“If Ireland Declines, You Must Not Sign!”

Who’da thunk the Irish had that much influence in Europe?

Faith and begorrah, the Poles and the Germans are having second thoughts about the Lisbon Treason Treaty.

It seems the Irish defiance opened the gates to the corral and there may be no retrieving some of the other restless horses after all. First the Poles [my emphasis below — D]:

Polish President Lech Kaczynski announced in an interview published Tuesday that he will not sign the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, saying it was pointless after Irish voters rejected it in a referendum last month.

“For the moment, the question of the treaty is pointless,” Kaczynski was quoted as saying in the online version of the daily Dziennik.

Sarkozy Rounds ‘Em UpThe Polish parliament voted in April to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, a key reform treaty meant to streamline EU decision-making, but it needs the signature of the president to become definitive.

[…]

Kaczynksi’s refusal to ratify the treaty is a serious blow to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has set himself the task with finding a way of overcoming the Irish rejection of the treaty as France takes over the six-month rotating EU presidency on Tuesday.

Well, that makes it even more interesting. Sarkozy is a charismatic fellow to some, and he may think he has a better chance of rounding up the mustangs than the other cowboys. That remains to be seen…

Meanwhile, the Germans are doing a slower gallop off the EU ranch, via their Constitutional Court:
- – - - – - – - -

German President Horst Koehler will not sign off on the ratification of the embattled EU’s Lisbon Treaty until the country’s Constitutional Court decides whether the reform accord is compatible with the country’s Basic Law, his office said on Monday, June 30.

Koehler has decided to heed a request from the Constitutional Court not to add his signature to the embattled reform treaty pending its ruling, his office said in a statement.

Koehler’s functions are mainly ceremonial, but he has sometimes used his limited powers to block government legislation.

[…]

Koehler’s move has put Germany in a tricky situation given that the European heavyweight had pressed EU nations to ratify the treaty as soon as possible after the Irish rejection.

Sooo…that’s three down and how many to go before the stampede begins?

Anybody got a pool going on this one?



Hat tip: Queen of Bohemia

Muzzled in France

I just received a message from Cyber-résistant, a French Counterjihad blogger. It’s a forward from the blog drzz, which has been suspended by its hosting service.

Here is my translation, with the original French version posted below it so that our Francophone readers may correct my mistakes:

Hello everyone,

The blog drzz was suspended by over-blog because it allegedly had not deleted an “illegal comment”.

The host gives page links and requests the deletion of the comment, but at the same time it has suspended the blog from the Web, and denies the editors administrative access to the blog. How can one delete a comment in this case, I ask you…? Over-blog’s announcement also states, “also any comment, article manifestly unlawful”… Understand: over-blog is undertaking this purely and simply so it can delete the blog drzz from the Web.

If you want proof of our success, this is a beauty… And this is happening in France, not the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe, even though we might confuse the two…

Be aware that the blog drzz is reported at least fifty times a week for “abuse” by militants of the LCR [the Revolutionary Communist League] and Attac.

- – - - – - – - -

I therefore call on everyone to write to over-blog demanding immediate restoration of service to the blog drzz: [email protected]

Over-blog without a doubt is trying to let a deadline pass, after which the blog will automatically be deleted. We must therefore act, NOT WAIT.

Hoping to find you on the Web,

drzz (just entered the Green Card program, with the intention of leaving this diseased continent as soon as possible)

Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 16:04:59 +0200
From: [email protected]
To: drzz
Subject: About your blog

Hello,

Please delete the comment:

http://leblogdrzz.over-blog.com/article-20497887-6.html # comment28507322
Comment No12 posted by jean 17/06/2008 11:16:08

and also any other comment, article clearly illegal.
The blog has been suspended in the meantime.

Cordially,
The Over-blog team



Le texte original français:

Bonjour à tous,

Le blog drzz a été suspendu par over-blog parce qu’il n’avait soi-disant pas supprimmé un “commentaire illicite”.

L’hébergeur donne la page en liens et demande de supprimer le commentaire, mais dans le même temps a supendu le blog de la Toile et interdit aux rédacteurs d’ouvrir le volet administratif du blog. Comment supprimer un commentaire en ce cas, je vous le demande… ? L’annonce d’over-blog précise également “ainsi que tout commentaire, article manifestement illicite”… Comprenez : over-blog est en train, purement et simplement, de supprimer le blog drzz de la Toile.

Si vous vouliez une preuve de notre succès, en voici une belle…. Et ceci se déroule en France, pas dans la dictature de Robert Mugabe, même si nous pourrions confondre…

Sachez que le blog drzz est signalé au moins cinquante fois par semaine pour “abus” par des militants de la LCR et d’Attac.

Je vous demande donc, à tous, d’écrire à over-blog pour réclamer immédiatement la remise en service du blog drzz: [email protected]

Over-blog cherche sans doute à passer un délai après lequel le blog sera supprimmé automatiquement. Il faut donc agir SANS ATTENDRE.

En espérant vous retrouver sur la Toile,

drzz (qui vient de s’inscrire au programme de la Green Card, histoire de quitter au plus vite ce continent de malades)

Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 16:04:59 +0200
From: [email protected]
To: drzz
Subject: A propos de votre blog

Bonjour,

Merci de supprimer le commentaire :

http://leblogdrzz.over-blog.com/article-20497887-6.html#comment28507322
Commentaire No12 posté par jean le 17/06/2008 a 11:16:08

ainsi que tout autre commentaire, article manifestement illicite.
Le blog a été suspendu dans cette attente.

Cordialement,
L’équipe d’Over-blog

Demographic Conquest

Several years ago, after 9-11 but before we started blogging, Dymphna and I often had discussions about the coming Islamization of Europe. It was easy to see the trend: on the one hand there was the demographic decline of the indigenous population, and on the other was a dangerous multicultural ideology that fosters increasing levels of Muslim immigration.

The conclusion was obvious: absent a change of course, Europe will become a Muslim continent by the year X. The only question is whether X will be 2040, or 2100, or somewhere in between.

What was hard to understand was how the transfer of power would occur. Right now the parts of Europe that have been Islamized are mostly the working-class neighborhoods of large European cities and their suburbs. The blue-collar natives are gradually driven out as whole districts become no-go zones.

However, the elites who make policy remain in power and are for the most part removed from the effects of their decisions. They don’t live in the devastated neighborhoods, or send their children to the gang-plagued schools, or worry about being mugged or raped on their way home at night.

So for the time being they get to retain their power and perks, and continue to act out the illusion of an advanced, harmonious, enlightened, multicultural society, superior in so many ways to the racist nationalistic states of the past.

But all that must change eventually. As the immigrant percentage grows larger, especially in the major cities, power must eventually be transferred to the newcomers. How will that occur?

That’s the part of this process which is difficult to visualize. At some point the white post-Christian indigenes of Europe will have to hand over the keys to their new masters, the Arab, African, Pakistani, and Turkish Muslim immigrants.

Until recently, even after five years of studying the situation, I was still struggling to grasp how it will all unfold.

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


Several recent comments and news stories have fed into the reopening of this question. Though seemingly disparate items, they are pieces in a larger puzzle:

Piece #1: A comment made by What is “Occupation” on my post from last Saturday about the recent rapes in the Gare du Midi in Brussels:
- – - - – - – - -

As I recently posted, this is not an isolated situation

Might I suggest the following?

  • Attacks on Jews & their property
  • Attacks on Single European women
  • Attacks on cars and property (car burnings in france)
  • Areas of Europe that are no long safe for non-african/islamic peoples
  • Areas of sharia control within europe
  • Honor Killings IN England and Europe
  • FGM in England and Europe

It is not really a fair thing to portray the Gare du Midi situation as JUST how a “european woman” has been raped, but rather it would be MORE fair to tell this story while including all the other attacks by the SAME DEMOGRAPHIC during this period.

