A strange, ironic, and tragic historical moment 2

In a remarkable decision taken at the end of August, Germany’s Interior Ministry declined to bar the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – listed as a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, the European Union, and Australia – “from campaigning as a political party in the September general election to the Bundestag”. Yes, the PFLP – on a joint list with the Marxist-Leninist Party – plans to field candidates in this month’s elections in Germany and run for Parliament.

So Bruce Bawer writes at Gatestone.

What is the PFLP?

The Popular  Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), is a Marxist group. Its founder was George Habash, born in Lydda (in the British mandated territory of Palestine) in 1926 to  a Greek Orthodox family. His father was a successful corn merchant. Much of his childhood was spent in Jerusalem. He entered the American University of Beirut in 1944 and qualified as a doctor of medicine in 1951. While at the university he founded the Arab National Movement (ANM). Its guiding light was President Nasser of Egypt, who gave it financial support.

With a central doctrine of pan-Arabism, and, vital to that end, the elimination of Israel by violent means, the movement gathered strength and spread rapidly as an underground organization through the Middle East, on both sides of the Red Sea. It attracted intellectuals and members of the military in several Arab states. But stress shifted away from the Palestinian cause to internal political issues. Habash himself believed so unswervingly in the need for revenge (against the British and the Arab leaders who had been  responsible for the 1948 defeat of the Arab armies against the newly declared state of Israel, as well as against the Jews), in the annihilation of Israel and and in the Nasserite aim of Arab unity, that he sometimes quarreled with Nasser himself when the Egyptian leader adjusted his own policies. But Habash continued to function as one of Nasser’s agents of subversion. His leftist tendency became more extreme. He began to think of himself as a “Marxist-Leninist”, but scorned the ineffectual Communist parties of the Middle east, and favored China over the Soviet Union. He no longer saw the issue of Palestine as part of a merely Arab revolution, but both as necessary to world revolution. (By Marxist prophecy, world revolution is inevitable, yet has to be fought for.) The arch-enemy was “imperialism” of which “the Zionist entity” was only one aggressive spearhead. The defeat of the Arab armies by Israel yet again in the 1967 Six Day War persuaded Habash that the immediate and primary goal must be the “liberation of Palestine”. Although only a means to an end, it was the first step.

And so Habash, along with a number of others in the ANM founded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on December 7, 1967. It was composed of three small groups: The Heroes of the Return, the Youth Revenge (branches of the ANM), and an already active group called the Palestine Liberation Front, led by a Syrian army officer named Ahmad Jibril.

Jibril had no personal connection to Palestine, but had formed his PLF with some twenty other Syrian army officers. He had personal contacts with the KGB, and the Communist regimes of East Germany and Bulgaria. His terrorist organization had carried out more than ninety raids on Israel between 1965 and the Six Day War.

With the coming together of Jibril, the professional soldier backed by the Communist bloc and Syria, and Habash, the experienced underground leader  with wide influence throughout the Arab National Movement, the PFLP became a significant fedayeen organization. Habash retained Nasser’s patronage, and PFLP recruits were trained in Egypt.

But where there is ideology, there shall be schism.

The PFLP soon split. The break came where it might be expected in an organization which attempted to make Syrian interests adhere to Egyptian interests. Habash and Jibril had different loyalties  and they quarreled. Habash and his friends in the ANM criticized Syria for not permitting fedayeen to cross into Israel from Syrian oil. The Syrians arrested and imprisoned him early in 1968. Finding himself in sole command of the PFLP, Jibril tried to force the PFLP to break with the ANM. But the Heroes of the Return and the Youth of Revenge would not betray their origins. So in October 1968 Jibril expelled both factions from the PFLP.

Habash was snatched by some of his followers while he was being transferred from one prison to another, and smuggled out of Syria into Jordan. Once they had him back, the two small groups expelled by Jibril declared that they were the PFLP and it was Jibril’s group that was expelled. Jibril formed a new organization called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC).

Another split away from Habash’s PFLP occurred when one of his comrades, a  Jordanian Bedouin Christian, Nayef Hawatmeh, who had joined the ANM while he was a student at the Arab University of Beirut. Sentenced to death for pro-Nasserite subversive activities in Jordan in 1957, he had escaped to Baghdad, where he led the Iraqi branch of the ANM. There he took part in an attempted coup d’etat in 1959, and was imprisoned until 1963 when the Ba’th Party overthrew the Qasim regime.  He changed his views from Nasserite to an extreme leftist revolutionary ideology. After working underground for  ANM in Yemen, he joined Habash in Jordan. But they too quarreled over ideological differences. With four comrades, Hawatmeh formed a group of his own called  the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP).

In 1968 all three groups – along with several others – joined the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which had been invented by Nasser and founded by the Arab League under his auspices in 1964.  From then on, although Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian nationalist leader of the terrorist organization Fatah, was elected chairman of it in 1969, the Marxist revolutionary groups dominated the PLO.

Habash’s second-in-command Wadi’ Haddad plotted a series of aircraft hijackings  on international flights between July 1968 and September 1970. On September 6, 1970, the PFLP hijacked four commercial planes. Two them, one American and one Swiss, were forced to land on a neglected airfield in Jordan, named Dawson’s Field.  There the crews and passengers were held hostage in the planes in the heat of the desert for four days and four nights. Another American airliner was flows to Cairo airport, where the crew and passengers were let out and the plane was blown up. The fourth was an Israeli airliner on its way to London. The Arab terrorist on board was an Israeli woman named Laila Khaled, helped by an American named Patrick Arguello. Their hijacking attempt failed. The Israeli guard on board killed Arguello and arrested Khaled.  Arguello had wounded one of the crew, and in an attempt to save the injured man, the captain flew the plane to London, England being nearer than Israel, where according to instructions he should have returned in such circumstances. The injured man died. And Laila Khaled was detained by the British police – but not for long.

On September 9, a British place on a home flight from Bahrain was hijacked and the pilot forced to fly to join the other two planes on Dawson’s Field. The PFLP demanded that three of their terrorists imprisoned in West Germany, three in Switzerland who had killed an Israeli pilot, and Laila Khaled should be released, or the planes would be blown up next morning with crews and passengers aboard them. The release of fedayeen from Israeli prisons was also demanded. The Israelis refused to bargain with the terrorists, but the British, West German, and Swiss governments complied –  thus providing complete proof that hijacking, terrorism and blackmail paid. It was a signal that started a decade of such crimes.

The crews and passengers were released (some retained by the PFLP and imprisoned in a refugee camp), and then the planes were blown up.

King Hussein’s patience was already overstrained with the presence of the fedayeen groups in his kingdom, their intention being to take over his country. The PFLP had twice attempted to assassinate him. For him the Dawson’s Field events were the last straw. Starting on September 17, his soldiers and airmen rained hell down on the organizations’ camps, bases and headquarters. Thousands of Palestinians were killed. Syria tried to intervene with a tank invasion, but was repelled. Ultimately all the Palestinian refugees who survived the onslaught were expelled from Jordan. They moved en masse to Lebanon. Arafat’s Fatah created a secret organization Black September – the group that murdered the Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972.

Bruce Bawer writes:

Described variously as a blend of “Palestinian nationalism with Marxist ideology” and as “a Palestinian nationalist organization with different ideological outlooks at different times (from Arab nationalist, to Maoist, to Leninist)”, [the PFLP] has called for Israel’s destruction and international communist revolution.

Considered more radical than Fatah, it has, ever since its founding, routinely targeted civilians without remorse. During its early days, it was on friendly terms with Germany’s Red Army Faction (the Baader-Meinhof Gang) and received funding from the USSR and China.

The leaders of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang sought training as urban guerrillas in a PFLP camp in Jordan in early 1970. But the scheme was not a success. The Germans and the Arabs could not get along with each other. Each side accused the other of being cold and arrogant. Andreas Baader refused to undergo the commando training offered, through mud and under barbed wire, because he said such skills were unnecessary to an urban guerrilla. None of the men in the German group were able to train with the Arabs because there was too much antagonism between them. But the women did learn something. They were taught to handle pistols, particularly Firebirds,  and Ulrike Meinhof declared that learning how to lift weights and fall out of a fast-moving car was much more fun than sitting at a typewriter. The Arab  terrorists, who were training  may women despite the Mohammedan attitude toward women generally, found the Western women too domineering and less able to stand up to the training exercises than their own, and they liked neither Ulrike Meinhof nor Gudrun Ensslin. Baader, Meinhof, and their fellow factioneers were eventually asked by their hosts to leave, and they returned to Germany.

