Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Re-re-re-invention of Socialism

It has been in the works for some time. The process of the umpteenth Socialist transformation may be close to completion in the US, where the Democratic Party has been taken over by postmodern, hard, pragmatist reds.

The Dutch Labor Party on the other hand has just woken up to the need for a new coat - the old Liberal gown now all worn out. Leftist political ideologues have been overheard pleading for a return to old-fashioned, red authoritarianism. But this transformation is still an ongoing process at this point in time.

The metamorphosis was also on the agenda Monday night when the Dutch Labor leader and the Finance Minister, Wouter Bos delivered the so-called Den Uyl Oration (Den Uyl being the Dutch Barack Obama, a Socialist firebrand dating back almost four decades). The speech offers a rare insight into the statist, Socialist mindset.

He dealt with the temporary adoption of Liberalism by the Left, now with thinly veiled distaste referred to as Neo Liberalism. Obviously the Left have been wearing the Liberal coat much longer, but it didn't come to the Netherlands before Bill Clinton and Tony Blair toted it as "the third way".

The Labor leader enjoyed brief popularity last year when the voters credited him with "having saved the banking sector" after he nationalized and bailed out a number of banks considered too big to fail.  He and his party are now at an all time low in the polls.

Bos refers to the market in terms of an out of control monster: "Third way progressives fell asleep with the markets tamed, but woke up when the monster had broken its chains" (I kid you not).

Bos has accepted the Obama as the ideological leader of New Old Labor movement after Obama "proved that transnational corporatism (globalism) is man-made and makeable; it's not a natural process and unavoidable as Neo Liberals have been falsely telling Social-Democrats for years". Apparently Bos just figured out that the regulation of markets is a distinct possibility and politicians can dictate what bankers may earn, without capitalism crashing down to earth in shock. Principle is a stranger to these pragmatists.

The same is apparently true of the "Neo Liberal" plea for limited govenment, known in continental Europe as the Anglo-Saxon model. The Scandinavian system is paraded out, proof positive that big government, economic growth, wealthspread and sustainability are all possible at the same time. So, there are alternatives to the Neo Liberal model (as we've also seen in China where mega economic growth is unconcernedly combined with a communist dictatorship).

You might be excused for concluding that Bos is pleading for a return to classical, red, state intervention. But that isn't the case. According to Bos that would be "substituting one failure for another". Rather, he's proposing the erection of a protective barrier between the private and the public sector.

At this point the analogy hits the circus world: the market behaves like a wild, performing animal; you may think you have it under control, but at some point it's bound to act in accordance with its nature. A motte-and-bailey may in the end offer more security than regulation.

In its zeal to tame the beast, the state finds it easier to deal with larger corporations. Therefore rules and regulations have consistently punished small to medium sized businesses to a larger extent than bigger ones. It has created a convergence of interests of the state and big business, which Mussolini defined as corporatism, or fascism.

Bos blames the present crisis in third-way-ism on the contemporary form of cut-throat capitalism, which has more to do with mergers, shareholder value and take-overs, than with entrepreneurs and human resources.

But as Ann Coulter points out in "Can't We At Least Get a Toaster" this "risk-free Clintonian state capitalism" is the product of the third way, rather than unadulterated laissez faire capitalism.
Throughout every bailout, congressional Republicans were screaming from the rooftops that this wasn't capitalism. It was "Government Sachs." As Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) put it, the same rules that apply to welfare mothers "ought to apply to rich Greenwich, Conn., investors who are multimillionaires." But Wall Street raised a lot of money for the Democrats, so Clinton bailed them out, over and over again. Before you knew it, once-respectable Wall Street institutions were buying investment products even more ludicrous than Mexican bonds: They were buying the mortgages of Mexican strawberry-pickers.
It's the same story, over and over. State interventionism creates a monster, calling for more interventionism. Symbol for all that, stands the greedy banker's bonus, and banks not in the service of the "real economy" but as moneymakers in themselves, as Bos puts it.