Piece #2: The story I posted last night about the corrupt MEPs who are enriching themselves at the expense of European taxpayers whilst doing as little work as possible. These deadbeats show up for work at the crack of dawn on Fridays at the parliament building in Strasbourg, sign in so that they qualify for their lavish per-diem, and then depart for the weekend. Their reaction when caught in their shameful behavior is to call security and have the reporters thrown out of the building.

Piece #3: The promotion of whole-body Islamic swimming attire for women in Sweden, in a simultaneous series of gushing media articles about the fortunate Muslim women who can now go swimming, thanks to an aquatic version of the burqa.

Piece #4: A Dutch news story from last Saturday. According to this article from NIS, the prison population in the Netherlands has grown by 193% in the past twenty years, an average increase of 5.5% per year. Comparing the 2007 population of 16,570,613 with the 1990 population of 14,936,032, we see that the general population increased by 0.6% annually.

In other words, the prison population increased at nine times the rate of the population at large, and “the increase in the Netherlands was higher than in the other Western countries surveyed: the US, the UK, Australia, Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark.”

Piece #5: The Dutch government’s plan to crack down on bloggers who criticize Islam.

Piece #6:The emergence of a Muslim majority within the ruling Socialist Party on the Brussels City Council.

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


So how do all these pieces fit together?

The commenter quoted above touched the main points of the demographic invasion of Europe. The process didn’t turned out the way its planners intended, and a dystopian nightmare has emerged across the continent, with its most intense manifestations appearing in the countries with the largest Muslim populations: France, Britain, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The pattern is everywhere remarkably similar, considering that the Muslim immigrants in each of these nations come from different countries, and even different continents.

Crime, arson, rioting, rape, honor-killings, and general lawlessness accompany the immigrants wherever they choose to settle.

The prisons are now filled to overflowing, and not just in the Netherlands. There is a general reluctance to build more prisons, since the European anointed — like their counterparts in the United States — hew to an ideology that blames crime on poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, racism, and so on. All of these conditions are alleviated by the supremely generous European welfare state, so how can there possibly be an increase in crime?

The solution: avoid chasing and apprehending most of the criminals. Release the ones that are caught at an earlier date, thus creating the illusion that crime is not all that bad. The governing classes can go on pretending that administration is running as usual and everything is normal, all the while granting themselves ever-larger salaries.

The habit of governing without accountability creates a sense of entitlement and impunity within the ruling classes, and this arrogance is reinforced as power is handed over from national bodies to the aloof bureaucracy in Brussels and Strasbourg. Endemic corruption sets in, secrecy becomes the norm, and any exposure or criticism causes a crackdown on the impertinent journalists who dare to question the actions and decisions of their overpaid and overfed overseers.

Along with the “hard broom” — crime, intimidation, ostracism, loss of employment, and laws against freedom of speech — comes the “soft broom”, a widespread propaganda campaign in public agencies and the state media to present Islamic customs and rules as normal, even admirable. The violence and barbarity are hidden and ignored. Islam is depicted as a peaceful, wholesome religion, like Christianity but somehow better.

The smiling faces of little girls in hijab and the devout men on their prayer rugs become the depicted norm, and anybody who views the situation differently is a racist, a bigot, and a xenophobe.

Real people, people who have to live with the day-to-day reality on the streets, know better. They deal with the consequences every day, but they are atomized and outnumbered. If they have a solution to the dilemma, it is to escape to the un-Islamized countryside, or even abroad — not to try to change a situation which seems hopeless and inevitable.

With the indigenous populace demoralized, and immigrant crime and intimidation ruling the mean streets of Europe’s working-class neighborhoods, the gradual insertion of Muslims into positions of power becomes feasible. The immigrants and the socialist parties have been allies for decades, so it’s only natural that the Muslims who deliver votes for the Reds and the Greens get to occupy seats at the table and help divide up the spoils.

None of the incumbent apparatchiks has to give up his power and perks. Attrition does the job, and when an indigenous office-holder retires, an immigrant from the well-oiled socialist machine is ready to take his place. The corrupt white European politician is replaced with a corrupt immigrant politician, who inherits his predecessor’s lavish lifestyle with its exorbitant salary and perks.

It’s new skin for the old ceremony.

In twenty or thirty years’ time the transition will have passed the point of no return. Muslims will have majority control of local government in many of Europe’s major cities, and will also be well-represented in the regional bodies and the EU machinery. Shariah will have been enacted piecemeal in various places — halal meals in all public institutions, the acceptance of the veil, including the burqa, in government offices and schools, the segregation of the sexes in various activities, penalties for insulting Islam, shariah finance instruments, the legalization of polygyny, etc. — so that the general public will be completely softened up for the advent of the Islamic state.

The process whereby Europe will make the transition to Islamic rule is now quite clear.

It’s already well underway, and it couldn’t happen without the primary institution that mediates the transformation: the European Union.



Hat tip for the NIS article: TB.

A German View of History

Update: Paul at Celestial Junk claims original authorship of this piece. His post of it is earlier than any of the other versions I looked at, so if nobody contests it, the credit should go to him.

I’m delighted to be able to reconnect the name of the author with this essay.



The following was sent to us as an email by Gates of Vienna reader LS. Based on the email’s headers, it had been forwarded repeatedly. It has also popped up a number of times on the web, although I can’t identify an original source. It’s well-written and to the point, so I’m posting it here in its entirety.



A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. “Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”

We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of fifty shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the “silent majority,” is cowed and extraneous.
- – - - – - – - -
Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about twenty million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering seventy million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of twelve million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace-loving”?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we may miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

The Mandatory Mixing of Cultures

Our Austrian correspondent ESW has translated an article from Die Presse concerning the integration of Muslims in Austrian schools.

This article is a textbook example of what might be called High Multiculturalism. Some of the characteristics of this ideology are:

  • Its mandatory nature. Cultures have to mix; there is no choice. The civilizational damage that may result from such a policy is unimportant. What counts is the realization of the ideological goal.
  • Unquestioned assumptions. The mixing of races, religions, and cultures is always a good thing. Resisting that mixing is racist and bad, an atavistic attitude which must be crushed. There is no possibility of doubting these principles: they are the defining postulates of the entire system.
  • One-way assimilation. The indigenous population is required to adapt itself to the Muslim immigrants, but the immigrants do not have to reciprocate. Assimilation is held up as a goal, but somehow the newcomers never manage to assimilate, and that’s OK. Expecting them to do so is racist.
  • The failure to condemn barbaric behavior. There is a tacit acknowledgement that Muslim girls are oppressed and that the males in their families intimidate anyone who would interfere with it. This is not presented as a significant problem, nor judged as wrong. Under Multicultural orthodoxy, passing judgment on anything but the indigenous European culture is sinful, and must be avoided.

Now for ESW’s translation:

“Cultures must be mixed”
by Daniel Kraker and Martin Wolf

Muslim in an Austrian school“Cultures must be mixed,” says Mohammed Fahad, owner of a pub catering to young people in Innsbruck (the provincial capital of Tyrol). It was his goal to bring different cultures together, and he adds this “togetherness” of “indigenous” and “foreigners” has been friction-free.

In our school there are classes with Muslims integrated so well that they aren’t distinguishable from other students. The school principal sees no problems. However, there are very few Muslims in our area. As a result, general conditions are good, especially since most Muslims belong to the second generation of immigrants.

But this does not mean that there are no problems. Muslim students enjoy strong cohesion. One can see them standing together during school breaks. Near the buffet, in the garden, near the door. One has the feeling that one is not welcome. This is exacerbated by their speaking Turkish amongst themselves. This behavior evidences very little interest in integration.

- – - - – - – - -

If Muslims go out on their own, they do mingle with others, trying hard not to attract attention, speaking German. They seem more open and more likable.

