Stalking the Invisible Man

Almost a year ago, Gates of Vienna joined the controversy over Diana West’s book American Betrayal. The fight had already been raging for several weeks, but I had been reluctant to join the fray, because Ms. West’s topic — the Communist influence on the American political establishment in 1930s and ’40s — was off our mission statement, even though both Dymphna and I found it fascinating. Moreover, the fight was turning out to be an ugly one, and not something that one would want to be involved in without a good reason.

A good reason eventually appeared: Diana West was unable to find a venue that would accept an article answering some of the heated charges aimed at her by her critics. So we hosted her essay here, and continued to follow the course of events through the fall and winter as further doors slammed in her face and more and more prominent writers called her nasty names or deprecated her abilities as a researcher.

It quickly became evident that something more than scholarly disagreement was behind the virulence of all the attacks on her. From the moment her critics began panning the book, they employed less-than-scholarly terms to express their opinions. They referred variously to “West’s fictions”, her “unhinged theories”, her “dangerous one dimensional thinking”, and her “truculent recklessness”. They called her “a right-wing loopy” who had not yet been “house-trained”. She was a “very angry, very self-centered and very reckless partisan” who “organized a kook army” against her critics. She and her defenders were engaged in “unutterable myth-making and jejune dementedness, as they hurl the vitriol of the silly and the deranged”. Most tellingly, “she should not have written this book, which betrays a conspiratorial mindset”, was “a preposterous book”, a “paranoid fantasy”, “conspiracy mongering”, and a “farrago of lies”. (See “An Addled Barroom Brawler”, our post from last December, for the authors of the all those insults and epithets, and the links to where they were published.)

The attacks on American Betrayal continued into the winter. Then, in the new year, the sound and fury faded away, and all the hoopla seemed to be over. However, as I mentioned the other day, the arbiters of the “accepted history” seemed to be dissatisfied with the take-down of Diana West, so they commissioned a 12,000-word rehash of all the arguments. It was published several weeks ago at American Thinker.

What prompted this new wave of Westophobia? Are her book sales still running too high? Are there too many five-star ratings of the book at Amazon? Are positive reviews still being posted on a lot of websites?

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that those who want to suppress American Betrayal have mobilized their forces again. A year after the initial fight, someone in allegedly conservative circles has decided to spend the money to add more concrete to the containment facility surrounding Diana West. This operation is not like a rant posted on an obscure blog — the editors of these venues are on salary, and the free-lancers who pen the screeds expect to be paid. In other words, somebody who has money wants Diana West to lie back down and stay dead.

And the campaign involves more than just the publication of hit-pieces against American Betrayal. Over the past year almost all major conservative venues have been closed to any significant supportive articles about the book. Now the author herself is unable to respond to a 12,000-word error-ridden critique of her work without having her response edited by those who published the piece against her. The cordon sanitaire around American Betrayal is all but complete. One or two more loads of transit mix, and they’ll be done.

If Gates of Vienna becomes the most prominent outlet that allows Diana West and her supporters to respond to her critics, you’ll know for certain that something is seriously amiss in the “conservative” movement.

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

There is absolutely no doubt that some person or group is behind the push to encase American Betrayal in concrete so that none of its dangerous “McCarthyite” radiation can escape. In the past I’ve referred to this mysterious and well-funded entity as Planet X, a large body that is invisible to the unaided eye, whose existence may be deduced only through its gravitational effects on other bodies.

The other night, when Dymphna and I were discussing this whole sordid business, another metaphor emerged. I said: “What got Diana in trouble is that she threw a bucket of paint over the Invisible Man.”

And indeed she did. Now he’s out there in the darkness frenziedly dousing himself with paint-remover in an attempt to erase his suddenly visible outline. But what was he doing there in the first place, crashing around in the undergrowth frightening the animals?

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Our Duty is to Preserve Sweden

Sverigedemokraterna (the Sweden Democrats) is a political party that is Islam-critical and opposes mass immigration into Sweden. As a result, it is demonized by the establishment and the mainstream media. Its members are sometimes fired from their jobs and denied access to certain state services. Sometimes they are even violently attacked by “anti-fascist” thugs.

The following video was made by Sverigedemokratisk Ungdom (SDU, Sweden Democrat Youth). Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Transcript:

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The Consequences of Departing from the “Accepted History”

A year ago, in July and August of 2013, we were in the early stages of the controversy over Diana West’s book American Betrayal. Ms. West was being subjected by a series of vitriolic attacks by Ronald Radosh, David Horowitz, Conrad Black, and other major luminaries. She had few prominent defenders, and most of those who spoke positively about her book did so after a significant delay, and then even hedged their mild support with caveats and criticisms.

The “Barroom Brawl” continued for another four or five months, and then died out last winter.

Or did it?

Three weeks ago a writer named Jeff Lipkes published a 12,000-word three-part account of the controversy over American Betrayal at American Thinker (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3; Diana West’s email exchange with the editor is here). Mr. Lipkes’ work was yet another attempt by the neoconservative elite to cement Ms. West’s position as a “conspiracist” and “right-wing loopy” from the point of view of the bien-pensants of the “conservative” establishment.

