin’s main challenger, when he comes, will be someone of Strelkov’s stamp.

We tend to think of Vladimir Putin as being most politically vulnerable from the left — from the liberal, western-orientated professionals who came out in their hundreds of thousands on the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg three years ago to protest at Putin’s third term. But in truth Putin’s real vulnerability is from the right — from the racist football fans who rioted unchecked through central Moscow in 2010; from prophets of a Russian-led Eurasian empire such as Alexander Dugin, who was in the radical nationalist opposition to Putin before falling temporarily into step with the Kremlin in the wake of the Crimea campaign; and from militaristic ultra-conservatives on the Russian religious right.

So for the countries of Eastern Europe emancipated from Russian servitude barely a quarter of a century ago, there is not only the growing threat of re-subjugation, but the probability that it will be applied according to the whims of a madman, a religious fanatic living out fantasies of Tsardom and limitless imperial expansion by military means.

Britain: a police-protected pedophile brothel 14

From the Telegraph:

More than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a 16 year period by gangs of paedophiles after police and council bosses turned a blind eye for fear of being labelled racist, a damning report has concluded.

Details of the appalling depravity in the town and the systemic failures that allowed it to continue were laid out in a report published by Professor Alexis Jay, the former chief inspector of social work in Scotland.

Victims were gang raped, while others were groomed and trafficked across northern England by groups of mainly Asian men.

“Asian men” were they? The very fact that the Telegraph is reluctant to use the word “Muslim” – though they were in fact Muslim gangs of paedophiles – goes a long way to explaining the prevailing mind-set in Britain which made the prolonged abuse possible.

Senior officials were responsible for “blatant” failures that saw victims, some as young as 11, being treated with contempt and categorised as being “out of control” or simply ignored when they asked for help.

In some cases, parents who tried to rescue their children from abusers were themselves arrested.

So the authorities were in league with the criminals. The police colluded with the Muslim rapists, pimps, and enslavers of children.

Police officers even dismissed the rape of children by saying that sex had been consensual.

In the UK, if an adult has sex with a child under 16, he has committed the crime of rape whether the child “gives consent” or not.

So now what has happened as a result of the report being published?

[The Prime Minister's office] described the failure to halt the abuse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, as “appalling”.

Following the publication of the report, the leader of Rotherham council, Roger Stone, resigned, but no other council employees will face disciplinary proceedings after it was claimed [by whom? - ed] that there was not enough evidence to take action.

Fourteen thousand children abused over a 16 year period, and there is “not enough evidence”?

There were calls for Shaun Wright, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire to step down after it emerged that he was the councillor with responsibility for children’s services in Rotherham for part of the period covered by the report. …

Professor Jay wrote: “No one knows the true scale of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham over the years. Our conservative estimate is that approximately 1,400 children were sexually exploited over the full inquiry period, from 1997 to 2013. … It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated … [Some] had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone.”

The report pinned the blame squarely on failings within the leadership of South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham council.

Prof Jay said: “Within social care, the scale and seriousness of the problem was underplayed by senior managers. At an operational level, the police gave no priority to child sex exploitation, regarding many child victims with contempt and failing to act on their abuse as a crime.”

It emerged that there had been three previous reports into the problem which had been suppressed or ignored by officials, either because they did not like or did not believe the findings.

“Did not like” the findings is obviously the truth. It was the duty of the police to find out if they were true. They could only “not believe” them as long as they didn’t investigate them. Wouldn’t it be nice if police could simply say that they didn’t believe any reported crime and so save save themselves all further trouble!  (And there was a time when the British “bobby” was held in the highest esteem! How “multiculturalism” has corrupted them and undermined the rule of law, while changing Britain from a decent country into a paedophile brothel.)

The report stated: “Some councillors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away.

There’s another great new technique for effective policing – hoping the problem will go away.

Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.

There is only one “ethnic identity” which anyone in Europe is afraid to identify, and it is not an ethnic identity at all: it is a religious affiliation. And the fear is not of “being thought racist”, but of being killed by vengeful adherents of that religion: Islam.

