Five Arguments Against Conciliation

Conciliation HallPresident Bush was seen as “conciliatory” towards Islam in his speech at the UN yesterday. Pope Benedict XVI and his spokesmen have been “conciliatory”, if not downright groveling, in their most recent responses to Muslim rage over the Holy Father’s recent speech at Regensburg.

Anyone who gets his information from the legacy media — which, unfortunately, still includes most people — is reminded that the West and its leaders need to be more “conciliatory” towards Muslims, to “initiate dialogue”, to “learn more about Islam”, etc blah yak. If only we would give that extra inch, or ell, or mile, why, then Islam would turn a sunny countenance upon us, peace would reign, and all would be well.

I’m here to drop a coprolite in that particular punchbowl. I’m opposed to conciliation, and I’ll give you five reasons why it’s a bad idea:
- – - – - – - – - -

1.   It’s wrong.
2.   It’s a strategic blunder.
3.   It will never achieve its objective.
4.   It’s a one-way ratchet.
5.   We harm ourselves when we do it.

These reasons run the gamut from simple moral calculus to the cold appraisal of self-interest. Here’s a more detailed elaboration for each of them.

1. It’s wrong.

When the “Muslim street” becomes enraged and demands conciliatory behavior, it’s always because someone has spoken the plain truth, usually about the Islamic propensity for violence.

Since they are irony-impaired, the enraged Muslims generally respond to such provocations with violence, and the vicious circle of the West’s interactions with Islam is elegantly completed:

“You guys tend to be violent.”

“How dare you insult my honor in such a fashion? I shall cut off your head for saying that!”

One has the option of remaining silent about such matters, in order to avoid the wrath of thin-skinned Muslims. But, having spoken the plain historic truth, it is wrong to back down. If I do so, then I either lied before, or am lying now for cowardly reasons.

Either one is wrong.

2. It’s a strategic blunder.

It’s a well-established fact that being conciliatory towards Muslims only emboldens them to make more demands. The tribal culture of the Arabs (and Muslims in general) sees conciliatory behavior as evidence of weakness, and is thus moved to press for even greater concessions.

A cursory glance at the “peace process” concerning the Palestinian territories, especially since Oslo, will underscore this fact. Every time Israel has made concessions to its enemies, it has been rewarded with more violence and carnage.

Conciliation towards the Palestinians means more dead Jews. It’s as simple as that. The behavior of successive Israeli governments in the face of this evidence has a kind of perverse obstinacy about it.

3. It will never achieve its objective.

Islam has historically been an aggressive and violent political force. It is relatively subdued only when it is outgunned.

Being conciliatory towards an irredeemably aggressive negotiating partner can only bring temporary and illusory advantages. Your interlocutor will make the right noises, smile, and wait for the opportunity to put the knife at your throat again.

Our mistake is to see the Islamic enemy as basically like ourselves. These chaps may look different and have some strange customs, but we’re all the same under the skin, don’t you know?

No, we’re not. The well-entrenched mental, social, cultural, and political system evolved by Islam over the last fourteen hundred years relies on the combination of aggression and deceit to gain its objective, which is to expand until it fills the entire earth.

The only restraint it will recognize is overwhelming force on our part, and the obvious willingness to use it.

4. It’s a one-way ratchet.

Whenever a concession is made to Islam, another waits in the wings, ready to be rolled out onto the stage to take its place. It’s like the Sudetenland in 1938, over and over again. Lop off one piece and give it Hitler, and then another, and another, but somehow it’s never quite enough.

And, if you watch carefully, the Muslim negotiating partner never manages to carry through with his half of any compromise.

This process has been painfully evident, once again, with the Palestinians. Israel always has to complete its obligations under the terms of any agreement, regardless of the fact that the Palestinians never manage to implement their half of the bargain. In order for them to do that, Israel must jump through yet another hoop, and then another and another…

That’s why, thirteen years after the Oslo agreement, the PLO has never amended its charter to allow for the existence of Israel. Somehow they never quite manage to get around to it.

Concessions to Islam are a one-way ratchet in Islam’s favor. It’s a racket, and it’s time we acknowledged it.

5. We harm ourselves when we do it.

Every time we perform another act of abasement, every time we fall all over ourselves apologizing for insulting Muslims, every time we publicly pretend that Islam is the Religion of Peace, we are doing damage to our collective psyche. All these efforts fly in the face of the obvious truth: historically speaking, right up to the present moment, Islam has been the Religion of War.

The Demonic Convergence is drawing the Left and radical Islam into bed with each other, so that there are very strong forces in our public life which strive to convince us otherwise, that we are bad, bad people, racists and Islamophobes, for thinking such things. It produces a cognitive dissonance in the collective psyche of the West, because the average person, deep down, knows the truth.

We’re like a co-dependent in an alcoholic marriage. “Joe doesn’t drink very much. He’s not drunk; he’s just tired. He needs to unwind after the stress of his job. He’s just a social drinker.”

No he’s not: he’s an alcoholic. And Islam is violent.

Any further conciliation is crazy-making behavior on our part.

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


Changing this situation is going to be a long and difficult process, because you and I, the average people, do not own or have influence over the megaphones of public communication. The media are effectively in the hands of the enemy, and, as a result, many more people will die before we stop trying to appease the Islamic tiger.

But, futile though it may be, I’ll say it again: it’s time to hear conciliations from the other side. No more conciliatory behavior until we do.

By their fruits ye shall know them.

Military Coup in Thailand?

Update: According to the latest news stories, the leader of the coup was chosen not because he is expected to get tough on the Muslim insurgency, but to pull a Kofi and negotiate with it (hat tip: LGF):

[Army commander Gen.] Sondhi [Boonyaratkalin], who is known to be close to Thailand’s revered constitutional monarch, will serve as acting prime minister, army spokesman Col. Akarat Chitroj said. Sondhi, well-regarded within the military, is a Muslim in this Buddhist-dominated nation.

Sondhi, 59, was selected last year to head the army partly because it was felt he could better deal with the Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand, where 1,700 people have been killed since 2004. Recently, Sondhi urged negotiations with the separatists in contrast to Thaksin’s hard-fisted approach. Many analysts have said that with Thaksin in power, peace in the south was unlikely.



It looks like a military coup might be underway in Thailand. According to CTV:

Thai protestsThailand’s prime minister has declared a “severe” state of emergency after rumours of a military coup swept the capital and tanks reportedly took position outside government headquarters.

“I declare Bangkok under a severe state of emergency,” Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said in a message broadcast on army-owned TV station Channel 5.

Reports say more than 10 tanks blocked roads around the government headquarters, as Army television broadcast images of the royal family and songs associated in the past with military coups.

Shinawatra said he was ordering the transfer of the country’s army chief to work in the prime minister’s office — effectively suspending him from his military duties.

The prime minister is in the middle of a political crisis as a street campaign is calling for him to step down amid allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

He has indicated he may step down as leader of the country after upcoming elections, but said for now he will stay at his party’s helm.

Prime Minister Thaksin has had problems in the past with accusations of corruption, and has been blamed for his failure to put down the Islamic terror insurgency in the south of the country. Earlier this year he faced the rumblings of a “people power” movement designed to force him to resign.

Massive rallies earlier this year forced Thaksin to dissolve Parliament and call for a snap election in April.

The poll was boycotted by opposition parties and later annulled by Thailand’s top courts, leaving the country without a working legislature.

New elections are scheduled for Oct. 15 but are likely to be postponed until at least November.

We’ll be watching the developments on this one.



Hat tip: Wally Ballou.

Wanted: Video Mockery

Pastorius has announced another contest at the Infidel Bloggers Alliance. The recent frenzy over the Pope’s speech has prompted him to ask for blogospheric response:

When the Muslims are angry, Infidel Bloggers Alliance steps up to the plate to make fun of them, the point being, make them angrier, because the angrier they get, the funnier they are.

This time it’s a Jihad Satire Video Contest. The idea is this:

1.   Grab a video camera.
2.   Wrap a towel around a friend’s head.
3.   Invent some amusing jihad antics.
4.   Tape the results.
5.   Post the video on YouTube; and then
6.   Leave the URL in the comments at the IBA post.

Pamela at Atlas Shrugs, Dymphna, and I will be the judges.

The photo on Pastorius’ post kept reminding me of something… What was it? The contorted faces; the furious screaming; the petulant demands…

Then I remembered: the classic R. Crumb comic strip sequence of the “Big Baby”. Here it is, redacted and suitably bowdlerized for this venue:

Big Baby, by R. Crumb


Too bad we couldn’t animate the strip and enter it in the contest!

Anyway, the deadline is October 9th. Make your videos, post them at YouTube, and list the URLs here. I can’t wait to see the results.

So Long, Seoul

Nourishing Obscurity has some information on the coming end of the U.S. presence in South Korea.

So Long, SeoulIt seems as though President Roh has been romancing North Korea and things have been getting chummy. Roh was in Washington recently for a most unceremonious meeting with President Bush, and the long marriage between America and South Korea did not appear to be ending happily. Mr. Higham, of the aforementioned blog, has excerpts from an essay in The Asia Times by an American scholar, Dr. Sung-Yoon Lee, on the situation. Here are further snips from the original:

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun’s summit with President George W Bush on[last] Thursday is likely to go down in the annals of US-South Korea relations as an epoch-making event, but not quite in the way one might think. It may be the swan song of the US-South Korea alliance.

[…]

On its face, Roh’s meeting with Bush was a routine, even forgettable exercise in ordinary summit diplomacy. The two men had already enjoyed five cordial if unmemorable meetings since Roh’s inauguration in 2003, and neither side issued a press-stopping communiqué out of the scheduled hour-long conversation followed by an obligatory luncheon.

Nonetheless, Roh’s visit may inadvertently prove to be a defining moment for the US-South Korea alliance, presaging its sunset, for beneath the public smiles and handshakes between the two leaders and optimistic-sounding but inscrutable pronouncements, such as seeking a “joint comprehensive approach” to restarting the six-party talks, unmistakably flowed an undercurrent of unfriendly distrust.

