“Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendum” – “Apart from all this, Carthage must be destroyed“.
That was the statement Cato the Elder (234-149 BCE) made at the end of every one of his speeches in the Roman Senate during the Punic Wars (Rome against Carthage), no matter what the rest of the speech had been about.
The statement became a slogan, often shortened to “Carthago delenda est”.
For years we have copied Cato the Elder by writing “The UN must be destroyed” at the end of every post that mentions that evil institution.
Now the need for it to be wiped off the face of the earth, or at the very least expelled from American soil and denied American tax-payers’ money, has been made urgent by the iniquitous action of its “Security Council”, initiated by the perfidious outgoing Obama administration of the US government, against the state of Israel. (See our post Obama’s parting act of extreme vindictiveness, December 23, 2016. For the harm the resolution will do see here.)
Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:
The United States pays 22% of the total UN budget. What we get for our $3 billion a year is a corrupt organization whose dysfunctional and hostile agencies are united in opposing us around the world.
The United Nations does only two things consistently and effectively: waste money and bash Israel. Sometimes it manages to do both at the same time.
After an extended, and no doubt costly, visit to the region, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women blamed Muslim men beating their wives on Israeli settlements.
No wonder the UN Security Council just condemned them. Who wouldn’t rightfully be upset that Jews living in Jerusalem somehow causes poor Mohammed to batter his wife?
The Jewish State is the UN’s scapegoat for anything and everything. The Palestinian Authority blamed Israel at the UN for Global Warming. WHO [the World Health Organization, a UN agency] denounced Israel for violating “health rights”.
Israel is one of the foremost inventors and manufacturers of advanced life-saving medical technology in the world. Extremely effective Israeli teams rush to places where disasters occur to provide medical assistance, always free of charge. Israel even cures its enemies free of charge, and returns them to enemy territory to continue plotting its destruction.
And even when Muslim terrorists stab Israelis, it’s still Israel’s fault.
The latest anti-Israel vote at the UN has led to calls to defund the corrupt organization which, even when it isn’t actively trying to hurt us or our allies, is making the world worse every which way it can.
Just this summer the UN admitted that it had spread cholera that killed tens of thousands in Haiti. Sexual abuse allegations against its staffers were up 25% last year. In the spring, the UN admitted that peacekeepers from three countries had raped over 100 girls in only one African country. …
Here’s what we get for our $3 billion.
UNRWA schools are turning out students who want to fight for ISIS. The UN’s email system has been used to distribute child pornography. UN staff members have smuggled drugs, attacked each other with knives and pool cues, not to mention a tractor. This month the UN marked Anti-Corruption Day despite refusing to fight its own corruption. The former President of the UN General Assembly was arrested on bribery charges last year. He had also headed UNICEF’s executive board. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is battling accusations of bribery.
Some of this might be defensible if the UN did anything useful. It doesn’t. It’s just a slush fund for redistributing our money to a vast UN bureaucracy and anyone willing to bribe it for benefits.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the UN vote by beginning the process of defunding the UN. And there’s every reason in the world for us to also stop tossing money at the United Nations.
It’s something that we and every sane country should have done decades ago. If you give money to the UN, it will end up anywhere and everywhere except where it’s supposed to go. But defunding the UN isn’t enough. There is no reason for us to remain there at all.
The United Nations has never met any of its lofty goals. During the Cold War it became a playground for the Communist powers. The USSR, the second signatory to the UN charter, helped force out the first signatory, Taiwan. Even while the treaty was being signed, it was taking over Poland, the 51st signatory.
These days, the United Nations is a forum for Islamist powers and the rotting remains of the Communist front to continue its war against the free world while seducing weak-minded nations into going along.
We are not making the world a better place by being members of this anti-American organization which vacillates between being evil and useless.
You can always count on UN peacekeeping troops to run away whenever they might be called on to use force. The head of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan was fired by the UN for refusing to protect aid workers, including Americans, who were being raped and assaulted. …
The UN was brought into being in the aftermath of the horrors of World War II. Instead of ending “the scourge of war”, the UN has a solid track record of uselessness and complicity in the face of genocide.
Israel was the first to alert the UN to Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia. But Moscow and its Syrian ally conspired to protect the Communist dictatorship. The UN did not condemn the killing. And only a generation later did it convene the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which has been running for almost twenty years. It took ten years to arrest Brother Number Three, the Foreign Minister of the Communist terror state, whose lies the United Nations chose to believe when the butchery was taking place.
He died six years later while still on trial.
The UN has been apologizing for its non-response to the Rwandan genocide for decades. But apologizing for not doing anything is what the United Nations does best. That and condemn Israel.
Earlier this month, the UN Security Council couldn’t even manage to pass a ceasefire resolution on Syria.
Venezuela, which championed the anti-Israel resolution, took time out from starving its own people to protect Assad. Why in the world would anyone take this vote, or any UN vote, seriously?
The UN’s Human Rights Council members include China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia and, of course, Venezuela. UN Women, the body dedicated to empowering women, includes China, which forces women to have abortions; Pakistan, where women can be murdered by their male relatives for marrying on their own; and Iran, where it’s practically illegal for a woman to leave the house.
The United Nations does not promote its own ideals. Or ours. Instead, it sanctimoniously violates them. Providing every brutal dictatorship with equal representation hasn’t ushered in an age of human rights. Allowing Islamic terrorists and the radical left to denounce their enemies hasn’t made the world better. And throwing $3 billion a year at the towering UN swamp on Turtle Bay only wastes our time and money. …
The UN doesn’t share our ideals. It’s time to build our closest alliances with the countries that do.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called the 2030 agenda a “Declaration of Interdependence.” We must declare our independence from the UN’s interdependency of corruption and tyranny.
We should defund and withdraw. Where quarreling diplomats once preened in the tower above Turtle Bay, seagulls will soar and young couples will walk with their children. The billions we waste on the UN will go toward taking care of our people. And once we are free of the UN, we will actually be able to promote real human rights instead of pandering to the dictators and Islamists of the United Nations.
Like the League of Nations, the United Nations is a failed experiment. The only difference is that, despite decades of wars, genocides and terror, we still haven’t pulled the plug.
President Obama has betrayed his own country – the country he has led for eight years – by colluding with the UN against Israel.
President Trump will have the opportunity to pull out of the UN and drain the swamp in Turtle Bay.
UN delenda est.
It is a common belief among conservatives that the democracies of the West are proof against attack by hostile ideologies; cannot be damaged, let alone destroyed by them, because they can absorb them simply by allowing them free expression. This was true when the threatening ideology was Communism in the last century. Internally, no democracy was mortally harmed by Communist movements. Only formidable (though not supreme) military power, surrendered to by profoundly immoral diplomacy, delivered Eastern European countries freshly liberated from Nazism into the mailed fist of the Soviet Union.
