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The deep Crisis of the West
Serious suspicions of corruption
21.08.2016 (updated later the same day). Clinton Cash, is a feature documentary based on the Peter Schweizer book that the New York Times hailed as “The most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle.” Clinton Cash investigates how Bill and Hillary Clinton went from being “dead broke” after leaving the White House to amassing a net worth of over $150 million, with over $2 billion in donations to their foundation. This wealth was accumulated during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as US Secretary of State through lucrative speaking fees and contracts paid for by foreign companies and Clinton Foundation donors. See the documentary film at YouTube.
See also: The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet. The sordid story of the Trump Institute is a sequel to the damaging tale of Trump University.
Has it forgotten its Christian duty?
07.08.2016. As priest is slaughtered by ISIS at the altar, the West must wake up. Thus writes Fr. George Rutler in his article A Christian Duty in the Face of Terror:
After another devastating ISIS attack in France, this time against a priest in his 80s while he was saying Mass, the answer isn’t just, “Do nothing.” As racism distorts race and sexism corrupts sex — so does pacifism affront peace.
Turning the other cheek is the counsel Christ gave in the instance of an individual when morally insulted: Humility conquers pride. It has nothing to do with self-defense.
The Catholic Church has always maintained that the defiance of an evil force is not only a right but an obligation. Its Catechism (cf. #2265) cites St. Thomas Aquinas: “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State.”
A father is culpable if he does not protect his family. A bishop has the same duty as a spiritual father of his sons and daughters in the church, just as the civil state has as its first responsibility the maintenance of the “tranquility of order” through self-defense.
Christ warned the apostles, as shepherds, to beware of wolves. This requires both the "shrewdness of serpents and the innocence of doves." To shrink from the moral duty to protect peace by not using force when needed is to be innocent as a serpent and shrewd as a dove.
That is not innocence — it is naiveté.
The shortcut to handling the crisis is to deny that it exists.
On the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, there were over 60 speeches, and yet not one of them mentioned ISIS.
Vice has destroyed countless individual souls, but in the decline of civilizations, weakness has done more harm than vice. "Peace for our time" is as empty now as it was when Chamberlain went to Munich and honor was bartered in Vichy.
Hilaire Belloc, who knew Normandy and all of Europe well, said in 1929: "We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future. Perhaps, if we lose our faith, it will rise. For after this subjugation of the Islamic culture by the nominally Christian had already been achieved, the political conquerors of that culture began to notice two disquieting features about it. The first was that its spiritual foundation proved immovable; the second, that its area of occupation did not recede, but on the contrary slowly expanded."
The priest in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvrary in Normandy, France, was not the first to die at the altar — and he will not be the last.
In his old age, the priest embodied a civilization that has been betrayed by a generation whose hymn was John Lennon's "Imagine" — that there was neither heaven nor hell but "above us only sky" and "all the people living for today." When reality intrudes, they can only leave teddy bears and balloons at the site of a carnage they call "inexplicable."
Read the entire article at LifeZette. Hat tip Document.no.
Fr. George William Rutler is a Catholic priest, author of several books, and the pastor of the Church of St. Michael in Manhattan.
Taking France one step closer to civil war
18.07.2016. "We are on the verge of a civil war." That quote did not come from a fanatic or a lunatic. No, it came from head of France's homeland security, the DGSI (Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure), Patrick Calvar. He has, in fact, spoken of the risk of a civil war many times. On July 12th, he warned a commission of members of parliament, in charge of a survey about the terrorist attacks of 2015, about it. Thus writes Yves Mamou in his article France: The Coming Civil War:
In May 2016, he delivered almost the same message to another commission of members of parliament, this time in charge of national defense. "Europe," he said, "is in danger. Extremism is on the rise everywhere, and we are now turning our attention to some far-right movements who are preparing a confrontation".
What kind of confrontation? "Intercommunity confrontations," he said -- polite for "a war against Muslims." "One or two more terrorist attacks," he added, "and we may well see a civil war."
