The management of savagery 1

Islam’s renewed campaign against our civilization is inspired, directed, and carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood and the groups it has spawned.

Barack Hussein Obama, astoundingly elected President of the United States in 2008, did what he could to empower the Brotherhood, insisting that the organization, banned in Egypt, have pride of place in the audience of his first address abroad as president, in Cairo. He did his utmost to support the Brotherhood when revolution brought it to power in Egypt, and objected furiously when it was overthrown. He went so far as to appoint Muslim Brotherhood personnel as his advisers. The disastrous US policy towards the Middle East, causing war, civil war, displacements of millions, the catastrophic flooding of Europe by Muslim migrants, the death by drowning of thousands in the Mediterranean, the enslavement and mass murder of Christians and Yazidis, is the manifest result of their advice.

What a conjuring act it has been for Obama – to use his power to help the Muslim Brotherhood attain its ends at the same time as having to seem to be the chief guardian of Western civilization and liberty!

The two theorists on whose writings the Muslim Brotherhood was founded were Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb. ISIS, al-Qaeda, their terrorist activities in Europe and America, all spring from the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that Obama protected, promoted, indulged, and abetted.

Writing in the Guardian, Robert Manne – emeritus professor of politics and vice-chancellor’s fellow at La Trobe University in Melbourne – explains how the Muslim Brotherhood and its  “Qutbism” launched the jihad that is being waged against us. We quote his article in part:

During the period of my research, the Islamic State published in several languages, including English, a quarterly online magazine called Dabiq. …

In Dabiq, no theme was more important than the Islamic State’s desire to destroy those it regarded as its historical and current enemies – especially the Shia Muslims, the Rafida; their Syrian cousins, the Alawites or Nusayris; the fallen apostate peoples, the Yazidis and the Druze; the Christian west, the “Crusaders”; and the eternal enemy of the Muslims, the Jews. Despite its intellectual sophistication, each issue of Dabiq contained eschatological articles, concerning, for example, the nature of the Dajjal (the Rafida equivalent of the Antichrist) or the coming battles at the End of Days, from whose prophesied battleground, the town of Dabiq, the magazine took its name.

The magazine had several regular features. Each issue provided details of the military triumphs of the Islamic State and its affiliates, including both the planned operations and the lone-wolf attacks on its Crusader enemies in the west. (It was, however, conspicuously silent about the setbacks.) Each issue contained gruesome photos of the enemies it had dispatched – the beheaded western or Japanese hostages, the immolated Jordanian pilot, and dozens showing the corpses of the captured enemy troops and of the Shias, Alawites or Yazidis it had slaughtered.

Each issue told the story of the noble mujahideen “martyrs”, under the rubric Among the Believers Are Men. In a regular column called From Our Sisters, questions concerning women were discussed – the benefits of polygyny; the merits of sexual slavery; and the mothers’ indispensable role in providing a suitable education for the “lion cubs” – the next generation of soldiers. One of Dabiq’s preoccupations was the horror of life in the infidel (kuffar) societies of the west and the religious obligation of Muslims around the world to undertake migration to the Islamic State (hijrah) now that the caliphate had been established. …

Dabiq contained a regular feature it called In the Words of the Enemy. Here, special pleasure was taken in the comments of leading US generals, politicians or journalists expressing anxiety about the growing strength of the Islamic State and the danger it posed.

The pages of Dabiq express a remarkably consistent and internally coherent ideology, no less consistent and coherent than the Marxism–Leninism of the Soviet Union during the era of Stalin; more consistent and coherent, in my view, than the ideology of Nazism. As one can assume that Dabiq represents the official world-view of the Islamic State, it is surprising how little it has been analyzed by  specialist scholars. It has been my primary source for an understanding of the mind of the current leadership of the Islamic State. …

The ideology of the Islamic State is founded upon the prison writings of the revolutionary Egyptian Muslim Brother Sayyid Qutb, in particular some sections of his commentary In the Shade of the Qur’an, but most importantly his late visionary work Milestones, published in 1964.

Qutb argued that the entire world, including the supposedly Muslim states, had fallen into a time of pre-Islamic ignorance, jahiliyya, or pagan darkness. He called upon the small number of true Muslims to form a revolutionary vanguard to restore the light of Islam to the world. …

So powerful was Qutb’s vision that several scholars have termed the ideology that provided the foundation of the Islamic State “Qutbism”. …

The first answer to the question about what was to be done by those who hoped to implement Qutb’s vision came a decade and a half after the master’s death, with The Neglected Duty, the underground revolutionary working paper of an Egyptian electrical engineer, Muhammad Abd al-Salam FarajFaraj called upon Muslims to fulfil their religious obligation of jihad – which he, like Qutb, interpreted as violent struggle in the service of God – and to lay the foundation of a truly Islamic state. His favoured method was assassination of the most important contemporary enemy of the Muslims, the apostate “Pharaoh”, a clear reference to the president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat.