But Communism was not an alien ideology. It was European. It was built on the same foundations that liberal democracy itself had in part been built on – an aspiration to make society fair, kind and good according to definitions inherited from Christianity. Liberal democracy discarded dogmatic orthodoxy, and welcomed secular doubt. But Communism, like Christianity itself, pursued its aspiration with the utmost arrogance, injustice and cruelty.
Now the Western democracies are under attack from a very different enemy: Islam. It shares no moral principles with liberal democracy. Despite claiming to be related to the “moral religions” of Judaism and Christianity, and despite having the word “merciful” in its description of its god, it is not a moral religion. It simply demands total submission to the god’s commandments, as they were issued through the mouth of an illiterate warlord of the 7th century. The commandments are frankly cruel and merciless.
And they are obeyed. Obedient Muslims will offer us Westerners a choice between conversion to Islam, or underdog status bought with tribute, or death. They reject freedom of speech because it allows us to criticize them and their creed. From their point of view, everything that can and must be said about the way human beings should live has been said – by their god through the mouth of his “prophet”. It can only be repeated, never questioned. If you challenge it, if you mock it – you’ll die.
Against such an enemy, our democracies are not proof. We are losing to it. Islam is winning. We are being subjected to Islam.
From Gatestone, by Giulio Meotti:
In the summer of 2005, the Danish artist Kåre Bluitgen, when he met a journalist from the Ritzaus Bureau news agency, said he was unable to find anyone willing to illustrate his book on Mohammed, the prophet of Islam. Three illustrators he contacted, Bluitgen said, were too scared. A few months later, Bluitgen reported that he had found someone willing to illustrate his book, but only on the condition of anonymity.
Like most Danish newspapers, Jyllands-Posten decided to publish an article about Bluitgen’s case. To test the state of freedom of expression, Flemming Rose, Jyllands–Posten’s cultural editor at the time, called twelve cartoonists, and offered them $160 each to draw a caricature of Mohammed. What then happened is a well-known, chilling story.
In the wave of Islamist violence against the cartoons, at least two hundred people were killed. Danish products vanished from shelves in Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, Oman, the UAE and Lebanon. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of the European Union in Gaza and warned Danes and Norwegians to leave within 48 hours. In the Libyan city of Benghazi, protesters set fire to the Italian consulate. Political Islam understood what was being achieved and raised the stakes; the West did not.
An Islamic fatwa also forever changed Flemming Rose’s life. In an Islamic caricature, his head was put on a pike. The Taliban offered a bounty to anyone who would kill him. Rose’s office at the newspaper was repeatedly evacuated for bomb threats. And Rose’s name and face entered ISIS’s blacklist, along with that of the [subsequently] murdered editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier.
Less known is the “white fatwa” that the journalistic class imposed on Rose. This brave Danish journalist reveals it in a recently published book, De Besatte (The Obsessed). “It is the story of how fear devours souls, friendships and the professional community,” says Rose. The book reveals how his own newspaper forced Rose to surrender.
“The drama and the tragedy is that the only ones to win are the jihadists,” Flemming Rose told the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen.
The CEO of Jyllands–Posten, Jørgen Ejbøl, summoned Rose to his office, and asked, “You have grandchildren, do not you think about them?”
The company that publishes his newspaper, JP/Politikens Hus, said: “It’s not about Rose, but the safety of two thousand employees.”
Jorn Mikkelsen, Rose’s former director, and the newspaper’s business heads, obliged him to sign a nine-point diktat, in which the Danish journalist accepted, among other demands, “not participating in radio and television programs”, “not attending conferences”, “not commenting on religious issues”, “not writing about the Organization of the Islamic Conference” and “not commenting on the cartoons”.
Rose signed this letter of surrender during the harshest time for the newspaper, when, in 2010-2011, there were countless attempts on his life by terrorists, and also attempts on the life of Kurt Westergaard, illustrator of a cartoon (Mohammed with a bomb in his turban) that was burned in public squares across the Arab world. Westergaard was then placed on “indefinite leave” by Jyllands-Posten “for security reasons.”
In his book, Rose also reveals that two articles were censored by his newspaper, along with an outburst from the CEO of the company, Lars Munch: “You have to stop, you’re obsessed, on the fourth floor there are people who ask ‘can’t he stop?'”.
Rose then drew more wrath from his managers when he agreed to participate in a conference with the equally targeted Dutch parliamentarian, Geert Wilders, who at this moment is on trial in the Netherlands for “hate speech”. Rose writes:
He starts yelling at me, “Why the f*ck did you say yes to appear on stage with this terrorist target, are you stupid? Do you have a secret death wish? You have grandchildren now. Are you completely out of your mind? It’s okay if you want to die yourself, but why are you taking the company though all this?”
Jyllands-Posten also pressured Rose when he decided to write a book about the cartoons, Hymne til Friheden (Hymn to Freedom). His editor told him that the newspaper would “curb the harmful effects” of the book by keeping its publication as low-key as possible. Rose was then threatened with dismissal if he did not cancel two debates for the tenth anniversary of the Mohammed cartoons. …
After the 2015 massacre at Charlie Hebdo, Rose, no longer willing to abide by the “diktat” he was ordered to sign, resigned as the head of the foreign desk of Jyllands-Posten, and now works in the US …
Rose writes in the conclusion of his book: “I’m not obsessed with anything. The fanatics are those who want to attack us, and the possessed are my former bosses at Jyllands-Posten.”
Rose’s revelations confirm another familiar story: Jyllands-Posten‘s surrender to fear. Since 2006, each time its editors and publishers were asked if they still would have published the drawings of Mohammed, the answer has always been “no”. This response means that the editors had effectively tasked Rose with writing the newspaper for fanatics and terrorists thousands of kilometers away. Even after the January 7, 2015 massacre at the weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris, targeted precisely because it had republished the Danish cartoons, Jyllands-Posten announced that, out of fear, it would not republish the cartoons:
We have lived with the fear of a terrorist attack for nine years, and yes, that is the explanation why we do not reprint the cartoons, whether it be our own or Charlie Hebdo’s. We are also aware that we therefore bow to violence and intimidation.
… Is democracy lost? The headquarters of Jyllands-Posten today has a barbed-wire fence two meters high and one kilometer long, a door with double lock (as in banks), and employees can only enter one at a time by typing in a personal code (a measure that did not protect Charlie Hebdo). Meanwhile, the former editor, Carsten Juste, has withdrawn from journalism; Kurt Westergaard lives in hiding in a fortress, and Flemming Rose, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, fled to the United States.
Much, certainly, looks lost. “We are not living in a ‘free society’ anymore, but in a ‘fear society'”, Rose has said.
Of course, no Western democracy has tried very hard – or at all! – to resist the Islamic onslaught. Governments have invited Muslims into their countries in large numbers. And protected them from criticism.