In February 2016, in front of a senate commission in charge of intelligence information, he said again: " We are looking now at far-right extremists who are just waiting for more terrorist attacks to engage in violent confrontation".
No one knows if the truck terrorist, who plowed into the July 14th Bastille Day crowd in Nice and killed more than 80 people, will be the trigger for a French civil war, but it might help to look at what creates the risk of one in France and other countries, such as Germany or Sweden.
The main reason is the failure of the state.
1. France is at War but the Enemy is Never Named.
France is the main target of repeated Islamist attacks; [...]
After each of these tragic episodes President François Hollande refused to name the enemy, refused to name Islamism -- and especially refused to name French Islamists -- as the enemy of French citizens.
As Mathieu Bock-Côté, a sociologist in France and Canada, says in Le Figaro:
"Western elites, with a suicidal obstinacy, oppose naming the enemy. Confronted by attacks in Brussels or Paris, they prefer to imagine a philosophical fight between democracy and terrorism, between an open society and fanaticism, between civilization and barbarism".
2. The Civil War Has Already Begun and Nobody Wants to Name It.
The civil war began sixteen years ago, with the second Intifada. When Palestinians executed suicide attacks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, French Muslims began to terrorize Jews living peacefully in France. For sixteen years, Jews -- in France -- were slaughtered, attacked, tortured and stabbed by French Muslim citizens, supposedly to avenge Palestinian people in the West Bank.
When a group of French citizens who are Muslims declares war on another group of French citizens who are Jews, what do you call it? For the French establishment, it is not a civil war, just a regrettable misunderstanding between two "ethnic" communities.
3. The French Establishment Considers the Enemy the Poor, the Old and the Disappointed
In France, the global elites made a choice. They decided that the "bad" voters in France were unreasonable people too stupid, too racist to see the beauties of a society open to people who often do not want to assimilate, who want you to assimilate to them, and who threaten to kill you if you do not.
The global elites made another choice: they took the side against their own old and poor because those people did not want to vote for them any longer. The global elites also chose not to fight Islamism, because Muslims vote globally for the global elite. Muslims in Europe also offer a big "carrot" to the global elite: they vote collectively.
In France, 93% of Muslims voted for the current president, François Hollande, in 2012. In Sweden, the Social Democrats reported that 75% of Swedish Muslims voted for them in the general election of 2006; and studies show that the "red-green" bloc gets 80-90% of the Muslim vote.
4. Is the Civil War Inevitable? Yes!
If the establishment does not want to see that civil war was already declared by extremist Muslims first -- if they do not want to see that the enemy is not the Front National in France, the AfD in Germany, or the Sweden Democrats -- but Islamism in France, in Belgium, in Great Britain, in Sweden -- then a civil war will happen.
France, like Germany and Sweden, has a military and police strong enough to fight against an internal Islamist enemy. But first, they have to name it and take measures against it. If they do not -- if they leave their native citizens in despair, with no other means than to arm themselves and retaliate -- yes, civil war is inevitable.
Read the entire article at Gatestone Institute. Hat tip Document.no.
Yves Mamou, based in France, worked for two decades as a journalist for Le Monde.
«On the verge of a civil war»
13.07.2016. France is 'on the verge of a civil war' which could be sparked by a mass sexual assault on women by migrants, intelligence chief warns, according to The Daily Mail:
- France is on the verge of 'civil war', the country's head of intelligence says.
- Patrick Calvar said mass sexual assault of women by migrants may start it.
- Believes situation so tense another terror attack could also spark backlash.
- More than 1,000 women sexually abused in Germany on New Year's Eve.
Growing tensions between the ‘extreme Right and the Muslim world’ have pushed France to the ‘verge of a civil war’, the country’s most senior security chief has warned.
Patrick Calvar, head of the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) – France’s equivalent of MI5 – made his claim in the wake of last year’s terrorist attacks on Paris.
A total of 147 people were murdered by terrorists in the capital during atrocities in January and November.
Many of those responsible were French passport holders with North African backgrounds, leading to far-Right politicians calling for a massive clampdown on immigration.
But Mr Calvar, 60, warned there is evidence that radical Right-wing French groups have been massing arms in preparation for their own attacks on mosques and synagogues.
‘I think we will win against terrorism,’ Mr Calvar said, but predicted the ‘confrontation between the extreme Right and the Muslim world’, adding: ‘We’re on the verge of a civil war. I think this confrontation is going to happen. One or two more attacks and it will take place. It is up to us to anticipate and stop all those groups who would trigger clashes.’
The closed inquiry was held on May 24, but Mr Calvar’s dramatic comments were leaked to French media yesterday. He said: ‘Where is the spark going to come from that will light the powder, transforming France into an uncontrollable country where groups take up arms and hand out their own justice? Who sees a crumbling country where violence and vengeance alternates between two camps, where the spiral of attacks does not stop.
‘Nothing is excluded in a country which is already as eruptive as France today.’
Continue reading in The Daily Mail.
A symptom of the failure of Western elites
09.07.2016. The decision by U.K. voters to leave the EU is such a glaring repudiation of the wisdom and relevance of elite political and media institutions that — for once — their failures have become a prominent part of the storyline. Media reaction to the Brexit vote falls into two general categories: (1) earnest, candid attempts to understand what motivated voters to make this choice, even if that means indicting their own establishment circles, and (2) petulant, self-serving, simple-minded attacks on disobedient pro-Leave voters for being primitive, xenophobic bigots (and stupid to boot), all to evade any reckoning with their own responsibility. Virtually every reaction that falls into the former category emphasizes the profound failures of Western establishment factions; these institutions have spawned pervasive misery and inequality, only to spew condescending scorn at their victims when they object. Thus writes Glenn Greenwald in his article Brexit Is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions (links in original):
The Los Angeles Times’s Vincent Bevins, in an outstanding and concise analysis, wrote that “both Brexit and Trumpism are the very, very wrong answers to legitimate questions that urban elites have refused to ask for 30 years”; in particular, “since the 1980s the elites in rich countries have overplayed their hand, taking all the gains for themselves and just covering their ears when anyone else talks, and now they are watching in horror as voters revolt.” The British journalist Tom Ewing, in a comprehensive Brexit explanation, said the same dynamic driving the U.K. vote prevails in Europe and North America as well: “the arrogance of neoliberal elites in constructing a politics designed to sideline and work around democracy while leaving democracy formally intact.”
In an interview with the New Statesman, the political philosopher Michael Sandel also said that the dynamics driving the pro-Brexit sentiment were now dominant throughout the West generally: “A large constituency of working-class voters feel that not only has the economy left them behind, but so has the culture, that the sources of their dignity, the dignity of labor, have been eroded and mocked by developments with globalization, the rise of finance, the attention that is lavished by parties across the political spectrum on economic and financial elites, the technocratic emphasis of the established political parties.” After the market-venerating radicalism of Reagan and Thatcher, he said, “the center left” — Blair and Clinton and various European parties — “managed to regain political office but failed to reimagine the mission and purpose of social democracy, which became empty and obsolete.”
Three Guardian writers sounded similar themes about elite media ignorance stemming from homogeneity and detachment from the citizenry. John Harris quoted a Manchester voter as explaining, “If you’ve got money, you vote in. If you haven’t got money, you vote out.” Harris added: “Most of the media … failed to see this coming. … The alienation of the people charged with documenting the national mood from the people who actually define it is one of the ruptures that has led to this moment.” Gary Younge similarly denounced “a section of the London-based commentariat [that] anthropologized the British working class as though they were a lesser evolved breed from distant parts, all too often portraying them as bigots who did not know what was good for them.” Ian Jack’s article was headlined “In this Brexit vote, the poor turned on an elite who ignored them,” and he described how “gradually the sight of empty towns and shuttered shops became normalized or forgotten.”
Though there were some exceptions, establishment political and media elites in the U.K. were vehemently united against Brexit, but their decreed wisdom was ignored, even scorned. That has happened time and again. As their fundamental failures become more evident to all, these elites have lost credibility, influence, and the ability to dictate outcomes.
Just last year in the U.K., Labour members chose someone to lead Tony Blair’s party — the authentically left-wing Jeremy Corbyn — who could not have been more intensely despised and patronized by almost every leading light of the British media and political class. In the U.S., the joyful rejection by Trump voters of the collective wisdom of the conservative establishment evidenced the same contempt for elite consensus. The enthusiastic and sustained rallying, especially by young voters, against beloved-by-the-establishment Hillary Clinton in favor of a 74-year-old socialist taken seriously by almost no D.C. elites reflected the same dynamic. Elite denunciations of the right-wing parties of Europe fall on deaf ears. Elites can’t stop, or even affect, any of these movements because they are, at bottom, revolts against their wisdom, authority, and virtue.
In sum, the West’s establishment credibility is dying, and its influence is precipitously eroding — all deservedly so. The frenetic pace of online media makes even the most recent events feel distant, like ancient history. That, in turn, makes it easy to lose sight of how many catastrophic and devastating failures Western elites have produced in a remarkably short period of time.
But there is something deeper and more interesting driving the media reaction here. Establishment journalistic outlets are not outsiders. They’re the opposite: They are fully integrated into elite institutions, are tools of those institutions, and thus identify fully with them. Of course they do not share, and cannot understand, anti-establishment sentiments: They are the targets of this establishment-hating revolt as much as anyone else. These journalists’ reaction to this anti-establishment backlash is a form of self-defense. As NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen put it last night, “Journalists today report on hostility to the political class, as if they had nothing to do with it,” but they are a key part of that political class and, for that reason, “if the population — or part of it — is in revolt against the political class, this is a problem for journalism.”
There are many factors explaining why establishment journalists now have almost no ability to stem the tide of anti-establishment rage, even when it’s irrational and driven by ignoble impulses. Part of it is that the internet and social media have rendered them irrelevant, unnecessary to disseminate ideas. Part of it is that they have nothing to say to people who are suffering and angry — due to their distance from them — other than to scorn them as hateful losers. Part of it is that journalists — like anyone else — tend to react with bitterness and rage, not self-assessment, as they lose influence and stature.
But a major factor is that many people recognize that establishment journalists are an integral part of the very institutions and corrupted elite circles that are authors of their plight. Rather than mediating or informing these political conflicts, journalists are agents of the forces that are oppressing people. And when journalists react to their anger and suffering by telling them that it’s invalid and merely the byproduct of their stupidity and primitive resentments, that only reinforces the perception that journalists are their enemy, thus rendering journalistic opinion increasingly irrelevant.
Brexit — despite all the harm it is likely to cause and all the malicious politicians it will empower — could have been a positive development. But that would require that elites (and their media outlets) react to the shock of this repudiation by spending some time reflecting on their own flaws, analyzing what they have done to contribute to such mass outrage and deprivation, in order to engage in course correction. Exactly the same potential opportunity was created by the Iraq debacle, the 2008 financial crisis, the rise of Trumpism and other anti-establishment movements: This is all compelling evidence that things have gone very wrong with those who wield the greatest power, that self-critique in elite circles is more vital than anything.
But, as usual, that’s exactly what they most refuse to do. Instead of acknowledging and addressing the fundamental flaws within themselves, they are devoting their energies to demonizing the victims of their corruption, all in order to delegitimize those grievances and thus relieve themselves of responsibility to meaningfully address them. That reaction only serves to bolster, if not vindicate, the animating perceptions that these elite institutions are hopelessly self-interested, toxic, and destructive and thus cannot be reformed but rather must be destroyed. That, in turn, only ensures there will be many more Brexits, and Trumps, in our collective future.
29.06.2016. There’s a delicious irony to Remainers’ branding of Leave voters as confused individuals who have simply made a desperate howling noise, whose anti-EU vote was a ‘howl of anger’ (Tim Farron) or a ‘howl of frustration’ (JK Rowling). Which is that if anyone’s been howling in recent days, it’s them, the top dogs of the Remain campaign. They are howling against the demos; raging against the people; fuming about a system that allows even that portly bloke at the end of your street who never darkened the door of a university to have a say on important political matters. That system we call democracy. Thus writes Brendan O`Neill in his article The howl against democracy (links in original):
In all the years I’ve been writing about political stuff, I cannot remember a time when anti-democratic sentiment has been as strong as it is right now. No sooner had an awe-inspiring 17.5m people rebelled against the advice of virtually every wing of the establishment and said screw-you to the EU than politicos were calling into question the legitimacy of their democratic cry. Apparently the people were ill-informed, manipulated, in thrall to populist demagoguery, and the thing they want, this unravelling of the EU, is simply too mad and disruptive a course of action to contemplate. So let’s overturn the wishes of this dumb demos.
So it is that David Lammy has howled against the ‘madness’ of the vote. We can ‘bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in Parliament’, he said. That nightmare he’s talking about is the people having their say, the throng making a choice. The UN Special Representative for International Migration, Peter Sutherland, has also openly called for the crushing of the people’s will. British voters were hoodwinked by a ‘distortion of facts’, he says — because we’re that stupid — and ‘somehow this result must be overturned’. UN officials condemn African or Asian dictators who ride roughshod over the will of their peoples, yet seek to foment the same in Britain.
The howl against democracy is driven by a belief that something precious — the EU — is being undermined by an idiot public. But the fury with the demos, the elitist rage against our vote, threatens to destroy something infinitely more precious: the very idea of democracy. If successful, it would weaken democratic politics for a generation; it would tell ordinary people that politics isn’t for them; it would confirm what people already suspect — that they are viewed as a daft, xenophobic blob who don’t know what is in their own best interests. The consequences of such an elitist thwarting of a democratic vote would make the unravelling of the EU look like a tea party in comparison.
Which is why we must defend the result, tooth and nail. The people have spoken and it is tyranny to silence them. The fight on our hands now is no longer between Leave and Remain; that’s done. It’s a far greater fight, a more historic one, one that will shape Britain for decades: a fight between those of us who believe in democracy and those who don’t; between those of us who trust the people and those who think the people are mentally and morally ill-equipped to make big political decisions.
Read the entire article in The Spectator. Hat tip rights.no. See also O`Neill's editorial Why today is a great day for democracy.
Grounds for guarded optimism
24.06.2016. The referendum in the UK makes it clear that the British people wants to leave the EU. Let's hope the elites in the UK and Brussels will respect the people's choice. Let's hope this will dampen the arrogance of power and lack of respect for ordinary people so common among the European elites. Let's hope this is the beginning of a process that will result in a major overhaul of the EU project (alternatively, if such an overhaul turns out not to be viable, a liquidation of the whole thing).
Binding cooperation between sovereign nation states: Yes!
Supranational government and abandonment of nation states and true democracy: No!
Let the standard response begin…
28.03.2016. Well at least we all know the form by now. This morning Islamist suicide-bombers struck one of the few European capitals they haven’t previously hit in a mass-casualty terrorist attack. The standard response now goes as follows. First the body parts of innocent people are flung across airport check-ins or underground trains. Briefly there is some shock. On social media the sentimentalists await the arrival of this atrocity’s cutesy hashtag or motif and hope it will tide them over until the piano man arrives at the scene of the attack to sing ‘Imagine there’s no countries’. Meantime someone will hopefully have said something which a lot of people can condemn as ‘inappropriate’. Thus begins Douglas Murray his analysis in The Spectator of the aftermath of last week's terror in Brussels.
For a Norwegian translation of Murray's article, see Document.no (hat tip).
«Not the far right – [but] the smug left»
28.03.2016. So let's just get this straight. A peace march in Belgium was cancelled over fears ISIS could use it to launch another attack on Brussels. Belgium security forces decided a March Against Fear, however topical, would be ill-advised because the fear is grounded in truth, and marching isn't going to make it go away. This is a bit like the people who say they are standing up to terror by continuing to use the underground. They are not actually standing up to anything. There is no real show of defiance. Everyone is scared to death. In truth, they are gambling on the old adage lightening never strikes the same spot twice. Or for a more modern twist, suicide bombers never target the same subway twice in a week. But if you live in jihadi central, that's a pretty risky bet to place. Thus begins Katie Hopkins her opinion piece in The Daily Mail: The real threat is not the far right – it’s the smug left! When did it become acceptable to water cannon people standing up for their country while turning a blind eye to the destruction of Europe?.
Will it be taken over by Islamic fundamentalists?
28.03.2016. A hate fanatic has boasted that Muslims will one day conquer Britain — by having more babies. Speaking at a rally marking 9/11, Anjem Choudary bragged that a birth explosion would let followers of Islam take control of the country. Undercover Sun investigators secretly recorded Choudary telling a young and impressionable audience that they would eventually rule under strict Sharia law. And our team listened in chilled silence as he predicted: “Islam is superior and will never be surpassed. The flag of Islam will rise over Downing Street.” See video recording from the meeting, and continue reading in The Sun.
Sowing seeds of radicalism in Europe
25.03.2016. There are many reasons why Belgium has become a hotbed of radical Islamism. Some of the answers may lie in the implanting of Saudi Salafist preachers in the country from the 1960s. Thus reports The Independent in Brussels attacks: How Saudi Arabia's influence and a deal to get oil contracts sowed seeds of radicalism in Belgium.
«The final challenge is for us to completely take over the West»
05.03.2016. Hi, my name is Sukant Chandan. I'm 32 years old. I was born in Chandigarh in North India, in Punjab, in April 1978. I always say, teasingly to my parents, they brought me here, in the winter of 1981 without my consent, at the age of three and a half. Thus begins London-based political analyst and filmmaker Sukant Chandan his Monthly Review article Taking Over the West (from 2011, italics in original):
Really I think, for young people and not so young people who have come from other parts of the world and live here, who have traveled and made this their home, the challenge for us is to respect ourselves and who we are. It remains a question whether non-white people can be accepted as who they are in the West. Right now there's a big controversy in the West: the Western governments want people like us to assimilate and integrate, we must know the language, we mustn't support the freedom struggles of our people in Palestine or Iraq or Afghanistan or other places.
We have won, historically, the right to come here, in the 50s and the 60s and the 70s, when the West wanted, literally, us to do their dirty work here and they wanted us out. But we fought for our right to stay here, against the government and against the Far Right and racist organizations and movements. So, we've won our right to stay here. We're here to stay, permanently. That right has been won. Now, I think, the final challenge is for us to completely take over the West. . . .
By 2040-2045, the United States will become a majority non-white country. The majority ethnic group will be Hispanics. In Europe, by 2050, in England, ethnic minorities will comprise about 20% of the population. That's still a small amount -- currently we're only 8% -- but you have to see we are strategically positioned: we are strategically positioned in the metropolitan areas of the West, which are the most important areas. Since the late 40s and 50s, non-white people, especially Black people from the Caribbean, have had a major political and cultural impact in this country [...] We've really transformed the West, and we're continuing to transform the West. And the West is very nervous, because the West is losing its control of the world, and now I think the West is thinking, "Well, we've lost control of the world, we don't wanna lose control of our own countries," which is actually occurring at the moment as well.
Read the entire article in Monthly Review.
See also: We'll come by the Hundreds of Millions and turn Europe Black (short video from 2016). RT Commentator Sukant Chandan called for "all Black and Asian people" to flock to Europe "by the hundreds of Millions" to turn "Europe black" for the past "crimes" of colonialism and alleged exploitation of Muslim nations on an Interview called "Human Tidal Waves" on RT Crosstalk.
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