Otherwise my big brother will come to get you

Muslim students generally have a different way of socializing. They go to different pubs, drink no alcohol, and treat girls differently.

When the little ones start attending our school the cultural differences are not yet seen, except that everyone knows that Muslim girls are not to be bothered, otherwise they get their older brothers, and that might end badly. Over the years the differences appear. However, there is still a chance to take countermeasures; for instance, teach the little girls to solve problems on their own.

[…]

Our surveys among students and teachers show another point: Many of our Muslim consider themselves integrated; however, they also believe they are discriminated against. Thus, there is still a long way to go to reach actual acceptance and equality of opportunities. We are only at the beginning.

Riding the EU Gravy Train

Here’s an enlightening video made by Hans-Peter Martin and RTL about the lavishly parasitic Members of the European Parliament. Some of the MEPs were caught by the investigative team checking into the parliament building on a Friday morning just long enough to register their presence and collect their generous per-diem allowance before heading off for home.

The report is in German with English subtitles:



Most of the MEPs caught by the camera crew displayed the furtiveness appropriate to those who have been caught in a shameful act. But some respond with the angry arrogance of the seasoned apparatchik: “You miserable worm, how dare you come in here and monitor my activities!”

In a typical EU response, when the corruption and malfeasance of high officials is exposed, the strategy is to attack the journalists, hide the facts, and suppress public coverage. It’s similar to the way the Netherlands is tackling Islamization: by cracking down on blogs that criticize Islam.

Here’s more information about the video, taken from the blurb on YouTube :
- – - - – - – - -

A Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in Brussels earns approx. 14,700 euros per month (~£11,587) [~$24,000], according to this RTL Report… How much the MEPs have to work (or don’t work) for their €14,700 is the subject of this on-site RTL investigation in Brussels. The video is about MEPs who sign in on attendance lists and then disappear immediately for their weekend. RTL investigating journalists were thrown out of the EU building in Brussels during their work.

Some MEPs try to justify themselves, some to invent excuses, again others flee before the camera and dash off to lifts or also in their confusion bump into the wall (German MEP of the Green Party)!

One-man crusader Hans-Peter Martin, MEP from Austria: “A Member of the European Parliament earns on an average more than the German Chancellor Frau Merkel and one wants to hide this from the electorate. Therefore, one obviously must get rid of reporters investigating this.”



Hat tip: Steen.

Gibraltar: Tunnel Under Troubled Waters

Below is a preview of a post by AMDG, which will be featured at La Yihad en Eurabia early this week. There will be additional illustrations used in his own version of the post, so check in with his blog later.



Gibraltar: Tunnel under troubled waters
by AMDG

One of the resolutions I made after the Counter Jihad workshop in Vienna was to write more frequently about Spanish issues in English. I had already done it a few times for Gates of Vienna; I will continue to do so as long as the Baron deems my contribution valuable. I am also open to the requests from readers.

I was asked in the last Counter Jihad workshop in Vienna about the project to connect Morocco and Spain by a tunnel. I had read and blogged about this issue some time ago but I had not followed the latest developments. I have now investigated them, and I have found that the project goes on — still as a project in the study phase — but unchallenged. I present to you the results of my investigation.

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


I will start with a curiosity. The idea of connecting both continents with a tunnel is not new. I have found an early speculation, a proposal to the Spanish Ministerio de Fomento (Ministry of Civil Works) (PDF, Spanish), dated 1918, when the north of Morocco was a Spanish Protectorate. The first studies (PDF, Spanish) of the project were done during the Primo de Rivera Dictatorship. In those days, the tunnel was considered a geo-strategic opportunity for Spain. It goes without saying that in the current demographic situation, it would aggravate the North African invasion of Spain, the second in history. Yes, it is not the economy, it is the demography!

Gibraltar schematic


The idea was forgotten up until 1980, when Spain and Morocco signed an agreement to study the feasibility of a “Permanent Connection Europe-Africa through the Gibraltar Strait”. In those days Spain had just approved the post-Franco Constitution and was ruled by a “moderate right” government. It may be worth mentioning that five years before, when Franco was dying, Morocco invaded the Sahara, a colonial province of Spain, which is still the responsible State for the territory according to “international law”. I find strange that a State makes such agreement with another one that has occupied part of its territory, but that is not the topic today.

There were a number of studies (Spanish), which discarded the bridge and identified two possibilities for the tunnel. One shorter (14 km) but deeper (900 m); the other, longer (28 Km) but less deep (400 m). The possibility of building a bridge was discarded.

In the 80s and 90s, the studies stayed dormant, but in 2003 (at the end of Aznar’s government) the idea was woken up again. Spain and Morocco agreed to start the technical studies to build a double railway tunnel with an intermediate service and maintenance tunnel. They agreed to spend €27 million euros in the years 2004 to 2006. For some reason it was not done. In March 2004, Spain suffered the most deadly terrorist attack of its history, carried out by Moroccan citizens — if we are to believe the official version. I assume that this could be the main reason.

In 2004, after those deadly terrorist attacks, the citizens chose to change to a socialist government. In November 2005, in the frame of the I Hispano-Moroccan Meeting, Morocco and Spain committed to invest €10 million (Spanish) in the next year to further study the tunnel:
- – - - – - – - -

The investment to be made in 2005 and in 2006 will reach ten million euros, equivalent to quantity invested since 1996, when it was decided that a tunnel was preferable to the bridge originally planned.

According to the [Spanish] minister, the railway tunnel will be funded 50% each by the two countries. “We have conducted geological studies of the area; now begins the phase to analyze how to drill it”.

In summary, in 2005, the tunnel profits from a real boost: the investment on the project that connects Morocco to Europe was increased tenfold, even if it is inferior to the 27 millions previously committed. I have found no public information that could explain this lower budget.

The master plan for the project would be the following:

1.   Drilling of the service tunnel. To be done as soon as the initial technical plan is drafted. The data gathered while drilling this tunnel will allow the fine-tuning of the railway tunnel project, reducing technical and budget risks.
2.   Drilling of one of the railway tunnels.
3.   While this tube is drilled, Morocco and Spain will work on the surface railway.
4.   Drilling of the second railway tunnel, if the traffic of the first tunnel confirms that a second one is needed.

In 2006, the Spanish public company SECEG and the Moroccan SNED concluded a contract with a consortium of four companies: Typsa (Spanish), Ingemar (Moroccan), Geodata (Italian) and Lombardi (Swiss). Giovanni Lombardi, the designer of the Channel Tunnel, will carry out the technical detailed studies for the construction of the tunnel. This interview (Spanish) contains very relevant information. I have translated some of Lombardi’s statements:

“It’s an unprecedented challenge as regards the construction of major infrastructure, within the limits of technical feasibility”.

“By comparison, the English Channel was a child’s game… its depth and the water pressure are much smaller, the ocean currents are weaker, and the rock is more solid”.

It seems that the tunnel will be a technical challenge indeed, Moreover, for some reason Lombardi has failed to mention a most troubling issue: The tunnel will cross an active fault of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates, with a moderate seismic risk. I wonder whether any readers could tell me more about this issue.

The technical studies by Lombardi were supposed to be finished in one year, but I have found no update. In any case, the project goes on with the full political support of the Spanish government. In August 2007, in the frame of the Africa-Europe Summit held in Lisbon, the Spanish Foreign Minister confirmed the “determination” of both countries to have the tunnel in operation by 2025 at the latest. He declared that “Morocco and Spain are the two connecting countries, the two links of the chain needed to bring together both continents”.

I have also found this article in the WaPo (A ‘Chunnel’ for Spain and Morocco), which includes some statements by Karim Ghellab, Morocco’s minister of transportation: “It’s not easy to predict a date yet, but it is a project that will happen.”. Also worth noting: “It will completely change our world”. I am not sure it will change Morocco, but of course it would indeed change Spain, not necessarily for the better.