After Part 3 was published, Diana West submitted a letter of response. The editor of American Thinker, J.R. Dunn, insisted that her letter had to meet his requirements in order to be published at AT, and that she must accept his editorial revisions if she wanted it to appear. This was an unusual — if not unprecedented — set of restrictions imposed upon an author who wanted to publish a response to a piece that had attacked her.

J.R. Nyquist has written an extensive account of the American Thinker episode, and I have excerpted major portions of it below. But before we get to that, I’d like readers to think about the larger implications of the ongoing efforts to suppress and discredit Diana West.

Here we are, more than a year after Ronald Radosh and David Horowitz began their campaign to “take down” the book that “should not have been written”. Dozens and dozens of reviews, articles and opinion pieces have been written attacking American Betrayal, many of them by people who have never read the book. Diana West has been shut out of most publications, unable to defend herself in a major venue against the manifold falsehoods, misrepresentations, and name-calling directed at her.

But that’s not enough. One year later, a representative of the establishment’s point of view was assigned the job of writing 12,000 words against her, and she was denied the opportunity to publish an unedited response in the same outlet.

That’s some planet, that Planet X.

What is it about American Betrayal that warrants such an extended and determined effort to suppress it?

Below are excerpts from what J.R. Nyquist has to say on the topic in the second part of “Further Reflections on Diana West’s Critics” :

In the controversy over American Betrayal I am remiss in one respect. I never wrote a proper review of the book. Instead I wrote two versions of a review, and both were rejected by editors. For this I am grateful because in truth I had not invested the time required to properly do the job. I did not fully appreciate the impact of the campaign against American Betrayal, or how effective that campaign had been. For those who have not read the book, it is about the Communist infiltration of the U.S. Government, and the influencing of U.S. policy during the critical years of World War II and its aftermath. The facts reviewed in the book are not entirely new. What was original was the way in which these facts were presented; that is, in order that we might see the big picture with greater clarity. This is Diana West’s special achievement.

This is a book with far-reaching implications. These implications, of course, have yet to be mapped out. For example, we must assume that Soviet agents were not only at work in Washington during World War II. They were also at work in Chungking, Tokyo, Berlin, London and Paris. If the U.S. Government had Communist moles, every other government probably had them. As if to prove my point, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Louis Kilzer wrote a book titled Hitler’s Traitor : Martin Bormann and the Defeat of the Reich (which alleges that Bormann was Stalin’s agent). Here we discover that it wasn’t just a case of Harry Hopkins manipulating Roosevelt. Hitler was manipulated by Bormann, and probably by others we’ll never know about. Many books remain to be written; for example, regarding how Churchill was manipulated, and also de Gaulle. Consider a 1997 article titled How a Soviet mole united Tito and Churchill. Consider, as well, the situation of Charles de Gaulle, as described in the Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations: “In the late 1950s, and especially since the defection of Anatoli Golitsyn in 1961, strong suspicion surrounded the SDECE of harboring Soviet moles who were close to President Charles de Gaulle after he returned to power in 1958.”

Then there was the Tokyo spy ring, of course. Within that organization, Soviet spy Richard Sorge was credited with saving the Soviet Union in 1941. At the Spy Museum website we read, “The spies [of the Tokyo ring] pursued relationships with senior Japanese politicians, garnering information about Japanese foreign policy.” But as we know, Soviet spies do not merely garner information. Their primary work must have been to influence Japanese policy — as Moscow’s moles in Washington worked to influence American policy. Why did Tokyo fail to make peace with China and solidify a friendship with the United States? It is not an idle question when so many leading Japanese politicians thought the proper strategic direction for Japan was against the Soviet Union. In reminding us that Soviet agents are not merely spies, Mrs. West has laid bare the tragedy of a war that need not have been so costly. And this is why she has been so savagely attacked. This is why her work is called into question.

Everyone knows the role that Hitler and the Japanese militarists played in bringing about World War II. What about the role of Stalin and his agents? With the exception of Viktor Suvorov’s The Chief Culprit and Icebreaker, no major study has appeared exploring the extent to which Moscow may have connived at the crises of 1938 and 1939. On the other hand, we do have John Koster’s Operation Snow, which shows how Soviet spies succeeded in pushing Japan and the United States closer to war in 1941. Is it thinkable? Certainly, it takes us beyond the “accepted history.” But is the idea so implausible that future authors must be struck from civilized discourse as “conspiracy theorists”? Or are such ruminations consistent with what we know about Soviet active measures (i.e., disinformation). Ask yourself the question: Why is someone attacked, going on a year, for discussing the strategic implications of Soviet penetration of the Roosevelt administration? Unless Moscow is recycling Russia’s old strategies from World War II, with an eye to a repeat performance, why would anyone care?