The alliance has proved to be one of the most successful and durable in the world. But today Roh wishes to destroy its time-tested dynamics by wresting away from the United States wartime operational control of the two countries’ armed forces, the result of which will be the complete and virtually irreversible dismantlement of the US-ROK (Republic of Korea) Combined Forces Command.

This will set the stage, at the cost of broader US interests in Northeast Asia and to the detriment of South Korea’s security, for the withdrawal of US troops from Korea.

[…]

President Roh believes he has little to lose by insisting on the transfer of wartime operational control, which he pointedly defined recently as the “essence of sovereignty for any nation.”

Hmm…It may also be that having a 600 pound radioactive gorilla on your borders does even more to “define” sovereignty. Roh may be caught between a rock and a hard place, and one of those is spelled e-l-e-c-t-i-o-n-s:

President Roh has proved to be different from his predecessors. During his three and a half years in office, Roh has followed through on his words with actions. True to his rhetoric, “So what if I am anti-US?” or “Yes, my anti-US stance has been good to me,” Roh has unflinchingly and systematically aided the enemy of the United States — and incontrovertibly the main enemy of the US Forces in Korea (USFK) — the totalitarian North Korean state that is bent on increasing its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

As Dr. Lee observed, Bush is aware of the pitfalls here:

Keeping in mind that the issue is a potential trap for instigating anti-US demonstrations leading up to South Korea’s presidential election in December next year, Bush simply intoned that the matter should not become “a political issue”. Bush even deftly took a page out of the communist playbook of a “hardliner/softliner” smokescreen, and simply told his guest that South Korea should take up the matter with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

It remains to be seen what the Democrats do with this turn of events. While the bell is tolling, they may be spinning this for all it’s worth as yet another Bush failure.

Whatever. Roh has his own plans and we have other allies in the area. Personally, those base closings appeal to my isolationist heart. Now, let’s see what we can safely remove from Germany and transfer to Eastern Europe.

As for Bush’s “failure,” if the man parted the Red Sea, his enemies would bash him for failing to keep the water in place.

While all the hopeful primary candidates for 2008 are lining up, chomping at the bit, Bush probably has a secret calendar on which he marks off the days left till he gets to walk across the lawn and climb into the helicopter in January, 2009. Unlike his predecessor, he has a real life awaiting him, far from the Beltway.

Alla Ska Med

Those of you who hung around over the weekend know that we covered the Swedish elections, and that the Social Democrats lost. Because our ISP was down, I couldn’t include any graphics to go with the stories, so I’ll make up for it now.

Alla ska med. Så enkelt är det.The Social Democrats’ slogan was Alla ska med. Så enkelt är det. It means “Everybody must come along. It is that easy.” (Some readers prefer to translate Så enkelt as “that simple”).

The image at right is one of a series of full-page ads taken out by the Social Democrats during the election campaign. The car is full of everyone who must come along, and you’ll notice that it’s basically a car full of Swedes — pardon me, I mean “persons of Swedish background” — with the exception of one fellow towards the back, who looks like he might be one of those nice immigrant chaps.

Swedish correspondent LN has made us aware of the disparity between the Social Democrats’ fantasy of Sweden and life in Sweden as it really is. One of the images he sent me was an alternative and more realistic version of what Alla ska med means:

Alla ska med. Så enkelt är det.


It’s too early to say whether yesterday’s election results represent a watershed in Swedish history. We’ll keep an eye on the situation.



On the same topic, this morning Fjordman sent us a link and a snip from the Swedish English-language news site The Local:

The end of Sweden’s one-party state

The defeat of the Social Democrats could turn Sweden into a normal democracy, where it is common for power to change hands, argues Nima Sanandaji of Swedish think-tank Captus.

Sweden has often been described as a “one-party state”, since the Social Democrats have been in power for 65 of the last 74 years. The term one-party state is also used by critics to point out that the Social Democratic Party, the big labour unions and the government have merged together in many ways.

Government agencies are often headed by those loyal to the Social Democratic Party. Each year the various agencies spend in total over 2 billion Swedish kronor on forming public opinion and it can be argued that this often occurs from a clear ideological Social Democratic viewpoint.

These are refreshing words, especially coming from the Swedes themselves. We can only hope that one-party rule is finally coming to an end.

The Warlike Religion of Mohammed

Over the weekend, commenter Octavian Romano pointed us to a post on the German blog Fakten Fiktionen, and recommended that we find someone to translate it into English. Regular reader Phanarath (who is Danish, but has some knowledge of German) stepped up to the plate. Although the article was too long to be translated in its entirety, he has provided us with an English version of the introductory section:

Islam seeks to conquer the world

The rules of war are flexible; the objective of war remains.

The warlike religion of Mohammed

by Egon Flaig

“We hope that the flag of Islam may fly again over this land, which had the good fortune, for some time, to be under the rule of Islam and the roof of the Muezzins, god bless his name. Then the light of Islam died and they returned to unbelief. Andalusia, Sicily, the Balkans, the south of Italy and the Greek islands are all Islamic colonies, that must return to the arms of Islam. The Mediterranean and the Red Sea must return to being a part of the Islamic nation.”

Hassan al-BannaThese words are not from Al Qaeda; they are part of a program that the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood Hassan al-Banna formulated in a speech. The Brotherhood has millions of members and has spread far beyond Egypt. Their intellectuals are active in Europe and the United States; they are considered “moderate” and are accorded recognition as such in the media. The planned recapture of “lost” areas belongs to the political program of states who consider territorial power struggles essential, i.e. in a political arena. How can this be in the program of a religion?

Is Islam a religion like others?

Since the beginning of classical times, between the ninth and eleventh century, Islamic clerics have divided the world into two parts, “The House of Islam” and “The House of War”. This partition is not dictated by where Muslims live or are in abundance, but only by where Islam rules — as dictated by Shari’ah — and where it does not. This is understood religiously but meant politically. Between these two parts of the world there will, naturally, be war until “The House of War” no longer exists, and Islam rules the world. (Sura 8, 39 and 9, 41)

This is why classical Islamic teachings dictate the duty to fight the infidels until they convert or submit.

This war is called Jihad.

As the teachings of Jesus asked for the conversion of all peoples, but not of their political systems, so the target of Islam is the political systems but not the religious ones, in case they are “of the book”.

Readers who know German will want to go over and read the rest.

Take Back the Culture

The Agora at SmyrnaThe photograph at right shows the ruins of the Agora at Izmir, a Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor. “Wait a minute,” you say; “isn’t the Agora a feature of Greek cities?”

Indeed it is; the agora is the marketplace of a Greek polis. The word αγορά is from αγείρειν, meaning “to gather” or “to collect”, and is related to the words “aggregate” and “gregarious”. It’s the gathering place at the heart of a Greek city.

And the city of Izmir hasn’t always been called that. Before it became a Turkish city, it had been Smyrna, a major Greek port and trading center for more than two millennia. Even after becoming part of the Ottoman Empire it remained a primarily Christian city, home to many thousands of Greeks and Armenians.

The burning of SmyrnaUntil 1922, that is. The week of September 11-17, to be precise. During that period the city was occupied by the forces of Mustafa Kemal, a.k.a. Kemal Attaturk. The Christian areas of the city were looted and torched, and the Armenians and the Greeks were driven from their homes to flee the city or be slaughtered. Of the 400,000 Christians resident in the city beforehand, virtually none remained, and more than 190,000 were never accounted for. The Archbishop Chrysostomos was among the victims, murdered at the hands of a mob while under the “protection” of French marines. The city, except for the Turkish quarter, was reduced to a smoking ruin.

So here we are at yet another anniversary. Another 9-11, and also a 9-17.

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


Let’s back off a little bit and look at the history of Asia Minor. Below is a map of the region in ancient times, as it was more or less in the time of St. Paul.

Asia Minor in the 1st century A.D.


Notice all the place names on the map. Those cities and regions were Greek, and had been for a thousand years. While St. Paul was making his way through Asia Minor to Corinth, the Turks were still a tribe of Mongol nomads in the Central Asian uplands.

After the rise of Islam the Turks migrated to Anatolia, picked up Islam on the way, and succeeded where the Arabs had failed, conquering the Byzantine Empire piece by piece. The city of Smyrna fell first to the Seljuk Turks in 1084, was regained by the Greeks, and then later was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. It remained in Ottoman hands until modern times, but was still primarily a Greek and Armenian city, home to thousands of Christian dhimmis.

At the beginning of the 20th century there were an estimated 4.5 million Christians in what is now Turkey, most of them Greek. In 1979 the Greek Orthodox population in Turkey was thought to be no more than 7,000, and is now down to about 2,000.

Where did all those Greeks go? Demetrios didn’t just turn to Sofia one day and say, “Darling, let’s load all our worldly goods onto the donkey cart and we’ll move to Athens or Thessalonica.” It’s not like Smyrna was proselytized by gentle imams who were so persuasive that the entire Greek population converted to Islam, gave up their Greek surnames, and took on Turkish ones instead.

No, Asia Minor was cleared of Greeks and Armenians in the traditional manner, by blood and fire, by the sword and the bullet, by rapine and looting and unimaginable slaughter. But this didn’t happen in 670, or 1084, or 1453, or 1683. It was in 1922, in the recently departed 20th century. It was the Rwanda and Darfur of the 1920s, and it occurred within living memory. Or it would be living, if the memory of it hadn’t been dumped down the oubliette along with all the other inconvenient facts that the bien-pensants would rather not think about.

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


When the “Sick Man of Europe” — the Ottoman Empire — finally expired at the end of the Great War, the formerly Ottoman lands were divided up by the Western Allies according to the national aspirations of the inhabitants as well as the mercantile schemes of the British and the French. Greece had won her independence from the Ottomans in 1821, but much of Asia Minor, though ethnically Greek, remained part of the Ottoman Empire until it was allotted to the Greek nation under the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920.

