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Thursday, December 31, 2009

How Dutch Thrift Thwarted Islamic Christmas Terror Plot

Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad has sat down in Miami with Jasper Schuringa, the man who jumped and subdued the Muslim terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day flight NW253. Here's a short translation.

"As I jumped him I saw the fear in his eyes"


He's still shocked about what happened. "It was truly a bizarre experience. But I'm thankful I'm alive." He felt rage as he jumped the Muslim terrorist. "I was so angry he wanted to kill all these people. Together with another person I dragged him to the front of the plane. There I tore up his clothes to see if he was hiding any more explosives. I even checked his shoes. The passengers on the plane got a second chance and I didn't want to waste it."

He realizes if Umar had it his way, he'd be dead by now. "I was seated quite close to him; had he succeeded I wouldn't even have been aware of what happened. But for passengers in the front and in the back of the plane it would have been hell. They would have crashed and burnt alive. I can't understand why somebody would want to do such a thing. All those children! Why should you want to kill them? I saw the fear in Umar's eyes as I jumped him: apparently he does have feelings."

"Umar thought he was already in Heaven ... then he saw me"


He's exhausted. He hasn't had a rest since his name jumped to the front pages of the newspapers. He watches as CNN shows the remains of Umar's underwear. "Are those his knickers?" he asks. "I touched those!" The bandages have been removed from his hands, but the wounds are still visible. He got that when he doused the fire.

He looks relaxed, but his eyes are red from lack of sleep. I haven't had the time to go out with friends or grab a beer. My phone nearly exploded. He makes clear he hasn't been paid for interviews. Not a penny. Only recently it dawned on him how close to death he's been. "Only Saturday I learnt the amount of explosives were sufficient to blow us all up. Later I heard Umar acted on behalf of Al Qaeda. Then it dawned on me what had happened. Wow!"

He believes he isn't  traumatized psychologically. "I'm surprised myself. I was quite calm in the plane, and also afterwards. It's said you break down once adrenaline levels normalize. So I expected to collapse once I'd arrived in Miami, but no, I'm still standing. The film maker recalls the moment, just before landing in Detroit. He heard a thudding noise and somebody screamed "fire". Next to me sat a pilot. We looked at each other and realized, this isn't good. I looked at Umar. A normal person gets up on his feet when his chair's on fire, but not him. Then I knew. This is a terrorist attack."

He jumped six chairs and two aisles to the left hand side of the plane and grabbed him. "I had to yank hard to rip the explosives from his body. In the meantime I tried to douse the fire. How I knew what to do? I didn't. Perhaps I'd seen it done in a movie."

It's almost as if the Frisian knew what was coming. Eight years ago he wrote the film script 'Destination Amsterdam' that eerily resembles what happened on Christmas Day. "It's about a suicide bomber plotting to kill a politician at Amsterdam Airport. But the bomb fails to explode. Like Umar's. He thought he was already in Heaven ... but then he saw me."

After landing at Detroit Schuringa was interrogated extensively by the FBI. They wanted to keep me there even longer, but he demanded to continue his trip to Miami. "I'd worked so hard the last couple of days. I just wanted to take a break and see my girl friend."

The shoes and clothes he'd been wearing were confiscated for forensic purposes. FBI agents quickly bought him clothes from a golfshop at the airport. "I looked like a clown! The pants were too large and they'd bought me weird slippers I refused to wear." Bare footed he trotted to his connecting flight. No, he isn't afraid of flying. "What are  the odds of this happening again?"

He isn't aware of the commotion he has caused in his homeland. He frowns at the word 'statue'; he doesn't think he's a hero. "I was at the right place, at the right time, that's all there's to it. Besides, I wasn't alone - others helped too." All the attention takes some getting used to. "I'm a fairly reticent person. It's rather strange that all of a sudden everyone knows who I am."

Another paper - De Telegraaf - reported this morning Schuringa has been moved to an FBI safehouse in Miami.Unlike the Dutch National Counter Terrorism Coordinator, who advised no extra precautions were necessary for thwarting Al Qaeda, the FBI isn't taking any chances.

Proverbial Dutch frugality may have saved the day. In the article his parents relate how their son originally planned to fly a day earlier. But the Christmas Day ticket was much cheaper, so he took that flight.

Earlier posts on this subject:

- "The Case of the Undocumented Crotch Bomber"
- "Christmas Cracker Turns Man-Made Disaster Escape"

Related:

- Telegraph: "Detroit terror attack: A murderous ideology tolerated for too long" - Telegraph View: Jihadist Islamism is comparable to Nazism in many respects. The British public realises this; so do the intelligence services. Hat Tip: American Power
- BBC: "Obama to receive reports on plane bomb security lapses"
- WSJ: "Court Freed Somali Plane Suspect"
- NY Daily News: "White House attacks Cheney over his accusations that administration is soft on terror", by Catey Hill

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Crucial Day for the Iranian Resistance

Afshin Ellian once again throws light on the situation in Iran and has some harsh words for Obama and his postmodern foreign policies towards Iran.

What to think of the morally relativistic initiatives of John Kerry and his request for parley, while his office is flatly denying it?



In an article on Wall Street Journal Ellian explains the unique and specific nature of the Iranian theocracy:
The regime's theological nature gives it a very different perception of reality. Despite the popular unrest and growing rift between the regime and the military and clergy, Ahmadinejad has no reason to see himself as weak or illegitimate. In his world view, bolstered by people such as Ayatollah Yazde, his regime does not rely on the consent of the people or dissident ayatollahs. Instead, it gains its legitimacy by its obedience to Allah. The regime surely fears the people, but controlling the masses serves the greater cause of obedience to Allah and therefore the interests of the people are of no real importance to this regime.
Ellian also has an important post up on Elsevier on events during Ashura on December 27 and today, a crucial day in the resistance against Islamofascism. As it's very lengthy I'll limit the translation to the main points:

Sunday marked the bloodiest Ashura in Iran's history. Ahmadinejad claimed the protests were stoked by the Americans and Israelis. A video shows a police car purposefully careering into the public. More video.


