The US pays Iran to pretend to negotiate 4

There is no deal, and the evidence suggests there isn’t going to be one.

Michael Ledeen writes at the Weekly Standard:

He did it again, as we should have expected.  Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei walked us right up to the finish line, spat on us, and walked away. Months and months of secret and public talks, letters, back channels, and gestures produced nothing of the sort the president, assorted foreign ministers, pundits, and politicians had been predicting. Instead we are to keep talking, and keep paying the Islamic Republic for the pleasure and privilege.

It’s not Barack Obama’s unique failure; the same thing happened to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Both of them came to believe they had a deal with Khamenei, and both of them were rudely disabused of their error when the Iranians walked away. Bush’s secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, was so sure it was a done deal, and so intent on getting it signed and sealed, that she issued three hundred visas over a single weekend in September 2006, for passengers to travel on Ali Larijani’s plane to New York for a signing ceremony at the UN.  She then flew to New York to await the Persians. But Larijani’s plane sat on the tarmac in Tehran, and neither he nor the 300 ever came. …

The basic conclusion: Khamenei does not want a deal with the United States (aka “The Great Satan”). Obama has been pursuing a strategic alliance with Iran since 2008, well before his inauguration and even before his election. During the election campaign he quietly dispatched retired Ambassador William Miller to Tehran to inform the mullahs that a new era in Iranian-American relations was about to begin, and the “dialogue” between Washington and Tehran has continued for more than six years.  No sensible person doubts Obama’s willingness to be generous to the Iranians.

His “willingness to be generous to the Iranians”? We would say his longing to give them everything they want, including – or above all – the capacity to destroy Israel.  

And if the US itself were to be attacked by a nuclear-armed Iran, is Obama more likely to hit it back or try to appease it?

 Any lingering skepticism should be definitively eliminated by the latest “extension,” which reportedly bestows $700 million on Khamenei every month for continuing to talk.

So Iran is not continuing to seem to negotiate only in order to buy time to become a nuclear-armed power. It is also being paid to seem to do so by the US!

Khamenei could certainly have had a very good deal if he wanted it. If he didn’t take one, it’s because he doesn’t want it.

Why? Because it’s all about core convictions: he hates us, and he doesn’t want to go down — possibly quite soon, if reports of the gravity of his prostate cancer are accurate — as the ayatollah who came to terms with Satan.

Moreover, he doesn’t need to get in bed with the devil in order to achieve his basic objectives. The interim agreement gives him plenty of nuclear wiggle room, as we see from the rude treatment of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.  They insisted on visiting the suspected nuclear facilities at Parchin, the Iranians told them to go to hell, and nothing happened.

On the sanctions front, Khamenei certainly hates them, but he’s grinding down their enforcement, finding myriad ways to avoid them, and getting cash money in the bargain.

On the battlefield, he’s doing quite well, thanks in no small part to American cooperation in support of his (and his Russian ally’s) prime regional objective, namely the survival of the Assad regime in Syria. …

And the new Iraqi government leaders, whom we purport to trust and support, zipped off to Tehran within days of taking office. …

I can’t prove it, but I suspect that Zarif and Rouhani convinced Khamenei to approve the talkathon with The Great Satan because they had understood that Iran could get most anything it wanted from Obama.  I don’t think they were dragged to the negotiating table by “biting sanctions”, even though the sanctions hurt the Iranian people and sensitive parts of the economy.

Their nuclear activity has increased as sanctions tightened, and Iranian military activity in Iraq and Syria is mounting. These matter much more to Khamenei than a chicken shortage in the markets.

Posted under Commentary, Iran, Islam, jihad, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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Brandeis University true to itself 1

Brandeis University was being true to its despicable self after all when it treated Ayaan Hirsi Ali disgracefully.

It was where Herbert Marcuse, one of the most prominent apologists for the violently destructive New Left, indoctrinated students and wrote his staggeringly idiotic books.

This is from PowerLine, by Paul Mirengoff:

BRANDEIS’S “REPRESSIVE TOLERANCE”

Like me, Michael Leeden finds that “if there’s anything really new about Brandeis’ disinvitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, it’s that they invited her at all”.  While many seem surprised that Brandeis, founded by Jews in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, would align itself with Islamists and their apologists, Ledeen finds no underlying inconsistency.

