Dhimmitude and Freedom

SwordfishThe period between Christmas and New Year’s Day is traditionally the time to take stock of the year that has just ended while looking ahead to the year that is about to begin.

We’ll be honoring that tradition with here with a couple of articles. The first is a guest-post from Henrik Ræder Clausen of Europe News.

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Dhimmitude and Freedom Status 2007
by Henrik Ræder Clausen

Time for an incomplete roundup of what took place this year, what’s good, what’s bad.

Good Bad
Blogs are becoming an increasingly important player in challenging the mainstream media for serious analysis. Various forms of Internet censorship are seen. One method is to tag Islam-critical material as ‘offensive’. Another is to attack the meager income by warning advertisers against having their banners shown on supposed ‘hate sites’. It’s tricky.
Demonstrations in Turkey against Islamization — with huge turnout. They can demonstrate; we in Europe may not. Turkey censors YouTube, WordPress and whatever else it fancies, and keeps crushing minorities. No firm protests from the EU.
No major terrorist attacks in the non-Islamic world. This is quite interesting. Last year we had the Mumbai bombings, and before that the London, then Madrid bombings. Many significant plots have been foiled, none executed. Pakistan suffered one of the worst ever. “The Land of the Pure” where they booby-trap babies in order to attack democracy. How low can you go? Security guards saved the life of Benazir Bhutto, but 130 of her supporters found sudden death on that day. Benazir herself succumbed to another suicide attack two months later.
  Many minor terrorist attacks. The counter at TheReligionOfPeace.com passed 10,000 attacks (since September 11th 2001). Worldwide Jihad is in action everywhere Islam meets other cultures.
No major assassinations except for Benazir Bhutto. Every year the icons of the Counterjihad stay alive is a discrete victory against violent Jihad. Many lesser known figures were assaulted or killed, the latest being a professor in Sweden who was researching the Turkish genocide against the Assyrians. Public outcry as well as the government action over these crimes against minorities have been tepid at best.
Israel is experiencing record economic growth, in spite of serious security expenses and attempts at boycotts in Great Britain etc. More people stand up for Israel in the media now. Our leaders have still not figured out that supporting the Palestinians is basically a Bad Idea when done without clear conditions. They put pressure on Israel for the simple reason that it has a better chance of working, not for the sake of justice.

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  Hamas takes over Gaza, suspends freedoms.
  Pakistan, “The Land of the Pure”, descends further into chaos. Brutal dictatorship cracks down on brutal Islamists, and on the High Court, with strong from the US government. Money documentably spent on their own purposes, not to fight terrorism.
Demonstrations against Islamization of Europe took place in Brussels, then Marseille, without Muslims cracking violently down on the demonstrators. The fear that Muslims would make riots in the streets caused the mayor of Brussels to declare the demonstrators ‘criminals’ and had the police crack violently down on them.
Belgium seems to be falling apart. This will have interesting consequences for EU and Europe, both practically and symbolically. Leaders of the European Union adopted not only the Constitution Treaty, but also an ominous resolution against any kind of ‘extremism’, ‘xenophobia’ etc. Both of these are steps in the direction of the EUCCP, where dissent is not allowed. Cheating over referendums is no small issue.
  The Iranian president speaks at the UN. This is sick. He uses the platform to discreetly promote his vision of Islam ruling the world. Worse.
Our right to talk about Islam and Muhammad is intact. Bringing up the facts, while still considered hate-speech in some contexts, is largely considered legal.  
  Arabs with lawyers have turned into a bigger problem than anticipated. The concept is simple: Use the laws of one country to attack an author in another. Given enough billions in the back, it’s doable. This seriously impacts the willingness of publishers to print controversial books.
More focus on doing away with the oil habit. It is becoming clear that this dependency is causing us serious political and economical problems. ‘Global Warming’ jumps in and steals the limelight at a time where we have more urgent tasks at hand. The Nobel Committee disgraces itself by rewarding this with the Peace Prize.
The Counterjihad summit in Brussels with top of the line speakers. Lots of information, much good networking. Charles Johnson, blogmaster of the large American blog Little Green Footballs, showed its incomprehension of European politics and history by condemning several participants. This strife has been a drain on resources and unity.
  The Arabs have enough money to purchase vital parts of media, financial institutions and other parts of the economical infrastructure. This, combined with ‘Sharia banking’, is a large potential problem.
Denmark got away with comparing the Islamic headscarf to the Nazi swastika. It caused an outcry, but it remained an acceptable point of view to compare the Quran to Mein Kampf. Great Britain is sinking into dhimmitude. Appeasement is rampant, and the latest move is to declare the use of Union Jack ‘racist’. A much more assertive approach is needed.
Geert Wilders is creating a movie about the Quran. It has caused trouble already, but the bold guy is continuing. The Netherlands got rid of that troublesome Somali lady who keeps speaking up for women and human rights in face of reactionary religions.
The war in Iraq is showing surprising progress by the end of the year, with Al-Qaeda apparently significantly weakened by lack of spectacular successes decapitating infidels, which causes sponsors to invest elsewhere. Saudi Arabia still invests heavily in Wahhabi Islam everywhere. This is a subject with implications in just about every country where Muslims live.
Christian assertiveness seems to be rising. The pope stated that we have the right to defend our culture. Rumours of increasing conversions to Christianity in Turkey and Iran would be nice to substantiate. Mosque construction projects continue apace in many European countries. The depth of this is still unknown to many people. The discovery of terrorist propaganda and military equipment (weapons, explosives) and rabid racism in major mosques has not led to a general moratorium on mosque projects.
  The whole Kosovo thing. While the final decision has met delays, the likely outcome is that a mafia-run statelet will be created soon. This sets a bad example for dissolving nations on basis of religion.
Sarkozy symbolically told the Turks to forget about EU membership. While more moves are needed, this was a good one. Schengen enlargement. This will create the perfect Inner Market for everything mafioso. And a Perfect Storm for law enforcement.

Summing up, there’s no clear direction. We are facing a lot of challenges, large and small. Interestingly, physical terrorism seems to be waning, while we face a lot of trouble on the less visible institutional level. The weakening of the nation-state and the lack of willingness by our states and by the EU to defend our citizens’ rights are troublesome developments. Our leaders seem to agree to not take the required risks and to sacrifice national interests for the sake of ‘unity’ in the EU and non-offending behaviour towards our oil suppliers.

What can be done?

Lots of things. So many that it’s hard to create a meaningful to-do list of actions. Some items:

Read. All required documentation is readily available from Amazon and other shops. As for Islam proper, the life of Muhammad etc., the whole thing has been researched so extensively that feelings of deja vú easily come up with yet another critical book. One may read a handful of books by Spencer, Trifkovic, Bostom, etc. to get the whole picture, or save a thousand pages of reading by just getting Prophet of Doom. It’s all out there.