Sometimes police are driven into a corner by the public. Some women even try to protect them from the angry masses (photo).

Ellian, a lecturer at Leiden University of Law Philosophy ponders the question what the legal status is of a State that willfully and indiscriminately molests and kills its people? Does it still hold the Mandate of Heaven?

He answers the question negatively: on the basis of Natural Law as well as International Law, a State that no longer protects the people - indeed attacks it - has lost its moral status. It has become a criminal gang.

Since Sunday thousands have been arrested. Jails and military compounds are packed. Intelligence believes a group of professional agitators is stoking the unrest. Protesters held the streets of Tehran for at least two hours before indiscriminate shooting ensued.

Reliable sources have told Ellian the arrested are being tortured to reveal the names of the organizers: perhaps former military and Revolutionary Guardsmen, or veterans of the Iran-Iraq War. They also want confessions of Israeli and American involvement.

Among those arrested are protesters, journalists, students, political activists from the circle of Mousavi and Karoubi, and family members of opposition figures like the sister of Nobel Laureate Shrin Ebadi.

They've concocted a different plan to deal with the leaders of the opposition. Today members of the Basij militias and the Revolutionary Guard will hit the streets to demand their arrest and execution. A Government Ministry has sent an official letter to its civil servants ordering them to participate - the Iranian equivalent of the "Cuban postcard".

They've also planned to barricade Mousavi's office. If he shows up, they'll attack him.

Today is a crucial day. "Tonight will prove if the Iranian Emperor Nero, Khamenei, is capable of arresting the leaders of the opposition. If he does, Tehran will go up in flames. Islamic Nero can watch has diabolical handiwork from a distance."

Ellian wraps up in a post script: no site in the west is capable of following the historical events in Iran from minute to minute. International media often consult his blog as a basis for reports and analysis. It's also read by friend and foe in the Iranian community. In a rare show of gratitude he thanks the Editors and the readership for their loyal support.

More by Ellian on "Ellian Blogs".




Updates:

- Washington Post: "Iran prosecutor threatens opposition with trials"
- BBC: "Supporters of Iran's government stage big rallies"
- Radio Netherlands Worldwide: "Ayatollah Khamenei's jet put on standby"

The Case of the Undocumented Crotch Bomber

On the minor matter of the crotch bomber's missing passport, this just in from The Washington Times:

"Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab reportedly boarded the aircraft by impersonating a Sudanese refugee who did not have a passport, a ruse officials in Amsterdam apparently accepted. It is certain that al Qaeda had tested this method at Amsterdam before."
Neither that, or the fact that he didn't carry any luggage triggered an alert in the ever intrepid Amsterdam Airport security personnel.


Regarding the case of the missing passport, this has been going on for donkey's years. The first thing refugees bound for the Netherlands do after boarding a plane, is flush their passport through the toilet. It's a "known issue".

This act of sabotage makes it possible to stretch the admission process into years, if not decades. It exponentially improves the chance of some Leftist Government proclaiming a general pardon on asylum seekers on the grounds of  "prolonged and inhumane process".

In the past there have been attempts to shift the responsibility to the airlines, but judging by the case of the Islamic crotch bomber we can see the problem still hasn't been resolved to any satisfaction. It's now caught up in the vital matter of international security and counter terrorism.

While citizens may be fined or worse for not carrying identification, Leftist politicians are of the opinion it's inhumane to send refugees back to some hell hole in the horn of Africa just because - through a fault of their own - they're unable to identify themselves. That is, unless the party political affiliation is another than their own; in such case you may well become the target of the national blood sport.


Some may remember the case of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, formerly MP in the Dutch Parliament for the right-wing Liberal VVD party. She was forced to give up her seat (bad auto translation, original article) when it transpired her real name was Hirsi Magan.

While this is emphatically not a case of a missing passport, it does illustrate refugees may have reason to conceal their identity. Hirsi Ali was on the way to her unknown fiance in Canada, when in transit she decided to elope from the arranged marriage.

There's also news on the 'naked' body scans, and why they're not yet deployed on Amsterdam Airport. While it's true that the technically advanced apparatus is very expensive, indeed almost prohibitively so, it would appear the employment of security implements has now been outsourced to the European level! The European Commission is still pondering privacy considerations.

Several news outlets are reporting a mysterious “well-dressed Indian man” tried to intervene on Abdulmutallab’s behalf and browbeat an airline employee in to overlooking the fact that the wanna-be martyr lacked a passport. Intelligence want to know "who's this mysterious Indian".

Perhaps they're profiling a South Asian, maybe a Pakistani or a Sri Lankan. I'm sure he wasn't among the chorus of Amsterdam Airport security personnel, festively cheering and applauding the man-made disaster of 9/11 when that happened.

Update: DutchNews are reporting on a press conference held by the relevant Minister: strings are being pulled and full body scanners will be put to good use shortly. Until such time body searches will be carried out manually. Also: she denied the crotch bomber wasn't carrying a passport. We've put the matter to consideration of a law-and-order absolutist MP. No doubt to be continued. More on NRC.

Earlier posts:

- "Christmas Cracker Turns Man-Made Disaster Escape"

Related (updating throughout):

- BBC: "US aware 'Nigerian' prepared for terror attack"
- Mediaite: "Echoes Of 9/11? Gov. Had Plenty Of Warning About Christmas Day Attack"
- Washington Times: "EDITORIAL: Christmas day's recycled terrorists" - Releases from Gitmo are coming back to haunt us"
- TransWorldNews: "Somali Man Suspected of Attempting to Carry Explosives onto Plane"
- NRC: "Controversial scanners will be used on Amsterdam-US flights"
- CBS: "U.S. Intel Lapses Helped Abdulmutallab" - CBS News Exclusive: CIA Had Info on Person of Interest Dubbed "The Nigerian" in August But Officials Failed to Connect Dots

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Cracker Turns Man-Made Disaster Escape

A young Amsterdam entrepreneur has become the toast of the town. The 32 year old partner in a media company, Jasper Schuringa grabbed hold of the Nigerianse Muslim terrorist Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab (23) and narrowly averted a Christmas man-made terror disaster over Detroit.