Brandeis was the home of professor Herbert Marcuse, the iconic leftist philosopher of the 1960s. Marcuse dedicated his book Repressive Tolerance to his Brandeis students. He summarized its thesis this way:

The … realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed. In other words, today tolerance appears again as what it was in its origins, at the beginning of the modern period – a partisan goal, a subversive liberating notion and practice. Conversely, what is proclaimed and practiced as tolerance today, is in many of its most effective manifestations serving the cause of oppression. . . .

The restoration of freedom of thought may necessitate new and rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational institutions. …

Marcuse gave the student rebels and the terrorists of the West European New Left “a justification for their aggression. He told them that they were quite as subjugated as those who lived in the totalitarian states on the other side of the Berlin Wall – by being forced to endure the tolerable and rewarding and comfortable, to suffer food and clothing and lodging beyond bare necessity, to have many varieties of luxury foisted on them, and to be conned into the illusion that they were free”.  (Quotation from Hitler’s Children by Jillian Becker.)

Paul Mirengoff concludes:

Herbert Marcuse would be proud of his old University.

Yes. Brandeis has been disgraceful for at least fifty years. But its treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali adds cold-blooded viciousness to its record.

World War IV 1

The US is at war. Not with “terror”, which is absurd. Not even with “terrorism”, which is almost as absurd. But with Islam. Which doesn’t mean that we regard every Muslim in the world as an enemy. We are under attack by Muslims who are fighting the jihad, directly or indirectly, as the ideology of Islam requires every Muslim to do.

We need to recognize this, and declare it to be the case. And we need also to recognize our enemy in Islam’s ally – the Left.

We call it World War IV. (World War III was the “Cold War”.)

Michael Ledeen is of much the same opinion. Though he defines the enemy more narrowly as “radical Islamists” and “radical leftists”.

He writes at PJ Media:

It’s hard to get our minds around the dimensions of the slaughter underway in the Middle East and Africa, and harder still to see that the battlefields of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria and Mali are pieces in a global war in which we are targeted. For the most part, the deep thinkers zero in on the single battlefields. What if anything should we do about the big fight in Egypt? Should we assist the Syrian opposition? What to do in Lebanon or Jordan? Should we respond positively to the Iraqi government’s request for security assistance? Is anyone thinking hard about Tunisia, likely to be the scene of the next explosions?

It could not be otherwise, since our government, our universities, our news organizations and our think tanks are all primarily organized to deal with countries, and our analysts, policy makers and military strategists inevitably think inside those boxes.

We don’t have an assistant secretary of defense for global strategy. (Actually we do, his name is Andrew Marshall, he’s a sprightly genius of 92 years, and he runs a largely ignored corner of the Pentagon called “Net Assessment”). But we do have one for the Near East and South Asia. And there’s hardly a professor in America who is talking about the fundamental change in the nature of global affairs in which we are enmeshed, the paradigm shift from the post-World War II world dominated by the United States and the Soviet Union, to … we know not what.

So there’s a global war, we’re the main target of the aggressors, and our leaders don’t see it and therefore have no idea how to win it.

Any serious attempt to understand what’s going on has to begin by banning the word “stability”, much beloved of diplomats and self-proclaimed strategists.

Yes. What is the point of wanting stability in or between tyrannies? How long should we want them to last?

If anything is fairly certain about our world, it’s that there is no stability, and there isn’t going to be any. Right now, the driving forces are those aimed at destroying the old order, and their targets (the old regimes, very much including the United States) have until recently showed little taste to engage as if their survival depended on it. But things are changing, as always.

The war is easily described: there is a global alliance of radical leftists and radical Islamists, supported by a group of countries that includes Russia, at least some Chinese leaders, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. The radicals include the Sunni and Shi’ite terrorist organizations and leftist groups …

Their objective is the destruction of the West, above all, of the United States.

The alliance of Islam and the Left is very strange. The Left champions women, sexual and ethnic minorities, condemned criminals, thin people, the planet, and promiscuous copulation. Islam is an ideology concerned centrally with the subjugation of women. It hangs homosexuals; massacres blacks in Africa even if they’re Muslims; tortures prisoners; and has issued no fatwa against the fat. Its only aim for the planet is to put it under a caliphate. It punishes non-virgin brides and stones adulterers to death.