But that appalling – and inexplicable – state of affairs may be about to change. Perhaps democracy is not lost. Perhaps now that America is about to be led by a man who does not contemplate the possibility of defeat, this most horrible of all possible enemies may be halted, repelled, and discouraged from any renewed attempt at conquest, whether by infiltration or arms, for a very long time.
We hope so.
What is that hissing sound emanating from the Left?
It is the sound of the defeated Democrats calling their enemies “Racists!”
The Left is obsessed with race. It is reasonable to assume that Barack Obama was elected to the presidency more because he is black that for any other reason. Many voters wanted to prove that they were not racist by voting for him. But to vote for someone because he is black is patently racist. Obama’s election was a colossal manifestation of racism. The man had nothing in his record to commend him for the presidency of the United States. Quite the contrary. Considering that he was raised by Communists, and worked to organize black communities into Communist activist groups, he was peculiarly unqualified to have any role in the government of the United States.
It cannot be repeated often enough that the Democratic Party was the party of slavery. One of the main reasons why the Republican Party came into existence was to free the slaves. No Republicans owned slaves. No Republicans lynched black men. The KKK did, and the KKK was created and manned by Democrats.
Yet the Democrats succeeded in persuading a large majority of African-Americans that theirs was the party that would best serve the interests of Blacks. The result has been that African-Americans elect Democrats to govern them, decade after decade, in cities like Detroit and Chicago – where Black mayor after Black mayor turns out to be a criminal defrauding the voters and being sentenced to prison. (See here and here and here.) Still, the Black citizens vote Democrat.
Donald Trump, during his campaign for the presidency, pointed out to Black voters that the Democratic Party has kept them in poverty. He asked them what did they have to lose by trying something new – by trying him. It seems quite a few were persuaded to do so on November 8, 2016.
But according to the Left, Donald Trump is a “Racist!”
According to some of those irredeemably Leftist institutions, the universities, every White is a racist. So in their view the American population consists for the most part of Blacks and Racists.
Why does the Left want “racism” to be the supreme cause? (Even taking precedence over “sexism” and “man-made global warming”.)
Rachel Lu asks that question and tries to answer it in an article at the Federalist:
Liberals need racist foes to vanquish. Most of the time they have to resort to finding them where they obviously aren’t there. … Paul Ryan can hardly order a sandwich without liberal pundits combing through in search of the racist “coding” that they know to be hidden within all Republican rhetoric. …
It’s too bad to get back to business as usual in the racism blame game, because quite recently, Jonathan Chait’s feature in New York Magazine offered some surprisingly helpful insights into liberals and their need for conservative “racism”. Chait’s piece, and the firestorm that followed, make a fascinating tutorial in liberal paradigms concerning racism. Looking through their eyes for a moment, it almost starts to make sense why they’re so certain that racism is a significant moving force behind American conservatism.
Initially it can be a bit startling to remind oneself that liberals really don’t see their accusations as the political equivalent to calling us poopy-heads; they actually believe that ethnic hatred is an important motivator for conservatives. Some even get frustrated that conservatives have gotten so clever about “coding” our racist messages, hiding them in subtle subtexts that liberal journalists can’t easily expose (even while our barely-literate backwoods voters apparently hear them loud and clear). You can almost picture liberals playing Ryan’s speeches backwards, hoping to catch that moment when the mild-mannered and professorial Ryan secretly taps into the seething cauldron of bigoted rage that he knows to be driving his base.
Apparently some of them do actually realize that they’re overreaching, though it isn’t something they like to hear. Chait poked the bear by explaining some of the history behind the “coding” paranoia and agreeing that conservatives have some reason to resent it. More importantly, Chait explains with admirable clarity one important reason why the racist-conservative dogma is so important for liberals. A second emerges from the responses to Chait’s piece.
The Ballad of the Civil Rights Movement has long been liberals’ favorite bed-time story. Martin Luther King Day may be the only day of the year when they feel completely, unambiguously proud to be Americans. It’s hard to exaggerate how important this is to liberal political thinking. They are perpetually looking for new ways to recapture that high.
Although, according to MLK’s niece, he was a Republican.
Conservatives tend to miss this because we see the Civil Rights story as settled history. We’re all pleased to have sloughed off the bigotry of our ancestors. Of course we want people to be judged “by the content of their character” and not by their skin. What’s left to debate here?
Liberals have yet to turn that page. This is their favorite series, and like every loyal fan base, they always want another sequel. Indeed, as Chait acknowledges, one of the most appealing things about a 2008 Senator Obama was the perception that he could be the star of a particularly thrilling new episode. Of course, if that’s the storyline, it’s no mystery which role was available for conservatives. “Racial coding” became a convenient fix for a glaring plot hole: Republican politicians’ refusal to follow their racist script.
Of course, for conservatives this is a pretty bad deal. We can’t stop being the racist party if that’s the only “role” our political enemies have available. At most we can ask liberals to consider who is served by their implicit demand that racism never die. … Modern liberal oppression narratives are far and away the most expensive dramas ever produced, and we all get dragged to see them whether we’re interested or not.
As grim as this sounds, it may actually be the more remediable liberal fixation. Another liberal paradigm (which is well articulated by Brian Beutler of The New Republic), leaves even less wiggle-room for a conservatism that actually serves the common good.
Beutler is gracious enough to agree with Chait that, “the left’s racial analysis of conservative politics might lend itself to careless or opportunistic, overreaching accusations of racism.” But he doesn’t feel too bad about it, because as he goes on to argue, liberals are fundamentally right about conservative racism. White racial resentment is one of the primary sources of energy behind American conservatism. It has to be, because that’s the only plausible explanation for why anyone but the rich and privileged would support the GOP.
The number of the rich and privileged who support the Democratic Party is very high. The ruling elites of the US, Europe, and the whole Western World are themselves on the Left (even those in Europe who call themselves “conservative”). The majority of those who voted for Trump to overthrow the ruling elite in America were workers, and would-be workers who could not find work.
To his credit, Beutler doesn’t probe the sub-conscious of high-profile conservatives for unconfessed bigotry. He is cheerfully prepared to admit (and he thinks most liberals would agree) that racial hatred plays a small role in the motivations of the major players. For them, it’s all about greed. Their policies are pitched to protect their own wealth and privilege at the expense of the poor.
But the ultra-wealthy (as we have been reminded ad nauseum) are a small minority in America, and poorer voters have little reason to support a plutocratic agenda that doesn’t serve them. In order to stay viable, therefore, Republicans need a populist hook. That hook, Beutler believes, is racial resentment.
So to disguise their “greed”, Republicans pretend to be “racist”?