But Ulrike Meinhof was not done with Jordan. She planned to send her seven-year-old twin daughters, Bettina and Regine, to live in a refugee camp there and be trained along with Palestinian children to become “kamikaze” guerrilla fighters against Israel – possibly suicide bombers. (They were intercepted on their way and rescued by the writer Stefan Aust, who found them on an Italian beach, and returned them to Germany and the care of their father.)

The PFLP camp in Jordan to which the children were to have been consigned was bombed to rubble by King Hussein’s air force in one of his punitive raids.

Bruce Bawer continues:

In recent years the PFLP has been chummy with Iran. Half a century ago, the PFLP specialized in hijacking planes — it was the first Palestinian group to do so, and the first successfully to commandeer an El Al plane. That act, in 1968, is widely considered to mark the beginning of the modern era of international Islamic terrorism. …

Then came the hijackings to Dawson’s Field, after which –

 In 1972, a PFLP member took part in the Lod Airport Massacre, in which 28 people were murdered at what is now called Ben Gurion International Airport. In October 2001, it assassinated Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in retaliation for Israel’s killing of its top leader at the time, Abu Ali Mustafa (after whom the group’s militant wing is now named).

During the next few years, the PFLP focused on suicide bombings in Israel; more recently, it has kept busy firing rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

In November 2014, two PFLP associates murdered six people in a synagogue massacre in Jerusalem. On June 16 of this year, it collaborated with Hamas on a fatal attack in East Jerusalem; on July 14, it murdered two Israeli police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City and bragged that its “heroic operation” had successfully broken through “the security cordon imposed by the Israeli occupation forces on the city of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, breaking the arrogance of the Zionist security which sees in the city and in Al-Aqsa an impenetrable fortress”.

Perhaps the PFLP’s most famous operative is Carlos the Jackal, the legendary Venezuelan terrorist, currently serving a life sentence in France. Another high-profile member is Leila Khaled, who has been called “the first woman hijacker in history” and who has been allowed in recent years to enter many Western countries, including Germany, Sweden, Austria, and South Africa, to deliver speeches, meet with fellow communists, and confer with supporters of movements that try to destroy Israel economically.

If it seems exceedingly inappropriate for these countries’ governments to afford Khaled such treatment, consider that the UN, the EU, and a number of European countries, including Germany, France, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, have funded non-governmental organizations with links to PFLP – among them Addameer, Al-Haq, the Alternative Information Center, the Health Work Committee, Stop the Wall, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. At least one of the groups in question, according to NGO Monitor, was founded and is run by the PFLP; others have convicted terrorists on their payrolls and/or have abetted PFLP and its members in one way or another. There has, however, been remarkably little media attention paid to the fact that at least some of taxpayer money donated by these Western countries has found its way into the PFLP’s coffers, and more than $300 million annually to the salaries of terrorists.

But of all the actions taken by Western governments and international organizations that have benefited the PFLP, none has come as close to legitimizing it as Germany’s decision to let it field candidates in this month’s elections. “For observers of terrorism in Germany,” wrote Benjamin Weinthal in the Jerusalem Post, “it is unclear why the ministry is reluctant to outlaw the Palestinian organization.” After all, it is not as if the Federal Republic of Germany has no power to ban parties; it outlawed the Volkssozialistische Bewegung Deutschlands/Partei der Arbeit (People’s Socialist Movement of Germany) in 1982 and the Freiheitliche Deutsche Arbeiter Partei (Free German Workers Party) in 1995.

Nor are today’s German authorities shy about silencing individuals for holding views they consider inappropriate.

But they are all individuals who dare speak against Arab and Islamic terrorism:

Gatestone Institute’s Soeren Kern noted in 2012 that German authorities were “monitoring… websites that are critical of Muslim immigration” and were prepared to shut them down. In 2014, Bavarian officials sought to gag critics of a new mega-mosque; in January of last year, the Washington Post reported that Germany had “reached a deal with Facebook, Google and Twitter to get tougher on offensive [read: anti-Islamic] content.” German police even raided the home of a critic of Muslim refugees.

A German court had given five months’ probation to a woman for her online comments “about an alleged rape of a German woman by an asylum seeker”. In June 2016, German police raidedthe homes of thirty-six additional people guilty of “hate posting” online; in July, they raidedabout sixty more homes.

It is hard not to see this as a strange, ironic, and tragic historical moment.

In living memory, Germany was transformed from a fearsome totalitarian power, bent on conquest and genocide, into a cornerstone of liberal democracy. Now, even more than many of its similarly misguided European neighbors, it is plainly headed in a direction that should give pause to every lover of Western freedom: even as it is increasingly cracking down on criticism of Islam, it appears prepared to give a genuine Islamic terrorist group the opportunity to win seats in its national legislature.

 

Jillian Becker    September 9, 2017

 

Note: I have quoted the history of the PFLP, largely verbatim, from my book, The PLO: The Rise and Fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization ((St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1984). And the description of the sojourn of leading members of the Baader-Meinhof gang at a PFLP training camp in Jordan comes from my book: Hitler’s Children: the Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang (latest edition available as an ebook published by Endeavour Press in English and in German translation).

A turning point for Europe? 8

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.

Tyranny’s wife 1

The EU is a much prettier version of tyranny than rough Russia.

One might say it is the feminine version. It dresses nicely. It has its hair styled. It paints its nails. It smiles. It thinks it is alluring. It spends more than it has.

It is easy to understand why half the Ukrainians want to live with it. With her. Rather than with unshaven, violent, shabby, ill-mannered Daddy Russia.

Her corruption is prettily packaged.  Her despotism has a gentle touch. It really is more pleasant to live with her than with him.

But it would be better for the Ukrainians if they just took off on their own.

Bruce Bawer offers that very advice. He writes at Front Page:

It’s in Europe, and it’s huge – after Russia and the top five EU members, it has Europe’s largest population, and twice as many inhabitants as all the Scandiavian countries put together – but Ukraine isn’t a nation we often think of in the West, except when, as in recent days, it’s in the midst of a crisis. It has spent most of its history being conquered and brutalized by its more powerful neighbors, and in the last century underwent one savage chapter after another: 1.5 million people died in the civil war that ended with its absorption into the USSR; millions more died in Stalin’s deliberately engineered famine in 1932-33; during World War II, Hitler slaughtered an additional three million in what was intended to be the first stage of a program of exterminating two-thirds of the country’s population and enslaving the rest.

And, it should be added, its own historical record of brutal persecution and oppression is fully equal to any of its neighbors’. (See here and here and here.)

Today, unsurprisingly, Ukraine is a basket case of a country, riddled with corruption and living in the shadows of its historic horrors. It’s also a linguistically and philosophically divided land, torn between a western chunk whose people speak Ukrainian and identify with Europe and an eastern chunk whose people speak Russian and still feel an attachment to their massive neighbor to the east.

Viktor Yahukovych, the corrupt, autocratic president who disappeared last weekend in the face of mounting public unrest, is a Russiophile whose fatal error was his decision to strengthen bonds with Moscow (which coveted Ukraine as a key ally in a new Eurasian Union) and to turn down a free-trade agreement with the EU; most of the rioters who sent him packing are Europe-oriented types, the majority of whom are eager to see Ukraine become a Western-style democracy free of Putin’s influence, but some of whom, it should be noted, are neo-Nazis who look westward to Germany for the least attractive of reasons.

Most of the Ukrainians who favor European ties also want to see their country join the EU – which, in their eyes, as one Swedish newspaper put it the other day, is “above all…a symbol of a society free of corruption”.  Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister who was sprung from prison on Saturday after Yahukovych took it on the lam – and whose own years in office (ending in 2010) were far from corruption-free – told the Kiev crowds shortly after her release that she’s “sure that Ukraine will be a member of the European Union in the near future and this will change everything”.

