The war 5
Among the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls there is one titled The War of the Children of Light and the Children of Darkness.
It is a perpetual war: Good against Evil.
It is fought in most of the world’s mythologies, and in almost all of them Good will win in the end. (The exception is that of the Norsemen. They foresaw the triumph of Evil.)
Dennis Prager, writing at Townhall, describes how the two sides of the conflict appear to him now:
In both personal and public life, you can know a great deal about a person or a group if you know what most bothers them – and what doesn’t bother them.
A news item this past week made this point with glaring clarity. It reported a meeting that the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights had on Friday. Before revealing the subject of that meeting, let’s review for a moment what is happening in the world …
North Korea continues to be an affront to the human species. That North Korea, whether or not it had nuclear weapons, is not a central concern is an indictment of humanity.
That the West, with the noble exception of Canada under Stephen Harper, is appeasing the dictators of Iran, is an indictment of the West.
Add to this list the U.N.’s and the world’s ignoring of the Chinese government’s continuing suppression of all dissent and its decades-long violent eradication of Tibet’s unique and ancient culture.
Then add the slaughter of millions in Congo over the last decade, the 100,000-plus killed in Syria just last year, most of them civilians killed by their own government, and the blowing up, burning alive, and throat-cutting of untold numbers of innocent people by violent Islamists on a daily basis.
In other words, if what bothers you most is evil – the deliberate infliction of cruelty on people by people – North Korea, Congo, China, Syria and radical Islam will bother you more than anything else on the world scene.
So, then, what was the subject of the meeting convened Friday by the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights?
The alleged racism of the name of the National Football League’s Washington team, the Redskins.
That’s right. All these horrific evils are happening as you read this, and … the United Nations had a meeting about the name Washington Redskins.
The U.N. is not alone in paying undue attention to the Redskins’ name. The left in the United States is nearly obsessed with it. President Barack Obama has spoken out against it. The Washington Post editorial board has demanded that the team drop the name. In the herd-like way that governs media, innumerable columnists and sports writers have written passionate columns against the name, and increasing numbers of sports writers have vowed to never again write or speak the name.
This left-wing obsession with a non-evil exemplifies the left’s moral universe. That universe is preoccupied with lesser evils while nearly always ignoring the greatest evils.
Preoccupation with real evil is the greatest difference between right and left. The right was preoccupied with fighting Communism while the left … was preoccupied with fighting anti-Communists.
The right today is preoccupied with fighting Islamism; the left is preoccupied with fighting “Islamophobia.”
One way of putting it is that the right is preoccupied with fighting evil and the left is preoccupied with fighting those who fight evil.
The right is preoccupied with defending Israel against those who wish to annihilate it. The left is preoccupied with Israeli apartments on the West Bank.
This difference was made manifest last week in the address given by the one world leader to exemplify the right’s preoccupation with evil, Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper. Talking about all the condemnations of Israel, Harper said:
“Think about the twisted logic and outright malice behind that: a state, based on freedom, democracy and the rule of law, that was founded so Jews can flourish as Jews, and seek shelter from the shadow of the worst racist experiment in history, that is condemned, and that condemnation is masked in the language of anti-racism. It is nothing short of sickening.”
Yes, but the writer does not go nearly far enough. The Left is not merely preoccupied with fighting those who fight evil, it is occupied with doing evil. The Left is in alliance with Islam. Its (bewilderingly unintelligent) intelligentsia invent a fake need to “save the planet” from “climate change” as an excuse to advance their own tyrannical rule, reduce population, and impoverish and destroy civilization.
And where are our warriors of the Right to stop them? Let’s see: there’s Stephen Harper and … Well, a few more names may spring to mind. And we do have the immense power of Reason on our side.
Which side is winning, would you say?
UNRWA should go.
(Indeed, the UN and all its agencies should go.)
This is from the Council on Foreign Relations, by Elliott Abrams. (We have cut out the bits where he praises the UN and its agencies, because we consider the UN to be a center of global evil.)
Since the end of the Second World War, millions of refugees have left refugee camps, and refugee status, and moved to countries that accepted them – quickly or slowly – as citizens.
Post-World War II Europe was an archipelago of displaced persons and refugee camps, housing 850,000 people in 1947 – Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians, Germans, Latvians, Greeks, and many more nationalities. By 1952, all but one of the camps had closed. …
Hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Europe went to Israel after 1948, and then hundreds of thousands more arrived from Arab lands when they were forced to flee after 1956 and 1967. The children and grandchildren of these refugees, born after their arrival, were never refugees themselves; they were from birth citizens of the new land, as their parents had become immediately upon their own arrival. …
The exception to this refugee story is the Palestinians. In most of the Arab lands to which they fled or travelled after 1948 they were often treated badly, and refused citizenship (with Jordan the major exception) or even the right to work legally. And instead of coming under the protection of UNHCR [the UN High Commissioner for Refugees] , they had a special agency of their own, UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency. In the decades of its existence, it has not solved or even diminished the Palesinian refugee problem; instead it has presided over a massive increase in its size, for all the descendants of Palestinian refugees are considered to be refugees as well. Once there were 750,000; now there are five million people considered by UNRWA to be “Palestinian refugees.” And UNRWA is now the largest UN agency, with a staff of 30,000. UNHCR cares for the rest of the world with about 7,500 personnel.
