Quote of the Day: Peace Talks Didn’t Open the Gates of Auschwitz

From a Canadian journalist: he seems to be taking their version of Maureen Dowd to task for her whine, which is – to judge by his quotes – indeed narcissistic.

I couldn’t find any links to her essay, “Blowing in the Wind” (how apt), but Noreen Golfman found that double amputees wounded in the war to be a blight on her holiday.

Poor puss.

Rick Mercer, who writes for a Newfoundland and Labrador paper, The Independent, admonishes this worthy for her reference to a soldier friend of his as a “poor sod” – that, and her failure to mention the sod by name. Interesting, isn’t it, the way leftist journalists can dehumanize and make disappear those they don’t approve of?

Mr. Mercer says:

Poor Noreen Golfman. She wrote in her Jan. 12 column (Blowing in the Wind … ) that her holidays were ruined by what she felt were incessant reports about Canadian men and women serving in Afghanistan.

[…]

The “poor sod” in question, Noreen, has a name and it is Cpl. Paul Franklin. He is a medic in the Forces and has been a buddy of mine for years. I had dinner with him last week in Edmonton, in fact. I will be sure to pass on to him that his lack of legs caused you some personal discomfort this Christmas.

After further discussion of Ms. Golfman’s debating tactics re Canada’s role in Afghanistan (and she does seem to aim for the crotch), Mr. Mercer has a final and most fitting thrust:

Auschwitz: Nazi NegotiationsYou end by saying you personally cannot envision that peace can ever be paved with military offensives. May I suggest to you that in many instances in history peace has been achieved exactly that way.

The gates of Auschwitz were not opened with peace talks. Holland was not liberated by peacekeepers and fascism was not defeated with a deft pen. Time and time again men and women in uniform have laid down their lives in just causes and in an effort to free others from oppression.

Academics like Ms. Golfman don’t want smelly, bloody reality to get too close to their ivory tower. She would do well to climb the fence of the “women’s studies” ghetto (where she currently labors) and attempt to secure legitimate work, some reality-based occupation which might enlarge her horizons, demonstrating to her that truth does not lie in what she is able to “personally envision.” History won’t be found in that general direction either. Oh…I forgot: it’s herstory, not histoire.

Twit.



Hat tip: Small Dead Animals

German Intellectuals Betray Europe

Our Swedish tipster LN let me know about this article from today’s Jyllands-Posten, and Danish translator Kepiblanc was kind enough to translate it for me.

Bassam Tibi was born in Syria and now lives in Germany. He remains a Muslim, but has come to adopt “European” values, which he feels no longer survive in Europe.

The article was originally in German before showing up in J-P in Danish. Here’s Kepiblanc’s prefatory note:

His ideas aren’t very clear to me. But maybe that’s due to the journalist from Jyllands-Posten — who knows? — I have not been able to find the original installment in German.

Considering the discussion on the very elusive ‘moderate Muslim’ it may be worth the effort to publish this in order to get some opinions from the readers and commenters here.

My own first response is: if he admires European culture (Leitkultur) how on earth can he still be a Muslim???

And now the article itself:

German Intellectuals Betray Europe

Bassam Tibi is Germany’s most renowned expert on Islam and the inventor of the term “European Leader-Culture” [German: Leitkultur, a common term in Germany — tranlator]. In this installment he explains his decision to leave Germany.

Bassam TibiGermany’s intellectuals are leaving Europe. I say that as an Arab who came to Germany from the Islamic Orient — loaded with admiration. Not as a guest worker, but as a descendant of one of the oldest aristocratic families in Damascus and having the good fortune of being able to study in Frankfurt with two survivors of the Holocaust, Horkheimer and Adorno. Here I adopted a European mindset, something which no longer exists in contemporary Germany.

It was Max Horkheimer who taught me to acknowledge Europe as “an island — in space and time — in an ocean of despots “ I was impressed with Horkheimer’s request not only to be critical towards Europe, but to defend it against any form of totalitarianism as well: “It is right and a duty for every thinking man”. I miss that spirit in Germany today.

When Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh — being accused of non-belief — was executed in the streets of Amsterdam by a global network of Islamists (not a solo perpetrator, as German cultural authors so claiming reported) his executioner stabbed a note onto his body with a warning: “Europe, it’s your turn now”.

The whole of Dutch society woke up and changed its prior ethics of multiculture and tolerance. And in Germany?

One year after the murder of Theo van Gogh the Dutch government took over the presidency of the EU and at the occasion asked the Nexus-Institute to sponsor a research project titled “Europe — A Beautiful Idea?”

I was hired to take part in that project, and my task was to figure out what was needed within the framework of a more European version of Islam, in order to make European ideals more digestible to Muslims. Horkheimer had told me that the idea of Europe is based upon a perception of man as a citoyen (not in the narrow judicial meaning of the word “state citizen” or passport owner).

A citoyen is a member of a values-based community, and thus independent from religion and ethnic heritage.

In that respect I perceived myself as a German citizen and a European. My old Jewish friend Dan Diner used to taunt me with the words: “You can’t become a German, because here the citizen is substantial”.

Only after 44 years in Germany have I started to realize that the country of poets and thinkers — and especially its intellectuals — is an ethnically-exclusive club with no room for us foreigners.

- – - – - – - – - -

The German press accuses me of being “hard to integrate”.

Is it true?

Am I a difficult, unique case? — My problem is that I believe in the European idea and take it very seriously.

To me free thinking is a blessing to the cultural modernists — and not negotiable.

Out of this the German intellectuals create a postmodern censorship and denial of the works of inconvenient dissidents. Journalists accuse me of being semi-scientific and others ignore my publications.

My books on the Islamic and Islamistic challenge which Europe faces aren’t read anymore because the cultural writers suppress them.

Just like the citizen only exists within the law, so does German freedom of thinking only exist on paper, not within the political culture.

In this respect I’ll tell two little stories: In Switzerland they have an institution that honors whomever defends European values. In 2003 they chose a European Jew, Michael Wolffsohn, and a European Muslim, Bassam Tibi, unable to find an ethnic European who did so.

One year later — as part of the project “Europe — A Beautiful Idea?” — European intellectuals were asked if they were prepared to sacrifice themselves for Europe.

Nobody answered ‘yes’ but the Jewish Holocaust-survivor Fritz Stern and the Arabian immigrant Bassam Tibi.

Since the 1980’s I’ve been fighting for cultural integration (not assimilation), since 1992 for a European Islam and since 1998 for a European leading-culture [Leitkultur].

The term “leading-culture” was adopted by politicians from CDU, and after that was considered politically incorrect, and perhaps now I’m — at the Integration Summit with minister of the interior, Wolfgang Schaeuble of the CDU — persona non grata.

It was I who founded Islamology as a study at the University of Goettingen, and now it is being shut down with the approval of state governor Christian Wulff.

Those CDU-politicians aren’t better then the leftist intellectuals who silenced me as an author. I was the first Muslim to get appointed to CDU’s Commission on Values. After a few disappointing experiences I wrote a letter of resignation to chancellor Merkel.

Is it really true that not only am I hard to integrate, but ungrateful as well? I’m grateful for my job and the protection given to me by my German passport towards my totalitarian native country, Syria. But is that the only dream of a citizen? As a citizen I want to belong to a society, get a cultural membership without denying my many identities, and not die as a stranger “with immigrant background”.

We strangers, whether professors or unskilled workers are, however, always outside the door in Germany. Defenseless toward our enemies, defiant towards our friends: that’s not what Europe promised.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


The author is professor of international relations at the Georg-August University in Goettingen, Germany. His latest book Mit dem Kopftuch nach Europa? — Die Turkei auf dem Weg in die Europaeische Union (Towards Europe with the headscarf? — Turkey on the Road to the European Union) has been published by German publisher Primus.

“In the Name of Honor”

Mukhtar Mai has written a book, In the Name of Honor. Or rather, she has dictated a book, since Mukhtar Mai is illiterate.

However, not being able to read or write has not impaired her ability to tell a story. Here is a partial excerpt:

Mukhtar MaiOn the night of June 22, 2002, our family reaches a decision.

I, Mukhtaran Bibi, a woman of the peasant Gujar caste, living in the village of Meerwala, will be the one to confront an influential and aggressive local clan, farmers of the powerful Mastoi caste, on behalf of my family.

My little brother Shakur is accused by the Mastois of having “spoken” to Salma, a young woman of their clan. Shakur is only twelve years old, while Salma is over twenty. We know my brother has done nothing wrong, but if the Mastois have decided otherwise, we Gujars must bow to their demands. This is the way it has always been.

My father and uncle have explained the situation to me.

“Our mullah, Abdul Razzaq, is in despair. The Mastois have the majority in the village council, and they refuse all reconciliation. They are armed. Your maternal uncle and Ramzan Pachar, a friend of the Mastois, have tried everything to calm the members of the council. We have but one last chance: a Gujar woman must appear before their clan. Among all the women of our house, we have chosen you.”

“Why me?”

“The others are too young to do this. Your husband has granted you a divorce, you have no children, you teach the Koran. You are a respectable woman!”

It’s long after sunset, but until now I’ve been told very little of what caused this serious dispute today. The men of the jirga, our village council, have been meeting for several hours now, and only they know why I must appear before that tribunal.

Shakur has been missing since midday. All we know is that at noon he was in a wheat field near our house, but tonight he is locked up inside the police station, three miles from the village. I hear from my own father’s lips that my little brother has been beaten.

