The scurrilous “intelligence” dossier on President-elect Donald Trump, claiming that he did disgusting, low, disreputable things on a visit to Russia (which he never made) – the alleged antics being on film and in the possession of Russian snoop officials, so the Putin government has a hold on him forever (and that’s why Putin wanted Trump to win the election and therefore wrecked poor Hillary’s otherwise perfect campaign) – was concocted by an erstwhile MI6 agent, now having even more fun running his very own espionage company. His name is Christopher Steele.
He has been accused of lying! And he feels so got-at that he’s gone into hiding.
Which is – we are to understand – awfully unfair, because, you see, the information in the dossier never was intended to be TRUE. Good grief! TRUE? When was “intelligence” ever intended or expected to be TRUE?
A corrective to so naive an expectation comes from an article by Tom Burgis in the Financial Times of January 14, 2017. We quote from the print version:
[Intelligence agents] argue that the rush to shoot the messenger [Christopher Steele] represents a misunderstanding of what intelligence is, whether amassed by state agencies or private companies. It does not deal in true or false, they say, but in shades of confidence in sources. “When you are in the corporate intelligence world, everyone knows that, in every report you get, not everything is true,” says a British investigator who knows Mr Steele.
So in every report you get, there are falsehoods. In every report you get, everything may be false, nothing true. There is no way of knowing.
Now you’ve been educated, now you know that trade secret, how do you feel about your country’s intelligence services? Confident in them? Safer?
No intelligence service detected signs that the 9/11 terrorists attacks on New York and the Pentagon were coming. Nor subsequent mass killings by Muslim terrorists in the US, Britain, France, Germany, and Spain.
However, US intelligence has uncovered many violent plots and prevented them. They have found, or stumbled upon, the truth very often. So it is possible for them to find out what is really happening, has really happened, is going to happen. They surely do strive for accurate information. They are a vital part of the defense of the nation. They cannot take that responsibility as lightly as the colleagues of Christopher Steele insouciantly brag that they do.
The important point about the dossier on Donald Trump in Russia is that it was a work of pure fiction, of cruel malice, of witless irresponsibility. It was extremely unintelligent.
And the chiefs of the US intelligence services knew that it was all those things. Yet they “leaked” the tainting lies to media hostile to the president-elect. That is distressing and horrible to contemplate.
We expect President Trump’s appointees to the headship of the intelligence services – in which many persons of integrity do labor for the truth – to be better and to do better.
Is it too late for Europe to save itself from Muslim conquest?
Bruce Bawer surveys the battlefield that Europe has (yet again) become, and suggests that the tide of war may be turning.
He writes at Front Page:
For Western Europe, 2016 began with an apocalyptic frenzy, a nightmarish vision of its possible future – namely, an avalanche of brutal sexual assaults, over a thousand of them, committed on New Year’s Eve by savage Muslim gangs in the streets and squares of Cologne and several other major German cities.
The horrific events of New Year’s Eve didn’t happen out of the blue, of course. For over a generation, thanks to irresponsible immigration policies that had never been submitted for approval to any electorate, as well as to straightforward demographic realities, Western Europe had been steadily Islamized. At first in a few large cities and eventually even in small, remote towns, the presence of Islam became more and more visible.
Over time, government officials who had made these developments possible, and who had cut back their own citizens’ welfare-state entitlements in order to feed, clothe, and house newly arrived Muslims, were rewarded not with the gratitude and assimilation they had expected but with the exact opposite. Steadily, Muslim communities developed into crime-ridden, sharia-governed enclaves, increasingly explicit in their hostility to infidels, increasingly aggressive in their rejection of the values of their host cultures, and increasingly insistent on their legal independence from secular authorities. Forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and honor killing became European problems. Hijab proliferated, then (in some places at least) niqab.
And authorities reacted to all of it with a feckless passivity.
Along with the quotidian reality of stealth jihad came jihad of the more headline-grabbing sort: terrorism. …
The writer goes on to recall Muslim terrorist attacks in the Netherlands, Spain, Britain, France. Also the massacres resulting from the publication in Denmark of cartoons of Muhammad.
Each time, mainstream media and public officials made haste to insist that the atrocities had nothing to do with Islam, to reaffirm their dedication to the policies that made this bloodshed possible, and to shower Europe’s Muslims with inane, unmerited praise.
Europeans didn’t have to be familiar with Islamic theology to understand that, like it or not, they were at war. And they didn’t need to know the term dhimmi to recognize that their elites were kowtowing to would-be conquerors. These elites inhabited a bubble of privilege, protected from the consequences of their own policies. Most Western Europeans did not. In the space of a few years, they’d seen their neighborhoods dramatically transformed. Their once-safe streets were dangerous. Their children were harassed at school. Jews, especially, were terrorized. There was no sign of a reversal in this rapid process of civilizational decline and destruction. And if they tried to discuss the issue honestly, they risked being labeled bigots, losing their jobs, and even being put on trial.
Here and there, voters found, and supported, politicians who articulated their concerns. But the political establishment erected cordons sanitaires around them, denying them power and, when possible, dragging them, too, into court. Instead of heeding the voice of the people, officials doubled down.