The political background to this story is simple: only in the case of Israel was there a determined refusal to accept what had happened during and after World War II, with the establishment of the Jewish state and the increase in its population by the acceptance of refugee Jews. Of all the world’s refugees, whom UNHCR tries normally to resettle, only the Palestinians are an exception. UNRWA presides over generation after generation of additional refugees, and Arab states and leaders make believe that some day they can turn back the clock and send them – and their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – to Israel. …
UNRWA should cease to exist, and Palestinian refugees should be handled by UNHCR with the intention of resettling them. …
Lest that position seem idiosyncratic, consider this: in 2010 Canada cut off its funding of UNRWA, and just now the Netherlands government has said it is considering the same action. How did they explain this? The foreign minister told parliament that Holland would “thoroughly review” its policy and the ruling party called UNRWA’s refugee definition “worrying”. UNRWA, said the party spokesman, “uses its own unique definition of refugees, different to the UN’s. The refugee issue is a big obstacle for peace. We therefore ask the government acknowledge this discrepancy, which leads to the third-generation Palestinian refugees.” Correction: fourth-generation, actually.
It is worth noting that there are many other criticisms of UNRWA: that it overlooks terrorist group activity in some camps, or allows members of Hamas and other terrorist groups to hold UNRWA staff positions. But those are criticisms of how UNRWA is carrying out its mission, while the deeper problem is the mission itself. That mission might accurately be described as enlarging the Palestinian refugee problem forever and thereby making any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement tremendously more difficult if not impossible to achieve.
Closing UNRWA would in the end be a great favor to Palestinians who live outside the West Bank and Gaza … Some of those individuals will [we would say "may" - ed] some day move to the West Bank or Gaza, but they do not need UNRWA to do that. None of them will ever move to Israel, and the existence of UNRWA helps to maintain the cruel myth that they will.
The “peace process” seems stalled today; no negotiated final settlements is on the horizon. … Starting the process of closing down UNRWA would be a move toward peace, as it would replace the permanent perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem with a process designed to reduce it in size and some day solve it.
Even by Religion of Peace standards it was an unusually bloody weekend, with nearly 300 people massacred by Holy Warriors in suicide attacks in Yemen, a funeral in Iraq [at least 70 killed including children], the shopping mall in Kenya [at least 62 killed including many children, 175 injured], and a double bombing at a church in Pakistan [more than 80 killed]. – from The Religion of Peace.
More than 500 civilians killed by the forces of Islam. And nothing is being done to oppose them.
It is not a clash of civilizations, as is often said: it is a clash of civilization with barbarism. But either civilization has not yet woken up to that reality, or it is conniving at its own destruction.
One story of the massacre in the Kenya shopping mall is of the barbarian warriors entering a children’s shoe shop, demanding that the children trying on shoes recite “the Shahada” – a tribal chant about their nasty god, set down as the opening lines of the Koran – and shooting dead those who could not. Bullets in the little bodies. They were not Muslims so they had no right to live, according to the creed of the Muslim barbarians.
Most reports agree that it is a group belonging to the Somalian terrorist organization al-Shabaab, affiliated with al-Qaeda, that carried out the massacre of shoppers and their children in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Among them are five Muslims from America, one from Canada, one from Finland, and one from Sweden. At the time of this writing there are still gunmen in the building on the loose, and they may be holding hostages.
Of the five from America, three are from Minnesota, and they – Daniel Greenfield reports at Front Page -
… were the subject of a propaganda recruitment video released by the organization Thursday. Titled The Path to Paradise: From the Twin Cities to the Land of Two Migrations, the nearly 40-minute post allegedly details the travels of Dahir Gure, Muhammad Al-Amriki and Mohamud Hassan to Somalia over 2007 and 2008.
In one segment, Al-Amriki, born Troy Kastigar, likened his experiences to being at an amusement park.
“If you guys only knew how much fun we have over here, this is the real Disneyland,” he said. “You need to come here and join us, and take pleasure in this fun.”
In a Townhall article today, David Stokes comments on a Time magazine cover story titled “The Child Free Life: When Having It All Means Not Having Children.” The theme is interesting to us – the scarcity of children in most of the First World, particularly in Europe.
