An American industrialist argues with a French government minister.
The story comes from the left-biased Washington Post, told by Edward Cody:
It is a battle of archetypes: Morry “the Grizz” Taylor, the millionaire American capitalist who owns the tire manufacturer Titan International, has taken on Arnaud Montebourg, a handsome French Socialist and political comer whose evocative government title is minister of productive recovery.
In an unusual public exchange, the two have been trading insults about the work habits of the French, who, according to folklore [and not the facts? - ed], attach more importance to coffee breaks and long, winy lunches than to efficient production. It is an old and entertaining subject but one that has assumed new urgency in the fifth year of an economic crisis affecting France and its European neighbors.
In a letter to Montebourg, Taylor started the battle by saying bluntly that French workers at a tire plant he had visited are overpaid, lazy and coddled by a Socialist government enforcing such legally mandated rights as a 35-hour workweek, five weeks vacation and early retirement. But the biggest problem, Taylor said, is what the workers do, or not, while on the job.
“The French employees get high salaries but only work three hours,” he wrote in the letter, which was made available to the French media this week. “They have an hour for their breaks and their lunches, chat for three hours and work for three hours. I said this in front of French union representatives. They said that’s the way it is in France.”
To which the “political comer” replied with a load of BS and added an irrelevant historical reference in a childish bid to puff up his national pride:
Montebourg shot back that Taylor’s accusations were “as extremist as they are insulting” and revealed “a perfect ignorance of what our country is.” He added: “Do you at least know what La Fayette did for the United States of America?” …
At this point the author of the report, Edward Cody, sees fit to pour what he thinks is justified derision upon Mr Taylor:
Taylor, a 68-year-old arch conservative, ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996 on a platform summed up in the title of his book “Kill All the Lawyers and Other Ways to Fix the Government.” (Montebourg is a lawyer by profession.) Although he got only about 1 percent of the vote in GOP primaries, Taylor has gone on his merry way buying up dying corporations for profit.
Having got only 1 percent of the vote in the GOP primaries, he should have refrained from carrying on with his business, or refrained from making it profitable? Is Mr Cody unaware that this sentence is a non sequitur as well as a give-away of his absurd leftist mind-set? He seems to believe that you are justified in whatever you do only to the extent that you are voted for. To parody Descartes: “I’m voted for, therefore I can pursue my career.”
Montebourg, 50, who garnered 17 percent of the vote in the Socialist Party’s presidential primaries last year, has positioned himself in President Francois Hollande’s government as an industrial nationalist. … He has advocated protectionist measures to ward off competition from cheap-labor countries such as China and vowed to protect France’s wheezing factories from predatory foreign capitalists by nationalization if necessary.
Good for him. It’s a reliable recipe for making the parlous condition of the French economy even worse.
In any case, the work habits of the French have long been a hot topic here, the subject of jokes but also of such serious discussion that even the Socialist government has tried to reform the labor laws.
So Taylor was not “perfectly ignorant” about them after all.
The conversation has intensified in recent months, as France’s economic growth has flat-lined and factories continue to close, producing a 10 percent unemployment rate. For many economists, a big culprit is the high cost of production — an hour of work is $46 in France, compared with about $30 in the United States.
Despite the discouraging statistics, Taylor’s company tried for several years to buy part of the failing Goodyear tire factory in the northern city of Amiens, intending to abandon general production to specialize in heavy-duty agriculture tires. But the negotiations fizzled because, Taylor charged, French unions made unreasonable demands that were backed by the government.
When Goodyear announced Jan. 31 that it planned to close the plant, putting 1,250 French employees out of work, Montebourg wrote to Taylor suggesting that negotiations might resume on the plan for a partial acquisition. But the American would have none of it.
“Do you think we are that stupid?” he wrote back. “Titan is the one with the money and the know-how to produce tires. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government.”
Bravo, Mr Taylor!
Montebourg retorted that 20,000 foreign companies operate in France, including 4,200 American subsidiaries that employ nearly half a million people and find they can do business just fine. “Far from your statements, which are as ridiculous as they are nasty, all these businesses know and appreciate the quality and the productivity of the French workforce, the commitment, the know-how, the talent and the competence of French workers,” he said.
Unwilling to leave it there, Taylor granted an interview Friday to the French news service Agence France-Presse and fired off another missive to Montebourg by e-mail.
“The extremist,” he told the minister, “is your government and its lack of knowledge on how to build a business.” Relentless, he added: “Since you bring it up, why is unemployment so high in France and especially among young people? It is because of your government’s policies, sir.”
From the Washington Times:
In what could be the first spillover from France’s intervention in Mali …
Islamist militants attacked and occupied a natural gas complex partly operated by energy company BP in southern Algeria on Wednesday. Two foreigners were killed and dozens of others, including Americans, were taken hostage.
Meanwhile, what’s happening in Mali?
The video and text are from DEBKAfile
On January 11, a few hundred French troops and a handful of fighter jets and gunships launched a campaign against Islamist terrorists in Mali, a West African desert vastness larger than Texas and California combined. This former French colony appealed to Paris for aid to throw back a mixed al Qaeda-rebel advance on the capital, Bamako.
But France, no more than the US, had learned from the Afghanistan War that Al Qaeda cannot be beaten by aerial warfare – certainly not when the jiahdists are highly trained in special forces tactics and backed by highly mobile, well-armed local militias, armed with advanced anti-aircraft weapons and knowledgeable about conditions in the forbidding Sahara.
Within 48 hours, this modest “crusader” intervention had united a host of pro-al Qaeda offshoots and allies, some of them castoffs from the army of Libya’s deposed Muammar Qaddafi.
They are led by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb – AQIM; the West African jihadist MUJAO; and the Somali al-Shabaab which is linked to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – AQAP. Together, they are threatening to execute one by one the 10 or eleven French hostages they are holding as part of their revenge on France.