Change everything! What is it that makes presumably liberty-loving Eastern European politicians talk about the EU as if it were a magic freedom elixir, a miracle cure for former victims of tyranny?

I suppose part of the explanation is that these politicians travel to the great cities of Western Europe and take in the relative freedom, the relative prosperity, and the relative lack of corruption and thuggery, and assume that all this has something to do with the EU. And part of it, naturally, is the ceaseless stream of pro-EU propaganda poured out by the Western European media and, not least, by the Western European politicians whom the likes of Tymoshenko consort with when they visit the West.

Yet how odd that the superstate’s economic woes haven’t put a dent in the magic for people like Tymoshenko. How odd that even the merest glimpse of the way things work in Brussels – where corruption is, needless to say, very much alive and well, even though it doubtless falls far short of Ukrainian levels – doesn’t give them pause. And how odd that when they witness the arrogance that’s characteristic of virtually all Brussels bigwigs – their habit of responding to any reasonable criticism of the EU not with cogent arguments but with vicious ad hominem attacks – they don’t immediately recognize that they’re observing tyrants in the making, the sort of folks that you’d think they’d had more than enough of over the centuries, thank you very much.

Take European Council president Herman van Rompuy, that colorless, Politburo-style mediocrity, who in a 2011 speech blithely ignored the essentially undemocratic nature of the EU, describing it – outrageously – as “the fatherland, or the motherland of democracy”.

Or take European Commission president José Manuel Durrão Barroso, who started his political career as a Maoist, and who in 2012 argued that the EU’s democracy deficit isn’t a bug but a feature: “Governments are not always right. If governments were always right we would not have the situation that we have today. Decisions taken by the most democratic institutions in the world are very often wrong.”

What he says is not untrue (even democratically-elected governments are almost always wrong), but he is making an argument for despotism.

Or take halfwit EU Foreign Affairs honcho Catherine Ashton, whose 2011 Guardian article lecturing Hosni Mubarak on the need for democracy in Egypt was widely (and rightly) ridiculed as the work of someone who, as Brendan O’Neill neatly put it in the Telegraph,

… has never once bothered the ballot box, never once ventured into the rowdy arena of public opinion to win the masses’ backing, and who was elevated to her current position as the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs through backroom wheeling and dealing.

Noting Ashton’s enthusiasm, in her Guardian piece, for what she called “deep democracy”,  O’Neill explained that “she doesn’t mean deep as in profound – she means bureaucracy, the grey and unaccountable sphere that she haunts, the removed realm of experts and unelected high representatives” – a phenomenon Ashton contrasted (favorably, of course) with mere “surface democracy”, the undesirable, old-fashioned sort of system in which elected officials actually seek (horrors!) to honor their constituents’ wishes.

Even a cursory look at the careers and pronouncements of these unelected demigods, these self-regarding technocratic hacks, is to recognize them as people who itch to rule an empire and who are, quite simply, outraged at anyone who dares to stand in their way for a moment. Given the transparency of their lust for monolithic power – a power, moreover, utterly liberated from any notion whatsoever of responsibility to an electorate – it’s baffling that so many observers can actually take the EU seriously as a formula for European peace rather than for European autocracy.

What Europe has in Barroso, Ashton, & co., after all, is a pack of men and women who have done their level best to impoverish real political debate, to blunt its impact, and to make it seem obsolescent, counterproductive, and in every way undesirable.

Former Czech president and staunch EU critic Václav Klaus asked in his 2011 book Europe: The Shattering of Illusions:

Do we have real politics in Europe today – the political conflict of opinions – or have real politics been in fact eliminated by reducing the weight and importance of the nation states and by the self-confessed apolitical ways of Brussels?

Which is another way of saying that Brussels isn’t a city of politicians who have different political philosophies and who come together to debate ideas and hammer out compromises; it’s a city of technocrats who share an ideology and who work together as a team to translate that ideology into policy – never mind what the rabble think. (Or, as Klaus put it even more bluntly: “the European Union is no longer the symbol of democracy it pretends to be.”)

Klaus has coined the term “Europeism”. It’s a useful word, because it places the unreflecting, reality-defying enthusiasm for Europe in the category it belongs to, along with other, earlier European-isms. Among much else, Europeism views the free market as uncivilized and anarchic, places collective rights above individual rights, and strives, as Klaus excellently puts it, “for a homogenized, ‘decaffeinated’ world (with no flavour, aroma, and smell)”.

Europeists, he writes,

… do not believe in spontaneous, unregulated and uncontrolled human activity. They trust the chosen ones (not the elected ones), they trust themselves or those who are chosen by themselves. They believe in a vertically structured and hierarchized human society  …  They want to mastermind, plan, regulate, administer the others, because some (they themselves) do know and others do not. They do not want to rely on spontaneity of human behavior and on the outcomes resulting from this spontaneity because they think that rationalistic human design is always better than an unplanned result of interactions between free citizens, constructed and commanded by nobody. Even though we thought that after the collapse of communism all this was a matter of the past, it is not so. It is around us again. Europeism is a new utopism and, I add, it is an extremely naive and romantic utopism.

Above all, writes Klaus, Europeism “is based on the idea that states, more precisely the nation states, represent the Evil – because they were once the cause of wars among other things – while the supranational, continental and global entities represent the Good, because they – according to eurocrats – eliminate all forms of nationalist bickering once and for all”. This understanding of things, he adds, “is obviously childish, yet it is generally accepted in Europe”. Yes, it’s accepted because millions of today’s Europeans have been brainwashed into thinking that national feeling – patriotism – was the root of all of the worst things that happened to the continent in the twentieth century. No, ideology was the root – ideology in the form of Nazism, fascism, and Communism. And Europeism – which, by the way, has multiculturalism and fanatical environmentalism built into it – is the twenty-first-century heir of those wretched systems of thought.

Which brings us back to the latest developments in Ukraine. Tymoshenko’s speech on Saturday night was followed on Sunday by the news that the EU – notwithstanding its own massive financial difficulties – is now ready to hand over bushels of cash to the newly Europe-friendly government in Kiev. …

Note to Ukrainians: accepting the EU’s money is one thing. Go for it. But why this longing, on the part of Tymoshenko or anyone else in your country, to board the Superstate Express? Set aside, if you wish, the economic downside of the whole project, the looming disaster that is the eurozone, and just ask yourselves this: after spending most of your history taking orders from far-off imperial capitals, most of the twentieth century living under the nightmare of Communism, and most of the greater part of the generation that followed under the gravitational pull of post-Soviet Kremlin despotism, why be so desperate to subordinate yourselves to yet another set of haughty, high-handed foreign rulers? Why slip away from being under one thumb only to voluntarily place yourself under another?

Ukraine, here’s one simple piece of unsolicited advice: vote for sovereignty. Vote for freedom. Take the money and run.

Stay out of the EU.

Swedish suicide by political correctness 5

The liberal left likes to hold Sweden up as a model socialist state, proving that socialism can work.

They could not be more wrong.

Sweden is a country wrecked by political correctness and Muslim immigration, and made so wretched by its own folly that it’s committing national suicide.

This is from Front Page, by Bruce Bawer:

Sweden is self-destructing, and more and more people are writing about it – but, with very few exceptions, still not in the mainstream Swedish media, where denial continues to reign supreme. Indeed, even as concerned observers abroad (especially in neighboring Denmark and Norway, where the elites still look to their larger neighbor as a multicultural role model while many, if not most, ordinary householders view it as a cautionary example) are sounding the alarm about the fallout of Swedish immigration policies, Sweden’s own mainstream media – and the rest of its cultural establishment – are laboring overtime to silence the truth-tellers and keep the rabble from openly questioning the wisdom of their betters. …

One rare recent exception to the Swedish media’s see-no-evil approach to immigration and its consequences was a fascinating map, published last month in the newspaper Sydsvenskan, showing the relative levels of danger in the various neighborhoods of Malmö, the city that is regarded by many cogent observers as the ninth circle of the Scandinavian inferno.