Northwest Airlines Airbus flight NW-253 from Amsterdam to Detroit carrying 278 passengers, was on approach to Detroit, just lowering the landing gear, when a Nigerian male passenger attempted to ignite a powdery substance attached to his legs.

Al Qaeda's perverted wish to cause maximum harm may have helped the situation. Had the Nigerian succeeded in triggering an explosion in midair, the casualty rate would have been hundred percent. But the terrorist waited until approach to Detroit, in the hope of causing also casualties on the ground.

Schuringa watched Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab trying to set his underpants on fire. He looked him in the eye, jumped him and held him subdued until landing. Schuringa was also hurt in the assault. His parents are so proud of him. A friend, Kasem Challiou was contacted by Schuringa after the event; he has told the press the jihadist was covered in explosives. Delta Airlines initially mentioned  something concerning firecrackers. American authorities later officially declared it a major terrorist man-made disaster thwarted.

In an interview with CNN (below) Schuringa says not to have hesitated for a second. Which is a small miracle given the advice Dutch citizens get from their authorities, never to act on impulse but always to call in the experts: the nanny state at its most insidious. Not so Schuringa: "I didn't give it a thought", he said. "I just wanted to save the plane".

Just 20 minutes prior to the landing in Detroit the Nigerian grabbed a powdery substance, mixed it with a fluid and set fire to it. A series of minor explosions followed. He claims to have acted on the orders of Al Qaeda.

What stands out in the affair is the rank incompetence all round: the general security situation failed, as well as - luckily - the terrorist, son of a prominent, wealthy family in Abuja. Engineering colleges in London and a terror crash course in Yemen, to no avail. The amount of explosives, a semtex component, is said to have been sufficient in quantity, but Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab didn't manage to ignite it.

The Border Police and the National Anti Terror Coordinator in Amsterdam are baffled. The FBI have also arrived on the scene, aghast how the panty bomber could stroll around the airport for three hours, carrying the explosives along in a bag.

Elsevier Magazine is reporting that security at Amsterdam Airport is wanting. The article claims officials are often barely trained. Pentrite is invisible to current detection apparatus. But it can be detected by 'naked scanners'. More accurately called "millimeter wave scans", these devizes are currently undergoing trials at Amsterdam Airport.


Passengers say to have hardly been searched. Security officials might have wanted to search Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, had they been aware who he was. He is among the 550,000 names in the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database (TIDE). Smaller watch lists trigger additional airport screening, but intelligence officials said there wasn't enough information to move Abdulmutallab into those categories. He was put on the database only after the US visa had already been issued.

! Update Dec. 29: on the matter of the missing passport, this just in from The Washington Times: "Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab reportedly boarded the aircraft by impersonating a Sudanese refugee who did not have a passport, a ruse officials in Amsterdam apparently accepted. It is certain that al Qaeda had tested this method at Amsterdam before." Well, this has been going on for donkey's years. The first thing refugees do after boarding a plane is to flush their passport through the toilet. It's a "known issue". (Read "The Case of the Undocumented Crotch Bomber".

Rand Simberg, a recovering aerospace engineer and a consultant in space commercialization, space tourism and Internet security, writing yesterday on Pajamas brings a few politically incorrect suggestions to bear how the general security situation might be improved.



Related:


! Newser: "Ex Gitmo Inmates Linked to Bomb - Al Qaeda Leaders Did Art Therapy, Were Freed in Saudi Arabia"
- IBD: "Yes, Janet, There Is A 'War On Terror'"
- RedState: "Seven Things Wrong With The Anti-Terrorism Policies of the TSA"
! Mediaite: "Possible Link Between Northwest Airlines Terrorist And Fort Hood Shooter?", by Glynnis MacNicol
- NRC: "Unused body scan could have revealed explosive powder"
- MEF: "The System "Worked Really Very, Very Smoothly" in Detroit?", by Daniel Pipes
- FoxNews: "Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility for Attempted Bombing of U.S. Plane"
- NewsMax: "Foiled Terror Attack Should Be Wake-Up Call"
- NewsMax: "Napolitano Concedes Airline Security System Failed"

Continued in "The Case of the Undocumented Crotch Bomber

Friday, December 25, 2009

Turning the Tables on Hamas and Anti Zionists

Newspapers in Belgium are reporting that a number of Israeli Belgians have filed charges against Hamas leaders in Gaza and Damascus, Syria. The fifteen dual citizenship holders were either wounded themselves, sustained material damage, or lost relatives in attacks that triggered Operation Cast Lead a year ago.

The suits follow several attempts by anti-Zionists in Europe, who sought the arrest of Israeli political and military leaders for authorizing the counter terrorist operation. It is in effect, turning the tables on them. An official of the Israeli organization that helped launch the suits said that the group hopes "to shatter the myth that draws a parallel between Israel and terror organizations such as Hamas." Indeed, false moral equivalence is rife.

All plaintiffs  live in the south of Israel. They are the victims of  rocket barrages coming down on the area from Gaza between June 2008 and January 2009. Two were wounded. All are suffering emotional and psychological trauma.

The suit names ten Hamas leaders in all: political chief Khaled Mashaal residing in Damascus, 'Premier' Ismaail Haniyah in Gaza, former 'Foreign Minister' Mahmud Zahar, and leaders of  the 'military' division, Ahmed Jabri and Mohammed Def.

The cases took six months to prepare. So far six requests for their arrest have been issued, all based on clear evidence that Hamas leaders are linked to the terror attacks.

Arutz Sheva report attorney Mordechai Tzivin, representing the plaintiffs, told the French news agency AFP: "This is a first step in a broad offensive across Europe that will include Spain, Britain, Italy and other countries".


One of the Belgian attorneys involved, Roel Coveliers explains that indiscriminate attacks on civilians may constitute war crimes. "But that's up to the Judge to decide. We don't know if we will be successful in prosecuting the case in Belgium and get a conviction, but it's important to get an investigative Judge to take on the matter".