Bos never gets concrete anywhere, so it's still a matter of conjecture what this motte-and-bailey between the public and the private sector will turn out to be. The entire history of progressivism warrants utmost prudence and vigilance. Ignore the latest transformation at your peril.

Bos' conclusion is sure proof that Liberalism has been abandoned: in the past he would have thought twice of indulging so freely in unfettered elitist moralism. He concluded his speech, expressing the need of instilling into the elite (they wear this now as a badge of honor), a sense of service and civic duty towards public interests. He even sounds ominous when classical progressivism gets a hold on him: "our desire to lift up man extends to the elite as well."


Sure enough, last night from the Socialist Party (Maoist) convention platform it was announced that it and (new) Labor have committed themselves to a government coalition. As the hated NeoLib feathers are being shed entire new combines enter the horizon. The SP is much more populist, less elitist, and deeper red. The time will tell what horrors this marriage of convenience will produce.

Related posts:

- NRC: "Dutch support for Obama plan to restrict banks"
- DutchNews: "Labour leader Bos leaves 'the third way'"
- Politeia: "The New New Left: the Return of Authority"
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Wilders Trial (II): the Subversion of the Law

Continued from Part I

On the eve of his trial Wilders had the fighting spirit. He's going for nothing less than an acquittal. "The truth about Islam must be told, even if this displeases some," he told a press agency

Another well known Islam critic, Daniel Pipes has disclosed in an article in Middle East Forum his Legal Project has worked on Wilders' behalf, raising substantial funds for his defense and helping in other ways as well:

"We do so convinced of the paramount importance to talk freely in public during time of war about the nature of the enemy".

Evidently appeasers are willing to evade any sustained effort. "War? What war?" All they see are individual, unrelated, criminal incidents involving disenfranchised victims and 'extreme right-wingers' using distasteful epithets.

NRC newspaper opines Mohammed Boyeri, the murderer of Theo van Gogh may be able to leave high security jail for a few hours to take the stand at the Wilders trial. That would be the next best thing to having on the stand Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, Khamenei's most important supporter, as Afshin Ellian suggested. Word from the Court room had it that both were indeed on the expert-witnesses list, but the Prosecutor has rejected Bouyeri (he's no expert, and insane to boot).

The law in the Netherlands has collapsed, subverted as it is by postmodern infiltrators. At some point in time 'the group' was introduced as an operative unit; one of the charges against Wilders is "group slander". In doesn't get any more subjective than that! It has no place in a free country based on individual rights and equality before the law!

Also the very point of the law - objectivity, one law for all as symbolized by Lady Justice's blindfold - has been abandoned. As a consequence Judges no longer judge on principle. Instead lawsuits are judged on a case by case basis 'in context'. There's a real danger of legal distrust, even arbitrary law, and the worst form of legal inequality, discrimination by the state. 'Quality newspaper' NRC observes:
"The judge examines whether a statement is “unnecessarily offensive” in relation to public discourse. Judges then carry out a “contextual examination”: who says it, what he says, and what is the origin of the statement. Politicians, artists, columnists, imams and other professional participants in public debate get extra leeway.
Kustaw Bessems in an article in De Pers hits on it, but fails to fathom the impact. Ranting about Wilders' second target - progressive elites, their attitude of "nanny knows best" and it's bastion, the law - he goes on to remark that:
"(...) Verdicts always have something subjective about them. The Court in Amsterdam is partly itself to blame for the public anger, by issuing an indictment that is in effect a political conviction, even before the trial against Wilders has even begun".
"Subjectivity is also inherent in the kinds of crimes Wilders is allegedly guilty of: group slander, incitement to discrimination and hatred. There's no smoking gun, just words and a video (Fitna). And the questions that need to be answered are almost philosophical: what constitutes slander? What is discrimination? What's hatred."
"Almost philosophical" ... tentatively ventures a junior journalist! Still, he's about the only one touching upon the problem. I thought we were paying philosophers of law good money to preserve the orthodoxy! Also subverted by "speculative philosophers" no doubt.