The French declared their mission to be to dislodge the Islamists from an area larger than Afghanistan in the north, including the principal towns of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal. Without several thousand special forces’ troops on the ground, this is just a pipedream.
The disaffected Touareg tribes are supporting al Qaeda against the French as part of their drive for independence. Their added value is the training in special forces’ tactics some 1,500 Touareg fighting men and their three officers received from the US.
The US originally reserved them as the main spearhead of a Western Saharan multi-tribe campaign to eradicate al Qaeda in North and West Africa.
Instead, the Sahel tribesmen followed the Touareg in absconding to Mali with top-quality weapons for desert warfare and hundreds of vehicles from US and ex-Libyan military arsenals.
This major setback for US administration plans and counter-terror strategy in Africa tied in with Al Qaeda’s assassination of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff in Benghazi last September. Because the United States held back from direct US military action in both cases, Qaeda has been allowed to go from strength to strength and draw into its fold recruits from Mali’s neighbors. They are tightening their grip on northern Mali and have imposed a brutal version of Islam on its inhabitants, putting hundreds to flight.
France stepped in when al Qaeda drove south to extend its rule to all parts of Mali and pose a terrorist threat to Europe.
Denis Allex, the video narrator, was executed by al-Shabaab, according to its own report which contradicts the reports put out by France claiming that he was killed during a botched rescue attempt in Somalia.
From The Long War Journal by Bill Roggio, 1/16/2013:
Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia and East Africa, announced today that it would execute a French intelligence operative who was captured in Mogadishu in 2009.
The hostage, Denis Allex, was the subject of a failed rescue attempt last week by French commandos. …
Shabaab said he was killed after the group “reached a unanimous decision.” …
Shabaab pinned the blame for Allex’s death sentence on France, and denied the French claim that the hostage was killed during the rescue attempt. Shabaab has maintained this position since the first report of the raid, while French officials claimed that Allex was indeed killed during the rescue attempt.
“With the rescue attempt, France has voluntarily signed Allex’s death warrant. Following the failed operation, [French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian], aware that execution is the natural corollary of treachery, announced that the punishment had already been meted out, despite the fact that Allex was at the time alive and safe in another safe house,” the group said.
Shabaab said it would kill Allex after years of attempting to negotiate with France, and finally decided to kill him after the French commandos killed civilians during the rescue attempt. Two French commandos were killed; one of them was captured and subsequently died of his wounds, according to Shabaab. Two days ago, Shabaab released photographs of the captured French commando, who they claimed was the mission commander, and displayed his body with his weapons and gear.
But only announced yesterday that they “would execute” him?
“The death of the two French soldiers pales into insignificance besides the dozens of Muslim civilians senselessly killed by the French forces during the operation,” Shabaab stated.
Shabaab also claimed Allex was sentenced to death for France’s involvement in military operations in Afghanistan, Mali, and other “Muslim lands.” French troops have entered Mali to help the government retake the north from an Islamist alliance made up of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar Dine, andthe Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa. Last week, the jihadist groups advanced southward to take control of Bamako, the capital. The three militant Islamist groups have controlled northern Mali since the spring of 2012.
“Avenging the deaths of these civilians and taking into consideration France’s increasing persecution of Muslims around the world, its oppressive anti-Islam policies at home, French military operations in the war against Islamic Shari’ah in Afghanistan and, most recently, in Mali, and its continued economic, political and military assistance towards the African invaders in Muslim lands, Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen has reached a unanimous decision to execute the French intelligence officer, Denis Allex,” the terror group said.
Shabaab also provided some details on the “botched rescue operation,” which it described as “an abysmal failure; both in terms of intelligence and the ground operation.” The group claimed the French assault team landed outside of the Shabaab-held town of Bulo-Marer and killed “all the villagers that crossed their path.”
“But before the French forces could reach their destination, the Mujahideen in Bulo-Marer were alerted by HSM [al-Shabaab] intelligence teams who had information of the French movements,” Shabaab stated. The description of events roughly matches a report that was published by Shabelle [a Somali media network].
Allex and Marc Aubriere, two French intelligence agents, were captured in July 2009 at a hotel in Mogadishu. Both men were posing as journalists and trainers for the Somali military. Aubriere escaped under mysterious circumstances and it is rumored the French government paid a ransom for his release.
France launched the rescue mission to free Allex as it was feared he would be executed by Shabaab in retaliation for the French intervention in Mali.
Shabaab officially merged with al Qaeda in February 2012 after working closely with the global terror group for years.
Were the French lying about Denis Allex being killed in the botched rescue attempt? If so, why? And in connection with all this, what is the Obama administration keeping from the American people?
These Islamic fighting forces which the might of the Western world, half-heartedly engaged, is signally failing to subdue in Mali, Somalia, Libya, many other parts of Africa, and Afghanistan, and Yemen, can no longer be called “terrorists”. They are the armies of the jihad, unrelentingly mobilized – and winning.
Although the Koran is believed by Muslims to contain all the knowledge a man could ever need, the Obama administration is spending ample tax-dollars coaching Muslims in science and technology.
As far as we can discover, it is the only religious group at home or abroad to be given this expensive attention.
But then, Islam has earned its reward from Americans, hasn’t it?
Here’s the information quoted in full from a US Government Fact Sheet:
Science and Technology Engagement With the Muslim World
Progress in Realizing the President’s Vision of Enhanced Science and Technology (S&T)
Partnership in the Muslim World
1. Science Envoys: Three of America’s most prominent scientists traveled and engaged with counterparts in Morocco, Egypt, Indonesia, and other countries.
2. OPIC Fund: The OPIC Global Technology and Innovation Fund attracted almost $2 billion in private investment to support technological development projects to be implemented in Muslim communities around the world.
3. Center of Excellence on Water: USAID and State Department began the creation of a Middle East Water Center after extensive consultations across the region.