And then came the final straw: in August 2015, Western Europe’s most powerful leader, Angela Merkel, invited all Syrian refugees to come to Germany. The floodgates opened even wider. Syrian refugees poured in – but most of them proved to be neither Syrians nor refugees. Naive do-gooders who welcomed these monsters into their homes ended up being raped and robbed.
And the terrorist attacks became even more frequent. On November 13, 2015, jihadists slaughtered 130 people in and around the Bataclan Theater in Paris. Then came the aforementioned New Year’s Eve carnage. Brussels was hit in March, with 32 civilian deaths. On Bastille Day, a truck-driving terrorist mowed down 86 pedestrians on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. And these were just a few of the jihadist offenses committed in Western Europe during this period.
As I write this, a Turkish cop shouting “Allahu akbar!” has just gunned down Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, and – shades of Nice – a truck driven by a Muslim has plowed into a busy Christmas market in the center of Berlin, killing at least 12 and injuring dozens. (P.S. Apparently Merkel heard of the attack shortly after attending a celebration of the “International Day of Migrants”. This is not a joke.)
The good news is that this year’s spikes in out-of-control immigration and in jihadist terror appear to have been accompanied – at last – by an equivalent spike in outrage. Western Europeans’ fury over the relentless rise of Islam in their midst – and at the complicity, and complacency, of their leaders – may finally have reached a tipping point.
On June 23, defying the counsel (and upending the predictions) of virtually the entire U.K. political, cultural, business, ecclesiastical, academic, and media elite, the people of Britain voted to quit the EU, reinstate their national borders, and establish proper immigration controls – an act that voters in several other EU countries now yearn to replicate.
This month, not long after Donald Trump won an equally stunning triumph against his own nation’s see-no-evil establishment, a referendum in Italy rejected an attempted power grab by their insouciant elites.
The winds are shifting. Merkel’s approval ratings have plummeted, raising the odds that her party will go down to defeat in next year’s parliamentary elections, which will probably be held in September. Meanwhile, in France, presidential hopeful and outspoken Islam critic Marine Le Pen’s numbers are rising in the run-up to that country’s April elections. Since a kangaroo court declared him guilty of anti-Islamic hate speech on December 9, Geert Wilders, the already highly popular head of the Netherlands’ Freedom Party, has won even more support.
I gave a talk in Rome a few days after Trump’s win, and was surprised when several members of the audience, including a history professor, came up to me afterwards and voiced strong pro-Trump sympathies. From their perspective, the Donald had come along just in the nick of time, giving the entire West a desperately needed jolt of hope. Their sentiment: we may win this one after all.
In November 1942, after British forces defeated General Ernst Rommel in the Second Battle of El Alamein, bringing the Allies their first major victory in World War II, Winston Churchill famously said: “This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. But it may be the end of the beginning.” In these closing days of 2016, it can feel, very much as it did in late 1942, as if the effort by at least some freedom-loving Europeans to push back the tide of tyranny – an effort that for many years seemed quixotic – is finally making some headway. Is this the end of the beginning? We can hope so. But it’ll take more than hope to win this struggle. Among other things, it’ll take a Churchill. Preferably a few of them.
Churchills are very rare. Trumpists are what Europe needs, and they – Bruce Bawer found – are rising.
The corrective effects of Donald Trump’s victory on the wider world have started.
The first thing it is doing is striking fear into the hearts of those who need to be made to fear.
Who are they? They are the Powers that rule us.
They have silenced the voice of the people by creating the undemocratic European Union. They do their utmost to impose their orthodoxy by suppressing freedom of speech.
Most of the press and the mainstream media are their lackeys.
And now, inspired by the British exit from the EU by popular vote, and even more by the triumph of Donald Trump, the suppressed are emboldened to speak out, to protest, to challenge the power of Their power.
They know it, they fear it, and they admit that they fear it.
Reuters, one of the leading media lackeys, “reports” the parties and organizations that pose the threat – without recognizing that some of them are corrective movements. The word “populist“ is applied to all of them, and considered enough to condemn all of them. But in this article the groups cited make a very mixed bag. All they have in common is that they threaten the monopoly of power that the Establishment now holds.
Back in May, when Donald’s Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election seemed the remotest of possibilities, a senior European official took to Twitter before a G7 summit in Tokyo to warn of a “horror scenario“.
Imagine, mused the official, if instead of Barack Obama, Francois Hollande, David Cameron and Matteo Renzi, next year’s meeting of the club of rich nations included Trump, Marine Le Pen, Boris Johnson and Beppe Grillo.
A month after Martin Selmayr, the head of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s cabinet made the comment, Britain shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union. Cameron stepped down as prime minister and Johnson – the former London mayor who helped swing Britons behind Brexit – became foreign minister.
Now, with Trump’s triumph over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, the populist tsunami that seemed outlandish a few months ago is becoming reality, and the consequences for Europe’s own political landscape are potentially huge.
In 2017, voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany – and possibly in Italy and Britain too – will vote in elections that could be colored by the triumphs of Trump and Brexit, and the toxic politics that drove those campaigns.