If the alliance is victorious and overcomes liberty, which of the allies will have its way?

What if they win? Some of them want to create a (Sunni or Shi’ite) caliphate, others want Castro- or Kim-style communist dictatorships. …

For the present, Islam is pre-occupied with internecine wars.

War is foggy, and alliances are often very unstable, especially at moments when the whole world is up for grabs. Look at Egypt, for example. At one level, it’s a sectarian fight: the “secular” military vs. the “Islamist” Muslim Brotherhood. So nobody should be surprised when the Brothers burn churches and murder Christians. But the top military dog, General Sisi, has some pretty impressive Islamist credentials. Indeed, his elevation at the time of the Brothers’ purge of Mubarak’s generals was frequently attributed to his close ties to the Brotherhood.

I don’t think anyone nowadays would call him a friend of the Brothers. So what happened? Did he go secular all of a sudden? Was his “Islamism” a trick from the get-go? Or is “Islamism” less monolithic than some suppose? A Saudi of my acquaintance showed up in Cairo a few days ago with a bunch of checks, some currently cashable, others postdated over the next twelve months, all hand-delivered to Sisi and his guys. Their advice to the Egyptian military is to mercilessly crush the Brothers, and their advice will likely be adopted, both because the junta knows that death awaits them if they lose (2 Egyptian major generals and 2 brigadier generals, along with many colonels, have been assassinated by the Brothers in the current spasm), and because only the Saudis can foot the huge bill facing Egypt just to provide the basics for the people. Most of whom, to the evident surprise of Western leaders and journalists, seem inclined to support the junta. (Neighborhood militias have taken on the Brothers throughout the country, for example).

So we’ve got an indubitably Islamist regime – the Saudi Wahhabis – supporting a military junta whose leader is famously Islamist against the infamously Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. Yes, they may well all yearn for the destruction of the infidel West (although the junta impiously pockets our dollars), but for the moment the struggle for power trumps the power of the faith.

In Egypt the internecine war is not even between Sunnis and Shiites, but between Sunnis and Sunnis. (Christian casualties are collateral damage.)

Notice that this bloody confrontation [in Egypt] has nothing to do with the celebrated Sunni-Shi’ite war that is so often invoked to “explain” current events. It’s all happening within Sunni Egypt (although the Shi’ite Iranians are certainly meddling – surprise! – on behalf of the very Sunni Brothers). And there are plenty of “foreign fighters”, just as there were in Iraq, just as there are in Afghanistan: in the last 8 days, according to usually reliable sources in Cairo, 253 Uzbeks, 21 Yemenis, 40 Afghans and 11 Turkmens have been arrested, along with 126 Hamas operatives, who bring weapons and train pro-Brotherhood Egyptians. …

Maybe the Middle East is now the scene of a war between Islamists and ex-Islamists, or between pious Muslims and not-so-pious ones, or even between Muslims and ex-Muslims. In this context, we should ban the use of the word “moderate” along with “stability”…

We’re all for that.

Move on to Syria.

You’ve got Bashar Assad on top in a neighborhood of Damascus, supported by Iran and Russia, fighting against a variety of insurgents including al-Qaeda units, Salafists, former members of Assad’s military, and the usual mob of adventurous souls, including Americans and Europeans, who believe they are waging jihad in the name of Allah.

Assad is actually a figurehead; the real capital of Syria is in an office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. A leader of the Syrian opposition made this clear, saying that Hezbollah and Iran were the real powers in Syria, and there’s plenty of evidence for his assertion, including dead Hezbollahis and Quds Forcers.

So al-Qaeda’s fighting Iran in Syria, right? That fits nicely into the Sunni vs. Shi’ite meme … But wait: our very own Treasury Department, which is as good as we’ve got when it comes to deciphering the crazy quilt network of global terrorism, told us in no uncertain terms a couple of years ago that there was a secret deal between AQ and the mullahs. Moreover, the tidal wave of terrorism that has crashed on Iraq is universally termed a resurgence of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has been Iranian-sponsored since Day One . … [So there is] an Iranian (Shi’ite)-sponsored (Sunni) al-Qaeda assault against (Shi’ite) Iraq, and right next door an Iranian-assisted (Sunni) al-Qaeda, alongside other (mostly Sunni) foreign and domestic fighters against a (kinda Shi’ite) regime under the control of (totally Shi’ite) Tehran. …

Let’s get outside these little boxes and look at the big board.