For years, the police failed to get a grip of the problem, dismissing many of the victims as “out of control” or as “undesirables” who were not worthy of police protection.

So the British police now get to decide who is “worthy” of their protection and who is not. Even if that were not in itself destructive of the rule of law, wouldn’t convention and common sense tell them that children always needing protection?

Responding to the criticism levelled at the police, Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin, the district commander for Rotherham, issued an unreserved apology to all the victims of child sexual exploitation.

And that makes it all right, does it – a healing redeeming apology? Makes it as if no crime has been committed. Saves the courts and the prisons a load of work.

What if the perpetrators had been white Britons? Would they have been investigated, stopped, arrested, tried and punished? The answer is “probably yes”. Only Muslims can break the law in Britain, even commit extreme crimes, and have a very good chance of getting away with it.

Had no one looked into all this before Professor Jay?

Sure, there had been those three earlier reports – which “were not acted upon and were left to gather dust while the abuse continued”.

Posted under Britain, Islam, jihad, Muslims, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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A Western bank dares to say no to the Muslim Brotherhood 4

British banks, with enthusiastic encouragement from Prime Minister David Cameron, succumbed to the temptation to provide “sharia compliant” loans and generally cater to the demands of the enemy, Islam.

Now one bank, HSBC, has changed its corporate mind about dealing with at least some – perhaps the worst – of its Muslim clients.

This is from Gatestone by Sam Westrop. (Sam Westrop, Douglas Murray, and Melanie Phillips are the leading voices – among very few – who dare to speak out loud, clear, and often against the destructive encroachments of Islam on British law, institutions, and traditions.)

In late July, HSBC, a British multinational bank, closed the bank accounts of Anas Al-Tikriti, a prominent British Islamist activist, and his family. HSBC also closed down the bank accounts of the Cordoba Foundation, of which Tikriti is the Director, and the Finsbury Park Mosque.

In response to enquiries, the bank simply stated that to continue providing services would be outside the bank’s “risk appetite.”

This latest round of bank account closures has come as a surprise to counter-terrorism experts and much of the media, who note that the Cordoba Foundation and the Finsbury Park Mosque have enjoyed strong political support in the past.

Just a few weeks previously, HSBC also closed the accounts of the Ummah Welfare Trust, a leading British Islamist charity that has previously partnered with the Al Salah Islamic Association, described by the U.S. Treasury Department as “one of the largest and best-funded Hamas charitable organisations in the Palestinian territories.” Senior Hamas officials have confirmed that Al Salah is “identified with us”.

Anas Al-Tikriti, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, had his bank account, along with that of his wife and two children, shut down by HSBC. Tikriti has been described as “one of the shrewdest UK-based Brotherhood activists … [who] has sought to persuade Western governments that they should fund Brotherhood groups as moderate alternatives to al-Qaeda”.

Tikriti is also a vocal supporter of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and he has regularly hosted a program on the Arab TV satellite station, Al-Hiwar, founded by Azzam Tamimi, Hamas’s “special envoy” to the UK. Tamimi, in 2004, told the BBC that he would become a suicide bomber if he “had the opportunity”, and described self-sacrifice for Palestine as “a noble cause”.

In an interview with the Muslim Brotherhood’s official website after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Tikriti affirmed “the right of the Iraqis to engage in legitimate resistance against foreign occupation”.  He also has stated that the decision by the Muslim Council of Britain to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day was a “principled stand”.

In response to HSBC’s closure of his bank account, Tikriti claimed that, “HSBC has targeted my family because of my activity in defence of Gaza against the barbaric aggression of the Zionists” and because of his efforts to “oppose the military coup in Egypt”.

While many would dispute Tikriti’s conclusions, his instincts might be right. The one thing that connects Tikriti with the Cordoba Foundation, the Finsbury Park Mosque and the Ummah Welfare Trust is evidence of their support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the designated terrorist group, Hamas.