“We saw Shakur when the police brought him out of the Mastois’ house. He was all bloody, and his clothes were torn. The police took him away in handcuffs without letting me speak to him. I’d been looking for him everywhere, and a man who’d been cutting branches up in a palm tree came to tell me that he’d seen the Mastois kidnap Shakur. In the village, people began reporting to me that the Mastois were accusing him of illicit conduct and theft.”

The Mastois are old hands at this kind of retaliation. Their powerful clan leader knows many influential people, and they are violent men, capable of invading anyone’s home with their guns to loot, rape, and tear the place apart. The lower-caste Gujars have no right to oppose them, and no one in my family has dared go to their house.

Because of his religious office, the mullah is the only person entitled to intervene in this crisis, but all his efforts have been in vain. So my father went to file a complaint with the police. Outraged that a Gujar peasant has defied them by sending policemen to their very doorstep, the proud Mastois have slightly modified their story: now they accuse Shakur of raping Salma. They claim that my brother has committed zina-bil-jabar, which in Pakistan means the sins of rape, adultery, or sexual relations without the sanctity of marriage. Before handing over my brother, the Mastois demanded that he be locked up, and they insisted that if he were released from jail, he should be returned to the custody of the Mastoi clan. Zina may be punishable by death, according to the Islamic code of sharia, so the police have locked up Shakur not only because he is accused of a serious crime but also to protect him from the violent Mastois, who want to take justice into their own hands. The whole village has known about all this since early this afternoon, and my father has taken the women of my family to our neighbors’ houses for safety’s sake. We know that the Mastois always take their revenge on a woman of a lower caste. It’s the woman’s place to humiliate herself, to beg for forgiveness before all the men of the village assembled in a jirga in front of the Mastois’ farmhouse.

That farm is barely three hundred yards from ours, yet I know it only by sight: imposing walls, and a terrace from which they look out over the neighborhood as though they were the lords of the earth.

“Mukhtaran, get ready, and follow us.”

That night, I have no idea that the path leading from our little farm to the wealthier home of the Mastois will change my life forever. If the men of the Mastoi clan accept my apologies, the path will be short. Although my mission is a dangerous one, I am confident. I set out, clasping the Koran to my breast. The Koran will protect me.

My father made the only possible choice. I am twenty-eight, and I may not know how to read or write, since there is no school for girls in our village, but I have learned the Koran by heart, and ever since my divorce I have taught its verses to our local children as an act of charity. That is my respectability. And my strength.

- — – — – — – — – -

I walk along the dirt path, followed by my father, my uncle Haji Altaf, and Ghulamnabi, a friend of another caste, who has been acting as an intermediary during the negotiations of the jirga. They are afraid for my safety, and my uncle even hesitated himself before coming with me. Yet I proceed along the path with a kind of childlike trust. I have committed no crime. I have not personally done anything wrong. I believe in God, and since my divorce I have been living dutifully in peaceful seclusion with my family, far from the world of men. No one has ever spoken ill of me, as often happens with other women. Salma, for example, is known for her bold ways: that girl has a saucy tongue, and she gets around. She goes out when and where she pleases. It’s possible that the Mastois have tried to take advantage of my young brother’s innocence to cover up something involving Salma. Be that as it may, the Mastois decide, and the Gujars obey.

The June night still burns with the heat of the day; the birds are asleep, and the goats, too. Somewhere a dog barks in the silence surrounding my footsteps, a silence that grows into a faint rumbling. As I walk on, I begin to hear the voices of angry men, whom I can now see illuminated by the single light at the entrance to the Mastois’ farm. There are more than a hundred men gathered near the mosque, perhaps as many as two hundred to two hundred and fifty, and most of them are Mastois. They are the ones dominating the jirga. Although he is our village mullah, even Abdul Razzaq cannot oppose them. I look for him in the crowd; he is not there. I am unaware at the time that after disagreeing with the Mastois over how to handle the affair, certain members of the jirga have left the council. The Mastois are now in charge.

Before me I see Faiz Mohammed, who is known as Faiza, along with four men: Abdul Khaliq, Ghulam Farid, Allah Dita, and Mohammed Faiz. They are armed with rifles and a pistol, which they point immediately at the men of my clan. The Mastois wave their guns around to frighten off my family, but my father and uncle don’t budge. Held at bay by Faiza, they stand at my back.

The Mastois have gathered their clan behind them, a threatening wall of impatient and agitated men.

I have brought a shawl, which I spread out at their feet as a sign of allegiance. From memory, I recite a verse from the Koran, holding my hand on the holy book. Everything I know of the scriptures I have learned by listening, not reading, but I may well be more familiar with the sacred texts than are most of these brutes who stare at me contemptuously. The moment has come for the honor of the Mastois to be made pure once again. The Punjab, which is known as The Land of Five Rivers, is also called The Land of the Pure. But who are the pure ones?

The Mastois unnerve me with their guns and evil faces — especially Abdul Khaliq and his pistol. He has the eyes of a madman, glaring with hatred. But although I certainly know my place as a member of an inferior caste, I also have a sense of honor, the honor of the Gujars. Our community of small, impoverished farmers has been here for several hundred years, and while I’m not familiar with our history in detail, I feel that it is part of me, in my blood. I stand there trembling, with downcast eyes.

You can read the rest of the excerpt here, on the publisher’s page.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Telegraph has a feature on the book:

Mukhtar, an illiterate peasant, is an unlikely heroine. The crime committed against her is not uncommon in an area benighted by poverty, acts of brutality against women and the rule of thuggish overlords.

But she has refused to be cowed by the pressure put upon her, by local officials right up to the president, to end her campaign against the men who raped her. She wants them to be hanged. “I will never forgive them,” she said yesterday. “They must be punished according to the law.”

This week, she publishes the autobiography she dictated, In the Name of Honour, which will again stir up the controversy over all that has happened to her. It took some persuading to get her to tell her story, and for the slight, shy 35-year-old with a lazy eye and a rare but wheezy laugh, recounting the events of that night, five years ago, is still painful.

[…]

Initially, the Pakistani government lauded Mukhtar as a heroine; President Musharraf even handed her a £4,500 gift. But when the case received publicity abroad and Mukhtar was asked to visit America to talk about her ordeal, the government put her name on Pakistan’s “exit control list”, which blocked her from leaving the country.

They were afraid that the case would give the wrong impression of Pakistan.

According to Amna Buttar, one of Mukhtar’s close circle, a friend of Gen Musharraf threatened her, saying that Pakistan’s intelligence services can “do anything.

We can just pay a little money to some black guys in New York and get people killed there”.

Asked about the ban, President Musharraf said she was being exploited by “Westernised fringe elements” who wanted her to “bad-mouth” Pakistan. He later said that the rape had become a money-making concern.”

“He is a great sardar [chief] and I am a peasant,” said Mukhtar. “But when they talk of me shaming the country, he should be careful, as he is also the son of a woman.”

[…]

She may have achieved fame and more money than she could have dreamed of a few years ago, but her life is still in danger.

Just a few hundred yards from her family’s home is the large compound of the Mastoi. They have neither forgotten nor forgiven, and have threatened to kill her and her brother.

Chris Cork, an English development agency consultant who helps Mukhtar with her village projects, is convinced that the Mastoi will get their revenge. “They have said they will kill her one day. And they will. She has great courage and dignity. She never asked for fame.”

“What if you are killed?” I ask Mukhtar.

“I am just the first drop of water in the village,” she says quietly. “I believe it will rain after me.”

When you are no longer afraid of dying, what can they do? No wonder they hate her so: her courage (in the face of her fear) has rendered her enemies impotent.

This woman did not kill herself — as she was supposed to do — following the gang rape by the Mastoi clan. That she did not do so was not entirely her will, for that was her fervent wish in the days following her ordeal. Anyone so thoroughly violated and wrongly used has that after-effect to deal with: the great desire to die, to obliterate oneself.

Her father and her imam and her uncles supported her through the worst of it. They encouraged her to seek legal redress and their encouragement wrought a miracle beyond their imagining. Their tribeswoman — daughter, niece, cousin — became an international heroine.

Canada, to name just one country, gave her money to further her dreams of educating the girls and boys of her village. She has also brought electrification to her area. Now her days are taken over by the groups who make pilgrimages to see her.

Her story evokes for me another courageous woman, one who did die despite her attempts to get away: Saint Dymphna. Over at The Neighborhood of God, there was a discussion as to whether she was merely a victim or, instead, a heroine. As one commenter, a4g, noted:

…An interesting piece, D, falling on the day Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr. had the unfortunate distinction of being 2000th.

I’ve been thinking about the cries that he is being victimized by the left— and how ignoble a title “Victim” to bestow upon a warrior.

Instead, he is, with his family, a warrior whose service goes beyond merely his life, and includes bearing the weight of fools.

I see St. Dymphna peering out from heaven, dolorous for those who see “victim” in sainthood, but with the twinkled eye and the wry smile of one who can say, “If only they knew…”

Mukhtar Mai knows and that renders her free.

This is not a freedom that many of us are privileged to know. But then again, who of us have endured the experiences of Sergeant Alexander, Saint Dymphna, or Mukhtar Mai? Only one of these three lived to tell about it.

Buy the book here or here, or in the UK, here. Note the variations on the last word of the title: the American version is In the Name of Honor whilst the English version is Honour. Even here. Note the variations on the last word of the title: the American version is In the Name of Honor whilst the English version is Honour. France’s version of Amazon lists it, though there is no translation into French…yet.



Hat tip: New English Review.