There’s an alliance plotting against us, bound together by two radical views of the world that share a profound, fundamental hatred of us. If they win, it’s hell to pay, because then we will be attacked directly and often, and we will be faced with only two options, winning or losing.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that they’re divided, and slaughtering each other. And it’s not always possible for us to sort out what “each other” even means. But one thing is quite clear, and I know it’s an unpopular idea, but it’s a true fact: they’re not an awesome force.

That is true. And because they are not militarily a match for the US, Michael Ledeen thinks they will fail.

The radical left has failed everywhere, and so have the radical Islamists. Both claim to have history (and/or the Almighty) on their side, but they go right on failing. The left is now pretty much in the garbage bin of history (you can hire Gorbachev for your next annual meeting if you can afford his speaking fee), and the “Muslim world” – sorry to be so blunt – is a fossilized remnant of a failed civilization. Look at the shambles in Iran, look at the colossal mess the Brothers unleashed on a once-great nation.

So we’ve got opportunities, lots of them. We’ve already passed up many: failing to support the Iranian people against the evil regime that is the central source of terror against us and our would-be friends, failing to support Mubarak against the Brothers, failing to quickly support the opposition to Assad at the outset, before the enterprise got buried under a heap of jihadi manure, and so forth. OK, we’re human, we’re led, if that’s the right verb, very badly, by ideologues who think we [Americans] are the root cause of most of the world’s problems. Which is the same thing our enemies believe …

Just think of the consequences of a free Iran: the fall of the Syrian regime, a devastating blow to Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guards, Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Bad news for the Brothers. A kick in the solar plexus of the nasty lefties in South America…

Think globally. Act as if you understood it. On our side, confound it.

Excellent advice. But omitted from the reckoning is the “stealth jihad”. Islam’s advance by immigration, taking over regions within Western countries, imposing sharia wherever they can, infiltrating governments, disseminating their propaganda surreptitiously through the public schools with false accounts of Islam and its history in prescribed books.

And is the left “in the garbage can of history”? Our view is that the USSR was defeated in the Cold War, but Communism was not. It is crowing its triumph in almost every Western university. It’s purring in the public schools. It colors many a ruling from a judge’s bench. It holds the mass media in thrall. It beats its dreary drum and sounds its infuriating trumpet in the United Nations. And it has a protégé of its acolyte Frank Marshall Davis, a member of its New Party, a disciple of its prophet Saul Alinsky presiding over the United States.

Which side, so far, is winning?

Saved from death by hanging in Iran 0

One of the main instruments of regime terror against the people is the practice of public hangings.

We found a link to this video and the text in an article by Michael Ledeen at PJ Media:

In the city of Sirjan, the regime strung up three [?] men, and the spectators rioted, charged the executioners, drove them off, cut down the intended victims, and saved them.

Here is the spectacular video:

 

Posted under Iran, Islam, tyranny, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, August 6, 2012

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The Syrian slaughterhouse 20

Today Syrian state television showed human bodies and detached limbs floating down the Orontes River.

They are the remains of dead soldiers torn apart by protestors in Hama. Or so the state claims.

A more objective report identifies them differently:

They are the victims of Syrian tank fire and ZU-23 automatic anti-aircraft artillery trained on residential buildings and streets in the last 48 hours as the dead pile up …

Citizens cowering in their homes are throwing the dead out of windows and off roofs into the river.

The dead are believed to be in the hundreds and rising all the time because the thousands of injured cannot be reached for medical care.

But the numbers of the dead and injured are not known, because the Syrian authorities have “cut off all the city’s ground and cell telephone and Internet links”, and “the satellite phones in the hands of some of the dissident leaders provide the only source of information on the situation in the embattled city.”

Assad has no reason to fear that any power or combination of powers will try to stop him slaughtering his own people by the thousands.

Turkish units had been waiting on the border to enter Syria, and possibly establish a refugee camp on Syrian territory to stop the flow of refugees into Turkey itself. But a few days ago all the chiefs of the Turkish army resigned, and the threat to Assad receded.

The UN will not actively intervene in Syria. Those passionate protectors of “human rights” are not easily distracted from their supreme task of censuring Israel.