Faraj regarded the “near enemy”, the Egyptian state, as a more strategically significant target than the “far enemy”, the Crusader Americans and the Zionist Jews. In 1981 Faraj’s group succeeded in their plot to kill Sadat. As a consequence, Faraj’s life, like Qutb’s, ended on the gallows. His pamphlet nonetheless represented the beginning of a 20-year era during which Egyptian jihadi revolutionaries, under the spell of Qutb’s prison writings, conducted a prolonged, bloody and ultimately unsuccessful revolutionary struggle against the “near enemy” – with plots to assassinate the apostate leaders, the taghut; to stage military coups; to incite popular uprisings.

A more influential answer to the question of what was to be done to implement the Qutbist vision was provided shortly after Faraj’s death by the Palestinian Islamic scholar Abdullah Azzam. After the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Azzam moved to Peshawar and established an office for the organisation of Arabs  who had journeyed to Afghanistan to support the local jihadi fighters, the mujahideen.

In remarkably eloquent speeches, in the articles of his magazine, al-Jihad, and especially in two of his short books, Defence of the Muslim Lands and Join the Caravan, Azzam called upon Muslims across the globe to defend their nation, the umma, which was now under direct threat. Azzam insisted that defence of the umma through jihad, in the face of the infidel invader, was not a collective but an individual duty for each Muslim, as obligatory as one of the five pillars of the faith, such as praying and fasting. Azzam was assassinated in 1989, nobody knows for certain by whom. But by the time of his death, he had convinced a generation of revolutionary Muslims that the Afghan and Arab mujahideen had been responsible, through God’s grace and through their glorious martyrs’ deaths, for crippling the military might of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

Moreover, he saw in the triumphant struggles of the mujahideen in Afghanistan a portent of a worldwide Islamic revival – in the jahili Muslim lands of the present; in his homeland, Palestine, and all other Muslim lands that had been conquered by the Crusaders; eventually across the entire globe.

In Afghanistan, Azzam had worked for a time with a wealthy Saudi of Yemeni background, Osama bin Laden. … 

Having absorbed both Qutb’s vision and Azzam’s triumphalism and ambition … in 1988 Bin Laden created in Afghanistan an organisation he called al-Qaeda, which was eventually to become the first global army of jihadis.

In 1996, upon his return to Afghanistan, Bin Laden set his sights on the destruction of the only remaining superpower, the United States. In his view, the US was under the control of the Jews. It had been responsible for inflicting upon the Muslims the cruellest wound, the creation of a Jewish state at the very heart of the umma. It was also the indispensable patron and protector of the taghut regimes throughout the supposedly Muslim world. Perhaps worst of all, since 1990, by invitation from the Saudi royal family after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the US had occupied the land of the two holiest cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina. In 1998 al-Qaeda called upon the mujahideen to kill Americans and Jews.

One of the signatories of Bin Laden’s fatwa was the most influential Egyptian Qutbist revolutionary of the past 20 years, Ayman al-Zawahiri. In mid-2001 Zawahiri led a part of his group, al-Jihad, into al-Qaeda. Their union was consummated with a double conversion. Zawahiri adopted Bin Laden’s concentration on the far enemy. For his part, Bin Laden adopted the tactic that Zawahiri and other Egyptian Islamist revolutionaries had long embraced: suicide bombings, or what the Qutbists now called “martyrdom operations” – a vital tactic in technologically unequal, asymmetrical warfare. The first fruit of their union was 9/11, the attack on the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon.

By this time, Zawahiri was responsible, most comprehensively in his 2001 memoir, Knights under the Prophet’s Banner, for systematising the political ideology founded on the vision of Sayyid Qutb.

The ideology had not yet reached its latest and perhaps final destination. One consequence of 9/11 was the March 2003 US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. As it happened, one leader of the Sunni resistance was a Jordanian revolutionary jihadi, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who had established his own training camp in Afghanistan in 1999 at Herat and then, after the US invasion of Afghanistan and attack on the Taliban, had moved to Iraq via Iran in preparation for the generally anticipated US invasion.

Zarqawi was responsible for adding several new elements to the political ideology inspired by Qutb and systematised by Zawahiri. Zarqawi injected into its heart a sectarian and exterminatory hatred of the Shia.

Drawing upon the strategic theory of Abu Bakr Naji, the author of The Management of Savagery, and the theology of a jihadi scholar, Abu Abdullah al-Muhajir, the author of a work most commonly known as The Jurisprudence of Blood, Zarqawi extended vastly the purpose, the method and the permissible scope of killing. He conducted public beheadings of hostages. He greatly expanded the role of suicide bombings, with increasingly callous theological justifications, targeting not only the occupation forces and their Iraqi allies but also innocent Shia civilians and politically unfriendly Sunnis, earning for himself the well-deserved title of “the sheikh of the slaughterers”.