The defeat at the hands of the Allies helped spark Kemal Attaturk’s “Young Turk” revolution that overthrew the Ottomans and replaced them with a secular Turkish nationalist government. In 1921 Greek forces secured Smyrna and moved inland to engage the Turkish nationalist army. Unfortunately, they were no match for their opponents, and were pushed back across the Bosphorus by the Turks. Any Greek civilians who failed to flee with them were left to face the revenge of Kemal’s army.

The awful dénouement was realized most vividly in Smyrna. According to Western eyewitness accounts ( derided as “tall tales” by some Turks, but confirmed by other Turkish sources), Turkish soldiers methodically put the Greek and Armenian quarters to the torch when the winds were blowing away from the Turkish quarter. Christian homes and businesses were looted, Christian women were raped by soldiers while their families were slaughtered, and what remained of the Christian populace gathered on the quayside between the flaming city and the waters of the harbor.

Like the people trapped on the upper floors of the World Trade Center, the Christians of Smyrna faced the choice of dying in the inferno or jumping. Many of them did jump, and those who could swim tried to reach the Allied warships anchored in the harbor.

But the British and French seamen had orders from headquarters not to allow any refugees aboard. They cut the ropes and threw water onto the desperate Greeks trying to climb aboard, and many thousands of people drowned.

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


Not our finest hour, eh?

The Western Allies had read the writing on the wall, and could see that Kemal Attaturk and his genocidal soldiers were the wave of the future. Commercial interests were at stake, after all, so Attaturk got the assistance of the West, the Greeks were driven from Asia Minor, and the Treaty of Sèvres was discarded. The facts on the ground were codified by a new treaty, the Treaty of Lausanne, in 1923.

Massacre victims at SmyrnaThe Greek Holocaust was a secular one, perpetrated by Turkish nationalists out to secularize the country, and not a product of jihad. Even so, the corpses strewn in the streets were all Christians, and were derided by their murderers as gâvur, the Turkish version of the Arabic word kaffir, or infidels.

And so we have another series of grainy monochrome photos of corpses, the familiar spawn of the 20th century. The brutalized and desecrated victims lie in disordered heaps while the onlookers and perpetrators stare nonchalantly into the camera. The Balkans, Russia, and now Turkey; later Spain, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Ukraine, Bosnia, and Kosovo, on and on and on…

Asia Minor becomes Griechenrein. Turkey becomes a modern, secular, “European” state. The Turks flood Europe.

And so we move on into the 21st century.

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


Last week the Islamic Street rose in predictable outrage after Pope Benedict XVI mentioned a 14th-century Byzantine emperor’s remarks about the brutal and immoral nature of Islamic jihad.

One of the more outstanding reactions from the Islamic world was this butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-his-mouth quote from Ali Bardakoglu, head of the Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate:

Bardakoglu said he expected an apology from the pope and said it was Christianity, not Islam, that popularized conversion by the sword, according to Turkey’s state-owned Anatolia news agency.

“The church and the Western public, because they saw Islam as the enemy, went on crusades. They occupied Istanbul, they killed thousands of people. Orthodox Christians and Jews were killed and tortured,” he said.

Occupied Istanbul?

Regular readers of Gates of Vienna don’t have to be reminded that until 1453 Istanbul was Constantinople, a Greek city and the seat of the Eastern Empire. The Crusaders occupied it, and the Byzantines later retook it, before it was finally overrun, sacked, and converted by the Ottomans in 1453.

The Turkish reaction is more than historical revisionism; it is absolute fantasy, on a scale that Big Brother could only admire.

It would be laughable if so many in the West weren’t ready to buy into it, to accept the “Evil Crusaders” meme as gospel truth, to jump on the Pope for examining and restating the plain facts of history, and to turn their naked bellies to the swords of the Saracens, begging for dhimmitude.

What have we come to? How could this happen?

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


Let’s return to the agora. In a Greek city-state, the agora was at the center of public affairs, the open area where people gathered, business was transacted, and public debate occurred. Its Roman equivalent was the forum, and in the Hispanic diaspora it was the plaza. The American version would be the courthouse square.

This is the Commons, the public space, the area of civic life shared by all citizens.

In the 20th century its traditional forms in the West atrophied as modern forms of communication moved in. Radio and then television supplanted the agora, and the free-for-all exchange of ideas was replaced by a one-way communication. In contrast to a conversation in the square, the Chosen Few read the story into the microphone, and you, Mr. Average Citizen, listened to it through the speaker and accepted it as the narrative of the common culture.

This worked fine as long as the person reading into the microphone and the person listening to the speaker shared the same values and assumptions. But for the last fifty years or so these two have diverged. The average person in the West holds very different values from the people whom Thomas Sowell has dubbed “The Anointed”, typified by the editors of The New York Times and the news anchors of network television. These latter folks are anxious to put one over on you, in order to serve the Common Good, which they, as the privileged minority, have been able to ascertain.

Until the stakes became so deadly this didn’t matter too much. But now, when the Religious Affairs Directorate of Turkey tells us that we are bad and in need of correction, there is no agora in the West, no place where prominent citizens can stand up, shake their fists, and cry, “We’re not going to stand for this!”

Posse Incitatus knows the truth. So do Dave Schuler and Charles Johnson. But that truth is not going to appear on the nightly news or the front page of the NYT.

Transmission beltThe agora was the transmission belt of our common culture, and the belt is now broken. The common values of our civilization are no longer being transmitted from generation to generation by the erstwhile guardians of the West.

To switch metaphors a bit, the title-holders of our culture have defaulted on their obligations, and are about to be foreclosed on. The means to do so are at hand.

Two major steps are necessary, and each is difficult in its own way.

First of all, it’s time to kill your television. If you have children, this is a must. Television is the primary propagator of the destructive memes that are poised to bring down the decadent West. It doesn’t matter if you only watch “Masterpiece Theatre” or the Weather Channel: your television is a Trojan Horse, one that will carry everything you don’t want into your house and infect your kids with it.

The gift of speechSecondly, pull your kids out of the public schools. If you spend a couple of hours reading about the fashionable and dangerous Marxist thought being poured into the heads of your kids’ teachers at the schools of education, you won’t hesitate to get your children out of reach of the school system. Make the necessary sacrifice: keep one parent at home and do the homeschooling.

I realize that homeschooling can be quite difficult under the nanny states of some European countries and Australia, not to mention in some of the bluer states in the USA. But if it’s legal where you live, it’s a worthwhile thing to do. Make yourself into the cultural transmission belt, and your kids will be the better for it.

Both of these prescriptions require sacrifice, but both are possible now, thanks to the internet. If your house has broadband and no TV, and if — most importantly — you monitor closely your children’s use of the internet, the information that flows into their impressionable little minds will be quite different from what enthralls and entertains the MTV-and-public-school crowd.

The new media are poised to gather together the disparate strands of the despised traditional culture and weave them into something that can withstand the forces that would destroy us.

Or, to use a genetic analogy, the legacy media are the dominant cultural genes, and the alternatives — the churches, the Boy Scouts, volunteer organizations, etc. — are the recessive ones. In times of stress on a population, recessive genes gain selective value and come to the fore. Information that was once hiding in the genetic shadows emerges now into the sunlight to save the species from extinction.

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


If you pay attention to the legacy media, the culture of the West seems almost suicidal in its determination to submit to the Great Islamic Jihad. The élites of the Anointed are secure in their bastions in Scarsdale or Ann Arbor or Hollywood, and don’t have to fear for their own skins any time soon. They watch the tide coming in and knocking down the sand castles in Europe, but their little castles are secure.

Or so they think. But there’s no place on earth that’s above the high tide line of Islam.

In 1918, the fall of the Ottomans was the low tide of Islam. The Greek castles were way down the shore near the ebb, and they were the first to go when the tide turned. The castles in Nigeria, Kosovo, Kashmir, and Indonesia are falling now, and those in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Britain will topple soon.

But none of our castles is safe. Ours may not fall in Dan Rather’s lifetime, or in mine. But some cohort of those alive today — people now in their 20s, or 30s, or 40s — will have to face this tide at its flood. It will be no use to emulate Canute and order it to turn back.

The only way the West will be victorious is for us to take back the culture.

We need to empower our heirs by driving pilings deep into the cultural foreshore so that our revered institutions will be strong enough to withstand the pounding of the coming tide.



Resources concerning the Greek Holocaust in Asia Minor:

Constantinopolitan Society
Human Rights Action
First Greco-Turkish War 1897
Second Greco-Turkish War 1921-1922
Venizelos and the Asia Minor Catastrophe
Phantis: Smyrna
The Destruction of Smyrna

Swedish Surprise

It’s a cold day in July. Hell has frozen over. Pigs have flown.

And the Social Democrats have lost the election in Sweden.

When our email comes back to normal, I’m sure we’ll hear from LN, our Swedish correspondent, and have more interesting details for you.

In the meantime, here’s Bloomberg:

Sweden’s four-party opposition ousted Prime Minister Goeran Persson’s Social Democrats after 12 years in power as voters backed their plans to cut taxes to make it easier for companies to hire and sell off state assets, exit polls indicated.

The opposition, led by the Moderate Party’s Fredrik Reinfeldt, 41, took 49.7 percent of the vote, compared with 45.6 percent for the Social Democrats and their allies, the Greens and the Left Party, an exit poll for state broadcaster SVT showed. A poll from commercial broadcaster TV4 showed the opposition ahead by 48.6 percent to 46.7 percent.

The opposition laid the groundwork for victory two years ago when it formed the Alliance for Sweden, with common policies on taxes, the economy and welfare, last month issuing its first joint election manifesto. It also managed to convince voters it had the best recipe to end a decade of stagnation in the Swedish labor market.

“The four opposition parties allied into a formidable alternative,” said Anders Sannerstedt, a political-science professor at Lund University. “They have never been this united and in tune with each other — I have to call it historic.”