Bessems commentary on the trial itself is worth quoting:
Wilders will try to turn the tables and put Islam on trial instead. Witnesses like Islam critic Arabist Hans Jansen, Salafist Sheik Fawaz Jneid, and Van Gogh assassin Mohammed Bouyeri will be called in order to prove that collating Islam with fascism, is not as far fetched as it may seem. (...) Wilders will qualify any outcome but an acquittal, the bankruptcy of the judiciary. (...)
- Caption: Geert Wilders (right) and defending council Abraham Moszkovicz (left) (AP) -  
This will probably not be the final verdict. There'll be an appeal and the case may end up at the European Court. But the test, the question if our judiciary system will hold, will be answered. This is the elite's last stand.
Well, I don't know about that. This country has a long history with oligarchies, commonly referred to as 'regents'.

While the defense was concentrating today on questioning the standing of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal in the case, the Prosecution demanded the trial to be postponed, enabling further investigation and interrogation of the defendant. The latter declined the invitation, since "all that needs to be said, has already been said."

The trial was adjourned until February 3.

Let's wrap up with a few choice Wilders quotes that were tweeted out of Court:
"I've devoted my entire life to the freedom of expression; I don't want to hurt anyone; I've got nothing against Muslims".
"It's everyone's right and duty to speak up against an ideology that is a threat to the rule of law".
"Is it true what I'm saying? If so, how come it's against the law".
The entire text of Wilders' speech in Court yesterday is now also available in English.

Continued in Part III.

- Facebook Group "Today I am Geert Wilders" (avatar in picture)
- Wilders' Freedom Party website

Earlier on the Wilders Trial:

- "The Wilders Trial (I)"
- "Team Wilders Versus Pomo Law"
- "Wilders is Fighting Back"

Related articles:

- International freedom fighters comment on Int'l Free Press Society (Allen West, Bat Ye'or, Clare M. Lopez, Daniel Pipes, David B. Harris, David Yerushalmi, Diana West, Helle Brix, Mark Steyn, Nidra Poller)
- NRC: "First day in Wilders trial"
- NRO: "Bat Yeor: Geert Wilders and the fight for Europe - Does defending Western values constitute “inciting hatred”?"
- NRO: "Lights Out on Liberty", by Mark Steyn

Related dossiers:

- "Ellian Blogs" (compilation)
- "In Defense of Liberty"
- "Legal Jihad"
- "The Unholy Alliance"
- "Antisemitism"
- "Eurabia"
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Haiti, the Battle Field of Two World Orders

Despite majestic bows to royal dinosaurs and august apologies for its existence, the world is not particularly impressed with President Obama's "unprecedented" and "historical" efforts to turn the US into a soft super power. The cultural divide between America and the rest of the world is still very much in evidence: American prowess confused with over-bearance, fortitude with hubris. Theater of operation, the earthquake stricken half-island state of Haiti where the US joint task force has taken charge of the airport.

The allegations are issued by the usual suspects: the accusation that the US is "using the relief effort as a pretext for occupation" by current political "mad man" of the Western hemisphere, Hugo Chavez will surprise no one; neither does the criticism emanating from the world of NGOs, home to a collective of anti American leftists of various hue.

But the French criticism is of a different order. The Minister in charge of Humanitarian Relief, Alain Joyandet was involved in a scuffle with the US Commander at the airport over a flight plan for a French evacuation mission. Which caused the intrepid plenipotentiary to exclaim in desperation:

"This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying Haiti."

The spat lays bare a much more profound division between America and the rest of the world. The US is stuck in international principles governed by the Peace of Westphalia, which laid the basis for the post feudal world order through the concept of the sovereign state. And whereas American exceptionalism sees its own zeal for liberty solely as a power for the good, the rest of the world is not so sure.