Now, putting apart the technical issues, the (multi)million dollar question is: Are there economic reasons to take those huge technical risks? Is there enough traffic between Morocco and Spain to justify the risk and the expense?

No, on the contrary, in Lombardi’s interview there is a reference to this aspect:

What percentage of passengers and cargo traffic will continue to use the ferry when the tunnel starts operating? Will the tunnel attract passengers who used to travel to Morocco or Algeria from Almeria, Alicante or even Sète (France)?

Last year [2006] Eurotunnel had 16 million passengers. The forecasts, not yet very accurate, suggest that the tunnel of the Strait will reach only half of that traffic in 2015, if it opens then. Ten years later it would reach around 10 million.

Passenger traffic in the Strait is also highly concentrated in the summer months, when nearly three million immigrant Moroccans return by car to their country on vacation.

The answer to questions about increased traffic depends largely on political considerations. If Algeria reopens its border with Morocco, closed since 1994, and if the two heavyweights of the Maghreb improve their cross-border road, the tunnel will be more viable from an economic standpoint.

So, it would have only half the traffic of the Channel Tunnel, which has been in deep financial troubles; moreover, the traffic will be concentrated in the summer season. Not very encouraging.

The article in the WaPo also contains some interesting financial figures:

Also looming large is the red ink incurred by the Chunnel. Private investors, who paid the bulk of the $20 billion price tag, have suffered heavy losses; the operator, Eurotunnel, has verged on bankruptcy for years.

While neither Moroccan nor Spanish officials have given a bottom-line estimate for their project, private analysts said it could cost $6.5 billion to $13 billion. The two nations said that they are a long way from resolving financing details but that they hope to rely heavily on the European Union and the private sector.

Now, this tunnel, which is much more challenging technically, cannot be cheaper than the Channel one; the $13 billion must include only some initial phase. If the Channel Tunnel, less challenging and with more traffic, has experienced large financial troubles and has been on the edge of bankruptcy, it is not difficult to conclude that the Strait Tunnel cannot be financially viable.

Zapatero and Mojamé VI, present the new map of Morocco. A meaningful fake.There is one way out: getting political support, and Morocco — the main beneficiary — is playing its cards masterly: Morocco has involved France in the business. In the autumn of 2007, it started to plan for a high speed rail network. This plan makes no sense if the railway network was not connected to Spain; i.e. if there is no tunnel. Alstom and other French companies will build the high speed railway; a contract of €3 billion. The allocation to the French companies has been decided at the highest level (by King Mohamed VI); no international bidding process will be followed.

Spanish companies have not even been invited, even though they also have the expertise and are currently building the Spanish high speed railway network. No need. Zapatero had already announced in his visit to Rabat in March 2007 that he is firmly decided to give a boost to the tunnel — so what does it matter?

Sarkozy will host a high level meeting on the Euro-Mediterranean Union next July, just before the national holiday that celebrates the take over of the Bastille, a privileged prison for aristocrats that had only two prisoners. I can envisage that this will be one of the most visible projects connected to that Union.

Is there any way to stop the tunnel? I do not know, but if there is one, it will be the financial aspect: without the financial support from the EU, the tunnel will not be built. This is the weakest point of the chain, the one most easily broken. In any case, in 2025, when the tunnel could be in operation, the fate of Europe will have already been decided.

A Taste of Their Own Medicine

The tip for this post came in an email from AMDG. Dymphna was the first to look at the email, and called me in to show me the offensive portion:

Paul Goossens, EU-journalist at the Belgian press agency BELGA: “the Irish, a nation of parochial traditions, penny-pinching misers, catholicism and alcohol”

My response was, “But I don’t see the problem. Facts is facts.”

I had to duck a swing from her shillelagh and retreat up the stairs. She shouted after me, “This isn’t true! We are not either penny-pinchers!”

She’s right, you know. Mr. Goossens is mixing up the Irish and the Scots. I guess all those Celts look alike to the Duvel-swilling Wallonian burghers of Brussels.

Members of Vlaams Belang, who are well-acquainted with accusations of racism and hate speech, decided it was time to give the Eurocrats a taste of their own medicine. The text of their complaint can be found in a press release on the Vlaams Belang website:

06/17/2008 :: Complaint by Vlaams Belang against racist hate speech at Belgian Centre against Racism

The victory of the ‘no’ in the referendum on the Lisbon treaty has left politicians and journalists frustrated. Whether one supported the ‘yes’ or the ‘no’, if one says that Europe is built upon democracy, one should respect the outcome of a democratic referendum, but this is obviously not the case.

Paul Goossens, responsible for the European section of the official Belgian press agency BELGA, has written in the newspaper ‘De Morgen’ on 14/6/2008 that the Irish are a nation ‘of parochial traditions, penny-pinching misers, catholicism and alcohol’.

Vlaams Belang defends freedom of expression for everyone, but a majority in Belgium has decided that there has to be a ‘law against racism’ that makes incitement to hatred based on ethnic origin a crime. This law makes sure that anyone, writing such a thing about Moroccans or Turks in combination with their religion and the alleged use of drugs, faces a criminal procedure.

Therefore we have decided to file a complaint against Paul Goossens at the Centre against Racism in Belgium because of incitement to hatred against the Irish people. If one proclaims laws against ‘hate speech’, they should be applied to all.

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The Vlaams Belang will also send a letter to the Irish embassy to apologize for these inappropriate remarks in order to underline that the people of Flanders are very positive towards Ireland, and to point out that we in Flanders, too, hope to be soon no longer a ‘province’, but ‘a nation once again’!

Frank Vanhecke, MEP
Philip Claeys, MEP
Koen Dillen, MEP

We’re not subject to EU’s anti-discrimination and hate-speech rules here at Gates of Vienna. So, just for a change, I thought it would be fun to cite some of those rarely-mentioned racist stereotypes of various Northern European groups. Besides the Scots, the Irish, and the Belgians, I am pleased to insult all the:

  • Dour Norwegians with their smelly fish;
  • Stupid hulking blond Swedes;
  • Beer-sodden porn-loving Danes;
  • Cowardly Frenchmen with their body odor and stinky cheese;
  • Humorless Germans obsessed with order and hygiene;
  • Whey-faced Dutchmen who live in windmills and mince around in clogs;
  • Leek-eating, vowel-impaired Welshmen who sing like castrati;
  • Money-grubbing Swiss in lederhosen yodeling down the valleys;
  • Finns herding their reindeer into the sauna;

And last, but not least, my own reviled ethnic group:

  • White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, who can’t hold a tune or clap on the beat to save their lives, who cook tasteless and boring food, dress like scarecrows, and bray loudly and arrogantly in English at foreigners.

Yes, I guess that about covers it. Are there any Gates of Vienna readers left unoffended?



Hat tip: The Flemish Republic, via AMDG.

By Schisms Rent Asunder

There’s schism in the air.

A lovely word, that. Schism. Makes you think of armies of angry men wearing helmets and carrying pikes while battling against each other back and forth across the countryside for the sake of their Christian faith.

Only this one is happening in the 21st century, not the 16th. The battle is a bitter one, even if it is bloodless this time around.

On Monday, according to the Times Online, the Anglican Church will divide into two separate bodies. The issue is a doctrinal dispute that pits conservative and mostly third-world bishops against their liberal counterparts in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain:

The shield of the ECUSAThe Anglican Communion will be split tomorrow [Monday] when conservatives representing more than half its total membership will announce the formation of a new orthodox body to be a stronghold against liberal views. It will be schism in all but name.

The new global Anglican fellowship will act within the legal boundaries of provinces such the Church of England that make up the existing Communion but, in North America, it will declare its independence from the ultra-liberal Episcopal Church and from the Anglican church in Canada.