The author recalls a speech President Theodore Roosevelt gave in France:
Finally, even more important than ability to work, even more important than ability to fight at need, is it to remember that chief of blessings for any nations is that it shall leave its seed to inherit the land. It was the crown of blessings in Biblical times and it is the crown of blessings now. The greatest of all curses is the curse of sterility, and the severest of all condemnations should be that visited upon willful sterility. The first essential in any civilization is that the man and women shall be father and mother of healthy children so that the [human] race shall increase and not decrease. If that is not so, if through no fault of the society there is failure to increase, it is a great misfortune. If the failure is due to the deliberate and willful fault, then it is not merely a misfortune, it is one of those crimes of ease and self-indulgence, of shrinking from pain and effort and risk, which in the long run Nature punishes more heavily than any other. If we of the great republics, if we, the free people who claim to have emancipated ourselves from the thralldom of wrong and error, bring down on our heads the curse that comes upon the willfully barren, then it will be an idle waste of breath to prattle of our achievements, to boast of all that we have done.
That’s right. Theodore Roosevelt told the French that they needed to keep having babies.
At the time of Roosevelt’s speech, France was a major world power. Today—not so much.
And he ascribes a reason for the numerical decline of the French nation:
There is enough blame for such decline in global influence to go around, but the increased secularism of Europe, with its penchant for socialized everything, has certainly played a role.
By “secularism” David Stokes clearly means the increasing absence of religious belief in states that have long – if not always – been secular. It is the absence or fading of religious belief that he blames (at least in part) for the dying out of Western nations.
Now more than 100 years later, there is an even greater threat to their cherished way of life. If only the French today would rediscover Teddy’s advice and reverse the birthrate trend—they might have a fighting chance. But such is the mindset of secularism, it is all about self and “fulfillment.” Issues of family, not to mention progeny are secondary, if thought about at all. Marriage is deferred—even eschewed. Children are planned—or better, planned around. And over time the birth rate in Europe has fallen far short of what is needed to keep up with the various demands of the future. In other words, the nations are aging. There are fewer children, yet more grandparents—a trend that will continue and accelerate.
All he says about the trend is true, but is he right about the cause?
He goes on, factually correct:
It takes a fertility rate of 2.1 births per woman to keep a nation’s population stable. The United States is drifting away from that. Canada has a rate of 1.48 and Europe as a whole weighs in at 1.38. What this means is that the money will run out, with not enough wage-earners at the bottom to support an older generation’s “entitlements.”
But even beyond that, the situation in France also reminds us of the opportunistic threat of Islamism. It is just a matter of time before critical mass is reached and formerly great bastions of democratic republicanism morph into caliphates. In the United Kingdom the Muslim population is growing 10 times faster than the rest of society. In fact, all across Western Europe it’s the same. The cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam are on track to have Muslim majority populations in a decade or two. A T-shirt that can be seen on occasion in Stockholm reads: “2030—Then We Take Over.”
And he concludes:
A few years ago, Britain’s chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, decried Europe’s falling birthrate, blaming it on “a culture of consumerism and instant gratification”.
“Europe is dying,” he said, “we are undergoing the moral equivalent of climate change and no one is talking about it.”
The Rabbi was right, and so was Teddy.
Was the Rabbi right?
Why are the indigenous peoples of Europe and other parts of the First World dying out?
Why are the Europeans willing to let the Muslims take over their countries?
Is it because of socialism?
On the one hand it can be argued that socialism discourages you from having children because the state – you believe - will look after you in your old age. It will care for you if you fall ill. It will make it easy for you to house and feed yourself because, if you don’t want to work, it will give you money. No need for more wage-earners in the family.
And there is a strong streak of anti-human life in the ideology of the far left. Among environmentalists in particular. They say that there are too many people on the planet - and angrily deny that the numbers are declining. Some even want there to be no people on the earth at all. They maintain that the absence of human beings would be better for shrimps and reptiles.
On the other hand, the socialist welfare state pays people to have children. In America, for instance, millions of women can have children without having a husband or wage-earner to help keep them because with every baby they get more money from the state. And the state also pays for the children’s education.
But then again, socialist economics don’t work. Sooner or later socialism brings an economy to disaster. Is it anticipation of dire poverty that keeps people from breeding? About half the voters in most western countries regularly vote for socialism, so that can’t be a compelling reason.
All this considered, the argument that socialism is to blame for the suicide of the West is not convincing. It may account for an eventual death by inanition, but not for the slow suicide.
Is it because of “consumerism”?
Perhaps. But what proof is there? Do anecdotes about individuals and couples saying they prefer to use their money for a high standard of living – cars, travel and so on – rather than on raising children, prove the case? Not unless they reflect the decisions of a majority, and who has collected and counted them?