When the second version of my review of Mrs. West’s book was rejected by a reputable conservative publisher, I assumed it was due to the inadequacy of my own writing, so I asked the publisher for a chance to rewrite the review, and give it a more scholarly tone. The publisher was extremely kind, and wrote a reply which was nonetheless troubling. He wrote to dissuade me from any such attempt. He admitted that America was penetrated by the Soviets during World War II. But writing about this went against “accepted history.” In this matter, Mrs. West should not have been so bold. “That our policy-making apparatus was compromised is also clear,” he explained. But “this is so jarring to the lay reader that” the thesis requires a substantial backing up. I was astonished at this. What about Mrs. West’s 900 plus endnotes? Well, it seems that endnotes don’t count if a journalist compiles them. What I want to know is, when and how did we end up in a Kafka novel? Oh yes, we live in a strange world indeed; for if I say the sky is blue, it can only be credited if I am a meteorologist! If “accepted history” is made of such stuff, then “accepted history” is for dolts. This also explains why Radosh’s unscholarly, error-filled, screeds against Mrs. West receive a pass and are given credibility; that is, because he is a historian.

I had assumed that conservatives and anti-Communists would instinctively rally to American Betrayal. In large degree, this did not happen. We see, above, why it did not happen. Of course, a few great names rose to Mrs. West’s defense — like Vladimir Bukovsky and Stanton Evans. We know that both are courageous men. It would’ve been out of character if they had not defended her. Sad to say, this fortitude did not rub off on the “larger” conservative “movement.” It speaks ill of conservatism overall that Radosh’s self-discrediting attacks on Mrs. West were not dismissed out of hand. Instead, these attacks were taken as a warning, translated as follows: “Shut up or we’ll drag your name through the mud too.” And so we find that American conservatives are easily intimidated. Against all reason, Radosh’s bungling attacks on American Betrayal sent a chill through the “movement.” The implication, of course, is that the conservative movement is worthless.

As the publisher had written to me, “I believe Diana is substantially right….” But that does not matter. Someone else now dictates whether a conservative rejects or accepts a book review. What we believe, what is substantially right, must be left to someone with “an authoritative voice.” And how does the would-be ventriloquist of conservatism acquire this mythical status? Of course, no conservative possesses such a voice, so that the problem of departing from “accepted history”becomes insurmountable. We must stay with the Office of War Information, and praise our wartime alliance with Stalin. And we must wait for a ventriloquist from God-knows-where to tell us what nonsense is to follow the current nonsense.

But shouldn’t the decisive point have been that Mrs. West is “substantially right”? And therefore, how are we served by an “accepted history” that is substantially wrong? Shouldn’t this “history” be overthrown? And, further, how did we get saddled with such a history?

Or maybe we should ask how we got saddled with such “conservatives”?

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“Jews to the Gas!”

JLH has translated an opinion piece from the Austrian media about the pro-Palestinian anti-Semitic wave currently sweeping across Europe. The translator includes this note:

Die Presse always did have the class writers. But in this age of fawning on the authorities, it is bracing to encounter a journalist of the old school who does not hesitate to tell it like it is.

I suspect Christian Ortner believed in the principles of the EU as they were originally presented and resents the distortions they have undergone. As they say, a cynic is an idealist who has been mugged by reality. His irony is vicious, and well-deserved. Vienna continues its tradition of brilliant, against-the-grain writers.

The translated op-ed from Die Presse:

That Could Have Almost Become a “European Kristallnacht”

Anti-Semitic mobs are venting their rage in Europe’s big cities, and that is less of a concern for so-called Peace Project Europe than the light bulb question.

by Christian Ortner

The few, old denture-clacking Nazis still alive must have experienced a kind of spiritual revival of the Nuremberg Rallies* in recent days, when they rolled up to the TV in their wheelchairs to watch the news. Because there, in the great cities of Europe — Berlin, Paris and London — anti-Semitic mobs were moving through the streets as if it were 1938, attacking local Jews and Israeli tourists, trying to destroy synagogues and going after Jewish businesses. “Jew, Jew, cowardly swine/Come on out fight alone!” the thugs chanted, under the eyes of German police who not only made no move against them. but even loaned the rioters a megaphone, and immediately an Islamic Berlin hate preacher segued into calling for Jews to be killed: “Jews to the gas!” In Salzburg’s Bischofshofen, anti-Semitic hooligans actually attacked Israeli soccer players. The fact that in recent months 700 French Jews have emigrated to the rocket-plagued south of Israel testifies just how protected Jews feel in Europe in the early 21st century. It is highly probable that, without massive police presence, there would have been burning synagogues, smashed windows in Jewish businesses and a few lynched Jews in the EU last week. That week, Europe was not very far from an EU-wide Nazi pogrom night 2.0 — a kind of domestic market for anti-Semitism, so to speak.

One or the other of the surviving NS veterans, in a transport of joy, must have thought: “Oh, that I have been privileged to see this!”