[…]

“The Social Democrats’ biggest blunder was to issue an election manifesto without anything to say about jobs issues,” said Jan Teorell, an associate professor at Lund University. “To contest an election with dental reform as the biggest issue shows that they are tired of governing.”

Color me surprised. And pleased.

That Was Not a “Blunder.” It’s Just An Excuse to Kill Infidels

Manuel II PalaeologusOther than look at the headlines and check Memeorandum to see what themes are developing, I’ve avoided reading any details about the latest Papal smackdown. The headlines are familiar, the pictures of howling mobs of Muslims are by now simply stock photos, and in the end, I notice that no one is actually reading Benedict’s speech from Regensburg — or rather, they’re excerpting the “juicy” parts and leaving the rest. A waste, really.

What is striking (so to speak) about the various reactions to the Pope’s address is the level of naïveté on all sides of this debate. Among both his adversaries — who delight in this purported “blunder” in Benedict’s talk, and his defenders — who lament his indiscretion, there seems to be an assumption that this intelligent, scholarly, and historically informed speech was a mistake, an unintentional gaffe.

Riight…sure it was.

The predictable (and by now exquisitely boring) outrage of the vaunted “Muslim street” is evidence of either (1) their stereotypical hysteria and the over-the-top strategy they employ at the slightest provocation, or (2) further proof of the hyper-vigilant hysterical paranoia that pervades a dysfunctional and homicidal culture. In other words, it’s either the sly application of taqiyya, or it’s mass insanity. Take your pick. Personally, I opt for “crazy like a fox” when these folks start foaming at the mouth and issuing fatwas and burning crosses, for heaven’s sake. What they’re really doing here is softening us up, making the mayhem look like normal behavior.

The MSM pontificating is also boringly predictable. Does any sane person care what The New York Times has to say on this issue? The tropes trotted out by the usual suspects have become so familiar by now that we can recite the jabber right along with these talking/writing heads. They have all the depth and breadth of a Gilligan’s Island episode, and none of these “journalists” ever step out of character, or say anything surprising. Like teenagers who have seen every episode of Gilligan umpteen times, we can recite the MSM litany right along with them — though perhaps with less evident glee than they evince when some event generates orchestrated crises, giving them the opportunity to…to pontificate. In fact, if the ability to pontificate were the only requirement for the job, we’d have been saying “Pope Dan Rather” a long, long time ago.

These first two groups -Muslims and the MSM — can be safely ignored. Neither has anything to say that they haven’t already repeated ad infinitum, ad nauseam. In fact, if the Muslims and their rage disorder didn’t exist, the MSM would have had to invent them just to stay in business. Otherwise, when the Muslims aren’t raging, the MSM is reduced to dreary and dire prophecies about, oh, the economy (bad), the environment (the sky is falling), the poor (mistreated), the entitled (not enough programs), the Republicans (lack of ethics), the oil shortage (greedy Americans), the coming Avian flu epidemic (we’re all going to die), or, scraping the bottom of the barrel, sophistry and ignorant political philosophy by our current crop of “entertainers.” Come to think of it, perhaps the blowhard imams are largely creations of the al-Frankenstein MSM. Certainly the media have made the imam business a growth industry since 9/11.

But what is of real concern is the group of commentators, sincerely distressed, who perceive Benedict’s speech as a “blunder” — one for which he must now abjectly apologize.

Nonsense. So Turkey is reneging on the up-coming Papal visit? They don’t want him in their benighted, bloodied country? Odd, considering that it was a a native-born Turkish terrorist who tried to assassinate John Paul:

On 13 May 1981 John Paul II was shot and critically wounded by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman, as he entered St. Peter’s Square to address an audience. Agca was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment. Two days after Christmas 1983, John Paul II visited the prison where his would-be assassin was being held. The two spoke privately for 20 minutes. John Paul II said, “What we talked about will have to remain a secret between him and me. I spoke to him as a brother whom I have pardoned and who has my complete trust.”

Now maybe there were abject apologies and letters of condolence pouring in from all over the Ummah for this almost-fatal attack on the Pope? Perhaps as he was recuperating from his six hours of surgery, the Turkish ambassador to Italy tip-toed into his room with posies and apologies? If so, the MSM didn’t cover that part of the story.

And don’t you wonder how the story of John Paul’s pardon of his would-be assassin played in Ankarrah? That is, if it even played at all.

The best thing one can do in the current contretemps is to read the whole speech, all the way through to the addendum at the bottom. As you do, take into account its context: Benedict was returning to the scene of his years as a young scholar filled with the excitement of university life. His opening remarks are full of nostalgia for the memories of an earlier, more civil and united academic world, one where theology had at least a minor place in the cosmos of the university. That world has disappeared.

1959 was a time of ferment in theology, and nowhere was that more evident than in Germany. As anyone studying the subject in the U.S. during the sixties and seventies can tell you, not knowing how to read German was a distinct disadvantage for serious graduate work in the field. Whether it was scriptural exegesis or moral theology or ecclesiology, the liberal Germans led the field. Not that there weren’t shining lights in other countries — Yves Congar’s ideas about “the priesthood of the baptized” had their moment — it’s just that the critical mass of original thinking in theology was taking place in Germany.

And that was the milieu in which Benedict — Father Ratzinger — lived and moved and had his being. A scholar of history and theology, he was at home in Regensburg and Bonn, immersed in his teaching and studies. Do you think he ever gave room to dreams about his place in the history of the papacy? Somehow I doubt it. Not then, anyway, when the university was his home.

This man was and is a scholar right down to his marrow. He is a careful thinker steeped in the history of his church and of his world — in his case, the history of Western Europe. He has probably forgotten more about both subjects than you and I will ever learn.

The Papacy is not monolithic. John XXIII was not an intellectual, though he taught for a time at an Italian seminary. Roncalli was a diplomat, and used his offices in Greece and Turkey to save many Jews. Even the French loved Roncalli, the son of sharecroppers. On the other hand, Eugenio Pacelli, his predecessor, came from a long line of Italian aristocrats. As introverted as Roncalli was gregarious, Pius XII had the unenviable task of pulling the Church through the Second World War and beyond. Had they not had their vocation to the priesthood and their respective papal appointments, their paths would never have crossed.

Benedict, of course, is German, and again as different from his predecessor as were Pacelli and Roncalli. But John Paul was Benedict’s friend — to the extent that Pontiffs have “friends” and it is thought that he hoped Ratzinger would succeed him. John Paul knew their deep differences in outlook, but he trusted the process and the person to meet the coming crises. While this speech would never have passed John Paul’s lips, one can surmise that he knew this confrontation was inevitable for whomever followed him.

If you would understand the context of this speech, Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and Reflections, you would do well to read Ratzinger’s first encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est” in order to see the edifice upon which he is building his rôle during the time allotted him in office.

“Deus Caritas Est” — “God is Love” — is a logical predecessor to “Faith and Reason.” The latter is not an encyclical, but I’d wager that it is the prologue to just such a work in the future. Love, the experience of love, is primary. It precedes reason. Love is necessary but for a fully formed faith it is not sufficient. Thus Benedict points out that Logos (whose connotation includes ‘word’ and ‘action’) is the very beginning…of everything. This idea, the opening to John’s gospel (probably written on the island of Patmos) is in keeping with the Christian belief that human beings, being made in God’s image, respond reasonably to what they perceive as God’s action in the world.

To that extent (and to many others), Judaism and Christianity converge. But Benedict’s point is that the Church not only flows from Jewish scripture, but is also inescapably and profoundly Hellenistic in outlook. For better or worse, Paul preached to the Greeks and to the Hellenized Jews, and it was this strand that survived after the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and the diaspora not only of Jews, but of the Jerusalem branch of the Church. The Jerusalem church, Paul’s thorn, ceased to exist.

Benedict briefly passes over the Roman contribution to Christian praxis (e.g., Canon Law) in order to dwell more fully on Greek philosophy’s impact on Christian belief. That is his point: Hellenic reason in tandem with Jewish faith created the synthesis that became Christian thought.

Benedict is too thoroughly a historian to pass over the contradictions and tensions that arose from this syncretism. He outlines briefly three strands of “de-Hellenization” that have brought the Church to grief:

This inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world history — it is an event which concerns us even today. Given this convergence, it is not surprising that Christianity, despite its origins and some significant developments in the East, finally took on its historically decisive character in Europe. We can also express this the other way around: this convergence, with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe.

The thesis that the critically purified Greek heritage forms an integral part of Christian faith has been countered by the call for a deHellenization of Christianity — a call which has more and more dominated theological discussions since the beginning of the modern age. Viewed more closely, three stages can be observed in the programme of dehellenization: although interconnected, they are clearly distinct from one another in their motivations and objectives.

The three stages Benedict outlines begin in the Reformation in the 16th century, followed by the liberal theology of the late 19th and early 20th centuries — the theology of Harnack, its leading expositor, who drew from Pascal and Kant. Benedict says that as a young professor he tried to counter these ideas in his inaugural address at Bonn but one could infer that he didn’t think he was successful. Of this second strand, he says:

…any attempt to maintain theology’s claim to be “scientific” would end up reducing Christianity to a mere fragment of its former self. But we must say more: if science as a whole is this and this alone, then it is man himself who ends up being reduced, for the specifically human questions about our origin and destiny, the questions raised by religion and ethics, then have no place within the purview of collective reason as defined by “science”, so understood, and must thus be relegated to the realm of the subjective. The subject then decides, on the basis of his experiences, what he considers tenable in matters of religion, and the subjective “conscience” becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical. In this way, though, ethics and religion lose their power to create a community and become a completely personal matter. This is a dangerous state of affairs for humanity, as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it. Attempts to construct an ethic from the rules of evolution or from psychology and sociology, end up being simply inadequate.

