Would You Kill for Your Freedom?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

ddf

I met an old school friend last week, the first time I had seen or heard of him since we departed for separate colleges in 2001.

I say ‘friend’ – we were never best mates, but I remember we always sat together in French (lower set), where we often bonded through a shared antagonism towards the subject and its teacher.

We arranged via facebook to meet in a pub in Leicestershire. It was my idea. I had many questions I wanted to ask him regarding his most recent period of employment – three long tours of Afghanistan.

It’s rarely a surprise to learn which of your school-friends ended up joining the military. Timothy was no exception. He was always braver and more athletic than the rest of us. He also displayed an early appetite for danger, choosing to impress girls by jumping off high walls and sliding on frozen puddles.

Nevertheless, I wondered if the experience had changed him as a person. Had his cheeky Mancunian sense of humour been diminished or otherwise affected by the terror of combat? I also had a more specific interrogation.

After he had finished speaking (at quite some length) about an intention to move to Australia, I could restrain myself no longer.

“Was it hard in Afghanistan?” I asked, preparing the way for my real enquiry.

“Nah, it was great. Just too fucking hot. Can’t be arsed going back though.”

“Were you frontline or..”

“Infantry.”

Oh, the hell with it, I thought.

“Did you kill anyone?”

A long pause followed.

He replied positively. It shocked me more than it had any right to.

My friend – the little boy who had tripped me in football practice, stole my pencil sharpener, accompanied me on afterschool detentions – had shot terrorists. The thought held me in cold hypnosis for the rest of our time together.

Murder is obviously a complicated moral issue; arguably the most complicated. The taking away of life from another person – especially for ideological reasons – pushes the human mind into direct confrontation with the fundamentals of existence. What is this conscious experience between birth and demise, what is the value of it, and have I got a better right to mine than another man has to his?

It was perhaps as recent as the 1960s that opposition to murder (for any reason) was standardised and made doctrinal. For the previous two millennia, occasional exceptions to the 6th commandment were reasoned as necessary for national, cultural and (in some cases) personal survival. The decade of love rebranded ‘peace’ as a choice. It was no longer a luxurious state of security paid for with dead soldiers, but a primordial global condition, achievable by goodwill and blotting paper.

Since then, this absurd way of thinking has become so entrenched that even advocacy of WWII is now considered controversial and the image of dead Nazis something to philosophise about, rather than gloat over. Those of us who resist the trend meanwhile are deemed morally suspect if not nakedly evil.

It will therefore be considered foul and unkind for me to admit that I enjoy hearing about a herd of Islamists being torn apart by RAF missiles; that I relish the idea of Waffen SS troops being beaten and starved by post-war Allied occupation forces; that I smile when I read of a rogue Ghurkha beheading a captured Taliban parasite.

And perhaps even that I feel immensely proud of you, Tim. I really do. Your work has done more for the world than you might yet appreciate. Forget the pencil sharpener.

D, LDN.

Mishima and Masculinity.

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

tumblr_mwtxjjbW771rhcdszo1_1280

Despite what they claim, very few people actually discover Yukio Mishima through his art.

More often, Western readers in particular are drawn to him by the details of his sensational death. I was no different. In case you don’t know about that strange, gory episode, let’s get it out of the way now.

Yukio Mishima, arguably the greatest Japanese novelist of the modern era, spent his final years living in accordance with the customs of a Samurai warrior. Using his renown as an artist, he raised up an army of young male followers from across the country and on the 25th of November 1970, stormed the headquarters of the Japanese military to call for the abolition of democracy and the resurrection of an Imperial regime headed by the Emperor. When those who gathered to witness the spectacle refused his call, Mishima retired into an office his supporters had occupied and committed ritual suicide (seppuku) by disembowelling himself.

So there it is. Crazy, I know. But of course Mishima is substantially more than his demise. His fiction (especially the Sea of Fertility tetralogy) is a fascinating, panoramic and deeply philosophical body of work. His non-fiction meanwhile has made a lasting impression on my life.