A slight quibble here: the Episcopal Church, on average, is ultra-liberal, but a significant portion of it is still traditional and devoted to an authentic Christian liturgy. Some of the dissent is geographically concentrated, so that whole dioceses in various parts of the country are likely to jump ship and join the rebels.

The fellowship represents a direct challenge to the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the Primate of the US Episcopal Church, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Millions of Anglicans and entire provinces in the Global South — an Anglican grouping of 20 provinces that embraces India, Africa, the West Indies and the Middle East — want nothing more to do with their former colonial masters who have adopted a theology that they find too liberal.

The new fellowship represents the most severe blow to Church unity in the West since the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.

The big difference between the earlier schism and the current one lies in the market share of Christianity that can be claimed by the Anglican Church. In the United States and Canada, Anglicans represent only a tiny slice of the population, and an effete metrosexual one at that.

The crisis in the 16th century tore the social fabric of England apart. Up until that point, the Church of Rome was the only game in town, and the results of the schism were written in fire and blood and slaughter for generations afterwards.

This time the general public can hardly be expected even to notice the Great Schism. If it weren’t for the phrase “homosexual bishop”, the story would gain no attention whatsoever.
- – - - – - – - -

It will shake up the structures of the Anglican Communion and could force it, in order to survive, to become a federation of provinces — a model that has been fiercely resisted by Dr Williams who is staking his archiepiscopacy on retaining unity under the present worldwide Communion of 38 provinces with him as “primus inter pares”, or first among equals of the primates of each province.

Archbishops and bishops, mainly from the Global South provinces of Africa and Asia, have been meeting in Jerusalem to draw up plans to deal with an unrepentant liberal wing of the Anglican Communion. Jerusalem was chosen for the founding of the new Anglicanism as a place that represents a Christianity older than that of Canterbury.

One province, Nigeria, has already deleted all reference to Canterbury from its constitution.

The 300 bishops and archbishops in Jerusalem, of whom more than 100 are boycotting the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury in July, claim that they do not want to form a separate church and have no plans to “walk away” from the 80 million-strong Anglican Communion.

Instead, they insist that it is the liberals in the churches of the West who have broken unity by walking away from Biblical truths and the teachings of orthodox Christianity.

Legal structures in provinces such as England, where the Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church, and in Australia, make schism practically impossible. Any parish that chose to leave would sacrifice property and recognition.

So instead fellowship policy is to reform from within, and to attempt a take-over of the Church by evangelicals working inside existing structures.

Evangelical Anglicans! Until very recently I considered this phrase to be an oxymoron, but Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali has changed my mind.

Significantly, the new fellowship will include many churches that have split from the Anglican Communion in the past over earlier doctrinal disputes.

Those meeting at the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem include bishops from the Church of England in South Africa and the Reformed Episcopal Church in the US. It also includes bishops such as Martyn Minns and David Anderson, consecrated by the Church in Nigeria to serve conservative US parishes but not invited to the Lambeth Conference by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Ironically, this means that the new fellowship will enhance unity by bringing back into the fold many of those who have left or, as they would see it, been forced out.

Liberal parishes that have embraced the “no-bodily-resurrection and no-Virgin-birth” theology of the late 20th century are failing, while evangelical, Bible-based churches such Holy Trinity Brompton, St Helen’s Bishopsgate and All Souls in Langham Place in London are bursting at the seams. For years they have been engaged in “church planting” — founding new outposts of conservative orthodoxy in the heart of dying liberal parishes. The programme is likely to be stepped up under the new fellowship.

More than 600 Church of England clergy representing almost as many parishes are expected to swear allegiance to the new body when they meet on Tuesday at All Souls, Langham Place, which is regarded as Britain’s evangelical flagship.

The fellowship was given a boost in North America on Friday when a judge ruled that a group of 11 parishes in Virginia could keep their property after breaking away from the Episcopal Church. Lawyers from the Episcopal Church will appeal, but the case is being watched closely by dozens of other parishes and at least three dioceses that also plan to break away.

I’ll have more to say about the Virginia parishes later on. They are in the diocese to the north of us, which includes Northern Virginia, i.e. the Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy. Our diocese, Southern Virginia, is bad enough, but the Diocese of Virginia is one of most liberal bastions of the Episcopal Church. To have secessionist parishes within it tears at the very heart of the denomination.

The trigger for the new movement was the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop, the Right Rev Gene Robinson, in New Hampshire and the authorisation of same-sex blessings in the New Westminster diocese in Canada.

But to the conservatives, these events were merely the logical conclusion to years of movement away from the Christianity of the Early Church Fathers — the writers and teachers in the first five centuries of Christianity — the Anglicanism of the Reformation and the enthusiasm of the 19th century revivals of Anglo-Catholicism and evangelicalism.

The prime movers in the new fellowship are the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen and the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Rev Benjamin Nzimbi, who led the committee drawing up the final communiqué in Jerusalem.

Bishop Gregory Venables has also played a leading role. His Southern Cone diocese encompasses six countries in South America and he has already taken one US diocese, San Joaquin, in California, into his province and is in negotiations with Pittsburgh and Forth Worth. Significantly, Bishop Venables is a close friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is understood to regard the Jerusalem proceedings with equanimity. Unlike many of the bishops at the Jerusalem conference, Bishop Venables will be at the Lambeth Conference.

Dr Jensen and Archbishop Orombi will be among the new fellowship’s leaders at the All Souls meeting in London on Tuesday to recruit England’s conservatives.

Dr Jensen said: “American revisionists committed an extraordinary strategic blunder in 2003. They did not think that there would be any consequences.

“Now if they did not believe that there would be consequences, that is an arrogant thing, I have to say. But I don’t know them, so I really cannot say. The consequences have been unfolding over the last five years. Now their church is divided; it looks as though there will be permanent division, one way or the other.

“All around the world the sleeping giant that is evangelical Anglicanism and orthodox Anglicanism has been aroused by what happened in Canada and the United States of America. It was an act of folly.”

The fellowship will draw up its own Book of Common Prayer, devoid of what it sees as the liturgical inanities embraced by many modern Anglican service books. Instead it will be loyal to the original formularies outlined by Thomas Cranmer, the 16th-century Archbishop of Canterbury and incorporated into the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

The fellowship will also decree an orthodox approach to reading the Bible and will draw up a universal catechism, a feature central to Roman Catholicism but lacking from modern Anglicanism.

These are marvelous events, ones that ten years ago would have seemed impossible. Three cheers for the post-colonial bishops, and the provinces of Africa, Asia, and South America!

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


The big struggle in the current schism is over property, at least on the liberal side of the argument. The progressive portions of the Anglican Communion may not have the numbers, but they certainly have the money, and the Presiding Bishop in the United States took the issue of the secessionist parishes to court.

A lot of capital is tied up in the property and endowments of the dissident parishes, and there was no way the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori was going to let those plum parishes get away without a fight.

I’ve always been told that parish property reverts to the diocese when a congregation decides to seek a divorce. The disaffected church can leave, but only if the plant and the bank accounts stay behind.

But that was an ecclesiastical ruling, and hadn’t been tested in a secular court. The Most Rev. Dr. Schori decided to roll the litigation dice and put the issue to the test in the courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Unfortunately for her and the liberal rump of the church, the judge ruled against the ECUSA.

According to today’s Fairfax County Times:

On Friday, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia received another blow in its fight to retrieve eight properties from 11 congregations that recently left the church.

In early 2007, the 11 breakaway churches affiliated themselves with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), a conservative missionary branch of the Church of Nigeria and other Anglican archbishops.

The breakaway was precipitated in 2003 when the Episcopal Church, which is the American branch of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, voted-in an openly gay bishop, Eugene Robinson, in New Hampshire.