By “consumerism” (the preferred term now for what they used to call “materialism” or “conspicuous consumption”) its critics mean comfortable living, good cars, travel and so on. In other words, they ascribe the fall in the birth-rate to prosperity.
Did prosperous people in past times not have children, or choose to have only a few? Not as far as we know. In Victorian times most families, rich as well as poor, were large. And since those who owned much had much to pass on and keep in the family, wealth may have positively stimulated reproduction.
But of course in the days when wealthy families were large, parents had servants to look after their children. Most people now, even if they can afford live-in servants, do not have them. So perhaps it’s not so much the desire for more luxurious living but the desire not to be “tied down” by children. Having to stay in with them at night. Not being able to go on holiday when you choose because of their school schedule. Not being able easily to part from their other parent when you’re sick of him or her.
Implied by the word “consumerism” is another word: “capitalism”. Though not all who condemn consumerism may be aware that the one word is haunted by the other. As David Stokes’s column appears at Townhall, we may reasonably assume that he’s a conservative. American conservatives are not consciously against capitalism; they are against socialism, as we are. But too many of them are religious. Too many of them are Christians. It is Christian puritanism that inspires the strange prejudice - if not against prosperity as such, against the signs of it: high living standards, costly cars, expensive travel and so on. Only in theory, we observe. We confidently expect that most religious critics of “consumerism” have – or aspire to have – a high standard of living for themselves, own costly cars, and jet to their summer vacation on a cruise-ship or a multi-starred hotel. They are seldom in fact less materialistic or less self-indulgent than the “secularists” they scorn. And they are not against having children. The American fertility-rate – which is the measure of population stability, or increase, or decrease – has until very recently been stable while Europe’s declined.
But what of religion? Is its absence the cause we are looking for?
Is it because of “secularism”?
By “secularism” David Stokes clearly means the fading of religious belief in states that have long – if not always – been secular. And it is the absence or fading of religious belief that he blames for the dying out of Western nations.
Such is the mindset of secularism, it is all about self and “fulfillment.”
Is there no self-fulfillment in having children? Don’t many feel that having a child is more self-fulfilling than anything else?
It does seem to be the case that fewer people are religious, or most people are less religious in Europe now. How did religion formerly keep the birth-rate up?
The mainly Catholic countries used to have bigger families because birth control was forbidden by their Church. So perhaps now that the Roman Church has lost much of its power, more Catholics use contraception. But that explanation doesn’t affect the traditionally Protestant countries of northern Europe, and there too the indigenous populations are shrinking. (And one thing Christians who bemoan the dearth of children seem to forget is that St Paul recommended celibacy. Marry if you must, he taught, but it is better to remain unmarried and chaste like him and Jesus Christ. Not a formula for re-populating Europe.)
The bible states that Jehovah enjoins the Jews to be fruitful, to multiply. And Israel is one of the few Western countries where the population is increasing – although Israel is a secular state. Perhaps the old religious injunction continues to have a subliminal effect.
So if socialism is not the reason why the people of the West are ever more unwilling to have children, nor “consumerism”, nor “secularism” – what is?
We don’t know. Nobody does.
But if the suicide of the West means the loss of our civilization – which it very well may – it will be a great tragedy. One of the greatest tragedies of history.
Jillian Becker August 11, 2013
Of only we – the human race – could control the cosmic forces at work in our galaxy!
To be more realistic, we could at least try to manipulate the forces that affect the climates of our own planet. The best we can do at present is make small local changes. Plant a forest and get more rain. That sort of thing. Sometimes we wonder if there’s anything we could do – for instance – to warm the planet a little. Wouldn’t that be good?
But for the foreseeable future it must remain a dream.
This is from PJ Media, by Tom Harris:
On December 15, … leading scientists appeared before the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources to challenge global warming advocacy. The hearing was the first of its kind in Canada. …
Guelph University Professor of Economics Dr. Ross McKitrick led off the hearing, explaining that the foundation of the climate scare — the science as promulgated by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — cannot be trusted:
The so-called Climategate emails confirmed the reality of bias and cronyism in the IPCC process. … IPCC Assessments are guaranteed merely to repeat and reinforce a set of foregone conclusions that make up the party line.
McKitrick explained how his research showed that much of the warming seen in the IPCC surface temperature record is almost certainly a result of urbanization, agriculture, and other land use changes, not greenhouse gases (GHG). He also found that the 50-year record of temperatures measured by balloons does not show the warming trend forecast by climate models.
University of Ottawa (U of O) Professor of Earth Sciences Dr. Ian Clark addressed the committee:
We have not really seen any global warming for the past 10 years. … This is in stark contrast with the IPCC forecast of an increase of some 0.2 degrees per decade.
Clark explained that 20th century warming is merely one of a series of warm periods in the last 10,000 years. During these intervals, carbon dioxide — the greenhouse gas most targeted by governments around the world — was relatively steady:
CO2 had nothing to do with these warming periods.