And the third strand of the Church’s dehellenization? It is this:

In the light of our experience with cultural pluralism, it is often said nowadays that the synthesis with Hellenism achieved in the early Church was a preliminary enculturation which ought not to be binding on other cultures. The latter are said to have the right to return to the simple message of the New Testament prior to that enculturation, in order to enculturate it anew in their own particular milieux. This thesis is not only false; it is coarse and lacking in precision. The New Testament was written in Greek and bears the imprint of the Greek spirit, which had already come to maturity as the Old Testament developed. True, there are elements in the evolution of the early Church which do not have to be integrated into all cultures. Nonetheless, the fundamental decisions made about the relationship between faith and the use of human reason are part of the faith itself; they are developments consonant with the nature of faith itself.

What does Benedict mean here? In my opinion, he is referring to the necessity to refrain from incorporating animism, ancestor worship, or other tribal beliefs and customs that confront the Church in Africa and the Far East. But who knows? For certain, he will let us know in subsequent speeches and encyclicals.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re wondering where the meat is here. Where is the part of his address that has left the Ummah with a virulent case of the violent vapors? Why are they shredding this speech with their teeth, rage dripping from their tongues?

Benedict’s confrontation with Islam — which he sets up as a foil to explain the notion of reason vis a vis faith — is his reference to a passage by Professor Theodore Khoury in which he sets down a dialogue from 1391, during one of the sieges of Constantinople by the Muslims, between the Emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, and a Persian Muslim. Bear in mind Benedict’s motive: he is going to clarify the necessity for reason, and to do so he chooses this dialogue as his jumping off point. It is a time-honored rhetorical device he employs here:

It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor. The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur’an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between — as they were called — three “Laws” or “rules of life”: the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’an. It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point — itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole — which, in the context of the issue of “faith and reason”, I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.

In the seventh conversation (*4V8,>4H — controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: “There is no compulsion in religion”. According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels”, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”. The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God”, he says, “is not pleased by blood — and not acting reasonably (F×
The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practise idolatry.

So, according to Benedict, the Emperor was startlingly brusque when he expounds on “on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence.”

1391. Over six hundred years ago. That is Benedict’s point. Except for Islam, the world’s religions have changed and evolved. Islam, still a tribal, ahistorical and literal belief system based on what one does, has not changed. And it has foresworn reason as one of its attributes. Belief is not discussed, it is practiced in minute detail. You have only to look in on the questions the average Muslim has about the minutiae of daily life to understand the tragic and unanswered demand for security. At the whim of a capricious Allah, and an even more capricious desert environment, what recourse does a Muslim have but to attend to the details? And what room is there for a maturing of moral reasoning in this system?

Unfortunately for Islam, it simply conquered, subdued, and killed or converted those in its path. It never absorbed from the surrounding culture. Such absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely, no?

But then who could tell a caliph that and live to say anything else?

And how can the world continue in the face of a murderously angry, envious and resentful culture like Islam, frozen as it is in 7th century thinking?

The Holy Jihad will make Christians pay dearly for Benedict’s presentation. Bringing that 600 year old conversation to the light will cause the deaths of many.

Does that mean we should keep silence? No! Jihadists are killing Christians and Jews and Buddhists and Hindus and animists. Then the Sunnis will start killing the Shi’ites and vice versa. Keeping quiet will protect no one.

No, Benedict didn’t “blunder.” He said what he meant and he meant what he said.

Let the fatwas begin.

Everybody Must Come Along — It Is That Easy

Tomorrow is election day in Sweden, and a very important day for Swedes. Their nation, with the most grotesquely swollen welfare state in the world, faces a huge fiscal and demographic challenge.

But the prospects for a change in direction after tomorrow are not good. Sweden is almost a one-party state, and the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterna) have bought and paid for their permanent position of power with ever-increasing welfare benefits.

Regular Swedish reader LN sends us this report about the state of Sweden on the eve of the election. Unfortunately, since our ISP is still down, I have not been able to include the excellent graphs and photos that accompanied his report.

The title of this piece is a translation of the Social Democrats’ campaign slogan: Alla ska med. Så enkelt är det.

As with his previous reports, I have adjusted LN’s spelling and altered some of his phrasing to accord with current American idiom. Otherwise, the story is entirely his.

About the Swedish Phony Election This Sunday

Sweden is a small country. The 9 million inhabitants do not constitute more than 0.14% of the world’s population. The immigrant population amounts to just over 2 million, or 22% of the entire population and the native-born (the Swedish) population — nowadays called: “persons with a Swedish background ” — to just over 7 million in 2004. According to SCB’s (Central Bureau of Statistics ) forecasts, the immigrant population will increase to approximately 50% by about 2015-2020 — a sweet future.

Sweden is approximately equal in population to N. J., USA, to Austria or the Dominican Republic. This fact urges consideration of how small an impact Sweden has on the world economy and on how the global economy influences Sweden. A lot of what is happening in Sweden is directly influenced by what takes place in the rest of the world. A fall at the Stock Exchange of Tokyo, one revolutionizing invention made in California, a decision in the EU-Parliament in Brussels, devastation of the Brazilian rain forests, an accelerating melting down of the polar glaciers, an act of terror in New York, war in Iraq, or a cheaper labour force in China, India or eastern Europe are occurrences that characterize the Swedish everyday life.

The accelerating globalization creates new and extended markets, but requires even more far-reaching domestic structural transformation. The work-intensive industry and to an accelerated degree the skill-intensive service sector are set for ever-harder competitive pressure from outside. Sweden’s future possibilities for creating employment and welfare are largely depending on how well the government succeeds in creating a friendly and functional climate for innovative individual entrepreneurs, for the export industry and for the developing competitiveness of industries and regions.

The ability to renew production goes hand in hand with the job-annihilation that occurs through structural transformations. In large parts of the country the exporting and closing-down of jobs are stronger forces than the job-creating ones, resulting in an accelerated unemployment and an increased need for labour market policy initiatives and everything else that might stem the need for additional early retirement pensions!

Demographics

Sweden has a relatively old population. 17% of the population are today over 65 years, a proportion that will grow to 23% in 2050. The big batch of people born in the 1940s, which the Swedish Minister of Finance Nuder unfriendly calls the “Meat-Mountain”, and which begins to claim pensions in the near future, contributes to a regeneration of the age group 65+ from on average 75.7 years in 2003 to 74.7 years at the start of 2010. The proportion of those over 80 years, will increase from 5.2 to 8.4% during the period.

The proportion of children and young people in the ages 0-19 years will remain relatively constant during the next 50 years. SCB’s population forecast points to a reduction of the proportion from 24 to 23%.

Approximately 59% of the population belong to the fit-for-work age group 20-64, which is the lowest in the entire OECD. Only Greece, New Zealand and Ireland have a lower proportion of the 20-64 age group.

Around 45% of the Swedish population is working, compared to 35 in Greece and 51 in Switzerland, which means that every working person must first provide for him/herself then also provide for 1.2 other persons — either child, elderly or a 20-64 year old person not working.

The number of early retirements has now risen to new historical levels and in 2004 amounts to 540,000 persons, nearly 10% of the fit-for-work population. Those that are on long sick-leave in 2003 achieved a top level of 130,000.

Unemployment

“Open unemployed” means those that are at the labor market’s disposition and are actively seeking jobs and thus entitled to compensation from an unemployment benefit society. When you measure how big this group is, it is common to speak about the proportion unemployed in percents of all on the labor market (working plus unemployed). However, the common proportion of unemployed, and those granted a premature pension also can be measured in relation to the population 20-64 years. That is done here.

In 2004 231,000 persons, corresponding to 4.4% of the age group 20-64, were open unemployed. More men (4.9%) than women (3.8%). The unemployment is highest among the young (6.2% for age group 20-34). With rising age, the unemployment declines. 0.9% are unemployed for more than 6 months a year.

If we add together the open unemployment of 231,000 persons and those persons that make use of actions taken due to the state of the market and due to the welfare service for disabled , the total unemployment is 394,000 corresponding to 7.4% of the 20-64 age group — among men 8.4%, and among women 6.4%.

The number of beneficiaries getting early retirement pension, sick-leave allowance, unemployment benefit/allowance, activity support due to labour market measures and social allowance/assistance should every year be calculated by the Central Bureau of Statistics (SCB ) and the figures then recalculated to whole-year-equivalents.

In 1990 732,000 persons were drawing such benefits. In 1994 the number had increased by 58% to 1,156,000 persons. Today’s SCB figures are not known. Since then the number of beneficiaries drawing social allowance/assistance (socialhjälp) and activity support due to labour market measures has been reduced. Despite this, at the turn of the century there were still 41% more beneficiaries than in 1990. The reason for this is that more people are getting early retirement pension and long-term sick leave allowance .

Approximately 531,000 or 59% of the population belong to the fit-for-work age group 20-64. Of these approx. 405,000 are working. More than a million people do not work; that is, either they have not got a job, are studying, are unable to work, are sick, disabled or just “damn lazy”. Why work when the benefit per day is just $10-15 lower than the work wage?

Sweden has long been praised for its active labor market policy, i.e. a policy that took into consideration the different states of the job market and tried to help the unemployed with complementary education (AMU ) etc. in order to increase their opportunities to get a job quickly on the open labor market. The active labor market policy reached its height during the 1980s, when the unemployment was low.

Benefits for unemployment and ill-health cost the national economy incredible sums each year. In 2004, when the total was higher than ever before, the expenditure was SEK 121,000,000,000. It corresponds to almost 5% of the GNP or 18% of the state budget.

That means that each and every individual in Sweden must pay in mean-value SEK 13,416 in tax-compensation.

Vacant jobs are mediated by the almost 400 State Employment Offices (Arbetsförmedlingar). The National Audit Bureau has cruelly criticized the Labor Market Board (AMS ), the responsible authority, that the State Employment Offices do not do their job. According to information that has leaked out, only one of ten free jobs are mediated and every work agent does not mediate more than 7-8 jobs a year!