Conservative readers might be asking: why in the world would he believe that? To liberals it seems obvious. Conservatives are ferocious in their assault on programs that disproportionately enlist ethnic minorities, including Medicaid, food stamps and welfare. How else to explain that except as a manifestation of white Republicans’ racist Schadenfreude?
It’s hard to know where to begin with such convoluted reasoning. The conservative distaste for entitlements is deeply connected to our political philosophy; all of our most cherished values come into play here. And we have plenty of sociological evidence to present, now that the scars of entitlement dependency blight every major city in America, bequeathing to our poorest children a legacy of dysfunction and vice. But sure, let’s write all of that off as a manifestation of conservative greed and hatred. That would make so much more sense.
In order to make sense of such an apparently-crazy view, we need to remind ourselves of some further features of liberal ideology. To conservatives it seems crazy and wildly uncharitable to dismiss their (well-grounded) views as manifestations of an irrational animus against ethnic minorities. But to liberals this seems reasonable, because embedded deep within the liberal worldview is the idea that the end of the day all political activity can be seen as part of a story about warring classes. It’s another trope that we can lay at the feet of our still-fashionable friend, Karl Marx. (1)
Still fashionable among the elites who are stunned that the “masses” (to use the Marxist word for them) have voted them out. And still intensely fashionable in the universities. But there will be no new Marxist regimes.
Marx declares early in The Communist Manifesto that, “The history of all hitherto existing societies is a history of class struggles”. This is one of those sweeping interpretive claims that sounds silly to the uninitiated, but that starts to seem all-important to those who have adopted it as their central political paradigm. Marx was a wonderful storyteller, and his fairy tale still holds much power over the minds of modern people, as we’ve recently seen in the furor over Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”.
(See our review of it here.)
As Marx understands it, societies are made up of multiple classes that perpetually jockey for relative advantage. Open warfare is avoided through a complex balance of agreements that enable each class to “hold its own” in the larger social structure. Some are better off than others, but all have something to lose if the arrangement collapses and turns into open warfare. Before the Industrial Revolution humans had crafted a fairly well-functioning “class ecosystem”, but rapidly expanding markets interrupted that balance by massively empowering one particular class (specifically the medieval burghers) to bring all others to heel. Now called “the bourgeoisie”, these new overlords wielded the immense power of the modern market as a weapon, harnessing all the other classes in an exploitative system that overwhelmingly benefited themselves.
It’s a story we all know, whether or not we’ve read [it]. … It wafts its way through their dreams and colors their entire social outlook. Of course we know that capitalists are castigated as exploiters and tyrants. That’s only the beginning, however. Everything is a zero-sum game in this outlook. That means that every move Republicans make must represent an attempt to win some marbles away from Democratic voters, which of course will be tossed into the overflowing treasure chests of Republican elite.
How do we know that Republicans are racist? Well, we don’t get much support from ethnic minorities, and we dislike entitlement programs. If you see the world through a Marxist class-warfare paradigm, that really does look like adequate evidence to make the case.
Conservatives have favorite stories too. We love our Constitutional Convention and our melting-pot of immigration. We get misty-eyed over the Greatest Generation and their triumphs in World War II. We believe that America is a special country. Conservative narratives have a level of transcendence that liberals simply don’t understand, which means that they [conservatives] can reject the dreary sameness of perpetual class warfare. …
Class warfare was probably never true. And certainly since Europe recovered from the Second World War it became so untrue – the workers of Europe, and especially Germany, becoming very well off indeed and thoroughly content with the capitalist system – that the Left had to stop looking to the workers, the “proletariat”, to be the “revolutionary class”. The New Left looked instead to the world’s underdogs to take on that role; the “wretched of the earth”; the Third World; the non-white peoples. (2)
Most incredible to liberals, however, is our claim that good economic policy (especially when combined with a well-ordered social structure) is actually good for everyone. We’re not all jockeying for the same pot of goods. It isn’t a zero-sum game. More opportunity for me can mean more prosperity for you, and vice-versa. We can all win.
This is the conservative Gospel, as it were. Conservatives tell Americans: we don’t have to fight over the pie! Let’s just make it bigger! Success is not a rationed commodity! …
Indeed there is no pie. Wealth is never fixed. It is constantly being created in thriving economies.
[T]his just seems absurd to most liberals. Free markets are good for everyone? Get out. Can you people please just fess up and admit that you’re closeted racists?
(1) Karl Marx himself was a vicious racist. It is important to know this. He poured contempt on Jews and Blacks. His anti-Semitism was fierce, though he himself was a Jew by descent. He considered Latins and Slavs to be “inferior races”. The Slavs, he opined, should be wiped out in a revolutionary war. And he was all for the continuation of slavery in America. (See here, where relevant quotations may be found.)
(2) The switch from “class analysis” to “race analysis” (to use Marxist jargon) happened earlier in South Africa. The slogan of the Communist Party of South Africa in the early 1920s was “Workers of the world unite and fight for a white South Africa” – until 1928, when the Comintern decided that the policy must be changed and the Party take up the cause of the oppressed “natives”. The Communists eventually allied themselves with the African National Congress – giving the White nationalist regime an excuse to continue their apartheid policy throughout the Cold War.
The year 2017 approaches, and with it the centennial of the Russian revolution that first brought Marxists to totalitarian power.
For the last hundred years Marxism has been destroying human life, liberty and happiness on a vast scale. Far from ushering in paradise on earth as the Marxists proclaimed they would do, they used power wherever they acquired it to create earthly hells.
By reasonable reckoning, 23 Communist regimes had killed (at least) 149,469,610 people by 2006. R. J. Rummel, who was professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, is the authority most cited for the statistics of deaths caused by Communist governments by means of executions, deliberate mass starvation, and forced labor. For mass slaughter of this sort, he invented the word “democide“.
In one of his papers titled How Many Did Communist Regimes Murder?, Professor Rummel wrote:
How can we understand all this killing by communists? It is the marriage of an absolutist ideology with absolute power. Communists believed that they knew the truth, absolutely. They believed that they knew through Marxism what would bring about the greatest human welfare and happiness. And they believed that power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, must be used to tear down the old feudal or capitalist order and rebuild society and culture to realize this utopia. Nothing must stand in the way of its achievement. Government – the Communist Party – was thus above any law. All institutions, cultural norms, traditions, and sentiments were expendable. And the people were as though lumber and bricks, to be used in building the new world.