The program pursues the shibboleths of the left:
4. Center of Excellence on Climate Change: USAID and the State Department began the creation of an Asia Regional Climate Change Center after extensive consultations across the region, with an anticipated initial focus on water-scarcity issues.
Here’s one specially worth noting:
5. Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute: This newly established institute — a collaborative effort involving the State Department, Department of Energy (DOE), Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, Sandia National Laboratory, and Texas A&M University’s Nuclear Security Science & Policy Institute — will work with Gulf States through regional workshops and follow-up bilateral training to assist those states that decide to pursue nuclear energy with the tools to do so in a safe, secure, and safeguarded manner.
It all sounds wonderfully friendly and cozy, this communion with the religion that is dedicated to our destruction:
6. Entrepreneurship Summit: This summit brought together successful business and social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, development bankers, and other business experts to discuss ideas and share experiences with a view toward creating support networks that will help promote development in Muslim communities.
7. Expanded Science Corps: Secretary of State Clinton committed to expanding the number of Environment, Science, Technology, and Health (ESTH) officers at embassies, with new positions already being filled in the Middle Easter and North Africa (MENA).
But she grudges every penny spent on protection for our diplomats in the Islamic Middle East. (See all our recent posts on the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans in Libya.)
8. Regional R&D Collaboration: The State Department launched six new Middle East Regional Cooperation projects to fund applied research and S&T cooperation involving institutions in Jordan, West Bank/Gaza, Tunisia, and Israel on topics in agriculture, environmental protection and global and regional health.
Cooperation projects? Jordan, “West Bank/Gaza”, Tunisia with Israel? Well, good luck with that.
9. Bilateral R&D Collaboration: The United States and Indonesia concluded a new S&T Agreement and the United States provided a doubling of financial support for S&T agreements with Egypt and Pakistan.
10. Frontiers of Science Program: The U.S. National Academy of Sciences expanded this program to support linkages between young scientists in the United States and Southeast Asia, with planned expansion to additional regions as well.
11. MENA POWER 2010: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) sponsored a Middle East and North Africa technology and projects forum to match MENA policymakers and project stakeholders in the electric power sector with U.S. providers of equipment and service solutions.
For such vital “investment”, the heavily-indebted United States borrows or prints money.
Lots more moola is to be lavished on solar panels (and windmills?) in Islamic states – “green energy” being another bee in Obama’s bonnet:
- Memorandum of Understanding for Clean Energy Cooperation: DOE partnered with UAE’s multi-billion-dollar Masdar City clean energy initiative, with delegates and DOE officials outlining an initial work plan.
- Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation: Secretary Chu signed this MOU during his visit to the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, in Riyadh, to facilitate partnerships with DOE national laboratories, U.S. universities and scientific institutions.
- Feasibility Studies: USTDA supported extensive feasibility studies throughout the region to determine potential capabilities for geothermal energy, solar energy, and smart grid technology.
13. Information Communication Technology:
- Iraq Science and Technology Virtual Science Library project was officially transferred to Iraqi government control and administration. 7500 users are now registered, 95% of the university population is participating, 1,000,000 articles have been downloaded to date, and publications by Iraqi authors are increasing apace and expected to reach about 300 this year.
- NSF supported a host of electronic networking programs, including implementation of a multi-million-dollar broad-band internet linkage to Egypt and Pakistan, and provided support to involve Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France, and nearly all countries in North Africa in a network for research on new materials for renewable energy. Maghreb Digital Library. The State Department supported the establishment of a Digital Library for the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania) to support development in S&T, increase access to digitized scientific data and research, and encourage partnership and networking.
- Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) jointly hosted a Health Dialogue with Ministers of Health from the OIC member states in Geneva on the margins of the World Health Assembly. Concrete steps were outlined for enhanced collaboration.
- The National Institutes of Health conducted training in tobacco control, injury and trauma, bioethics [?] and genetics. This included meetings among twelve regional nations across MENA and SE Asia, leading to the creation of new programs in medical schools in the participating nations.
15. Water: The U.S. Geological Survey supported extensive training in collection and analysis of water samples, workshops on water contamination, training on the establishment of digital water resources data systems, and consultation on the establishment of water quality laboratories across the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia.
16. Space: NASA signed agreements with several nations for future collaboration on space programs. NASA now has agreements with 30 of the world’s more than 50 Muslim-majority nations.
17. Pollution: The Environmental Protection Agency has teamed up with Indonesia and Jordan to create programs aimed at decreasing air pollution in both nations. Breathe Easy Jakarta and Jordan’s Environmental Rangers are just two of the programs implemented to increase public participation and enforcement and accountability in the fight against pollution.
And lots more is in the pipeline. Unless, that is, Mitt Romney becomes president and cancels this massive transfer of US borrowed wealth to Islamic states.
Top 10 Activities in the Year Ahead
1. Global Engagement Fund: S&T collaboration is an important part of the new $100M Global Engagement Fund submitted to Congress for FY2011.
2. US-Egypt Year of Science 2011: This year-long enterprise will celebrate US Egypt engagement in science, promote interest among Egyptian youth in science-related careers and research, and promote digital engagement among the Egyptian science community with US peers and institutions.
3. New Science Envoys: The Administration will name three new envoys, with plans to travel to Central Asia, East and West Africa, and Southeast Asia.
4. Science, Technology, and Innovation Conference 2011: This conference will include representatives from Muslim communities around the world in cooperation with Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and other key stakeholders.
5. White House/OSTP Digital Knowledge Networking Event: This major international event will bring together ICT leaders from public and private foundations involved in electronic knowledge sharing, technology, education, and development, along with other experts, to move from idea to realization of a significant increase in on-line knowledge-sharing in science and technology.