Before Zarqawi, the creation of an Islamic State, and even more the re-establishment of the caliphate, had been distant dreams of the Qutbists. With Zarqawi they became pressing items of a current political agenda. Before Zarqawi, too, the thought of the Qutbists had been largely unaffected by the eschatological or apocalyptic undercurrents of Sunni Islam. Under Zarqawi these began to rise to the surface. Zarqawi was killed in 2006. Nonetheless, his two successors, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who was killed in 2010, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the first caliph of the Islamic State, embraced fully and even extended the anti-Shia sectarianism, the strategic and jurisprudential savagery, the immediate Islamic state-building ambition, and the apocalyptic dimension that Zarqawi had injected into the political ideology that had grown from the vision of Qutb.

A supporter of the Islamic State, thought to be the Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, captured with admirable precision in a single sentence its ideological genealogy: “The Islamic State was drafted by Sayyid Qutb, taught by Abdullah Azzam, globalised by Osama bin Laden, transferred to reality by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and implemented by al-Baghdadis: Abu Omar and Abu Bakr.”

The good news is that the days when the Muslim Brotherhood could bask in the patronage of an American government are coming to an end. President-elect Trump has said that he will ban it.

Trump the avenger? 22

Of course both Trump and Cruz followers want passionately for the Left to be defeated in November 2016. But the defeat of Hillary and the Democratic Party, though it would be enormously satisfying to both factions, would not be enough for Trump voters. They want more. And that “more” is  revenge.

So we deduce from watching them and listening to them through the media.

We understand feelingly why that might be. The harm Obama and his gang have done to America and the world will take decades to repair, maybe even centuries. Europe will probably never recover from the Islamic invasion unleashed upon it by the devastating policies of the Obama regime towards Islam and the Middle East.

Whereas Cruz voters may be content with an election victory, Trump voters will also want Hillary in prison for a long stretch; Islam crushed; and, in as short a time as possible, Obama condemned by “history”.

Those who share that ache for revenge, will understand why all the reasons that anti-Trump conservatives pour out for not supporting Trump, fall on deaf ears.  

Michael Dansen writes at Truth Revolt:

Donald Trump is … a healthy antibody reaction to Obamaism … In a country that does not historically gravitate towards extremism at the highest levels of political office, he may be the medicine we need in order to even things out. Yes, the treatment may be harsh, but the patient is very sick.

In the words of the late, great Andrew Breitbart, if someone calls you a racist or a bigot, “Walk towards that fire.” A Trump presidency will prove that you can say things that are unflattering – but sometimes true – about preferred victim groups and the world will not come to an end. We will not re-introduce slavery. We will not become The Third Reich. We will not legalize rape. We will not make birth control illegal. There will be no reconstitution of Jim Crow. Those days are gone and good riddance.

The Right needs to learn to bring a knife, at the very least, to a knife fight. George W. Bush, who had this CRAZY notion that a country should use its military to kill its enemies, was destroyed over Iraq because he didn’t want to “lower himself” by responding to his critics. When called a “misleader” [read: “liar”] by the DNC in a July 2003 television ad over prewar intel, Karl Rove decided not to bring up the fact that WMD stockpiles actually were uncovered in Iraq.

Trump is always on offense and he’s a tougher target. Over-the-top Democrat attacks on Trump only help his cause. They’re having the same effect as protestors crashing Trump rallies – they make more people sympathetic to his campaign.

The Right also needs to push back against the Left’s specious income inequality arguments and their demonization of the wealthy. Democrats have been offering free stuff from rich people for 50 years. Not surprisingly, this is seductive and appealing. Rich people pay the OVERWHELMING majority of taxes in this country, but Dems still demand that they need to pay their “fair share”. Trump can be counted on to question and reject their premises – which is a major reason that progressives loathe the man with the white hot heat of a thousand suns.

As for Trump’s promised, controversial wall:

First, it is not a 2,000 mile wall. It will be built in certain sections which are the sites most common for illegal ingress.

Second, the U.S. has levers to elevate the Mexican government’s thinking on the subject of who pays for what – namely, foreign aid and impounding remittances.

Third, it’s a sordid situation indeed that Mexico City provides instructions to their citizens on how to subvert U.S. law, offers their consulates in the U.S. to help carry this out, and then calls us racists for noticing this. That Trump is controversial for being against de facto indentured servitude that’s incompatible with the melting pot ideal is the real controversy.

To opponents who hold to the “we are a nation of immigrants” school of thought: there is no limiting principle to that line of thinking and it is essentially an open borders argument. The idea that anybody who can physically get here deserves to remain here is absurd – even more so as we continue to build up the welfare state. We need more citizens who are contributing to the tax rolls, not who are net takers from them. America has traditionally gone through periods of opening the borders up through controlled, legal immigration from overseas and going through periods of assimilation and “insularity”.

We also had a common culture that was at first at least suspecting of the Dutch, Anglicans [sic] [he may mean Anglophones – ed], Germans, Catholics, the Irish, Italians, Jews, Greeks, etc. This was healthy as it winnowed the field of those who had what it took to be full-fledged American citizens and those who couldn’t quite hack it.

We’re not in unqualified agreement with that last paragraph. But we firmly agree with what he says next:

Do we have the right to prevent Muslims from entering our country after spasms of Islam-inspired terrorism? Yes.

He is implying that there is a sound reason to exclude Muslims. But his next point is that immigrants can be excluded for no sound reasons – even on whim only.