Filing the suit is only an initial step. A federal Judge will see if the complaints have standing. In the affirmative, an investigative Judge will be appointed.

Although ranging well within Israeli territory, Hamas' home made rockets are not particularly effective. Between 2005 and 2007 Hamas militants fired some 2,700 of the home made rockets on southern Israel. Towns like Sderot have come under constant barrages of fire which crippled the daily lives of the inhabitants, causing material and psychological trauma.

On December 27 Israel finally launched counter terrorist Operation Cast Lead. In the days before the maneuvers some eighty Qassam rockets landed in the area. It still happens, albeit less frequently, but effectively not much has changed. A recent article by blogger/journalist Caroline Glick explains why little was accomplished. Even top IDF commanders acknowledged this week that the army will be forced to return to Gaza in due course.

Belgian attorney Coveliers does not think the Court will reject the request. Thus far he's received six of the fifteen dossiers from Israel.

Ironically the suits charge ten Hamas leaders of war crimes on the basis of the UN Human Rights Commission's report authored by Judge Richard Goldstone, who accused Israel of war crimes but mentioned, almost in passing, that Hamas rocket attacks on civilians also constitute violations of international law.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

#Climategate: 30 Years of Science by Consensus - Plotting the Timeline



This is great!
Hat Tip: "Watts Up With That"      

Mohib Ebrahim has created professional timelines for exhibitions, so it must have seemed only natural to him to want to visually piece together the full timeline of ClimateGate, laying out the analysis, graphs, emails and history of the scandal as revealed by dozens of researchers over the past weeks, months and years.





The PDF chart is available in different sizes, each also with the 10 pages of cited references. The full chart is over 2 meters wide (94″x34″, or 2 A0 landscape pages) and best viewed on screen where you can zoom in and out, scroll vertically to see everything in a given time period or horizontally across time to see everything related to a particular theme. (...) >>>

Check it out! And then there's this:

Frank Hutchison on Renew America has written an excellent essay on postmodern science. Or science, not by objective truth (which they reject on principle), but by that arbiter of postmodern 'truth', consensus. He also touches on another area, subjected to the same treatment: the lamentable Emerging Church - the Truth of the Christian faith similarly reduced to lay consensus.

And irony of ironies, they've done it again. Fighting absolutism, authority and dogma with the fanaticism of the Witch Finder General, they've created the mother of all unshakable dogma, dissenters treated as heretics. Postmodern history is full such ironies. Invariably they create what they seek to destroy.


By now, most of my readers have heard of the scandal nicknamed "Climategate," involving the suppression of information that contradicts a supposed consensus of the science establishment about global warming. For ten or fifteen years, we have been told that when scientists have reached a consensus, all further debate should stop. (...) >>>


Related:

- "Greenism: #Climategate dossier"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Sinister Gathering in the City of Light Bulbs

Today in the southern Dutch town of Eindhoven - original seat of the Philips light bulb emporium - a five day international convention of Islamists is kicking off. It's keeping domestic and international secret services off the Christmas pudding. Authorities fear the gathering will be used to raise funds for international jihad.

The meeting is organized by the Al Waqf al Islami Foundation, also based in Eindhoven. Venue is the Al Furqan Mosque, listed as radical and under continued observation by the AIVD Intelligence Service. At least one board member has been connected in the past with fund raising for Al Qaeda.

Intelligence services are primarily interested in the goings-on in the periphery of the conclave. But a spokesman of the Al Waqf Foundation has declined to take any responsibility for what happens outside the mosque. He said discussions will center on Muslim affairs, but that the convention is open to anyone.

Among the key note speakers are renowned Islamic scholars from all over the world. One of them, a Saudi imam, is blacklisted in his country for his radical views.

The Council's theme is also suspect: "Challenges concerning the integration of Muslims in the Netherlands". Intelligence say it is cover for the actual agenda: raising funds for terrorist operations and the prevention of Muslim integration.

De Telegraaf newspaper is reporting that Dutch imams who support integration have unanimously condemned the convention. "An imam who lives and works in Saudi Arabia has a completely different life experience and frame of reference than one who lives in the Netherlands".

"If one poses the question if his wife is allowed to drive a car, the answer will be no, as it would be in Saudi Arabia. And that would stand in the way of integration", one source is reported as saying. "These kinds of Councils frustrate the good intentions of Dutch imams".

For what that is worth.

Related: 

- "Philips Communist Recommendation"

- "Eurabia"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Of Potentates, the Lie and Altered States of Reality

Russian writer and Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote in 1974: "In our country the lie has become not just a moral category, but a pillar of the state." Think about that profound statement for a while!

The Berlin Wall was raised by the Soviets for a purpose: it marked the border between the real world and the altered state of reality that the Communists had created. The manuscript of his book The Gulag Archipelago had to be smuggled out. This is how the public in the West learnt what was going on. But not everyone wanted to. Some had erected their own altered states of reality.

I am reminded of Solzhenitsyn's profound statement with every encounter with Orwellian Newspeak. That is, with increasing frequency.

For novices to the phenomenon, Newspeak is politically correct language and a tool for thought control. Often a word is used in a way that it means the opposite (as in German "Democratic" Republic, "the religion of peace", "social justice" as synonymous with the freedom of property, or that ethics consists in good intention and never in bad outcome).

Subjectivism is based on a fallacy - that truth "as such", does not exist, but entirely depends on your perspective. This fallacy is the enemy of reality, fact, objectivity, wisdom, truth and ultimately, of liberty itself.

From the error a string of fallacies ensues, amongst others about the nature of language, and even of thought itself. Thought and language become ends in themselves, and are perceived to create reality, rather than understanding and describing it: a reversal of the cognition process.

There is an uncanny relationship between tyranny and the lie. All tyrants are subjectivists. Truth and reality are the given, and as such much be accepted but once malleable, this opens up entire new vistas to those who seek control.

Bullies and potentates - seeking power for themselves or for the sake of the common good - want as much control as possible; so the ability to change reality in the perception of the people is a tool they can't pass up. First they resort to coercive measures. Political correctness, relativism, incrementally shifting definitions, and Newspeak fall into the Nudge category. Later on there are other means at their disposal: punishment, violence, terror, purges, oppression, arbitrary rules and regulations, forced labor and lunatic asylums.