The reactions of full-time wreath-layers and other tourists at the Wailing Wall to the activities of this mob in European cities were instructive. The proponents of the “European Peace Project” in Brussels — ordinarily concerned about every light bulb on the territory of the EU — witnessed the milieu-appropriate expressions of displeasure by the anti-Semitic rabble without turning a hair. This is surprising, on the one hand, because setting fire to a synagogue creates even more climate-damaging carbon dioxide than a forbidden light bulb. On the other hand, it is understandable, since Professional Europeans are presently fully and competitively occupied in insinuating themselves into the highly remunerated top jobs in Brussels, so they won’t just be hanging around the Côte on vacation (as they presently are), where a person — even a Jew — is safe, at least if you can afford a room in the Eden Roc in Antibes. And because “Peace Project Europe” is a recent recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the thus honored EU grandees need not worry too much about the Jews of Europe being left in peace. You can’t worry about everything. Worrying about the EU as a reformatory for its inmates is enough.

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Shooters, Shills, and Shahids

Consider this recent article from The Telegraph entitled “Revealed: the Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces”:

More children than Palestinian fighters are being killed in the offensive on Gaza, according to the UN. The name, age, sex and location of 132 of the 155 Palestinian children killed have been collected by the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights.

The Telegraph is allegedly conservative, yet the above text is indistinguishable from the “narrative” dispensed by The Guardian and other lefty news outlets. The media line on what is happening in Gaza and Israel right now is all but uniform across the political spectrum: reports by stringers from Gaza about bombed schools and hospitals, photos of dead children and weeping mothers on the nightly news, calls by world leaders for an immediate ceasefire, and condemnation in the UN of Israeli “war crimes”.

Occasionally a newscaster will venture off the main path to mention that Hamas terrorists have fired thousands of rockets from Gaza at civilians in Israel. And there are occasional articles about the terror tunnels used by Hamas to infiltrate Israel and murder more civilians.

Almost all major news outlets neglect to look beneath the surface to look at Hamas’ strategy of war, which the terror organization openly declares in Arabic-language media, especially those in Gaza itself. An unusual exception may be found in this opinion piece by Michael Oren at CNN, of all places:

More than a military strategy, Hamas has a media strategy. Calculatingly, Hamas employs primitive military tactics to mount a sophisticated media campaign that can threaten Israel’s basic security. And in conducting that offensive, Hamas can count on one of the world’s most powerful weapons: the international media.

[…]

In a war with Hamas, though, Israel’s strength and morality can become vulnerability and guilt. By investing nothing in air raid sirens and bomb shelters, by hiding deep beneath neighborhoods and shooting near hospitals and mosques, Hamas ensures that Israel will invariably wound and kill civilians.

Hamas gunmen carry out attacks disguised as women and old men, fight from UN and Red Cross vehicles, store rockets in schools, and physically prevent Palestinian civilians from fleeing combat zones. This context, though, is rarely mentioned by the media when covering the civilian cost of the fighting.

As the Israeli cabinet member Naftali Bennett told Wolf Blitzer on CNN, “Hamas is committing massive self-genocide to its woman and children.”

This is the deliberate use of the civilian population of Gaza as raw material for a “humanitarian” crisis for which Israel will be blamed. Yet the international media seem unable — or unwilling — to recognize what Hamas is doing.

As Carl in Jerusalem pointed out, this is the reason why Prime Minister Netanyahu did not order a ground offensive sooner. As long as there are more dead Palestinians than dead Israelis, any effective Israeli response will be seen as a “disproportionate” use of force and “indiscriminate slaughter”. In other words, Mr. Netanyahu would have to fail in his primary duty to protect his own citizens before the United Nations, foreign political leaders, and the international media would view any Israeli military action as justified.

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Burka Don’t You Come Around Here Anymore

A couple of years ago a group of doughty Australians (who have more, ahem, manly generative equipment — the women included — than most other Westerners) donned burkas and did a walkabout on the streets of Sydney to make a point.

As you can see from the videos below, these ladies and gents faced “discrimination” whilst in their culturally enriched garb. But it wasn’t the standard kind of WAYCISM that the mainstream media would have you expect — it was the anger of “Australian” youths that these pale-skinned interlopers should be wearing garments reserved for their own chattel womenfolk.

Sydney banks made amends for such maltreatment by allowing the Burka Boys unfettered entry to their premises — which they most assuredly would not have allowed to anyone wearing a ski mask or a visored motorcycle helmet:

These Australian videos came to mind a couple of days ago when a freelance British journalist and producer emailed me about a documentary she intends to produce for the BBC in which young men put on burkas to test the reaction of passersby when they go out on the street.

As it turns out, Vlad Tepes also received a copy of the same email. Now, I hadn’t expected that BBC documentary would have the same “Islamophobic” intentions as those bag-headed Australians. However, I hadn’t thought out the full ramifications of the Beeb’s scam like Vlad has. Below is a cross-post of what he had to say.

The BBC plans to run another burka scam.
By Eeyore for Vlad

To be perfectly fair it is quite possible that Kate Mead, the freelance journalist who is doing this piece for the BBC, may well be sincere and may well not understand this the same way. Its also possible that she is not setting up her social experiment the way I suspect she is. But as pretty much all the other similar articles I have read are designed to deliver the same results I figure it is probably safe to at least speculate that this BBC repetition of it will likely be set up the same, will yield the same results and for the same reasons.

Below, the contents of an email forwarded to me by someone who received it directly from Ms. Mead.