6. Middle East Energy Efficiency Center: DOE, State, and USAID will launch an effort in the Middle East to promote and enhance regional cooperation in science and technology, focusing on six energy-efficiency initiatives.
7. Challenges & Awards: EPA/USAID will launch a challenge to drive innovation for water technologies serving international and domestic constituencies.
8. Forest Conservation: The Department of Interior will work with several nations to preserve nature reserves and protect endangered species.
9. Eye on the Earth – Abu Dhabi 2010: EPA will co-sponsor this event to address the establishment of a global environmental information network.
10. Joint Ocean Exploration: NOAA’s research vessel Okeanos Explorer and the Indonesian research vessel Baruna Jaya will make a pioneering joint mission to the “Coral Triangle” in the Indo-Pacific region in the summer of 2011.
Note that in all this there is no mention of any project to promote the education of women in the Muslim world. We do not advocate the spending of US tax dollars on women’s education in Afghanistan (for instance), only suggesting that if the Obama administration is concerned with improving knowledge in Islam, they might raise the subject in some of their get-togethers with their Muslim buddies.
The stupid and dangerous policies of the lefty governments of Europe (they’re all on the left, including those who call themselves conservative), to encourage massive Muslim immigration and then privilege the immigrants over the indigenous populations, has unsurprisingly provoked the rise of extremely illiberal factions. Some of them speak of war. Here’s an example from France.
A French magazine ridiculed the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday by portraying him naked in cartoons, threatening to fuel the anger of Muslims around the world who are already incensed by a film depiction of him as a lecherous fool.
A video film made by a Californian Coptic Christian which mocks Muhammad and which the Obama administration is absurdly blaming for the Islamic world going up in flames and al-Qaeda murdering a US ambassador in Libya.
The drawings in satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo risked exacerbating a crisis that has seen the storming of U.S. and other Western embassies, the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and a deadly suicide bombing in Afghanistan.
Riot police were deployed to protect the magazine’s Paris offices after it hit the news stands with a cover showing an Orthodox Jew pushing the turbaned figure of Mohammad in a wheelchair.
On the inside pages, several caricatures of the Prophet showed him naked. One, entitled “Mohammad: a star is born”, depicted a bearded figure crouching over to display his buttocks and genitals.
The French government … had urged the weekly not to print the cartoons …
“We have the impression that it’s officially allowed for Charlie Hebdo to attack the Catholic far-right but we cannot poke fun at fundamental Islamists,” said editor Stephane Charbonnier, who drew the front-page cartoon.
“It shows the climate – everyone is driven by fear, and that is exactly what this small handful of extremists who do not represent anyone want – to make everyone afraid, to shut us all in a cave,” he told Reuters.
We like what Charlie Hebdo have done (though we don’t think the cartoons are great). We applaud their courage. But - only a “small handful of extremists”? Are most of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world serenely tolerant of criticism?
One cartoon, in reference to the scandal over a French magazine’s decision to publish topless photos of the wife of Britain’s Prince William, showed a topless, bearded character with the caption: “Riots in Arab countries after photos of Mrs. Mohammad are published.”
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius criticized the magazine’s move as a provocation.
So much for the Liberté part of the French national motto, Liberté, égalité, fraternité!
“We saw what happened last week in Libya and in other countries such as Afghanistan,” Fabius told a regular government news conference. “We have to call on all to behave responsibly.”
Except Muslims. They can behave a irresponsibly as they like. Because the French government is afraid of them.
Charlie Hebdo has a long reputation for being provocative. Its Paris offices were firebombed last November after it published a mocking caricature of Mohammad, and Charbonnier has been under police guard ever since. …
The French Muslim Council, the main body representing Muslims in France, accused Charlie Hebdo of firing up anti-Muslim sentiment at a sensitive time.
“The CFCM is profoundly worried by this irresponsible act, which in such a fraught climate risks further exacerbating tensions and sparking damaging reactions,” it said.
It is the expression of opinion that must be stopped, you see, not the “damaging reactions”.
Well, that may not be entirely fair:
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the authorities had rejected a request to hold a march against the Mohammad film in Paris.
We wait to see what will happen to the Charlie Hebdo offices, and to Stephane Charbonnier. We hope for his safety. But the savage war of Islam against the rest of us will go on until the West uses all its weapons, of law, argument, wealth, political and military power, and mockery to crush the murderous Muslim hordes storming out of the Dark Ages.
(Charlie Hebdo cover cartoon via Creeping Sharia, where you can see the rest of them - here.)
We are witnessing a seismic shift in global affairs. The shake-up is a perfect storm of political, demographic and technological change that will soon make the world as we have known it for the last 30 years almost unrecognizable.
Those attention-gripping words open an article by Victor Davis Hanson at Townhall:
Since the mid-1980s there have been a number of accepted global constants. The European Union was assumed to have evolved beyond the nation-state as it ended the cycle of militarism and renounced free-market capitalism. With its strong euro, soft power and nonaligned foreign policy, the EU was praised as a utopian sort of foil to the overarmed U.S. with its ailing dollar. …
The Arab Middle East for the last 40 years seemed to be the world’s cockpit, as its huge petroleum reserves brought in trillions of dollars from an oil-depleted West, along with political concessions. Petrodollars fed global terrorism. Oil-poor Israel had little clout with Europe. In general, the West ignored any human-rights concerns involving the region’s oil-rich dictatorships, monarchies and theocracies, as well as their aid to Islamic terrorists.
Conventional wisdom also assumed that an indebted U.S. was in permanent decline, a cash-rich China in ascendency. …
But none of that conventional wisdom now seems very wise — largely because of a number of technological breakthroughs and equally unforeseen political upheavals.