The Cordoba Foundation, which Tikriti heads, has been described by Prime Minister David Cameron, as a “political front for the Muslim Brotherhood.” In 2009, Cordoba co-sponsored an event organized by Cageprisoners, a pro-jihadist group, which featured as a guest speaker Anwar Al-Awlaki, who later became a senior leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, before he was killed in a U.S. drone-strike in 2011.

The Cordoba Foundation also works closely with the Emirates Centre for Human Rights, whose website was originally registered to Tikriti’s wife, Malath Shakir, whose bank account was also shut down by HSBC. According to UAE media, the Emirates Centre for Human Rights is part of the global Muslim Brotherhood network.

For human rights! How they make a mockery of Western moral principles.

The most surprising organization to be shut out by HSBC, however, is the Finsbury Park Mosque. The loss of its bank accounts has sparked anger from leading British Muslims and sympathetic parliamentarians.

The Finsbury Park Mosque was once a much easier target for criticism. Ten years ago, the hook-handed Imam of the mosque, Abu Hamza –  recently found guilty of eleven terrorism charges after a five-week trial in New York — was arrested on terrorism charges.

We didn’t hear much about that from the media in the US, did we?

After his arrest, however, the British government, eager to rid the Finsbury Park Mosque of its pro-terror reputation, passed control of the institution to the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), one of the better-known Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the UK, and one with which Anas Al-Tikriti was once closely involved. Tikriti’s lobbying efforts for the government to embrace Muslim Brotherhood groups as “moderate” alternatives to more overtly terrorist organizations appeared to have paid off.

The government seemed oblivious, perhaps wilfully so, that the MAB’s founder, Kemal Helbawi, has proclaimed:

Oh honoured brothers, the Palestinian cause is not a struggle on borders or on land only. Rather, it is an absolute clash of civilisations: a satanic programme led by the Jews and those who support them and a divine programme carried by Hamas and the Islamic Movement in particular and the Islamic peoples in general.

We call it a clash of civilization with barbarism.

To run the Finsbury Park Mosque, the MAB appointed directors such as Mohammed Sawalha, a Hamas official described by a Brotherhood website as being “responsible for the political unit of the international Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.” Sawalha is also “said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” out of London, as reported by the BBC.

In addition, the current Imam of Finsbury Park Mosque, Sheikh Rajab Zaki, was a key speaker at rallies in support of Mohamed Morsi, the former Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt.

Finsbury Park Mosque continues to promote the Muslim Brotherhood preacher, Jamal Badawi, who has described suicide bombers and Hamas terrorists as “freedom fighters” and “martyrs.” Badawi also advocatesthe right for men to beat their wives, if they show “disregard for [their] marital obligations.”

Badawi has also shared a platform with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, and he is a director of the International Association of Muslim Scholars, which, in 2004, issued a fatwa authorizing the murder of American troops in Iraq. In addition, during the U.S. terror-financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation in 2007, Badawi was named as an unindicted co-conspirator.

Finsbury Park Mosque still enjoys strong support from the local Council and the Metropolitan Police, both of which have sponsored events at the mosque with the support of the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi group that is a prolific publisher of anti-Jewish and anti-Shia material. WAMY is accused by a number of governments of funding terrorism.

Both the police and the local government body have provided several tens of thousands of pounds in grants to the mosque.

Likewise, the Ummah Welfare Trust has enjoyed the support of MPs; and the Cordoba Foundation has als0 received government funding through the Prevent scheme, a fund established by the previous Labour government to combat extremism.

Combat extremism by funding the extremists! What’s that if not insane?

As for Anas Al-Tikriti, in January 2014, he was invited by President Obama to the White House, as part of a delegation led by Iraqi politician Osama Al-Nujaifi, who leads the Mutahidoun bloc, a coalition of Iraqi political parties, the leading member body of which, according to Al Monitor, is the Islamic Party, the Iraqi branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The biggest question now about HSBC’s actions is “why?” Some observers have suggested that the HSBC’s decision in 2012 to hire Stuart Levey, the former under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, might have something to do with it. Others have suggested the possibility that the British government’s review into the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Prime Minister is due to hear during the summer recess, might be already having some effect.