[…]

In January 2007, two of Fairfax County’s oldest Episcopal churches, the Falls Church and Truro Church, made headlines by leading a secession of 11 parishes from the Episcopal Church, including the Church of the Epiphany in Oak Hill.

The group joined CANA, led by controversial Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, who has openly called for outlawing same-sex relationships in his own country.

The value of the eight properties in question is estimated at about $40 million. Both sides have already spent more than $2 million each in litigation costs.

As you can see, this conflict is not about trivial doctrinal differences like predestination or the transmigration of souls. This is about a truly serious issue, namely forty million bucks.

At the center of the litigation is the controversial Civil-War-era Virginia “Division Statute.” The statute (Va. Code § 57-9), provides that when a religious denomination or diocese experiences a “division,” member congregations may determine by majority vote which branch of the divided body they wish to join.

It also states that this determination governs the ownership of property held in trust for the congregation.

This past April, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows ruled that the congregations, which now comprise the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV), properly invoked the division statute, stating that church majorities are entitled to church property when there is a division within their denomination.

This past Friday, Bellows threw another bone to the breakaway churches, ruling the statute as constitutional.

The reporter let slip with a little editorial opinion there, didn’t he?

“Specifically, this court finds that the statute, as applied in the instant case, does not violate the Free Exercise or Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, nor does it violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, nor does it violate the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment,” Bellows wrote in the conclusion of his 49-page ruling.

“Today’s ruling upholding the constitutionality of the Division Statute in Virginia is regrettable and reaches beyond the Episcopal Church to all hierarchical churches in the Commonwealth,” the Virginia Diocese said on its Web site on Friday. “We continue to believe that this Division Statute is clearly at odds with and uniquely hostile to religious freedom, the First Amendment and prior U.S. and Virginia Supreme Court rulings. We are unwavering in these beliefs and will explore fully every option available to restore constitutional and legal protections for all churches in Virginia.”

Actually, what the ruling is clearly at odds with and uniquely hostile to is the prospect of the Diocese of Virginia getting to keep the $40 million. Two million down the drain, and nothing to show for it.

The rump church is planning an appeal. Its pockets have historically been deep, so this may go on for a long time.

But the long-range prospects for the reactionarily liberal portion of the church are not good. Its congregants are failing to breed, and its watered-down politically correct theology appeals to very few believers. The ECUSA, at least in its current form, is a spent scene.

When the money runs out, what will be left?

At least the African bishops have the loaves and the fishes.



Note: The Times Online article linked and quoted above (by Ruth Gledhill, the Religion Correspondent) was altered several hours after I first accessed and copied the text. I’m including the earlier version here because it is longer and has more comprehensive information. The linked article is unfortunately now quite different, and there is no cached version available on Google.

Hat tip: K.

Taken from the Gare du Midi and Gang-Raped

I reported last night on the second recent incident of rape at the Gare du Midi in Brussels. In the comments o that post, Pistache drew our attention to an article with more information about the second attack.

Although we still don’t know the religion or ethnicity of the rapists, the victim says that one of them didn’t speak French. And, as Queen says in the comments:

Notice the details in the victim’s testimony about the shower after each rape. Muslims are required by the Sunnah to wash after sex. Her assailants were undoubtedly Muslims.

The article below is from today’s edition of La Dernière Heure (my translation, with the help of the excerpts left by Pistache in the comments):

Unbearable testimony after a gang rape

Mathilde, 34 years old, was abused last Sunday by five men

Anderlecht — Mathilde is crying. Even so, she insists she wants everyone to know about her night-long ordeal. Raped repeatedly. “You can’t imagine what it’s like.”

“If I found them again, I don’t know what I might do to them,” added her boyfriend, Benoît.

The tragedy began on June 22 at around 7 pm. “I had just left the hospital. My boyfriend wasn’t at home. I didn’t have the keys. I decided to wait in a place where there would be people around.” The Gare du Midi. “I was sitting on a bench next to the office of the station police. Two men arrived. One young, one older.” They made small talk. The two men left and then returned. “They told me they were going to help me go home.” Things happened very quickly after that. Mathilde was put in a taxi and taken forcibly to an apartment. This is where the ordeal began. “They hit me on the face, on the body. They held me by the wrists.” Mathilde bursts into tears… Unable to continue. “I can still see and remember the scene.”

Benoît takes up the story. “I’ll read her testimony…”, he says. “After the rape, they lifted me up and then washed me.”

- – - - – - – - -

A few seconds later, the older man, in his thirties, raped her a second time. “Without a condom, the same as the youngest one, who was about 18 years old.”

Mathilde was again sent to the shower. “Then they put me in a room with a double bed. A third man arrived. I asked him not to do anything to me. He said: Shut up.” According Mathilde, the third man paid her second rapist. “I was sold.”

After being beaten again, Mathilde was raped another time. “She’s covered in bruises from head to toe. It’s unimaginable.”

The third rape, and unfortunately not the last. After being passed through the shower again, a fourth man came to take his turn. “He was in his fifties. He couldn’t speak French. It was the 30-year-old who was translating.”

Mathilde was then made to get drunk. “They forced me to drink whisky. It was at this point that the oldest guy raped me, too.” This fourth rape was followed by a fifth.

Taking advantage of the weakness, distress, and drunkenness forced on their victim, the rapists returned again and again.

Mathilde was dressed and thrown into a metro station. “They threatened me with death if I filed a complaint. I went to the police immediately.” Mathilde and Benoît would like to thank the investigators that they have encountered on their way. They hope that the perpetrators will be arrested.

Touring the Front

Diana West has just returned from a whirlwind trip to Europe. It wasn’t the usual high-speed Eiffel Tower/London Bridge/Coliseum jaunt: she went to Europe to tour the most crucial front in the Counterjihad. Western Europe is the place where toxic Multiculturalism, the emerging totalitarian superstate of the EU, and Islamic fundamentalism have combined to form a dangerously explosive mixture.

Steen was kind enough to supply us with photos of the Ms. West’s meeting with Dansk Folkeparti in the Danish parliament under the auspices of Trykkefrihedsselskabet (the Free Press Society).

Diana West in Denmark


With Ms. West in the photo above are (left to right) Lars Hedegaard (the chairman of Trykkefrihedsselskabet), Søren Søndergaard (press secretary of Dansk Folkeparti) facing the camera, and Morten Messerschmidt (a Dansk Folkeparti member of the Danish parliament) with his back to the camera.

She gave an overview of her trip in a post earlier this week :

One thing I realized on my recent Euro travels is that President Bush set out to democratize the wrong part of the world. It is European-Union Europe (gripped by welfare state socialists, identity-denying appeasers and leftist totalitarian bureaucrats), NOT the Islamic Middle East, that could have actually benefited from an infusion of good, ol’ fashioned democratic principles — you know, freedom of speech, respect for election results (see EU attempts to reverse Ireland’s recent No vote on the Lisbon Treaty), things like that.

Her Townhall column has more observations:

As a dutiful American columnist, I should probably be pondering the half-baked presumption behind Barack Obama’s bizarre “presidential” seal. Or shaking my head at John McCain’s hair-trigger panic over an aide’s answer to a question about terrorism’s political impact. Or clucking over the irresponsibly childish $300 billion goodie bag — I mean, mortgage bailout bill — that just passed in the U.S. Senate. But I can’t stop thinking about Europe.

No surprise there. I just returned from a swift-moving, fact-finding journey through six European countries.

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[…]

Diana West in DenmarkAll these decades later [since WW2], such basic experiential differences still play out in ways both obvious and subtle in the American and European disconnect on sundry issues and attitudes — the fissures Americans airily dismiss as anti-Americanism, or perhaps see as doctrinal differences (eroding but historical) over socialism and capitalism. Such differences have helped turn Europe into the European Union, a nation-destroying behemoth both driven and empowered by the infantilizing machinery of the welfare state. Indeed, so shockingly totalitarian is the orientation of the EU, it strikes me that President Bush’s misguided effort to democratize the Islamic Middle East might well have been better aimed at liberating the hostage peoples of the Brussels-dominated supra-state.