The lessons will not be lost on continental Europe’s populist parties, who hailed Trump’s victory on Wednesday as a body blow for the political mainstream.
“Toxic politics”? “Toxic” because they are “populist”. “Populist” simply means “of the people”. But the Establishment and its media lackeys use it to imply the will of a rabble, a frenzied mob, driven by foaming irrational hate to do violence for no reason but a sheer lust for destruction – the very thing Leftist mobs do so often under the banners of, for instance, the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Politics will never be the same,” said Geert Wilders of the far-right Dutch Freedom Party. “What happened in America can happen in Europe and the Netherlands as well.”
Geert Wilders’s party “far right”? Read his latest speech here. He is proud of the Dutch tradition of freedom, tolerance, impartial justice. He is a patriot, a defender of the nation-state of Holland. That does not make him a Nazi, which is what Reuters, and all those for whom Reuters speaks, mean to imply by the label “far right”.
French National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen was similarly ebullient. “Today the United States, tomorrow France,” Le Pen, the father of the party’s leader Marine Le Pen, tweeted.
Aligning Marine Le Pen with her father Jean-Marie Le Pen is again an attempt to apply the “far right” or “Nazi” smear. She did take over the leadership of the originally neo-Nazi Front National from her father, but changed it into a tolerant conservative party, expelling members who held pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic views.
Daniela Schwarzer, director of research at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), said Trump’s bare-fisted tactics against his opponents and the media provided a model for populist European parties that have exercised comparative restraint on a continent that still remembers World War Two.
Again the implied smear: Trump “with his bare-fisted tactics” is corrupting the people of Europe hitherto restrained from active “populist” political action -“restrained” because they “remember World War Two” – ie. they have an impulse to be Nazis, and now are likely to break out in full Nazi form, inspired to it by Trump. Implication: Trump is a Nazi.
“The broken taboos, the extent of political conflict, the aggression that we’ve seen from Trump, this can widen the scope of what becomes thinkable in our own political culture,” Schwarzer said.
The “taboos” are those imposed by the Establishment. They are the locks on the lips of the people. That is the suppression of free speech.
Eyes on Austria next:
Early next month, Austrians will vote in a presidential election that could see Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party become the first far-right head of state to be freely elected in western Europe since 1945.
The Austrian Freedom Party was founded by a Nazi, an erstwhile SS officer, but moved away from its Nazi roots. It formed an alliance, temporarily , with the Social Democratic Party. What does it stand for? Pretty well everything. It is a “liberal” party, a “social welfare” party, but it favors “privatization” and low taxes. It has been described as “right-wing populist”, “national conservative”, and “national liberal”. It calls itself libertarian, and holds individual freedom as one of its highest principles. It is strongly anti-establishment and against Muslim immigration into Austria.
Now to Italy:
On the same day, a constitutional reform referendum on which Prime Minister Renzi has staked his future could upset the political order in Italy, pushing Grillo’s left-wing 5-Star movement closer to the reins of power.
So here’s a rebel movement against the Establishment that even Reuters cannot smear with the label “far right”. It calls itself a “left-wing” movement. But it also calls itself “populist”, “anti-establishment”, “anti-globalist”, and against the undemocratic European Union. One thing it also believes in that puts it decidedly on the left, is Environmentalism.
“An epoch has gone up in flames,” Grillo said. “The real demagogues are the press, intellectuals, who are anchored to a world that no longer exists.”
He dares to say it!
On to Poland and Hungary, where the Muslim invasion is not welcomed by their governments. That alone, of course, in the eyes of the Establishment makes them “right-wing”. Yes, they are nationalists, and nationalism now, in the age of the EU, of the Establishment’s preference for “open borders” and globalization, is the very essence of “Far Rightism”.
Right-wing nationalists are already running governments in Poland and Hungary.
But that’s Eastern Europe, where they are inclined to be more nationalist because of their years under the heel of International Communism, aka the Soviet Union.
In Western Europe, the likelihood of a Trump figure taking power seems remote for now.
In Europe’s parliamentary democracies, traditional parties from the right and left have set aside historical rivalries, banding together to keep out the populists.
Banding together, as in certain ways Republicans and Democrats have been doing for the last eight years in Washington, D.C., to safeguard their power. They are the Establishment in America against which Trump is leading a movement of the people.
But the lesson from the Brexit vote is that parties do not have to be in government to shape the political debate, said Tina Fordham, chief global political analyst at Citi. She cited the anti-EU UK Independence Party which has just one seat in the Westminster parliament.
“UKIP did poorly in the last election but had a huge amount influence over the political dynamic in Britain,” Fordham said. “The combination of the Brexit campaign and Trump have absolutely changed the way campaigns are run.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed Trump’s victory on Wednesday as a “supersized Brexit”.
As new political movements emerge, traditional parties will find it increasingly difficult to form coalitions and hold them together.
Now a look at Spain:
In Spain, incumbent Mariano Rajoy was returned to power last week but only after two inconclusive elections in which voters fled his conservatives and their traditional rival on the left, the Socialists, for two new parties, Podemos and Ciudadanos.