Subject: Documentary

Dear Sir or Madam

I came across your blog while researching for information about a documentary I am developing for BBC Three and I wonder whether you can help. We are in the second stage of our development for this one-off programme which will look at the Burka and whether it should be banned in the UK.

We are currently looking for young men (18-35) to take part in this project who have strong views either in favour of a ban or opposing it. The idea is that they will journey around the country speaking to various women about their experiences – positive and negative – and work with a Muslim social worker who encourages men to experiment with the experience by wearing a Burka themselves for a few days. It is meant to be an accessible look at the issue of Burkas in the UK for a young audience and we hope that our contributors will go on a journey of discovery that might change or intensify their feelings.

As we are looking for potential contributors throughout the UK, we would be really keen to hear from anyone articulate, passionate about the subject and willing to explore the issue directly. I thought that one or several of your writers might be interested in this and would welcome hearing from them. Please do forward my details and invite them to get in touch. I would be most grateful for any help you can give.

We are currently doing screen tests to take back to the channel ahead of commission. This would take about half an hour and we can travel to where they live or pay expenses.

I hope to hear from you soon and thanks in advance.

Kind regards


Kate Mead
(Contact info redacted)

The first problem of course is that it is a setup for tyranny either way. The question is not whether or not to ban a style of clothing. One does not guarantee personal freedom by draconian laws on women’s fashion, even if this is more than just matter of women’s fashion. The solution to the burka problem is giving back people the freedom to discriminate for their own interests and for society to discriminate based on what is in the public interest.

This translates to private store owners having the right to refuse admission to people who are wearing a disguise whether that disguise is a Nixon mask, a pig’s head or a burka and in the public sector, to refuse admittance to people wearing a disguise in public transport, in public buildings and so on. This is more than reasonable, it is actually necessary. While this looks like a nudge nudge style banning of the burka it is not. If women want to wear fundamentalist islamic garb good. Then let them. That way we can know who they are, as the degree of threat they represent to liberal democracy is directly proportional to the degree of religiosity they display. But wearing a disguise in public should be illegal and in many cases already is, and exceptions are made for muslims. So once again, the real solution is not a new law, but to stop making exceptions for the existing ones. Just try and walk into a bank with a motorcycle helmet and a tinted visor and see how long you stay in line.

Now on to what I suspect is a public sympathy scam for the BBC:

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Getting to Know Your Inner Racist

JLH has translated an article about a particularly pernicious form of “diversity training” being practiced in Germany. Interestingly enough, the sessions shown in the ZDF TV documentary can be traced back to an American model from the 1960s.

The translated article from Junge Freiheit:

Getting to Know Your Inner Racist

by Ronald Glaser

The new racist mania is called “anti-racism”. On Thursday, ZDF-neo viewers can discover what bizarre fruits are produced by the fixation of do-gooders on questions of racism. At that time, the “something-to-do-with-social” theoreticians Juliane Degner and Mark Schrödter, with moderator Amiaz Habtu, intend to drag the “racist in us” into the light of day. The central figure of the TV documentary is Jürgen Schlicher, an unsympatico “diversity management trainer.” His credo is, “Thank heavens it is no longer the case that everyone with a good job in Germany has a German name.”

Moderator Habtu leaves no doubt about where this is headed. At the very beginning, he cites a study to the effect that one-quarter of Germans are xenophobic. “Racism in everyday life is quite subtle, and yet apparent,” And does not support this absurd theory with a single fact.

“Anti-racism training” like this is based on the ideas of the American teacher, feminist and lesbian activist, Jane Eliot. In the 1960s, she developed this experiment, which has since then become a classic of diversity education and conditioned ensuing generations of American children in political correctness.

The Politically Correct Dogmas of a Pseudo-Scientist

Schlicher was Eliot’s student. For his “workshop,” ZDF hired 39 participants, screened by eye color — blue-eyed over here; brown-eyed over there. The blue-eyed are bullied; the brown-eyed are favored. This is supposed to uncover the so-called mechanisms of discrimination. That is, drive out racism with racism.

The participants do not understand the psycho-terror and react with irritation. Apparently because all of them are thinking of the fee they are being paid, none of them stands up against Schlicher’s harsh comments. This, of course, is instantaneous proof for the two social consultants that witnesses do not turn against discrimination because of group dynamics.

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Here We Stand on a Darkling Plain

I was going to save this gem for the news feed, but given the level of phantasmagoric “thinking” on exhibit, this press conference deserves its very own post. If for nothing else than simply watching this administration stand there with its fly open and drool running down its chinny-chin-chin as this new Press Secretary, even more earnest and less credible than the last one, said this today:

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday the Obama administration’s foreign policies in a number of areas have enhanced the world’s “tranquility” — a word that raised eyebrows as reporters pointed to situations in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Ukraine and the South China Sea.

Oh, come on you jaded fools, trying to stir people up. Those are just “situations”. Ain’t nobody bleeding we can see. Show us three, you smarty pants journalists.

More than one reporter during Monday’s press briefing referred to a front-page Wall Street Journal article highlighting some of those crises, and citing security strategists as saying “the breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s.”