That said, it’s crucial to recognize the precious common ground between the United States and Europe. While on a different plane from those fallow battlefields of the Ardennes, it is also sacred soil. I refer to our shared cultural and historical progressions as civilizations whose ideals are founded on liberty. Such liberty is once again under threat and from an ideological enemy — the ideology of Islam, which, as spread by a massive influx of Islamic immigration over the past several decades, promises, as historians and writers from Bat Ye’or to Mark Steyn have copiously explained, to transform all of Europe into an Islamic continent.

And what do our presidential candidates think of the strategic ramifications of an Islamic Europe? Who knows? The likely but not inevitable civilizational shift is so far off the U.S. radar screen (with our government keeping it there, what with its recommended lexicon discouraging all terror-related references to Islam) it is invisible. American tourists — those flush enough to pay their way with Euros, that is (and I didn’t see many) — can still visit the old Europe of gingerbread towns and Gothic cathedrals without noticing much more than a few hijabbed women, signs of Islamization that usually fail to register more than a multicultural nod.

Of course, even many (most?) residents are blind to the staggering changes in progress. This is something I discovered, to take one example, in conversation with a conservative British MEP (Member of European Parliament), who, after nine years of representing a sector of southern England in Brussels, both doubts the existence of “no-go zones” in Britain — despite the writings on the subject by the Bishop of Rochester — and has never visited the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek. A stone’s throw from the ritzy EU environs in which we sat, this Islamic enclave more closely resembles a bustling outpost of the umma than the so-called capital of Europe.

“You ought to get out more,” I suggested.

Her meeting with the British MEP is covered more fully in a blog post:

This week’s column mentions a conversation I had with a conservative British MEP (Member of European Parliament) who took issue with my concern about the Islamization of Europe for two basic reasons:

(One) For roughly the first 12 or 13 centuries of Islam until 1979, as he explained it, everything was effectively hunky dory with Islam; then that wascally wadical Ayatollah Khomeini showed up, ruining everything. In other words, Islam, which includes Islamic law (my concern), is fine; it’s just those wascally wadicals who are a problem. And (two): My MEP told me he knows a perfectly lovely man who is Muslim — prays five times a day and everything — so, well then. At one point in the conversation, he rather abruptly said that if my reading of Islam’s intrinsic incompatibility with Western-style liberty was correct, Europe had only two choices: Conversion to Islam or deportation of Muslims. Rather than face up to the hard-eyed task of shoring up the bulwarks against Islamic law, for instance, it was, for him, presumably, far better — far easier — to believe my reading of jihad and dhimmitude was just plain wrong.

Perfectly in keeping with these beliefs, he expressed doubt about the existence of de facto Islamic-ruled “no-go zones” in his own Britain — despite the writings on the subject by the Bishop of Rochester. He also told me, when asked, that he had never, in all of his years in Brussels, visited the neighborhood of Molenbeek, an Islamic enclave a very short drive from the EU environs in which we sat.

Well, I went to Molenbeek earlier this month and brought back this slide show of snaps. What you will see may call to mind something more like Little Marrakesh or Istanbultown than the so-called capital of Europe. To some, it will be possible to see in Molenbeek a fairly bustling display of non-indigenous culture certainly not unfamiliar to Americans who have both lived through and been a part of historic immigration waves…

What is different here, of course — and I say “of course” given the voluminous reporting that has already been done on the subject by historians and writers from Bat Ye’or to Bruce Bawer, from Robert Spencer to Mark Steyn to Oriana Fallaci and on — is that what is going here is not a traditional process of assimilation to the host (European) culture, but a quietly revolutionary procedure best described as reverse colonization: Europe is being colonized by Islam. As Bernard Lewis has written, given current patterns of immigration and non-assimilation, Europe will be an Islamic continent before the end of this century, whether my British MEP notices or not.

I will be continuing to write and post about my travels, which include conversations with some very brave politicians in Europe who are actually working both to stop and to reverse this Islamization process.

Refer to the original articles for links to other sources.

The “brave politicians” referred to above are the ones Dymphna and I often write about here, the same ones who are routinely vilified in the USA, even by conservatives, as “right-wing extremists” and “white supremacists”.

With any kind of luck, Diana West’s position as a syndicated columnist in the United States will help spread — however marginally — a different story about Europe to Obama-obsessed American political junkies.

The outcome of our election this fall is crucial in the struggle against the jihad. But so were the recent Italian election and the referendum in Ireland. The upcoming parliamentary elections in Britain are also of equal importance to the long-term success of the West.

It’s a good idea to keep the spotlight on Europe.



Photos ©2008 Snaphanen. Thanks to both Henrik and Diana West for identifying Søren Søndergaard in the photo.

Listening, or Waiting to Interrupt?

Hi, Everyone…

It’s good to be back home at Gates of Vienna.

The other day, while still in hospital, I read the Michael Yon post linked below.

As I read his analysis of some of the problems with groupthink — and at least one of his points is counter-intuitive — I became aware how much Mr. Yon’s writing has matured, both in breadth and depth, since he started his website a few years back.

When I first began reading what I thought of as his “barefoot” reports from Iraq, he was desperate for decent camera equipment and basic protection like night goggles. From that inauspicious beginning, he has persevered through much… and in the process has gained the perspective of several years’ hard experience in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The view he brings to those conflicts is an upfront-and-personal discernment that can only be acquired first-hand by someone with military experience.

In fact, Mr. Yon may be the only one with his length of experience working in both Middle Eastern theatres of America’s portion of the War on Terrorism . You can tell from reading his work that he has the wisdom to refrain from saying all that he knows.

As I mentioned, in his latest post Yon describes in detail the dangers of groupthink. He opens with his reflections on the journalist Joe Galloway, noting that he usually disagrees with Galloway’s take on the wars, but that they are both agree that the use of torture to obtain information is problematic in itself, and wrong. Dishonorable, even.

Using his own views of Galloway, Yon makes a plea for the importance in listening to those with whom we disagree:
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…but how can we challenge our own views if we do not listen to others who disagree with us? One of the main reasons we made so many mistakes in Iraq was that high officials in the Bush Administration were often afraid of the truth and viewed a serious foreign policy question with ideological blinders. Instead of honestly appraising the facts on the ground, they saw only what they wanted to see. And instead of encouraging candor and even dissent, they ignored or attacked those who disagreed with them.

I will admit that as much as I admire Yon’s analysis of the battlefield, I disagree with this short summary.

Much of the beginning failure in 2003 can be laid at two doors: first, Turkey’s betrayal and refusal to let US Forces deploy from the north via Turkey.

Second, the failures of two types of Americans, which Ken Joseph outlines from his own experience in those beginning moments in Baghdad with the Allied Forces. In 2006, I posted on Joseph’s experience of the Americans in Baghdad in those early days. His words still bear repeating:

Who betrayed Iraq? The “good guys” [military] who naively believed, [and] the “chasers” who desperately hoped Iraq would fail for their simple job needs and the “experts” who systematically dismantled all the good done for the Iraqi people.

In particular, who betrayed Iraq? In contrast to the no-nonsense Military Officer Jay Garner [whom] I had the honor of meeting, I confronted Paul Bremer, his pathetic successor who personally betrayed the people of Iraq by turning it over before it was ready just [s]o [he could] personally get out.

That whole post is still worth reading, just to get an Assyrian Christian’s point of view about why Iraqis wanted the war to come, why they prayed it would happen, no matter what the cost. That has been lost in the noise of those who want us to lose, and in the evil machinations of AQI, who will die trying to make that a reality.