Podemos is a left-wing party, and Cuidadanos a “liberal-progressive, postnationalist” party – so also left-wing. Their inclusion in an article about the fear of the European Establishment is because they too are “populist”.
After 10 months of political limbo, Rajoy finds himself atop a minority government that is expected to struggle to pass laws, implement reforms and plug holes in Spain’s public finances.
The virus of political fragility could spread next year from Spain to the Netherlands, where Wilders’s Freedom Party is neck-and-neck in opinion polls with Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberals.
That was a bad segue. What is happening in the Netherlands is not, and will not be, a result of anything that is happening in Spain. But Reuters is now taking a wide view over Western Europe.
For Rutte to stay in power after the election in March, he may be forced to consider novel, less-stable coalition options with an array of smaller parties, including the Greens.
In Europe, the Greens are a mainstream movement, forming mainstream political parties.
In France, which has a presidential system, the chances of Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, emerging victorious are seen as slim.
The odds-on favorite to win the presidential election next spring is Alain Juppe, a 71-year-old centrist with extensive experience in government who has tapped into a yearning for responsible leadership after a decade of disappointment from Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.
But in a sign of Le Pen’s strength, polls show she will win more support than any other politician in the first round of the election. Even if she loses the second round run-off, as polls suggest, her performance is likely to be seen as a watershed moment for continental Europe’s far-right.
It could give her a powerful platform from which to fight the reforms that Juppe and his conservative rivals for the presidency are promising.
In Germany, where voters go to the polls next autumn, far-right parties have struggled to gain a foothold in the post-war era because of the dark history of the Nazis, but that too is changing.
The trick of the Left to label Nazism a “right-wing” movement continues to stick. The Nazis were of course National Socialists. Their rivals for power were the International Socialists – the Communists. (Then Nazi Germany made a pact with Communist Russia. Both invaded Poland. Later the two totalitarian Socialist countries fought each other.)
Reuters does not mention PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West). It was started in Dresden in October 2014, and now is not only a significant force in Germany, but has branches in other European countries, including Britain. It is a nationalist movement, and it is, above all, against the Islamic invasion of Europe, so of course the press always labels it “far right”. The report deals with another movement, as strongly against Muslim immigration, which participates in elections as a political party:
Just three years old, the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), has become a force at the national level, unsettling Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, who have been punished in a series of regional votes because of her welcoming policy toward refugees.
The AfD is specifically against Muslim immigration. The Left does not like to mention the word “Muslim”.
Merkel could announce as early as next month that she plans to run for a fourth term, and if she does run, current polls suggest she would win.
But she would do so as a diminished figure in a country that is perhaps more divided than at any time in the post-war era. Even Merkel’s conservative sister party, the Bavarian Christian Social Union, has refused to endorse her.
So all over Europe there are populist movements rising against the undemocratic Leftist Islam-favoring Establishment. They dare to be opposed to big government, statism, collectivism, redistribution, open borders, world government, mass Muslim immigration, a globalized economy, and the elitist class that dictates the direction of the world towards those goals, and for which the retention and augmentation of their own power is the only thing that genuinely matters to them.
The populist movements have been timid or “restrained”. But now that America has voted for a populist leader, they will swell in number, become more demanding, perhaps appeal to a majority of voters, perhaps take power as ruling government parties. And they will defy the “taboos”. They will bare their knuckles. They will speak freely, even against Islam. They may go so far as to withdraw their countries from the EU; close borders; stop and even reverse the tide of Islamic immigration; resist globalization.
They may overthrow the Establishment, chuck the corrupt Clinton-type cabals out.
They really are much to be feared.
They are the hope of the West.
… its declarations of war.
The West does not want to listen.
This must-be-watched video was published in June, 2014, by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute).
After the jihad attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, will the West start listening? (We doubt it.)
Mumin Salih, an apostate from Islam who lives in Britain, comments accurately, at Islam Watch, on the jihad and Europe’s capitulation:
The West has committed suicide; the lethal pill was swallowed by the post war generation of Europeans. The so called “baby boomers” inherited treasures of wealth, culture, freedom and unsurpassed civilization, earned by their fathers and grandfathers. The rich inheritance didn’t come cheaply but at the cost of millions of lives that were sacrificed by the previous generations. All the baby boomers needed to do was to enjoy those treasures and pass them on to the next generations; a task they could have done effortlessly, but they didn’t. The result is what we see today, a Europe [of] nations ashamed of their culture, identity and history.
And Obama would have America follow Europe’s lead into self-destruction.
As the indigenous European populations commit slow suicide, Muslims pour into their continent to replace them eventually.
Mark Steyn writes:
Europe has a growing shortage of Europeans.
Germany’s birth rate has collapsed to the lowest level in the world and its workforce will start plunging at a faster rate than Japan’s by the early 2020s, seriously threatening the long-term viability of Europe’s leading economy … The German government expects the population to shrink from 81m to 67m by 2060 as depressed pockets of the former East Germany go into “decline spirals” where shops, doctors’ practices, and public transport start to shut down, causing yet more people to leave in a vicious circle. A number of small towns in Saxony, Brandenburg and Pomerania have begun to contemplate plans for gradual “run-off” and ultimate closure, a once unthinkable prospect.