Pooh. That Wall Street Journal is no better than Fox News. They’d better watch it or we’ll subpoena their gluteus maximus like we did the Associated Press. In fact, y’all better watch it. We’ve already taken your photo privileges away and given them to our White House photographers. We can do the same with your “media duties”. Don’t forget: “WE WON”.

”How does the White House react to the notion that the president is a bystander to all these crises?” asked Fox News’ Ed Henry, citing the widening gaps between the sides in the Iranian nuclear talks, the conflict in and around Gaza, and the Syrian civil war.

“I think that there have been a number of situations in which you’ve seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way, that has substantially furthered American interests and substantially improved the, uh, you know, the — the tranquility of the global community,” Earnest replied.

Never has a previous American administration lurched from country to country strewing chaos and death in its wake as it leads from behind — while never turning around to see what might be gaining on it. By now most Americans have quit watching. Not only are we suffering from severe scandal fatigue but we know that whatever has transpired so far can’t even begin to match Obama’s future forays into foreign or domestic policy.

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Politicians Shill for Azerbaijan in Nashville

We’ve posted quite a bit recently about Islam in Tennessee, with a special focus on the Nashville area. Those posts have generally dealt with the actions of various organizations and individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The following reports also come out of Nashville, but they lead back to a different source: the Turkish Islamic leader Fethullah Gülen.

Both investigative reports in the following video uncovered Azerbaijani influence-peddling in the Tennessee legislature and state government.

Azerbaijan boasts a rather unsavory form of “democracy”, in which the results of elections are sometimes announced before the votes are even cast. The current president of Azerbaijan is Ilham Aliyev, the son of Geydar Aliyev. I remember Aliyev père from the later years of the Cold War; he was boss of the Azerbaijani SSR until Yuri Andropov elevated him to the Politburo in the early 1980s.

Azerbaijan is a Turkic-speaking country. It is Islamic, and very much in Turkey’s orbit. Just before the breakup of the Soviet Union, after Moscow lost control of parts of the imperial periphery, a war broke out between the Armenian SSR and its Azerbaijani neighbor over an Armenian-majority enclave within Azerbaijan known as the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. The Armenian Christians in Nagorno-Karabakh had endured centuries of oppression under various Islamic states before being incorporated into the Russian Empire in the early 19th century. After the Soviet Union fell apart, they were determined not to remain under Islamic control, and fought Azerbaijan until a negotiated cease-fire was reached in 1994. Although technically still part of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh now functions effectively as an independent state.

The above thumbnail account provides some background for the animosity between Armenia and Azerbaijan that has surfaced twenty years later in Nashville. Agents of Azerbaijan seem to have adopted the time-honored American tradition of buying up selected state politicians. In return, the bespoke pols help whiten the Azerbaijani political sepulcher by lauding its president and telling the world what a wonderful and important place Azerbaijan is.

The shenanigans in Tennessee were enough to make Armenian-Americans sit up and take notice, and they did some of their own lobbying. You can hear one of them interviewed in the following video.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for processing and editing these two clips:

One thing that bothers me about the second report is the characterization of Fethullah Gülen as a “moderate Muslim”. He is at least as dangerous as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan; he is just more subtle and patient in his dealings with infidels. He has spent decades burnishing his suave persona and building his lucrative empire of charter schools in the United States.

Below are excerpts from the two articles accompanying the TV reports. From the News Channel 5 website:

Lawmaker Says $10K Contribution, Resolution Just ‘Coincidence’

by Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A lawmaker’s $10,000 campaign contribution and a resolution he introduced this year in the legislature are reviving questions about foreign influences on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill.

Last year, NewsChannel 5 Investigates first revealed how advocates for foreign countries were taking your lawmakers on expensive junkets.

Now, we’ve discovered a case of mysterious donors handing out money for a legislative campaign.

During a hurried legislative session dominated by all sorts of contentious issues, state Rep. Joe Towns found time to introduce a House resolution — HR 145 [pdf] — calling for national support for the country of Azerbaijan.

“Let me tell you where it came from — it actually came from friends that I know that are from Azerbaijan,” the Memphis Democrat told NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

An oil-rich, predominantly Muslim country — where Eastern Europe meets western Asia — Azerbaijan has been involved in a decades-old dispute with the predominantly Christian country of Armenia over territory that both countries claim.

Towns said he agreed to introduce the resolution because Azerbaijan is a U.S. ally.

“You did not just come up with this one your own?” we asked.

“No, no, no,” Towns answered.

“And you knew nothing about the conflict between these two countries?”

“No, I did not.”

But Armenian immigrant Barry Barsoumian said, “Those brutal people, they are trying to change history by going around different states in the United States passing resolutions.”

Barsoumian discovered Towns’ resolution and could not believe anyone would ask a Tennessee lawmaker to help a country known for its human rights abuses and whose leader is seen as one of the world’s most corrupt.

“I asked him if it was Azerbaijani Embassy. He denied it,” Barsoumian recalled. “But he wouldn’t name or tell me what organization was behind it.”