If the nudges are properly executed - which is true today - reality will be turned on its head, truth turned inside out, and mental and intellectual chaos result. This dis-ease is known as cognitive dissonance: the feeling that all isn't well, without being able to pinpoint the precise trouble spot. I believe it is responsible for much of the psychological trauma people experience today.

Yesterday it was reported that the cast iron sign over the gate of the Auschwitz Memorial, "Arbeit Macht Frei", was stolen but recovered, cut into three pieces. Arbeit Macht Frei (work will set you free) in relation with a death camp is a powerful symbol of the Newspeak utilized by philosophical and political psychopaths.

Leonard Peikoff in "The Ominous Parallels" makes the case that the Nazi death camps may have been controlled experiments in mass mind control: what does the absurd, something that bears no relation with known reality whatsoever, do to the human mind ... absurd, as in Vienna walzes accompanying human beings to the gas chamber?

This is why I have devised the "Arbeit Macht Frei" banner, to be used whenever there's a Newspeak alert, to remind ourselves of what is at stake when truth and reality itself are being manipulated to suit the purposes of evil.



Related:

-  The Newspeak Dictionary

- Sparknotes: "The Principle of Newspeak"
- "The Left's Default Position: Coercion" (series)
- "Postmodern Ravages" (dossier)
- "Pomo Lingo" (dossier)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Epics for a Postmodern Era

A major part of this blog's hypothesis is the claim that Christian cosmology has stood model for the conceptual framework of almost all modern ideologies.


As God was the center of the Universe, with Pope, King or Emperor as spiritual and secular substitutes in feudal times - during modernity in Nationalism - the Nation quite literally usurped God's place, as did the State in all incarnations of Statism. That includes liberal democracy, which is presently collapsing under the weight of Postmodernism collectivism.

In Europe, philosophers as well as anti philosophers went wholesale for the substitution model, particularly after the French Revolution, when it was institutionalized in the French version of the separation of Church and State (laïcité).

A philosopher of the Enlightenment proper who has been a major influence on the founding of America - John Locke (1632-1704) - seems to have been well aware of the danger. It was also understood by America's Founding Fathers, who crafted the Republic not on the banning of religion from the state, but the state banned from the area of religion. The statist effort to institute an American form of laïcité therefore goes to the heart of the Republic.

Many writers at the time of America's childhood years - for example Alexis de Tocqueville - have commented on the fundamental role of religion in America's philosophy of liberty.

The problem becomes more clear if we look at the teleological narratives of Counter Enlightenment thinkers, like Kant (1724-1804) and Hegel (1770-1831): a dialectic, constituted of "improvement through strife". Both had a tremendous influence on two of Europe's main political strands: what is termed today, Social Democracy (and all forms of Progressivism) and Christian Democracy (so much so that the British Tories felt the need to leave the Christian Democratic faction in the European Parliament). It is where the Progressives' notion of social engineering (or 'makeability') is rooted.

From "Countering Kant": Kant foresees in a teleological progress towards an end-game by means of strife, war and discord. This brings man as a species to a more ethically evolved order. The process will ultimately culminate in a world government, an international and cosmopolitan federation of states, awaiting the coming of the Day of Judgment. This is the Hidden Plan of Nature according to Kant."

From "Heckling Hegel": Hegel's philosophy is a secular fantasy based on Judeo-Christian cosmology: God's projection, a spirit called the Absolute, represents creation which is seeking reunification with God. Its development through struggle and conflict by means of which it gets to know itself, is the story of the history of the world. The story ends when the Absolute - reunited with God - achieves full self-consciousness.
Hegel's theme was the state. Freedom is not God-given as the Enlighteners held, but granted by the state. Under the principle 'as above, so below' the state acts as the instrument of God. It is the 'ethical whole', the 'actualization of freedom', and the self-consciousness of the Absolute. As a mere aspect of the state it is the individual's duty to submit to its needs, and worship it as a 'terrestrial divinity'."
Since Marx was a student of Hegel's you may be justified in assuming that this is the ground zero of Socialism. But we must go even beyond that. Both Kant and Hegel were great admirers of Rousseau (1712-1778), the inventor of a foul notion he called "Common Will".

From "Radical Rousseau's Ravages": The latter is a concept that in Rousseau's approach requires state intervention. This should not be confused with the 'common good'. It is a far more developed conception which, and unlike the former, can only be realized in the context of civil society under the state ["Radical Enlightenment", p. 720). For the creation of a society of common will, "freedom of all the people", they need only accept the dictates of the state. This was Rousseau's essence of "true civilization." The struggle between rich and poor would then rise to a moral experience of self-restraint. [Wildmonk]


Imagine the world as a dome. Is it an empty space? Is it God's gift to humanity and a theater in which to pursue man's eternal rights to life, liberty and happiness (or property)? Or is the dome filled with Rousseau's nebulous collective ether, made up of humanity's Common Will under the State from which temporal rights are derived? We know Obama told us he likes the latter, in passing also equivocating the redistribution of wealth (or "social justice") with "economic freedom" (Orwell is his master).

This is the difference between freedom and bondage; liberty or statism; the Anglo-Saxon model or the Rhineland system; God given, inherent, eternal, individual rights - or temporal, collective rights derived from the State. The choice is yours.

We live in epic times. Global warming hysteria is the perfect narrative for enslavement to a global tyranny: a common enemy within and without demanding all encompassing collective measures, the Common Will to which we must all submit for the sake of the common good. We are sleepwalking into the trap. Consider these two examples, produced within a day of "Hopenhagen":

AP: "Climate reality: Voluntary efforts not enough" [go ahead, sue me!]