The Swedish Nomenklatura

The number of employees within the bureaucracy amounts to 230,976 persons. 6-7% of all employees in the country are thus top public servants. The increase has been extremely fast these last years — since 2000 we have got more than 1,588 new public servants. Sweden has a pronounced nepotistic nomenklatura. Everyone is friends with, related to, and intermarried with or just [verb deleted — you guess!] each other in one limitless network as per a complex wiring diagram, like in an old railway signal-box, in this case the public signal-box .

To the top bureaucrats you have to add the lesser primary and secondary bureaucrats of the municipalities, at least just as many, which means that the total number amounts to between 10 -15% of the country’s total labor force.

Persons with foreign background

The immigrant population of 2 million, or 22% of the entire population, has a lower employment level than the population as a whole. Especially those who are born outside Europe (approximately 6.5% of the population group aged 20-64 years).

According to the Swedish Immigration Board (Invandrarverket ), the employment rate in the group that is foreign born (inside as well as outside EU) is about 60%.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (SCB ) the foreign-born part of the population is 1,100,262 — oops, didn’t the immigrant population amount to just over 2 million? — and of these 831,825 are in the fit-for-work age group (18-64). Therefore — with simple mathematics — 332,730 foreign-born persons in the fit-for-work age group are not working but are directly dependent on maintenance from the state and the municipality in form of social allowances or early retirement pensions .

499,095 are, however, “working”, therefore they either have a real job (how many?) or they are working in cost-requiring labor market measures, alternatively are underemployed or are studying. Of those “working” — this is a spiteful guess — only some 200,000 have got a real and serious job and therefore are able to support themselves and contribute to the Public Treasure.

Why these different figures, and how does the above agree with what earlier has been said about a total unemployment of 394,000 and a total working force of in the ages 20-64 of 531,000? Something does not tally! Double entry bookkeeping could be one explanation. The Central Bureau of Statistics (SCB) has in collaboration with the Swedish Migration Board (Invandrarverket) made native-born persons with one native- and one foreign-born parent into Swedes by establishing the concept of “person with Swedish background”. This partial group constitutes about 7 per cent of the entire population. The consequence of the fact that one native-born, with one native- and one foreign-born parent, statistically are considered being “Swedish”, is that the sum of “persons with foreign background” is reduced to just over 1.4 millions or to 16% of the population, instead of 2 million and 22% respectively. This is one example of how the untrustworthy Government with all its might is trying to conceal from the people the real proportions and the costs for multiculture and immigration.

340,000 immigrants have such poor knowledge of Swedish that they find it impossible to function fullly in society. 20,000 of those who have come to Sweden the last 20 years have such serious reading/writing difficulties that they should be considered as illiterates. Less than half of those who have been granted residence permits start their free (but not yet(!) compulsory) course in Swedish for Immigrants (SFI ) within a year. 40% of the SFI-pupils are shirking the Swedish language training.

The Education Fraud

Once upon a time a university was founded — in Uppsala AD 1477.

Then in AD 1666 the next university was founded — in Lund. Then came the University of Linköping in 1975. Thereafter followed a tiny avalanche of new universities. Today there are more than 20 universities and an unknown number of ‘university colleges’ in Sweden.

A general reduction of academic quality has occurred. The old ideals of creative and critical thinking, liberation and emancipation have been devaluated. The title of “Professor” is served out as an award to film directors and authors, in an conscious effort to clean away any stamp of élitism. Politicians of great merit are being taken good care of; for example the Prime Minister, after having granted the Örebro University another SEK 140,000,000 yearly, became doctor honoris causa at the same educational institution.

“We Social Democrats have undertaken one very ambitious obligation by increasing investment for research to one percent of GNP. With Sweden’s considerable growth this will mean a future additional substantial resource boost”, said Leif Pagrotsky, Minister of Education.

On his own authority the notorious Minister of Finances Nuder lately said:

“I want to see more universities in Sweden. I want to see a Sweden of Knowledge, Competence and Creativity!

Sure, for a true Marxist there exists no Gaussian-curve depicting the standard distribution of human intelligence — everybody can learn everything, anywhere. That is why Swedish academicians with 3-4 years at the University and with around SEK quarter of a million in study-loans are frying hamburgers at McDonalds, selling bookshelves at IKEA or distributing newspapers in the early morning.

Eureka: the more young people that are studying with borrowed money, the smaller unemployment figures to account for at the present moment; at least 50% of the youth are expected to devote themselves to higher education.

Multiculturalism

The immigrant’s vote is becoming ever more important in Europe. In many countries foreigners are allowed to vote in local elections (in addition to all those thousands of immigrants who have been granted citizenship and are voting to a parliament).The immigrants to Sweden — not refugees — are not different from other immigrants to Western Europe, who arrive here perhaps first of all to get a job and earn a living, but also to a large extent enjoy the generous welfare benefits. When established and settled down, they of course vote in favour of maintaining the welfare system. Why bite the hand that feeds them? The sitting Swedish Social Democratic Government tries to remain in power by appealing to all recipients of public welfare (with Swedish as well as with foreign background). With the prominent help of their supporting two sects, the Greens and the Lefts, they are fleecing the working Swedes to maintain a big sponging immigrant population. Swedish society can probably be fleeced at least for another one or two voting periods. Generous welfare benefits attract more and more people and when the share of the idle population grows big enough, the tax burden for the remaining work-force must make working become unprofitable. Hopefully this will soon happen and cause the system to collapse.

Most repulsive is the Swedish Social Democrats’ perfect understanding with the Muslims. The Swedish public service television (SVT) program “Assignment Scrutiny” (Uppdrag Granskning) exposed that Mahmoud Aldebe, chairman of the Swedish Muslim Association (SMF), which was (is?) a part of the extensive umbrella organization “the Muslim Council of Sweden” (SMR), after the 2002 election sent a congratulatory letter to the Swedish Prime Minister, the almighty Göran Persson.

Here follows a small excerpt of that letter:

The Muslims congratulate you on your victory in the ‘success-election’. We Muslims and many of our representatives around the country have worked hard for an (s)-victory and have increased Muslim participation in the election, specially in Stockholm. The polling measurements pointed to at the most 38% but together we turned it to an (s)-victory of over 40%. We Muslims wish you success and happiness for the 4 years lying ahead. We hope that you in the future will meet some of the Muslims’ requirements.”

The Social Democrats thus have chosen to ally themselves with Islamists and to wink at their undemocratic views. Prominent characters of Muslim parishes are also active within the Social Democrats, and the relationship with the Christian (sic!) falange (division) of the Social Democratic Workers Party (SDAP) called Broderskapsrörelsen (the Brotherhood ) is excellent. Since 2003 and through a SDAP-congress decision it is possible for Muslims to become members.

Perhaps the Social Democrats in their turn, and maybe as a thanks for the assistance they get from the mosque management, have shown a tendency to disregard and to shut an eye to the fact that extremism is easy to find in certain of the mosques. This has given the Muslim Brotherhood free scope to force their ideology on to the mosque-visiting Muslims.

The Swedish Social Democrats, Islam’s useful idiots, just as the residual politically correct establishment, evidently are ready to sell out the country to the hostile and misanthropic religion Islam.

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


In memory of Oriana Fallaci I take the liberty to cite a few words of this great woman of vision.

“Europe is no longer Europe, it is ‘Eurabia,’ a colony of Islam, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in a mental and cultural sense. Servility to the invaders has poisoned democracy, with obvious consequences for the freedom of thought, and for the concept itself of liberty. The current invasion, is carried out not only by the ‘terrorists who blow up themselves along with skyscrapers or buses’ but also by the immigrants who settle in our home, and who, with no respect for our laws, impose their ideas, their customs, their God.”

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


All the graphs [missing from this version] and most of the statistics in the above exposition are taken from a report “Everybody is Needed “ (Alla Behövs) by the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions’ (LO) own (but former) investigator: Jan Edling.

The Swedish newspapers SvD and Aftonbladet on 18th of May 2005 wrote: “The Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) do not want to approve his report:40% have no jobs. Many more than earlier was believed are put on the sick-list because there are no jobs. This bombshell comes from one of the Trade Union Confederation’s own investigators. Now he gives notice in protest against the fact that his shocking report is not approved of.

“Jan Edling has worked 18 years for the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions and is one of this organisation’s most experienced investigators. Before then he worked as a sociopolitical investigator at the Social Insurance Association (Försäkringskasseförbundet ). It was there he first detected the connection between high unemployment figures and high numbers of people being reported sick or having got early retirement pensions.”

[…]

“Jan Edling’s latest Trade Union Confederation Report contains such politically sensitive figures that the Trade Union Confederation do not want to approve it, claims Edling. The reason: “According to Edling only 60% of the Swedes are working”. Four out of ten Swedes have no job — and the figures distributed per municipalities give clear signals that it is about lack of jobs, not extreme high illness figures.

“That only six out of ten are working is moreover a considerable higher figure than the government’s official one, that asserts that 77% of the Swedes are in work.

Edling’s figures are sensitive. In, for example, Haparanda (far to the north) the number that get compensation for ill-health or unemployment is shockingly high, 40.9%. The average for the country is 20%. […] This is hugely controversial and not the least because it is near election time. [ …] That the investigation would be politically sensitive is denied by both the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) and the Minister of Labor Karlsson.”

But, Labour Market Policy by itself has never created any jobs!

In total, more than 19.7% of the population in the age group 20-64 receive payments for unemployment or ill-health. In Haparanda 40.9% of the population receive such payments.

This dramatic figure in Jan Edling’s report supposedly caused prominent Social Democrats and the management of the Trade Union Confederation to get the jitters.

The age-group 20-64 make use of 45.6% of all public expenses.

One fourth of these expenses are benefits for unemployment and ill-health . Why these expenses are prognosticated to reach a maximum in 2006 is not explained.

Taxation

In Sweden we have got the highest taxes — mean value 54% (back in the 60s it was slightly more than 20%), and we have the most penetrative bureaucracy in the world.