“We Export Violence”

Fausta has a post this morning about an interview on Abu Dhabi TV in December with Dhiyaa Al-Musawi. See the invaluable MEMRI for the full interview, with English subtitles.

Dhiyaa Al-MusawiMr. Al-Musawi is obviously a cultured Arab intellectual, and seems to surpise his interviewer with his forthrightness. He has some hard things to say about his fellow Arabs; for example: “We suffer from backwardness.”

This is an obvious commonplace for those of us in the West with Counterjihad tendencies, but it’s refreshing to hear it from a Muslim in the heart of Araby.

Mr. Al-Musawi argues for a tolerant humanism among Muslims towards the rest of the world, instead of training the young to be what he calls “booby traps”.

Read what he has to say and listen to him talk, and tell me if you think he’s practicing taqiyyah. Remember, he was speaking in Arabic for an Arab audience in the Middle East.

This is the kind of person who needs to be included in our outreach. Even if he’s an apostate, not a “true Muslim”, and doomed to be shunned and killed by his own people — the presence of people like him, there in the heart of Islam, will do more to undermine the radicals and aid our cause than nuking Mecca ever would.

[Nothing follows]

Bugger All

We are deeply wounded.

Having been accused lately of bashing the Brits, we wish to remind our readers that we believe in equal opportunity bashing of all sorts. No one should be excluded, least of all we gun-slinging, loudmouth, rich and ugly Americans. Nor should we fail to mention our unique admixture of ignorance, tactlessness and lack of sophistication or good manners.

If I’ve missed any of our vices, list them in the comments.

And in the interests of fair and balanced bashing, you will find below an old “jumbo joke” from the free part of Randy Cassingham’s site. I can only hope that everyone feels equally offended – not least the Spanish, Dutch and Scandanavians, since none of these worthies are even mentioned in the essay.

This is an old chestnut, one with which you may be already familiar. If so, enjoy it again for the sheer pleasure of its sterotypical and politically incorrect sketches. However, do notice that the America-bashing is within the normal limits of truth since everyone knows America is a greedy, obese imperialist steam-roller, just waiting to flatten everyone else and grab all the goodies ourselves. That’s why we’re always armed: never can tell when one might run across a tot with a lollypop…

Oh dear! we forgot the Chinese and the Russians. Ah well, there’s always another day and another diatribe.

Enjoy!


As many are aware, the French government recently announced a raise in its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide”. The normal level is “General Arrogance”, and the only two higher levels in France are “Surrender” and “Collaborate”. The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country’s military capability

It’s not only the French that are on a heightened level of alert:

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout loudly and excitedly” to “Elaborate military posturing”. Two more levels remain, “Ineffective combat operations” and “Change sides”. The Germans also increased their alert state from “Disdain” to “Dress in unform and sing marching songs”. They have two higher levels: “Invade a neighbour” and “Lose”.

Seeing this reaction in continental Europe the Americans have gone from “Isolationism” to “Find another oil-rich nation for regime change”. Their remaining higher alert states are “Attack random countries (ideally those without any credible military)” and “Beg the British for help”.

The British are also feeling the pinch in relation to recent bombings and have raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved”. Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross”. Londoners have not been “A Bit Cross” since the Blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “Bloody Nuisance”. The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was during the Great Fire of 1666.

Now if the Scandanavians or the Dutch or the Spanish, Russians, and Poles would like to start in on one another, feel free. As the Kingston Trio put it, a generation or two ago:

The whole world is festering with unhappy souls;
The French hate the Germans,
The Germans hate the Poles,
Italians hate Yugoslavs,
South Africans hate the Dutch…
And I don’t like anybody very much.

Plus ça change, dude.



Hat tip: The Future Baron

[nothing further]

The Logistics of Bribery

Swedish reader LN sent me this comment, which he says was left by PD111 (aka DP111) on the blog Up Pompeii as part of an exchange with Sir Henry Morgan.

Unfortunately, the post he linked to has since disappeared from Up Pompeii, so we’ll just have to take LN’s word for it.

Here’s what PD111 had to say:

Sometime ago I made an estimate of the monetary cost to the taxpayer because of Muslims. Let’s see if I can remember .

According to government figures, some 40% of the Muslim population is unemployed. Assume a Muslim population of 2 million. Assuming that it costs around £15,000 per person per year to maintain an individual, we arrive at a figure of £12bn.

I’m — quite generously — including education, health and other incidental expenses in this figure. This figure does not include the cost of security, the damage to the economy of the West due to travel inconvenience etc.

One can then safely double the figure to £24bn per year. This is really an underestimate. If we factor in war costs, and other factors such as the FGM, burqas, bad hygiene, inbreeding, increasing incidence of TBC, etc, violence, increasing incidence of rapes, cost of judicial trials, prison welfare, specially Muslim prison welfare, the figure is much higher.

- – - – - – - – - -

I suppose the last few should be categorised in the “not wealthy” category. Say around £50bn per year. Over a ten year period this amounts to £500bn without considering inflation. Now if we give this money to each Muslim in the UK, it would amount to £125,000 per person, under the condition that they go back to dar ul Islam — And no further Muslim immigration — we will be in the black in ten years at most. Actually much less.

Besides, the nation will be whole again. What do you think? Utopian but you never know.

They say you can bribe anybody. Assuming an average Muslim family of 6, this figure is about a £1m per family, and this is a very very large sum of money in any ME/African/Asian country bar SA.

Hey, wait a minute, this figure is large enough for poor old me to consider converting to Islam.

And here’s LN’s afterword:

Give each grownup Muslim in Sweden SEK 500,000, and each child 200,000 — and let them promptly return to dar ul Islam. And as an extra premium the whole family on the day of departure from Sweden gets another SEK 500,000 to start over in Gaza or Beirut. Yes, I am niggardly; they themselves must pay for the return ticket, but everybody will be much happier. Allah also.

First They Came for the Domain Names

From the ICANN to EUSSR


In recent days our reader and frequent commenter Kepiblanc has talked about the coming takeover of local European internet governance by the EU. His latest mention of it was on yesterday’s Fjordman post:

Fjordman’s enthusiasm for the Internet may vanish when he realizes that the EU is about to take over control of the DNS (Domain Name System) from USA-based ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). A few years from now no European citizen will be able to read blogs like this one.

His comment piqued my interest, and I needed more information. Last night I emailed him with a question:

Kepi,

I need to pass more information about this on to the Europeans, particularly the Brits, in the 910 Group. Can you give me more details, or at least some URLs where you got your information?

His prompt reply was waiting in our inbox this morning:

Dear Baron,

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) took place in Tunisia (!) November 2005. Prior to that (2003) a conference in Geneva had tried to make the UN a major player in the DNS system, but failed, mainly due to opposition from the US and EU — who both doubted, and rightfully so — that the UN bureaucracy was up to the task. The new conference was sponsored by the EU, who eyed an opportunity to weaken the US-based ICANN and grab control over the European part of the Internet.

Of course nothing was said in clear text, but camouflaged in diplo-speak and the usual EU mumbo-jumbo. For example, see this press release, where commissar Viviane Reding had opened the front in July (Luxembourg) with these words:

You will also be aware that Internet governance is one of the main topics on the agenda of the World Summit of the Information Society — a reflection of the importance that the Internet has in today’s world and of the need for common understandings between the main stakeholders.

Only a few weeks ago, here in Luxembourg, the EU Council of Ministers agreed on a common European approach to key elements of the Internet governance debate. Some of these relate directly to the various stakeholders assembled in Luxembourg now under the ICANN banner.

In particular, Europe agreed on the need for ensuring better the active participation of all parts of the world in decisions on crucial issues such as the domain name system, IP addresses, further DNS issues or security problems (spam, spy ware, etc.). It is indeed fully legitimate that governments want to ensure that appropriate answers be given to issues such as cyber crime, SPAM, intellectual property rights and development objectives. Furthermore, it is in everybody’s interest that all countries in the world feel committed to common basic principles on the Internet.

She — like everyone in the EU nomenklatura — is a true pupil of Humpty-Dumpty from Alice’s Wonderland: When she speaks out against “monopolies” it doesn’t mean Microsoft or LEGO, but — in this case — ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). That’s the independent board overseeing the DNS system, a basic “world telephone book” which enables you and me to type an address in our browser and have it translated into an IP address so that our machines can fetch exactly the page we want. If this system is broken or “regulated” everybody would have to know the exact IP number of i.e. The New York Times in order to read today’s front page. And if this system can’t translate “Gates of Vienna” into the relevant IP number (like 208.196.76.28) this site is out of business.

- – - – - – - – - -

So, rather than the tedious undertaking with human censors to cut out politically incorrect opinions or jail their authors, it’s much simpler just to erase their domain names from the “telephone registry” — DNS. As the Germans say: Keine Hexerei, nur Behändigskraft.

Here we have European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen (responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society) in his speech “Internet governance the way ahead”:

But Internet Governance means more than just ICANN. In the world of the country-code names supporting organisations (ccTLDs), the vast majority of operational and policy decisions are made by the ccTLDs themselves at local level. This is how it should be.

Country-code names supporting organisations (ccTLDs) should be responsive to the needs of their local Internet communities, including their local governments and ICANN’s role is to provide a mechanism for global co-ordination when problems cannot be dealt with at national level.

In many ways this is analogous to the political EU principle of subsidiarity only do things in the center when there is a clear need to. To a large extent, this also allows national governments to decide for themselves what kind of relationship they want with their ccTLDs. I note that in Europe a variety of models exist, with some governments running their ccTLDs and others maintaining an arms-length relationship with a private sector operator. Both approaches seem to work, which is a endorsement of the principle of subsidiarity in this area of Internet governance.