I have left most of Mr. Yon’s post for you to read for yourself. In order to show how informative it is, here is his experience with groupthink, and why he finds the phenomenon is so deadly. He is explaining the pitfalls of “leadership” during a Special Forces Qualification Course:

…[it] had a land navigation section so difficult that it caused many people to fail the course. I saw Vietnam combat veterans get lost on land navigation. They flunked the course. Sure, it wasn’t easy to make your way through swamps during heavy rains at midnight while freezing and carrying a heavy load. But worse than the physical challenges were the mental hurdles. Soldiers were strictly forbidden to cooperate with each other on this particular section. But they did it anyway, thinking that they would have a better chance as a group. And they were wrong. I saw soldiers form into groups. The most confident soldier would embark on an azimuth and the others would follow behind. They would all get lost because they were following a leader who was wrong. The soldiers who passed the course tended to be those who thought for themselves…

Yon presents an opinion I have voiced many times: in order to think for ourselves, we have to learn to listen rather than merely wait for our turn to interrupt so we can put forth our own already-formed point of view. This is especially important when you’re listening to someone with whom you disagree.

Yon says:

…there is a lot of noise on both ends of the American political spectrum that deserve our attention even if it is biased and wrong. Read the websites of the far-Right and Left-wing. These groups rarely, if ever, give a dissenting voice the chance to speak. Their sites are examples of groupthink run amok. That doesn’t mean the participants are dumb or bad.

[…]

Ideologies traffic in received ideas, which give people the illusion of thinking, without actually having to do the hard work of thought. Received ideas, like some religious and cult beliefs, are not challenged, merely accepted, and repeated until they become so important to those who hold them that to challenge these ideas would be to question one’s very identity. People who hold received ideas seem to feel personally threatened by the prospect of being wrong. Instead of reading and listening to possibly change their minds, they seek to reinforce the received ideas they already hold dear. On the Left, one received idea is that the Iraq War is lost. On the Right, one received idea is that torture is acceptable. The Left is wrong. We are winning the war in Iraq. The Right is wrong. Torture is unacceptable.

Maybe I don’t go down the spectrum far enough to get to the wrong Right blogs and magazines and think tank analyses. I sure don’t remember seeing anyone suggest that torture is a good idea. The end does not justify the means, however tempting that may be in the case of those you know have killed your compatriots in horrifying ways and will do so again.

As they say, read the whole thing. Yon’s post is a long, thoughtful one. He is meeting people and moving into areas that will change the way he perceives reality. Whether that will, in the end, make him more like the “mean old man” he told Joe Galloway he had become remains to be seen.

If he survives his chosen career as an observer of one of America’s most important ventures since World War II, Michael Yon has years and years ahead of him in which to learn to listen most carefully. Developing this skill, this art, takes time. Years of slow time when we learn to focus on the other rather than our own opinions.

Yon listens with brilliance when it comes to matters military. He has lived in that milieu from the inside. Now that he is outside, he brings a special knowledge to what he sees and hears.

However, I am not sure he has succeeded in close observation of the Bush administration. That would take a specialization he has not yet acquired… whereas someone like, say, John Bolton, has observed that particular danger very close indeed. And, yes, he does listen and retain what he hears.

On the other hand, in Mr. Yon’s defense — and for others who share his point of view — this President often plays his cards so close to his vest that no one seems to know what he’s holding. Sometimes he appears to have dropped into a large silence from which he is not likely to emerge in the time remaining to him. This is just one reason it will take years to grasp all that has transpired in his time in office.

I often wonder if Bush’s restraint is not partly due to his views on those who vie to sit in his chair when his time in the Oval Office comes to an end. Listening to what he does not say, one can come away with the impression that he wants to return to Crawford and relish the peace and quiet.

How many readers think Bush will be a globe trotter like Carter and Clinton? How many believe he will criticize or second-guess those who come after him? Perhaps it is his post-presidency that proves a President’s mettle, not to mention his integrity.

I’ll be listening… even the silence will be telling.

The Army and the Gang

Below is the latest guest-essay from our Russian correspondent Peter 1, a brief meditation on the nature of gangs in Western society.



The Army and the Gang
by Peter 1

Recently we have seen lots of discussion about the growing influence of gangs in Western countries. The appearance of gangs seems to be completely unexpected by the broad public which is influenced by this phenomenon.

I want to show that the growth of the gangs is not completely alien to our culture, and is rooted in ideas that are widespread in society.

1.   Gangsters are civilian people, who are armed and mobilized only during a time of action or emergency. In this respect, gangs are close to the Libertarian idea of the PEOPLE’S ARMY.
2.   Unlike the regular army, gang leaders are often elected by the gang members. Therefore, the gang is a DEMOCRATIC ARMY.

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3.   In the regular army, all soldiers are alike. They are dressed alike, treated alike and killed alike. Individual personalities or ideas are not welcome. In contrast, gang members usually have personal nicknames, dress differently and are treated personally. Therefore, the gang respects personality. Interestingly, law enforcement also respects gangsters’ personalities by treating them personally in court, unlike regular soldiers who are killed en masse. Therefore, the gang RESPECTS THE HUMAN RIGHTS of its members.
4.   Last but not least, gang leaders prefer to TALK to each other and make PEACE TREATIES. Often the leaders get together and make COLLECTIVE SOLUTIONS, which they later respect. Therefore, the gang is also a PEACEFUL ARMY.

All of this persuades me that the gang is a PROGRESSIVE and promising idea, which can solve many shortcomings of current military and political organization.



Update: In response to some of the comments, Peter 1 sends this clarification: “The Army originates from monarchy; gangs are the product of liberalism.”

Another Rape in the Gare du Midi

I reported on Monday about the rape of a young woman by North African immigrants in the Gare du Midi in Brussels. The Belgian media now report that another gang rape has occurred since then in the same location.

It’s important to note that in the article about this latest crime there is no mention of the religion or ethnicity of the young woman’s assailants. We don’t yet know whether this case is like the earlier one, in which the victim identified her attackers as Muslim immigrants.

I’ve translated an article from today’s edition of La Dernière Heure. Thanks to Fausta for helping me with the translation. Any errors remaining in the text are mine:

New rape in the Gare du Midi

Five men attacked a young woman. It’s the second tragedy to occur in the same place within two weeks!

Anderlecht — A few days ago, we reported the distress of a dad dealing with the rape of his daughter in the Gare du Midi, Anderlecht. Two individuals assaulted her after she exited the train. They pushed her up against a wall near the Bancontact and abused her with impunity. Passengers watched the event but no one stopped to help the girl who had a knife at her throat!

We now learn that a second tragedy took place a few days ago in the very same station. “A young woman was attacked by five men,” confirms the Brussels prosecutor’s office.

“The five men forced her to leave the station and go with them. The young woman was forcibly taken to an apartment where she was abused by her captors.” Given the fact that the young woman is in shock, the investigation is only just beginning. “It is difficult to listen to. The case is still in the information-gathering stage, waiting until we can re-interview the young woman.”

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Of course, this second tragedy shocked the father of Lola, the first victim. “No, but you realize what kind of world we live in?” explains Marc. “I am outraged not to be have any news of justice. It has been twelve days since my daughter was abused, and it was I who had to call the magistrate to find out the status of the case.”

And it is not very advanced. “I was told that the certificates had been forwarded. I checked: it had not been done. And then I finally received a phone call from the officer in charge of the investigation.” Marc has learned that video from a camera had been obtained. “But it did not record the rape.”

The camera that could have recorded the drama was not functioning. “Twenty new cameras were placed in the Gare du Midi, but they were operational only from 13 June,” it was explained.

And therefore they were not in place the day before, June 12, at 9:00 pm… “The day of the heinous rape of Lola, who was attacked because she was too pretty and was not wearing a veil,” adds her dad, embittered.



Hat tip: Gaia.