Shortly before his death, Mishima penned a slim confessional volume entitled ‘Sun and Steel’. In its pages, alongside his trademark ruminations on romantic death, the author decries the tendency of thinking people to collapse into timid introspection, isolation and unmanliness. In particular Mishima makes an impassioned case for the art of body-building, a pursuit he took up aggressively in his final decade.

“Why must it be that men always seek out the depths, the abyss?” He wrote “Why was it not feasible for thought to change direction and climb up, ever up, towards the surface? Why should the skin, which guarantees a human being’s existence in space, be most despised and left to the tender mercies of the senses?”

In this spirit, Mishima looked back ruefully over his whole life, mourning that he had led the passive, shy and unadventurous existence of a writer, when his nature yearned in fact for action, masculinity and war.

After reading the book, and having recognised a lot of his criticism as valid for my own bookish character, I went out and purchased a set of weights. At the time of writing, I have been body-building for over two years.

My view of masculinity has been altered over this time. I now consider the bohemian tendency to skinny effeminacy and romantic bad health as a betrayal. One really doesn’t have to choose between masculinity and intelligence. Both are vital ingredients in the concept of a man.

The disunity of brains and brawn can be sourced directly to the perversions of Western Feminism. Feminist thought has tended to make an either/or choice of civility and manliness. Mildly applied, one could argue that this is helpful to the maintenance of a modern society. Let loose without limit however, it is ruinous.

If those with intellect and moral substance disarm themselves of worldly strength, the Darwinian arena is primed for their elimination.  At school, you will have observed for yourself how the stupid tend to rule the roost and get the girls. It is no different in adulthood, with the classroom exchanged for a city centre splashed with brut and alcohol.

I fully recommend Mishima’s books, and in particular ‘Sun and Steel’, ‘Runaway Horses’ and ‘Mishima on Hagakure’.

D, LDN.

The Split Personality of William Maher.

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

bill-maher-1

The Liberal position in America is notoriously difficult to define. Many of the ideologies gathered under the term in the US would be classed at ‘Right-Wing’ in Europe (and almost certainly in continental Europe) where the label usually carries connotations of socialism and enthusiasm for the welfare state. American Liberals (against the claims of some Conservatives) are not at that point yet. More often, they align roughly with British centrists like the Orange-book Liberal Democrats or Cameronite Tories.

The American term for Liberals of the European style is ‘Leftist’, or collectively ‘The Left’. These are not often found in Establishment politics, or indeed anywhere close to the heat-field of democratic accountability. Rather they lurk on the fringes of Hollywood, music and (perhaps most of all) the booming trade of ‘political satire’.

A giant on this last stage is a Mr William “Bill” Maher.

Perhaps the most effective satirist in modern America, Maher has never made a secret of his adoration of President Obama (he was a big money donor to Obama’s re-election campaign) or of his violent loathing for White American culture and the rural poor. His well-honed spiel has been to accuse, with the merry confidence of a drunk, anyone exhibiting hostility toward the big-state idea as ‘racist’, a paid-for corporate toady or else a reprobate, homophobic, pro-life creationist. 

And this has worked extremely well. On my personal facebook page, I can never seem to avoid a re-post of Mr Maher’s latest routine, and his television show ‘Real Time’ is one of the most popular of its kind on American cable.

But despite such popularity, Maher has a quirk which makes his acceptance into Liberal high society controversial for more devout believers.

Maher is a Zionist. As a matter of fact, a very orthodox one. The comedian reliably supports the Israeli military in its offensives against terrorism wherever (and in whatever manner) they occur, and most recently found himself in hot water for doing so regarding Operation Protective Edge.

But why would I complain about that, you ask? It’s simple. Mr Maher’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself lies in stark contrast to his consistent refusal to grant this same right to America and Europe.

Whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, Maher has repeatedly berated the US military for its excesses and sought (with some success) to diminish the morale of patriotic forces. The Bush regime in particular had no moral fibre for Maher and his baying amen-corner audiences. The invasion of Iraq was motivated by the price of oil. The assault on Falluja was a war crime. The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib meanwhile was not a singular episode but rather chimed with the moral tone of the whole enterprise.

Is it unfair to speculate that had the IDF been responsible for any of these events, Maher would have no trouble finding a way of rationalising them? I don’t think so.