(...) analysis by the United Nations and outside management systems experts show that those voluntary reductions will not keep temperatures from increasing by more than 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.3 degrees Fahrenheit) compared with now. That's the level that scientists, the United Nations, the European Union and the Obama administration have said the world cannot afford. Good intentions aren't enough.  (...) More negotiations are planned for next year. "It just underlines the heroic effort here that the science says needs to be done; it's not easy," said Alden Meyer, policy director at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "If it were easy, it would have been done. This is a daunting effort." (...) >>>

I give you last night's entry on the Articles dossier of Climategate:

The ominous postmodern rhetoric of John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK is worthy of any pocket potentate:
"The city of Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight, with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport. There are no targets for carbon cuts and no agreement on a legally binding treaty. It is now evident that beating global warming will require a radically different model of politics than the one on display here in Copenhagen".

Expect the last remnants of Leftist liberalism to die along with their eco illusions. Aim justifying the means, don't be surprised if the fascistic tendencies from here onwards go full throttle.

Lord Monckton was manhandled in Hopenhagen. Briefly earlier he'd asked Czech President Vaclav Klaus "whether the draft Copenhagen Treaty’s proposal for what amounted to a communistic world government reminded him of the Communism under which he and his country had suffered for so long." "He thought for a moment – as statesmen always do before answering an unusual question – and said, “Maybe it is not brutal. But in all other respects, what it proposes is far too close to Communism for comfort."
Today, as I lay in the snow with a cut knee, a bruised back, a banged head, a ruined suit, and a written-off coat, I wondered whether the brutality of the New World Order was moving closer than President Klaus – or any of us – had realized. >>>
Wretchard on PJs peeks into the future and ventures a guess what the progressivist One World tyranny might look like (do read it all!). Cheer up: "Others have given us the Christmases past and present. But Christmases future are up to us. (...) We are the last best hope of man on earth. >>>

Friday, December 18, 2009

#ClimateGate: the updates

Reminding the readership that there's a file on COP15 and ClimateGate on top of Politeia Articles for the duration of COP15 at least, which will be updated throughout with the latest revelations and commentary.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Afghanistan: the Road to Nationhood - Part II

"On Development Aid, Stability and Unification"


by Dr Sam Holliday


The visit of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Afghanistan, on 8 December 2009, unfortunately suggests that US policy will not basically change. Or if there is to be a change toward decentralization of power, it was well hidden.


Gates spoke of continued support for Harmid Karzai and the building, training and retention of the security forces controlled by the central government, Afghan Army and the Afghan "National" Police.


Gates stated that the US was not going to abandon Afghanistan as it did in 1969 and that money for "development" would continue to flow. He mentioned the need to clean up government corruption, without recognizing that money for "development" was one of the causes of corruption.


The visit of Gates suggests more of the same. New visibility and vigor perhaps, but still a failure to address the fundamental problems.

Because of the fragmented nature of Afghanistan any centralized government able to maintain stability would have to be strong, nationalistic, authoritarian, and corruption free; therefore, the foreign-funded government of Hamid Karzai, protected by westerners and promoting Western ideas of politics, economics, diversity, and human rights has been unsuccessful.

To have both stability and democracy would require much greater common identity among the Afghans, something that would take, under the best of circumstances, several decades to develop. Since the US will not support the kind of centralized regime now required, it is necessary to move to a more decentralized structure.


This will make the various levels of governance in Afghanistan more responsive to the people. It might not be government of, by and for the people but it will be a move in that direction from the current ineffective, corrupt centralized structures.

It will be difficult to shift to greater decentralization since the US foreign policy establishment and the United Nations think in terms of a top-down control to achieve economic and political "development". They want a single point of contact; they are accustomed to dealing with state-to-state relationships; they expect the US and Europe to expend blood and treasure to "develop" others.


They see "development" as making others more like themselves.


Decentralization will no doubt consolidate the power of Rashid Dostum, an Uzbek, Mohammad Mohaqeq, a Hazan, Abdul Rasul Sayuyaf, a Pushtun, Abdullah Abdullah, a Tajik, and their likes within the provinces. While many of these leaders have defects in Western eyes, they are capable of providing a security shield against the Muslim extremists within their our provinces—if they think it is in their interests to do so.


Getting local leaders to provide the needed security shield for the people is an essential first step to stability. Then it would be possible to influence the course of events toward a more desirable outcome. Without this first step there is no possibility of long-term stability.


Therefore, the focus of US and NATO efforts should be shifted to making local leaders, local militia, and local police more effective and efficient. If this is done the cost will be less and the benefits will be greater. XXXXX


Dr Sam Holliday is Director of the Armiger Cromwell Center


All publications copyright © 2008 Armiger Cromwell Center. Permission is granted to forward this article by e-mail to friends or colleagues on a fair use basis. For reprint permission, contact Armiger Cromwell Center at armigercc@comcast.net

Read also part I in this series, "Losing the War is Not an Option", by Arend Jan Boekestijn

Also by Dr Sam Holliday

American Diplomacy: "Aghan Federation"
-
Armiger Cromwell Center: click "Afghanistan*New

All posts by Sam Holliday on Politeia


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Breaking News From Iran

"Mutiny in the Military"

by Afshin Ellian

Breaking news!

Pundits and diplomats have been wondering why the Iranian regime is loath to use the China model against protesters and opponents in the Green Wave movement. The China model stands for an extremely brutal, widespread and violent crack down on the opposition. Well, what does it mean?

Tanks and armed military charging and firing into the crowds. A wave of executions is also included in the model. Applied to Iran that would mean deploying around three in the morning and arresting anyone 'green'.

All means of communication are shut down simultaneously. Citizens will be waking up to an address by the leader who declares the rallies over. Thousands will be executed. Swiftness and brutality is the essence of the China model. Why doesn't Khamenei do that?

He pondered it this summer before he became indisposed. He even gave the order to arrest opposition leader Mousavi. But he withdrew the order when he was told that Iran would explode.

But a more important reason may be found in the military themselves. The Army and swathes of the Revolutionary Gard (RG) would have chosen the side of the people. Khamenei's military power would have collapsed. There were indications for that, but not proof. But that has now changed.