Translation: “The Internet can’t be allowed to govern itself anymore. Governments must take over.”

The Tunisia (!) Conference ended with the usual “declarations”, “intentions” and “conclusions”, but without any real action taking place — yet. The ICANN is still independent and located in California. But for how long ?

The US Government doesn’t interfere with ICANN — for the time being. It is however not immune to the temptations offered at the Tunisia (!) conference. Read the following headline from German Der Spiegel, October 3, 2006:

EU begrüßt Rückzug der US-Regierung

Die Internetverwaltung Icann soll ab 2009 unabhängig von der US-Regierung arbeiten. Die EU-Kommission zeigte sich erfreut über den Rückzug des US-Staats — und will die Icann dabei unterstützen.

Weniger Einfluss der US-Regierung auf die Internetverwaltung Icann — das hatte nicht nur die EU-Kommission gefordert. Auch Länder wie Brasilien und Iran zeigten sich immer wieder verärgert über die Vormachtstellung der USA in Sachen Internet. Die Internetverwaltung Icann durfte nicht völlig autonom entscheiden — das US-Handelsministerium hatte stets seine Hände mit im Spiel, wenn es um Grundsatzentscheidungen wie neue Topleveldomains ging.

Translation: Governance of the Internet must become independent from the government of the US. The EU Commission is happy for the retreat of the US — and will support the ICANN in this respect. Not only did the EU demand less influence of the USA, so did countries like Brazil and Iran, who regret the dominating position of the US on the Internet. The administration of the Internet must not be decided autonomously — the US Secretary of Trade always had a hand in the game with respect to decision of new top-level domains.

Let’s puff the smoke away:

Until now ICANN operated much in the original way of the Internet: self-regulating anarchy, cooperation on the grassroots level, and open communities working together on principles of freedom. Not even “Evil Empires” like Microsoft have been able to monopolize the Internet — no matter how much they tried to do so. But with the ever-increasing importance of the Internet the danger of same becomes apparent to totalitarian governments and their hired hands in the MSM. The Internet must not be crushed, but controlled, regulated and censored.

In this battle against freedom the EU is at the forefront — together with Iran and all the other Barbaristans, of course. To them freedom — especially freedom of speech — is the worst nightmare thinkable. Like the sharia law, the new EU “Constitution” aims to take control over every bit of human activity, including thinking. The EU alliance with the Muslim world is perfectly logical.

The question is not if, but when the Internet is amputated, mutilated, and disabled.

Thank you, Kepiblanc, for this lucid explanation.

For 910 Group members who are reading this: please post it to the forum in whatever you think the best place would be. Since the UK chapter is the largest European contingent we have, they may be the ones who will want to look into it.

The time to start planning is now, while we can still communicate. There may be hacking methods that can get around the future censorship of DNS servers.

If Kepiblanc is right, one morning our European readers will wake up and discover that http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com and http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/weblog.php turn up a “404 — Not Found” page in their browser windows. We need to start thinking about contingency scenarios before that happens.

On Being Down and Defenseless in Britain

This is a sad and insane story. The UK no longer makes sense – or at least its laws don’t.

I preface posting this story with a reference to the longs threads that developed on Gates of Vienna in response to the Baron’s question: “What If the Brits Packed Heat?” and his other post, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”The comments were plentiful and lively, ranging across the spectrum of opinion on the morality, wisdom, and efficacy of private citizens’ gun ownership.

One commenter, who really got the thread going, said:

No thanks. We don’t want a gun culture like you have over there. You can keep it.

I couldn’t help but think of this remark when I read the following story – the sad, insane quandary of Dr. Chan:

The ordeal began when Dr Chan, a father of six, returned from a two-week holiday in France on December 30. In the early hours of New Year’s Eve as the family slept, thieves smashed through the back door of his home in Belsize Park, North London.

They grabbed three computers worth more than £3,000 and a pile of unopened Christmas presents.

The heist was especially heartbreaking because the laptops contained hundreds of precious photographs of his wife Zaide, 35, their children and his grandchild, as well as the text of more than 150 lectures on radiology.

Dr Chan said the Metropolitan Police did not send a single uniformed officer to investigate the crime, although a forensics expert paid a visit to dust for fingerprints and DNA evidence.

Well, that was nice of them – to dust for fingerprints, I mean. How…rigorous.

Dr. Chan said:

“When my wife and I discovered the burglary, we rang the police and they didn’t want to know.

Five hours afterwards, after complaining, they sent a single forensics expert round, but they said no police officer was available to investigate thefts or break-ins.

I was astonished because we are close to three police stations.

The forensics person was very nice but they effectively told me, ‘I wouldn’t hold your breath for your belongings’.

I didn’t hear anything else from them and I was appalled.

I have lost ten years of family photos and 20 years of work. It has been heartbreaking.”

So what did Dr. Chan do with his heartbreak? Did he go on a rampage? Did he steal in return? No, he did what any hog-tied, helpless person would do: he begged for his belongings to be returned and he even put up signs around his neighborhood offering to pay for their return, no questions asked:- – - – - – - – - -

“I put out an advert offering a reward on railings, in streets and even on trees locally.

I was offering a huge reward, no questions asked.”

And what did he get for his trouble? Well, let’s just say he got the British bobby treatment: they offered to arrest him if he didn’t take the notices down. Seems that making such appeals is against the law in Britain. Again, Dr. Chan says:

“Then a couple of weeks later I got a phone call from the police warning that I could be prosecuted for trying to buy stolen goods.

I said that they had not done very much to get my things back.

They said that they had everything under control, but I pointed out to them they had not even come round to take the serial numbers of the computers.”

Under section 23 of the Theft Act 1968, it is illegal to advertise rewards for return of goods stolen or lost using words to the effect that no questions will be asked.

Anyone convicted faces a fine of up to £100 and will get a criminal record.



“Everything under control” indeed! More like “everyone turned into sheep.” ‘Tis no wonder Dr. Dalrymple moved to France. Perhaps Dr. Chan will consider joining him.

Is there a point of no return in the journey down this path of compelled helplessness? Would any culture forced to walk that way know when they’d gone too far to return to a world of justice?

To our commenter I can only reply sadly:

No thanks. We don’t want a sheep culture like you have over there. You can keep it.

Even Orwell couldn’t have dreamed up Dr. Chan’s nightmare.

The Rise of Glossocracy

The Fjordman Report


The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.



How the West Was LostAlexander Boot, a Russian by birth, left for the West in the 1970s, only to discover that the West he was seeking was no longer there. This led him to write the book How the West Was Lost. I disagree with his criticism of post-Enlightenment civilization in general. Still, he is articulate and original, which makes him worth reading.

Boot believes that democracy, or in the words of Abraham Lincoln, the government of the people, by the people and for the people, has been replaced by glossocracy, the government of the word, by the word and for the word.

Modern glossocracy can be traced back at least to the slogan of the French Revolution, “Freedom, equality, brotherhood.” As it later turned out, this meant mass terror, martial law and authoritarian rule. According to Boot, the more meaningless the word, the more useful it is for glossocrats. The impulse behind Political Correctness consists of twisting the language we use, enforcing new words or changing the meaning of old ones, turning them into “weapons of crowd control” by demonizing those who fail to comply with the new definitions:

“Like the Russian intelligentsia of yesteryear, the glossocratic intelligentsia of today’s West is busily uprooting the last remaining vestiges of Westernness. The press is one gardening implement they use; education is another.”

One example of how language is power is given in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll:

Humpty Dumpty“‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’”

According to Boot, glossocracy depends upon a long-term investment in ignorance: “A semi-literate population is a soft touch for glossocratic Humpty Dumpties insisting that words mean whatever they want them to mean.”

As I’ve said before, Political Correctness was pioneered by feminists, including the totalitarian changing of the language to make it more gender-neutral and less “oppressive.” Those who successfully manage to enforce their definition of words win the ideological contest.

The New TotalitariansThere was an interesting book called The New Totalitarians written by British historian Roland Huntford about Sweden in the early 1970s. It is especially noteworthy how the Socialist government deliberately broke down the nuclear family. This was presented as liberation from the oppression of women, but was in reality about tearing down the religious fabric of society and eliminating the Church and Judeo-Christian thinking as ideological competitors.

It was also about increasing state control over all citizens by breaking down a rival institution that obstructed the uninhibited state indoctrination of children. Besides, the state could foment animosity between men and women and step in as an arbitrator, thus further enhancing its powers. During the past few elections in Sweden, there has been virtually no debate about mass immigration, but a passionate debate about “gender equality” in which almost all contestants call themselves feminists, and only debate which ways to implement absolute equality between the sexes.
- – - – - – - – - -
Mr. Huntford demonstrated how, when it was decided that a woman’s place was not at home but out at work, there was a rapid change in the language. Page 301:

“The customary Swedish for housewife is husmor, which is honourable; it was replaced by the neologism hemmafru, literally ‘the-wife-who-stays-at-home’, which is derogatory. Within a few months, the mass media were able to kill the old and substitute the new term. By the end of 1969, it was almost impossible in everyday conversation to mention the state of housewife without appearing to condemn or to sneer. Swedish had been changed under the eyes and ears of the Swedes. Husmor had been discredited; the only way out was to use hemmafru ironically. Connected with this semantic shift, there was a change in feeling. Women who, a year or so before, had been satisfied, and possibly proud, to stay at home, began to feel the pressure to go out to work. The substitution of one word for the other had been accompanied by insistent propaganda in the mass media, so that it was as if a resolute conditioning campaign had been carried out. Very few were able to recognize the indoctrination in the linguistic manipulation; in the real sense of the word, the population had been brain-washed.”