On the face of it, it seems unlikely that the government would pressure HSBC to shut down Muslim Brotherhood bank accounts while allowing the British police to fund and sponsor Finsbury Park Mosque, one of the Brotherhood’s most important institutions.

But the coalition government, much like the Labour government that preceded it, seems always to have embraced a contradictory approach in its efforts to confront British Islamism. The present government, for instance, managed to declare the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation a “Hizb ut-Tahrir front” and at the same time provide it with £70,000 of taxpayer monies.

In addition, after the announcement of the Muslim Brotherhood review in March 2014, the Foreign Office revealed that its advisory group on “freedom of religion” was to include a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tariq Ramadan, as a board member.

Tariq Ramadan it is worth noting, is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna.

Regardless of these apparent contradictions, HSBC’s decision to close down these bank accounts is welcome. For far too long, Muslim Brotherhood groups in Britain have escaped censure in spite of their promotion of extremism and their connections to terrorism. Even if the government is dithering, at least the private sector is acting.

Without letting ourselves become too optimistic, we venture to hope that this action by HSBC night start a trend.

Israel a bulwark of civilization 6

There are a few, a very few, public voices in Britain that dare to say that Islam is the enemy of the West.

Even fewer who will say a good word for the small beleaguered state of Israel.

One of the few is Leo McKinstry. This is from a column of his in the Express:

Across the western world the Jewish state has been increasingly portrayed as brutal aggressor bent on the wholesale slaughter of innocent ­Palestinian civilians.

The soaring death toll from the recent conflict, which [by the end of July] stood at more than 1,700 since the start of July [according to Hamas - ed], is widely seen as the responsibility of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ­government.

Even mainstream British politicians have joined in this condemnation.

Always keen to jump on any passing bandwagon, Labour leader Ed Miliband called Israel’s incursion into Gaza “wrong and unjustifiable”.

Miliband  is Jewish by descent but a Leftist, and Leftism trumps everything for the true believer.

Just as forthright was the former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown. Calling for peace talks, he described Israel’s approach as “very foolish” and “disproportionate”.But all this populist anti-Israeli posturing is dangerous. It shows not the slightest grasp of the reality of Islamist aggression in the Middle East and the depth of the challenge that Israel faces.

In practice denouncing the Jewish state means siding with the malevolent, murderous forces of jihadism, a stance that not only represents a complete inversion of morality but a ­suicidal disdain for the interests of western civilisation. 

With their habitual self- righteousness Miliband and Ashdown claim that Israel is losing the propaganda war.

“Israel has lost the support and sympathy of the world,” said Ashdown yesterday, speaking in his self-appointed role as spokesman for the planet’s citizenry.

However, Israel is fighting a real war, not a propaganda war.

It is up against a fanatical enemy – the Hamas ­terror network, dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state.

The idea, sedulously cultivated by western appeasers of radical Islam, that the Palestinian movement is innocent is absurd.

The present conflict was started by Hamas firing rockets at Israeli civilians and since the beginning of July more than 2,800 of these ­missiles have been launched.

Britain would not tolerate an ­aerial assault without striking back so why should Israel?

The fact that Hamas’s rockets have inflicted only a few casualties is a reflection of their poor technology, not of their users’ lethal intent.

Moreover Hamas has constructed a series of tunnels into Israel with the aim of inflicting more deadly attacks. Israel, like any other nation, has a duty to defend itself by destroying this terrorist infrastructure.

In this context the parrot cry for negotiations is fatuous.

Negotiating with terrorists legitimizes them. The Israelis shouldn’t be doing it. No state should ever do it.

Hamas, an offshoot of the infamous Muslim Brotherhood, is not interested in a peace settlement, only in the annihilation of Israel and the Jewish people. Its founding charter, drawn up in 1988, proclaims that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.”