The new, transnational progressive world order seeks to eliminate the sovereign state as an immoral remnant of the old, evil, post Westphalian order. It is reigned by peace through perpetual parley, interconnectedness, mutual dependency, multilateralism, and that arbiter of postmodern truth, consensus.

Perhaps Monsieur Joyandet would like to propose a venue for talks to "clarify" the US role, until UN headquarters in Haiti has sufficiently recovered from its devastation to take charge of the relief coordination?

An even less flattering take on the French critique is also thinkable. France held the colony of Haiti from 1697 to 1804. Perhaps there is still something smoldering in the French national psyche that likes to think of itself as the island's prime mover?

There may well come a time when the US will say, enough is enough and withdraw in splendid isolation to the glorious lands between the shining seas, leaving the ever scathing world to fend for itself. What will the charges then be: unconscionable selfishness, or americano-centrism?


The Washington Times: "The upside of Yankee imperialism in Haiti"


- "Transnational Progressivism" (dossier)
- NRC: "Americans 'occupy' Haiti"

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Terror is an Art Form in Iran (Updated)

A bomb blast in Tehran  on Tuesday January 12 claimed the life of Iranian physicist, Masoud Ali Mohammadi (50), a professor at Tehran University and described as a "well known figure" in Tehran. He is said to be a nuclear scientist as well as the author of several articles on quantum and theoretical physics in scientific journals. He was a member of academic associations related to experimental science and received his doctorate in 1992.

State controlled media reported he "was martyred in a terrorist act by anti-revolutionary and "arrogant powers' elements" and quoted Iran's foreign ministry spokesman saying Mohammadi was a "devoted revolutionary professor". Yet he does not seem to have been connected to the Iran's nuclear program or the regime.

Although he was not an outspoken or visible supporter of Iran's opposition Green movement, he publicly backed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the disputed June Presidential election. Before the election, pro-reform Web sites published Mohammadi's name among a list of 240 university teachers who supported Mousavi.

That makes him entirely dispensable to the regime, who have been quick to point the finger at Iran's inside and outside enemies: the opposition, America and Israel. Opposition sources fear the regime will use the assassination as an excuse for further crack downs.

Tensions are running high in Tehran where hard-liners - at the instigation of the regime - are calling for the execution of opposition leaders. Informed sources say what is keeping them from using the "China model" crack down on the resistance are the military and the Revolutionary Guard, who for now appear to have taken the side of the people.

The assassination comes during growing international frustration over the nuclear issue and the detention of 33 Mourning Mothers. The International Campaign for Human Rights said more than 100 police and plainclothes officers broke up a gathering of the Mourning Mothers in Laleh Park on Saturday afternoon. The group, formed by women whose children have been killed in recent anti-government protests, gathers every weekend at the park to call attention to the deaths.

Perhaps not yet a "China model" crack down, but five people arrested after protests during the recent Ashura holy day could face the death penalty. They will be tried for Moharebe, or waging war against God - a charge punishable by execution.

One news web site affiliated with a prominent cleric is stating the assassination is probably the work of the People's Mujahedeen under the direction of Israeli agents. Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said there are "signs of the triangle of wickedness by the Zionist regime, America and their hired agents visible in the terrorist act".

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast and at this stage there could only be speculation as to possible motives for the attack, including state terrorism and agitation. The People's Mujahedeen have denied any involvement.


JAN. 17: Ellian concurs in a post that Masoud Ali Mohammadi must have been killed on the orders of the regime itself; probably by the Quds Division of the Revolutionary Guard, sort of a Foreign Legion consisting of expat terrorists trained in Iran. The assassination was probably carried out by a Hezbollah Lebanese named Abu Nasr. Pictures of him have surfaced on Al Jazeera TV and elsewhere. It wouldn't be the first time. It even happened in Europe: a Kurdish leader was assassinated by a Quds operative in Berlin. The killer was apprehended and convicted.