Get involved. Our leaders are getting away with their trips because of too little interest and challenge from the general public. This lack of the interest, on the other hand, makes it very easy for just a few individuals to make a difference.

Keep mockin’! As C. S. Lewis said: “The Devil cannot stand being mocked”. This can be done with simple means. Each one may not draw intense media coverage, but some will hit home.

Speak positively of Jesus and Christianity. Jesus was, in contrast with a certain false prophet, a great example for human behaviour. It’s quite uncontroversial to say something good about Jesus, and a little hint that quietly makes people compare with Muhammad should strike deep.

Challenge the EU. This overgrown organisation seriously hampers our possibilities of challenging immigration, Islam and other urgent issues. While I won’t advocate secession from EU (some in Denmark do, however), change is urgently needed, like a reduction to 10-15 % of its current budget. At the moment, the EUCCP is growing in the wrong direction, fast.

Reassert our nationalities by using our flags, requesting border control back, asking that we retain the right to rule our respective countries. Both EU and Islam have a vision of a large unitary state where national identity plays no role in politics, and diversity fades. Diversity is beautiful! While it may hamper multinational companies, it has always been one of Europe’s best resources and barriers against totalitarianism. We’re too unruly, and want to remain so.

Stick to our wallets. An interesting property of Islam is that it tends to be rather unproductive and require lots of monetary support for mosque construction, etc. Money going to support ‘multiculturalism’ will be the worst money ever spent! When politicians try to look good by supporting Palestinians or other violent racists, it’s time to take them to task for it. While it might seem miserly, protecting the principle of private property is effective against totalitarian trends in politics and religion.

Have fun 🙂 All of this stuff can be enjoyable, as one gets to meet lots of interesting people, gets ones worldview challenged a couple times a year, hopefully travelling, and at least have a rich and meaningful life.

What is needed now is not so much grand icons like Robert Spencer or Ayaan Hirsi Ali. What we need is many more people taking the unspectacular tasks of attending public meetings, commenting on blogs, writing to the newspapers, standing up for human rights and national independence. Just bits here, pieces there, based on information and a humanistic attitude, a little or a lot, depending on what’s possible.

Happy New Year and good luck!

The Future Without Benazir Bhutto

Benazir BhuttoAs everyone knows by now, the former (and aspiring) prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated earlier today in Rawalpindi.

I claim no expertise in the internal political affairs of Pakistan. I can sense trouble ahead for South Asia and the rest of the world, but have no idea what form it will take. Given Pakistan’s status as the guardian of the “Islamic Bomb”, any form of trouble that ensues is likely to be lethal and widespread.

Is Ms. Bhutto the 21st century’s equivalent of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary? Is it possible that something equally wicked this way comes?

Here’s an open thread for readers to offer their assessments of the situation.

[Post ends here]

Those Multicultural European Royals

King Carl Gustaf of Sweden gave his annual Christmas address to the nation yesterday. Our Swedish correspondent LN did not have a high opinion of the speech, and has translated some excerpts from it to illustrate its PC Multicultural flavor:

King Carl GustafThere must be a way to live side by side in mutual esteem for our differences. This vision we should try to keep alive.


That is what it looks like in Sweden today and in many places of this globalized world. It is one new Sweden. Young people with roots in other cultures put Sweden on the map in musical styles, in the field of sports, with business ideas that were not there when I was younger. Through all the centuries Sweden has been developed through immigration. The Walloons, who in the 1600s built up many of our iron mills and thereby laid down our early industry, are an example. Another is the inflow of artistic talents from above all France in the 1700s.


To welcome changes and to let the mixture of cultures and experiences enrich our lives and our social community is our only road ahead.

Zonka read the same speech and gave a Danish opinion on it (via email):
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If you read the speech, it is kind of pathetic. The Swedish king was never a genius with words, and this is a series of PC platitudes, one after another, without any bite or without having a real opinion on anything.

Most of all it sounds like a speech made by a person who is so isolated from daily life, a person who only hears what his bureaucrats tells him, to the extent that he reminds me of Marie Antoinette when she uttered the words “let them eat cake”, unlinked from reality.

And, yes, the speech is very much in the Multicultural vein. It talks about how we can learn so much from these immigrants, like we did from the Walloons in the 1600s and others throughout time. And that he met some enthusiastic youth, when he visited some of the places where there have been trouble, and that these youngsters were ready to take responsibility for themselves and others in sports clubs etc. And that he now wants to build a fund to help such initiatives.

And then he goes into the Climate Change debate, and how Sweden has a responsibility to lead the way out of this man-made mess, yadda, yadda, yadda….

This should be a warning about how some people who are living completely isolated from reality and only get their news through the media or filtered through bureaucrats who have been trained to perfection in the art of PC. In all other respects this speech is a waste of time and effort; it’s a masterpiece of saying nothing in a lot of words.

In a parallel development, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands also gave a PC Multicultural Christmas speech. H. Numan, our expatriate Dutch correspondent, sends this report:

Queen BeatrixQueen Beatrix gave her annual Christmas sermon. It wasn’t well received.

She spoke about the usual: let’s integrate, let’s work on understanding one another. She said in a barely-veiled way that politicians such as Geert Wilders aren’t good for society.

Also, it sounds somewhat hypocritical ranting about people’s egoism, if one earns tax-free 8 million euros per year, with free housing, free board and a free transportation.

The Dutch papers and blogs are full of comments from not-so-happy Dutch people about this speech. Not one or two, but literally hundreds of very appropriate remarks.

What most people objected to is the singularity of the queen’s speech. “we” should be translated into “them”, them being the Mohammedans who simply refuse to integrate.

A further juicy detail:

Wilders (the barely veiled victim) announced that he will ask questions in parliament, and if necessary propose a change to the constitution, in which the queen will be relegated to purely ceremonial duties.

He holds the opinion that the queen should not give political speeches. As the queen is above the law, she cannot be held responsible, but since the prime minister (who is responsible) didn’t make this speech, he cannot be held responsible either.

Since King Carl Gustaf and Queen Beatrix gave such similar speeches, there’s only one possible explanation: both subscribe to the Royal European Speech ServiceTM, “catering exclusively to the monarchs of Europe since 1949”.

It’s now an online service, and can supply a major speech for any occasion. Just get your major domo to download it for you in the native language of your country’s peasantry.

OK, I admit it: I made all this up. Still, it might be true.

And I can tell you one other thing: Queen Margrethe does not subscribe to this service.

Serbia to the EU: Drop Dead

It seems that even the blandishments of the European Union are not enough to persuade the Serbs to give up Kosovo voluntarily.