The US Congress had exhausted its energies raising the US debt ceiling:

After the Senate … had approved the bill raising the national debt ceiling, the lawmakers were scheduled to turn to the crisis in Syria. However, US Ambassador Robert Ford, on hand to brief the senators, saw them hurrying to leave Capitol Hill.

Only one senator [Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)remained for the briefing.

Michael Ledeen writes:

There is no reason to believe that this administration grasps the dimensions of the world war in which we are engaged, like it or not. To look at Syria alone is a failure of strategic vision, because the battle of Syria is part of the larger conflict, involving our current major enemy Iran. Indeed, the Syrian slaughterhouse is a repeat performance of the earlier (and still ongoing) massacre in Iran, and is assisted (perhaps even instructed) from Tehran.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards have a special force for operations outside Iran called the Al-Quds Force. (Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.) It is assisting Assad in his attempts to crush the popular uprising. Iran has also lent him technicians to help identify and track down activists through their use of the Internet.

The Iranian tyrants tremble at the thought of a free Syria, since, as in Iran itself, the odds favor a successor regime that would devote its energies and depleted resources to the care and feeding of its own people [hmmm- JB] rather than to the support of terrorist proxies like Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and al-Qaeda. Moreover, the spectacle of the overthrow of Iran’s closest regional ally might well inspire the Iranian people to take to the streets once again against Ahmadinejad and Khamenei.

The Heritage Foundation comments:

The [Obama] Administration has a long way to go to correct its ill-advised efforts to seek better relations with a gangster regime that has murdered more than 1,400 of its own citizens in the last four months; thrown more than 12,000 in jail; served as Iran’s chief ally in the Middle East; supported a wide array of terrorists against the U.S. and its allies; and conspired with North Korea (and probably Iran) to illegally build a nuclear reactor designed to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon.

The collapse of the Obama Administration’s Syria policy is yet another example of how the Obama Doctrine has undermined U.S. national interests in a naïve effort to engage a despotic regime. Now that the Administration’s timid and weak policy toward Syria has emboldened the Assad regime to attack the U.S. embassy [on July 11], it is time for President Obama … to replace his myopic engagement strategy with meaningful efforts to help the Syrian people oust the predatory Assad regime.

But does he want to? Perhaps Senator Bob Casey could tell us.

Shadow-boxing in the dimness of a new inchoate world? 8

“We’re living through a revolutionary moment, all over the world. The world we knew and believed we understood is gone, and we don’t know where we’re headed.”

So writes Michael Ledeen at PajamasMedia. His column gives rise to question after question in our minds:

The more I look at the Oslo massacre, the more I am struck by how archaic it all is. The killer fancies himself a noble defender of a Western world that no longer exists, and has not existed, really, since the First World War destroyed it. He is the sort of fascist who believes in the myth of a Golden Age that must be restored, and vaingloriously sees himself a member of the elite chosen by history to defend the mythical West.

So what is the nature of the West that exists now? Whatever it is, is it not under attack? And if it’s under attack, how should it be defended?

He [Breivik] fancies himself a warrior fighting against two mortal enemies: “Marxism” and “Islam.” He needn’t have bothered; they both died a long time ago.

Is there not a Marxist in the White House right now, and has not his ideology brought America to economic crisis and contributed to chaos in the world?

The first was effectively demolished in the Cold War with the defeat of the Soviet Empire. Yes, there are certainly Marxists around, and even communists, but there is no longer a worldwide mass movement challenging the West in the name of dialectical materialism. Their contemporary warriors are intellectuals, not workers, and they are more often masked as liberals or moderates than openly leftist revolutionaries. That’s because there is no market for revolutionary Marxism, as Van Jones can explain to you.

No link is given to any statement by Van Jones, the Maoist who was exposed as such and (therefore?) left his White House job as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Perhaps Ledeen means that his discharge demonstrates that Marxism “has no market”.

It’s true that most Reds are Green these days, but is it not still the same old egalitarian collectivist ideology that moves their emotional bowels?