- Caption: the 'funeral' of Masoud Ali Mohammadi, directed by the regime, mourners made up of security personnel. It was also an occasion for more arrests - 

Mohammadi's violent death will mark the beginning of more terror against the opposition. The message is, should Khamenei fall, the Quds Division will turn Iran into a new Lebanon. It is estimated that some 3,000 armed, Arab operatives are active in Iran. The Revolutionary Guard proper is still thought to be on the side of the opposition. If they manage to neutralize the expat terrorists, this will be very good news for Lebanon, Iraq and the entire Middle East as well.

JAN. 18: Looks like this was picking a fight.

RealClearWorld: "Iran vows revenge on Israel over professor's death"


- "Persian Power Play" (dossier)
- "Ellian Blogs" (compilation)
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Wilders Trial (I): the Expert Witness

Next Wednesday January 20 marks the beginning of a political show trial the likes of which have not been seen in the Netherlands in living memory.

While the Public Prosecution Service studied the case at length and declined to act on it, some postmodern zealots managed to get a minor Amsterdam Court to take up their miguided "anti-fascist" crusade.

Some have detected the insidious hand of the Organization of Islamic Congress (IOC) in the text of the indictment. Others stick to an ideological cabal in the governing coalition in which some have an interest in curbing free speech.

The Charges brought against Wilders are, "insult of a religious group, inciting hatred and discrimination". The text specifically states:
"(...) the Court of Appeal considers criminal prosecution obvious for the insult of Islamic worshippers because of the comparisons made by Wilders of the Islam with the Nazism."
Regrettably the law has abandoned objective principle, and instead decided to review complaints in "context" on a case by case basis. So we are assured that present spectable will be repeated numbers of times, which in itself will have a chilling effect on the freedom of expression.

Self censorship among pundits and artists has already become common practice. No one considers the use of the politically correct Index for the media an intolerable infringement on the freedom of the press. But then, that is how incremental nudging works.

Klein Verzet Blog elaborates on a legal precedent involving "group insult" and the all important differentiation between man and his ideas. Catholics, usually good philosophers, have always understood the difference between sin and sinner.

Prof. Afshin Ellian has had a bright idea. On Friday on his blog on Elsevier (in English) he proposed as follows:

Those in power in Islamist Iran represent a pure form of political Islam. It is a unapologetic form of Islamofascism, which includes antisemitism. The self-appointed President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad often expresses himself in antisemitic terms. (Iran's ruler) Ayatollah Khamenei is supported by other antisemitic clerics holding an ideology that is apocalyptic in nature. They believe that the appearance of the 12th Imam must be triggered through strife and mayhem (like all other collectivist, Utopian narrative, CT).
Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi is Khamenei's most important supporter. He's a member of various bodies of Government. In an address on January 5 he elaborated at length on the Jewish question. (...)  Geert Wilders MP should subpoena Mesbah Yazdi as an expert witness. Mesbah Yazdi must be questioned about his views on Jews. Are they rooted in the Koran?
The proceedings must be broadcast live. Islam will be on trial.(...) Let defending council Abraham Moszkowicz question him about the Jews and their tragic fate. Wilders should show him historical material and videos of murdered Iranians. Then the parallel between Nazism and Islamism will become apparent.
There are indeed philosophical parallels between Islam(ism) and Western totalitarian ideologies, such as fascism, National Socialism and Communism. The evil only differs in detail and in degree. Reduced to the root these are the common basics:
  • anti realist metaphysics;
  • socialist and anti free market capitalism in economics;
  • an anti reason, relativist and subjectivist epistemology; 
  • a view of man as a socially constructed victim. 
But it gets at its most problematic when it comes to ethics: i.e.
  • collectivism and anti individual rights.
To date in world history there has never been any benign collective, ever. And therein lies the clash of the ummah with liberal-democracy: the former is a collective, the latter rests on individual rights. These cannot be conciliated without laying the ax at the root of Western civilization.