The eurozone is unraveling. An aging, shrinking population and a socialist welfare state lead to serfdom, not utopia. …
The Arab Middle East is now in a free fall. Tyrants in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen were ousted, while one in Syria totters. But while the world hoped secular democrats would follow in their wake, more likely we are witnessing the emergence of one-election Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood. The region will be mired in turmoil whether these upheavals turn out to be like the hijacked Iranian revolution that ended in theocracy, or the Turkish democratic model that is insidiously becoming Islamist.
Horizontal drilling and fracking have made oil shale and tar sands rich sources of oil and natural gas, so much so that the United States may prove to possess the largest store of fossil fuel reserves in the world — in theory, with enough gas, oil and coal soon never to need any imported Middle Eastern energy again. “Peak oil” is suddenly an anachronism. Widespread American use of cheap natural gas will do more to clean the planet than thousands of Solyndras.
If the United States utilizes its resources, then its present pathologies — massive budget and trade deficits, mounting debt, strategic vulnerability — will start to subside. These new breakthroughs in petroleum engineering are largely American phenomena, reminding us that there is still something exceptional in the American experience that periodically offers the world cutting-edge technologies and protocols — such as those pioneered by Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Starbucks and Walmart.
In comparison, China is not only resource-poor but politically impoverished. For decades we were told that Chinese totalitarianism, when mixed with laissez-faire capitalism, led to sparkling airports and bullet trains, while a litigious and indulgent America settled for a run-down LAX and creaking Amtrak relics. But the truth is that the Los Angeles airport will probably sooner look modern than the Chinese will hold open elections amid a transparent society — given that free markets did not make China democratic, only more contradictory.
Even more surreal, tiny oil-poor Israel, thanks to vast new offshore finds, has been reinvented as a potential energy giant in the Middle East. Such petrodollars will change Israel as they did the Persian Gulf countries, but with one major difference. Unlike Dubai or Kuwait, Israel is democratic, economically diverse, socially stable and technologically sophisticated, suggesting the sudden windfall will not warp Israel in the manner it has traditional Arab autocracies, but instead become a force multiplier of an already dynamic society. Will Europe still snub Israel when it has as much oil, gas and money as an OPEC member in the Persian Gulf?
Good, good – but Islam is still waging jihad and spreading sharia law; and the UN still exists; and Iran is still becoming a nuclear power; and Obama is still occupying the Oval Office.
The incessant drumbeat of anti-Semitism— often rooted in anti-Zionist prejudice against Israel and all who publicly identify with the Jewish state and Jewish identity — throughout Europe is inciting violence that can no longer be ignored. The problem here is not just al-Qaeda sympathizers such as the Toulouse shooter or the importation of Jew-hatred from the Middle East that have taken root among French Muslims. It is the way that such views have melded with attacks from intellectuals on Zionism, Israel and its supporters in such a way as to dignify the sordid hatred flung at Jews on the streets of Europe. There is a long and dishonorable history of anti-Semitism in France, but what we are witnessing now is an updated version of traditional bias that is casting a shadow over the future of the Jewish community there. … It is difficult to envision much of a future for Jews in Europe. - Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary-Contentions, July 6, 2012
In recent weeks, I have heard those who have cast doubt on Iran’s intentions. They said that when Iran’s leaders declare that they will wipe Israel off the map, they really mean something else in Persian. It would be interesting to hear what they think of the Iranian Chief-of-Staff’s remarks yesterday: ‘Iran is committed to the complete destruction of Israel.’ This is clear and simple. Iran’s goals are clear. It wants to annihilate Israel and is developing nuclear weapons to realize this goal. Iran threatens Israel, peace and the entire world. Against this malicious intention, the world’s leading countries must show determination, not weakness. – Benyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, 21 May, 2012
In pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons, the president finalizes plans to decimate our nuclear deterrent and reduce our warhead count beyond even treaty commitments … with the goal “in the longer term, of eliminating nuclear weapons”. This plan stems from a Nuclear Posture Review conducted by an administration committed to a world without nuclear weapons, particularly American ones, based on two fraudulent conclusions, one that Cold War weapons are no longer needed in a post-Cold War world, and the weapons, not the tyrants who would use them against us, are the real threat. - From an IBD editorial, July 6, 2012
Lord Dannatt, the former head of the Army, has described as “risky” plans to reduce the service to its smallest size since the Napoleonic wars. - From the Telegraph, July 7, 2012
The following is from Omnipotent Government by Ludwig von Mises, 1944, re-published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. It is subsection 5 of Chapter VIII, Anti-Semitism and Racism: Anti-Semitism as a Factor in International Politics.
(Ludwig von Mises, free-market economist of the Austrian School, was one of the most eminent classical liberal thinkers of the last century.)
It was a very strange constellation of political forces that turned anti-Semitism into an important factor in world affairs.
In the years after the first World War Marxism swept triumphantly over the Anglo-Saxon countries. Public opinion in Great Britain came under the spell of the neo-Marxian doctrines on imperialism, according to which wars are fought only for the sake of the selfish class interests of capital. The intellectuals and the parties of the Left felt rather ashamed of England’s participation in the World War. They were convinced that it was both morally unfair and politically unwise to oblige Germany to pay reparations and to restrict its armaments. They were firmly resolved never again to let Great Britain fight a war. They purposely shut their eyes to every unpleasant fact that could weaken their naïve confidence in the omnipotence of the League of Nations. They overrated the efficacy of sanctions and of such measures as outlawing war by the Briand-Kellogg Pact. They favored for their country a policy of disarmament which rendered the British Empire almost defenseless within a world indefatigably preparing for new wars.
But at the same time the same people were asking the British government and the League to check the aspirations of the “dynamic” powers and to safeguard with every means—short of war—the independence of the weaker nations. They indulged in strong language against Japan and against Italy; but they practically encouraged, by their opposition to armaments and their unconditional pacifism, the imperialistic policies of these countries. They were instrumental in Great Britain’s rejecting Secretary Stimson’s proposals to stop Japan’s expansion in China. They frustrated the Hoare-Laval plan, which would have left at least a part of Abyssinia independent; but they did not lift a finger when Italy occupied the whole country. They did not change their policy when Hitler seized power and immediately began to prepare for the wars which were meant to make Germany paramount first on the European continent and later in the whole world. Theirs was an ostrich policy in the face of the most serious situation that Britain ever had to encounter.