Clark continued, showing that the last 500 million years show no correlation between temperature and CO2. He explained that water vapor is in fact responsible for the majority of the greenhouse effect. Clark also promoted the theory that the Sun, not CO2, is driving climate change. …
U of Ottawa Distinguished University Professor Dr. Jan Veizer spoke next:
Many people think the science of climate change is settled. It is not. … [The Sun] drives the water cycle; the water cycle then generates climate, and climate decides how much jungle, how much tundra and so on we will have, and therefore drives around the carbon cycle. … The sun also warms the oceans that emit CO2 into the atmosphere. Atmospheric CO2 is thus the product and not the cause of the climate.
Veizer explained that solar output must be amplified to explain recent warming:
The IPCC argues that because no amplifier is known, which is an invalid assertion, man made greenhouse gases must be responsible. … However, this is an assumption. … There is no actual empirical experimental proof that carbon dioxide is a driver.
Veizer then showed that changes in cloudiness can account for much of the past century’s warming. Clouds have an enormous impact on temperature, he explained, and cloud extent appears to be controlled largely by cosmic rays entering the atmosphere, which are regulated by the Sun.
Carleton University Professor of Geology Dr. Timothy Patterson discussed how his research in the fjords of British Columbia revealed consistent correlations between solar cycles and climate over the past 5,000 years:
Hundreds of other studies have shown exactly the same thing. … The sun, and not variations in carbon dioxide, appears to be the most important driver of climate change. … Solar scientists predict that by later in this decade the sun will be starting into its weakest solar cycle of the past two centuries, and this will likely lead to unusually cool conditions on earth, which may persist for decades. … It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world.
Robert Spencer confirms our understanding that there is no distinction in reality between the Islam of those who act to bring about the destruction of Western civilization, and the Islam of 1.2 billion Muslims (or 1.4 billion – estimates vary), most of whom do not noticeably act to bring about the same end.
He writes at Jihad Watch:
The term “Islamist” is in common use to refer to Muslim individuals and organizations that adhere to Islamic law’s political aspects (most notably its denial of any legitimacy of a separation between religion and the state) and consequently most fiercely oppose America, Israel and the West in general. The implication is that Islam itself, in its authentic form, has no requisite political aspect, and no incompatibility with Western values or democratic government.
The problem with this is that it is a Western, artificial distinction, imposed by non-Muslims upon the Islamic world and lacking any real substance with reference to Islamic law as it has always been formulated by the Sunni and Shi’ite madhahib (schools of jurisprudence). Islam has always been political, and the union of religion and the state has always been essential to its political program; the idea that all this can and should be separated from Islam proper is the wishful thinking of Western analysts who do not wish to face the implications of the fact that these ideas represent mainstream Islamic thinking.
In line with this, I recently received this email from a Jihad Watch reader in Canada:
“A conversation with several friends on Facebook erupted into something quite extraordinary. An 18 year old Muslim student, from Western University and born in Mississauga had this to say about the distinction between Islam and Islamism:
‘case and point on why you dont understand Islam. No one makes this distinction [between Islam and Islamism] other then the Western world, for the sake of having a tidy little system to classify everything. Our religion and political ideology are one. Furthermore, I really wouldnt use the term islamist or Islamism. Many muslims, including myself, find the term deeply offensive.’”
In other words, in Canada, there is an entire generation of Muslims who openly subscribe to ‘Islamism’ as indistinguishable from Islam.
And that should come as no surprise. Except to willfully blind non-Muslim analysts in the West.
Islam is an evil ideology. It has no good parts or aspects, and there’s nothing in it that can be “reinterpreted” to be good. It is primitive, ignorant, and cruel. It is savagery justified by superstition, a vile survivor from the Dark Ages.
One could dispense with both terms, Islam and Islamism. Muslims hate to be called “Muhammadans”, but as followers of Muhammad, that is a perfectly apt name for them. Their religion can correctly be called “Muhammadanism”. The fact that they don’t want us to use the words to designate who they are, and the appalling creed they believe in, is no reason not to use them.
Two videos from Creeping Sharia to remind the West that Islam is waging war against us.
While leftists and other “humanitarians” in the United States and Europe are in a perpetual state of moral outrage concerning Israel’s alleged mistreatment of Palestinians, the savagery of modern-day Arab enslavement of black Africans elicits almost no reaction.