Meanwhile, as I say, the admonitory essays keep coming. One example: “Sweden’s Race to the Bottom,” a bracingly frank piece that appeared on December 4 on the website of Jyllands-Posten, Denmark’s biggest newspaper. The author, Morten Uhrskov Jensen, didn’t mince words. His opening sentence: “Sweden has chosen to break down.” Jensen went on to outline the steady slide in the quality of education in Swedish primary schools over the last decade or so, as detailed in a recent PISA study, and to link that decline to what Jensen bluntly called the country’s “insane immigration policy.” Sweden, warned Jensen, “will have to pay a very high price for its experiment with permitting excessive immigration from dysfunctional states.” He placed special blame on the media

Five days later, Jyllands-Posten offered another grim report, this one entitled “A Land of Ghosts and Shadows.” In it, Danish author Mikael Javling recounted the repercussions of a recent advertisement in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. The ad was for a book – its title might best be translated as The Immigration Cover-Up – that quietly but devastatingly lays bare the suicidal folly of Sweden’s immigration regime. It’s a remarkably comprehensive work, providing an informative overview of such topics as asylum smuggling, immigration and crime, sharia law, the costs of immigration, censorship of Islam critics, the wielding of the word “racism” as a weapon, the treachery of such pro-immigration authors as Stefan Jonsson and Mattias Gardell, and feminist fecklesness in the face of Muslim patriarchy. Privately printed by the authors, Karl-Olav Arnstberg (an ethnologist) and Gunnar Sandelin (a former reporter for Swedish television), after they failed to secure a publisher, the book, Javling wrote, can justifiably be described as a piece of “underground literature” which, like Solzhenitsyn in the USSR, is being read “only behind closed curtains.”

The Dagens Nyheter ad for The Immigration Cover-Up was a rare exception to the Swedish media’s systematic exclusion of alternate views. According to Javling, the newspaper’s editors put Arnstberg and Sandelin through several rewrites, forcing them to tone down their language and make the ad as innocuous as possible, before they finally agreed to print the thing. Nonetheless, anodyne though it was, it thoroughly enraged the crème de la crème of the Swedish left, who gathered in Stockholm to protest what one of them denounced, in a fiery speech, as “racist propaganda” and to demand that the editors of Dagens Nyheter make a public show of contrition. (All this in response to a nearly 400-page scholarly tome that – crammed with statistics and footnotes – is every bit as dry and dispassionate as the left’s reaction was hot-headed and hysterical.) Jalving didn’t hide his disgust: calling the PC profs, pols, and pressmen at the demo “spoiled little children in suits,” he contrasted them with the majority of Swedes, whom he characterized as “seasoned and lucid Vikings” who’ve “had enough of the elites’ lies and careerism.” I hope he’s right, but I wonder how long these Vikings plan to wait before actually doing anything to try to pull their country back from the precipice.

The day after Jalving’s piece appeared, Expressen, the Swedish daily, ran a story announcing that its editors had hooked up with a Swedish research group, imaginatively named Researchgruppen, to perform a serious, in-depth investigation. Of what? Muslim terrorist cells? Of course not. In good Swedish-media fashion, the goal of Expressen‘s probe was to unearth and expose the names of the readers of three alternative online news sources, Avpixlat, Fria Tider, and Exponerat. I call these sites “alternative” because they run the sorts of stories – about things like, oh, Muslim terrorist cells – that mainstream Swedish media won’t touch. But Expressen doesn’t call them “alternative.” It calls them “hate sites.” (I’ve seen hate sites, and though I haven’t done a thorough study of these three sites, the material I’ve read on them from time to time is no more hateful than the typical article at Front Page or PJ Media.) Anyway, Researchgruppen managed to figure out the e-mail addresses of no fewer than 6200 people who had left “hateful comments” at the three “hate sites” – and then managed to figure out whom those addresses belonged to and proceeded to gather “personal data” on them, which, Expressen promised, would be served up in future articles.

Among the individuals exposed by Expressen as a participant in the discussions on these three sites was Anders Dahlberg, a member of both the National Guard and the Sweden Democrat Party. He lives in the southern town of Skåne and is currently running for a local political office. Researchgruppen identified him as the author of a number of anonymous comments at the Avpixlat site. The one Expressen singled out for opprobrium was his suggestion that it might be impossible to end Sweden’s multicultural society without the use of force, and that ethnic Swedes might want to arm themselves in preparation for that eventuality. Members of the Swedish elite rushed to express their revulsion at this contemptible sentiment – none of them, of course, pausing to ask whether Dahlberg’s statement is, in fact, more or less contemptible than the roles they themselves have played in the ongoing erasure of the nation that he’s plainly determined to save.

Then, this past Tuesday evening, somebody threw a bomb into the mail slot of Dahlberg’s home. The explosion caused the front door to fly off its hinges and across the living room. Although Dahlberg, his wife, and their children were all home at the time, nobody was hurt. The news of the attack was followed hard upon by a report that Dahlberg had been stripped of his position in the military. “What he has written is not consistent with the values of the Ministry of Defense,” said an armed forces spokesman.

So it goes. On Thursday evening, in reaction to a clash in Stockholm between neo-Nazis and “anti-racists,” thousands of citizens of Uppsala, Gothenberg, and Malmö took to the streets in yet another iteration of that favorite Scandinavian pastime, the torchlight procession against racism. …

Stockholm anti-racists plan a Sunday demo. Perusing images of the Thursday evening processions, which showed the pious multicultural multitudes flaunting yet again their proud refusal to test their common ideology against reality, I couldn’t help pondering the melancholy question: are they really unaware that they’re marching their country into oblivion, or are they consciously embracing extinction in the belief that even self-slaughter is preferable to being called a racist?

Islam is the enemy 26

This is from Bruce Bawer’s column at Front Page on 9/11/2013, the twelfth anniversary of the Muslim terrorist attacks on America that killed close on 3,000 people. The writer deplores the lies that have been officially disseminated about the name and nature of the enemy, which was and is Islam with its jihadist ideology. He expresses the indignation that too few others have expressed.

 … 9/11 was a moment of utter moral clarity that has been succeeded by twelve years of moral chaos. Twelve years of duplicity, flim-flam, double-dealing, humbug. Twelve years of timorousness, incompetence, impotence.

Thousands of lives have been sacrificed in vain; inconceivable amounts of money have gone to waste. America’s financial security and its international standing have been imperiled. And all for one simple reason: because, from the very beginning, the powers that be, in both political parties, chose to lie about the nature of the enemy we were up against.

In the years before World War II began, Winston Churchill spoke up again and again in the House of Commons about the danger that the Nazis represented. His colleagues responded to his eloquent, passionate warnings with ridicule. He was considered a bore, a nag. Some of his fellow Tories viewed his preoccupation with Hitler as an embarrassment. But he didn’t waver. He knew whereof he spoke, he saw what was coming, and he did what he saw as his duty. …

In his TV address immediately after the attacks …

Bush asked everyone to join him in a moment of silence. But it was not a time to bow one’s head in silence. It was a time to be enraged, to speak the facts firmly and clearly, and to plan appropriate retributive action. It was time for a moment of truth.

But nobody wanted to speak the truth.

Three days later, Bush was at the National Cathedral for an “interfaith service of prayer and remembrance” that had been jointly planned by the Cathedral and the White House. An account of the service at the Cathedral’s website recalls that the participants … “stood side by side — Jew, Muslim, Christian”. … Muzammil H. Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) said a prayer. “Today,” pronounced Bush, in his comments at the service, “we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called the warm courage of national unity. This is a unity of every faith, and every background.”

And there, in that service, just a few days after 9/11, you can see it all – the seeds of everything that has been so terribly, tragically wrong about the last twelve years. I remember watching Siddiqi pray on TV that day and thinking: “OK, who is this guy?” The Investigative Project on Terrorism has since answered that question at length. Siddiqi’s group, the ISNA, is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and his mosque hosted a lecture by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the man behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In a 2000 speech, Siddiqi said that “America has to learn that because if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come.” In 1996, he told followers that “Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.” He’s also praised jihad as “the path” to “honor” and expressed support for the death penalty for gays in Muslim countries.

And yet there he was, in that pulpit, at that service. His presence there was an obscenity; to invite his participation was an act of either utter ignorance or sheer dhimmitude. But it was only the first of many such acts. It was the template for the post-9/11 era, the new American order, during which we were told by everyone, from our president on down, that the 9/11 terrorists had hijacked not only airplanes but their religion as well, which, of course, was a religion of peace. That, we were told, was what Islam means: peace. Those of us who knew better and who dared to say so were vilified as bigots, even as the likes of Saddaqi were celebrated as noble bridge builders. 