According to EuroNews:

Serbia to snub EU and deny Kosovo independence

Serbia has re-affirmed its absolute opposition to independence for Kosovo, even if that causes a rift with the European Union. Belgrade had been offered a fast-track to EU membership, in return for relaxing its position on its breakaway province. But Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic said Belgrade would reject Brussels’ approaches, and possible membership of NATO, if the West recognises Kosovo in the New Year.

“We very much hope that come the end of January, Serbia will have signed the stabilisation and association agreement with the European Union,” he said. “Serbia is going to stay on a path towards Europe. But, Serbia will do everything in its institutional power, short of using military force, to make sure that our sovereignty and territorial integrity is upheld.”

So what means can a sovereign nation employ to uphold its territorial integrity, short of using military force?

These are the options I can think of:
– – – – – – – –

  • A plea to foreign powers not to interfere with Serbian military affairs.
  • A strongly-worded diplomatic note of protest to the country or countries whose armed forces assist Kosovo in attaining independence.
  • A call to neighboring countries in the Balkans for diplomatic support against the countries that interfere.
  • The submission of a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly calling for the world body to enforce Serbia’s territorial integrity.
  • Lying down on the floor and screaming until the world decides to leave Serbia alone.

In other words, Serbia has no recourse short of military force to ensure that its territorial integrity is respected by foreign powers.

The article goes on to say:

The resolution in parliament had the backing of Serbia’s President and Prime Minister, as well as opposition leaders. Kosovo’s Albanian majority enjoys the support of the United States and Western Europe, and its leaders are ready to declare unilateral independence early next year. The Serbian President demanded that NATO peacekeepers protect Serbs in Kosovo, and warned that if they could not, the Serbian army would do the job.

A reminder of who the foreign powers will be that create an independent Kosovo against the will of Serbia: NATO.

That means, in effect, the United States of America.

Will the USA really use military force to carve a Wahhabist gangster statelet out of a Christian nation whose territorial integrity it is bound by treaty to uphold?

Stay tuned. We’ll find out soon enough.

Hat tip: Henrik.

The Official Recognition of Flemish Mosques

When investigating the Islamization of Europe, it’s important to remember a major difference between organized religions in Europe and their counterparts in the USA. In the United States, the government has no role in funding or managing the affairs of religious organizations. The First Amendment of the Constitution specifies this condition, and advocates of secular orthodoxy have helped stamp out any possible connection between government and religion over the last few decades.

But Europe is different. Most European countries have an official state-funded religion. Modern tolerance has mandated official recognition and funding of other religions, and, since the Multicultural Age is upon us, that now includes Islam. National governments help fund the building of mosques and churches, and official state recognition is a necessity for any religion that hopes to proselytize successfully.

SIOE Belgium reports that the Flemish Minister of Integration has granted official recognition to six mosques in Flanders. The Vlaams Belang website talks about the same issue, and our Flemish correspondent ProFlandria has translated excerpts from the VB article:

VB youth demo23 Dec 2007 — On Saturday [22 Dec] the Flemish minister for Home Affairs, Urban Policy, Housing and Civic Integration [Inburgering en Binnenlands Bestuur] Marino Keulen granted official recognition to the first six mosques in Flanders. Recognition is still pending for another two mosques. Starting next year, the recognized mosques will be subsidized and the imams will receive regular pay.


The fact that one of the six recognized mosques is the Pakistani mosque Noor Ulharam built by the non-profit Antwerp Islamic Association… proves that the whole procedure for recognition was a farce. Towards the end of 1999, two of the administrators of the non-profit were compromised when a police investigation determined that that they had been involved in laundering large amounts of criminal funds. Zafar Ali Mughal and Javed Anwar both resigned from the non-profit in 2002. Construction on the Noor Ulharam mosque started in 2000; the mosque is 655 square meters [just over 7000 sq. ft.], three stories high, has two minarets, and is estimated to have cost 1 to 1.5 million Euros. In 2005 Noor Ulharam mosque appeared on the list of extremist and terrorist organizations of the Antwerp section of the federal police. The recognition file also reveals that the mosque uses a Pakistani-imported imam who does not know Dutch. [This imam,] Zia Sialvi, [is] a Salafist who until recently lived and preached in Lahore (Pakistan). Muhammed Zia Sialvi received his religious instruction in fundamentalist Islam schools (‘Ahl-as Sunnah wal Djama’ah’ school in Pakistan, as well as the school of fundamentalist Sheik Ahmed Kaftarou from Syria).

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Vlaams Belang is opposed to financing the mosques with Flemish tax revenues. After all, recognizing and financing mosques and imams facilitates the extension and reinforcement of an Islamic pillar which resists the integration of the persons of foreign origin [allochtonen] who live here. Moreover, Islam is not only a religion but a political ideology which is hostile to Western values such as democracy, freedom of expression and the equality of men and women. This is why Vlaams Belang takes the position that Flanders needs less, rather than more, Islam. Minister Keulen’s theory is wrong: supporting and financing Islam will not lead to the Europeanization of Islam, but to the Islamization of Europe.

Filip Dewinter will protest minister Keulen’s recognition decision regarding the Noor Ulharam mosque of the non-profit Antwerp Islamic Association to the State’s Council [Raad van State — a legal Ombudsman at the confluence of the Constitutional powers which resolves disputes that may arise from illegal administrative actions] because the conditions for recognition were not met.

Vlaams Belang is obviously not a neutral party in this discussion, so ProFlandria has also included a translation of an article from the Antwerp daily Gazet van Antwerpen:

5 Dec 07 — We have written it before: Filip Dewinter has already started his campaign for the 2009 elections [for mayor of Antwerp]. The whole thrust of the campaign is based on “Belgium Cracks Up” and “Stop the Islamization”. The tactics are clearly based on provocation. One example is organizing protests to provoke hard reactions from security forces or counter-protesters. Yesterday added a new element: a CD-single with an anti-mosque song, to be distributed in neighborhood pubs and on the internet.


Needless to say we don’t thank Filip Dewinter and VB for this new stunt [Gazet van Antwerpen has been an “establishment” paper for the last 10-15 years]. However, he has a point where the uncontrolled spread of mosques is concerned, at least in Antwerp. The city currently has 36 of these prayer houses, and that’s without counting the ‘garage mosques’. As long as there is a demand for this, we don’t see a problem. But we do have some serious questions concerning the controls on organizations that run these mosques. Do they work with non-Dutch speaking imams [breach of Belgium’s language laws] or imported imams from extremist countries? We don’t know. Some time ago the City Council had to assent to several recognition cases based on one meager information sheet per mosque. It is only logical, then, that apart from VB, several council persons of VLD/N-VA and Open VLD protested this state of affairs.