Muslims must be given to understand that the price for living in freedom, is mutual toleration. Westerners must learn that the price of tolerating intolerance, is freedom. And freedom is the ground on which common prosperity rests. These are not vague abstractions, but very real concepts.

We shall be reporting throughout on the Wilders trial. One commentator has detected a certain tension at the Court: these people are "scared to death!" Last Wednesday during Wilders' appeal against the indictment, journalists were shut out of Court House, ostensibly for his safety. But as the pundit remarked, since when do journalists pose a security risk? The actual reason is - and this is our conclusion, not the pundit's - the Court is not only fearful of offering Wilders a platform from which to proclaim his 'abject ideas' - they're also terrified the presence of the press would reveal the event for what it is, a political show trial.

Continued on Part II


PVV information on planned demos at the Court (Dutch)
- Wilders' Freedom Party website (English)

Earlier on the Wilders Trial:

- "Team Wilders Versus Pomo Law"
- "Wilders is Fighting Back"

Related articles:

- NRO: "Bat Yeor: Geert Wilders and the fight for Europe - Does defending Western values constitute “inciting hatred”?"
- NRO: "Lights Out on Liberty", by Mark Steyn
- Politeia: "The Roots of the Unholy Alliance"
- Politeia: "The Mdina Precedent for Holocaust and Genocide"

Related dossiers:

- "Ellian Blogs" (compilation)
- "In Defense of Liberty"
- "Legal Jihad"
- "The Unholy Alliance"
- "Antisemitism"
- "Eurabia"
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Professor's Proposal for an Expert Witness

Next Wednesday January 20 marks the beginning of a political show trial the likes of which have not been seen in the Netherlands in living memory. If it's not thrown out of Court on it's ear, I don't think I want to live here any longer. But no worry, Afshin Ellian has a bright idea. On his blog on Elsevier he posted yesterday:

Those in power in Islamist Iran represent a pure form of political Islam. It is a unapologetic form of Islamofascism, which includes antisemitism. The self-appointed President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad often expresses himself in antisemitic terms. Are there any other functionaries in the Islamic Government like that?

Ayatollah Khamenei is supported by other antisemitic clerics holding an ideology that is apocalyptic in nature. They believe that the appearance of the 12th Imam must be triggered through strife and mayhem (like any other collectivist, Utopian narrative, CT).

Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi is Khamenei's most important supporter. He sits on a great number of Government bodies. In an address on January 5 he elaborated at length on the Jewish question. To wit:

A depraved people
The Jews are the most depraved people. No other country, tribe or region has a people like that. The Jews see themselves as the chosen ones; spoiled, adopted children of God to whom other people, as well as animals, must be sacrificed.

The Jews are cunning in politics. They have sought cooperation with a group of Christians and have become Christian Jews. They are in charge of American politics. The West is actually ruled by them. They are secretly in charge. They sow conflicts in the world. For as long as they haven't been able to destroy Islam, they will not leave Muslims in peace.

We believe the Jews are the true enemies of Islam and the Koran. They have made this known 140 years ago (Ellian doesn't elaborate. Would suggest it is a reference to the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a hoax concocted by the Czar's secret police, were it not it is of a younger age. Perhaps he's refering to Iranian national history, CT).

Their crimes throughout history represent this truth. Yet some Iranians are misled and refuse to accept it. They hold that instead of shouting "death to America" we should sell them our oil. They also want us to open up the same centers of perfidity we had before the revolution.

He's also speaking in superlatives: the most this, the highest that. There are only a few thousand Jews in Iran, but there are millions of Muslims. The protesters are also Muslims, but they no longer want to shout "death to America and to Israel". Yet Mesbah Yazdi is stoking fear and hatred in the people for Jews, in order to cause death and destruction. But those terrorising the Iranian people aren't the Jews, but Muslim zealots like Mesbah Yazdi.