Why is this even news? Almost a decade ago, a guy called Mark Steyn wrote a book called America Alonein which he said everything the Telegraph piece said yesterday. Those East German towns?
Almost every issue facing the European Union – from immigration rates to crippling state pension liabilities – has at its heart the same root cause: a huge lack of babies. Every day you get ever more poignant glimpses of the Euro-future, such as it is. One can talk airily about being flushed down the toilet of history, but even that’s easier said than done. In eastern Germany, rural communities are dying, and one consequence is that village sewer systems are having a tough time adjusting to the lack of use. Populations have fallen so dramatically there are too few people flushing to keep the flow of waste moving. Traditionally, government infrastructure expenditure arises from increased demand. In this case, the sewer lines are having to be narrowed at great cost in order to cope with dramatically decreased demand.
The Telegraph quotes the German government’s own figures predicting a population decrease from 81 million now to 67 million by 2060. In America Alone, I suggested the population would fall to 38 million by the end of the century. Given that it is in the nature of demographic death spirals to accelerate once you’re below 1.3 children per couple, my number may be an underestimate. And when you consider that in most German urban areas the only demographic energy now is Muslim, those 38 million turn-of-the-century “Germans” will be posterity’s rebuke to the Nuremberg Laws. As I wrote in 2006:
Americans take for granted all the “it’s about the future of all our children” hooey that would ring so hollow in a European election. In the 2005 German campaign, voters were offered what would be regarded in the US as a statistically improbable choice: a childless man (Herr Schroeder) vs a childless woman (Frau Merkel). Statist Europe signed on to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s alleged African proverb – “It takes a village to raise a child” – only to discover they got it backwards: on the Continent, the lack of children will raze the village. And most of the villagers still refuse to recognize the contradictions: You can’t breed at the lethargic rate of most Europeans and then bitch and whine about letting the Turks into the European Union. Demographically, they’re the kids you couldn’t be bothered having.
Lest you think this an exaggeration, look at the graph accompanying the Telegraph piece [see it below], contrasting Germany and Japan’s demographic decline with France’s ostensibly healthier fertility rate. The reason for that is that France has the highest Muslim population in western Europe, so it has a bright future of crowded maternity wards full of babies called Mohammed. And all this was known a decade ago: – when, already, 30 per cent of German women and 40 per cent of university graduates were childless, just like Angela Merkel.
On those numbers you’re living in a present-tense culture: no matter how great you are, you’re a civilizational boy-band; a generation later, someone else will be there, and no one will be singing your songs. …
Okay, this passage [in the book] is a wee bit lurid:
[In] Europe by the end of this century … the grand buildings will still be standing but the people who built them will be gone. By the next century, German will be spoken only at Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels and Goering’s Monday night poker game in Hell.
But the point is: It’s not wrong. in 2006, Germany already had a shrinking and aging population, and potentially catastrophic welfare liabilities … and no politician who wished to remain electorally viable was willing to do anything about it. It’s not the total number of people that matters, it’s the age distribution: that decline from 81 to 67 million will wind up skewing the population very geezerish. But, again, this was all known a decade ago. I pointed out the percentage of the population under the age of 15 …
Spain and Germany have 14 per cent, the United Kingdom 18 per cent, the United States 21 per cent – and Saudi Arabia has 39 per cent, Pakistan 40 per cent and Yemen 47 per cent.
When you’ve that many surplus young people, they’re going to go somewhere else. Some of the African numbers are even higher, which is why there’s that endless flotilla of boats across the Mediterranean. Because when a teeming shanty town is next door to a not-terribly-gated community of under-occupied mansions, it would be unreasonable to expect otherwise.
New political parties have been rising in many European countries to oppose established policies of both leftist and conservative governments, particularly policies towards the European Union and immigration.
Most of the new parties are on the Right, but recently some have been formed – or have quite suddenly grown from being inconsequential groupings into forces to be reckoned with – on the Left.
The newly aggressive parties of the Left are mainly in the South, in countries at the receiving end of EU subsidies, angry that the subsidies are not substantial enough.
The new parties of the Right are mainly in the North, in countries at the paying end of the system, angry that they have to subsidize the failing economies of the South.
That sections of the Left should see how badly Europe needs a strategy for survival, should find fault with the EU, and object to unending immigration of dependents into their already hard-pressed welfare states, is a startling development. It means that new political patterns of alignment and opposition are emerging.
In the following article, which we quote from Gatestone, Peter Martino writes about the new parties’ concern with the adverse economic effects of EU membership. He only touches on immigration as a factor in the intensifying discontent which prompts the formation of new political organizations, movements and agendas, but it is in fact quite as hot an issue.