Especially the arrival of a new mosque on the Van Kerckhovenstraat [Noor Ulharam] appears questionable. The prayer house is an initiative of the Antwerp Islamic Association (AIA) which is mainly represented by Muslims from Pakistan and India. Several former administrators have a judicial past related to money-laundering and forgery. Is this expensive mosque possibly financed with tainted funds?

Even worse is AIA’s appearance on a list of fundamentalist Muslim meeting points, compiled by the federal police in 2005. As early as 2002 the police and the district attorney’s office stated in an investigation report: “Information from State Security and the Criminal Investigation Department reveals that Pakistani networks, which may possibly be linked to international terrorism, have established themselves in the Antwerp area.” AIA apparently also imported a non-Dutch speaking radical Pakistani imam to serve the mosque.

ProFlandria includes his own commentary on the issue:

I have to add something here that may be something of a surprise to American readers: in Belgium, the government can officially recognize religions which in effect provides government funding as well as regular pay to the religion’s “employees”. In effect, recognized religions (the Anglican, Catholic, Jewish, Orthodox, Muslim, and Protestant-Evangelical religions) in Belgium are subsidized with tax revenue.

I find it interesting, though, that in this case the minister of Flanders has seen fit to recognize individual mosques and their employees. I think the reason is that (as yet) there is no clear national Muslim organization charged with the management of the religious (as opposed to societal) life of Islam in Belgium. This could be a great opportunity to vet individual mosques and imams for subversive and/or violent preaching. Not surprisingly, the painfully tolerant unbelievers have once again sacrificed at the altar of tolerance and diversity.

The VB website’s information does not conflict with the substance of the observations of the “mainstream” Gazet van Antwerpen. VB adds their own action in regard to countering this decision; GvA adds some detail with the quote from the 2002 investigation report. I would call this one sufficiently documented to accept as true — although there is nothing that really pops up in the MSM.

It appears the usual suspects are only too happy to give this story the appearance of a minor local dispute by treating it with benign neglect.

Another Flemish reader sends his own report:

Filip Dewinter wrote about that mosque on his blog.

It makes me think of the huge Westermoskee project in Amsterdam. The city government and mayor Cohen subsidized it with 2 million euros through a very weird land deal. But the construction has stopped since the row between the board of that mosque and Milli Gorus, a militant Turkish group that took over the mosque.

Antifascistische ActieThe city council, however, has already removed a war memorial, probably because it had a white cross.

Some “right-wing” youngsters wanted to protest and were attacked by the militant Marxists of AFA [Antifascistische Actie, “Antifascist Action”].

Flanders is not an isolated case: the same situation is replicated across Europe in any country with a substantial population of Muslim immigrants.

Hat tip: White Elefant.

Internet Racists, Beware!

Finland is an exceptional country. Within living memory it fought successfully to avoid absorption by the USSR, and has a strong sense of national identity. As Western European nations go, Finland is — except for its Swedish minority — relatively ethnically homogeneous.

The Finns are prosperous, self-governing, respect human rights, and have no colonial past. Yet for some reason Finland has not escaped the pervasive sense of “white guilt” that has become the bane of Western Civilization over the last fifty years. As I reported a year ago, Finland is seeking more Third-World refugees, as if the example of its next door neighbor, Sweden, were not enough to deter it from such a foolhardy enterprise.

The reason for this ethnic death-wish may be found in a bureaucratic structure that exists entirely to promote, protect, and cater to ethnic minorities. After all, if you’re a bureaucrat, having more clients means increasing your power, right? So bring on the immigrants!

A few months ago I wrote about the Finnish Ombudsman for Minorities Mikko Puumalainen. Since then he has been succeeded in his position by Johanna Suurpää, who is pursuing her duties with the same zeal as her predecessor. According to YLE:

Johanna SuurpääOmbudsman: Bring Net Racists to Justice

The Ombudsman for Minorities wants racialists operating on the internet to be brought to justice, writes the newspaper Kaleva.

The Ombudsman Johanna Suurpää says those disseminating material of a racialist nature must be brought before the courts in order to demonstrate its illegal character.

– – – – – – – –

She told the newspaper the prevailing wisdom seemed to be that anything could be placed on the net. Suurpää did not estimate the actual number of racialist websites but said large amounts of material promoting racial prejudice was available. She felt a small but active group were responsible for most of it.

She admitted, though, it was difficult to intervene in all cases. In addition to the Ombudsman for Minorities, material of a racialist nature appearing on Finnish websites is also monitoring [sic] by the National Bureau of Investigation.

So if you blog in Finland, be warned: The Ombudswoman is watching you!

And who gets to define “racism” for the purposes of Finnish law? Is it Finland’s parliament, acting directly at the behest of the Finnish people? Or is it some subset of the unelected bureaucracy?

Ms. Suurpää uses the words “racialist” and “racist” interchangeably, at least in this translation, and the two words are often used to mean the same thing. But some people define racialism as “scientific racism”, that is, the assertion that the races of homo sapiens have distinguishable and measurable characteristics, including psychological traits, which set them apart from one another. “Popular racism”, on the other hand, means the common belief that one race is superior to the others.

Perhaps Ms. Suurpää means to include both definitions in her crusade against internet intolerance. But her stance highlights a recurring paradox: in order to fight racism one must be a racialist, since races have to be defined and distinguished from one another in order to protect designated victim groups. The Ombudsman has no choice; she must exercise racialism in order to do her job.

In other words, the cause of anti-racism perpetuates racism. It’s one of life’s bitter little ironies.

Hat tip: KGS.

The Swedish Keystone Cops

I wrote the other day that an investigative journalist in Sweden named Nuri Kino had his doubts that the Swedish police were applying their full resources to the investigation of the murder of the Assyrian Christian university professor Fuat Deniz.

The big question is whether the lackluster performance of Sweden’s finest is deliberate, and due to political pressure, or simply routine incompetence.

Now Nuri Kino has stepped up his criticism of the official investigation. According to AINA:

Swedish Police Admit Making Mistakes in Murder Investigation

Fuat DenizSwedish police have admitted they made mistakes in the ongoing investigation of the murder of Assyrian-Swedish researcher Fuat Deniz. More than one week after the fatal stabbing there is still no suspect. Assyrian journalist Nuri Kino, who has scrutinized the methods of the police in Örebro, the Swedish town where the murder took place, has dismissed their approach as unprofessional.

“They have committed one mistake after the other”, he says.

Kino says Fuat Deniz’s office at the Örebro University, where he was a senior lecturer, was not sealed off directly after the murder but cleaned up instead. Important evidence might thus have been destroyed. He also criticizes the police for not offering protection to the family of Dr. Fuat Deniz after the murder.