For my own part, I find it interesting that the same people who, in the 60s and 70s, broke up the traditional family structure in Western countries and warned people against the dangers of overpopulation, telling people to lower their birth rates, come back a few years later and say that we have to import millions of immigrants because we have such low birth rates.

Betty FriedanAuthor Daniel Horowitz has written about the highly influential American feminist Betty Friedan, whose 1963 book “The Feminine Mystique” is widely seen as marking the beginning of the Second Wave of feminism. Horowitz documents how Friedan had for decades before this been a hardened Marxist. It is revealing that she tried to hide her background, presenting herself only as an average suburban housewife. In the early drafts, Friedan quoted Friedrich Engels, but these quotations were cut out before the book was published. In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had called for the abolition of family. Friedan denounced the American suburban family household as “a comfortable concentration camp.”

Roland Huntford noticed that the teaching of history was severely curtailed in Swedish schools because it was “impractical.” Religion, and Christianity in particular, was presented as superstition designed to fool the masses, which had been liberated from this ancient oppression by the Labor movement.

As he noted, “Scrapping historical knowledge deprives pupils of the instrument for criticizing society here and now. And perhaps that is the intended effect.” Journalist Christopher Hitchens later wrote that “For true blissed-out and vacant servitude, though, you need an otherwise sophisticated society where no serious history is taught.”

Ingvar Carlsson“The State,” in the words of Mr Ingvar Carlsson, then Minister of Education, “is concerned with morality from a desire to change society.” Mr. Carlsson, who was later Swedish prime minister until 1996, also stated on one occasion that “School is the spearhead of Socialism.”

According to Huntford, the word “freedom” was almost entirely confined to the sexual field in Sweden:

“The Swedish government has taken what it is pleased to call ‘the sexual revolution’ under its wing. Children are impressed at school that sexual emancipation is their birthright, and this is done in such a way as to suggest that the State is offering them their liberty from old-fashioned restrictions.”

He describes a meeting with Dr Gösta Rodhe, the head of the department of sexual education in the Directorate of Schools. She stated: “You see, since there’s a lack of tension in Swedish politics, younger people have got to find release and excitement in sexual tension instead.”

Herbert MarcuseHerbert Marcuse, one of the major theorists of the Frankfurt School of cultural Marxism, identified faith-based morality as the chief obstacle to a Socialist society. In his 1955 book Eros and Civilization, he argued for freeing sex from any restraints. He made a huge impact in the 1960s. Although he may not have coined the term “Make love, not war,” he undoubtedly endorsed it.

Mr. Huntford ended his book with a warning that this system of soft-totalitarianism could be exported to other countries. This was in the early 1970s, and he has been proven right since:

“The Swedes have demonstrated how present techniques can be applied in ideal conditions. Sweden is a control experiment on an isolated and sterilized subject. Pioneers in the new totalitarianism, the Swedes are a warning of what probably lies in store for the rest of us, unless we take care to resist control and centralization, and unless we remember that politics are not to be delegated, but are the concern of the individual. The new totalitarians, dealing in persuasion and manipulation, must be more efficient than the old, who depended upon force.”

“As political and economic freedom diminishes” said Aldous Huxley’s in Brave New World, “sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase.” This fits perfectly with Huntford’s description. The state strips away your personal, economic and political freedom, yet grants you sexual freedom in return, boldly hailing itself as your liberator.

Language is underestimated as a source of power. Those who control the language and the school curriculum control society.

1984George Orwell said: “If freedom of speech means anything at all, it is the freedom to say things that people do not want to hear.” In his book 1984, a totalitarian Party rules much of Europe. Their three slogans, on display everywhere, are: War is peace, Freedom is slavery and Ignorance is strength. It’s the ultimate glossocracy, even creating an entirely new language called Newspeak:

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.”

I love Orwell’s book, but frankly, it fits an openly totalitarian society more than it does Western nations. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, with its hedonistic society where people derive pleasure from promiscuous sex and drugs, is closer to the mark. Scholar Neil Postman contrasted the worlds of 1984 and Brave New World in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death:

“Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny ‘failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.’ In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.”

Postman warned against the pitfalls of our mass media society:

“What started out as a liberating stream has turned into a deluge of chaos. Everything from telegraphy and photography in the 19th century to the silicon chip in the twentieth has amplified the din of information, until matters have reached such proportions today that for the average person, information no longer has any relation to the solution of problems. It comes indiscriminately, directed at no one in particular, disconnected from usefulness; we are glutted with information, drowning in information, have no control over it, don’t know what to do with it.”

This can potentially be exploited by those in power. In an openly totalitarian society such as the Communist state of East Germany, authorities can enforce censorship at gunpoint. The German Democratic Republic, as it called itself, claimed that the Berlin Wall was an “anti-fascist protection barrier,” while it was really designed to make the country into a prison.

Angela MerkelIn 2007, former German president Roman Herzog warned that parliamentary democracy was under threat from the European Union. Between 1999 and 2004, 84 percent of the legal acts in Germany stemmed from Brussels. According to him, “EU policies suffer to an alarming degree from a lack of democracy and a de facto suspension of the separation of powers.”

At the same time, German chancellor Angela Merkel told the public that she did not intend to re-launch a broad debate on the revised EU Constitution but would rather focus on confidential talks with governments. This is especially sad because Merkel grew up in East Germany and should know better than to back an intrusive anti-democratic system. Maybe she’s a glossocrat and simply went from one glossocracy to the next.

Undercover MosquesAt the Gates of Vienna blog in January 2007, Englishman Paul Weston vented his frustration over the situation in the UK. The big story that week in British TV had been the supposed racist remarks by an English girl to Indian actress, which attracted over 9 million viewers. They were participants in “Big Brother”, a trashy reality television show that has become massively popular in many countries. At the same time, “Undercover Mosques” had an intrepid journalist with a hidden camera put his life on the line to record what was being said in leading mosques in Britain. He found they preached Islamic supremacism and hatred of non-Muslims, with statements such as: “You have to live like a state within a state until you take over.” The viewing figures for this highly important program were between 1 to 1.5 million people. British media were interested in one thing and one thing only, Big Brother.

There were two other stories in the papers that week. The British Parliament would nod through a watered down version of the EU Constitution without, as previously stated, a referendum, and the German Chancellor was intending to re-introduce said Constitution. Both stories, according to Mr. Weston, went nearly unmentioned by the TV media.

The irony of this is that the name Big Brother comes from George Orwell’s novel 1984, where Big Brother is the all-seeing leader of the totalitarian state. In 2007, Big Brother is real, but a sensual distraction, not an oppressive tyrant.

In the 19th century, Britain was threatened with subjugation by Napoleon. The British people rose to the occasion and defeated the threat. In the 20th century, Britain was threatened with subjugation by Adolf Hitler. The British people rose to the occasion and defeated the threat. In the 21st century, Britain was threatened with subjugation by the combined forces of Islamic Jihad and a pan-European superstate. The British people didn’t notice the threat, as they were too busy watching semi-naked people do obscene things on TV. I bet even George Orwell didn’t see that one coming, but maybe Huxley did.

I quoted The Road to Serfdom recently, and was told that it was “irrelevant” since it was written in the 1940s. I disagree. Here’s a passage from it where Friedrich Hayek accurately describes Political Correctness. Page 117:

“The most effective way of making people accept the validity of the values they are to serve is to persuade them that they are really the same as those which they, or at least the best among them, have always held, but which were not properly understood or recognised before. (…) The most efficient technique to this end is to use the old words but change their meaning. Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of the meaning of words by which he ideals of the new regimes are expressed. (…) Gradually, as this process continues, the whole language becomes despoiled, words become empty shells deprived of any definite meaning, as capable of denoting one thing as its opposite and used solely for the emotional associations which still adhere to them.”

Hayek was particularly concerned with words such as “equality” and “justice,” especially in combination:

“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict which each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.”

There is reason to fear that words such as tolerance, diversity and dialogue have become just as perverted, twisted and meaningless in the West under Multiculturalism as words such as freedom and democracy were in the East under Communism.

Every time something bad involving Muslims in Europe happens, the solution is supposed to be “dialogue.” But what created the problem in the first place was the Euro-Arab Dialogue. Dialogue is thus the cause of Europe’s Islamic problems, not the solution to them.

The peculiar thing about “diversity” is that the more ethnic diversity you have, the less diversity of opinion you have, since everybody is scared to death of saying something that might “insult” somebody. Moreover, people cry for more surveillance to counter the turbulence caused by all this diversity. A survey showed that a full 80 percent of Swedes favor increased surveillance to tackle terrorism and serious crime. 87 percent think that the police should be able to secretly bug telephones and access computers of ordinary citizens. Diversity, thus, leads to internal and external censorship and a more totalitarian society.

Besides, those who praise diversity the most are frequently those who are the least tolerant of diverging opinions. As British newspaper columnist Richard Littlejohn puts it: “The Fascist Left have turned the Nanny State into the Bully State. There is no limit to their intolerance in the name of tolerance.”

“Tolerance” has been defined as support for Multiculturalism and continued mass immigration. Tolerance thus means that Western populations should eradicate themselves and their own culture. It means a slow-motion surrender to Islamic culture and Islamic rule. Yet if you are against tolerance you must be some kind of evil racist or something. Who doesn’t like tolerance and diversity?