So writes Stephen Brown at Front Page in an article on the Arabs’ African slaves, particularly in Mauritania:
The most recent case highlighting this leftist hypocrisy concerns four anti-slavery activists in Mauritania, who were sentenced last week to six months in jail for protesting the enslavement of a ten-year-old girl earlier in August in Nouakchott, the country’s capital. … The convicted men belong to the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania (IRA), an anti-slavery NGO. …
Yet under Mauritanian law the criminal was the slave-owner:
The IRA discovered the child slave in Nouakchott, and reported the matter to police. Owning a slave was made a crime in Mauritania in 2007. It calls for a penalty of up to ten years in prison and fines ranging from US $2,000 to $4,000. A prison term of up to two years is also mandated for anyone who “facilitates” slavery. …
The law was nodded at:
The ten-year-old slave girl’s mistress… was arrested and charged but only has to report to the police once a week.
The slave child is nowhere to be found:
The child, for whom the demonstrators braved the government’s “draconian response,” is reported as still missing.
Why are the authorities allowing this obvious miscarriage of justice?
A problem in abolishing slavery in Mauritania, says one former slave, now an anti-slavery activist with SOS Esclaves, is that “the authorities themselves keep slaves.” …
SOS Esclaves is another anti-slave group in the country, which -
estimates there are about 500,000 black African slaves among the country’s population of 3.1 million. Their masters are Arab and Berber Mauritanians, who share only the same Islamic religion with their chattel. Unlike in Sudan, where the Arabs get their African slaves from old-fashioned, brutal slave raids, the Mauritanian slaves are the product of a system that has kept them in a state of bondage for generations, going back, in some cases, several hundred years. …
Laws made against slavery in Arab countries are a matter of window-dressing for Western observers. They mean little because sharia, the law of Islam, promotes slavery:
Slavery in Mauritania and other Arab countries will be difficult to eradicate. Slavery is an ingrained, centuries-old institution in Islamic countries. It is also legal under Sharia law …
From the seventh century to the twentieth, it is estimated 14 million Africans were violently enslaved and transported under harsh conditions around the Islamic world.
Black Africans became synonymous in Arab eyes with inferiority and with even something less than human. And since the Islamic world experienced no abolition movement … the black slave … continued to remain sub-human in the Arab worldview.
Which goes a long way towards explaining why black Africans are being hunted down, imprisoned, tortured, or just summarily murdered in Libya by the Libyan rebels whom the US, Britain, France, NATO are actively supporting – while the attention of those multitudes of leftists and other “humanitarians” whom Stephen Brown so rightly scorns is otherwise engaged.
The plight of the Arabs’ black slaves will not be the subject of UNESCO’s “anti-racism” convention, Durban III, to be held in New York later this month.
No doubt, like Durban I and Durban II, it will be an international hate-fest against Israel and the Jews.
Last November these countries voted against the Durban III session: Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Netherlands, Palau, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the United Kingdom and the United States. (Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary and Spain abstained.)
Governments (in addition to Israel’s) that have announced they will not be joining in the coven are those of: The Czech Republic, Canada, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and – reluctantly? – the US.
Should the United States refrain from any intervention in the world beyond its borders except in its own incontrovertible interest?
Or should it act as the world’s policeman? Does it have a “responsibility to protect”- if so, whom from what? Populations from their rulers? Vulnerable groups from any and all attackers?
To bring the debate to the moment and the actual, should the US keep its forces in Afghanistan after 10 years of fighting savage peasants and failing to crush them? Should there still be a US military presence in Iraq? In Germany? In South Korea? Should the US be fighting – as it is – in Libya, Pakistan, and Yemen?
Should it not be using force to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power? And immediately against Iran’s ally, Bashar Assad, the bloody tyrant of Syria?
Should it not be outspending China on defense?
Should it not be helping Georgia liberate two of its provinces from Russia?
Should it be protecting South Sudan from its northern neighbors and their Ugandan proxies? Or the Nigerian Christians from their Muslim persecutors? Or the ethnic African Muslims of Dafur from the Arab Muslims who are raping, robbing, hounding and massacring them? Or destroying the pirates of Somalia? Or putting an end to the Arab/African slave trade?
Can those who answer yes to the first question fairly be called “isolationists”?
David Harsanyi considers, in a column at Townhall, whether the label is apt when applied to those who want America to withdraw from Afghanistan and refrain from any further participation in the NATO intervention in Libya:
There’s been a lot of talk about an alleged turn in American public opinion — particularly among Republicans — toward “isolationism.”
In a recent debate among GOP presidential hopefuls, there was some discussion about ending the United States’ commitment to the tribal warlords and medieval shamans of the Afghan wilderness. This induced John McCain to complain about the rise of a new “strain of isolationism” … McCain sidekick Lindsey Graham went on to notify Congress that it “should sort of shut up and not empower Gadhafi” when the topic of the House’s potentially defunding the military — er, kinetic, non-warlike bombing activity over Libya — came up. It would be a mistake, he vented, for Republican candidates to sit “to the left” of President Barack Obama on national security.