“We should have sealed off the room directly after the murder,” acknowledged investigation leader Per Jan Eriksson from the Örebro police to Swedish public television SVT. The Örebro police have now offered protection to the family of Dr. Fuat Deniz.

– – – – – – – –

The police have also failed to interview colleagues of Dr. Deniz who say they have received threats. Nuri Kino has been most perturbed by the unwillingness of the Örebro police to ask for help from experts to examine a tape from a surveillance camera in a store where a man with blood stained hands was spotted some 45 minutes after the murder. The tape is of very poor quality and the Örebro police said it is impossible to identify the man caught on it, but special investigators who have examined the tape announced it is possible to identify the man.

Nuri Kino says it may be already too late.

“Admitting some of their mistakes is good, but critical evidence and crucial time may have been lost due to their incompetence. They have committed more mistakes and they should acknowledge them too”, he says, “the specialized Investigative police must act immediately — not one day from now, not one hour from now — but right away. Each second that ticks away makes it more difficult to find the murderer. The local police in Örebro don’t have the means to find the perpetrator. What is more, most of them have their Christmas holidays and are not working.”

Nuri Kino is one of Sweden’s top investigative journalists and has received several prestigious awards. He has followed the murder of Dr. Fuat Deniz closely and says he has launched his own private investigation of the murder.

The longer the Swedish police remain “on holiday”, the more likely it will seem that Turkish pressure has caused the Swedes to drag their feet.

Are the Swedish police seriously attempting to track down the murderer of Fuat Deniz?

Previous posts on this topic:

2007   Dec   15   The Long Arm of the Assyrian Genocide
        16   Silencing Any Discussion of the Assyrian Genocide
        18   Remembering Fuat Deniz
        19   A Political Murder? Unlikely, Says Swedish Expert
        22   Soft-Pedaling the Murder of Fuat Deniz

Christmas in Denmark

Merry Christmas, y’all.

Steen has been keeping me supplied with seasonal photographs from Denmark. Yesterday he went to a Juleaften (Christmas Eve) service at Tibirke Kirke. Here’s a brief video he took of part of the service:

Steen has this to say about the video:

It’s dark because there were only candle lights in the church — and the organ is too loud because I moved to the back of the church next to the small organ.

We sang six psalms — three times. It took a toll on my voice.

The tune used in the video is clearly the one I’ve always known as “The Crusaders’ Hymn”. The words are in Danish, but I assume the congregation is singing one of the psalms to that tune.

Steen sent photos as well, and through the magic of digital enhancement I’ve brightened up this photo taken inside Tibirke Kirke during the service:

Tibirke Kirke

It’s a tradition at Snaphanen to post Christmas-season photos of Copenhagen. The one below shows night-time skating at the rink in Kongens Nytorv (literally, “The King’s New Square”):

Copenhagen Christmas

Here’s another view of the same square in the daytime:

Kongens Nytorv

This is what Steen had to say about the square:

All those houses round the Kongens Nytorv are buildings from the 1600s. They are all treated as though they were built only last year.

And what about the guards in the tall hats marching by in the foreground?

Those are Den Kongelige Livgarde, the Royal Life Guards. They just happened to be there. They always march from the barracks to the castle, every day at 11:00am.

Notice the length of the shadows in the photo. Assuming that the Royal Life Guards are punctual, it was taken just an hour before high noon. The fact that the sun can be so close to the horizon in the middle of the day is a reminder of how far north Denmark is.

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Dymphna’s Christmas present to me was level 1 of an intensive course in the Danish language put out by Rosetta Stone. It comes on two DVDs, and once installed on my computer, it will teach me Danish with full audiovisual assistance using a microphone/headphone setup.

So, finally, I will learn to talk like my mouth is full of cake batter! But will Steen be able to understand me?

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Did you think I would get through an entire post without any jihad references? Not likely!

Below the jump (because he’s not PG-13) is Ahmed the Dead Terrorist’s Christmas Show:
– – – – – – – –

Once again, the hat tip goes out to Steen for this one.

Go easy on the eggnog. See you tomorrow.

Profeten Önsker Er En Glad Jul!

Courtesy of Lars Vilks: the Prophet wishes you a Merry Christmas!

Profeten ønsker en gladelig jul

We now have his greeting in three languages: the title of this post is in Swedish, and the card itself is in Danish (“Profeten ønsker en glædelig jul”). If any commenter wants to add a version in his own language, it will be most welcome.

And now for some happy holiday news from Sweden. In the comments on last night’s post, Holger reported the following:
– – – – – – – –

Merry Christmas everyone!

Some good news… I live in Sweden and was listening to a radio talk show this morning about religion. Of course there was an idiot woman who called in and spoke about how Islam and Christianity practically are the same thing and both of course based in love.

Nothing, out of the ordinary, right?

HOWEVER, then another caller called in and truly lectured the talk show host about Islam and refuted all the previous arguments. It was fantastic moment to hear him speak uninterrupted for probably ten minutes about why Muhammad and Islam is nothing like Christianity and how the root for Islamic violence is based in the Quran.

I was so happy to have heard this, because:

1)   He wasn’t cut off or censored.
2)   It wasn’t a professor but a private person who had such enormous knowledge about the negatives of Islam and stood up and called in.

Perhaps a GoV-reader?

My dad and I stood with the biggest grins on our faces as the man spoke! Best present this Christmas!

Steen did some research and thinks he found the Swedish Radio program in question. Readers who can understand Swedish can check it out and report back with more details if they feel so inclined.

I have many holiday-related duties today, so posting will be light.

El Profeta le desea una feliz Navidad, y’all!

Explaining America

The typical American hayseedWhen I was in Denmark last spring, I noticed something unusual: Nobody was lecturing me.

One of the things an American gets used to in Europe is being lectured. I lived in England in my youth, during the Vietnam years, and I was lectured frequently by the English about the war. At various times I was also lectured by French, German, Dutch, and Belgian exchange students.

In the intervening years I have been lectured by Europeans visiting the USA; Germans seem especially fond of the pastime. For some reason it comes naturally to most Europeans: “Look, there’s an American! Let’s give him a lecture!” There’s something about an American that invites correction.

But the Danes were an exception. They seemed to have no problem taking an American as he is, without feeling the need to improve him.

What a refreshing change! Just one more thing to like about Denmark.

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I mention all this because one of the tasks this blog has taken on is to bridge the gap between Europe and the United States, in an attempt to find common ground against the Great Jihad. Many Americans have distorted views about Europe, and one of our missions is to shine some light on the situation in various European countries for an American audience.

Ignorance, however, runs in both directions. Many Europeans are ill-informed about the variety to be found in American culture, and also about what all Americans hold in common.

In a way, educating Europe about the USA is more difficult than vice versa, because most Europeans think they already understand America. They know our language, and they see so much of our country on television and in the movies — it gives them the illusion that they understand American culture, when what they really understand is American television culture. The real culture and the TV culture overlap somewhat, but they are by no means the same thing.