The parties of the Right did not differ in principle from those of the Left. They were only more moderate in their utterances and eager to find a rational pretext for the policy of inactivity and indolence in which the Left acquiesced lightheartedly and without a thought of the future. They consoled themselves with the hope that Germany did not plan to attack France but only to fight Soviet Russia. It was all wishful thinking, refusing to take account of Hitler’s schemes as exposed in Mein Kampf. The Left became furious. Our reactionaries, they shouted, are aiding Hitler because they are putting their class interests over the welfare of the nation. Yet the encouragement which Hitler got from England came not so much from the anti-Soviet feelings of some members of the upper classes as from the state of British armament, for which the Left was even more responsible than the Right. The only way to stop Hitler would have been to spend large sums for rearmament and to return to conscription. The whole British nation, not only the aristocracy, was strongly opposed to such measures. Under these conditions it was not unreasonable that a small group of lords and rich commoners should try to improve relations between the two countries. It was, of course, a plan without prospect of success. The Nazis could not be dissuaded for their aims by comforting speeches from socially prominent Englishmen. British popular repugnance to armaments and conscription was an important factor in the Nazi plans, but the sympathies of a dozen lords were not. It was no secret that Great Britain would be unable, right at the outbreak of a new war, to send an expeditionary force of seven divisions to France as it did in 1914; that the Royal Air Force was numerically much inferior to the German Air Force; or that even the British Navy was less formidable than in the years 1914–18. …
The problem which Great Britain had to face was simply this: is it in the interest of the nation to permit Germany to conquer the whole European continent? It was Hitler’s great plan to keep England neutral at all costs, until the conquest of France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Ukraine should be completed. Should Great Britain render him this service? Whoever answered this question in the negative must not talk but act. But the British politicians buried their heads in the sand.
Given the state of British public opinion, France should have understood that it was isolated and must meet the Nazi danger by itself. The French know little about the German mentality and German political conditions. Yet when Hitler seized power every French politician should have realized that the main point in his plans was the annihilation of France. Of course the French parties of the Left shared the prejudices, illusions, and errors of the British Left. But there was in France an influential nationalist group which had always mistrusted Germany and favored an energetic anti-German policy. If the French nationalists in 1933 and the years following had seriously advocated measures to prevent German rearmament, they would have had the support of the whole nation with the exception of the intransigent communists. Germany had already started to rearm under the Weimar Republic. Nevertheless in 1933 it was not ready for a war with France, nor for some years thereafter. It would have been forced either to yield to a French threat or to wage a war without prospect of success. At that time it was still possible to stop the Nazis with threats. And even had war resulted, France would have been strong enough to win.
But then something amazing and unexpected happened. Those nationalists who for more than sixty years had been fanatically anti-German, who had scorned everything German, and who had always demanded an energetic policy against the Weimar Republic changed their minds overnight. Those who had disparaged as Jewish all endeavors to improve Franco-German relations, who had attacked as Jewish machinations the Dawes and Young plans and the Locarno agreement, and who had held the League suspect as a Jewish institution suddenly began to sympathize with the Nazis. They refused to recognize the fact that Hitler was eager to destroy France once and for all. Hitler, they hinted, is less a foe of France than of the Jews; as an old warrior he sympathizes with his French fellow warriors. They belittled German rearmament. Besides, they said, Hitler rearms only in order to fight Jewish Bolshevism. Nazism is Europe’s shield against the assault of World Jewry and its foremost representative, Bolshevism. The Jews are eager to push France into a war against the Nazis. But France is wise enough not to pull any chestnuts out of the fire for the Jews. France will not bleed for the Jews.
It was not the first time in French history that the nationalists put their anti-Semitism above their French patriotism. In the Dreyfus Affair they fought vigorously in order to let a treacherous officer quietly evade punishment while an innocent Jew languished in prison.
It has been said that the Nazis corrupted the French nationalists. Perhaps some French politicians really took bribes. But politically this was of little importance. The Reich would have wasted its funds. The anti Semitic newspapers and periodicals had a wide circulation; they did not need German subsidies. Hitler left the League; he annulled the disarmament clauses of the Treaty of Versailles; he occupied the demilitarized zone on the Rhine; he stirred anti-French tendencies in North Africa. The French nationalists for the most part criticized these acts only in order to put all the blame on their political adversaries in France: it was they who were guilty, because they had adopted a hostile attitude toward Nazism.
Then Hitler invaded Austria. Seven years earlier France had vigorously opposed the plan of an Austro German customs union. But now the French Government hurried to recognize the violent annexation of Austria. At Munich—in coöperation with Great Britain and Italy—it forced Czechoslovakia to yield to the German claims. All this met with the approval of the majority of the French nationalists. When Mussolini, instigated by Hitler, proclaimed the Italian aspirations for Savoy, Nice, Corsica, and Tunis, the nationalists’ objections were ventured timidly. No Demosthenes rose to warn the nation against Philip [of Macedon]. But if a new Demosthenes had presented himself the nationalists would have denounced him as the son of a rabbi or a nephew of Rothschild.
It is true that the French Left did not oppose the Nazis either, and in this respect they did not differ from their British friends. But that is no excuse for the nationalists. They were influential enough to induce an energetic anti Nazi policy in France. But for them every proposal seriously to resist Hitler was a form of Jewish treachery. …
Germany openly prepared a war for the total annihilation of France. There was no doubt about the intentions of the Nazis. Under such conditions the only policy appropriate would have been to frustrate Hitler’s plans at all costs. Whoever dragged in the Jews in discussing Franco-German relations forsook the cause of his nation. Whether Hitler was a friend or foe of the Jews was irrelevant. The existence of France was at stake. This alone had to be considered, not the desire of French shopkeepers or doctors to get rid of their Jewish competitors.