So if you don’t shut up and stop carping about this non-war war of ours, you are abetting North African strongmen. Makes sense. It’s the return of Teddy Roosevelt-style Republicanism, in which arbitrary power (and John McCain’s singular wisdom) matters a lot more than any democratic institution.
Sure, some on the far right and swaths of the protectionist, union-driven left oppose international trade agreements and [are] endlessly freaking us out about foreign influences.
Our interpolation: Is this protectionist section of the left aware of the left-elite’s longing for world government?
But isolationists? Judging from our conduct in the real world of economy, we’re anything but insular. So perhaps McCain simply meant noninterventionists — as in folks who have an unwavering ideological aversion to any and all overseas entanglement.
That can’t be it, either. Maybe, like many Americans, some in the GOP are simply grappling with wars that never end and a war that never started.
And with plenty of troubles here at home, it’s not surprising that Americans have turned their attention inward.
We can’t be in a constant state of war. Then again, Afghanistan is not a war per se, but a precarious social engineering project that asks our best and bravest (or, as our ally Hamid Karzai calls them, “occupiers”) to die for the Afghan Constitution, which is roundly ignored — except for the parts codifying Islamic law, that is. But all these conflicts come with the price of endless involvement. We almost always win.
When and where? Since World War Two, where has America won a hot war? Oh yes – against Granada.
But we never really go home. …
Did sometimes. From Granada after victory. From Vietnam after defeat.
This week, we learned that Obama rejected the advice of lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department who questioned his legal authority to continue this nonmilitary military involvement in Libya without congressional authorization. Instead, the administration offered a string of euphemisms concocted to bypass the Constitution.
Without any tangible evidence that this conflict furthers our national interests or any real proof that we are preventing a wide-scale humanitarian crisis, it’s not a surprise that Defense Secretary Robert Gates says we’re “leading from behind” — which is, in fact, as stupid and deceptive as the case it doesn’t make.
Are you an isolationist for questioning those who continue to weaken the Constitution? … Are you an isolationist for questioning this brand of obfuscation? Are you an isolationist for wanting American forces to win and leave the battlefield rather than hang around for decades of baby-sitting duty?
And Tony Blankley writes, also at Townhall:
I was one of the first GOP internationalist-oriented commentators or politicians to conclude that the Afghanistan War effort had served its initial purpose and that it was time to phase out the war. As a punitive raid against the regime that gave succor to Osama bin Laden, we had removed the Taliban government and killed as many al-Qaida and Taliban fighters as possible. …
But as the purpose of that war turned into nation building, even GOP internationalists had a duty to reassess whether, given the resources and strategy being brought to the new purpose, such policy was likely to be effective.
Now many others in the GOP and in the non-isolationist wing of the Democratic Party are likewise judging failure in Afghanistan to be almost inevitable. That is not a judgment driven by isolationism. Neither are we isolationist in our judgment (along with the opinion of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and almost the entire uniformed chain of command) that we see no national interest in Libya.
This is not isolationism; it is a rational effort at judging how best to advance American values and interests in an ever-more witheringly dangerous world.
Both Harsanyi’s and Blankley ‘s opinions are apt as far as they go.
But the problem is deeper, the questions that need to be raised about foreign policy harder than those they are answering.
Can America have a coherent foreign policy that America itself and the other states of the world can depend upon for any useful length of time? The two political parties are now so divided ideologically that foreign policy will depend on whether the president is a Republican or a Democrat. It will necessarily chop and change. Or if relations with some states stay more or less the same for a while, they will do so unreliably.
Could the very uncertainty characterize foreign policy usefully? No foreign state being secure in its relations with the US, each would have to be vigilant, tack according to the US wind, adjust to the changes. A case could be made that a Machiavellian preference to be feared by other nations rather than loved might serve America well.
But there are other developments to be considered. In countries throughout the world – led in this by Europe – there is an ideological tendency towards world government. The nation state is not liked: new political alignments, such as the European Union, are trying to phase it out. Democrats, for the most part, are in sympathy with the movement; Republicans are not. Democrats – like most leftists everywhere – have a vision of the UN turning into a world government; Republicans – many of them at least – would be happy to see the monstrous institution disbanded. It cannot continue long as it is: being a house of lies, it must fall down.
NATO is weakening. Letting Turkey into it was fatal. No longer secular, Turkey is now in the camp of Islam, inimical to the West.
The world as it was conceived to be after World War Two is changing kaleidoscopically under our eyes.
In relation to the rest of the world, what are American interests? How should they be pursued?
Should America concentrate on preserving itself as a fenced-in area of freedom on an otherwise unfree planet? That would be isolationism. Should it form a union with other as-yet-free nation-states: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel? India perhaps? Honduras? Papau? …
What would such a union do, what would be in its joint interest – “spreading democracy”, “protecting civilians”, “building nations”? The questions troubling America now would trouble it jointly, and the answers remain as hard to find.