We also can prevent Congregationalists, left-handed people, towheads, Andorrans, etc. if that is the national course upon which we decide.

Because –

Immigration here is a privilege, not a right.

And so it is. It is the prerogative of the nation state to choose whom it will accept into its protection.

He returns to the Muslim question:

It will be a relief when we have a leader who does not say, after yet another Islamist atrocity, “First thing: get me to a mosque. I need to hug a Muslim and pronounce upon Koranic interpretations. The most important thing right now is not attending to our security concerns; it is stopping the bigoted, xenophobic, murderous impulse that lies just under the surface of our society!” …

And then he goes on to the Communist question (incidentally reminding us that from the start of the Cold War, Communists were denied immigration, or even a visitor’s visa to tour or study in the US).

For those who complain that there are some unsavory characters in Trump’s base, keep in mind that they may be scary but the left’s unsavory characters – in the media, academia, and the entertainment industry – are the inheritors of an ideology that has killed, according to The Black Book of Communism, 100 million people.

The outgoing president is also one of those unsavory inheritors. The electorate could not have made a worse choice other than an outright supporter of Islamic jihad … Oh, wait! …

What of the lame duck? 1

With all the excitement over who will be the next president, the man in the office is getting little or no attention, even from his toadies in the media.

Victor Davis Hanson turns his thoughts to him, and sees him as the lamest of lame ducks.

He writes at PJ Media:

President Obama is boxed in a state of paralysis — more so than typical lame-duck presidents.

His hard-left politics have insidiously eroded the Democratic Party, which has lost both houses of Congress and the vast majority of the state legislatures, state elected offices, and governorships. Obama has redefined the black vote, as a necessary, no-margin-of-error 95% bloc majority to offset his similar creation of an increasingly monolithic 65% bloc white vote. We are no longer individual voters, but, in Chicago-politics style, merely faceless “Latinos”, “Asians”, “African-Americans”, “gays”, “women”, and now “whites”. 

Obama issues a new initiative — and the nation snoozes. He wastes the day on the golf links — and the nation snoozes. He smear his critics, invites a rapper to the White House whose latest album cover has a dead white judge lying in front of the White House — and the nation snoozes. He cozies up to America’s enemies and snubs our friends — and the nation snoozes. For the nth time, he blusters about closing down Guantanamo — and the nation snoozes. He opens the border even wider to welcome in more illegal aliens and future constituents — and the nation snoozes. Lame duckestry means not even being able to wake up your opponents.

There is so far no Obama legacy, except the creation of Donald Trump, a $20 trillion debt and zero interest rates …

Almost every major bureaucracy is awash in scandal or charges of incompetence. The common theme of the disasters at the GSA, EPA, ICE, IRS, NASA, Secret Service, and VA is ideological subversion and ingrained hostility to meritocracy. Would anyone be surprised that another government official pled the 5th, created fake email personas, resigned at 5 PM on a Friday afternoon, declared a foremost mission Muslim outreach, or withheld subpoenaed documents?

Obamacare, borne of rank partisanship and serial mendacity, can survive until 2017 only by bailouts and executive-order manipulations. We now call health care affordable by ignoring the new astronomical deductibles: we pay premiums of $6,000 a year and forget that an annual $4,000 “deductible” ensures no one thinks the real cost is $10,000. Is that a small price to pay to ensure granny has contraceptive coverage?

Americans shrug that Obama has left the world abroad a far scarier place. Libya has been destroyed. We can see in Iraq what Obama would have done to South Korea had he been in Eisenhower’s shoes. Syria’s death toll is nearing Saddam Hussein’s. We gave up our golden special relationship with Israel for one of dross with an Islamist and roundly disliked Turkey that, logically, now dislikes us.

What was astonishing about Obama’s empty red lines that finished off any lingering sense of U.S. credibility and deterrence in the Middle East was that after issuing such threats and then ignoring them, Obama then blamed the UN and the U.S. Congress for setting them!

But then again, he blamed congressional Republicans for opposing the Iran deal and compared House members to Iranian theocrat hardliners, in a way his team earlier had compared them to suicide bombers. …

In a tragic sort of way, Obama has reminded us how savage is human nature, by demonstrating that a vicious thug like Putin won more of an amoral world’s respect for his savagery than a whining Obama earned pity for his diffidence.

While the Middle East is aflame, China is marking out new atolls to control, like toll pirates of the 17th century, European-Asian sea traffic. Russia is eyeing neighbors, unsure only whether gratuitously embarrassing Obama is worth the hassle of another annexation. Is the solution to global tensions really a trip to Cuba or shutting down Guantanamo by executive order? When Castro soon harangues Obama in Havana for his country’ sins, will he, as he did after Daniel Ortega’s April 2009 dressing down in Trinidad, sheepishly reply with, “I’m grateful that President Castro did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old”?

Obama cannot address the massive debt he has run up. He cannot address entitlement reform. He has neither the imagination to offer solutions, nor the disposition to share accomplishment with any other than himself — even if he had the political clout to compromise and reach consensus.