The second, “Islam,” has been moribund for centuries. Virtually all the countries calling themselves “Islamic” are failed states whose citizens are starving, whose industries are generations behind those of the contemporary West, and whose most talented young people are mostly eager, even desperate, to live and work in infidel countries. Yes, there are certainly plenty of murderous jihadis around, but although they work very hard at killing us (typically often blowing themselves up instead, or setting their own underwear on fire), they are most effective against other Muslims. Even outside the “Muslim world” — as President Obama called it during his unfortunate address in Cairo in 2009 — the hard-core pro-jihad, let’s-create-a-new-caliphate crowd visits misery on correligionaries packed into ghettos and force fed a particularly nasty version of shariah.

What of the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt whose declared and practiced policy is to spread Islam world-wide, and the legitimization of that jihadist organization by Obama’s State Department now pursuing diplomatic relations with it?

And what of the growing power of Islam in Europe, with sharia recognized as a parallel legal system and the unchallenged acceptance of virtual Islamic states within the states?

Anders Breivik’s demons did not drive him to attack Muslims, although there may have been some among his victims; his targets were his own people, those he called “traitors” for betraying the mythical West to the mythical global forces of Islam and Marxism. Quite a bizarre tapestry: A fight to the death among and within three spent forces which had already died.

So there is no Islamic threat to the West? There is no Red-Green movement trying to establish world government? And no West to be threatened?

He goes on to acknowledge that all three “spent forces” still exist, still think of themselves as they once were, and fail to see the new realities in which they are struggling with ghosts.

This archaic mythology is not only Breivik’s; the Marxists and the radical Islamists embrace it just as avidly. The Marxists embrace the myth of class struggle in a Western world that is no longer capitalist and where there is no working class. The jihadis embrace the cause of holy war (no accident, the Marxists might say, that jihadis raced to take “credit” for the mayhem in the first hours) against a Western world described as Christian and Islamophobic. That, too, is an archaic remnant from a past long dead and buried, especially in Europe. The Old World is secular, and, certainly among its elites, more anti-Semitic and anti-Christian than anti-Muslim. Just look at the thoroughly disgusting remarks by the Norwegian ambassador to Israel AFTER the massacre, in which he showed greater “understanding” of Palestinians killing Jews than of a Norwegian massacring fellow countrymen.

The West no longer capitalist? In every Western country capitalism is grossly interfered with by socialist governments, but capitalism is still the only bread machine.

True the European West is no longer Christian, but it is increasingly Islamophobic, as it must be if Islamic terrorism and the jihad are working as intended. One should not judge the degree of Islamophobia by how many attacks are made on Muslims. Even mockery and criticism of Islam are restrained, because Islam’s campaign of intimidation has worked. Europe has been largely dhimmified, and that in itself is proof that Islam is feared.

Sure the Marxists long since abandoned the proletariat as their sentimental pretext for revolution, but they substituted the Third World, those more distant “victims” of capitalism, and of “colonialism” and “imperialism”. They still aim to impose their egalitarian and collectivist tyranny on the rest of us, and with the trumped-up panic of the environmental movement have come far too close to achieving their goal. The threat still hangs over us.

The new Norwegian ambassador to Israel did indeed imply that terrorism is not bad when used by Hamas against Israelis, only when it is used by Breivik against Norwegian leftists. He must be a rather stupid man.

It is thoroughly understandable, then, that some have responded to the Norwegian mass murder with myths of their own, beginning with the fable that Breivik is the tip of a very large iceberg, that includes not only deranged would-be killers but also writers and politicians. Thus they conjure up yet another phantasmagorical mass movement — a vast conspiracy with countless followers, some hidden, others public. There is no such movement. Yes, there are crazy people who think they are fighters in the great cataclysmic struggle of the days of the Last Judgment … But I doubt there are enough of them to feed more than a handful of Knights Templar, let alone a full-fledged political movement.

No argument there.

He concludes:

We’re living through a revolutionary moment, all over the world. The world we knew and believed we understood is gone, and we don’t know where we’re headed. No wonder chaos disrupts orderly thought, and mythology replaces common sense.

Are our thoughts so chaotic that we deceive ourselves when we think of Marxism (in its new green clothes) and Islam as real enemies?

Is it a myth that capitalism works, or that the individual freedom on which it depends is worth fighting for?

Are we so bewildered that we cannot apply common-sense lessons from the past to our present predicaments?

Even if Michael Ledeen is right and we are shadow-boxing in the dimness of a new inchoate world, what choice do we have but to battle the enemies we perceive, and cling to the certainties we imagine we possess?