To many communists, the cause of a communist utopia was such as to justify all the deaths. The irony of this is that communism in practice, even after decades of total control, did not improve the lot of the average person, but usually made their living conditions worse than before the revolution. It is not by chance that the greatest famines have occurred within the Soviet Union (about 5,000,000 dead during 1921-23 and 7,000,000 from 1932-3) and communist China (about 27,000,000 dead from 1959-61). In total almost 55,000,000 people died in various communist famines and associated diseases, a little over 10,000,000 of them from democidal famine. This is as though the total population of Turkey, Iran, or Thailand had been completely wiped out. And that something like 35,000,000 people fled communist countries as refugees, as though the countries of Argentina or Columbia had been totally emptied of all their people, was an unparalleled vote against the utopian pretensions of Marxism-Leninism. …
But communists could not be wrong. After all, their knowledge was scientific, based on historical materialism, an understanding of the dialectical process in nature and human society, and a materialist (and thus realistic) view of nature. Marx has shown empirically where society has been and why, and he and his interpreters proved that it was destined for a communist end. No one could prevent this, but only stand in the way and delay it at the cost of more human misery. Those who disagreed with this world view and even with some of the proper interpretations of Marx and Lenin were, without a scintilla of doubt, wrong. After all, did not Marx or Lenin or Stalin or Mao say that. . . . In other words, communism was like a fanatical religion. It had its revealed text and chief interpreters. It had its priests and their ritualistic prose with all the answers. It had a heaven, and the proper behavior to reach it. It had its appeal to faith. And it had its crusade against nonbelievers. …
[A]t the extreme of totalitarian power we have the greatest extreme of democide. Communist governments have almost without exception wielded the most absolute power and their greatest killing (such as during Stalin’s reign or the height of Mao’s power) has taken place when they have been in their own history most totalitarian. As most communist governments underwent increasing liberalization and a loosening of centralized power in the 1960s through the 1980s, the pace of killing dropped off sharply.
Communism has been the greatest social engineering experiment we have ever seen. It failed utterly and in doing so it killed over 100,000,000 men, women, and children, not to mention the near 30,000,000 of its subjects that died in its often aggressive wars and the rebellions it provoked. But there is a larger lesson to be learned from this horrendous sacrifice to one ideology. That is that no one can be trusted with power. The more power the center has to impose the beliefs of an ideological or religious elite or impose the whims of a dictator, the more likely human lives are to be sacrificed.
We contend that the recent death of Fidel Castro, the Communist dictator of Cuba, marks the end of the terrible Marxist era. Cuba will continue for a while yet to be under the cruel Communist regime he established. And North Korea is still under Communist dictatorship. But no new such regimes are arising. Democracy is replacing dictatorships in South America. And with the defeat in 2016 of a second* Alinskyite presidential candidate nominated by the Democratic Party of the United States, the grip of Marxist ideology through government is loosening everywhere and – we contend – unlikely to strengthen again.
It is still, however, dominant in the academies of the Western World. What can be done about that rottenness in higher education?
With this question, Robert Conquest, one of the greatest historians of Communist Russia, was concerned. In a review of his book Reflections on a Ravaged Century in the American Spectator Online, Josh London wrote:
The clearest picture to emerge from these pages is that the history of Communism is, at its simplest, little more than the history of an all-out assault on society by a series of conspiratorial cliques. These groups have, invariably, been led by excruciatingly cruel dictators who were revoltingly drunk on their own foolish ideology and power. …
Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek pointed out over fifty years ago that “Socialism has never and nowhere been at first a working-class movement. It is by no means an obvious remedy for an obvious evil which the interests of that class will necessarily demand. It is a construction of theorists, deriving from certain tendencies of abstract thought with which for a long time only the intellectuals were familiar; and it required long efforts by the intellectuals before the working classes could be persuaded to adopt it as their programme.” Though unquoted by Conquest, Hayek’s insight is exactly what worries him most about the 20th century and the prospects of life in the 21st century. Conquest’s work in this section constitutes an inquiry into the intellectual’s temperament and, in particular, the intellectual ingenuity required to go on believing when all is lost.
There follows an excellent and absorbing chapter on what is happening in education: A great many just swipes are taken at the academic intelligentsia who subvert it. Conquest reviews the rise of pseudo-science, and the application of quantitative methods and measurements in social science. Conquest also laments the influence of half-baked, trashy European ideas in Western, specifically American, academic thought: “At a recent seminar on the much resented influx of certain American movies in France, my old friend Alain Besancon remarked that a hundred soft-porn products of Hollywood did less harm in his country than a single French philosopher had done in the United States.” …
[Robert Conquest] laments the academic unwillingness to be seen to criticize colleagues or step outside of the many and varied leftist solidarities rampant throughout academia. …
As Conquest’s essays demonstrate, we, the victors of the Cold War, have thrown away a great part of what should have been a victory for Western values. The Cold War has been won, but the ideas that produced Communism still go marching on in their well-organized, corrupting way, even though the people advocating them are a minority.
The Historian Edward Gibbon once wrote that “There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times.” Yet, standing from his vantage point at the end of the 20th century, surveying the history of the last 100 years, Conquest is probably right to end his book, as he soberly does, with a warning. Although we are now living through an exceptionally optimistic historical moment, he reminds us that the “past is full of eras of progress that ended in darkness.” We should not fool ourselves: “The power of fanaticism and of misunderstanding is by no means extinct.”
Nor will it ever be as long as humanity exists. Chriss W. Street, writing at Breitbart, warns that the Marxist aim of imposing Communism on the whole world is still being pursued with fanatical resolve:
Donald Trump winning the presidency based on his promise to torpedo globalism came exactly 27 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and represents the second leg down for “World Socialism”.
Although U.S. history books declare capitalist United States the victor in World War II, it was World Socialism that ended up dominating most of the globe. [The] Soviet Union and China carved out massive communist states, India adopted extreme socialism, and communist insurgencies were ascendant in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.
Socialist governments controlled Western Europe and the idea that the state should play some kind of role in economic life was not seen as strange or unusual. Socialists differed on just how extensive the role of the state should be, but all agreed that “natural monopolies” like the railroad, phone service, health and electricity should be nationalized.
Paul Samuelson’s Economics was the top selling U.S. economics textbook from the 1960s through the 1980s. It proclaimed world socialism’s more efficient use of resources would allow the Soviet Union’s Gross National Product to pass the U.S. economy by 1984.
But mainstream economists failed to recognize that President Ronald Reagan’s policies of doubling down on capitalism through tax cuts and strangling the regulatory state in the 1980s would end the West’s inflationary spiral that had allowed communist resource-based economies to flourish. After the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, Russia was forced into a U.S. bailout and China adopted “Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics”.
But rather than accept a permanent home in the “dustbin of history”, socialists in Western Europe passed the Maastricht Treaty, which formed the 27 nation European Union. Meanwhile, Democrat President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement and gave Most Favored Nation status to China.
Robert Wolfe, in the book SocialistGlobalization, calls this “internationalist movement”, a system of planning and production that transcends the boundaries of the individual nation-states:
The goal of socialist globalization should be the treatment of the entire world as a single economic unit within which the provision of necessary goods and services would be maximized and the [alleged man-made] damage to the environment minimized.