For the next nine months the Obama presidency will be mostly teeth-gnashing and petulance. He will offer executive orders and do his best to incite division and rancor from a somnolent public, the more the better to please his hard-core base, and to pave the way for a lucrative (and iconic) post-presidency among leftwing foundations, universities, non-profits, foreign governments, sports, Hollywood, Goldman Sachs progressives, and the media.

But at least Obama … transformed racial relations? Not really. Perhaps no single individual has done more to erode racial reconciliation than did Barack Obama. The racialism of the 2008 campaign — the nativist clingers of Pennsylvania, his “typical white person” grandmother who did so much to ensure his own upper-middle-class prep-school existence, the savage anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism of consigliore Rev. “audacity of hope” Wright, the childish calls to “get in their faces” and “bring a gun to a knife fight” – really was the foundation for the next eight years of Trayvon Martin as the lost Obama son, the Ferguson mythologies, racism explains all opposition to Obama, the beer summit, “punish our enemies”, and Eric Holder’s “nation of cowards” and “my people”. 

Obama’s racial legacy is the strange phenomenon of whiny, wealthy black elites — whether a Skip Gates, Spike Lee, Melissa Harris-Perry, Will Smith, or Chris Rock — acting hurt and oppressed if rewards to elites such as themselves are not doled out on the basis of racial percentages. … America is now supposed to work on a strict 13 percent racial spoils system, everywhere except in non-disparate impact professional sports or federal employment. …

Cairo-speech mythohistories pass for foreign policy. Euphemisms about terrorism only empower radical Islam. The mythologies of Ferguson are canonized at the UN. All that can be said for all this and more is that our enemies were put off guard and confused that a president of the United States seemed so intent on deprecating his own country and traditions, and thus could think Obama’s sermonizing might really be some elaborate hoax, con, or Trojan Horse.

Nothing in the last eight years is sustainable or can be emulated.

Race relations will change after Obama for the simple reason that if they were to continue on his segregationist trajectory we would quite soon end up like Bosnia or Beirut.

Fiscal policy will change, because if we followed Obama’s all “by his lonesome” Bank of China credit-card binge borrowing of another $10 trillion in the next eight years, the country would implode.

Monetary policy will change because eight more years of zero interest would wipe out the age-old idea of the wisdom of saving money altogether. Government policy will change because the bureaucracy cannot endure legions of more Lois Lerners, Lisa Jacksons, Kathleen Sebeliuses, Hilda Solises, or Eric Holders.

Health care will change after Obama, because if Obamacare were to persist, the entire country would turn to cash-only concierge medicine.

Foreign policy will change after Obama, because to persist with his policies would lead to four or five major theater wars, a nuclear Middle East, Russia in the Baltic states, and Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan as client states of China.

Immigration will change, because to follow Obama’s open borders policy is to arbitrarily declare federal law null and void, and to establish the roots of a new third world country, neither American nor Mexican, along the border, but inside the United States.

The media will change after Obama because it is about to be enshrined as an embarrassing government Ministry of Truth. It cannot again proclaim that the next president is the smartest person in the history of the presidency, a veritable god, a wizard that can lower the seas and cool the planet or send tingles down our legs or make us wish to press our pants just like the commander in chief. At some point, journalists will get back to sniping that the next president should know that there are not 57 states, that “corpseman” is not the proper pronunciation, that the trilled politically correct name for the Falklands is not the Maldives, and that presidents do not normally make fun of the Special Olympics.

We are witnessing the lamest of the lame-duck presidencies, with the power neither to act nor inspire — nor even to shock or surprise. 

The darkness of this world (18) 1

Today we have posted the last essay, number 18, in the series by Jillian Becker titled The Darkness of This World. 

Find it in full under Pages in our margin.

Here is part of it:

18

Conclusion

America the Last Best Hope?

A multitude of enlightened Europeans cultivated reason, and built a culture that was innovative, prosperous, powerful, and humane. Other Europeans wanted to destroy all that, and succeeded. Rebels from and against the prosperous educated classes – philosophers and poets, artists and politicians – taught generations to intoxicate themselves with fantasies of destruction, spoliation, and atrocity that could, and at times did, inspire real events of vast horror, suffering, and death. From each of them Europe seemed to recover for a while. But at the time of this writing, the rebels have triumphed. The dark vision prevails. Europe is rotten. Multitudes of Europeans, seeing nothing in their culture worth preserving and no point in its survival, reluctant even to beget children, are yielding to immigrating hordes of aliens from the Third World who lust for conquest and are governed by laws devised in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula in the Dark Ages.

So must the greatness of Europe be altogether lost? Surely not! Surely in the states of America, united on Enlightenment principles of liberty, reason, tolerance, and participatory government, European civilization will be preserved and enhanced? There where every citizen is free to pursue his own happiness, to hold property securely, to have his say in a government of limited powers, the United States will continue to prosper and advance? America, it is said, is a forward-looking “can do” society – innovative, prosperous, powerful and humane. “The last best hope of earth.” [As President Lincoln said of his country in a message to Congress on 1 December, 1862.]