When Americans try to explain the extraordinary passivity displayed by Europeans in reaction to the massive onslaught against their countries, they tend to focus on restrictive gun laws. Our problems cannot be reduced simply to a matter of guns. After all, Americans face many of the same challenges even though they are armed.

The real reason behind this passivity is not just that Westerners have been disarmed physically, but more importantly that we have been disarmed culturally, verbally and morally. Cornered linguistically, deprived of words to formulate what we fight for and against and cut off from our historical roots, Westerners have become easy prey for our enemies.

I have heard individuals state point blank that even if Muslims become the majority in our countries in the future, this doesn’t matter because all people are equal and all cultures are just a mix of everything else, anyway. And since religions are just fairy-tales, replacing one fairy-tale, Christianity, with another fairy-tale, Islam, won’t make a big difference.

Don QuixoteModern Westerners tend to have a poor knowledge of our own history, and what little we do know we are taught to hate. We are taught, simultaneously, that our culture doesn’t exist and that it is evil, which seems like a contradiction in terms, but both claims serve to undermine traditional loyalties, which no doubt was the intended purpose. Since our Multicultural Humpty Dumpties have already decided that there is no such thing as Western civilization, only a random collection of cultural impulses from a variety of sources, you look silly, ignorant and uneducated if you defend it, a bit like a Don Quixote tilting at windmills.

One must give Muslims credit for inventing the term Islamophobia, thus demonstrating that they understand the workings of Western glossocracy better than many Westerners do themselves. While nobody had heard of Islamophobia a mere decade ago, it is now the subject of international conferences and is quite literally treated as a threat to world peace.

Yet even though we now have a word for an imaginary problem, Islamophobia, we still haven’t coined a term for a very real problem, the pervasive self-loathing and desire by some Westerners to eradicate their own culture. I’ve noticed that in many stories involving magic, a magician gains power over something once he gives it a name. So let’s give the anti-Western self-hatred a name. What about self-termination? This is an historical epoch where the West has gone from self-determination to self-termination.

If language is used to assault Western culture, regaining control over it should constitute our first line of defense. We have a right to resist those who advocate our nation’s self-termination. A policy which deprives us of self-determination and maybe our children of self-preservation is evil, and we have not just a right, but a duty to oppose it, even if it is championed by our own government; in fact, especially then. It is unacceptable that those who put the survival of our countries at risk are allowed to claim a monopoly on goodness.

I’ve been pondering how it was possible to pull off a stunt as large as the creation of Eurabia. There are many reasons for this, not the least the emotional scars in Europe following two world wars and the passivity bred by generations of intrusive bureaucracy. But one major factor has undoubtedly been the skillful manipulation of language employed by its creators. The key to hiding something in an information society such as ours is not to ban mentioning of it. Prohibitions only trigger human curiosity. It is rather to make it sound innocent, vaguely benevolent and above all exceedingly boring, and then drown it in the cacophony of noise and impressions we get bombarded with every single day. Since most people have short attention spans, they will soon move on to something else even if they have a vague idea of what’s going on. If you implement your agenda gradually over many years and refrain from openly stating your end goals, you can get away with quite a lot.

Tariq RamadanHere’s a quote from the Algiers Declaration for a Shared Vision of the Future from 2006. It states that: “It is essential to create a Euro-Mediterranean entity founded on Universal Values.” “Universal Values” sounds ok, doesn’t it? Well, the problem is, for Muslims the only universal values are Islamic values. As Tariq Ramadan says, “Muslim identity is the only true source of universality.” In other words: Arabs will see this as an admission that Europe should in the future be based on Islamic values. So a betrayal of breathtaking proportions is made to sound entirely innocent, and is tucked away in boring-looking documents that 99.99% of EU citizens have never heard of. In the odd chance that an outsider might read one or two of them, he would still have to penetrate layers of incomprehensible Eurabian Newspeak to decipher their true significance. It’s clever and it works, especially if the most plainspoken agreements are not made public or put in print. It then takes a person of Bat Ye’or’s intellectual stature and trained eye to see through the glossocratic fog and connect the dots.

Through such methods, the EU has managed to do what nobody has been able to do since the Roman Empire, and hardly even then: To unite most of the European continent, from Spain to Romania and from Finland to Italy, in one political entity. Whereas the Soviet Union was, in the words of Ronald Reagan, the Evil Empire, perhaps the European Union will be remembered as the Glossocratic Empire, probably the first empire in human history built primarily through the ability to manipulate words. This was achieved by downplaying crucial information and drowning the public in irrelevant information, and by boring people into bureaucratic submission.

However, just as Neil Postman warned against the pitfalls of the information society, he also said that “Technology always has unforeseen consequences, and it is not always clear, at the beginning, who or what will win, and who or what will lose.”

It is no coincidence that the newest and most decentralized medium, the Internet, has become the preferred medium for opposition to the ruling glossocracy. As author Bruce Bawer has noticed: “Thank God for the [Inter]Net. I tremble at the thought of all the things that have happened during the past years that I would never have known about without it. (…) If Europe is saved, it will be because of the Internet.”

One comment, later censored at a BBC online discussion forum, said:

“That the BBC does not allow a link to LGF [Little Green Footballs, major anti-Jihad blog] will come as little surprise to those of us familiar with the BBC’s output and editorial tone. What has come as a surprise to me, a relative newcomer to the ‘blogosphere’, is the degree to which the news the BBC chooses to present to us is filtered and censored. Whole stories that cause a sensation on the blogosphere and are of undoubted public interest are either mentioned in passing or not mentioned at all by the BBC.”

Nicholas CopernicusJust as Nicolaus Copernicus in the 16th century demonstrated that the sun does not revolve around the earth, so too the traditional media outlets are slowly discovering that the information society no longer revolves around their editorial policies. It’s the Second Copernican Revolution. We have yet to determine just how significant it is, but it is already creating visible cracks in the edifice of the Glossocratic Empire.

Daniel Pipes vs. Red Ken

On January 20th, London’s mayor Ken Livingstone hosted a debate in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, across the street from Westminster Abbey, on “A World Civilisation or a Clash of Civilisations”. The jumping-off point of the debate was Samuel Huntington’s famous book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. The principal speaker besides “Red Ken” was Daniel Pipes, the noted author and a charter member of the Counterjihad.

Daniel Pipes and Red KenA contingent from the UK and Canadian chapters of the 910 Group was present and one of them, “Flyboy”, was videotaping the event. 910 Group member “Willy” has made the entire video available in seven parts on YouTube — see the bottom of this post for the links.

Red Ken spoke first, and gave a very urbane speech about the need for multiculturalism and a coming together of different cultures to form a “world civilization”. He referred repeatedly to the defects of the United States, and gave his opinion that the era of America as the premier global power is even now coming to an end.

Mr. Pipes expressed a strong disagreement with the mayor.

“The problem is not so much a clash of civilizations,” he said, “but a clash between civilization and barbarism… The ‘clash of civilizations’ idea fails; it does not fit the facts; it is not a good way to understand the world.” He went on to detail the dangers of the largest and most violent barbarism of all, radical Islam. He singled out Britain, and in particular London, as the world’s principal haven for Islamic terrorists.

I haven’t had time yet to watch all the other speakers; you’ll have to go to YouTube to hear the rest of the arguments. Mr. Pipes’ account of the event is here.

The MSM has been silent about this important event, so we all owe a debt of gratitude to the dedicated volunteers of the 910 Group for making the video available. Please pass the links around.



The debate in seven parts (in order):

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Or go to Willy’s YouTube profile for all the video links.

[Nothing follows]

A Diversity of Ignorance

Commenter LN points out the latest installment of multicultural lunacy with which Britain seems to be so thoroughly infected. From the Daily Mail:

Multi-culti MathChildren will be taught race relations and multiculturalism with every subject they study — from Spanish to science — under controversial changes to the school curriculum announced by the Government.

In music and art, they could have to learn Indian and Chinese songs and instruments, and West African drumming.

In maths and science, key Muslim contributions such algebra and the number zero will be emphasised to counter Islamophobia. [Oh, yes! That’s bound to be effective. — ed.].

And in English, pupils will study literature on the experiences of migration — such as Zadie Smith’s novel White Teeth, or Brick Lane, by Monica Ali.

[…]

Under the recommendations — put forward in a report by former headmaster Sir Keith Ajegbo — teachers will be expected to make ‘explicit references to cultural diversity’ in as many subjects as possible.

A new central theme covering ‘identity and diversity’ will be added to citizenship classes, which have been compulsory since 2002.

[…]

Pupils could even be tested on their attitudes to diversity in A-level and GCSEs, which will be redrafted to ensure they include ‘issues related to diversity’.

Not everybody thinks this is a good idea:

However, [MP Douglas] Carswell said: ‘This report is prescribing precisely the wrong medicine to heal the wounds of a society that multiculturalism has divided. This is a stark example of the politically-correct lobby hijacking the citizenship agenda.

‘Recent arrivals to this country have all the more reason to be given a sense of what we are all about so they can become part of it and share it. But instead this will give the green light to every politically-correct Left-Wing educationist to further undermine our society.’

- – - – - – - – - -
Now, before you say, “Wow! Those wacko Brits! It’s a good thing we don’t have to deal with this kind of crap over here!” — you might want to spend a little time with Dr. Google assessing the status of American multicultural education.