Before too long, the all-important goal of seeking out and destroying the people who had carried out the 9/11 attacks – and sending a lesson to any others who might be tempted to mount similar operations – morphed into a dubious effort to democratize the Muslim world. For a time, Osama bin Laden himself got lost in the shuffle. In the immediate wake of 9/11, Bush committed the U.S. to capturing him “dead or alive”; just a year later he said offhandedly that getting bin Laden really wasn’t a priority.

Meanwhile much of the political left, driven not by a reasoned critique of the administration’s arguments for war but by a fierce partisan animus that in some cases seemed to border on psychosis, made fools like Cindy Sheehan their spokespeople and equated Bush with Saddam Hussein himself.

The brief interlude of national unity on 9/11 soon became a distant memory. When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad spoke at Columbia University in 2007, the audience of PC students and professors cheered him, a bloodthirsty tyrant – partly to prove that they weren’t Islamophobes, and partly because he was the enemy of their enemy, Bush, and thus, presumably, their friend. Many antiwar groups were little more than fronts for jihadist organizations.

In the name of wartime security, a massive national surveillance apparatus was put in place, and airports were staffed with TSA screeners whose solemn task it was to make sure we weren’t carrying fingernail clippers or overly large tubes of toothpaste. Yet while these clowns were busy patting down wheelchair-bound octogenarians from rural Vermont and babies in diapers, Army officials were issuing commendations to a major at Fort Hood who’d made clear his jihadist sympathies and who, in 2009, ended up slaughtering 13 people in a clear-cut act of Islamic terrorism. Major Hasan explicitly affirmed that he was a jihadist – but his superiors, the media, politicians, and ultimately the judge and lawyers at his trial refused to treat him as one, insisting instead on characterizing his massacre as workplace violence. …

The antiwar movement was ardent, vehement, cutthroat – and evaporated almost instantly the moment Obama succeeded Bush.

The level of disinformation about Islam intensified. Bush, while seeking to strengthen America’s ties to its allies, had massaged the Muslim world with insipid rhetoric about our shared heritage as “people of faith”.

Very bad. But far worse was to come:

Obama, while kicking our allies in the teeth, spun outrageous fantasies about Islam, transforming, in his famous 2009 Cairo speech, fourteen centuries of primitive brutality into a glittering parade of moral, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual triumphs.

From that moment on, everyone should have known that the newly-elected president of the United States was emotionally and consciously on the side of Islam. If the American Left knew it as a body and didn’t care, or positively approved, it covered itself in lasting ignominy, whether it understands that to be the case or not.

As the years after 9/11 went by, other major acts of jihadist terrorism occurred around the world. Each time, the mantra from on high was the same: these crimes had nothing to do with Islam. Government officials, military leaders, authors, filmmakers, journalists, teachers, professors – all played their part in obscuring the truth about Islam. …

Most disgraceful of all is the fact that even American servicemen and women were lied to. Many of those who were sent to Afghanistan and Iraq thought they were going there to protect good Muslims, who embodied the innate peacefulness of Islam, from bad Muslims, who had betrayed the faith of their fathers by claiming to kill in Allah’s name. These soldiers thought they were going to bring freedom, equality, and secular government to people who truly wanted those things and who would be grateful for them. These soldiers went into harm’s way unaware of the vast gulf between their own Western mental world and the Islamic mental world …  That was the greatest crime of all: keeping the soldiers on the ground in the dark about the true nature of the enemy.

Too many Americans today, alas, … are driven by a concept of morality that isn’t about making tough decisions in the name of what’s right but is, rather, about doing whatever makes them feel non-racist, non-judgmental, non-prejudiced. It’s all about image – the way they appear to others, and the way they appear to themselves.

9/11 was a day of heroes and of villains, of stark contrasts between good and evil. Yet how quickly the politicians, journalists, and others in positions of power managed to make a muddle of it all. Instead of witnessing a democratization of the Middle East, we experienced a steady Islamization of the West. Instead of seeing freedom bloom in the Islamic world, we saw a rise in Western censorship and self-censorship on the subject of Islam. Some high-profile figures in the West have been put on trial for speaking the truth about Islam, while others have made sophisticated arguments for limiting freedom of expression and for introducing sharia law into Western courts. …

The last twelve years have underscored the vital importance of real leadership. It’s impossible not to compare the leaders we have had during these years to Churchill – and impossible not to dream of what might have been. Even now, Americans in positions of authority are still telling lies about Islam. As a result, millions of Americans still don’t understand the meaning of what happened that day. For many of them, a mere ten-minute lesson in the basics would make a huge difference. But they’ve never had that ten-minute lesson. Instead they’ve been inundated with untold thousands of hours of disinformation. It doesn’t just hamper their understanding of 9/11; it renders them incapable of fully comprehending, and intelligently addressing, every new challenge that comes along in the Muslim world, such as the question of whether the U.S. should bomb Syrian government installations – thus effectively allying itself with some of the very people who attacked us on 9/11 – or should, rather, focus its energies on trying to protect what is left of the free West from the ever-spreading toxin of Islamic rage.

The Arabization of Sweden and the end of days 4

“Need a country? Take ours. It’s okay, we’re dying anyway.”

Who can help laughing? Though of course it’s really very sad when a whole nation goes mad. Even if it’s the Swedes.

We quote from an hilarious – but true – article by that admirable writer on Scandinavian scandals, Bruce Bawer:

Another week, another jaw-dropping development in Sweden. A couple of weeks ago it was the cockamamie “hijab solidarity” campaign, in which non-Muslim women all over the country donned head coverings in tribute to a Muslim woman who claimed a man had yanked hers off. This week, the eyebrow-raising news is that Sweden is offering instant permanent residency to any and all Syrian refugees who apply. These newly minted residents, moreover, will be entitled to bring over their spouses and kids. The reasoning behind this new policy is that the situation in Syria is extremely dangerous right now and not likely to improve anytime soon. …

Before this new policy was announced, the number of Syrians seeking asylum in Sweden was over 1000 a month. But now? The sky’s the limit. Think about it: Syria’s population is 22.5 million, of which about 5000 are fleeing the country every day. More than two million Syrians have fled their country since the civil war began, and there’s no sign of that number abating. As for Sweden, its population is 9.5 million, of which about 1.5 million are foreign-born and about 2.5 million have foreign backgrounds. Earlier this year, Swedish Migration Minister Tobias Billström called current immigration levels “unsustainable” – only to be quickly shut down by Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag, who assured all and sundry that Sweden had no plans to tighten its immigration rules.

What Syrian wouldn’t take Sweden up on such an offer? It means not only a residency card but also an elaborate benefits package including free money, housing, health care, day care – you name it.

Before this week Sweden’s immigration policy was already suicidal; it’s hard not to see the new policy as an effort to turn slow-motion self-slaughter into something more like a leap off a cliff. The sheer numbers aside, how many of the newcomers will be members of Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and so on? …

It will not be long before civil war will break out between the Sunnis and Shias. Maybe the last of the Swedes will realize what they’ve done just before their nation becomes extinct as collateral damage. But will they care? Won’t they die with their hearts full of joy, and their eyes full of tears of gratification, as they watch those wonderful Syrians doing their thing as comfortably and confidently as if they were still at home?

When I read about the new policy, my first thought was that surely there must be somebody in Sweden who’s standing up and shouting: “Stop! Are we all crazy?” So I looked at the editorial pages of a few Swedish newspapers. Nope. The editors of Aftonbladet, for example, complained that Sweden hadn’t gone far enough, and lamented the fact that the rest of Europe wasn’t joining in. Noting that European countries have taken in about 40,000 Syrians, the editors complained that this wasn’t nearly sufficient. “We have built,” they complained, “a ‘Fortress Europe’.”

Yes, “Fortress Europe.” Pause for a moment to take that one in. Over the last couple of generations, Western Europe has welcomed immigrants from the Muslim world on a scale such as the world has never seen. The continent has been transformed in ways that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago. Yet in the view of Aftonbladet‘s editors – and, rest assured, of the Swedish establishment generally – Europe has behaved like a fortress. Summed up in these two words, these twin trochees – “Fortress Europe” – is the very madness of Sweden.