And for a while yet it may continue to be so. But the seed of the evil flowers of the culture – Marxism, political sadism, and most potently poisonous of all, the political philosophies of the New Left – have found as fertile soil in America as in Europe.

The mainly bourgeois “anti-bourgeois” terrorist groups that rose with the “sixty-eight” protest movement in America, did evil just as intentionally as their European counterparts. And went in for the same posturing and frivolity. The US was at war in Vietnam, and the anti-draft demonstrations on university campuses gave a serious aspect to the American rebellion, but the war and the draft were pretexts rather reasons for it, as two leaders of the young radicals, Peter Collier and David Horowitz, confessed years later in their book – the best I have found on the subject – Destructive Generation: “The war in Vietnam was a gift of chance that allowed radical leaders to convince others of a need for a social apocalypse and of the necessity for their destructive strategies.”

These authors, long since cured of the romantic radicalism of their youth, look back   and “wince” at the “homemade hankerings for Armageddon”. The Sixties, they write, was a time of “monumental idealism”, when “dewy-eyed young people in the throes of a moral passion … sought only to remake the world”. They would do this by destroying “the evil empire of ‘Amerika’” and freeing “the captive peoples of the world”. It was a time, they say, “when innocence quickly became cynical “ and “when a gang of ghetto thugs like the Black Panthers might be anointed as political visionaries”.

The Black Panthers and many of the “dewy-eyed” rebels intended to do what they fully recognized as evil in pursuit of their ideals. For instance, a man known as J. J. – a member of the white middle-class group that became the terrorist organization called Weatherman and later Weather Underground – was notable for “his [drug augmented] high energy, his nonstop, almost demonic chatter, his ability to carry listeners with him by the sheer force of his words rather than their depth”. And J. J.’s idea “was not to create a perfect state operating by the clockwork principles of Marxist law but to promote a chaos that would cripple America and ultimately cast it into a receivership that would be administered by the morally superior Third World. Unafraid to pursue his theme to its logical end, J. J. would add that people shouldn’t expect the revolution to achieve a Kingdom of Freedom ; more likely, it would produce a Dark Ages.” J. J. “[laid] out the ‘White Devil’ theory of world history. ‘We’re against everything that’s “good and decent” in honky America. … We will loot and burn and destroy. We are the incubation of your mother’s nightmares!’”

As in West Germany, France and Italy, the terrorist bombers of America demanded their rights under the law that they broke, mocked, and abominated. “Despite their incessant complaints of police brutality, Sixties radicals lived for the most part in a no-fault system, demanding their constitutional rights at the same time as they were abusing and denouncing the Constitution. They knew they had the option, which many of them ultimately used, of diving back into the System [and their comfy bourgeois lives] when they tired of being extrinsic. (For this reason New Leftism, although discredited in politics, continues to thrive in the ‘academic work’ of former radicals who returned for postgraduate degrees to the universities they had earlier tried to destroy.) It was an example of the cynicism that marked the decade – counting on the fact that America was exactly the sort of flexible and forgiving society they were condemning it for failing to be.”

The evil was done not only to shock their bourgeois parents, as their drugs, promiscuous sex, and bombs were meant to do and did, but for a very much higher good, of course. The very much higher good: “social justice”; “ending oppression” in the forms of “ racism”, “sexism”, “homophobia”, “classism”, “imperialism”, “colonialism”; all of which required the destruction of “the capitalist system”.

Most of them did not, however, describe themselves as Communists. Without reading the works of Marx, or of Marxists, Trotskyites, or New Left political philosophers, they all – in harmony with their European counterparts – looked forward to a political apocalypse; a revolution that they considered themselves to be hastening, that would change everything and replace the earthly Hell of oppression and social injustice with a Heaven of … something yet to be defined.

Collier and Horowitz write of   “the decade’s transcendental conviction that there was something apocalyptic lurking behind the veil of the ordinary, and that just a little more pressure was needed to pierce the last remaining membrane – of civility, bourgeois consciousness, corporate liberalism, sexual uptightness, or whatever else prevented us all from breaking through to the other side”. And: “Again it was that hunger to reach the apocalypse just beyond, the essential act that would make them real revolutionaries.” And “the Weatherpeople, like all parvenus, spent considerable time working on a genealogy that would connect them with noble [sic] forbears: Russian narodniki and European anarchists, Cuban fidelistas and Vietnamese guerrillas.”

A work of fiction that impressively conveys the real evil of the 60s rebels is American Pastoral by Philip Roth. A percipient discussion of it and the issues it raised was published in Commentary magazine by Carol Iannone. I summarize the plot and quote her most illuminating comments relevant to my theme:

An only child – cheerful, affectionate, charming as a little girl – of a business man who in his youth had been an athlete and a Marine, and his beauty queen wife, grows up to be “overtaken by the 60s”, sets a bomb in a post office and kills a local doctor. She goes underground and kills three more people in another bombing.