Little room for individual freedom is left and real democracy based on ideologies must give way for mock democracy based on bargaining — with the wallet as deciding factor.

Power, might and glory the Social Democrats exercise with the help of two small sects: the Green Party and the former Communists — now the Left Party (increasingly reactionary). Not seldom the tail is wagging the dog!

Each inhabitant in Sweden, young as well as old, is charged for the cost of ill-health and unemployment that amounts to SEK 13,416 — excluding children and elderly, it must become at least double for persons in the fit-for-work age group 20-64.

Once again — this is an average tax charge of SEK 26,000 ($ 3,560) or more on each working person in Sweden. But of course it is not the only tax. Taxes are imposed on everything, even dying.

Do we still wonder where the tax-money goes?

We have constantly been made to believe by our untruthful ELITE that most of the tax-money went to:

PUBLIC MEDICAL SERVICE — SCHOOLING — ELDERCARE

This has grown to a mantra: VÅRD-SKOLA-OMSORG — VÅRD-SKOLA-OMSORG — VÅRD-SKOLA-OMSORG

Jan Edling with his investigation has killed the myth. People without a job or otherwise not well-favoured by society in the age-group 20-64 consume 45.6% of all public expenditure.

Now with one day left to the election you can still read everywhere on all the election placards and posters and the fluttering flags of the Social Democrats the stirring political message:

“alla skall med — så enkelt är det”.

everybody must come along — it is that easy”.

The benefit dependency is the Social Democracy’s biggest asset. Prime Minister Göran Persson lacks the ability to see as a huge human tragedy the fact that up to 1.5 million people in the fit-for-work age group are forced to live on contributions. The Social Democrats never will have benefit IN-dependency as their objective and aspiration. Instead they will increase the number of subjects dependent on state assistance to maybe two or even three million people. These will be the Social Democrats’ strategic voter reserve, that always can be mobilized. Prime Minister Göran Persson and the Minister of Finances Nuder says: “The benefit dependency, it is our agency, our political innovation. The dependent ones are our people.”

As has been stated previously, an important source for this exposé has been the LO-report “Alla behövs” (Everybody is needed) by Jan Edling. Some material and a lot of inspiration I have found on one of Sweden’s most readable and humorous blogs: Östra Ölands fria horisont maintained by author and journalist Kurt Lundgren, who has diligently followed the pre-election activities in his home town Kalmar. In conclusion I willfully permit myself to cite him word for word:

Summary: After having in proper order listened to the Minister of Justice Tomas Bodström, Minister of Environment Lena Sommestad and Prime Minister Göran Persson I can establish that the Social Democratic Politics does not aim at the part of the population that support itself, but is bent on the big segment of society that is dependent on allowances. Here you find the election dividends, not among those who earn their own livings — a group that is more or less a nuisance for the politicians. The S-MIGHT therefore is eternal — this has been a very profitable political investment.

Minister Bodström eight times pointed out that if you do not vote on us, the Right Wing Alliance will take away your allowances.

Minister Sommestad tempted with ‘energy contributions’ to those house-owners that exchange their boilers, “take the opportunity now, else the right wing will take away the state-contributions!”.

One whole hour Prime Minister Persson spoke about allowances and not one word about business activities or any private enterprising spirit.

The climax was reached when he called out “You are entitled to early retirement pensions…”, whereupon a gale of applause broke out. According to my simple opinion the entire spectacle was not quite normal, not at all mentally sound. I wonder if there is another country like ours — I do not belong here any longer!

Democracy and normal political transfers of power are no longer feasible in Sweden.

Oriana Fallaci, Part II: Dissidence in the Pew

September 11th was a benchmark in world history. The individual reactions of those of us who participated – in this case merely observing, keeping watch over, the massive destruction was a deeply felt experience which caused changes in our thinking, our reasoning, our view of ourselves in the world, and even in the way we spend our time. Were it not for 9/11, this blog, Gates of Vienna, would not exist and I would still be puttering in my garden.

These changes are still reverberating through the world culture. Admittedly “world culture” is a questionable term; however, the fact of 9/11 registered on the world’s consciousness much as a volcano registers on a seismograph. Even five years later the aftershocks continue — a topic of debate on many levels, including the iconic images, the meaning of its occurrence, and the change in thinking it caused. Some of these dialogues are uplifting and redemptive, some of them nihilistic and despairing, and some are just plain paranoid – for example, the insistence by some fringe thinkers that the Joos did it, or that the American government itself demolished both towers…in the kingdom of Bizarre Theories, this latter gem has got to be the Hope Diamond of the moment, replacing even the Trilateral Commission in its brilliant lunacy. Such thinkers are best left to the healers of the psyche; they are beyond our help, as Shrinkwrapped and Sigmund, Carl and Alfred frequently observe.

At any rate, we were radically changed by the event — we know more about Islam than we want to. Like it or not, Eurabia intrudes on our thinking and planning for America’s future.

On the individual level, one of the biggest changes occurred in the heart of Oriana Fallaci. Even though she was to live on for another five years, one could consider her ruminations on the subject a conversion experience. Gone was the fierce reporter of all that was wrong with the world to be replaced by a no less fierce soul, a prophet crying in the desert of the European wasteland, calling her people back from the precipice toward which they’d been moving for generations.

Her cri de coeur was “The Rage and the Pride” – a fervent plea that was heard in very different ways by a range of people. Take the elites, for instance. Publisher’s Weekly had this review on the Amazon page:

Noted Italian journalist Fallaci (Interview with History; etc.) is capable of hard-hitting, trenchant social criticism, but she fails to accomplish that in this impassioned but sloppy post-September 11 critique, which has been a bestseller in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. Fallaci only aggravates her lack of rigorous thinking by translating the work herself, resulting in a clumsy text that appears not to have been edited or proofread by a fluent English speaker.

[…]

After a melodramatic preface in which Fallaci congratulates herself on her courage in speaking the truth (and in her defense, apparently there have been efforts to ban the book in France), she lights into the European, and especially Italian, “cicadas” who felt that, on September 11, 2001, America got what she had coming to her and who, in the name of political correctness, fail to condemn the “Reverse Crusade” being waged by Islamic zealots like Osama bin Laden. But Fallaci’s love for America, her adopted home, and her critique of European intellectuals’ perverse contempt for it, is laced with a bile that may lead readers to suspect her of anti-Arab bias-a possibility she is all to aware of, repeatedly defending herself against the charge of racism.

[…]

…her denial that there is a moderate Islam, will not sit well with American readers, who may wonder why this small book has, in the publisher’s words, “caused a turmoil never registered in decades” in Italy, France and Spain.

Indeed. This writer surely couldn’t be from New York City, the focal point of the 21st century’s Armageddon? One can only wonder: was this screed written on the back of a napkin in a Seattle Starbucks, far from the still-smoking ruins?

On the other hand, here is Amazon’s own review:

With “The Rage and the Pride” Oriana Fallaci breaks a ten year silence. The silence she kept until September 11’s apocalypse in her Manhattan house. She breaks it with a deafening noise. In Europe this book has caused and causes a turmoil never registered in decades. Polemics, discussion, debates, hearty consents and praises, wild attacks. And a million copies sold in Italy where it still is at the bestsellers’ top. Hundreds of thousands in France, in Germany, in Spain: the other countries where it has become the Number one Bestseller. Around a dozen translations will soon appear.

With her well-known courage Oriana Fallaci faces the themes unchained by the Islamic terrorism: the contrast and, in her opinion, incompatibility between the Islamic world and the Western world; the global reality of the Jihad and the lack of response, the lenience of the West. With her brutal sincerity she hurls pitiless accusations, vehement invectives, and denounces the uncomfortable truths that all of us know but never dare to express. With her rigorous logic, lucidity of mind, she defends our culture and blames what she calls our blindness, our deafness, our masochism, the conformism and the arrogance of the Politically Correct. With the poetry of a prophet like a modern Cassandra she says it in the form of a letter addressed to all of us.

The text is enriched by a dramatic preface in which Oriana Fallaci reveals how The Rage and the Pride was born, grew up, and detachedly calls it “my small book.” In addition, a preface in which she tells significant episodes of her extraordinary life and explains her unreachable isolation, her demanding and inflexible choices. Because of this too, what she calls “my small book” is in reality a great book. A precious book, a book that shakes our conscience. It is also the portrait of a soul. Her soul. No doubt it will remain as a thorn pierced inside our brains and our hearts.

Both of these essays seem to have been written at the time of publication, October 2002. After the passage of almost four years, I leave it to you to decide which reviewer was more in line with the actual reception of Fallaci’s book and the tide of events which followed.

As of today, “The Rage and the Pride” is #30 in the sales ranks for books on Amazon. This is not unusual immediately following an important writer’s death. I remember having to wait to get Auden’s “Collected Poems” after he died because I procrastinated while he was alive. Hurrying to buy the book is, in a way, a kind of mourning and a substitute for being able to attend the final commemorations for authors we love.

Visit the page to peruse some of the 109 personal reviews. The rating for her book is 4 out of 5 stars, so no doubt there are some clangers buried in there. However, for the most part, the reviews read much like this one, written by a top 1000 reviewer from New Jersey (notice his geographical proximity to Ground Zero):

Oriana Fallaci is honest. That’s the best part of her new sermon. She is not a woman who will pull punches, who will temper her passion to appease those who might get offended. It’s so refreshing, so inspiring to read an educated European woman decry some of her own continental brethren. Theses brethren include the intellectuals and “leaders” who always drop those wonderful hints that America was really to blame for September 11th. That we’re such a big bully, that we’re so dangerous and evil. Fallaci reacts with the zeal of a wounded American, betrayed by European lack of comprehension. She compares Europe’s ostrich complex to America’s during the rise of fascism. They don’t understand the war being fought, that the enemy is within and will do anything to destroy the native culture. That is the nature of the beast she points out, and she doesn’t shy away from naming names and pointing fingers.