So far the Iranian Armed Forces have not been involved in oppressive action against the people. On December 10 a number of officers and commanders issued a statement. The statement was signed by:

- A number of Pilots and employees of the Airborne Division of the Iranian Army (Havanirooz);
- A number of commanders and employees of the 33rd Artillery of Isfahan;
- A number of pilots and personnel of the Iranian Air Force;
- Lecturers at the Shaid Satari Air Force University;
- A number of officers and personnel at the Logistics Training Center of the Iranian Army;
- A number of professors and lecturers at the Imam Ali University for Army Officers;

- A number of officers, personnel and commanders of the Armed Forces Chief of Staff.

The declaration reads:

"We have been fighting together with our brothers in the Revolutionary Gard to defend the nation, the people and our honor". They emphasized that ... "the value of the country is the value of the nation". That's interesting!

It isn't abstract concepts like Iran or Islam, but it's the value of the nation that is the value of the country. Therefore the weapons of the Armed Forces and RG are disposed to the defense of the nation: "When we fought together, we had no inkling that a part of the RG would turn their weapons against the people."

The short declaration issued by these brave officers will render them immortal: "The Armed Forces are a place of refuge to the nation and will never oppress the people at the request of politicians. We will stand by our pledge not to intervene in politics. But we will not be silent when our compatriots are oppressed by tyranny."
"Therefore we warn the gardists who have betrayed the martyrs (of the Iran-Iraq War) and decided to taint the lives, properties and honor of our civilians. We give them clear warning that if they don't see the error of their ways, they will have to deal with us. We will defend the peace loving Iranian nation against any form of aggression".
The declaration has been published on the sites of various human rights organizations, Iran Press News, Amir Kabir and Gooya.

I've discussed it with various sources inside and outside Iran. It is real. If Khamenei will have these officers arrested, resistance will spread like wildfire to all barracks.

It is ironic that Air Force officers have now joined ranks with the people. Thirty years ago that was also the case when the Shah was toppled in just a few weeks' time. Now that his power is waning in the military, American and European diplomats should warn Khamenei of the consequences of his rule.

Related:

- "Persian Power Play"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

COP15: the Vortex of Global Socialism

GLOBAL WARMING / CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HOAXImage by genetew via Flickr
Yesterday at COP15 (that's eco lingo for the Copenhagen Climate Conclave) European leaders signed off on "7.2 bn Euros* over the next three years to a fund to help developing nations adapt to climate change. Announcing the deal, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said all 27 EU member nations would contribute." (...) >>>

* That's peanuts compared to what is actually being claimed! Estimates range between $100 and $350 bn a year.

To those who labor under the illusion that it's just "government money", just wait till next tax day. Or your energy bills.

Perceptive followers of the news may be aware of a small scandal in the margins of COP15, dubbed "Climategate". It is a confirmation of what many long suspected: that there's a mechanism at work called "confirmation bias", if not - that downright fraud is taking place. Where politics and science meet, corruption ensues.

Others hold that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) can never be proved. It is a given that we will just have to accept as dogma, on the off chance that it's actually true (what was that about a pseudo religion?). It is also true that the universe isn't static: apart from the eternal laws of physics, things are changing all of the time - the climate - meaning: the composite of prevailing weather conditions in a given region (which is why "saving the climate" is such a ridiculous claim) is not exempted.

On this off chance leaders are pledging away billions of tax payers' money in a time of economic crisis and hand it over to developing or stagnant countries in the world, under the radar and as an alternative money stream, now that development aid is no longer an unquestioned form of global welfare.

The BBC is reporting that the G77 bloc of developing nations and China has reacted furiously to the EU offer. Lumumba Stanislaus-Kaw Di-Aping, representing the G77 has accused them of acting like "climate sceptics" (apparently as a replacement term of 'fascist!' now that warmists have claimed that ad hominem as their badge of honor).

He said during a news conference that "they are essentially saying that the problem does not exist. Their pledge does not address financing in its totality. We want to know where the money is coming from. Is it overseas development aid or not?"

Yes, we would also like to know!
"Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (...) acknowledged that the pledges were "a combination of new and old resources".

"Almost all of the money is likely to be simply a relabelling of existing aid commitments," said Anne-Catherine Claude, of ActionAid."

"Oxfam EU climate change adviser Tim Gore was also disappointed. "(...) this money is not even new - it's made up of a recycling of past promises, and payments that have already been made," he added."

Arend Jan Boekestijn is a Dutch scholar and a subsciber to Douglass North, Wallis & Weingast's theory "Violence and Social Orders". (His article "Losing the war (in Afghanistan) is not an option" was posted here yesterday.)

Boekestijn's book "De Prijs van een Slecht Geweten" (The Price of a Bad Conscience) (Aspekt) hit the bookstores in the Netherlands just yesterday. He's making the case that development aid in its present form is doing more harm than good. He's doing so on the basis of the following arguments:

1. The moral hazard: the UN sends peace missions, the developed world healthcare and eduction. What's there left to do for a national Government? Sustainability and aid addiction?

2. The cause of poverty is bad governance (autocracies, Socialist experiments, theocracies, etc.) .

3. There's no clear correlation between aid and economic development.

4. Good governance ought to be a condition for debt relief.

5. More aid doesn't lead to better economic growth. There's no lack of capital in Africa, but capital in Africa has a how productivity.

6. Aid harms democratization: why raise taxes when aid keeps poring in? No taxation, no representation. To which we may add: erroneously applied, democracy may actually legitimize tyrants, and pernicious collectivist regimes.

7. Aid leads to a hard local currency at the expense of exports.

8. Aid is supporting evil regimes and oppressors.

It's an interesting study and we'll be back on this issue shortly.

But while the Marxist poverty narrative is proved false, the combined forces of transnational progressivism and climatism are ensuring that a parallel stream of money keeps poring into the vortex of global Socialism.

Related dossier:

- "The Perversion of Development Aid"
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Afghanistan: the Road to Nationhood - Part I

070822-A-6849A-667 -- Scouts from 2nd Battalio...Image via Wikipedia
"Losing the war is not an option"

by Arend Jan Boekestijn (original article in Dutch)

Pundits are fond to cite George Orwell lately: the fastest way to end a war is to lose it. Afghanistan has divided the West. We have acted so recklessly that it appeared at times as if losing the war was indeed the object. But it would have dire consequences for Western security.