Leftist economist Joseph Stiglitz in January 2015 announced that “The American Century” had ended and “The Chinese Century” had begun, following the ‘World Bank’s International Comparison Program’ declaring China’s gross national product surpassed the U.S in 2014.
Stiglitz stated that the “rise of China also shines a harsh spotlight on the American model, due to capitalist economic and political “systemic deficiencies — that are corrupt”. He demanded that America must “pivot” to accept that the economic interests of China and the U.S. are now “intricately intertwined” in the new global order.
China would boast that it played a “crucial role” in formulating a new global development pact called “Agenda 2030,” which was signed by 193 members of the United Nations on September 28, 2015. The world socialist and corporatist pact aimed at re-engineering civilization through that imposition of 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” and setting 169 accompanying targets in what was referred to as a “Great Leap Forward”.
China said that to “combat inequality domestically is simply not enough — international socialism is needed to battle inequality even among countries”.
But, like us, the writer thinks that the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency marks a turning-point; that the zealots for international socialism are aware that their path to world domination, for so long all too smooth, could now be made impassable.
The election of Donald Trump now represents an existential threat to World Socialism across the planet.
Socialists know that when President Reagan went rogue with his muscular capitalist policies, communism quickly imploded. Trump has already torn up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have internationalized the law covering $28 trillion in trade and investment, about 40 percent of global GDP.
Trump seems determined to destroy “Socialist Globalization” with the same capitalist tax cuts and regulatory relief that President Reagan used to destroy communism.
Though not yet dead, Marxism/Communism/International Socialism has had its day. Its era is over. It will not go quietly. It will howl, it will grumble, it will whimper – but it will go. Perhaps as a minority secular religion it will linger, but as a power in the world it is done.
The Marxist professoriate remains to be muzzled. Agenda 2030 must not only be stopped, but the damage it has already done (under the name originally given to it by its parent the UN, “Agenda 21”) needs to be reversed. The prophets of doom by human beings overheating the planet need to be discouraged to the point of despair, because they are using “climate change” as a pretext for imposing world socialist government. But the Age of Marx is over.
That does not mean that “the power of fanaticism” – to use Robert Conquest’s words – is “extinct”. As we have said, it never will be.
We face another enemy of mankind. Islam.
As Marxism was to the last century, Islam will be to this century. Islam is an equally crippling totalitarian ideology, another mass killer and bringer of darkness.
Will a new era of American greatness save the world from it?
Footnote: * Barack Obama was the first Alinskyite to stand – in his case successfully! – for election to the US presidency.
It’s not easy to find obituaries of Fidel Castro that do not include some praise of the monster. Such is the parlous condition of the Fourth Estate. He deserves only excoriating condemnation.
We did, however, find this just assessment at Investor’s Business Daily:
With Fidel Castro’s death at 90, the encomiums are rolling in, especially from what remains of the American Big Media. But in fact, Castro during his 58 years of dictatorship was an evil man, a communist who tortured, killed and imprisoned with no remorse, a tyrant who tore a once-beautiful country apart and sent its finest citizens into exile.
Yet, the media might as well have been going around with black arm bands following Castro’s death.
He was the “George Washington of his country,” said Jim Avila of ABC’s “Nightline”. He “will be revered” for bringing education, social services and health care to Cubans, gushed MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. CNN’s Martin Savidge hailed Castro for “racial integration”.
Elsewhere, in print, The New York Times recounted how he “dominated his country with strength and symbolism” — another way of saying he ruled through oppression and relentless propaganda.
Of course, all of these things are the kinds of lies and euphemisms used by left-leaning journalists to cover up for Castro’s many crimes against humanity. And it’s not limited to these few recent examples.
ABC’s talk-queen Barbara Walters had what amounted to a middle-aged school-girl crush on Fidel. Film maker Oliver Stone … revered Fidel’s macho swagger and made a much-derided documentary about him, Comandante. And Michael Moore, in his film Sicko, swallowed Cuba’s propaganda about its health care system hook, line and sinker.
We could go on. The list is long.
What you won’t hear from any of these media mavens is that, at his death, Fidel Castro leaves a Cuba far worse off in almost [?] every way than the one he took over in 1958. His brother, Raul, who is 85, has been the actual power in the country since Castro fell seriously ill in 2006. Cuba has improved under him, but not much.
After taking power in 1958, the then-youthful revolutionary Fidel vowed that no Cuban mother would “shed a tear” over violence from then on. But once he consolidated power after defeating Cuba’s then-leader Fulgencio Batista, Fidel Castro set out on a course of extraordinary revolutionary violence.
He murdered thousands upon thousands. The late R.J. Rummel, a University of Hawaii professor who tracked mass-killings by governments around the world, estimated as many as 141,000 people were murdered by the Castro regime. And that was just through 1987. Since then, of course, thousands more have been killed.
Genocide Watch says it “holds the Castro regime responsible for the death of thousands of people (executed and died trying to flee the regime).” Both Belgium and Castro’s homeland, Spain, have leveled genocide charges against the Jefe Maximo.
Sadly, Castro’s Cuba isn’t at all unusual for Communist regimes, as noted by Rummel. “Clearly, of all regimes, communist ones have been by far the greatest killer,” he said.
What’s especially galling is the suggestion — present in almost every story on Castro’s demise — that he took an impoverished, oppressed nation and turned it into a kind of socialist paradise, with education, social services and health care for all.
This is an utter and complete lie. …
Cuba has the worst economy in Latin America, outside Haiti and Nicaragua. …
[It depended on] massive subsidies from the former Soviet Union, which traded badly needed oil to Cuba for sugar at highly favorable exchange rates. …
Before the revolution, Cuba had the 13th-lowest infant mortality rate in the world. It was lower than France, Belgium and West Germany. Today, it ranks about 40th. That still looks respectable, until you consider how it was accomplished: Cuba has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. At the first sign of any trouble when a woman is carrying a baby, it is aborted – regardless of the parents’ wishes.
That’s why their infant mortality rate isn’t even worse.
But surely health care for all is a major accomplishment, right?
No. As has been noted in many other places, Cuba has three separate health care systems. One for paying customers from places like the U.S., who go to Cuba for discount treatments of cosmetic surgery and the like.
There’s another for Cuba’s ruling Communist elite, also a good system. This is the health care system visiting journalists are taken to see, and that they later glowingly report on.
But there’s still another system for the rest — the average Cubans. It is abysmal, and even that might understate how bad it is.
“Cubans are not even allowed to visit those (elite) facilities,” according to the Web site The Real Cuba. “Cubans who require medical attention must go to other hospitals, that lack the most minimum requirements needed to take care of their patients.”
It goes on: “In addition, most of these facilities are filthy and patients have to bring their own towels, bed sheets, pillows, or they would have to lay down on dirty bare mattresses stained with blood and other body fluids.”