The enemy to Fallaci and the rest of the civilized world is Islamic Fundamentalism. The reason why this book is such a good read is she puts the threat in human terms. Throwing away the classic retort “Well, it’s just a small minority,” Fallaci describes the things she sees. She sees millions, millions of people chanting Death to America. Whole governments, controlled by degenerate autocrats fear this mass of illiterate Nazis. That’s what they are, Nazis. Even worse, religious Nazi’s, filled with a love of death and hatred of life. They have no ability to better themselves or others, so they kill and teach hate. It’s a petty existence, and a dangerous one. That’s the message Fallaci gets across with startling vigor. She states that the war is not over, and will get worse. This is a very enlightened few, not pessimistic, realistic. The masses of blackshirts with little books are no different than histories great tyrants and murderers, their rage has to end with death or failure.

Of course, Fallaci’s writings caused an uproar all across Europe. The biggest critics, various imams of Europe,(many of whom have been implicated or jailed for terrorist activities) celebrated 9-11 and push the tenets of religious death to their followers. This is in Europe, the cradle of the West. Then come the death threats, the personal attacks, the celebrations on hearing of Fallaci’s terminal cancer. What else do they have to celebrate, their culture is dead and only anger brings release or parity. That’s the message Fallaci is going to get across even if someone carries out one of the “religiously” sanctioned death edicts.

A brave lady and a wonderful writer. Good luck to her.

All of which brings to mind a sermon I interrupted at church last Sunday, September 10th. The priest started out well, reminding us that the best heritage is love, and using Mother Theresa as his example of this virtue. Then, somehow, he segued into a report of an interview he’d heard that morning on the way to church. NPR was doing its Weakened Sedition lead-in to September 11th and chose to discuss Ground Zero with a woman who claimed that the events of that day had made her an atheist.

His rhetorical left turn – from Mother Theresa’s love as agape to the self-absorbed nihilist from 9/11 was more disonnance than I could tolerate. Speaking up, I asked him to consider why, of all the people they could have chosen to interview, NPR picked someone who decided to negate God’s goodness because of man’s evil. I also pointed out that this was NPR’s agenda: to accentuate the negative, whether it was the economy, the culture, ecology, race, or religion.

Did I change his mind? Not at all. To him, and to others in the congregation, NPR is the sine qua non of political commentary and, to quote one, a “good use of our tax money.” And to quote another, she listens to NPR “forty hours a week.”

I’m still glad I spoke up. Had I known that Oriana Fallaci was going to die this week, I would have spoken longer and louder. Not that it would have changed any minds, but it would have been a way of honoring her.

Never mind. Other opportunities will sadly arise. Addled leftist Episcopal priests are always showing up at the church door. And from now on, I will choose – while in the pew, at least – to honor Fallaci’s memory by speaking up, by attempting, as she did, to reclaim the culture from the nay-saying nihilists at NPR. And, in her memory, I will be fiery and outspoken.

Too bad I’m not Italian. It won’t translate as well coming from an Irishwoman. Never mind…I’ll learn a few Italian phrases, like “cicada,” to describe these historically illiterate and mean-spirited mouthpieces at NPR.

Wherever she is, I hope it makes her smile.

ISP Trouble

Our Internet Service Provider is down, and has been for the last 24 hours.

That means that not only can we send and receive no email, but the images stored on our ISP’s server are unavailable, and that’s why you see so many “broken images” here at Gates of Vienna.

If you’ve tried to email us and had it bounce, please keep trying. And if you need to get an urgent message to us, leave a comment on this thread.

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


The outage occurred through no fault of our ISP, which is a little minnow in the great internet food chain, and depends heavily on the bigger fish further up the chain. It is run by a husband and wife team with a small staff, so we always get prompt and personal service when consulting with them.

Another advantage is the entertaining email we receive whenever troubles occur. Yesterday’s notices are no exception; here’s a sample:

We have just been informed that the technicians have determined the problem, which is apparently a blown circuit card in a telco CO somewhere. Supposedly, a replacement card is enroute to said CO for a replacement; as soon as the card is replaced, service is expected to resume.

*sigh* I wistfully remember the day, only a handful of years ago, when a blown card in a CO was identified and replaced within an hour or two. If an outage was 6+ hours, it was definitely a fiber cut or something equally difficult to find and fix. But that was prior to the current administration’s penchant for doing whatever the big telcos want, allowing them to push the competition out of the water. Now that they have, the service levels are beginning to suck. Now it takes them 6+ hours to simply identify a blown card (which *should* reveal itself fairly instantly)….and they haven’t even fixed it yet, they just know what’s wrong. Grrr.

And then, later in the day:

The trouble ticket with our provider is still open with no ETR. Voices have been raised and we have been assured that it is still being worked on. We are contacting our provider at regular intervals and have been requesting escalations to the highest level possible.

It appears that the delays are due to internal (to our provider) arguments about who is responsible and who actually needs to go the site of the outage. If they would have told us where it is we could have probably made it there ourselves by now ;-)

So… You’ll know we’re back in business when all the images start appearing again (and when your emails to us no longer bounce). In the meantime, we can do all the text-only blogging that we want.

Kill Him with Kindness

Is there anything more delicious than watching one of your adversaries brought low by his fellow jihadists and then having to be rescued by those he himself torments and would like to eliminate?

Such is the case of Ahmed Akkari, Lebanese by birth and now Danish by voluntary citizenship. Mr. Akkari is a trouble maker in Denmark, and was one of the leading lights of the Motoon outrage. He is also a bully. According to Wikipedia, when he was doing his practicum in teaching, he became physically violent with an eleven year old boy:

In 2001 Ahmad Akkari was sentenced to 40 days in prison for beating an 11-year old schoolboy on 3. November 2000 because the boy had allegedly been bullying Akkari’s little sister. The sentence was suspended because Akkari was a first time offender. Akkari, who was studying to be a teacher at the time, was present that day at Muslim private school Lykkeskolen in Aarhus where he was working as an apprentice teacher. According to sources at the school quoted in Ekstra-Bladet, his 11-year-old sister was playing with a boy from her class and the boy accidentally pulled her headscarf off. Akkari sought out the boy, pulled his ear drawing blood, and threw him to the ground kicking him several times. The female teacher who reported Akkari to the police was later fired after pressure from Muslim parents.

Ah, yes. The Religion of Peace as practiced in Denmark. Report an adult for beating up a little boy, and we’ll get you. What a way to win hearts and minds. Perhaps the Lutherans, the state religion of Denmark, could take a lesson from the page of Akkari and the parents who sought revenge on the teacher who properly reported his crime? Or maybe not. Lutherans draw a boundary between the military and religion, something Islam is still working on.

However, criminally assaulting children is not this man’s only claim to fame. Mr. Akkari is also the spokesman in Denmark for a group which calls itself “The European Committee for Prophet Honouring.” Hmm…another religious clash here: honor the prophet, beat the kids. At any rate, Mr. Akkari is a co-author of the Akkari-Laban dossier, a document that served to generate much heat (and absolutely no light) in the Middle East over the Motoon contretemps. The umbrella organization of Muslim to which Mr. Akkari belongs — imams and poltical poobahs — created much of the (unsuccessful) pressure to have the Danish government interfere in the rights of free speech possessed by Jyllands Posten. This group numbers among its members one Ahmad Abu Laban, the head of the Islamic Society in Denmark. He’s such an extremist that even the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have consigned him to the persona non grata list.

Here are the outlines of Mr. Akkari’s life trajectory up until very recently:

…born in Lebanon in 1978. In 1985 the Akkari family came to Denmark, where they obtained asylum, but returned to Lebanon in 1990. Upon their return to Denmark a year later they found they didn’t qualify as refugees again, because the Lebanese Civil War was over. With the support of some Danish local media, which featured young Ahmed as a model immigrant, they were granted a humanitarian residency permit in 1994…He became a Danish citizen in 2005.

But guess where Mr. Akkari was when Hezbollah kidnapped the Israeli soldiers, touching off the latest conflagration at the border of Israel and Lebanon? Yep, he was visiting in Lebanon. And guess what he wanted? Why, to be evacuated from the war zone along with the other Danish citizens there. After all, it was his right as a Danish citizen.

In other words, this pompous troublemaker put in harm’s way those who had to rescue him from the mess in his native country because, as a Danish citizen, he had the right to protection.

It is doubtful that the irony of the situation will penetrate Mr. Akkari’s pompous head, but it is nonetheless one of God’s little jokes that the very country this publicity-seeker wants to condemn for its laws about freedom of speech is also willing to rescue him merely because of his Danish citizenship. In other words, his value as an individual human being was honored by his adopted — and excoriated — land.

What do you want to bet that he’d surrender his rights in a Copenhagen minute for the fantasy of living in a Denmark which honored not the Western tradition of the value of the individual but instead instituted some version of Sharia law for all Danes?

Fortunately, we don’t need his consent to see through the inconsistencies that zealots like Mr. Akkari live with just so they can have it both ways. In fact, if Sharia law were ever to prevail in Denmark – not bloody likely – I’d wager that Mr. Akkari would sorely miss his militant victim identity. And in the internecine Muslim warfare that would be sure to follow, his inherent value as an individual would be quickly eclipsed.



I recommend following the saga of Ahmed Akkari and all its myriad of links at Wikipedia.What a piece of work he is: a prototypical Western Muslim troublemaker tale.

Wikipedia and Project Gutenberg are two of the blogosphere’s greatest resources.

And thanks for the hat tip to commenter Andy Gilmour at Professor Bainbridge’s site.

Oriana Fallaci is Dead

Oriana FallaciAccording to the wire services, the writer Oriana Fallaci has just died. She returned to her hometown of Florence a few days ago as her condition deteriorated, and died overnight in a private clinic.

All of us in the Counter-Jihad mourn her passing. And all of us will have to work that much harder now that she is gone.

Shame on the government of Italy for prosecuting her for telling the truth.

Rest in peace, Oriana Fallaci.



Hat tip: Dan M.