I tried to explain the nature of the problem in an email to a European reader:
– – – – – – – –

Your view of America may be somewhat simplistic, just as most American views of Europe are.

American opinion on Europe can be divided up into four broad categories:

1.   Profoundly ignorant and mostly indifferent. I’ll wager that this is the attitude of the vast majority of Americans. Europe is a quaint place that you sometimes visit on a vacation, kind of like Disney World, only colder. The opinion of people in this group could be summed up as: “Europe? Who gives a s**t?” This attitude can sometimes be vaguely antagonistic, especially towards Europeans who condescend to Americans, as many Europeans do.
2.   Relatively educated, anti-European. People in this group say, “Europe is doomed. And they deserve it!” This is the Ralph Peters category. Other well-known Americans are supping from this little cesspool right now.
3.   Educated and effete pro-European. This is the John Kerry model. Americans in this category love the EU. They identify with the European elites. They go skiing in Switzerland and sunbathing on the Riviera. They are Eurabia’s fellow travelers.
4.   Not so effete pro-European. This is the category that many of the Americans showing up in recent GoV comments fall into. They have become well-informed enough to understand the general nature of what’s going on in Europe, and realize that they have a visceral sympathy for people whose traditional culture is being trashed. People who live in the Southwest or consider unlimited Mexican immigration to be a problem are likely to fall in this category. This is also the fastest-growing category.

There’s no hope for Categories #2 and #3.

My mission in this blog is to reach out and find people who can be pulled out of Category #1 and moved into Category #4.

I have been successful in this regard with quite a few of them; they write me emails and tell me that I have opened their eyes to what’s going on in Europe. They provide cause for optimism about America’s eventual response to the Islamization of Europe.

It would help, of course, if some Europeans were less condescending and snotty towards such Americans, but I doubt that’s likely to change; it has been that way for the forty-odd years I’ve been paying attention to such things.

The people in Category #1 (and #4) are the backbone of America, and they are ridiculed at least as much by Americans in Category #3 as they are by Europeans.

But they are my friends and neighbors, and I know who they are. Hundreds of thousands of people like them gave their lives in Europe in two world wars.

Someday, when I get more time, I will try to explain these Category #1 people. It’s a difficult job, because non-Americans (and even snobby elitist Americans) have a media stereotype of such folks that has to be unlearned before the truth can begin to sink in. I had to move to the Virginia countryside and get to know people on their own terms before I could fully understand this kind of American.

I’m convinced that America will be saved by them — they are in the majority, and yet they passively submit to all the crap that’s being shoveled on top of them by the media and their cultural superiors. When they stop being passive, as they inevitably will, everything will change.

They’re not politically correct, and kicking butt is just fine with them, even if the hindquarters being kicked belong to members of a Protected Ethnic Group.

Until I was in my late twenties I was a suburban American, which meant that I had the same ideas about the American heartland that a European might have. My concept of what went on in the Empty Quarter of the USA was based on television and the movies, but The Beverly Hillbillies and Deliverance do not provide a particularly good education about what America is like outside the great metropolitan areas.

So what do you expect to find out there in flyover country?

Hicks. Rubes. Hayseeds. Crackers. Bumpkins.

In a word, rednecks.

These are the average Americans, and you’ll have to take my word for it: you don’t learn the truth about them on television.

I had to move to the countryside to learn what it felt like to be stupid, and ignorant, and uninformed. The people here in rural Virginia were kind and patient with a city boy like me, bearing with my city-slicker ways until I learned the ropes.

I went go to church with them, and raised my child here, and became a Cub Scout leader, and voted in local elections. After twenty or twenty-five years away from the city, I started to get an idea about what the real America is all about. That’s what gives me my optimism about our future.

I’m a computer programmer, so when a computer plays a prominent role in the plot of a movie, I watch it with a critical eye. A movie computer invariably causes me to guffaw, point at the screen, and exclaim, “Look at that! That’s absurd! How stupid can you get?”

I presume that every profession reacts the same way to its media mirror. Lawyers and policeman must laugh at Law and Order. Doctors must laugh at E.R.

And ordinary Americans must find Hollywood rednecks and television country folk to be ludicrous. The media’s treatment of Christianity, for example, is ridiculous. With rare exceptions, the depiction of Christians on television and in the movies is stereotypical, derogatory, and insulting, and has nothing to do with real Christianity as experienced by the average American churchgoer.

Fortunately for everybody, none of this matters to most Americans. We’re used to being lectured and insulted by our betters; we simply take it in stride.

And when the situation turns nasty, as it invariably does — when the smoke rises over Pearl Harbor or the Twin Towers fall — from among all these rubes and rednecks the rough men arise, ready to do violence on our behalf.

Ditching Our Principles

Throwing out the baby with the bath waterA discussion has emerged here in a couple of threads that touches on the sensitive issue of extreme measures as a response to the Great Jihad. People have strong feelings about this issue, and some see a choice between stark extremes: a harsh, no-holds-barred response on the one hand, and submissive capitulation on the other.

Zonka and whiskey_199 exchanged opinions on the issue last night. Whiskey_199 said this:

Zonka — my problem with your comment is that survival not principles are at stake. This is a common confusion among leftists.

SURVIVAL trumps all else.

And Zonka responded:

If survival is all that matters and principles can just be thrown in the dump, then I suggest that we all convert to Islam, and be done with it!

Don’t like that solution? Then what are you fighting for besides your life?

And the real fights haven’t really begun yet, and still a lot of people are calling up the end-game scenarios, where we ditch all principles, ethics, morals, etc. and just go for pure bloodlust… If that is your commitment to freedom and democracy, then it is sad indeed!

I added my own two cents’ worth:

If survival were all that mattered, we’d have surrendered in 1941 (if we’re American) or in 1939 (if we’re British).

If survival were all that mattered, we’d have paid the stamp tax and never said a bad word about King George.

If survival were all that mattered, the plantation owners in Mississippi would have kept their slaves, and the mills in Massachusetts would have continued to receive their cheap cotton.

If survival were all that mattered, no hydrogen bombs would have been built and the Red Army would simply have strolled from the Elbe to the Bay of Biscay.

There are things worth dying for. Human beings have proved that time and time again.

Sometime’s it’s a piece of real estate people die for — Virginia, Schleswig, or Bessarabia.

Sometimes it’s an ideal.

We have our ideals. That what distinguishes us from the enemy.

The big question in this argument is: How many ideals are we willing to let go of in order to win the battle?

If the answer is “all of them”, then there’s no point in fighting in the first place.

This topic deserves further elaboration.