As for doctors, well, they make an average of about $25 to $35 a month. Many have to work second jobs to make ends meet, using substandard equipment. Drug shortages are rife. As a result, one of Cuba’s ongoing problems is that doctors leave as soon as they can for other countries, where they can make a decent living.
The country has over 30,000 doctors working overseas officially. Why? Out of kindness? No. The Castro regime earns an estimated $2.5 billion a year in hard currency from doctors working elsewhere, which means Cuba’s poor must go without decent care or access to doctors.
As for “universal literacy,” please. Primary and secondary schools are little more than Marxist indoctrination centers, where students are taught only what the state wants them to know. That’s how they keep people quiet.
As for Cuba’s higher education, “universities are training centers for bureaucrats, totally disconnected from the needs of today’s world. To enter the best careers and the best universities, people must be related to the bureaucratic elites, and also demonstrate a deep ideological conviction,” notes Colombian journalist Vanesa Vallejo, of the PanAm Post, a Latin American news site.
Nor is it “free.” In fact, those who graduate from college must work for a number of years for the government at a substandard wage of $9 a month. They are in effect slave labor. As with most “free” things the socialists offer, the price is very high and nonnegotiable.
In sum, Castro took a healthy country and made it sick. Those who glorify him deserve the scorn they get for propagating such a longstanding lie.
“A less megalomaniacal ruler would have considered (Cuba’s pre-revolution economy) a golden goose landing in his lap,” wrote Humberto Fontova, a Cuban exile and author of Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant. “But Castro wrung its neck. He deliberately and methodically wrecked Latin America’s premier economy.”
How about race relations? By Cuba’s own estimates, roughly 36% of the country is black or “mixed.” Other estimates put it much higher, as high as 50%.
Nonetheless, a study five years ago by the online journal Socialism and Democracy found “black and mixed populations, on average, are concentrated in the worst housing conditions” and tend to work in lower-paying, manual-labor jobs.
We’ll save for a later date Castro’s many crimes and 58 years of silent war against the U.S., his allowing Soviet nuclear missiles on his soil in order to threaten the U.S., his repeated intervention in other countries, his assassinations, and his obscene theft of hundreds of millions of dollars of Cubans’ wealth to line his own pockets.
Suffice it to say, as Castro departs the scene for the last time, he leaves a Cuba far worse off in almost every way than the one he took over in 1958.
Donald Trump, with his impeccable anti-PC skills, summed it up about right, calling Castro a “brutal dictator”.
“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” Trump said in the statement. Exactly right.
Fidel’s brother, Raul, who is 85, has been the actual power in the country since Castro fell seriously ill in 2006. He’s done little better.
So, for now, though Fidel is dead, there is little hope of change.
Last Sunday a Muslim, Omar Mateen, committed mass-murder in a gay club in Orlando, Florida. He was the son of an Afghan immigrant who supports the Taliban. And he was a registered Democrat.
He had been under investigation by the FBI for “ties to terrorism”.
He had regularly visited the club and had dated men there, so obviously he was not personally prejudiced against homosexuality. But as Islam teaches that homosexuals should be killed, he was being a good Muslim by killing people in a club for gays. He shot 102 people, killing 49 of them.
And he encountered no resistance.
We do not often agree with the opinions of Geraldo Rivera, the Fox News talk show host and reporter, but with this we do agree:
The Daily Beast reports:
“When you’re in that situation and you have no weapons, you have two choices,” Rivera said of the men and women caught by surprise on a dark dance-floor late into the night. “If you can’t hide and you can’t run, there are two choices. You stay and die, or you fight. … Fight back,” he urged … “There’s a hundred people that he murdered [49 murdered – ed] with one weapon that he reloaded,” Rivera continued … “When he reloaded, they must — people must — America must understand, we are at war with Islamic terror, with these terrorists. We’ve got to stop them in Raqqa, we’ve got to stop them in Mosul, and we’ve got to stop them in the Pulse in Orlando.”
Rivera has been much reviled for daring to say all that. But he is right! One shooter against hundreds of people! Admittedly unarmed people – unarmed because there’s an absurd sentiment prevailing in America that to own a gun to protect oneself is immoral (regardless of the Second Amendment). Call it “gunphobia”. And when shooting attacks happen, the gun-phobics blame the gun instead of the shooter.
The shooter paused not only to reload, but to use his cellphone to text his wife, and to look up Facebook – hoping to see comment on what he was doing. While he was thus distracted, couldn’t some of those hundreds of people have rushed him? They were unable to escape and they were facing death. Their choice then was to die passively or take action for a chance of survival. There were strong men there. There may have been women who are in the army, and perhaps many who believe women should be eligible for front-line military service. If even just a few people had tried to tackle him, they may have saved many lives including possibly their own. Yet they did nothing at all to defend themselves against a lone gunman.
By way of contrast, we recall a time when some other Americans had the choice of dying passively or taking a risk that might kill them – but which they considered worth taking anyway to stop the victory of evil.
Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks, a number that would almost certainly have been significantly higher if not for the actions of those aboard Flight 93. …
United Airlines Flight 93, a regularly scheduled early-morning nonstop flight from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, California, departed at 8:42 a.m., just minutes before the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center. The flight’s takeoff had been delayed for nearly 45 minutes due to air traffic at Newark International Airport. The plane carried seven crew members and 33 passengers, less than half its maximum capacity. Also on the flight were four hijackers who had successfully boarded the plane with knives and box cutters. The plane’s late departure had disrupted the terrorists’ timeline for launching their attack; unlike the hijackers on the other three planes, they did not attempt to gain control of the aircraft until nearly 40 minutes into the flight. …
At roughly 9:28 the terrorists successfully infiltrated the plane’s cockpit, and air traffic controllers heard what they believed to be two mayday calls amid sounds of a struggle. At 9:32 a hijacker, later identified as Ziad Jarrah, was heard over the flight data recorder, directing the passengers to sit down and stating that there was a bomb aboard the plane. The flight data recorder also shows that Jarrah reset the autopilot, turning the plane around to head back east.
Huddled in the back of the plane, the passengers and crew of Flight 93 made a series of calls on their cell phones and the in-flight Airfones, informing family members and officials on the ground of the plane’s hijacking. When they learned the fate of the three other hijacked flights in New York City and Washington, D.C., the passengers realized that their plane was involved in a larger terrorist plot and would likely be used to carry out further attacks on U.S. soil.