Aftonbladet‘s editors called on Sweden to pressure other EU countries to copy the new policy, and proposed that it make a more active effort to bring Syrians to its shores, namely by plucking them up at refugee camps in Syria and shipping them to Sweden from there. …

Their counterparts at Sydsvenskan concurred, calling on other EU countries to follow Sweden’s lead. Dagen‘s editors, calling the new policy an “excellent decision,” hoped it would set a good example for other countries and that “generosity” would continue to characterize Sweden’s approach to the refugee issue. And at Dagens Nyheter, columnist Eric Helmerson also gave the new policy a thumbs-up. “When your neighbors’ house is on fire,” he argued, “you open your door to them.” He, too, lamented the lack of “solidarity” (as he put it) that other EU members were exhibiting: “It’s scandalous that so many wealthy, peaceful countries are looking away from people in the most severe distress.” He singled out for special criticism certain Swedish municipalities that have hesitated to take in more refugees – partly because of the high cost of maintaining refugees, and partly because of the crime and other social problems that they bring with them. While acknowledging that such difficulties exist, Helmerson insisted that “it is deeply cynical to assume that the problems are insoluble and thus shirk responsibility and compassion.”

Ah, compassion. It ‘s what Socialism is supposed to be all about.

Columnist Ivar Arpi at Svenska Dagbladet joined in the applause for the new policy, calling it “irreproachable.” Striking an unexpected realistic note, however, he pointed out that Sweden’s municipalities just don’t have enough housing or the financial resources to take care of newcomers properly. Plus a fact, the Swedish job market is just plain terrible, with sky-high levels of unemployment, especially among the foreign-born.

How, then, does Sweden expect to pay to house and feed all these refugees? An article that appeared a couple of weeks ago provided an answer. The headline was blunt: “Malmö takes from the old and the sick and gives to immigrants.” The thrust of the report was that the city of Malmö, desperate to find a way to cover its ever-rising expenditures on immigrants (it spends $15 million a year on mother-tongue schooling alone), has proposed severe cuts in outlays for sick and elderly native Swedes.

What? Where’s compassion gone? We could swear it was here a moment ago!

Remember that we’re talking here about a country where the chief justification for high taxes is a generous welfare system that provides a safety net for the unemployed, the ill, and the elderly. Swedes are brought up to view themselves as partners in a covenant with the state: pay your way when you’re able to, and you’ll be taken care of when and if you aren’t. Yet in Malmö, thanks to the soaring costs associated with immigration, the local government can no longer keep its end of the deal.

Consequently, it has proposed that nursing-home fees be raised significantly; that free meals in nursing homes be phased out, forcing residents to cover their own food costs; that senior citizens who until now have been receiving free home care be forced to pay for it; that the elderly poor, who now receive discounts on various health-care services based on their income, be compelled to shell out the full price; and that old people who aren’t ambulatory, and thus can’t make it to a clinic, be charged extra for house calls. As for old people who simply don’t have the money to pay for food, shelter, or vital medical treatment, they’ll be forced to “abase themselves before municipal officials by asking to be exempt from the fees.”

Meanwhile, the Swedish government has ordered that illegal immigrants be given free medical and dental care.

Seen from abroad, it’s very clear where all this is leading. Why can’t the Swedes see it themselves?

In the religion of the  Norsemen, unlike most others, Evil was predicted to win the battle that ends the world.

The Norse Prophecies derive from the ancient myth of The Ragnarok which translates, from old Norse to English, roughly as “The Final Destiny of the Gods” or “Twilight of the Gods”. An important part of the Norse Mythological Canon, the Ragnarok describes an epic battle at the end of time or World cycle, between the Gods themselves and between men on the Earth. During the course of events there are a number of various natural disasters, earthquakes and sea surges over the dry land. Mountains topple, the air and the oceans are sprayed with poison, fire and flame ravage the land and then the World is submerged in water. At the end, the World Tree Yggdrasil is destroyed, the Gods Odin, Freya, Loki, Thor etc. are no more and all of humankind perishes also. So the World cycle ends.

The end begins?

Posted under Commentary, Syria by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 7, 2013

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Feminists submit to Muslim male dominance 8

In the country that the Left admires most, Sweden, the feminists admire the way Islam treats women. They admire it so much that they are emulating Muslim women and putting on hijabs. Soon it will be burkas. They are doing it voluntarily now, but before long they will be forced to wear the black tent of sexual slavery when Muslims are in the majority and sharia becomes the law of the land. Perhaps it’s just as well that they’re preparing themselves for the new regime.

The picture comes from Front Page, where Bruce Bawer writes:

Europe is awash in dhimmitude, but Sweden is a case unto itself. There’s something desperate and demented about the levels of dhimmitude on display in Ikea-land. In no other European country, moreover, is there so little pushback in the media. …

Sweden has the highest percentage of rapes in the Western world. And the problem is getting steadily worse. Given the progressive Swedish establishment’s fondness for earnest rhetoric about women’s rights, you might think this rape crisis would be a subject of deep concern in the nation’s media. But no – it’s a non-topic. It’s unmentionable. And for one reason: because everyone understands that the ever-increasing incidence of Swedish rapes is directly related to the ever-increasing number of Swedish Muslims. And in Sweden, you can’t talk critically about Islam. You just can’t – not publicly, anyway. When the subject is Islam, nothing is permitted other than the usual mindless multicultural mantras.

The Swedes are apparently a nation of dupes. A transparent ruse to make them feel guilty of Hijab-phobia worked so well it got all those liberated ladies tied up in head scarves in an eye-wink.

It started when a pregnant Muslim woman (one report put her age at 20; another identified her as a mother of three) claimed that she’d been attacked late Friday night. She was alone in a parking structure in the Stockholm suburb of Farsta, she said, when a man walked over to her, ripped off her hijab, and banged her head into a parked car, making her dizzy. He also growled something to the effect that people like her “don’t belong here”.

Now, if this actually happened, it’s repugnant. But there’s no evidence that it did happen – no eyewitnesses, no surveillance video – and it’s been suggested (although not, of course, in the Swedish media) that the woman’s story could be entirely bogus. In any case, it’s a man-bites-dog tale if there ever was one: Sweden is overrun with Muslim men who rape infidel women, not with infidels who pull headscarves off Muslim women.

Yet when the woman went public with her account, Swedish derangement syndrome kicked in – big time. On Sunday, Aftonbladet ran an op-ed signed by five persons: Bilan Osman, identified as an “anti-racist commentator”; Fatima Doubakil of the Muslim Human Rights Committee; Foujan Rouzbeh, an “asylum rights activist”; Nabila Abdul Fattah, “commentator”; and Nachla Libre, “poet.”

Yes, those are now Scandinavian names.

The five authors asserted that “the woman in Farsta isn’t the only one who has been attacked in this way.” Many Muslim women, they maintained, have been subjected to similar mistreatment by “white Swedish men…on buses, in stores, and at restaurants.” The authors painted a picture of a country filled with white people who “harass, degrade, intimidate, and abuse others in public places because of their religious attire.” And they argued that such offenses have become increasingly common because – and, yes, they actually wrote the following – “Islam and Muslims are described in the media and by political parties as a problem and a threat to Swedish democracy.”

Yes, Islam is a threat to Swedish democracy; but no, the Swedish media virtually never dare to admit this fact, or to say anything that might remotely hint at it. And the only political party that addresses this issue is the Swedish Democratic Party, whose members are not only routinely condemned in the media, in the harshest of terms, but have been repeatedly harassed, degraded, intimidated, and abused by the Swedish government itself.

The op-ed authors went on to demand – and that’s the word they used, “demand” – that Justice Minister Beatrice Ask “appoint a commission to investigate, map, and come up with specific action plans to combat the widespread hate crimes against Muslims.” They called on the government “to stop the march of fascism” (as represented, apparently, by that lone man in the parking structure who allegedly pulled off the woman’s headscarf). And they proclaimed what they called a “hijabupprop” – a hijab action. “We encourage all of our sisters in Sweden – religious and non-religious – to veil themselves on the morning of August 19 to show solidarity with all Muslim women who, all too often, suffer harassment and violence.”