Last week an imam in a Palestinian mosque declared: “Our doctrine in fighting you, the Jews, is that we will totally exterminate you. We will not leave a single one of you alive.”

So on what aspect of anti-Semitic genocide is Israel ­supposed to negotiate with Hamas?

(This was written before the negotiations in Cairo started. Fortunately they have now stalled.)

Instead of traducing Israel, western politicians and the media should face up to the terrifying global threat of fundamentalist Islam, of which Hamas is a key part.

We see that threat all over the world from the turmoil in Libya to the kidnapping of girls in Nigeria, from the stoning of women in Afghanistan to the savage persecution of Christians in Iraq.

If Israel’s defences crack, it will be another milestone in the slide from a liberal civilisation into a new dark, totalitarian age dominated by bigotry, misogyny and intolerance.

The baleful force of anti-Semitism is central to this aggressive Islamist ideology.

That is why, among militant Muslims and their western cheerleaders, there is such a neurotic obsession with Gaza. It is the ideal vehicle for trying to demonise Israel and delegitimise the Jewish state’s very existence.

The tragic irony is that Israel is one of the most open, prosperous countries yet now, thanks to the vicious anti-Jewish racism dressed up as concern for the Palestinians, it is treated in fashionable progressive circles as a pariah.

In trumpeting their compassion for Palestine and opposition to Israel progressive ­activists could hardly be more misguided.

There is nothing compassionate about Hamas’s creed of Islam, which seeks complete Sharia law and the subjugation of the infidel.

Similarly when western progressives bleat about ending “the cycle of violence” they are in denial about the violent nature of jihadism. Hamas’s 1988 charter explicitly states, “initiatives and so-called peaceful solutions are in contradiction of the principles of the Islamic resistance movement”.

British liberals often point to the success of the Northern Irish peace process but in the early 1990s the Republicans gave up because they were beaten by the British Army and the loyalist paramilitaries.

That is what needs to happen in Gaza. Israel has to break Hamas’s ability to wage war. Only by defeating terrorists can peace be achieved.

Rather than ­carping from the sidelines ­western politicians should ­support that goal.

Israel is a bulwark of ­civilisation against Islamism.

Ultimately we will pay a terrible price if we betray this heroic nation.

Good thinking 6

Daniel Hannan speaks as intelligently as always in this interview. We are somewhat less favorably impressed by the present Conservative government of Britain than he is, but  we fully agree with everything he says about America – how great it was, how wrong it’s going. And we also like what he says about the EU. Asked by the interviewer if he see the Euro in danger of collapsing, Hannan replies, “No, I see the Euro in danger of surviving.”

 

(Hat-tip Don L.)

This is what world opinion now passionately supports 11

Call it Islam, call it Hamas, call it ISIS, call it the Muslim Brotherhood, call it BokoHaram; call it the Palestinians; call it the United Nations; call it by the name of any Islamic state; call it the interfaith movement, call it the Left, call it the religion of peace; demonstrate for it in the streets of the capitals of Europe; parade for it in New York and Chicago and Los Angeles; this is the thing itself:

We found the video at christianpost.com. We quote part of the text:

A Christian man in Syria recently had his head brutally hacked off by Islamic militants after being forced to deny his faith and salute Mohammed as “the messenger of God”.

So by Muslim rules he became a Muslim. Islam forbids Muslims to kill Muslims.

The perpetrators themselves filmed the atrocity “for the world to see and broadcast as a warning to ‘everyone like him’.”

In the video that was posted to YouTube with translated captions, the helpless Christian man is surrounded by armed militants wearing masks and he is heard reciting as instructed: “There is no God but God and I testify that Mohammed is the messenger of God.”

The victim did not say “God” but “Allah”. The Christian reporter chooses, like many Christians, to claim that the god of Islam and the god of Christianity are one and the same.

An apparent leader in the group of militants is then heard instructing the group: “No one will shoot him now, do you understand? He will not be killed by shooting because it is merciful for him.”