There are two main points mitigating against the “extreme measures” school of thought:
– – – – – – – –

1.   It’s a false dichotomy. Extreme measures and complete surrender are not our only available responses. Even in the most Islamized parts of Europe, other options are still open. It hardly does justice to the situation to describe it as a choice between mass slaughter and saying the shahada.

Given the incendiary nature of the topic, taking a deep breath, stepping back, and looking at the other options would seem the best approach.

2.   It doesn’t apply to our current situation. The basic premise of our war-gaming effort is that we approach the Counterjihad as ordinary citizens, without the capability of controlling or influencing government policy to any significant degree.

Our strategic thinking limits us to the weapons at hand, and the moves that are open to us in the near future. Even in the United States, where we are blessed with the Second Amendment, and even in a place like Dearborn, it’s not a realistic option to walk into a Middle Eastern neighborhood and start shooting Muslims. Even if you could justify it morally — which I can’t — it’s not an option that is realistically open to us.

So why discuss it? Maybe it provides an adrenalin rush to discuss what’s happening as an actual battlefield scenario, but I don’t see that it serves any useful function.

The best strategy is to keep a cool head, be patient, and evaluate our choices both in terms of what is doable and what will have the best effect.

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There are additional reasons for steering the conversation away from such incendiary topics.

We keep this blog at the sufferance of Blogger, which is now a subsidiary of Google. The latter, in its infinite wisdom, has set up mechanisms through which alert readers can report violent, obscene, and hateful blogs, which Google may then choose to close down.

I know that we have lurkers here who are less than sympathetic to our cause, and who would relish the chance to do us harm. These are the people who maliciously subscribe me to lefty mailing lists and report Gates of Vienna to WebSense as a “social networking” site. I’m sure the same folks wouldn’t hesitate to turn us in to Blogger for violating our terms of agreement.

I value the free flow of ideas in the comments as much as you do. But I don’t know exactly what the limits are, and I don’t want to find out by having our blog pulled out from under us.

Please exercise discretion, tact, and indirection. If you must broach sensitive topics, consider carefully what you’re saying and follow the guidelines I have outlined previously. Judicious and temperate phrasing will do wonders to facilitate a broad-ranging discussion.

Zonka’s got the right idea.

Christmas Terror Alert in Belgium

After the Madrid bombing in March 2004, it was reported that the Islamic terrorists who carried out the attack did the planning for it in Belgium.

When I was in Brussels in October, several Belgians told me that it was common knowledge that the Belgian authorities had made a tacit agreement with the terrorists: they could operate with impunity within the country so long as no attacks occurred on Belgian soil.

All this came to mind when I read the following article last night on News24. Has one of the two parties reneged on the deal?

Belgian security authorities believe that a terrorist attack on the country is possible over Christmas after 14 suspected extremists detained earlier in the week were released, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.


The 14 suspected Islamic extremists were released overnight after being held on suspicion of planning to break a former footballer, Nizar Trabelsi, out of the prison to which he was condemned for 10 years for planning an attack on a Belgian military base in 2001.

A spokesperson for the public prosecutor’s office said that searches of the suspects’ homes had uncovered documents but no weapons or explosives.

So it appears that releasing the fourteen terror suspects was not enough to call off the dogs of war.

Here’s more from Euro News:
– – – – – – – –

Security measures similar to those for a G8 meeting discouraged Christmas shoppers in Belgium today, as police released 14 terror suspects for lack of evidence.

The authorities maintain the group were planning to break a convicted fundamentalist terrorist out of jail, but officers have so far failed to find any weapons or explosives despite numerous raids.

Belgium’s Director of Public Order Management, Alain Lefevre, said the investigation was ongoing.

“We need to put things in perspective. We should not create panic, but the people have not been released because there are no grounds. It’s judicial procedure. We have not closed the case.”

The caretaker Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt told parliament yesterday that there was a real risk of a terrorist attack during the festive season.

But the imprisoned terrorist himself says the deal’s still on:

The jailed al Qaeda suspect at the centre of a security scare in Belgium has insisted he had no plans to launch an attack on the country, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

La Derniere Heure said it received a letter from Tunisian suspect Nizar Trabelsi accusing the authorities who raised a security alarm on Friday of “installing panic in the hearts of thousands for nothing”.

“I would like to know why I should be preparing an attack on your territory,” the newspaper quoted Trabelsi as saying in a letter it said had been handed to its offices by his partner.

“Neither Trabelsi, nor anyone has plans to do anything,” added Trabelsi, held in a prison just south of Brussels after his arrest in September 2001, when he told a radio station he was plotting attacks on U.S. targets in Belgium.

Here’s more from PR-inside:

“Not before, not today, nor tomorrow will the Belgian state be a target for Muslims,” Nizar Trabelsi wrote in the letter published by the daily La Derniere Heure.

So if we believe him, the nabobs in Brussels can breathe easy again.

And who’s to blame for this little misunderstanding? Three guesses:

In his letter, Trabelsi accused the United States of passing on false information that led to the detentions on Friday and blamed “paranoid” Belgian authorities of spreading panic ahead of Christmas.

I should have known the Great Satan was behind the whole thing.

Hat tip: JMcC.

War-Gaming in Cyberspace

Chess in Japan

In a post last week I wrote about game theory, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and evolutionarily stable strategies as they apply to the struggle against Islamic expansionism. Readers’ remarks in the comment thread that followed were varied and informative.

In two general areas, however, the commenters veered away from my original intentions:

1.   Focusing on content, rather than process. The exact nature of the “clashing civilizations” is an issue, but this topic has been (and will be) covered adequately in other posts. My intention was to look at the nature of the interactions between cultures, to gain a meta-view of the conflict as an unfolding information war.
2.   Forgetting who “we” are. When making policy prescriptions such as “we should stop immigration from Islamic countries” or “we should insist that immigrants assimilate”, it’s important to remember that “we” can’t do that. Only our governments can do that, and it has become quite obvious in recent years that our governments have no intention of doing any such thing, no matter which political party happens to be in power.

We can lament this situation, but if this discussion is to be anything more than a bitch session, it would be more productive to focus on what “we” really can do.

So, once again, I’d like to look at the information war as a process, and on what we — that is, ordinary people whose will is being thwarted by our elected leaders — can actually do.

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There are many analogies we can use to help us understand the nature of the information war we’re in. Game theory, network analysis, set topologies, systems analysis — a variety of theoretical disciplines could be used to further our understanding.

And every single one of them would lead us inexorably to the same conclusion: we’re losing the information war, and losing it badly.

It’s been twenty-eight years since the Iranian hostage crisis, fourteen years since the first WTC bombing, and six years since 9-11, and we’re only just beginning to get a handle on the nature of the information war. And when I say “we”, I mean “you and I”, not our elected officials or their appointed bureaucrats — I have no idea whether they have a clue about this war or not.