“In his manly way” (Carol Iannone writes) the father “ tries to see where his own responsibility lies for what has happened to his much loved daughter … only to be forced again and again to confront the blazing chaotic irrationality of it all. What he cannot understand … is her hatred of America. ‘How could she “hate” this country when she had no conception of this country? How could a child of his be so blind as to revile the “rotten system” that had given her own family every opportunity to succeed? To revile her “capitalist” parents as though their wealth were the product of anything other than the unstinting industry of three generations …’”

“The 60s, in brief, are not just about the bomber young and their war with ‘Amerika’; in the 60s, ‘the indigenous American berserk’, have entered the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, touching everything and everyone with their ‘mockery of human integrity, every ethical obligation destroyed’.”

It entered the academies, and through them the mind of the nation, until the counter-culture has become The Culture. Collier and Horowitz write: “[N]owhere is the entrenchment of the Sixties mentality more complete or more destructive than in the university. That the Left should now dominate the academy involves a savage irony, of course. It was only after failing in their intent to burn down the university in the Sixties that radicals decided to get on the tenure track in the Seventies. Unimpeded in their long march through these institutions by fair-minded centrists of the sort they themselves now refuse to hire, these Leftists have brought a postmodern Dark Age to higher education – “deconstructing” objective truths to pave the way for chic academic nihilism: creating a curriculum of contempt for American history and culture; and transforming many classrooms into chambers of inquisition and indoctrination.”

The demonic achievements of the rebels were crowned by the election, in 2008, to the presidency of the United States of one of their own: Barack Hussein Obama, the son of a 60s counter-culturist mother and an African father who was both a Communist and a Muslim; and was associated eventually in the son’s mind with “colonial and imperial oppression” of his ancestral land, Kenya, when it was under British rule.

President Obama acceded to the White House with all his ideological baggage intact: the credo of the New Left plus admiration of Islam. And this at a time when Islam was becoming the main enemy of the Western world, practicing terrorism on a large scale, waging open warfare in the Middle East, and launching a migrant invasion of Europe that European governments allowed, encouraged, and all too willingly submitted to. Obama’s policies facilitated the European calamity, and he took steps to help Islamic Iran, which constantly reiterates its intention to destroy America and conquer the non-Muslim world, to become a nuclear power. He has lowered America in the eyes of the world. He and his minions treat the Constitution with contempt.

In the universities the counter-culture has become the orthodoxy. A majority of instructors indoctrinate students rather than educate them, teaching them what to think rather than how to think. Some Leftist representatives in Congress have passed a resolution to curb free speech. And the spirit of free enterprise, which made America rich and mighty, has been all but crushed by tyrannical regulation. Wealth has been taken from those who have earned it and given to those who have not. In short, the New Left has triumphed – though without attaining its heaven on earth.

Can the harm it has done be undone? At present the dark stream of unreason flows strongly. The resistance to it should be the vigorous self-interest inherent in human nature, the desire in most of us to succeed; and the lure of science, technology, all they give us for the betterment of our lives. Only as long as free personal endeavor and innovation continue to characterize America, will there be hope – if not the last, certainly the best – for our splendid civilization to survive in this, our only world.

Gate-crashing into history 0

Who or what now holds the office of President of the United States of America?

The answer to the question is itself a question mark.

David Solway asks the question and his answers are questions. Here is part of what he writes:

Who is this guy? And what does so enigmatic a figure augur for the United States and, indeed, for the future of us all? No matter what hypothesis or conviction one espouses concerning his definitive DNA, it seems fair to say that a shadow of the clandestine — or if one prefers, the inscrutable — envelops this president.

Even Obama’s most avid supporters, if they are honest, must allow that, compared to his POTUS predecessors, unambiguously little is known about his antecedents or, for example, the salient facts of his academic career — many of his records are still under seal, his college and university transcripts have not been released and, broadly speaking, his significant documentation is rather flimsy. There is not much of a paper trail here; for that matter, there is scarcely a Hansel-and-Gretel bread crumb trail. How such a man could be elected to the presidency … remains a riddle for the sphinx. …

In any event, there can be no doubt that the dossier is scanty and that this is a truly amazing deficiency. We simply do not have a clear portrait or a crisply factual biography of the president. But what we do know about his close affiliates — America-and-Jew bashing Reverend Jeremiah Wright, former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi, hysterical and racially divisive Cornel West, unrepentant Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, unscrupulous entrepreneur Tony Rezko — is profoundly unsettling. … [T]he asymmetric relation between what we know and what we don’t know must distress any rational person curious about so influential an actor on the current political scene.

That Louis Farrakhan, like millions of others, feels that Obama was “selected” for our times should give us further pause. On the contrary, it may not be out of place to suggest that we are now afflicted with the worst possible president at the worst possible time, with Iran darting toward the nuclear finish line, the Palestinians as intransigent as ever, the Russians moving back into the Caucasus region, negotiating with Venezuela and solidifying ties with Iran, Syria and Turkey, terrorism … on the rise and U.S. citizens increasingly at the mercy of the jihadists, China holding massive quantities of American Treasury notes, Obama considering ruinous cap-and-trade legislation at a time when the AGW consensus is collapsing, the American debt estimated to hit 100% of GDP in 2011 and its unfunded entitlement liabilities totaling over $US 100 trillion, leading to the prospect of monetary collapse. None of these critical issues have been substantially addressed by the president, except insofar as his actions in some cases, lack of action in others, have only exacerbated them. The collateral fact that we really have no valid and comprehensive notion of who exactly is leading us at this crucial historical juncture boggles the mind.