For those who are taking pleasure in debunking Obama: losing the war in Afghanistan is no option. As long as Europe seeks strength in diversity, appeasement and cashing in on peace divident we shall have to settle for Obama. Defeat is nothing less than an affirmation of the jihadists' view that the decadent West has no staying power.

Failure would be a colossal encouragement to even widen the front. In case you're not so sure: defeat in Afghanistan means that the Pakistani jihadists, who won't rest until they've appropriated the national nuclear arsenal, will be able to use Afghanistan as a hide out. To use the word defeat in such a situation, reveals a shocking deficit in responsibility.

It is wiser to learn of ones mistakes. In Afghanistan the US and NATO have chosen for a light military presence. This forced the Afghan President Hamid Karzai into making deals with warlords that were in their economic tribal interests. Some were even included in the Government: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Like half a century ago in South Vietnam, when President Ngo Dinh Diem was given to understand that he must democratize, Karzai was driven to an act of similar political suicide given the lack of a loyal opposition. This weakened his position even further. Karzai is quite literally consumed by paranoia. At night he rides his chauffeur driven car through Kabul, hoping to discover what is really going on.

Finally Karzai's political system was made to absorb such insane amounts of aid, that corruption, endemic in this patrimonial system, rose to alarming levels. In Africa many political systems have been corrupted by development aid, but that is insignificant compared to the intervention in Afghanistan. The mistakes in Africa were multiplied hundred fold.

And yet, in all this gloom over this fest of follies and flubs there's some reason for optimism. First of all, it is encouraging that Obama, like his predecessor George Bush, albeit reluctantly, chose for a surge. Admittedly, 30,000 extra troops is minimal, and half of what General McCrystal's requested, but Obama has come through in spite of severe opposition in his own party.

It is very well possible that 30,000 troops are too few to force a breakthrough in the war, but that sounds hollow from the mouth of an inhabitant of a continent whose contribution is only minimal compared to the American effort. Why doesn't Europe do more?

Secondly, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has shaded somewhat Obama's assurance that withdrawal would go ahead in the summer 2011. That will only happen if the circumstances allow. This is not without significance, because the famous 3-D approach - Defense, Diplomacy and Development - can only succed if the West shows fortitude.

We are talking here of a decades long involvement, not just a few years. Anyone who believes the West will never be able to muster the staying power may be right, but should stop complaining about severe damage to the alliance and a potentially fatal defeat in the fight against political Islam. It's not an attractive perspective. Moreover, alternative presence on the ground, like cruise missiles and drones, offer even less chance of success. Whether we like it or not, we won't fix this problem without boots on the ground.

The question is also if the economic crisis will allow America the cost of a major contingent after 2011. If not, we're in deep trouble as the EU is still unable to act militarily. The word 'still' reflects politeness rather than realism. There is no cause for joy over the economic resilience of Obama's country either.

Neither is there about Obama's inquisitiveness. But he steered wisely clear of mentioning democratization in the same breath as failing states. That's a bonus. Anyone who witnessed the blood-curdling spectacle of the Afghan election can rest assured. Ballots without functioning institutions and a loyal opposition - in other words, without a civil society - are a recipe for instability and in-fights.

Elections in closed societies are of a different nature than we're accustomed to. In civil societies temperatures may rise, but they lead to legitimization because the new Government reflects the results of the ballot box, irrespective how disastrously difficult a governing coalition may be formed.

In the absence of a civil society the dynamics of the ballot box potentially undercut the understanding between the leaders of the oligarchy not to use force. As a result few can resist the temptation of vote-rigging. And that is precisely what happened in Afghanistan. When the second candidate withdrew, the Americans had no choice but to endorse Karzai. His legitimacy is at an all time low.

Above anything else Afghanistan needs stability and order. Only then there's the chance of a meaningful relationship between the center and the periphery. It is up to us to shield the Afghan regime from becoming a safe-house for those who wish to destroy Western civilization. Jihadists from Pakistan using Afghanistan as a launching pad to topple the regime in Islamabad, is also a hazard that must also be averted.

Before we can safely speak of stability we need to ask ourselves why we're training an Afghan standing army. For Karzai? I don't think so. He's a dead man walking. A military corps will only bring stability if it reflects the existing balance of power, giving it legitimacy in the 19th Century meaning of the word. This will not enthuse everyone in the West.

The American proposal to finance tribal militias is very dangerous, but not inept. A tribal balance of power at the provincial and central level is not trivial. The alternative, training Afghan armed forces, is not without its problems either. The current army is tribally unbalanced and it is no wonder upto a third has deserted. It's fairly easy for the Taliban to infiltrate such an artificial construct.

Stability will only be possible in Afghanistan if the Westminster model is neatly tucked away, to gather dust somewhere in a nondescript drawer. Think tribal, practical, undeterred, and bide your time. All other options, democratization, abandonment or just providing development aid, will lead to an instable order, at odds with vital Western interests.

What should the Netherlands do? Forget about being a leading ISAF nation, but recoup, and go back to the area where vital interests are at stake: the Greater Middle East. And to those who think that the West lacks the political will to endure this fight over longer stretches of time, I can only advise you to seek refuge under the bed.

Arend Jan Boekestijn is a historian, associated with the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. His book "De Prijs van een Slecht Geweten" (The Price of a Bad Conscience") (Uitgeverij Aspekt) will hit the bookstores today.

NRC: "Dutch politician asks if aid really aids"

In a new book, former politican Arend Jan Boekestijn joins the choir of people challenging the usefulness of development aid. >>>

Read also part II in this series, "Of Development Aid, Nation-Building and Unification", by Dr Sam Holliday

Related dossiers:

- "The Afghan Front"
- "Pakistan's Double Bubble"
- "The Finer Points of Warfare"
- "The Propaganda Hirabah"
- "Narco Wars"

Related:

- Pat Dollard
- Michael Yon


- The Armiger Cromwell Center (click Afghanistan*New)
- ISAF (NATO) Official Page
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