And what would that be exactly? Hypocrisy? Tribalism (Maher has a Jewish mother)? Ignorance (that America and Israel are fighting the same wars)?

That I don’t know. But in my humble opinion the right Israel has to defend its liberal society extends to any other democracy, and wrong-headed hypocrites like Maher let us all down by obscuring this fact.

D, LDN.

Do the Palestinians Want Palestine or Israel?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

j05-melb-480

Man can do what he wills but he cannot choose what he wills.” – Schopenhauer.

So, another war is raging between the Jews of Israel and the Arabs of Gaza.

We know the routine from here. When the guns eventually fall silent and the silos close, Western elites will pontificate to Israel as if they themselves were virgins to violence; the UN will achieve nothing at a furious pace; Hamas meanwhile will probably claim a strategic ‘victory’ and won’t – I suppose – be wholly unjustified in doing so.

It seems the Israelis have once again been suckered into a publicity nightmare for zero strategic gain. Only a concerted effort to topple Hamas will prevent rockets being fired into Israel. Hamas knows this, and starts these wars on purpose, daring Israel to make a move. Israel also knows this, or should do by now.

But I don’t want to talk at length about this current dispute. Rather let’s use the occasion to broaden our view and ask a question about the fundamental clash of interests underlying this cycle of violence.

The standard view of the Israel-Palestine conflict (or that upheld by the UN and Western public opinion) is that it involves a claim by two peoples to the same territory. The troubles of the region originate from this simple contest, and are only later exacerbated by religious belief.

The radical or revisionist view of the conflict claims it is the other way around. The territory is secondary and religion (in particular Islam) motivates most of the violence.

A third view, and one I’d like to advance today, considers the economic factors of the divide and proposes that the advocates of at least one of the competing peoples are purposely deluding themselves.

Anyone who has read or studied basic psychology will be well-placed to judge the capacity human beings have for self-deceit, and that the thing one ‘wants’ is not necessarily what one claims to want or even what one wishes to want. If a problem-drinker, for example, goes to the corner shop for a bottle of gin, he may sincerely believe along the way that he is going to buy a newspaper. The human mind is so fallible that it can be manipulated even by itself.

In this context, consider this: Do the Palestinians really want ‘Palestine’ with its olive groves, rolling hills and ancient alleyways? Or do they in fact desire Israel, with its shopping malls, freedom and high standard of living?

It’s surprising how rarely this question is put to the world, and tragic too, since it can illuminate a hidden simplicity behind a seemingly complicated problem.

Given its strategic urgency, there have been innumerable remedies suggested for the Israel-Palestine conflict over the previous few decades, from the UN-backed ‘return to 1967 borders’, through the ‘Arab peace plan’ sponsored by Saudi Arabia, to the ‘three-state solution’, to the US ‘Roadmap’, to the most recent Lieberman Plan.

The last of these is most relevant to the context we have set ourselves.

The ‘Lieberman plan’ – named after its author Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party – suggests that a two state solution include the exchange of the Arab-populated areas of Israel for the Jewish populated areas of the West Bank, thus avoiding the need for a population ‘transfer’.

According to this plan, the Galilee region of Northern Israel would be attached to the bloc of West Bank inhabited by Palestinians. The Israeli Arabs in the area of Israel to be detached would lose their Israeli citizenship and become citizens of Palestine instead. The Jewish settlements of the West Bank would be attached to Israel proper. A Jewish majority in Israel would thus be assured, and the ‘problem’ of Jews on the West Bank would be solved at a stroke.

Personally, I don’t think this idea is workable in practice, but the reaction the policy has provoked is almost worth the effort put into proposing it.

The Arab citizens of Israel have branded the plan philosophically ‘racist’ and morally outrageous. The Palestinian establishment outside of Israel’s borders has also condemned the plan, presenting a claim of native descent specifically to the land currently tended to by the Jews, and re-stating a commitment to the return of refugees to towns within the same territory.