Last week, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) won a landmark victory in the Rochester & Strood by-election. With this win, UKIP secured its second Member of Parliament. The UKIP candidate, Mark Reckless, won 42.1% of the votes, thrashing the Conservatives (34.8%), Labour (16.8%) and the Liberal Democrats (0.9%). It was the first time ever that UKIP stood in Rochester & Strood. The party won votes from all the major parties. The Conservatives lost 14.4% of the votes, Labour 11.7% and the Liberal Democrats a whopping 15.5%.
UKIP is expected to do very well in the British general elections next May. Last month, a poll predicted the party could win up to 25% of the vote in these elections. In the 2010 general elections, the party had only 3.1%.
UKIP stands for the preservation of the Britain’s national identity. It opposes the European Union (EU) and wants Britain to remain a sovereign nation rather than become a state of a federal Europe. The party is also critical of mass immigration, in particular from Eastern Europe. Though Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, carefully avoids the issue of Islam, the party has also become the refuge of voters who worry about Islamization. Above all, however, the party embodies the dissatisfaction of the electorate with the traditional political establishment.
As such, UKIP is part of a broad trend that can currently be perceived all over Western Europe.
In Spain, a poll this week said that Podemos, a brand new party that was established only nine months ago, is currently the largest party in the country with 28.3% of the vote. The governing conservative Partido Popular of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy would finish second with 26.3% and the Socialist Party would get only 20.1%. Three years ago, in the November 2011 general elections, the Partido Popular won 44.6% of the votes.
Unlike UKIP, Podemos is a party that clearly belongs to the left of the political spectrum. Podemos (the Spanish for We can) was founded by “anti-capitalist” academics and trade unionists who want to “oppose the dominating EU politics from the left”. Unlike UKIP, Podemos does not want to abolish the EU. On the contrary, since Spain is receiving billions of euros in EU subsidies, a majority of the Spaniards clearly want their country to remain an EU member state.
However, the party opposes the austerity policies that the EU is imposing on Spain as a prerequisite for the continuation of the flow of EU subsidies. Both the Spanish Socialist Party and Prime Minister Rajoy’s Partido Popular are perceived by voters as implementing the same set of EU-prescribed policies.
In this regard, Podemos does resemble UKIP, which also accuses the British political establishment of simply implementing EU mandated policies. In Britain’s case, the dissatisfaction with the EU stems mostly from British taxpayers having to pay billions to the EU, which are then transferred to countries in the south of Europe [such as Spain -ed], where governments use them to fund welfare programs. In this sense, the rise of leftist tax-and-spend parties (or rather tax-other-countries-and-spend parties), such as Podemos, reinforces the rise of parties such as UKIP in the north of Europe.
Indeed, all along the Mediterranean, parties opposing the EU-mandated austerity policies are growing spectacularly.
One of the keynote speakers at Podemos’ recent first-ever party congress was Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece’s neo-communist party Syriza. In last May’s European elections, Syriza became Greece’s biggest party with 26.5% of the votes, ahead of the governing Nea Demokratia party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Syriza draws on the same kind of sentiments as Podemos and is popular for exactly the same reasons.
The same is true of Italy’s Five Star Movement, led by the comedian Beppe Grillo, which, with 21.2% of the vote, became the country’s second largest party in last May’s European elections.
And the same is even true for the Front National of Marine Le Pen in France. Ms Le Pen claims that without the euro, the EU’s common currency, there would be “no need for austerity”. Drawing on anti-EU sentiments, the Front National became the largest French party in last May’s European elections with 24.8% of the vote.
The popularity of these parties is still rising. A recent poll in France revealed that Marine Le Pen might win the next French presidential elections, not just in the first round, but also in the decisive second round. It is the first time ever that the FN leads in a presidential poll against France’s two major parties, the Socialist PS and the Center-Right UMP.
In the countries to the north, however, the popularity of the parties opposing the EU subsidization of the southern countries is rising equally spectacularly.
In the Netherlands, the anti-establishment Party for Freedom (PVV) of Geert Wilders is currently the biggest party in the polls. Wilders has consistently opposed the bailing out of countries such as Greece and Spain with Dutch taxpayers’ money.
In neighboring Germany, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party established last year to oppose eurozone bailouts, is shaking up politics with its astonishing wins in recent state elections.
In Sweden, the Sweden Democrats (SD), opposing both immigration and the EU, won 13% of the vote in last September’s general elections, but their popularity keeps rising. Last week, an SD spokesman said the party is currently expected to win up to 18% of the vote.
All across Europe, the electorate is deeply dissatisfied and disillusioned with both the Conservative and the Social-Democrat parties of the political establishment. Voters no longer see much difference between the traditional political protagonists, who are perceived as imposing an EU agenda that, for various reasons, is seen as bad for the country.
In Europe judging by the polls, political landslides are on the way.
European governments cannot think of an effective way to deal with the jihadis in their midst.
Take the case of Sweden. We quote from an article in this month’s issue of Commentary by Annika Hernroth-Rothstein. It is titled A Local Story of Global Jihad:
Sweden has long functioned as a hub for international terrorism and has housed members of international terrorist organizations such as Hamas, the Armed Islamic Group, Al Shabaab, Egypt’s Gamaa al-Islamiyya, and the Islamic State. Because membership in foreign terrorist organizations is not illegal, these operatives have largely been left alone.