But NewsChannel 5 Investigates looked at Towns’ campaign reports and discovered he introduced the resolution just two weeks after he got a total of $10,000 in campaign contributions from people out of Texas with ties to the Azerbaijani community.

“This one was probably in Texas, Houston,” Towns said, looking at his campaign disclosure.

“You had a fundraiser in Houston?” we asked.

“Uh-huh. I’ve had fundraisers in other places before. That’s true.”

“Who hosted that fundraiser?”

“Well, my friends. Friends of mine.”

NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked, “Who in particular?”

“Well, I don’t want to get involved in their names because this is about me,” Towns answered. “I don’t want to talk about their names and who they were.”

Still, our investigation discovered that a Turkish-Azerbaijani cultural center in Houston appears to be the common connection for all seven of the contributors, who reportedly gave either $1,000 or $1,500 each to Towns’ campaign.

“Did the people who gave you the $10,000 ask you to introduce this resolution?” NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Towns.

“No, they didn’t. Did not,” he responded.

“It’s purely coincidental?”

“Oh, of course.”

But Barsoumian called it “suspicious [that] somebody in Tennessee would introduce a bill for Azerbaijan and then those organizations funnel money to his campaign.”

One of the contributors listed on Towns’ campaign report as having given a thousand dollars first told us, “That’s wrong information. I don’t know anyone from Tennessee.”

Later he changed his story, saying “I remember something like that. I never met him. I did it through my friends, my community.”

Adding to the mystery: almost a third of the money supposedly came from two people who live in an apartment in one of Houston’s roughest neighborhoods.

[…]

NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Towns, “You attend a fundraiser and then suddenly you are introducing this resolution. Do you understand why someone might be suspicious?”

“I can’t deal with people’s suspicion,” he said. “I don’t address their suspicion. The fact is that it happens all the time.”

[…]

So why would Azerbaijan care about what the Tennessee House thinks about world affairs?

It appears to be part of an orchestrated PR campaign to show that world opinion is on their side.

Towns said that he hopes it leads to better understanding of all the countries in that region.

And again, from News Channel 5:

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Day 12: “To the Jew First”

Note: Since MC wrote this post, Hamas refused an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire and continued firing rockets from Gaza. Israeli air strikes have resumed. Also, the first direct Israeli death of the campaign occurred when a mortar shell killed a man at the Erez Crossing into Gaza.

Day 12: “To the Jew first” *
by MC

It is 10:00, and it is silent. Silence is always uncanny after the continuous noise. HOM has been giving away nappies (diapers), but mothers are asking for larger sizes because the older children are having ‘accidents’ when the guns go off. If the ceasefire holds, then we know to prepare for next time, this week, next week, sometime, always — to corrupt a children’s rhyme.

If Hamas do not keep the ceasefire, then it will be obvious to all but the most disconnected which is the terrorist group. But then we must also ask ourselves is this really about Israel, or is it about Jews?

Israel is the Jewish State, but not all Jews are Israeli. Yet to the mobs in Paris, and to the President of France and many others like him, this is not apparent. Such reasoning is over his political and intellectual horizons. France has a long and, it would seem, proud history of anti-Semitism, in common with other European states. We must assume that it is government policy in these places to make Jews feel uncomfortable. We must look at what they are doing, not what they are saying.

Israel has kept to international law. Gaza has committed a war crime every time a Hamas missile is launched targeting Israeli civilians. The number is now in the low thousands of missiles.

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Get Ready for a “Disproportionate Response”

Below is the first portion of a blog op-ed by Eylon Aslan-Levy published in The Times of Israel on Monday.

Many thanks to JP for the link, which he says he found via The Telegraph:

Speak now, or forever hold your peace

By Eylon Aslan-Levy

If and when Israel embarks on a major offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a lot of people — watching from a safe distance — are going to be very cross. Human Rights Watch will be up in arms; Amnesty will be outraged. The BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera will show harrowing pictures (real and fabricated) of Israel’s “disproportionate” action. My Facebook feed will be full of friends expressing horror at Israeli air strikes in Gaza, and #GazaUnderAttack will be trending on Twitter. All this, to the tune of another, repetitive chorus of Restraint from the diplomatic choirs of foreign governments.

So to everyone who, as is looking increasingly inevitable, is soon going to be tutting and sighing and condemning Israel for finally retaliating against Hamas, I have one message:

Speak now, or forever hold your peace…

Read the rest at The Times of Israel.

The Key Switcher?

Yesterday a reader in Australia sent us a scan of a print article in a newspaper called The Age. I don’t know much about the paper, but Australians tell me it is a predictably lefty rag, and that sensible people refer to it disparagingly as “The Aged”.

The article, written by Chris Johnston, is entitled “The power of hate: Bendigo mosque a rallying cry”. It’s a hit-piece on the Q Society, which opposes the Islamization of Australia and has been one of the leading groups in the campaign against the proposed mosque in Bendigo. But the reason our reader sent it to us is that the author gives Gates of Vienna an honored place among the “far-right extremists” and “racists” who object to Islamization.