After a brief discussion, a vote was taken and the passengers decided to fight back against their hijackers, informing several people on the ground of their plans. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett Jr., told his wife over the phone, “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger, Todd Beamer, was heard over an open line saying, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.” …
At 9:57 the passengers and crew aboard Flight 93 began their counterattack, as recorded by the cockpit voice recorder. In response, the hijacker piloting the plane began to roll the aircraft, pitching it up and down to throw the charging passengers off balance. Worried that the passengers would soon break through to the cockpit, the hijackers made the decision to crash the plane before reaching their final destination. At 10:02 a voice was recorded saying, “Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.” Several other voices chanted “Allah is great” as the plane’s controls were turned hard to the right. The airplane then rolled onto its back and plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour. Flight 93’s intended target is not known, but it is believed that the hijackers were targeting the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland or several nuclear power plants along the Eastern seaboard.
Has something changed America? Oh, yes. Obama promised to change it, and he has.
These are extracts from a tribute to Bernard Lewis, historian of Islam, by Michael Curtis at American Thinker:
Bernard Lewis, the world’s greatest scholar of the Middle East, past and present, has just celebrated his 100th birthday. …
Bernard’s life starting with the passion for books and languages he had already displayed during his Jewish childhood in London, to his first publication in 1937, to his last book of reflections of a Middle East historian is one of devotion to his subject and commitment to truth. His writings on the Middle East, brilliant in the classical British tradition of Gibbon, Macaulay, and Hazlitt, have made an extraordinary contribution to understanding a troubled area of the world. All analysts, even media pundits, will appreciate his two approaches: emphasis on the need for careful historical research; and the importance of understanding a society from within, by learning its languages, reading its writings, visiting it, and talking to its people.
Bernard carried out his research in many countries, especially in Turkey, through his study of texts and documents in national archives that informed his commentaries on Islamic societies and cultures. He was proud of the fact that he was the first scholar to have access to the newly opened Ottoman archives, which then led in 1961 to his magisterial work, The Emergence of Modern Turkey. …
Bernard Lewis is “master of a dozen languages”. He can learn a new language in “a few days”.
One of the amusing events in his career occurred during World War II, while he was supposedly attached to the British Foreign Office but really a member of Army Intelligence. A document in Albanian had been found and possibly contained military information. Bernard learned Albanian in a few days, the only person in Britain who could accomplish this feat, and translated the document that turned out to be not a secret document but a laundry list.
It needs to be said in this era of political correctness that Bernard defended and was proud of his profession as a student of Orientalism, the philology, culture, and religion of the Middle East. Orientalism for him was not, as some literary critics such as Edward Said have asserted, a tool of Western imperialist domination or exploitation by the West to seek power over the Islamic world, but an honorable profession of objective scholarship. … [He wrote]: “What imperial purpose was served by (Britain and France) deciphering the ancient Egyptian language, for example, and then restoring to the Egyptians knowledge of and pride in their forgotten, ancient past?”
Much of the continuing interest in Bernard’s work on the part of both specialists and the public, stems from his objective analysis of Islamic history and societies. Lewis was never politically correct, and considered political correctness to be anathema. His writings on the religion of Islam and Islamic societies remain vital because of the 1.3 billion Muslims and the role of the Muslim world at the present time. Bernard said he tried to provide a fair and balanced account of the realities of that world, good and bad. …
[H]e points out that the political history of Islam is one of almost unrelieved autocracy. It was authoritarian, often arbitrary, sometimes tyrannical, and still is today. There was a sovereign power to which subjects owed and still owe complete and unwavering obedience as a religious duty imposed by Holy Islamic law. …
In one of his books he discussed a rarely mentioned subject, one that is usually ignored today: the important Muslim involvement in and contribution to slavery and the slave trade. He was the first person to use the term “Islamic fundamentalism.”
Halfway through his career, Lewis almost by accident became a public intellectual. He reached a wider audience through his commentaries on the sad state of Islamic societies today. Perhaps the first influential and controversial publication was his essay in 1990 on The Roots of Muslim Rage. That rage stemmed partly from Muslim anger over the fact that infidels were ruling over true believers, and partly from the Muslim rejection and war on modernity.
The reality is that Muslim societies had not kept pace with the West. Lewis argued that from the 11th century on, Islamic societies have been decaying because if their own internal problems and self-inflicted failures on political, economic, and gender issues. The deterioration was not the result of Western colonialism. Nevertheless, Islamic societies blame the West for their failures rather than seek reform of their autocratic systems that subsidize extremism. …
He was the first analyst to be conscious, three years before the terrorist attacks of 9/11, of the significance of Osama bin Laden and his ideology of jihadism. Lewis saw Osama not as an ordinary terrorist, but as an ambitious warrior, planning to restore the Islamic Empire …
In this regard, two things were important for Lewis. One was that Islam has not divorced religion and politics. The other was that he rejected the idea that terrorism was not related to Islam. On the contrary, he asserted that terrorists themselves claimed to acting in the name of Islam. …
The issue now for the West is to seek the elimination of the present terrorist Islamist groups. How is this to be done?
He offers no formula for success:
Lewis has … argued that Western efforts and hopes to democratize the Middle East were unlikely to succeed. …
And yet …
Real peace in the Middle East can only come after the dictatorships in the area have gone.
Michael Curtis ends with a statement we heartily endorse:
It is important to recognize the intellectual giants who have contributed to our understanding of the world. Bernard Lewis is one of those giants.
Muhammad Ali, whose death was announced yesterday, was by all accounts a good guy as well as a great boxer.
He changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam. Cassius Clay, he said, was his “slave name”:
In 1964, [Cassius Clay] shocked the boxing world by announcing he was a member of the Black Muslims — the Nation of Islam — and was rejecting his “slave name.”
As a Baptist youth he spent much of his time outside the ring reading the Bible. From now on, he would be known as Muhammad Ali and his book of choice would be the Quran.
It seems he believed that only white Americans ever held slaves. But in in fact Muslims have been slave traders and slave owners from the early days of Islam right up to the present:
Some historians estimate that between A.D. 650 and 1900, 10 to 20 million people were enslaved by Arab slave traders. Others believe over 20 million enslaved Africans had been delivered through the trans-Sahara route alone to the Islamic world. …
The Arab slave trade typically dealt in the sale of castrated male slaves. Black boys between the age of 8 and 12 had their scrotums and penises completely amputated to prevent them from reproducing. About six of every 10 boys bled to death during the procedure, according to some sources, but the high price brought by eunuchs on the market made the practice profitable.
For just three – but perhaps most shocking – reports on slaves in the Islamic world, see here (the treatment of women and girls held as slaves by Muslims); and here (women advertised for sale by ISIS on Facebook); and here (a Muslim country has more slaves than anywhere else in the world).
Mark Steyn talks about bad things in a recently published (April 25, 2016) video: environmentalism, Islam, state-created art.
Well worth the 27+ minutes it takes to hear it through.
We like the last few minutes best, starting at about 24.40 when he talks about how lucky we are to be living in a warm period.
… and still does.
Here’s the trailer of Dinesh D’Souza’s movie about the horrible history of the Democratic Party: