The Only Good Muslim…

It’s become an article of faith among some conservatives that Islam is, always and forever, an aggressive, threatening, dangerous faith.

And it’s true that there are aspects of Islam that are giving large swathes of the world headaches (I’m a master of understatement) right about now.

Of course, those critics ignore the broad swathes of the planet where Muslims coexist just fine with the rest of the world.  India, Indonesia, Bosnia, Senegal are all places where Islam is not synonymous with unrest, extremism and anger.

And now, Turkey – a majority Muslim country which many in the west had seen as sliding into the Wahhabi fold in recent years – has staved off the Islamists under Recep Erdogan, dishing out serious electoral losses to his Islamist party and forcing him to moderate is once-concerning rhetoric.

Austin Bay:

It appears Turkey’s experienced voters, the beneficiaries of Ataturk’s vision, gave a would-be strongman a lesson.

Erdogan began as a reformer pursuing free market economic reforms and battling corruption. For a decade (roughly 2003-13), Turkey’s economy grew. He was popular. However, he also used his single-party majority to collect and solidify power for himself and his close supporters.

At times, the reform mask fell, revealing a bully with a penchant for jailing critical journalists and using highly questionable prosecutorial tactics to jail respected senior army officers on vague charges of terrorism.

Erdogan was on the verge of becoming Turkey’s biggest political problem, which is why his loss of majority control has enormous implications.

He sought a two-thirds AKP parliamentary majority. He then could have amended the constitution and imposed a powerful presidency on the political system. Opposition parties feared Erdogan’s goal was imposing by insidious osmosis — “rule by the big man’s whim” — for who would have become this empowered super-president bossing a less democratic and ever-more majoritarian government? Why, the fellow whom critics refer to as Sultan Recep. Prior to the June 7 election, the AKP had 327 seats in Parliament. Based on the most recent count, it now holds 258, far short of two-thirds. Single-party government control in Turkey requires 276 seats.

Erdogan had his positive aspects; he was an economic conservative, by European standards, and Turkey’s economy showed it.

But his drive toward being an Islamist strongman was justly concerning, as was any traction he gained among Turkish voters…

…which, it seems, may have turned.

The lesson for right now?  Islam and secular democracy can coexist, although there are tensions.

Just like in any other democracy.

Trigger Warning

A New York judge has cleared the way for the following bus advertisement:

“Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” reads one such ad next to the image of a young man in a checkered headscarf. “That’s His Jihad. What’s yours?”

Mine is the struggle (the English word for one translation of “Jihad”) to keep a relatively free society relatively free, despite the depravity of some of its citizens.

Apropos not much.

Turn This Motherland Out

SCENE:  Happy Hour at the Nomad, in the Five Corners area of Minneapolis’ West Bank.  A group of Twin Cities Ron Paul supporters is having a happy hour before Rep. Paul’s speech at the U of M.  Mitch BERG is enjoying a Jack and Coke.  

Bill GUNKEL, chairman of the Inver Grove Heights chapter of Former Republicans for Ron Paul, notices Berg.

GUNKEL:  I wish Doctor Paul were running for president.

BERG: Well, at least you have Rand.

GUNKEL:  Pffft.  Rand has become a RINO squish.

BERG: Well, there is the little matter of actually having to get something done in a Senate with 40+ members who actively do like big government.

GUNKEL:  I’m surprised Doctor Paul hasn’t disowned him.

BERG: So why the animosity?

GUNKEL:  He’s gone all Warvangelical on foreign policy.

BERG:  Warvangelical?  More like realistic.  I mean, you have seen what Putin’s been doing, right?  Returning Europe to the Cold War?

GUNKEL:  Well, doy.  We make client states of all their former Republics, and we surround them with bases.  I daresay we’d be paranoid, too.

BERG:  Wait – did you just call breakaway parts of the former Soviet Union “their former Republics?”

GUNKEL:  Well, duh.  That’s what they are.

BERG: Well, in a sense.  But outside of Russia itself, the “former republics” were all either absorbed over history by the Czars, or forcibly annexed by the Soviets.  Anyone that spoke for independence, or even autonomy, would wind up in the Gulag.  And if the Soviets felt “their” republics were getting uppity, they’d turn the screws.  The Soviets starved millions of Ukrainians to death in the thirties to enforce their land policy.  They also deported entire ethnic groups from their ancestral homes, and replaced them with Russians – which is why Crimea “broke” from Ukraine last year.

GUNKEL:  Doctor Paul never talked about this…

BERG: …I don’t imagine he did…

GUNKEL:  …so I don’t believe it.

BERG:  Of course you don’t.  There’s a reason places like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia and many others revere Ronald Reagan; he gave them their chance at self-determination and getting out of the Russian orbit – in some cases for the first time since 1920, in others for the first time in hundreds of years.   To ignore that is either ignorant or intellectually dishonest.

GUNKEL:  Sort of like surrounding the Russians with military bases.

BERG: Yeah – you do know that from 1945 to the late eighties, the Soviets maintained an expressly offensive military posture toward Northern, Western and Southern Europe.  Right?  And those bases were put there to defend against that ?  And honest people can debate whether and how much those bases are still needed against Putin – but they can’t deny the history.

Presuming they knew it in the first place.

GUNKEL:  Hey – was that a shot at me?

BERG:  Not as far as you know.

And SCENE. 

Grab Your Leggings And Headbands

Dig out those Members Only jackets, and crank some Duran Duran. It’s “Back to the 80s” week, all over Europe!

Only not in A fun way:

BODO, Norway — From his command post burrowed deep into a mountain of quartz and slate north of the Arctic Circle, the 54-year-old commander of the Norwegian military’s operations headquarters watches time flowing backward, pushed into reverse by surging Russian military activity redolent of East-West sparring during the Cold War.

“I am what you could call a seasoned Cold Warrior,” the commander, Lt. Gen. Morten Haga Lunde, said, speaking in an underground complex built to withstand a nuclear blast.

Because the Cold War is back in all of its bunkered down, hunkered down glory, in northern and eastern Europe:

Russia has itself fed the scaremongering with bursts of belligerent language, like the recent comment by Moscow’s ambassador to Copenhagen that Danish warships “will be targets for Russia’s nuclear weapons” if Denmark contributes radar to a Europe-based missile defense system planned by NATO. Denmark’s foreign minister, Martin Lidegaard, dismissed the threat as “unacceptable.”

Russia’s muscle-flexing is due in part simply to the fact that the country is spending more on its military and has re-established abilities eroded during the post-Soviet chaos of the 1990s. When Mr. Putin first became president in 2000, Russia spent $9.2 billion on its military, but this has since risen 10 times and will increase again this year despite a slumping economy, hammered by a collapse in the price of oil and also by Western sanctions.

Good thing Pres. Obama hit the “reset” button on US Russia relationships, isn’t it?

Apparently he didn’t know what it was going to reset to.

Devalued

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Obama Administration’s Middle East policy is a puzzle, probably because there is no plan, only reaction to crises. Which is a good thing, according to some.

“But amid the confusion, some experts said that there cannot be an overarching American policy in the Middle East at the moment. The best the White House can do, they said, is tailor policies according to individual crises as they flare up. “I would be more concerned if we had some sort of overly rigid policy,” said Barbara Bodine, another former American ambassador to Yemen who is now the director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. “It is messy. It is contradictory. That’s foreign policy.”

Can you imagine being the next guy:

“Hello, Mr. Prime Minister? Hi, I’m the new President of the United States. I’m calling to invite your country to be allies with mine. What’s that you say — lied to and back-stabbed last time? Well, things will be different under my leadership. How long? The next two years for sure. After that, of course, I’ll have to start campaigning for re-election so certain compromises might have to be made, but . . . hello? Hello?”

Joe Doakes

We’re going to be paying for this presidency for generations.

Strange Bedfellows

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We can’t disarm Iran.  We need them to help Iraq take Tikrit away from ISISwhile we watch.Yes, Tikrit.  Saddam Hussein’s birthplace.  The town we conquered in 2003 and killed all the terrorists, then handed over to the Iraqi government after Saddam was dead.

We took it, we had it, we cleaned it terrorist-free.  Obama pulled out the troops in 2011 and the terrorists took it back.

At least Johnson had a rationale for taking the hill to show the Vietnamese we could smash them, then giving it back to show we could be reasoned with.  What’s Obama’s strategery?

Joe Doakes

On the one hand, using proxies to do your dirty work was always how smart emperors handled their foreign policies.

On the other hand, Obama is not smart.

Track Records

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is walking in Fort Snelling State Park, scouting his bike commuting routes.   

Avery LIBRELLE rides past on a recumbent bike; large orange flag flutters above, and bright strobe lights on front and rear repeatedly flash.  