Yes, this riddle of a man, this living quandary named Barack Hussein Obama is so unlikely a president of the United States, it’s as if he has gate-crashed into history.

Fools, cowards, and worse 0

Jennifer Rubin writes at Commentary’s ‘contentions’ website:

Hillary Clinton insists with great bluster that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is “futile.” What’s missing? Well, a coherent plan for denying Iran nuclear weapons.

One is left with two possible interpretations. One may be that despite denials to the contrary that he is living in a diplomatic fantasyland, Obama is convinced of his own powers of persuasion and believes the Iranian mullahs will fall under his spell and give up their nuclear weapons. After all, we are setting such a good example by proposing all sorts of disarmament agreements; the mullahs would be foolish not to go along, right? This supposes the administration is stocked with fools who are oblivious to the nature of the Iranian regime. Possibly.

The other alternative is that Clinton knows Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is futile because eventually Israel will “take care of it.” This is actually a less charitable explanation than the “they are foolish” option. It supposes a level of timidity, an unwillingness to assume American responsibilities, and a level of deceit. Having bashed Israel for six months and declared that no country has the right to tell another whether it can pursue nuclear power, Obama and his team now are banking on Israel to do their dirty work. They will complain after the fact, of course. Is this possible? Well, unless you think Obama and his team are fools, it is the only explanation.

In our view, the administration is stocked with fools and lying cowards. But there is a third possible explanation: While Obama is against America being nuclear armed, he is not against iran being nuclear armed, nor against Israel being wiped off the map. Nothing he has said or done contradicts these propositions.  

Posted under Commentary, Iran, Islam, Israel, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 30, 2009

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Organizing racial resentment 2

Thomas Sowell writes against the notion that Obama is a ‘post-racial’ president:

For “community organizers” … racial resentments are a stock in trade. President Obama’s background as a community organizer has received far too little attention, though it should have been a high-alert warning that this was no post-racial figure.

What does a community organizer do? What he does not do is organize a community. What he organizes are the resentments and paranoia within a community, directing those feelings against other communities, from whom either benefits or revenge are to be gotten, using whatever rhetoric or tactics will accomplish that purpose.

To think that someone who has spent years promoting grievance and polarization was going to bring us all together as president is a triumph of wishful thinking over reality.

Posted under Commentary, Race, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, July 28, 2009

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A disaster of the first magnitude 0

David Solway writes:

I will say this bluntly and without equivocation. Obama is a disaster of the first magnitude, bowing to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, smiling benignly on Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and cuddling up to Dimitry Medvedev—and by extension Vladimir Putin—of neo-Soviet Russia. He still maintains a flaccid negotiating stance toward an oppressive Iranian regime repudiated by its own people and rapidly closing in on nuclear capability. He would no doubt parley amiably with Hu Jintao of communist China should it launch an invasion of Taiwan, another small democratic nation in approximately the same “straits” as Israeland Honduras.

No less and perhaps even more frightening is Obama’s now undeniable intentions vis à vis his own country, imposing his own brand of demagogic politics upon the people he ostensibly represents. Unimaginable budgetary deficits, fiscally unsustainable policies, redistribution of honestly come by income, severe cutbacks in defence, bills hastily rammed through Congress affecting an entire population, soaring unemployment, opacity rather than transparency in the decision-making process, rule by charisma and fiat, the spectre of restrictions on freedom of expression—these are Obama’s gifts to his country. The new direction which American foreign policy has taken, alienating its democratic allies and mollifying tyrannical and illicit governments, renders the U.S. even more vulnerable to what we might call the expropriation of its destiny. Its enemies will not hesitate to seize the opportunity when it presents itself to undermine American interests and security.

“We are living at the edge of a catastrophe,” warned Newt Gingrich, addressing the Heritage Foundation onJuly 20, 2009. Whatever one may think of Gingrich, he is speaking truth to power, and truth to the powerless as well. Gingrich is concerned about the prospect of a massive terorist attack for which Americais manifestly unprepared, but the attack of its own administration on the nation’s traditional liberties and endangered solvency is equally menacing. This is the calendar of events envisaged by the international Left whose program, however  improbably, has now taken root in the United States, the presumed bastion of freedom in the world. The enemy is within the gates and the outlook for the future is perturbing, to say the least. But there is a certain ironic justice at work. What Israel and Honduras are now discovering, America too will learn in the course of time.

 I do not fear Abbas, Zelaya, Putin, Chavez or the rest of that disreputable bunch. I am alarmed when I consider Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. But I am scared to death of Obama.

How was it possible that some of us could see  clearly that the election of Obama would be disastrous, yet a majority of voters could not see it at all?