That France did not block Hitler’s endeavors in time, that it long neglected its military preparations, and that finally, when war could no longer be avoided, it was not ready to fight was the fault of anti-Semitism. The French anti-Semites served Hitler well. Without them the new war might have been avoided, or at least fought under much more favorable conditions.
When war came, it was stigmatized by the French Right as a war for the sake of the Jews and by the French communists as a war for the sake of capitalism. The unpopularity of the war paralyzed the hands of the military chiefs. It slowed down work in the armament factories. … Thus the unbelievable happened: France disavowed its past, branded the proudest memories of its history Jewish, and hailed the loss of its political independence as a national revolution and a regeneration of its true spirit.
Not alone in France but the world over anti-Semitism made propaganda for Nazism. Such was the detrimental effect of interventionism and its tendencies toward discrimination that a good many people became unable to appreciate problems of foreign policy from any viewpoint but that of their appetite for discrimination against successful competitors. The hope of being delivered from a Jewish competitor fascinated them while they forgot everything else, their nation’s independence, freedom, religion, civilization. … The secret weapon of Hitler is the anti Jewish inclinations of many millions of shopkeepers and grocers, of doctors and lawyers, professors and writers.
The present war would never have originated but for anti¬Semitism. Only anti-Semitism made it possible for the Nazis to restore the German people’s faith in the invincibility of its armed forces, and thus to drive Germany again into the policy of aggression and the struggle for hegemony. Only the anti-Semitic entanglement of a good deal of French public opinion prevented France from stopping Hitler when he could still be stopped without war. And it was anti-Semitism that helped the German armies find in every European country men ready to open the doors to them.
Mankind has paid a high price indeed for anti-Semitism.
It’s later than he thinks.
This picture of President François Hollande of France comes from Townhall, illustrating an article by Daniel J. Mitchell, with the caption:
Compared to his foolishness on tax policy, Hollande is a genius when it comes to determining what time it is.
The author has been so bemused by watching European countries taking all the wrong steps to save themselves from bankruptcy, that he “endorsed the explicit socialist [Hollande] over the implicit socialist [Sarkozy] precisely because of a morbid desire to see a nation commit faster economic suicide.”
“Well,” he writes, “Monsieur Hollande isn’t disappointing me.”
He gives examples of the idiotic steps the new president is taking to ruin his country by raising taxes.
And here are some highlights from the article (which is worth reading in full):
While France is driving into a fiscal cul-de-sac, Italian politicians have constructed a very impressive maze of red tape, intervention, and regulation. …
But let’s not forget our Greek friends … the country that subsidizes pedophiles and requires stool samples from entrepreneurs applying to set up online companies. …
Thanks to the International Monetary Fund, the rest of us are helping to subsidize these Greek moochers.
And speaking of the IMF, I never realized those overpaid bureaucrats (and they’re also exempt from tax!) are closet comedians. They must be a bunch of jokers, I’ve concluded, because they just released a report on problems in the eurozone without once mentioning excessive government spending or high tax burdens.
The tax-free IMF bureaucrats do claim that “Important actions have been taken,” but they’re talking about bailouts and easy money. …
Even though the problems in Europe are solely the result of bad policies by nations governments, the economic pyromaniacs at the IMF also say that “the crisis now calls for a stronger and more collective effort.”
By which they mean -
Let’s translate this into plain English: The IMF wants more money from American taxpayers (and other victimized producers elsewhere in the world) to subsidize the types of statist policies that are described above in places such as France, Italy, and Greece.
Greece, Spain, and yes, France and Italy too, and not omitting Ireland and Portugal, are like beggars intent on getting enough alms to keep themselves alive for one more day.
Like beggars, did we say? They are beggars. They have reduced themselves to beggary. The beggar-nations of Europe. To give them alms is to sponsor beggary.
The IMF and the World Bank – both of them institutions in the UN system – are the charity-workers who come to your doors, Americans, rattling their collection boxes, to support the poor … what?
“Pedophiles? Early retirees? Muslim immigrants? Biannual vacation-takers? National health service patients?”
“Yes. Just put the coins in the box and don’t be judgmental!”
We are living through the self-extinction of the European civilization that shaped the age we live in.
So writes Giulio Meotti at Front Page. He goes on:
The inquisition against Europe’s “racist” and “Islamophobic” writers and journalists sheds a unique light on this demographic and religious revolution. Cartoonists, novelists, intellectuals, reporters, these are … the new reactionaries … Western intellectuals “guilty” of fighting the stereotypes of the Western elites: multiculturalism, the “droits de l’hommisme”(the human rights turned into a spoiled child), Islam and anti-Semitism. These new witches are demonized in the name of anti-racism, which the French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut called “the communism of XXI century.”
The latest victim of the leftist bien-pensants allied with the Islamic fanatics is Eric Zemmour, Jewish journalist and author of the bestseller “Mélancolie Française.” A few days ago, Zemmour has been dismissed from his radio show for having criticized the new French Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, “gentle and compassionate as a mother with her children, the poor children of the suburbs who steal, peddle, torture, rape, and sometimes kill.”
The late Italian writer Oriana Fallaci went to trial … in France and Italy … The Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature, Wole Soyinka, known as the “Nigerian Joyce,” has been demonized as a “racist” for having called the UK “a cesspit” [of] Islamists. Finkielkraut … has been tried, after he dared to comment on the French suburbs that “if the thugs were white everyone would have evoked fascism, when a school is burned down by an Arab then it’s ‘rebellion’”. …
The writer Michel Houellebecq was on trial for his best-selling novel “Platform” and interviews where he called Islam “the most stupid of all religions”, [and] V S Naipaul, another Nobel Prize Laureate, has been demonized as “racist” and “reactionary” by the liberal press.