The print article was dated June 28, but there is an online version dated the 27th that differs only slightly in wording.

Our blog is featured in the last few paragraphs of the piece. I’d never heard of the term “switcher” until I read this article. In the excerpt below, the author is referring to and quoting from Prof. Andrew Jakubowicz, “a specialist in multiculturalism from the University of Technology, Sydney”:

Professor Jakubowicz is studying global internet racism. He says he has found solid links between Australian anti-Islam groups, such as the Australian Defence League, with international groups in the US and Europe that he calls “switchers”. These groups compile political information and move it through global networks.

The key switcher in Europe, he says, is called Gates of Vienna, a website named after the battle in 1863 [sic] in which Christians beat Turkish Muslim Ottomans who were trying to capture the Austrian capital.

The Norwegian mass killer of 77 people in 2011, Anders Breivik, wrote in his own manifesto that he read Gates of Vienna. Breivik was rabidly anti-Muslim.

Professor Jakubowicz says, ironically, the way Australian far-right groups can learn from international far-right groups then try to infiltrate communities was similar to jihadism.

“They are looking for places to build communities and draw them into campaigns. In a sense, it is a tamer mirror image of jihadism, the social psychology is not dissimilar. The practice is obviously different but the aim is similar. Activist racists in this country are involved in what I would call community development projects.” [emphasis added]

Well…

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‘Militants’? Pull The Other One!

The following article by our Israeli correspondent MC is a more comprehensive report on today’s rocket attack on Sderot. It’s a follow-up on his post from earlier this evening.

‘Militants’? Pull The Other One!
by MC

Hamas have to justify their kidnapping of Israeli children somehow, so in typical Jihad fashion they commit even more ‘war crimes’ by sending missiles over, targeting Israeli civilians on this motzei Shabbat evening. They hit a factory which appears to have plastic or paint in it. This caused an immediate conflagration, with poppings and fireballs as chemicals exploded. The fire brigade were on to it very quickly and contained the fire.

My son and my daughter were visiting friends a couple of roads over. The friends have three young children, aged 2, 4 and 5. They were even closer to the blast than we were.

I had just flushed the loo as the Sever Adom went off. As I came down the stairs the explosions started. At least two missiles came in, but I heard three detonations (maybe Iron Dome got the other missile). The one buzzed and whined as it went over (my children say it went over their heads and then flash-lit the house).

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Bill Whittle and “Scandal Fatigue”

It’s time for another Bill Whittle video. Think of him as America’s Pat Condell. Not that they’re similar but they both energize the tiny spark of hope left among those of us who listen to them and remember when things were not quite so soiled and degraded:


The “About” section says:

Published on Jun 25, 2014

Everywhere we look today we see SCANDAL FATIGUE gripping the nation. It’s bad enough that Leftist policy has crippled the national economy; in his latest FIREWALL he explains why you shouldn’t let the Clown Car Cavalcade of Incompetence cripple YOUR economy as well. Watch and discover why America is bigger than these weenies at their worst.

If you go to the video page where this appeared, you can subscribe to his “Truth Revolt dot org”. It seems to be his new Youtube Channel. If I remember correctly the other one is/was Declaration Video. I’ll have to look it up to see if he’s running both now since his weekly emails seem to have died…or, heaven forefend, they struck out our address for our infamous Islamophobia? Nah. He’s a Tea Party guy, after all.

I’ll add a few other episodes here and there to catch up. For the most part, his polemics don’t stale date quickly. However, I will note here the complaint of a commenter posted below this new episode about twelve hours ago:

Huh? What did he say? Bill, why does every other YT video have audio I can hear, but yours and PJTV videos have inaudible sound?? Are you going tone deaf, too? Could you maybe do CC, since you clearly don’t want me to hear what you have to say?! [redacted] frustrating…

Yes, Houston, you do have an audio quality problem, whatever CC is. Oh, wait. Does that mean “captioned”? YES, please; captioning gets my vote.

So in case you Brits were wondering, it’s not just you being unable to understand American English, Americans are having the same issue with the audio here. The YouTube commenter fellow is right; I had to play this several times to hear all of it. Or most of it; I never did get it entirely. And if it weren’t the inimitable Mr. Whittle I wouldn’t have gone to the trouble.

Maybe Vlad can tell me what the problem is; Vlad is such a stickler for good audio. Perhaps he could even tell Mr. Whittle what he might do for sound remediation.

Meanwhile, another commenter there has a solution for what ails us. He says:

Go Galt, earn a few dollars under the poverty level, buy stuff used and the leeches in government will get almost nothing from you to pay for their police/nanny state.

I never have understood the “Go Galt” part of people’s suggestions. I presume this idea comes from Ayn Rand’s works, which I could never make my way through any of them. Maybe someone has the Cliff Notes? But the rest of his ideas about living under the poverty level? Check. We do that already -buy used stuff? Check. (except for food) or – gasp! -go one better and do without. Check.

We’re all set for the days when parts of America begin to resemble Moscow but with the wonderful addition of cheap Cuban coffee (made in Florida now. And Mexico).