Since my field is mathematics, I went looking for multicultural math. Believe me, there’s plenty to be found; I had to quit long before I looked at every link — gnashing my teeth was giving me a headache.

You could, for example, look at InGEAR: “a multi-university project titled Integrating Gender Equity and Reform”, specifically equity in mathematics, science, and engineering instruction. In this context “equity” is always an ominous word; it means favoring less capable students over the more talented, all because of race, gender, sexual orientation, abled-ness, species, or planet of origin.

Or check out the Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education:

I propose that teachers consider at least three ways to infuse multicultural education into the math and science curriculum. Firstly, they may adopt into their curriculum mathematical and scientific contributions that different societies have made to the advancement of human knowledge. Secondly, they may undertake biographical studies of mathematicians and scientists from various cultural and gender backgrounds. Thirdly, they may apply culturally relevant pedagogy to their math and science instruction so that all students, including students of color, students from low socio-economic status, and females, will receive quality education and an equal chance to perform to their maximum capacity. Articles and reviews of resources published in this issue will help teachers infuse multicultural contents and pedagogy into their math and science curriculum. Some readers may be surprised to discover that a significant amount of information is available to assist their instruction.

When I was in school, we didn’t study the biographies of mathematicians. If you were interested in such things, you might take a book out of the library on your own time, but in math class you studied — wait for it — math. The only way the mathematicians themselves showed up was in the theorems named for them: Pythagoras, Leibniz, Taylor, Euler, Napier, etc. I never knew what race or gender those people were — they were just the names.

Ah, but the fact that they were all Dead White Males was later held against us, of course.

Here in the United States the federal government doesn’t write school curricula; it can only kink or unkink the money hose. So Uncle Sam can’t pull a stunt like the British government is doing; the mischief is all occurring at the state and local levels, co-ordinated by the education schools and the teachers’ unions.

But that doesn’t stop the feds from spending your tax dollars on all the necessary multicultural “research”. Take, for example, some excerpts from ERIC Digests, which were midwifed in part by the bottom line on your 1040. First there’s “Content integration”:

The first dimension of multicultural mathematics identifies diverse cultural contributions to mathematics. This dimension is important because so many people view mathematics as Eurocentric. Consequently, students from non-European backgrounds may feel that they cannot contribute to the field and thus develop a helpless and powerless attitude toward mathematics.

Students from non-European backgrounds may feel that they cannot contribute to the field.

Did you know that the best mathematicians in the world are from India? That if ethnic quotas were ever instituted among math graduate students at our major universities, Indians would have to be thrown out?

Then there’s “Knowledge construction”:

This component refers not only to group consensus within a discipline but also to the process whereby individual students construct knowledge for themselves.

You and I have another phrase for this component: “Making s**t up”. Lock the little boys and girls in a room and let them reinvent the wheel, and then discover how to do differential equations on their own. That will really accelerate the progress of math and science.

You might also want to pick up a copy of Ethnomathematics: A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas, by Marcia Ascher:

According to this review:

Among the Iqwaye people of Papua New Guinea, for instance, fingers, toes, and the spaces between toes are tools for counting to numbers much higher than 10 or 20 or 28; instead, they form the basis of a sophisticated numbering system that can count to numbers of indefinitely large size.

This is a big deal? The indigenes learned to count? And beyond twenty, too! Quite an accomplishment for — ahem — people of color.

From Madagascar, for instance, she describes a divination practice that has endured for four centuries, in essentially the same form, among members of the island’s diverse ethnic and sociopolitical groupings. Madagascans seeking advice and guidance consult an expert, known as an ombiasy, in a divination system called sikidy. The diviner grabs a fistful of the seeds from a local tree out of a bag and makes a column of four random piles. He then removes the seeds from the piles two at a time, until each pile is reduced to either one or two seeds. He then repeats the process three more times, each time placing the new column of piles to the left of the preceding column. In the end he has sixteen piles of seeds before him, each containing either one or two seeds, arranged in four columns.

It’s easy to make fun of this stuff. But when I do, I must emphasize that I’m not making fun of the source material itself. What people have done with mathematical ideas in their own way, in their own cultures, is always interesting.

What I’m ridiculing is the high-minded elevation of these things, this condescending and — yes — racist pandering to more primitive cultures, all in the name of further denigrating Western civilization.

Because what you’ll notice about all the multicultural math, science, and engineering accomplishments touted in these sources is this: they aren’t any more advanced than the ancient Greeks were in these fields.

No electronic device was ever designed based on the indigenous physics of the Igbo. The Ainu did not discover the quark, or a cure for polio.

The awful truth, the truth that dare not be admitted, is that the hated Dead White European Males had this stuff beat more than two thousand years ago.

Now that’s culturally relevant pedagogy.

Naïvists and Human Nature

Update: Steen has generously donated a photo of Kai Sørlander, who is a friend of his — ©2007 Snaphanen.



It’s been apparent for some time that the Danes are way ahead of everyone else in the West in their strategies for dealing with Islam. I recommend studying the Danish model — in future, those countries that successfully turn back the Islamist tide will be the ones that most emulate Denmark.

The Danish blogger (and 910 Group member) Zonka has translated a feature article from yesterday’s Jyllands-Posten. In it you will find a breath of fresh air on the immigration issue, an uncommon amount of common sense.

Translator’s note: In this article, author and philosopher Kai Sørlander writes about the divide between the proponents of multiculturalism and immigration, whom he calls optimists, and the xenophobes and Islamophobes, here labelled pessimists. Below is my translation of the article.

Kai SørlanderNaïvists and Human Nature

Kai Sørlander, Author and Philosopher

When democracy let the optimists succeed in classifying the pessimists as xenophobes and Islamophobes, it embarked upon a catastrophic course. And the media who have aided to maintain the illusion bear a particular part of the blame, says the writer.

Political discussions often take place on two levels: a substantial level where the parties have differing opinions about some concrete issue, and a secondary level, where the aim is to get your political opponent classified in a way that implies that you yourself are right on the substantial level.

If you can affix your own labels on your opponent, then you can make it impossible for him to voice his substantial arguments. It is a tactical game which is part of the democratic game.

This game can thus also be found in the political disagreement about the last thirty to forty years of immigration policy.

This was a case in which anyone should have known in advance that there would be serious consequences for Danish society, and thus it should have been discussed openly and in all of its aspects. All parties should have had the opportunity to be as clear as possible in presenting their opinions of how many immigrants from relatively distant cultures they thought that Danish society could manage to integrate. And then they should have been required to argue their position, why they believed that their answer was the right one. But at the same time they should also have recognized that there would be a major uncertainty about the answer. Nobody could be sure that his own answer would be superior in the long run.

The optimists should thus also have recognized that there could be a certain amount of rationality in the pessimism, however that recognition was held back. The optimists avoided entering into a serious debate with the pessimists.

- – - – - – - – - -

Instead they made being a pessimist equivalent to being xenophobic. Those who didn’t share the optimists’ belief in how many immigrants it was possible to integrate into society were classified as xenophobes.

In this the optimists were the ones who ruined the debate, and were greatly helped along the way by the media. Instead of entering an equal debate with the pessimists, they rendered them morally unworthy.

The same rhetorical game also marks a more particular aspect of the political discussion about the conditions for immigration. As an consequence of the fact that many of the immigrants that came into the country in that period were Muslims, it was rational to consider the issue of Islam and democracy. Then one began by recognising that democracy as a rational political order requires a realisation that the laws are made by humans and have to be approved through a parliamentary decision.

Thus one has to recognize that a democratic order more easily integrates a religion that itself recognizes that the laws of society have to be made by humans, than a religion that wants to decide itself how the laws should be. And isn’t that the main difference between Christianity and Islam? Isn’t that exactly the explanation why democracy has been able to develop within Christianity but not within Islam?

Who knows what is right? Under all circumstances we are talking about real problems, which for the sake of democracy there was every reason to seriously discuss in connection with Muslim immigration. But was it done?

No, here also the optimists, who couldn’t see any problem, skipped over the pessimists. Instead of an equal debate, the pessimists were labelled Islamophobes. They suffered from a phobia; they were sick; there was no reason to debate with them.

In this way the optimists succeeded for a long time in creating a climate that made it impossible to take seriously the problems that resulted from liberal immigration policy. Because even to take them seriously was labelled as an expression of xenophobia and Islamophobia.

The consequence then was that nothing was done, and the problems were allowed to grow. Therefore they have also become harder to ignore. And thus it is not quite as easy for the optimists to block serious debate about immigration policy by calling their pessimistic opponents xenophobes and Islamophobes.

On the contrary, the pessimists can now begin to win in the media for their interpretation of the consequences of the immigration policy. And what are the pessimists doing? They naturally uses the same rhetorical trick as the optimists.

They label the opponent in such a way that it is implied that they are mistaken. This can be seen in the title of Karen Jespersen’s and Ralf Pittelkow’s recently published book Islamists and Naïvists. Here the optimists are labelled as naïve, gullible, simple-minded, or even foolishly kind.

Thus the scenario is in place.

In the center is the question itself about the consequences of the liberal immigration policy, surrounded by the two parties, which look with their differing seriousness on these consequences, and which are characterizing each other as xenophobes and naïve. Who is right in this conflict? Are the optimists right that the pessimists are xenophobic? Or are the pessimists right that the optimists are naïve?

A complete answer to that question can naturally only be given once history has taken its turn, and we can’t wait that long when we have to make a political decision. But the answer also requires that we have our concepts in place, and that is something that we don’t need to wait for.