Let’s be clear. If, as it is routinely claimed, the Palestinians merely want a state of their own, the Lieberman plan should be sweetly palatable to them. It delivers immediately the state they claim to crave, and even supplies the Palestinian people with a social unity they have arguably never before experienced. Hamas in particular would get its wish of a Judenrein Islamic state, emptied of democracy, development and dirty Kuffar. The PA would be given full political sovereignty over its own citizens. What is there to object to?

The answer can only be that it leaves a highly developed, wealthy and democratic society living next door to them. This society and its high level of living is what is craved, and only by its destruction or infiltration can the Palestinian blood-lust be satisfied.

It has been well noted by travellers for many centuries that Islamic countries tend – almost without exception – to be dirt-piles. Places where nobody of depth or youthfulness could happily spend a week. Why then did any Leftist imagine Gaza could turn out differently?

For years, the PA and its Western cheerleaders squealed for the liberation of that strip of coastline. Now they have it and the rockets never stop coming.

Is that really due to those IDF troops calmly patrolling the other side of the border? Or does it actually involve those skyscrapers towering in the far distance, tortuously superior and forever out of reach?

In some dusty and eccentric corner of the Palestinian mind, does the thought arise that those sparkling buildings are the natural fruit of the territory, and not the work of those who have settled it? Do they imagine that they would be enjoying that same prosperity had the Jews never returned?

I don’t believe the Palestinians will ever be satisfied with gifts of land, however extravagant. There are countless states they could relocate to, and if it really was peace they craved, they would already be in them. But that is not and was never the point. They have glimpsed a better life through a forest of watchtowers and cannot now forget it.

D, LDN.

Second Thoughts on the Veil.

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

muslim-veil-cartoon-by-olle-johansson

A few months ago on this blog, I wrote that I could not support a move to ban the Islamic veil in Britain. The reasons I put forward in support of this stance were straightforwardly libertarian:

“It’s true that the Burka (actually called a ‘Niqab’) has no place on English streets, and it’s also true that the veil is impractical and hazardous in many social contexts… But that said, I don’t want to live in a country where the government can decide what people may wear… Should we concede to government the power to choose how we dress, there would be no turning back. The outlawing of the veil could soon become the outlawing of hoodies, baseball caps and any other item of clothing which obscures identity.”

Well, I’ve changed my mind. There has been no particular catalyst for this, or at least not one I can identify, but I regard the reasoning quoted above as adolescent and knee-jerk. Those who objected to my post were correct. The veil is a revolting garment, an affront to women and a moral stain on the standard of our whole society. It should be outlawed across the continent of Europe.

In the same post alluded to above, I went on to say that a ban – as well as being undesirable – would be difficult to enforce. This is now an argument that can be turned the other way. A confrontation with Islamic misogyny in England is just what we require, and the more aggressive, public and discomforting to the multicultural idea it is, so much the better.

D, LDN.

Korea: Trip Report.

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

56e09603-e1f0-4087-9d7f-301016c24127HiRes

So I’ve been in Korea for a week, partly as a vacation and partly as a trip to explore the prospect of work and/or emigration. All in all, it’s been highly enjoyable. My hotel was great. Local transport has been first-class. The weather is too much for an Englishman of course, but then we’d probably find Finland oppressively balmy so I won’t dwell on that.

I’ve wanted to visit Asia (by which I mean East-Asia) for quite some time. Having earned a degree in International Politics, I have more than once dipped my head into articles predicting the collapse of the Western era and the inauguration of something longer lasting and less round-eyed.

Most enquiries in this vein concentrate on the rise of China, which is understandable but nevertheless provides a restricted view of what is happening. Looking at things more broadly, one can clearly see that it isn’t just the Chinese but the Asian cultural model that is working better than the Western equivalent, at least as it relates to economic well-being. Distinctions between Korea, China, Japan and Singapore are hardly thin on the ground, and some have even translated into bloodshed in the past, but more unites than divides these societies and they remain kindred, just as former combatants in the West like France and Germany, Britain and Italy etc… are nevertheless of the same type.

The Asian social model can be summarised by the following priorities:

1. Personal Health. 2. The absence of ideological politics. 3. A passive foreign policy. 4. Low to zero immigration. 5. The principle of orderliness as integral to social membership/denial of social membership for bohemian or unorthodox personalities.