They probably do. But not from Swedes.

The five authors tweeted their call to action on Twitter. The tweet was shared over 65,000 times. The idea was brilliant, providing politically correct Swedes with an excellent opportunity to posture. And it proved a magnificent success.

In “solidarity” with the purported victim, countless Swedish women – including a number of well-known actors, writers, journalists, artists, and politicians – wore headscarves on Monday. And took pictures of themselves doing so. Their photos flooded Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Swedish news media, notorious for the decorous silence they have long maintained about the country’s rape crisis, were all over this story. The newspapers were awash in stories about the hijab campaign and full of pictures of the famous Swedish women in Muslim headscarves. The hijab campaigners were interviewed repeatedly on TV and radio. One of them, Nabila Abdul Fattah, admitted that their goal was “to normalize the hijab”. …

[A] Muslim feminist Hanna Gadban was furious about the campaign, and tried to remind everyone that the hijab is a symbol of patriarchal oppression. But she was a voice crying in the wilderness. …

The zillions of photos of stupid, self-satisfied infidel women in veils symbolizing female subordination were ridiculous, deserving of mockery, of derisive laughter. But they were also scary. Seeing brainwashed people is always scary.

Linda, 18, victim of Muslim rape-wave in Sweden

See also our posts Raping for Allah, April 4, 2013, and Sweden (silently) submits to Islam, July 19, 2012.

Help! 4

Evil speaks, as so often, in the name of good. And as so often, in an op-ed in the New York Times.

Three Cheers for the Nanny State is by Sarah Conly, an assistant professor of philosophy at Bowdoin College who is also the author of a book titled Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism.

In her op-ed she asks:

Why has there been so much fuss about New York City’s attempt to impose a soda ban, or more precisely, a ban on large-size “sugary drinks”? After all, people can still get as much soda as they want. This isn’t Prohibition. It’s just that getting it would take slightly more effort. So, why is this such a big deal?

Which makes us ask: If it’s so trivial why do it at all?

And we know the right answer: In order to exercise power.

These would-be totalitarians start with small things so you’ll get used to the interference in your private life, get used to them imposing their will on you.

Conly says:

Americans, even those who generally support government intervention in our daily lives, have a reflexive response to being told what to do, and it’s not a positive one. It’s this common desire to be left alone that prompted the Mississippi Legislature earlier this month to pass a ban on bans — a law that forbids municipalities to place local restrictions on food or drink.

Mississippi did that? Bravo, Mississippi!

Conly says:

We have a vision of ourselves as free, rational beings who are totally capable of making all the decisions we need to in order to create a good life. Give us complete liberty, and, barring natural disasters, we’ll end up where we want to be. It’s a nice vision, one that makes us feel proud of ourselves. But it’s false. …

A lot of times we have a good idea of where we want to go, but a really terrible idea of how to get there. It’s well established by now that we often don’t think very clearly when it comes to choosing the best means to attain our ends. We make errors. This has been the object of an enormous amount of study over the past few decades, and what has been discovered is that we are all prone to identifiable and predictable miscalculations.

Oh yes. We know about those academic studies. There are millions of them gathering dust. Each study was conducted and written up to prove something –  and lo! managed to prove it.

But did any sane person on earth really need “an enormous amount of study” to “discover” that we often go wrong in trying to achieve something?

Conly says:

Research by psychologists and behavioral economists … identified a number of areas in which we fairly dependably fail. They call such a tendency a “cognitive bias,” and there are many of them — a lot of ways in which our own minds trip us up.

For example, we suffer from an optimism bias, that is we tend to think that however likely a bad thing is to happen to most people in our situation, it’s less likely to happen to us — not for any particular reason, but because we’re irrationally optimistic. Because of our “present bias,” when we need to take a small, easy step to bring about some future good, we fail to do it, not because we’ve decided it’s a bad idea, but because we procrastinate.

Wow! Who’d have thought that people hope for the best? Or that they put off doing things they don’t much want to do? Where would we be without these revelations from “psychologists and behavioral economists”? However did humanity make out before they came along?

We also suffer from a status quo bias, which makes us value what we’ve already got over the alternatives, just because we’ve already got it — which might, of course, make us react badly to new laws, even when they are really an improvement over what we’ve got. …

The crucial point is that in some situations it’s just difficult for us to take in the relevant information and choose accordingly. … [So] we need help.

That help must come, she tells us, from laws, though we’ll be cross about them just because they’re new.

No, we’ll be cross about them because the purpose of law should be to protect freedom, and a law against the sale of large sodas does not protect freedom; it limits it.

Conly is not concerned with freedom. She’s concerned – really truly deeply cares, she’d have you know  – whether the soda is good for you or not.

Is it always a mistake when someone does something imprudent, when, in this case, a person chooses to chug 32 ounces of soda? No. For some people, that’s the right choice. They don’t care that much about their health, or they won’t drink too many big sodas, or they just really love having a lot of soda at once.

But – Conly says  – just because you like it, and may not be harmed by it, or know when to stop indulging yourself with it, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a law against it, because most people need to be forbidden it by law for their own good. It’s the age-old excuse for tyranny.

She reasons:

Laws have to be sensitive to the needs of the majority. That doesn’t mean laws should trample the rights of the minority, but that public benefit is a legitimate concern, even when that may inconvenience some.

So do these laws mean that some people will be kept from doing what they really want to do? Probably — and yes, in many ways it hurts to be part of a society governed by laws, given that laws aren’t designed for each one of us individually. … Giving up a little liberty is something we agree to when we agree to live in a democratic society that is governed by laws.

We emphatically disagree. We contend that each person’s liberty should be limited by nothing but everyone else’s. That is the individualist’s view.

But Conly is a collectivist. She says:

What people fear is that this is just the beginning: today it’s soda, tomorrow it’s the guy standing behind you making you eat your broccoli, floss your teeth, and watch “PBS NewsHour” every day. What this ignores is that successful paternalistic laws are done on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis: if it’s too painful [to too many people], it’s not a good law.

You “do” a law. You experiment. If people are badly hurt by it, “it’s not a good law”. Which isn’t to say you repeal it.

Then comes her most fatuous assertion. Of what you should and should not be allowed to do, she says:

Making these analyses is something the government has the resources to do. 

What resources? A bevy of bureaucrats?

She says:

In the old days we used to blame people for acting imprudently, and say that since their bad choices were their own fault, they deserved to suffer the consequences. Now we see that these errors aren’t a function of bad character, but of our shared cognitive inheritance.

That is to say, human nature. But though she uses the word “our”, she and her fellow statists do not believe they are like the rest of us. They know that they know, as we cannot know, what our ends ought to be, and how best we can get there. And whether we like it or not, they’ll see that we do.

She says:

The proper reaction is not blame, but an impulse to help one another.

“Helping one another” is the nice lefty way of saying “interfering in other people’s lives”. “I know better than you what’s good for you”, is the fixed belief of Conly and her fellow busybodies. To which impertinence the right and time-honored retort is, “Mind your own business!”

Conly’s college, where she teaches the virtues of totalitarianism, is critically scrutinized by Bruce Bawer in an article at Front Page. He writes:

If you want to see ideological lockstep and rinse-and-repeat brainwashing in their very purest form, it’s best to look to the small, elite liberal-arts colleges – preferably those that are located out in the middle of nowhere or in adorable little college towns where the colleges themselves set the local tone.

Case in point: Bowdoin  founded in 1794 … located in Brunswick, Maine, has just under 1800 students …

All of whom  apparently have a very high opinion of themselves just for having got there. Bruce Bawer quotes (from a recent report) a student saying:

“Our student body represents some of the most intelligent youth of the world. Bowdoin’s worst student is by far and away much more astute than the vast majority of humans.”