LIBRELLE:  Haha, Merg!  You wingnuts are all hopped up over Benjamin Netanyahu and his speech.   But he’s lying.

BERG:  How do you figure?

LIBRELLE:  He predicted Iran would have the bomb by 1999.

BERG:  Right.  Maybe that’s the information he had.  And maybe he was trying to stir some action on a subject that is of great importance to Israel – the idea of a country that continuously publicly pines for Israel’s extinction and death to all Jews getting nuclear weapons.

LIBRELLE:  He lied, Merg!

BERG:  He said something that turned out not to be true.  If you can prove he intended to decieve, sure, then it was a lie.  If not, then it was an error.

LIBRELLE:  Either way he completely blew his credibility!

BERG:  So if a leader ever gets anything wrong, it destroys his credibility forever?

LIBRELLE:  Absolutely!

BERG:  OK, glad we have that established.  So, do you remember this diagram?

President Obama’s prediction for unemployment rates if we just invested trillions of dollars in, as it eventually turned out, giving cash to big banks.  He was completely wrong.  So – does that destroy his credibility?

LIBRELLE:  You’re a racist and you hate women.

Now – can you give me a push up the hill?  I have to get to a candle-sniffing.

And SCENE. 

Credentials

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, honest Democrats praised expertise:

Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz) wrote this about “Terrorism” by Benjamin Netanyahu, released in 1986:

“Few are as well equipped to bring us this message as Netanyahu. He currently serves as Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations. Netanyahu not only distinguished himself as a commander in many operations for his country’s military but served for several years as the executive director of the Jonathan In stitute, a Jerusalem research foundation on terrorism. He has been touched in the most personal way by modern terrorism. His brother, Lt. Jonathan Netanyahu, died leading the historic Entebbe rescue mission and is the namesake of the institute.”

President Obama says Netanyahu lacks credibility because he’s been wrong about Iran before, predicting bad things that haven’t happened yet. Meanwhile, the UN says it can’t finish its inspection because Iran is still lying about its nuclear program

.

Joe Doakes

Just has everything Obama says has a shelf date, so this everything in the Democrat past.

Lessons

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Lawyers are required to take Continuing Legal Education. I’m thinking of giving a class on the subject of “Making Minnesota Muslim-Friendly.”

The auditorium would be broken into sections marked by signs: in front, Men; behind them, Women; back row, Menstruating Women; and one small area of standing room right by the door, GLBT.

In the aisle entering the room would be a table with a cardboard box of scarves and another filled with rocks.

As everyone enters the auditorium, I’d tell them “This seminar involves inter-active role playing. Please take a rock from the box. Women should also cover their heads with a scarf.”

To start the lecture, I’d ask people to move to their assigned sections. Nobody would move to the Menstruating Women section, of course, it’d be too humiliating. And probably no GLBT. So I’ll ask for volunteers “just for role-playing purposes” and if I get none, I’ll assign some.

Next, all good Muslims must understand that homosexuality is not only a sin, but a crime. That’s what the rocks are for. Everyone pick up your rocks, turn toward the GLBT section and prepare to throw. Except you Menstruating Women, you’re unclean, you don’t participate, you can sit back down.

I anticipate some vocal objections will arise. Those of you objecting, you’re out of line. God has laws, given to us by his Prophet. I have applied the laws to this classroom, you’re breaking the law. That makes you a heretic. If you don’t fall back into line, you’ll have to join the other sinful criminals in the stoning area to be put to death for your crimes against God.

Not True Islam? Tell me, what is True Islam? Islam isn’t like Catholic, where one guy decides what we all believe. Islam is like Protestant, where every group decides what it believes, all beginning from the same sacred text but spinning off into groups as diverse as Wisconsin Synod Lutheran, Old Order Amish, Shakers, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Methodists and the Salvation Army. There is no more “True Islam” than there is “True Christian” and attempting to discredit my flavor only proves how evil you are, and justifies my religious obligation to kill you lest you corrupt others with your wicked words.

If you don’t want to stone gays, fine, you can come up here in front with me. We’re going on a field trip after class, swing by my house for some guns and off to Temple Beth Israel to kill the Jews. You can help with that.

At that point, I can announce the end of role-playing. Take off your scarves, drop your rocks, sit where you like, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. That was just role-playing. This is still Minnesota.

But remember this: what you experienced for a few minutes in play life, millions of people live in real life under Sharia rule as it’s actually practiced around the world, and not even the strictest form, as I didn’t insist on women wearing shapeless clothing and hiding their faces so they wouldn’t distract the men by their lustful ways, or having a male relative accompany them. In predominantly Muslim countries, women are subservient to men. Gays are killed. Freedom of speech does not exist. Freedom of worship does not exist. And we’re not even going to discuss female genital mutilation, honor killings or gang-rape as punishment for adultery.

There is a massive conflict between Islam and Minnesota that multiculturalism and respect for diversity simply cannot bridge. Either we become like them – which it should now be apparent you would hate – or we drop the pretense of diversity and insist they become like us.

So . . . how much should I charge for the class?

Joe Doakes

Are you kidding? They’re lawyers. $250 an hour plus expenses.

Too Good To Want To Fact-Check

The rumor spread yesterday that Jordan’s King Abdallah, enraged by the grisly, medieval murder of Jordanian fighter pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, is personally leading, or even flying, combat missions.

It’s apparently not true, causing at least part of the US media to spring into action against an enemy they hate vastly more than ISIS.  And I can’t imagine many air forces that’d be too keen on having a 53 year old fighter pilot (even if he were rated on combat aircraft, which according to several Arabic newspapers, he’s not; he’s an infantryman who is rated in civilian aircraft and unspecified helicopters), to say nothing of their chief executive flying directly into harm’s way.  .

On the other hand, after six years of a President who can’t be inveigled to condemn extremist Muslim terrorism today without comparing it to Catholic terror from 700 years ago, who equivocates between all sides in every issue (unless it’s Democrat vs. Republican, naturally), who is like hot air in that he equalizes himself across all available intellectual and moral space, I can see why the idea of a leader who leads, who makes moral judgments and personally drops 2000 pound GPS-guided judgment on the guilty, is so seductive.

Itineraries

Gary from Saint Paul emails:

Has anyone in the Twin Cites media asked him if he’s going to Netanyahu’ s speech?

Just thinking.

I’d be interested in finding out.

Side-bet:  I’ll bet if he skips it, the Twin Cities media will bury that fact, if they report it at all.

An Appeal For Honesty

Some of my fringe-libertarian, as well as “progressive”, friends are fond of chanting “Anti-Zionism isn’t Antisemitism”.

Give to the “National Metaphor Society”.  Because a mind that stops developing its metaphorical facility in fourth grade is a mind the world doesn’t need to have unleashed on it.

That’s a little like saying “I endorse the policies that involved the destruction of Native American culture, the near-extinction of their people and the carving of their conquerors’ chiefs’ faces into their holiest piece of real estate – but I sure *admired* the Lakota”.

Regime Change

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New York Times now says regime change is bad?

US interventionism in WW II made things worse for a short time, especially in Germany. So we shouldn’t have sought to change Hitler’s regime? Washington and Jefferson were right all along about entangling alliances in European affairs? Is that what we’re saying?

Wouldn’t really bother me that much.

The European Union is about to collapse because Germany won’t subsidize Greece and the Russians can’t pay their bills because the Saudis are winning the oil price war while a bunch of vicious Middle East tyrants may be replaced with different vicious Middle East tyrants. Nothing I can do about any of it and for damned sure, Obama won’t. Boehner and McConnell don’t seem to have a clue between them, so I don’t count on the Republican Establishment for anything, either.

The “radical shift in American foreign policy” sought by the Times requires a courageous leader: Winston Churchill, fighting on the sands and beaches; Harry Truman, ending the war by dropping the bomb; Ronald Reagan, growing our military so fast the Russians collapsed their economy trying to keep up; Margaret Thatcher sending England’s baby flat-tops halfway around the world to kick Argentine ass over some tiny islands nobody really wanted but damn it, they’re ours.

No such American leader in sight.

Joe Doakes

Oh, I think there are. In 2016. If we deserve them.

Not Just In The “Success Is The Best…” Variety

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Revenge. Don’t hear many World Leaders talking about that nowadays. Refreshing.

The article asks if Abe has some plan to enhance or create an ability for Japan to actually make good on the threat of revenge. Hmmm: does the phrase “ninja assassin” ring any bells?

That would be a great video. Ninjas beheading some terrorists as they are huddling in their caves. I’d pay money to see that.

Joe Doakes

Wow it sounds like fun, there’s a complication; if there’s a country in the world that has done more than Germany to mothball it’s warrior past, it’s Japan.

Europe’s Misbegotten Cousin

Greece appears to be on the brink of electing a far-left government which is promising its voters and end to the “austerity” that the incumbent center-right (by Greek standards; it’d still be to the left of the DFL) government imposed after the Greek economy, driven by decades of suffocating goverment spending that drove the government into crippling debt, crashed.

Greece currently has nearly 30% unemployment; it’s nearly 50% among younger people. And it was rescued from “worse” only by a massive bailout from the parts of Europe that work – mainly center-right Germany.

And now, their response seems to be to tell the Germans “screw you, give us more money”.

Here’s the piece from NPR’s “Marketplace”:

Listen to the Greek government “economic advisor”, Janos Milios (at around 4:42 on the audio):

Europe is a continent of democracy.  When the people of one country decide to change course, change policy, this is something that has to be respected by all parties”.

Respected?  If they’re paying their own bills and not surviving by pilfering the the wallets of the responsible countries, maybe.

This pretty much embodied the old criticism of democracy; “it can only survive until 51% of the people discover they can live off the other 49%”.

But the worst, most noxious quote is yet to come.  Among the left’s most bilious conceits is that society is a “family” – with, naturally, government serving as a gender-neutral parent to keep all the unruly kids in line.

That was the line taken by Dimitrius Papadimitriotis, an Athens psychiatrist (at around  3:30):

We believe it has to be shared among our European partners.  Being part of the “European Family” means taking care of each other, being there for each other.  And this is what “family” is all about.

Government – least of all extranational associations of governments – is not a “family”.

And if it were, then it’d be time to take the snotty spendthrift teenager to the garage and have a word with her about nagging mom and dad to pay off her credit card debts.

If I were a German taxpayer, I’d be demanding my government cut the Greeks off completely.

Pick Your Staging

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why wasn’t President Obama in the photo of world leaders at the massive Paris march protesting the Charlie Hebdo killings?

Maybe he was at the REAL march and missed the fake photo staged at a completely different place?

No, he wasn’t, but I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t have blown off a golf game to fly over for a lame photo op, either.

It’s all Potemkin Villages with these people, nothing is ever what it seems.

Joe Doakes

Potemkin it’s not just a battleship anymore.

Fox In Henhouse

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

Muslim Congressman whose election was funded by terrorists is named to House Intelligence Committee with access to data on Muslim terrorists.

Shouldn’t be a problem. Remember all the Japanese-Americans appointed to War Committees after Pearl Harbor?

At the very least, it’ll save ISIS the bother of hacking into CentCom to find out what the US knows.

Joe Doakes

To be fair, there were all sorts of German-Americans intimately involved in wartime policy during both world wars.

Congressman Ellison’s problem is not that he’s Muslim; there are plenty of American Muslims who are just as American as the next guy.

It’s the fact that his relationship with chair were sponsoring organizations is “nuanced”: while he doesn’t come out of directly say he supports Hamas, preferring to claim to “support the Palestinian people”; he leaves it to the less informed to figure out on their own that “the Palestinian people” are led by Hamas, which killed off most of the competition, and allows little to no dissent.

All Alike

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When someone says “Not All Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims,” Liberals respond “What about Oklahoma City bombing?”

The Oklahoma City bombing occurred in 1995 – twenty years ago. Since that time, Wikipedia lists nearly 100 terror attacks by Muslims.

The blast in Oklahoma City killed or injured about 800 people. Muslim terrorists killed and injured more than that in following 5 years alone.

McVeigh and Nichols were Lone Wolves, unaffiliated with any larger movement seeking to change American policy. Tim McVeigh was executed and Terry Nichols is serving 161 consecutive life sentences in federal prison. They pose no future risk.

Muslims, on the other hand, commit fresh atrocities with disturbing frequency. They are expressly following a long-range plan to convert America into a Muslim nation under sharia law. Their on-going risk is palpable.

“All Muslims are terrorists” is exaggeration for conversational effect . . . but not much

Joe Doakes

i’m going to disagree with Joe, but only in the last paragraph. It is a big exaggeration.

The worlds two largest Muslim states – India and Indonesia – have very little in the way of secular terror. Or at least not in the sense that you see it in the Middle East. Oh, yes, Hindus and Muslims go added hammer and tongs in India – but that’s less a religious than ethnic dispute. As, indeed, are most “religious wars”.

And while we in the Twin Cities have seen some concerning signs among some Somali immigrants, the vast majority of Muslim immigrants to the United States came here for the same reasons many of our forefathers did; to scape the internal, debilitating, petty squabbling in our ancestral homelands.

Price Of Moderation

In the days leading up to this week’s ghastly attacks in Paris – which are, justifiably but inevitably, inescapable in the media – there was an event that, in the great scheme of things, might have been more important.

But you’d never know from the American media.

We’ll get back to that.

Between Two Hungry Dobermen:  It’s said that the most dangerous thing to be in the world is a moderate Arab.  For the past eighty years, the first line of tactics among the extremes in Muslim thought – which are a minority among the Islamic community, but which surely do command a disproportionate share of Muslim and Occidental mindshare, pro and con – was to obliterate the “moderates”; those who sought accomodation with the West, those who spoke for reform among the dictatorships and oligarchs and petty monarchs and warlords that had divvied up most of the Muslim world, and especially those who sought to bury the hatchet with the Jews someplace other than in the Jews’ heads.

Going back to the thirties, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem – an ally of Hitler, and the first “Palestinian” extremist – didn’t much bother with attacking Jews; most of his energies went into purging Arabs who sought ethnic cleansing with insufficient ardor.

So successful has it been among Palestinians in particular that Al-Fatah, Yassir Arafat’s old group, a group tied to a river of Jewish blood in the seventies and eighties, is considered a “moderate” Palestinian group.

But it’s not just Palestinians.  In 1981, after stepping far out of the ideological box to meet with Jimmy Carter and Menachem Begin (himself, not to mince words, a former terrorist) and design a peace with Israel that still stands almost four decades later, Egyptian dictator Anwar El-Sadat was murdered by extreme Islamist elements in his own Army.

Speaking moderation in the Islamic world is extraordinary – and, outside a few enclaves, the US and to a lesser extent India and a diminishing extent Western Europe, extraordinarily dangerous.

Talk Like An Egyptian:  And so Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi’s speech on New Years Day (which coincided with Mohammed’s birthday this year) is more than a little notable.  Not “revolutionary” as some have suggested; he’s not a Muslim Calvin or Luther or Knox.

Still, in a community that is rightfully petrified by eighty years of brutal suppression of moderate opinion, it’s energizing to hear:

“I say and repeat, again, that we are in need of a religious revolution. You imams are responsible before Allah. The entire world is waiting on you. The entire world is waiting for your word … because the Islamic world is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost. And it is being lost by our own hands,” el-Sisi said.

“We need a revolution of the self, a revolution of consciousness and ethics to rebuild the Egyptian person — a person that our country will need in the near future,” the President said…“It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire Islamic world to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible that this thinking — and I am not saying the religion — I am saying this thinking,” el-Sisi said.

He continued: “This is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world! Does this mean that 1.6 billion people (Muslims) should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live? Impossible!”

As many in the West ask the hitherto-rhetorical question “when will a moderate Muslim speak out against the madness”, here’s  a short answer.

Or it might be.  Naturally, the extremists behind the carnage in Paris ignored Al-Sisi, although they were hardly the audience he was addressing.

Al-Sisi – a former general, at the head of a large, relatively sophisticated and reliable military (although so was Sadat), may be one of few Muslim leaders who could get away with such an affront.  And Islam is hardly monolithic; the rift between Shia and Sunni is just one of many that ensure that there can be no one spokesperson for all, or even most, of Islam.

The speech was no “95 Theses” – but then, that event didn’t resolve its contemporaneous conflict, either – but it’s as close as we’ve seen from the Muslim world in a long, long time.

Mission Nearly Accomplished

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails to urge us to “pretend”:

Pretend for a minute that President Obama doesn’t believe the United States ought to be a superpower, that it ought to be equal with other nations (not a big stretch – that belief motivated the Atom Spies to give nuclear secrets to the Russians and no doubt is shared by billions of people worldwide, today). How would he go about bringing America down to second or even third-world levels following the model of, say, Argentina?

  • Alienate traditional allies. Check.
  • Weaken military power, numbers and morale. Check.
  • Nationalize major industry. Check.
  • Weaken domestic energy independence, increase foreign dependence. Check.
  • Widen wealth gap. Check.
  • Reduce earners, increase idlers. Check.
  • Use government employees to intimidate political opponents. Check.
  • Crush middle class with regulations and taxes. In progress.
  • Debase the currency by printing money. In progress.
  • Debase the citizenry by flinging open borders. In progress.

So what’s next on the agenda? What will it take to bring the USA down to the economic, military, social and political level of, say, Spain?

Joe Doakes

About the only thing he hasn’t done is enlist Visigoths and Vandals into the military as auxiliaries.