In some cases, the Swedish government has gone out of its way to help them. In 2002, Swedish jihadist Mehdi Mohammad Ghezali was captured in Afghanistan by American forces. Deemed an enemy combatant, he was incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay. Stockholm immediately launched a campaign to release Ghezali, and in 2004 he was let out. Five years later, he was arrested in Pakistan for collaborating with the Islamic State.
While other European countries have broadened their anti-terrorism policies in order to crack down on terrorist propaganda, Sweden has become a safe haven for websites and publishers that specialize in jihadist material. Additionally, Sweden is home to certain mosques that are funded by foreign countries and known to function as recruitment centers for terrorist organizations. On the island of Hisingen, for instance, the Gothenburg Mosque, in Sweden’s second-largest city, is financed by Saudi Arabia. The Islamic Center in Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, is funded and owned by the World Islamic Call Society, an Islamist umbrella organization founded by Muammar Qaddafi. With 60,000 members, it’s the largest mosque in Scandinavia. And the Husby Islamic Center, in the Stockholm suburb, was funded by Qatar. The new mosque to be built in Rinkeby, a suburb of Stockholm, is a Qatari undertaking as well.
But Sweden’s most insidious enabling of jihad is achieved through its generous social-benefits system. According to the latest numbers from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, the average immigrant family in Sweden, consisting of two parents and two children, receives $3,135 per month in benefits. What’s more, these funds are exempt from the country’s standard 33 percent income tax. This may not seem like a lot of money compared with the gargantuan sums we often hear about in cases of international terror financing, but it’s more than enough to do great harm. The Swedish Security Service concluded that the money Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly [a suicide bomber who returned from the Middle east and blew himself up on a Stockholm street] and his wife were given in benefits and loans from the Swedish government was used to finance his trips abroad, where he received terrorist training. The family had no other source of income.
Abdaly, Ghezali, and the country’s approximately 200 other potential militants are manifestations of the larger problem of jihad in Europe. There is no shortage of nightmare stories to attest to this ballooning reality. British citizens who received al-Qaeda training in Afghanistan and Pakistan bombed the London subway in 2005. Mehdi Nemmouche, an ISIS member and French national, fought for jihad in Syria before opening fire on innocents at the Jewish Museum in Brussels this past May. The ISIS executioners who recently beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning delivered their crazed overtures to human slaughter in native British accents. …
Western leaders are now aggressively pursuing ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but while they chase the bad guys from the edge of town, they risk leaving the door to the house wide open. Above all, it must be remembered that the jihadists’ long-term goal is to strike the West. The war they fight has no borders; the caliphate they seek has no geographic limits.
Europe is slow to connect the dots when they form a discomfiting image. For Sweden, a country that prides itself on the progressive values of openness and inclusivity, the steps necessary to fight a counter-jihad at home are almost too painful to countenance. The Swedish measures now in place amount to a kind of counter-radicalization therapy. … Muslim extremism in faraway lands is a suitable topic for discussion, but addressing the jihadists among us is political kryptonite.
Yet such considerations are meaningless to the jihadists themselves. As Abdaly himself put it: “The Islamic State has lived up to its holy promise; we are here in Europe, and in Sweden. We are a reality, not a fantasy.” In Sweden, Europe’s third-largest contributor to the jihad, we’d do well to take our enemies at their word.
Britain is floundering in a fog of of misdiagnosis just as Sweden is.
We quote from a recent article at Stand for Peace by Sam Westrop:
On September 30, Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, gave a speech at the Conservative Party’s annual conference, in which she outlined the threat posed to Britain by terrorism from abroad and extremism at home.
After giving the customary assurance that the actions of ISIS have no basis in Islam and proffering a quote from the Quran, May boasted of the Government’s record fighting fundamentalism, promised new powers to fight extremist groups and declared her gritty determination to uphold “British values”.
This grandiose speech revealed ambition – albeit mostly May’s own. It did not, however, demonstrate any real progress. The Home Secretary’s effusions were example of a government that has only half-heartedly responded to the problem of extremist ideology. It is a government that likes to talk but fails to act.
The Home Secretary then announced a series of weak measures to be taken in dealing with “extremism” in the organized charities, the media, the internet, schools, prisons, universities.
Sam Westrop rightly concludes:
It appears that the Home Office urgently needs to define “extremism.” This definition should include the smiling Islamist who attends interfaith vigils during the day but propagates anti-Semitism and expresses support for Hamas at night.
Extremism is a dangerous animal, but presently it is being given both the carrot and the stick. As long as we allow the human face of Islamist extremism to subsist, and even flourish, we will continue to churn out radicalized Muslim youth who will choose the Kalashnikov over a university degree. No one claims that the answer to Islamist extremism is easy. The question of extremism, however, is remarkably simple. If only the government would understand.
And the US government, under the leadership of a devotedly pro-Islam president, is trying to pretend that holy warriors are simply breaking US domestic law and need to be tried in civil courts.