By which the savage seems to mean that death by shooting would be too merciful for him. He goes on:

“He will be beheaded because he is Kaffir, non-Muslim, sided [with] the government and was not praying at all. Everyone like him will have the same end, beheading,” said the militant.

Then they cut his head off as the Muslim murderers cry ‘Allahu Akbar’.

One hundred years ago today World War One began 1

Today is the centennial anniversary of the start of the First World War. On 28 July, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian army fired the first shots, to crush rebellious Serbia. What happened then, and why, is traced in this video. 

Blame is laid on the growth of nationalism, and even more on imperialism – the acquisition of colonies by the powers of Europe on other continents, in fierce competition with each other, Britain being far and away the  winner. The fact that at least some empires, chiefly the British, brought incalculable benefits to the lands they conquered, colonized and ruled, is touched on briefly; in our view, too briefly.

We think it is an overview worth watching, though there are points where we would place a different emphasis.

We agree with the presenters that the day World War One broke out was the day Europe began its terminal decline.

 

The Nazis of our time 0

The admirable Douglas Murray is interviewed intelligently on Canadian TV about the pro-Hamas anti-Israel protests erupting in the capitals of Europe.

Posted under Britain, Canada, Commentary, Europe, Islam, Israel, middle east, Muslims, nazism, News, United Kingdom, Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 27, 2014

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Lament for Britain 1

Into its socialist democracies, slowly dying out of indigenous populations, Europe has admitted hordes of its worst enemy.

None is yet ruled by them – as we think the United States is at present. (Fortunately the United States is much more robust – we dare to say virile – than decadent Europe. Here it is the ruling that is feeble.)

When all of Europe is governed by sharia law (and all European women ambulant black bags), it will be very bad for America.

We sorrow most for Britain which has long been the sanest, the soberest, the most reasonable of nations. Now the blood of native Britons, citizens of London, members of Her Majesty’s armed forces, stain its streets from time to time and ever more frequently, shed by the barbarian colonists of Islam. And every time distant Israel wages war on its perpetual barbarian attackers, the colonists of Britain turn out in force in the capital to yell hideous, vicious, racist hatred and calumny, in a quiet avenue lined with dignified embassies.

Douglas Murray, who always displays moral clarity, writes at Gatestone:

The barricades are up again outside the Israeli Embassy in London, as they are across many capitals of Europe. Given that even more rockets than “normal” have been raining down on Israel in recent days, any sane country would need further barricades outside the Israeli embassy in order to contain yet another demonstration of support for Israel. But no, another day in London and another Palestinian-ist and Socialist Worker party protest is going on against the Israeli state.

The protestors are not, of course, demonstrating because they especially care about the lives of the people of Gaza. If they cared about the lives of Palestinians – or the people of the region in general – they would have spent night after night outside the Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Turkish, Egyptian and Saudi Arabian embassies, among others. …

I have watched them a bit in recent days, watched the contorted hatred on their faces as they scream at the embassy and then watched their friendly sociability as the headscarfed women are driven away by their menfolk, often with their children in tow – a family day outing in “diverse” modern London. Behind their smiles and the increasingly competent public relations that the pro-Hamas faction is managing in Britain, it is possible for some people to forget that what brings these people out is one simple thing: a hatred of the Jewish state and a desire to see it annihilated by the terrorists of Hamas or anyone else at hand.

There are those who will say this is not a not-sufficiently-nuanced observation, that the motives of those protesting Israeli action are something other than a great hatred of Jews and the Jewish state. But if this were true, why would their posters say, “Stop the Holocaust in Gaza?” There is no “Holocaust” in Gaza. Anybody can see there is no similarity between the organized and systematic murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis and the precision targeting of some Hamas rocket sites, some of which are deliberately hidden under hospitals, in the Gaza strip. Why do the protestors say “Holocaust” then? They know that this way they will hurt Jews as deeply as possible. By using the term “Holocaust” for this, they will either give the impression that the Holocaust was a small and minimal thing in the history of war – such as the confrontation between Hamas and Israel currently is – or else that the Israelis are, in their view, currently carrying out precisely the same barbarism which made the creation of the state of Israel such an added necessity for Jews in the 1940s, and that by supposedly becoming the Nazis they are meant to abhor, the Jews have forfeited any right to be regarded as part of acceptable humankind.