For those who have a taste for satire, here are extracts from a good one by Daniel Greenfield. It needs to be read in full. For all its bitter slant, it tells the truth clear as a trumpet blast.
We need a terrorist state. Where the politicians are terrorists, the police are terrorists and even the men sitting at the desk when you come in to drop off a form are terrorists. There are states that support terrorists, and give safe harbor to them, but that’s not good enough. We don’t want another Pakistan or Iran. We’re not half-assing it this time. What we want is the genuine article. Terrorists from the top down. Terrorists everywhere. A state where every branch of government and the entire country is nothing but terrorists.
Terroristine has been an ancient dream since 1973 or was it 1967. A generation of keffiyah draped thugs, KGB operatives and human rights activists have looked out into the darkness and called it into being. It is a vision of a country where everyone is a murderer and children are taught from a very young age that their purpose in life is to die killing people who don’t share their religion and way of life.
And now after 20 years of negotiations, treaties, suicide bombings, mutilations, billions of dollars in vanishing into Swiss bank accounts and the death of its Egyptian born leader [Yasser Arafat] of AIDS — Terroristine is closer than ever to coming into being. …
The question is can we make it happen? Yes, we can. Oh sweet Allah, yes we can.
I am proud of Obama for finally standing up to the Israelis and telling them that they must ethnically cleanse hundreds of thousands of Jews, from their ancient towns, villages and cities, to make way for Terroristine. Someone had to say it. And it was either going to be Carter or Obama.
By endorsing the 1967 borders, he endorsed the outcome of the Arab invasion of Israel in 1948. Every time his administration condemns a Jewish house in Jerusalem, he endorses the Jordanian conquest of the city. Why are the borders of the 1948 war so much better than the borders of the Six Day War? Because the Terroristinians came closer to winning that war. Came closer to driving the Yahood [Jews] into the sea and ululating over mile after mile of their corpses.
But the dream failed. Farmers armed with outdated rifles. Volunteer pilots from America and Canada. Refitted cargo ships filled with half-dead men, women and children straight from the camps. Used Czech artillery. They held off the armies of seven Terroristinian nations. Farm by farm, they stood off tanks and infantry. In Jerusalem, they fought for every house. And so the Zionist entity survived. Allah curse them. They survived.
But now it’s back to 1948 again. Every war undone. Every defeat turned to victory. Cut Jerusalem in two. Drive out the farmers. Burn their land. Dig up their graves. March the borders back to 1948. And fly the Terroristinian flag over dust and rubble.
Had they won in 1948 or 1967 or 1973, there would be no Israel and no Terroristine. The land would have become part of Syria, Egypt and Jordan. … But now there is hope for a two state solution. A state of civilization on one side and a state of terrorists on the other. Hospitals here, launching pads there. Schools here, bomb factories there. Life here, death here. …
Why do we need Terroristine? Peace. There can be no peace without a terrorist state. Not a chance of it. The only way we’ll ever have peace is to give the terrorists a country of their own. A country dedicated to terrorism. Only then will the Terroristinians finally give up on all the killing, and dedicate themselves to medical research, quantum physics and the arts. It hasn’t happened yet to. But it’s bound to. …
Would Kaddafi or Assad be killing protesters in the streets if there was a Terroristinian state? Would there be turmoil in Tunisia or Egypt? Would Saudi tanks be rolling over Shiites and Coptic churches burning if there was a Terroristine? Assuredly not. The moment the flag of Terroristine rises above the wounded hills, and its peaceful anthem, “Palestine is My Revenge” is heard in the land, then a great echoing sigh will rise up from the mouths of one billion Muslims. And the violence will cease.
The international community is impatient. Damn impatient. They want Terroristine and they want it now. The negotiations must lead to immediate productive results. Whatever Israel has offered in the past, it isn’t enough. It must offer more and more. Whatever it takes. …
Have any people suffered the way the Terroristinians have? … Have any other people been wholly subsidized by a UN agency dedicated only to them? Have any other people inspired such a stylish fashion statement?
No more excuses. The world demands Terroristine. Middle East peace demands Terroristine. How much longer can Israel expect to draw out negotiations with weak justifications about terrorism. We know they’re terrorists. That’s why we’re giving them a state. …
Yallah. One day the borders of Terroristine will stretch from Spain to Pakistan. Or beyond Why settle for Jerusalem, when we can have London, Paris and Hamburg too. Why settle for anything at all? Allah is generous to the believers. Our people are in Africa. Even China. The Great Satan himself bows toward Mecca. The old governments are falling. The Arab Spring is here. The pawns of the Kufir are fleeing before our eyes. We are all Terroristinians now. There is no other book on our shelves than the Koran. No law but Sharia in our hearts. And no nation but Terroristine. …