Bruce Bawer goes on:

Students are encouraged to see the college itself as … a small-scale model of the better, more progressive world they should strive to help establish after they graduate. …

At Bowdoin, as at other such colleges … identity-studies programs constitute no less than 18 percent of the curriculum. … [And] there’s a proliferation of student clubs based on group identity. Long lost is the idea that it should be an objective, when bringing together kids from a wide variety of backgrounds to be educated, to transcend such categories; on the contrary, the idea is to produce young adults for whom class, race, and gender labels are the very pillars of self-knowledge. …

Women’s studies, black studies, gay studies, transgender studies …

Bowdoin is not concerned with the inculcation of knowledge in its students, but with –

The inculcation of “knowingness” … [These are] ignorant students who have been trained to be smug and self-satisfied, to think that they’ve already got all the answers and that they themselves are the solution to the world’s problems. Why, after all, should they be eager to learn? Academic ideology has already answered all the important questions. Besides, it’s been made clear to them that there’s nothing in particular they need to learn. All of life is an elective. Course content is irrelevant; what matters is that you approach every topic with a reflexive, unquestioning belief in social construction, “social justice,” and “global citizenship.”

They are our betters, who will govern us tomorrow – if we let them.

Two boys, a puppy, and the tragedy of Europe 3

First a story about a little English boy who was so tormented and terrified by Muslim school fellows that he committed suicide.

Next the story of a Norwegian boy and his puppy, told in an article titled Europe: A Continent in Flight by Bruce Bawer at Front Page:

Danish Christians and Jews are being bullied by Muslim thugs into checking out of their neighborhoods and moving to safer locales. French Jews are taking it on the lam from Paris to settle in marginally less dangerous parts of London. Londoners are leaving their increasingly dodgy city and, literally, heading for the hills. East Oslo is being drained of ethnic Norwegians. And all of them are running scared for one reason, and one reason only: they’re terrified of getting beaten up by primitive thugs with a primitive religion who, at these European taxpayers’ expense, have been imported from some of the most primitive parts of the world.

Years and years ago these cultural hooligans, these religious autocrats, these would-be enforcers of sharia, were welcomed to Europe by clueless, spineless political leaders, and – although the reality of “creeping jihad” has long since set in – they continue to be celebrated by most of those leaders … for purportedly enriching European culture. And all the while, as a result, European culture is quickly going down the tubes.

For a step-by-step account of just what those clueless spineless political leaders did to bring about the Muslim conquest of Europe by immigration, see our post Europe betrayed, February 11, 2010.

When you’re discussing such large-scale phenomena such as this one – hundreds of thousands of Muslims occupying this or that part of this or that city, hundreds of thousands of native Londoners relocating hither and thither in consequence – it can be hard to grasp it all, to reduce the big picture to a comprehensible, human scale. …  The other day the Norwegian newspaperAftonbladet reported on [a] European boy who found himself in the jihadist crosshairs and was forced to flee. …

On the evening of February 16, a boy – whose named has been withheld, whether because of his age, or to protect him from reprisals, or both – got on a bus in the town of Egersund in western Norway. He was headed back home to Stavanger, fifty or so miles away, and was carrying his puppy. Upon boarding the bus, he checked with the driver to make sure it was OK to take the dog onboard. The driver said yes: he had no problem with it. Unfortunately, three other passengers, whom Aftonbladet identifies as being “of foreign origin” (another source actually dares to use the word “Muslim”), did have a problem. One of the men walked up to the driver and expressed his strong objection to the presence of the pet; another approached the boy and informed him that if he did not get off the bus with his dog at once, they would beat him up.

What happened next is in dispute. According to the boy, the driver, afraid not to cave in to the men’s demands, pulled the bus over and ordered the boy and his dog off the bus. The driver, for his part, claims that he knew nothing of the tensions between the boy and the Muslims, and insists that the boy left the bus of his own accord. In any event, the undisputed fact is that the boy exited the bus at a spot on the highway that was smack dab in the middle of nowhere. The temperature was below freezing; the time, just before midnight. Fortunately he had a cell phone, and was able to phone a friend to pick him up. When she finally got there, some time later, she said, “he was cold and still and it was plain that the incident had had a powerful impact on him.” The national railway system, which operates the bus, has chosen to accept the driver’s account and will not investigate the boy’s complaint.

Whatever the specific details of the story, the narrative’s main point is clear – as is its larger import. The story of that boy and his dog, simply put, is the story of today’s Europe in miniature – the story of a continent whose natives are increasingly being tormented by Koran-wielding tyrants, and increasingly in flight. 

Muslims persecute Christians, both blame Jews 1

Christians are being severely persecuted in Islamic countries. The only country in the Middle East where they are completely safe from religious persecution is Israel, which is also the only country in the region where Muslims are protected in both law and practice from victimization by other Muslims. But Israel-haters – ie anti-Semites, including the Jewish ones – can and do enjoy transports of Schadenfreude as the Jews are blamed for the suffering of Christians and Muslims at the hands of Muslims.

This is an extract from an article by Bruce Bawer at Front Page:

Perusing these friends-of-Palestine websites, one discovers certain phenomena over and over again – among them a staggering naivete and sentimentality, a colossal ignorance of history (or a remarkable determination to block it out), and a reflexive, vicious hatred of Israel and, yes, Jews. On these sites, Palestine often seems less like a real place on the map, a place where real people live out their lives, than some perverse combination of a poverty-and-suffering theme park for idle, affluent Americans, a laboratory in which Peace Studies practitioners can carry out their experiments, and a destination for left-wing Christian pilgrims in search a virtue fix. On none of the websites I looked at was there so much as the slightest hint of awareness that more than a few Palestinians are in the grip of a self-destructive psychopathology that has been instilled in them by terrorist movements and on which they have brought up their children, almost surely guaranteeing that their people, however much “help” they may receive from all over the Western world, will not develop a normally functioning society or a productive economy in any of our lifetimes, but will continue to be fixated on murder and mayhem.

There’s one running theme in many of the accounts by the “friends of Palestine.” They’ve gone to the Holy Land to observe and get upset about Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians, and in one case after another, to judge by their own accounts, the only thing they actually find to get worked up about is the security procedures that Palestinians have to undergo when they cross from one side of the famous “wall” to the other. Overwrought accounts of what it is like to endure this purportedly insulting, arduous, and humiliating ritual are ubiquitous on these sites. They do not convince. Compared to any number of things that people are being put through in various parts of the world right now on a daily basis, the security procedures at the “wall” seem tame indeed. Virtually never, of course, do any of these websites even admit in passing that the reason for these procedures is the same reason why laborious security procedures have been instituted at international airports in countries around the world: in a word, jihad.

A final point. The websites of several of the Christian friends-of-Palestine organizations note the dramatic decline in the number of Christians in Palestine over the last couple of generations. A typical plaint: “Christians are the minority in this land where the faith was born*. Many Palestinian Christians are suffering and leaving the country.” The implication is always that Israel is at fault. At none of these sites is there any mention of the fact that the number of Christians is declining across the Muslim world, and for one reason only. “Christianity ‘close to extinction’ in Middle East,” read a December 23 headline in the Daily Telegraph. No religious group, theTelegraph noted, is more persecuted around the world than Christians, and their chief oppressors are Muslims, thanks to whom “between a half and two-thirds of Christians in the Middle East have left [the Muslim world] or been killed in the past century.” It’s a phenomenon on a massive scale – but one that the mainstream media rarely report on, and one that all the smug, self-satisfied Christians who profess to fret endlessly about the Palestinians don’t show any sign of giving a damn about.

*

*Footnote: Contrary to the fixed belief of an overwhelming majority, Christianity was not born in “the Holy Land”. It was born in St. Paul’s mind in Syria, and preached in Greek in the eastern lands of the Roman Empire. It’s extremely unlikely that there were any Pauline (Catholic) Christian communities in Judea until well into the  second century. The misnamed “Jewish Christians” (Nazarenes or Ebionites) – the followers of the crucified man Paul called “Jesus” – remained in Jerusalem as long as they could, but did not believe in the divine “Son of God”. Almost everything you read in the New Testament about “Jesus”, “James”, “Peter” and “John”  is Paul’s and his converts’ make-believe. (See our series on the birth and growth of Christianity:  A man named Jesus or something like that, September 23, 2011; The invention of Christianity, October 28, 2011; Tread on me: the making of Christian morality, December 22, 2011; St.Paul: portrait of a sick genius, January 7, 2012; Pauline Christianity: a mystical salad, February 26, 2012; Christian theology: “the Word made flesh”, December 25, 2012.)

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