Either way, these protestors clearly mean to harm, not to help. But their presence – and the growing manner in which they are trying to wake up a far-away country to the actions of Israel, and condemn them as they would condemn Nazism – displays a trend worth dwelling on.

Israel has been through an exchange like this with Gaza every couple of years since Condoleezza Rice had the brilliant idea of pushing for elections in Gaza and allowing Hamas to finish with guns what they had failed to achieve at the ballot box. In the wider world’s response – as well as the facts in the ground in Israel – certain trends can now be spotted. One is that, since the 2006 war in Lebanon, protests against Israel in cities such as London have increased in number and vitriol year on year. This is not because the confrontations between Israel and her enemies during this period are getting larger. On the contrary, no exchange since 2006 has been anything in size like the war which had to be engaged in then. Each time, however, despite the actual conflict diminishing, the protests in London and other capitals in Europe have grown.

So how can one account for this? One reason, simply put, is that you cannot have a country in which the Muslim population doubles each decade (as in Britain) and radical Islamist groups teach young Muslims to make the Israel-Palestine issue their prime concern, and expect the result to have no impact.

The young men and women who pack their banners back in the car after a good day’s shouting at the Israeli embassy may or may not have British citizenship, yet it is hard to say that they are British in any recognizable sense of the term. If they were, they might think that a simple sense of fair play, among other things, ought to dictate that a country being bombarded with missiles on a daily basis should, every now and then, have the right to respond by hitting the sites from which those missiles are fired as well as at the people who order the launchers to let loose.

Israel, one can probably say with some confidence, can very well look after itself. Like everyone else who has spent time in the country, and admires and even loves it, I worry for it, but I can think of no nation on earth that is better equipped or better motivated to look after itself and its people. So when I see these young protestors in London, protesting against Israel, I do not worry for the country they are shouting against. They cannot touch her. But I worry for my country — Britain.

It is a country that is finding it so difficult to integrate the millions of Muslims who have come here that (in a figure that ought to be better known) there are now at least twice as many young British Muslims who have gone to Syria to fight alongside ISIS and other such groups than there are Muslims fighting for Queen and country here in the British armed forces.

By any standards, this is a symptom of a disastrous immigration and integration problem. The people shouting outside the Israeli embassy – the knackered and foolish old minority of Trots aside – can do Israel no harm. But they can do great harm to the country they are in.

Europe’s Israel-haters are no real problem for Israel, but they are the greatest possible problem for Europe.

Libertarian conservatism 4

From time to time visitors to this website or our Facebook page query the idea – even the possibility – of there being such a thing as atheist conservatism. They are – almost always, as far as we can make out – Americans whose understanding is that the word “conservative” denotes Christian conservatism. To them, therefore, to speak of  “atheist conservatism” is to commit a contradiction in terms. Some have called it an oxymoron.

In Europe too, conservatism has a Christian coloration. Conservative political parties usually declare themselves to be Christian –  for example, the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) of Germany. But their support does not come only from Christians. And in Britain the established Church of England has been called “the Conservative Party at prayer”, but the party does not exclude members of other Christian denominations or other religions, or the non-religious.

Yet it is an American conservatism that we embrace. It is faithfulness to the Constitution, to the essential idea that the United States was intended to embody as a nation: the idea of individual liberty protected by the rule of law.

The shortest answer we give to those who accuse us of being self-contradictory is to tell them what our prime principles are:

  • individual freedom
  • a free market economy
  • small government
  • low taxes
  • strong defense

And we point out that those are core principles of American conservatism. The Constitution – southern state critics please be reminded – does not require citizens to be Christian, or religious at all.