We quote from the Guardian:
Irek Hamidullin was arraigned on 12 counts, including providing material support to terrorists, trying to destroy US military aircraft and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. Half of the charges are punishable by up to life in prison. Attorney general Eric Holder chose not to seek the death penalty …
Hamidullin is the first military detainee from Afghanistan to be brought to the US for trial. His transfer represents the latest attempt by the Obama administration to show that it can use the criminal court system to deal with terror suspects – a move criticized by some Republican lawmakers who believe such cases should be handled by military tribunals.
US officials say Hamidullin is a Russian veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan who stayed in the country and joined the Taliban. He was captured in 2009 after an attack on Afghan border police and US soldiers in Khowst province. He had been held at the US Parwan detention facility at Bagram airfield before being brought to the US. … He became affiliated with the Taliban in 2001.
The indictment says Hamidullin commanded three groups of insurgents that attacked Afghan border police at Camp Leyza, one of six locations the Taliban had identified as possible targets. He directed insurgents armed with anti-aircraft machine guns to fire at US military helicopters responding to the attack, the indictment says, and later used a machine gun to shoot at US troops and Afghan border police assessing damage at the battle site.
Those are clearly acts of war. Hamidullin should be tried by a military tribunal.
What Western governments fail to understand is that their countries are not being subjected to “extremism”, or “terrorism”, but war.
The jihad is indeed global. Jihad means Holy War. Sure, it must be fought in Europe as well as in the Middle East. But it must be recognized as a war everywhere.
Even if European governments found a way to stop and punish jihadi violence in their own countries, the war would go on. At present they are all acting ineffectively. Instead of joyfully letting all Muslim citizens who want to go and fight with IS/ISIS/ISIL go, and refuse them re-entry, and deprive them of their citizenship (as Geert Wilders so rightly recommends), they try to persuade them not to go, and if they return they give them “therapy”, as if Islam were nothing but a nervous breakdown in a few gullible individuals.
It is foolish and dangerous to go on calling every Muslim “holy” warrior a terrorist. It is even more foolish and self-deceiving to call IS/ISIS/ISIL a “terrorist organization”. They are one of the armies of Islam.
Islam is an ideology of world conquest. It is fighting a war against the non-Muslim world.
At the same time there are battles within Islam. Sunni versus Shia is a perpetual conflict. IS/ISIS/ISIL – the Islamic State – is Sunni. When Shia Iran becomes a nuclear power – which will be quite soon with Obama’s help – there will be a second Islamic force against the rest of the world, competing with the Islamic State for the victor’s crown.
Of course the Iranian force with its nuclear weapons will be a thousand times stronger than the Islamic State.
Even if the US-led “coalition ” were to defeat the Islamic State, the war would not stop. It will be kept going on the streets of Western cities in Sweden, Britain, France, Spain, America, until the nuclear bombs of Iran strike – first Israel and then anywhere else they choose.
How should it be dealt with? At the very least the West should treat Islamic states as it did the Soviet Union. Our long war with the USSR was called a Cold War, but there were many places where it was hotly fought. Persons in the West who were loyal to the enemy ideology were tolerated for the most part if they did nothing actively to aid the enemy. When they acted to help the enemy at the expense of their own country, they were put to death – as the Rosenbergs were.
That is the precedent for the West to follow in dealing now with the equally abominable ideology and aggressive intent of Islam.
Call it Islam, call it Hamas, call it ISIS, call it the Muslim Brotherhood, call it BokoHaram; call it the Palestinians; call it the United Nations; call it by the name of any Islamic state; call it the interfaith movement, call it the Left, call it the religion of peace; demonstrate for it in the streets of the capitals of Europe; parade for it in New York and Chicago and Los Angeles; this is the thing itself:
We found the video at christianpost.com. We quote part of the text:
A Christian man in Syria recently had his head brutally hacked off by Islamic militants after being forced to deny his faith and salute Mohammed as “the messenger of God”.
So by Muslim rules he became a Muslim. Islam forbids Muslims to kill Muslims.
The perpetrators themselves filmed the atrocity “for the world to see and broadcast as a warning to ‘everyone like him’.”
In the video that was posted to YouTube with translated captions, the helpless Christian man is surrounded by armed militants wearing masks and he is heard reciting as instructed: “There is no God but God and I testify that Mohammed is the messenger of God.”
The victim did not say “God” but “Allah”. The Christian reporter chooses, like many Christians, to claim that the god of Islam and the god of Christianity are one and the same.
An apparent leader in the group of militants is then heard instructing the group: “No one will shoot him now, do you understand? He will not be killed by shooting because it is merciful for him.”
By which the savage seems to mean that death by shooting would be too merciful for him. He goes on:
“He will be beheaded because he is Kaffir, non-Muslim, sided [with] the government and was not praying at all. Everyone like him will have the same end, beheading,” said the militant.
Then they cut his head off as the Muslim murderers cry ‘Allahu Akbar’.
This is the way the welfare state ends – with whimpers and whistles and bangs.
Interestingly, RT – delivering the message that “Socialism is unaffordable” – is a Russian English-language news channel.