In many cases, the journalists became refugees in their own countries. “My house is protected as a bunker with cameras,” Kurt Westergaard [told me], the Danish artist who created the cartoon of the Prophet wearing a bomb in his turban for the Jyllands Posten newspaper. Visiting his paper’s office is like entering a US embassy in an Arab country. The journal had erected a 2.5-metre high, one-kilometer long barbed-wire barrier, complete with electronic surveillance, around its headquarters in Visby. Mail is scanned and newspaper staff members need ID cards to enter the buildings. When Flemming Rose, the cultural editor who took the initiative of publishing the cartoons, attended a conference in Oxford, the British police had to set up “the same protection as for Michael Jackson.”
In the Netherlands, where filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed by a Muslim for his criticism of Islam and the biggest mosques of Europe frame the luxuriant, wooded, watery countryside, cartoonist Gregorious Nekshot uses… a pseudonym to protect his own identity. At the University of Leiden, Rembrandt’s city, the office of Law Professor Afshin Ellian, who escaped the Iranian religious dictatorship, is protected by bulletproof walls and policemen. …
I recently spoke with Robert Redeker, the philosopher and columnist condemned to death for an article in Le Figaro newspaper. His piece, a response to the controversy over remarks about Islam made a week earlier by Pope Benedict XVI, was titled “What should the free world do in the face of Islamist intimidation?” Redeker was sentenced to death in a posting that, in order to facilitate a potential assassin’s task, provided his address, telephone and a photograph of his home. “I went to Austria for a conference and even there the bodyguards were always with me,” Redeker said. The police did not even allow him to announce his father’s death, because someone could have noted the surname. “I had to bury my father like a criminal,” he said. The marriage of his daughter was also attended by the police. Redeker had to sell his house and buy another one in a secret location. “I cannot go out to buy bread or newspapers or for a glass of wine. I cannot walk in the streets. I cannot take the train, bus or subway. I cannot answer the question of what I can expect from the future. … ”
A few days ago I received another email of threat, saying: “Dear feces eating insect, continue to scratch around the Zionist dung as it’s natural for you, the Israelis will give you thirty coins.” To quote from Walter Laqueur’s masterpiece, these really look like the last days of Europe.
Other honorable names that must be added to the list of Europeans who have spoken out against the advancing conquest of Europe by Islam are: Geert Wilders, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, and Lars Hedegaard. See our posts: The West on trial (December 16, 2009); Freedom versus Islam (January 20, 2010); Civilization on trial (October 11, 2010); An honest confession of hypocrisy (October 23, 2010); The new heresy (January 11, 2011); Darkness descending – again (February 7, 2011); Sharia is the law in Austria (December 25, 2011); Only the gagged may speak freely (December 26, 2011); Darkness imminent (January 8, 2012); The most important struggle of our time (April16, 2012); Marked for death (May 10, 2012).
What will Islamic Europe be called by its conquerors? Al-Andalus, perhaps?
Will European civilization live on in America?
Note added June 11, 2012:
Finland’s Supreme Court has found a prominent politician guilty of defaming Islam for “Islamophobic” comments he made on his personal blog. The ruling represents a major setback for free speech in a Europe that is becoming increasingly stifled by politically correct restricions on free speech, particularly on issues related to Islam and Muslim immigration.
“This photo was taken at La Bastille Plaza in Paris, during the election celebration for the comrade socialist president Hollande. See any French flags? Anywhere? Actually, there is ONE towards the bottom right. The other flags are in order of appurtenance, Palestinian (2 flags top right+1 center left), Algerian, Turkish (towards center), Syrian (towards left of pic + below Palestinian flag), Moroccan (w. star in center), and European Union flag. The other flags I can’t recognize, there are also Syndicates or Unions’ flags. That’s France in a nutshell.”
This is from Townhall, by Bob Beauprez:
In the recent French presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy was narrowly defeated by Francois Hollande. Faced with a similar financial crisis as much of Europe and raging unemployment …
Caused by decades of redistributive socialism …
… Sarkozy had championed cutbacks in government spending, but Hollande had promised even more government largesse, “Austerity can no longer be inevitable!” he declared in his Sunday night victory speech. …
Cure for the disease? More of the disease!
But did the French electorate really vote for bankruptcy?
No – a majority of French voters did not. Hollande was voted in by Muslims:
The challenges created by the large foreign Muslim population have been evident on many occasions including the Paris riots in 2005, 2007, 2009, and again in 2011. [A] chilling, ominous analysis of the election results [see below] suggests that it was just manifested again. And, the French experience is far from unique in Europe.
He goes on to quote this:
Hello to my American friends,
As you know, the Socialist François Hollande won the presidential elections in France, last Sunday. It is a catastrophe for France.
Hollande was elected by the Muslims:
A survey (of 10,000 Muslims) shows that 93% of the Muslims voted for him.
As 2 million Muslims participated in this election, Hollande got 1,720,000 Muslim votes more than Sarkozy did: (0.93-0.07) x 2,000,000 = 1,720,000. But at the end, from the entire population, he got only 1,139,316 votes more than Sarkozy. So, without the Muslims’ votes, Sarkozy would have been re-elected.
All the Muslim criminals feel now empowered. Criminality is already on the rise (1,700 cars were burnt in France for the first night). Muslims are screaming anti-French and anti-Jews watchwords in our streets.
Veiled women, wearing the illegal burqa, are strolling in our streets.
And, as if this wasn’t enough, Hollande wants to give to all the [as yet unenfranchised] foreigners the right to vote in our elections!!
France will face a very hard situation. We are heading for civil war in a few years.
That’s the last news from occupied France.