These five principles explain much of the distinction Korea enjoys.

Health in particular is central to public life here. Korean foods, even snack foods, advertise themselves primarily by reference to their nutritional content. A pot of Gummy bears at the supermarket was branded ‘Calcium and Vitamin D health bears’. Korean Red Bull-type energy drinks are infused with Ginseng, vasolidating herbs and assorted minerals. It is very difficult to buy a bottle of water from a vending machine that isn’t either packed with health-boosting additives or spiked with nootropics.

In keeping with this expectation of fitness, health-deviants are treated with a routine contempt. Outside the airport, the booth known as the ‘smoker’s booth’ was actually a transparent box making those who ventured inside look like captured zoo animals. Obesity is rare among the young. Drug addiction meanwhile leads directly to unemployment. Alcohol is widely promoted but usually only privately and moderately consumed. Homeless people (if they exist) seem to be invisible. I was never once approached by a beggar, drug pusher or prostitute.

It seems in Korea, the fat and bones of modernity have been excised completely from the meat.

For these reasons and more, Conservatives tend to love Korea, and many wish to redesign the West according to its socio-economic model. Even on the ethno-nationalist right, the country has its admirers. Fruitloop Viking Anders Breivik made numerous references to the country in ‘2083’, and some of the fanatics on Stormfront.com suggest postponing the Rahowa genocide of Asians indefinitely or even endorse a strategic (but temporary) Asian-Aryan alliance against the Jewish-led army of Niggers and Spics. In the subculture of race-hate, this is no small compliment.

Having been here a week, it is very difficult to revise my draft evaluation of Korea as clean, hyper-modern and inspirational. Having said that, am I sad to leave? Not really.

For all its shiny modernity, Korea (and Koreans) lack something vitally important – salt. Before you call for men in white coats, let me explain…

VDare columnist John Derbyshire likes to use an expression to both summarise and satirize the liberal rationale for multiculturalism. He calls it the ‘salt in the stew’ argument. This view holds that societies made up of only one type are boring and tasteless and that a small amount of diversity makes them more palatable, much like salt does to staple foods. Of course, as Derbyshire never fails to note – ‘if you add too much salt then you’ve wrecked the stew’, but you follow his point.

You really couldn’t find a better illustration of a blandly saltless stew than Korea. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting the country import a boatload of Somalians and Pakistanis, but a few Germans, Australians, Jews and Italians wouldn’t go amiss. Even in Seoul, it took me an absurdly long time to find a shop selling non-Korean food and the dodgy looks one receives for not being Korean are impolite and intimidating. Isolation of the foreigner seems almost traditional here, and so those lacking Korean genetic markers tend to band together by necessity. When I ended up sharing a lift with an American, we greeted each other like long-lost friends.

It’s true of course that the West can learn a lot from Asia. As demographics shift in Europe and America in the future, we will quickly get used to a feeling of selective envy towards our East Asian friends. Complaints about the high-wall of Asian immigration policy may become commonplace in Europe and Asian cultural chauvinism will rise a matching pace. But for now, don’t despair. We still possess an edge. Our music is better. Our sense of humour is too. Our literature (especially in England) is of a higher order and the same is true of our television, news coverage and commentary. Given our better-developed tradition of individualism, we are also more artistically creative than Asians, and most Asian cultural exports (K-POP, drama, comedy etc…) are just factory bootlegs of our own initiatives.

Still, if you’re tempted to visit Korea (or Japan, which is also on my visit list), you probably won’t regret it. It’s a good country to experience for a week or so, and you may well leave comforted that although some of the stereotypes of Asian excellence are well-founded, the West still remains in front.

For now at least.

D, LDN.

Korean Expedition.

Tags

, , , , , , ,

south_korea_flag_wallpaper-t2

Another schoolboy sick-note I’m afraid, this time to say I’m in Korea at the moment.

I shall post on Korea when I get back this week. For now, I’ll just say it really is a fascinating country.

The perennial war between Hamas regression and Jewish modernity is in the headlines even here. I believe that most South Koreans have a bias towards friendship with the Jews (a lot of Korean military equipment is manufactured or maintained by Israel), and so none of the disgraceful Eurabian protests currently holding up traffic in London seem viable here.

The Korean people I’ve encountered so far are calm, orderly and friendly. Sometimes they are very friendly. After informing a shopkeeper of my English nationality, I was given a discount on my shopping.

True to stereotype, everyday technology here is wildly superior to the West. The air-conditioning, broadband and intercom in this apartment all seem space-age by comparison.

It is also absurdly safe. One can very easily wander down a street at night speaking into a smartphone (try doing that in South London). I haven’t seen a single Muslim or Mosque.

Anyway, an extended post on the West vs Asia once the jet-lag subsides.

As ever, I’m honoured by your attention (whether critical or friendly).

David. Gangseo-gu, Seoul, Korea.

The Middle East Without Islam.

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

3a72096d6c

It has been said that Counter-Factual history is academically useless since it dedicates itself solely to what might have been, and – more often than not – cannot be. This is mostly true, but not in all cases. Used correctly, the technique can wire us to the pulse of historical movement and expose the cost of non-resistance to the forces of our opponents.

To this end, let’s imagine a very simple distortion of the past: What would have become of world history had Muhammad never been born, or had his message never been well received? As questions go, few are of this global importance. For the sake of brevity though, we’ll limit our enquiry to the region most immediately affected by the initial spread of Islam – the greater Middle East and North Africa.

Israel.

5c40b4_acadae4fc769dbbb41740e03ae53c78b_jpg_srz_1920_1080_85_22_0_50_1_20_0_00_jpg_srz

The differences possible to Jewish history had the Islamic settlement of Palestine never taken place are potentially transformative. Some of the most morally expensive disasters in the history of the West could have been avoided had the Holy land remained hospitable for Jewish culture. Indeed, the most deadly of these – World War II – can be blamed on a crackpot theory which caricatured Jews as ‘rootless’ parasites, innately hostile to the nation-state. Had the Jews never been dispossessed of their ancestral land in the first place, such views would have been impossible. Israel would flower today on a bed of centuries, undisputed and at peace.

Without Islamisation, the wars today convulsing through the Levant would also be buried beneath the weight of time. No lethal divergence in cultural content would separate the Phoenician Lebanese and Nabatean Jordanians from the Israeli Jews, or at least no more than today separates the Sikhs and Hindus of India, who – though diverging on matters of theology – nevertheless recognise a common history.

Egypt.

ptahopenmouth

In America, where Islamophobia is known to bubble over into anti-Arab sentiment, the myth that Ancient Egypt was populated primarily by Negroes has become disgracefully well-accommodated. Indeed the references, throughout mainstream African-American culture, to ‘black’ heroes like Cleopatra and the Pharoahs no longer tend to elicit either comment or surprise.

The truth is very different of course. The ancient Egyptians were a Semitic people, and they live on today in diluted form within the same national boundaries. The legacy of Kemet has naturally been corrupted and Islamised over time, but it has not been extinguished.

And that should greatly depress any secular descendant of that society. Without the Islamic invasion, or had that invasion been repelled, the Egyptians could well have today enjoyed an Italian, Cypriot or Greek version of modernity. They could have been a wine-making, Mediterranean café culture, furnished with and supported by an ancient renown. An Egyptian passport could be amongst the most prized in the world, with resentful foreigners chasing the sunlit grandeur of Alexandria and the kingly opulence of Giza.

As it happens, only a madman would exchange European life for the cities of the Nile, and religious developments alone are equal to explaining this.

The Maghreb.

St_ Augustine of Hippo Meditation

Few cultures made a more direct contribution to the creation of Christian tradition than the territory now called the ‘Islamic Maghreb’. This region, now the theatre of much disquiet, was the birthplace of Augustine of Hippo (Saint Augustine) and the scene of the first significant (and voluntary) European-African point of contact. Up until the 6th century therefore it was Roman – not Arabic – influence which predominated here and which served to foster an atmosphere of relaxed scholarship and quick development.

When Islam achieved its critical mass, almost every cultural edifice was torn down in a matter of decades and cultural nuance (the most vital ingredient in cultural sophistication) was replaced with an indistinct religious colony.  

A counterfactual approach here is fascinating in other ways. There is a very real possibility that had those conquests never occurred, the world of the Berbers would have been integrated (racially and politically) into Europe. North Africa, and no doubt by extension much of the Sahara, would have also provided a base for the Christianisation of the African continent, leaving the door open for an earlier – perhaps more humanistic – colonisation than that which later occurred.

Iran.

Darius_I_the_Great's_inscription

It is a concept well promoted by Iranian secularists that the degeneration of Persia into modern day Iran is rightly a cause for global – and not parochial – mourning. Ancient Persia, an empire with extremes in the Levant and Indian subcontinent, invested the world with many of its most celebrated advantages.

Persian culture was jealously noted for its social complexity and military talent. It was for many years a serious rival to the Empires of the West, and that the Islamic conquest put so inglorious an end to this happy tradition has never been forgotten by Iranian nationalists.

The most obvious focus for our counterfactual here is that without the Islamic invasion of Mesopotamia, there would be no Sunni-Shia war to appropriate the attention of millions of potentially gifted people. People would not be blown up in Iraq over dynastic quarrels. Iranians would be free to record music videos without fear of arrest. Bahrain wouldn’t be torn apart by the competing gravities of ethnicity and religion.

Lebanon.

Hananiah_of_Phoenicia_with_Peter

Lebanon is a famously divided country, the Muslim and Maronite populations having dwelled uncomfortably with one another for many centuries. It is in the Maronite areas that we can best appreciate what Lebanon (ancient Phoenicia) would likely have become without Islam.

If you’ve been to Lebanon or have seen photographs of pre-civil war Beirut, you can appreciate how quintessentially ‘European’ this country once was. A photograph of old central Beirut with the Arabic script signs removed could be readily mistaken for Israel, Southern France or Greece, with bars, nightclubs, theatres and a young, relaxed, liberal population furnishing the well-built streets.

Conclusion.

The march of Islam has swallowed up (and destroyed) many of the greatest cultural achievements of our collective human history. Though the Middle East seems so congenitally barbed with troubles, this should not mislead us into thinking it couldn’t have been a fascinating, pricelessly rich area had the circumstances been different. Recognising this should also inform us of a very important truth. Those who doubt that England, Italy or Germany are somehow too ‘impressive’ to fall to the same force are deluding themselves.

D, LDN.

Kill it Before it Grows.

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Talking of the Middle East, the conquest of this region by the Stone Age lunatics ‘ISIS’ continues apace.

An Islamic caliphate has now been officially declared and the loyalty of every Muslim in the world formally demanded. The shaggy beatnik ‘Caliph’ of this empire (Abu-Bakr Baghdadi) announced these initiatives in a public speech in which he also justified a global war aimed at making the borders of his hell-state globally circular.

“I am the wali (leader) who presides over you” he stated “…God gave your mujahedeen brothers victory after long years of jihad and patience… so they declared the caliphate and placed the caliph in charge… This is a duty on Muslims that has been lost for centuries.”

Despite the hypocritical resistance of states like Saudi Arabia and Iran, this is actually the logical endpoint of Islamic politics. Consequently, it will find a worryingly large audience if left to advertise itself with this kind of propaganda.

It is my view that we must act and that it is better to act now.  

The New Caliphate, although already notorious for its cruelty and martial zeal, is small and poorly organised; it has no economy that couldn’t be torn down by the most elementary measures, and – most vitally – it is surrounded by states who (officially at least) answer to our leadership.

Little stands in the way of action except cowardice.

So, as a Fox News anchor was stupidly ridiculed for suggesting, bomb them. Annihilate them from the air, not only to cripple this threat in its youth, but to prepare a message for those which may appear in the future.

Since 9/11 we have become so wearily accustomed to the spectacle of bearded revolutionaries prophesying our death or enslavement, that we no longer seem especially concerned by it.

More often that not, our strength justifies this indifference, but it may not forever. A Caliphate encompassing the angry youth of the Muslim world is not something to be brushed off from the imagination like a threat from the glorious military of North Korea. These people are closer. Much closer. Via Turkey, they can very easily infiltrate our continent.

To allow the enemy a base of operations and training only miles from the EU is a death wish, and many lives can be saved by acting sooner rather than later.

D, LDN.

Muslims Vs Roma in Page Hall.

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Untitled

The other day, I watched a BBC documentary entitled ‘Police Under Pressure: Uneasy Peace’ which documented the escalating tensions between the settled communities of Page Hall in Sheffield, and the thousands of Slovakian Roma who have arrived in the area over recent years.

I was already passingly familiar with the issue. The situation has enjoyed a national prominence ever since it was mentioned by (now retired) MP David Blunkett, who famously warned that ‘riots’ are a possible consequence if the government fails to address local concerns. Though he was roundly criticised for ‘scaremongering’, the documentary (if it is to be believed) demonstrates that his concerns were and are well founded.

The Page Hall district of Sheffield has traditionally been divided between White Britons and British born Pakistanis. The Roma were added to this stew only recently and have quickly become unpopular with both locals and police. 

So controversial has their behaviour been in fact, that they have pressed together the Pakistanis and Whites into a strange and very untypical alliance. Reflecting this, the documentary featured many instances of Pakistanis adopting the language of the indigenous far-right. “I’ve got more rights (than them). I was born here. British born and bred. I’m proud of it.” one Asian male barked to police officers after a night of low-level disorder. Another compared the Slovakians to ‘rats’, while another predicted ‘World War 3′ if the police failed to disperse the crowds of Roma children playing on their street at night.

In case you should doubt the scale of what we’re talking about, here (unbelievably) is the Guardian:

“Nobody knows for sure how many Roma people have come to Sheffield since Slovakia joined the EU in 2004. The council’s best guess is that 1,500 eastern European Roma children now live in the city as a whole, with around 500 in the small Page Hall area. Miroslav Sandor, a Roma community worker in Page Hall, gives a much higher estimate. He thinks there may be 600-900 large families in the city… Though the migrants come and go, the flow is predominantly in one direction. Three buses run by Interbus make the 30-hour journey overland from Slovakia to Sheffield each week but just two go back in the other direction.”

The right-wing press has spoken (as one might expect) rather more frankly. Joe Shute in the Telegraph described the situation as follows:

“The atmosphere is poisonous, a breeding ground for trouble. Roma youths and adults hang around in groups, dozens at a time throughout the day and night. Rumours swirl between them and the Pakistani and white community, with each blaming the other for fuelling drugs, prostitution, and the increase of rubbish. There have been numerous reported fights. One Pakistani shopkeeper’s wife had her hand broken in a recent altercation with Roma youths… The community feels at breaking point. “When it goes off, it will be like an atom bomb here,” a shopkeeper warns as he picks up a broken glass bottle from the street. A group of Roma youths swagger past. Nobody looks anybody in the eye.”

To further complicate this stand-off, the documentary later featured a march by the English Defence League – ostensibly about the conversion of a local pub into a mosque (embarrassingly for the EDL, it was later decided to convert the building into a KFC) – but more likely held to protest the Islamisation of the area in general. The march was planned to kettle at the border of a mixed Muslim-White area of the district. Frustratingly, the position of the EDL in regard to the Roma population was never investigated.

As a phenomenon, this is broader than England of course. The Romani (or ‘Gypsy’) community are becoming a heated topic of debate across Europe. In the larger Spanish cities, tensions arising from Romani immigration have been markedly severe. France meanwhile is still convulsing from a national scandal involving the beating to death by vigilantes of a Romani teenager suspected of burglary.

I can’t say I’m wholly innocent of the ill-feeling either. Like most Londoners, it has become almost second nature to me to avoid cashpoints whenever there are unaccompanied brown children nearby.

But talking about Romani immigration is naturally far more difficult than discussing the obvious disadvantages of Muslim settlement. Given the revolting treatment of Romani Europeans in World War II, one will always run the risk of unknowingly quoting Heinrich Himmler.

As to Page Hall specifically – and though they might be enjoying themselves immensely – I would also warn the Muslim community to refrain from using terms like ‘rats’ and ‘World War III’. An occasion may come for these words, but it’s unlikely to involve Slovakians.

D, LDN.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 166 other followers