We can get our concepts in place immediately. And on the face of it there is one thing that sticks out: the obvious asymmetry between the way that optimists and pessimists are labelling each other. Where the optimists make the pessimists xenophobic and thus evil, the pessimists only makes the optimists naïve. The demonizing is one-way.

What is the cause of this asymmetry in the parties’ judgment of each other?

The answer must be found the different views of human nature. When the optimists doesn’t see any serious problem arising from the immigration of people from alien cultures, it is because they assume that man by nature is good, and that it is culture that makes people narrow-minded and self centered. In that light multiculturalism is positive, because it sets everybody free from their primary culture and gives them the possibility to live out their natural goodness towards one another. Thus the deconstruction of the prevalent culture is a beneficial project, and those who resist it are evil. They are demonized as xenophobic.

When the pessimists looks quite differently at the consequences of the immigration of people from alien cultures, it is because they have another view of the nature of man. To them man by nature isn’t good, he is combative, and has the potential for both good and evil. And cultural education is necessary to give man the means to interact in such ways that he can suppress his combativeness and live in peace with those in his society.

It is this difference between the optimists and the pessimists in their views of the nature of man that results in the demonization of the pessimists and not the other way around.

For the optimists the pessimists appear dangerous, because they do not believe enough in the goodness of man. For the pessimists the optimists appear dangerous because they believe too much in the goodness of man. And when the optimists then make the act of believing in the goodness of man a requirement for being good, there follows the demonization of the pessimists.

But who is right? Which view on the nature of man is the right one? If we ask soberly, then there is no reason to believe the optimists. Then all experience and logic says that reality is with the pessimists, and since it is dangerous to build your policy on an illusion, it is imperative that the truth be heard in the political debate.

When democracy let the optimists succeed in labelling the pessimists as xenophobes and Islamophobes, it took a catastrophic course. And the media, particularly the taxpayer-subsidised media who have participated in maintaining this illusion, have a particular part of the blame. If democracy is to get back on track, then rational pessimism has to be at the helm again.

That point of view sees the naïveté behind the optimism. And here Jespersen’s and Pittelkow’s book is an essential contribution.

When so many have shared the optimists’ belief that man by nature is good, it is because one saw a connection between oneself being good and believing in the natural goodness of man.

Anyone who didn’t believe in the natural goodness of man had to be evil. And that connection is simply not going to hold.

As an individual, one doesn’t become good by believing in the natural goodness of man, but by being good and helpful, although one realizes that one also has many impulses in the opposite direction.

Three Years Gone in the Heart of Spain

Spanish Civil War — photo by Robert CapaThe great romantic cause for progressives in the 20th century was the Spanish Civil War. Beginning in the summer of 1936 and lasting until early 1939, it was in effect the prodromal stage of the full-blown disease that became World War Two.

General Francisco Franco and his military co-conspirators botched the early part of their uprising and failed to take Madrid, thus guaranteeing a protracted and bloody conflict for the control of Spain. Early on in the war, Britain and France effectively prevented a Republican victory, cynically declaring neutrality whilst imposing an embargo against the Spanish Republican government on arms and supplies. General Franco and the Nationalists received ample support from the Fascists in Italy and the Nazis in Germany, and the Republicans were cast into the arms of the Soviet Union for their own support.

Spanish Civil War —  Nationalist volunteersIf you were a Leftist, a Communist, an Anarchist, or even just an old-fashioned romantic, Spain was the place to be in 1937. Volunteers flooded in from the rest of Europe and North America, forming the “International Brigades” which fought alongside the forces of the Spanish Republic.

The valiant Republicans were celebrated in art and drama, with the photographs of Robert Capa standing as the emblem of the struggle. After the civil war was over, Stalin’s abrupt about-face with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact took the bloom off the great romantic myth of the Spanish Civil War. Even so, the idea of the “Cause” never completely died.

Al Stewart captures the spirit of the period in this song from his album Between the Wars:

Always the Cause
by Al Stewart

Bad news over the great divide
Comes in from every side
Still hope won’t be denied
There was always the Cause
There was always the Cause

Oh La Pasionaria sang
This day, ¡No Pasarán!!
It echoed out in Catalan
There was always the Cause
There was always the Cause

Mariposa
Late nights waiting on the via dolorosa
Hold me closer
Not long now, oh ma bella hermosa
There was always the Cause

- – - – - – - – - -

Setbacks come at every turn
New ways are hard to learn
Tonight I saw Guernica burn
There was always the Cause
There was always the Cause

Mariposa
Late nights waiting on the via dolorosa
Hold me closer
Not long now, oh ma bella hermosa
There was always the Cause

Three years gone in the heart of Spain
He brings home a quiet pain
He’ll never be that young again
There was always the Cause
There was always the Cause

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


Mariposa is the Spanish word for “butterfly”. Perhaps the young man in the song was using it as a pet name for his beloved, his bella hermosa.

But mariposa is also Spanish slang for a homosexual. During the war, General Franco was sometimes depicted on his opponents’ propaganda posters as an effeminate fop, and dubbed La Mariposa. But a more likely reference would be to a 1919 play by the homosexual playwright Federico García Lorca, El Maleficio de la Mariposa (“The Curse of the Butterfly”).

The fate of García Lorca is emblematic of the cultural clash within Spain that grew into the Civil War. He was refined, effete, and modern, the essence of 20th-century enlightenment. When the war came he was pulled out of hiding and shot by the Nationalists, a martyr to the Cause.

La Pasionaria (the passion flower) was Dolores Ibárruri Gómez, a Communist Party stalwart and the editor of Mundo Obrero, who was prominent both before and during the war. After her side lost, she was driven into exile and became a citizen of the Soviet Union. However, she lived long enough to return to the post-Franco Spanish democracy and win a seat in the Cortes.

The Communists played a prominent role in the war, eventually taking virtual control of the Republican effort. It wasn’t that the war was “hijacked” by the Comintern; the Republican cause was never strong enough on its own to hold out against Franco. The most dedicated, zealous, ruthless, and brutal fighters for the Cause were to be found among the Communists and the Anarchists.

Spanish industry had flourished during the Great War in order to supply steel and other war materiel to the Allies. After the war, the emerging proletariat was radical and restive. As the Great Depression moved in the most stalwart Anarchist and Communist strongholds were in Barcelona and other industrial areas of Catalonia.

The Republicans, on the other hand, were modern mainstream intellectuals centered in Madrid. They were anti-clerical and anti-monarchy, and when Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship ended in 1931, the Spanish Republic that eventually formed dedicated its efforts to reining in the Catholic church and the monarchists. The King left the country, and the Cortes enacted a series of laws restricting the Church and expropriating its property. The Constitution of the Republic actually banned the Jesuits.

The massacres and executions by the Nationalists have been well publicized. But when the war came, Republican troops massacred Catholic clergy with great enthusiasm. In one of history’s little ironies, Moroccan Muslim troops fighting for Franco found these atrocities repugnant, and fought with dedication for the Nationalists.

With the Franco-British embargo keeping arms out, the only countries who could supply either side were those who were indifferent to the niceties of international law. The British and the French were in full appeasement mode towards Hitler, and not at all keen on enforcing the embargo as it pertained to the great dictators.

Spanish Civil War — aircraft from Grupo G-23As a result the conflict became a proxy war, with the Nazis and the Fascists confronting the Soviets. In particular, the new techniques of aerial war and mass bombardment were tested and perfected over the towns and cities of Spain. The Nationalists received Heinkels from Germany and Fiat B.R. 20s from the Italians; the Soviets supplied I-15s and I-16s to the Republicans. For the three great socialist dictatorships, the Spanish Civil War was the testing ground for their latest firepower.

Spanish Civil War — Contra el matonismo militar la fuerza invencible del proletariadoIn Spain, as in any other country, the Communists did not tolerate any rival factions on the left, despite the fact that the initial Socialist upheavals had emphasized the unity of the Left in the face of the common danger. The poster at left features the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) , the Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI), and the Asociación Internacional de Trabajadores (AIT) acting as one contra el matonismo militar la fuerza invencible del proletariado, “against the bullying military the invincible force of the proletariat”. There was solidarity among the workers, whether Anarchist, Socialist, or Communist.

However, as the war ran its course, the Communists acted ruthlessly to suppress any ideology other than that of orthodox Bolshevism. The Anarchists and the Socialists were zealous warriors on behalf of the Cause, but they were nonetheless purged by the Party — imprisoned and executed for the crime of not being Communists, in a civil war within the Civil War.

Intelligent and observant members of the International Brigades came home disenchanted with Soviet Socialism. George Orwell, in Homage to Catalonia, left the best record of this conversion. His experiences in Spain led him to write Animal Farm and 1984, and he became a staunch anti-communist.

But the dream never died. Among those who still deny the guilt of Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs, who say, “True Socialism has never really been tried”, who look to Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro for inspiration — among these true believers, the Spanish Civil War is still the Cause.

Communism has departed, leaving nothing but toxic waste, devastated lives, and cubic miles of mass graves spread across five continents. Yet the hope lives on.

General Franco and the Nationalists prevailed against the Republican socialists, but they couldn’t destroy the Cause.

They worked their will on John Barleycorn, but he lived to tell the tale.



Other resources on the Spanish Civil War:

Wikipedia — The Spanish Civil War
Posters from the Spanish Civil War
Italian aviation in the war
Multiple resources on the war — mostly links to leftist sites, but still worth a look.
The TUC and the Spanish Civil War
Heart of Spain: Robert Capa’s Photographs of the Spanish Civil War