Just as often, perhaps even more often, we are told that we cannot be both conservative and libertarian: that the two traditions are separate and even inimical to each other, to the point of being mutually exclusive. Even if that were  true (and we don’t think it is), we consider it unnecessary to take tradition into account. The issue needs to be looked at philosophically, not historically. Our conservatism, holding the firmly conservative principles we have listed, is manifestly a conservatism of liberty.

And we think it is now, more than ever before, that the libertarian view should direct the political agenda of conservatism. A heavy counterweight is needed to bring America back from its tipping over into collectivism by the Left. Individual freedom urgently needs to be saved.

What is stopping conservatives from accepting libertarianism as its future? The libertarians themselves. Frequently, their public statements reveal them to be inexcusably ignorant of world affairs. They often advocate naive isolationism. They seem to lack a sense of what matters. The legalization of drugs could be wise and necessary, but it is not worth making a hullabaloo about  when jihad is being waged against us. A person should arguably be able to marry any other person or persons – or things – that they choose, but it is much more important that America should remain the world’s sole superpower.

John Hinderaker also thinks that this should be “the libertarian moment”. And he too reproaches libertarians with an underdeveloped sense of what matters to the existence, liberty, safety, and prosperity of the nation. 

He writes at PowerLine:

Every major strand of American conservatism includes a strong libertarian streak, because the value of liberty is fundamental to just about all conservative thought. But today, especially, is said to be the libertarians’ moment. What once was a fringe movement, politically speaking, has moved front and center in our political life.

And yet, in my view, libertarians of both the capital L and small l varieties punch below their weight. They have not contributed as much as they should to the conservative movement. This is partly because libertarians tend to founder on foreign policy, where many are merely modern-day isolationists. But it is also because they have tended to focus on secondary, or tertiary, issues of domestic policy.

A couple of years ago I was invited to a gathering on behalf of Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico who then was a libertarian candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. I was well disposed toward him, but when he started talking, his first subject was legalization of drugs. Now he is the CEO of a marijuana company. Rand Paul is probably the leading libertarian at the moment; he purports to take seriously the threat that someone drinking coffee in an American cafe will be struck by a drone-fired missile.

American liberty is indeed under attack, and a libertarian movement is needed more than ever. But the threat to freedom is not drug laws or drone attacks.

The principal threat is the administrative state, which increasingly hems in everything we do and depends hardly at all on the will of voters. …

Calvin Coolidge, who knew the Progressives well and understood how antithetical their vision of government is to America’s founding principles [said]:

It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter [the Constitution]. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

Today we labor under an administrative state that has metastasized far beyond anything Coolidge could have imagined. It constrains our freedoms, it lays waste to our economy, it has largely rendered Congress irrelevant, and it threatens to make just about anyone a criminal, since no one can possibly keep track of all of the myriad regulations with which we are encumbered. And let’s not forget that the administrative state is run by liberals, for liberals.

Despite the fact that it is antithetical to the Constitution and to American traditions, there is little opposition to the administrative state as such. Conventional politicians suggest that regulations can be made less irrational and less burdensome – a good idea, certainly – but hardly anyone questions the fundamental concept of Congress delegating its powers to unelected and mostly unaccountable agencies that are charged with managing just about every aspect of our lives. Nearly everyone considers the administrative state, as such, to be inevitable.

Why don’t libertarians stake out a “radical” position on domestic policy? Why not argue, not just for a moderation in the inevitable drift toward a more and more powerful administrative state, but for a return to the Constitution’s central principle – the very first words of Article I – that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…”, a Congress that is accountable to the people.

A battle is being fought for the liberties of the American people and, frankly, it isn’t going well. The fight has little or nothing to do with drugs and drones. If libertarians are serious about preserving and expanding liberty, they should join the fight that matters. A libertarian movement that focuses on a rollback of the administrative state would be “radical,” but it also would put libertarians in the vanguard, not on the fringe, of American conservatism.

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