I keep coming back to this topic for two reasons.

The first reason is that the information war is the only part of the Counterjihad in which I can play any role. Military affairs, modern weaponry, intelligence operations, etc., are topics of great interest to me, but ones in which I have no expertise. My age and experience can afford me only the role of armchair warrior.

Fortunately, the pure information war — the creation and dissemination of news, propaganda, and disinformation — is something that anybody with a general education and a good internet connection can do.

The second reason is that our military supremacy avails us nothing during the current conflict. Iran is about to obtain nuclear weapons, and in all likelihood will use them to hasten the onset of the eschaton, and yet none of our hardware and weapons and soldiers and stealth aircraft can do anything about it.

We are losing this war because our elected leaders suffer from a failure of political will. The absence of political will can be attributed in part to a lack of charismatic leadership — there is no Winston Churchill on today’s horizon — but this is not the entire explanation.
– – – – – – – –
Political will trickles up to our leaders from the electorate, from the people themselves. Since popular opinion seems to favor strong action against the Islamization of our nations, one can only assume that there is a flaw in the process by which the will of the people informs our current and potential leaders.

Those who wield power in our name do not discover the will of the electorate through direct neural connections. The process must be mediated, and the nature of such mediation has changed over the last century. Before the era of instantaneous mass communication, popular sentiment had to find its way from the ordinary citizen through local councils, professional organizations, business leaders, and all the other components of civil society, before it reached the decision-makers. This is the way the backroom deals characterized as “sausage-making” by Bismarck came into being.

The reflection of the popular will in the old system was imperfect at best, but it could hardly have been worse than the monstrosity that operates nowadays. All of the venerable pathways from the commons to the elite have fallen out of use, and have been replaced by the mass media and opinion polls. The entire ecology of civil society is irrelevant to the media-driven political behemoth of the 21st century.

We can lament the passing of the old ways, but they are not coming back, and it’s time that we learned to play the game by the new rules.

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The Ranting ManTwenty years ago I would not have had the option to participate in the information war. I would have had to fulminate from the sidelines, driving up my blood pressure by making futile gestures like writing letters to the editor and standing across the street from the White House with a protest sign.

But the advent of the internet has changed all that, and now anyone who cares to be an information warrior can enlist in the fight. Each of us has only a microscopic part to play, but all those parts aggregate into something significant.

Our major disadvantage is that we keyboard warriors are only just beginning to look at what we can do, much less settle on a coherent strategy. In contrast, the enemy has been devoting considerable time and intelligence to gaming our mass communication systems for at least the last fifteen years. While we waste our time in arguments and factional infighting, Islamic zealots remain in remarkable concordance — even across the Sunni-Shiite divide — and play our media like a fiddle.

We’ll have to run hard to catch up, and we need to overcome our natural fractiousness and learn to work together to have any hope of beating Islam at the information game.

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Boys playing chessMilitary planners war-game different scenarios when they prepare for the various contingencies that a conventional conflict might entail. I propose to do the same for the information war.

Over the next few months I’ll be doing a series of posts on the topic, and invite readers to participate via comments or email. I anticipate that the discussion that results from each post will help precipitate the next one — that is, the outcome of each move in the war-game will dictate the layout of the board for the next one.

The strategic goal of our game will be to effect political change so that our culture will actually be defended by its leadership class — what a radical thought! — but that goal is a long way away. For the time being we cannot hope to have a significant political effect, because the existing system is massively entrenched and will defend itself viciously at our expense even as the Sultan’s sappers mine the walls and batter down the gates of Vienna.

All our action will begin locally. None of us will have an effect on the grand sweep of events.

We might begin by protesting the Islamization of the curriculum in our children’s schools, or by attending public meetings to object vigorously to the separation of the sexes in municipal swimming pools.

We can lobby in favor of local ordinances prohibiting the wearing of the burqa on public transportation.

We can join a citizen’s volunteer group that monitors our local section of the border against the incursion of illegal immigrants.

We can also consider counter-intelligence operations. The Islamists use our media with impressive effectiveness; is it possible that we could use theirs? The planting of disinformation on Al Jazeera would be no small feat, and is something that the dedicated long-term information warrior would do well to consider.

Collectively we have massive advantages, much more than the enemy does. Language skills, technical and historical knowledge, a broad education — these are resources we amateurs have barely begun to tap.

But I ask you once again to obey the single ground rule of this war-gaming:

All suggestions for information-war strategy must assume that our existing political systems will be of no help to us whatsoever.

This rules out foreign policy prescriptions, military strategy, immigration policy, etc. Those are not within our arsenal of weapons, and we can’t war-game with them.

All we have at our disposal are a few thousand people like you and me scattered throughout the West. Our only armaments are computers, internet connections, telephones, video cameras, and shoe leather. We have nothing else to fight with.

Let the games begin.

Tony Blair’s Conversion

This time it’s not a prison convert, though Tony Blair may have felt that way about his time in office towards the end.

Mr. Blair has converted to Roman Catholicism. Given his station in life, he was welcomed into the Church by the head of the Catholic Church in England, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.

Blair’s explains his previous silence on the subject this way:

The former prime minister, who during his time in government was heavily involved in seeking a settlement to the conflict between Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland, said earlier this year he avoided talking about religion while in office because he didn’t want to be labeled “a nutter,” the BBC said.

That’s the sad slide our culture has taken: anyone who professes their Christian faith is considered “a nutter.” Actually, St. Paul encountered the same problem and decided that he’d rather be a “fool for Christ” than a sage. But this move won’t win Blair any friends, though I doubt he’s worried about that.

The UK’s Channel Four News said there had long been speculation about Blair’s possible conversion once he left office.

The Guardian published an opinion piece on Mr. Blair’s move. At least I hope they consider it an editorial since you couldn’t term this article as straightforward news, especially given the headline — “After 30 years as a closet Catholic, Blair finally puts faith before politics”. Here’s a snip:
– – – – – – – –

So why has it taken so long? Almost certainly because of Mr Blair’s sensitivity about the place of Catholicism in British public — and particularly its constitutional — life. The only positions specifically barred to Catholics are marriage to the sovereign or heir to the throne, or becoming sovereign themselves, a legacy of the Act of Settlement that followed the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the deposition of the last Catholic monarch, James II; there has never been a Catholic prime minister.


He has kept his personal religious views largely out of his political life. Ostentatious religiosity does not go down well in Britain. He dropped his wish to end a prime ministerial broadcast on the eve of the Iraq invasion with the words: “God bless” on the advice of Alastair Campbell, who famously told him “We don’t do God”.

Lots of closet Christians don’t “do God.” Who wants to be called a nutter, for heaven’s sake?