Who is the murderer of the person in this video? It's the Islamic security agencies - assisted by Iranian SA, the brown shirts (Basij) - who terrorise the people. Isn't this proof that Mesbah Yazdi himzelf belongs to the most depraved, criminal mob on earth?

Yet Mesbah Yazdi's speech sounds strangely familiar. Jog your mind and replace Islam with Arian race. We've heard these words uttered during the thirties of the last century. I don't intend to demonize Mesbah Yazdi.

He is allowed to hate Jews and the state of Israel. Nevertheless, the narrative is the same as Nazi propaganda. It is the style of (Hitler's book, CT) Mein Kampf (which includes Hitler's German Volk victimhood narrative, never to be underestimated as a justification for violent action: "we are under attack!", CT).


Geert Wilders MP should subpoena Mesbah Yazdi as an expert witness. Mesbah Yazdi must be questioned about his views on Jews. Are they rooted in the Koran? The proceedings must be broadcast live. Islam will be on trial.

If Mesbah Yazdi has guts, he'll come to Amsterdam to proclaim His Kampf to the world. His safety will be guaranteed. He'll safely return to barracks in Tehran. It will be up to the Iranian people to call his criminal words and actions into question. They will do so shortly.

A Dutch Judge will have to subpoena Mesbah Yazdi at the request of Geert Wilders, MP. Let defending council Abraham Moszkowicz question him about the Jews and their tragic fate. Wilders should show him historical material and videos of murdered Iranians. Then the parallels between Nazism and Islamism will become apparent.

We shall be reporting throughout next week on the Wilders trial.

- Prof. Ellian wiki
Afshin Ellian landing page
- "Ellian Blogs" (compilation of posts)
- PVV information (Dutch) planned rallies and demos at the Court
- PVV website (English)

Related articles:

- NRO: "Bat Yeor: Geert Wilders and the fight for Europe - Does defending Western values constitute “inciting hatred”?"
- NRO: "Lights Out on Liberty", by Mark Steyn
- Politeia: "The Roots of the Unholy Alliance"
- Politeia: "The Mdina Precedent for Holocaust and Genocide"

Related dossiers:

- "In Defense of Liberty"
- "Legal Jihad"
- "The Unholy Alliance"
- "Antisemitism"
- "Eurabia"
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Times of Crisis, Build a Fence

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Hamas on Monday to "watch their step, and not to cry crocodile tears if they force Israel to take action". This prelude to the cycle of violence is usually evaded or censored out by Israel's critics, reversing cause and effect.

Israeli security experts have been cited saying Hamas is slackening in the prevention of home-made rockets being fired from Gaza, which triggered operation Cast Lead a year ago. Palestinian politics is a snake pit. The ceaseless insurgencies against Israel serve the purpose of uniting Palestinians behind groups as Fattah and Hamas, reason why efforts to bring peace in the area have so far eluded us. Security experts say dissent against Hamas is growing in Gaza: the next intifada has already been predicted.

- Photos: abundance on Gaza's markets - Hat Tip: Atlas Shrugs -

But Barak seemed to blame a genuine ineptness on the part of Gaza's rulers, saying "the deterrence achieved during Operation Cast Lead still exists, and it is strong. The fire in recent days stems from Hamas' inability to rein in Jihad bodies and independent groups". Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meanwhile promised a "powerful response".Yesterday an Israeli air strike killed three militants.

The battles come in the midst of Israel unfolding plans to close off the southern border with Egypt, erecting an almost half a million dollar fence along two segments in an effort to stem the infiltration of migrant workers and terrorists. Barak remarked with understatement that "good fences make good neighbors."

Last week one Egyptian police officer, and at least a dozen Palestinians were wounded in a battle along the Egypt-Gaza border. The Egyptians opened fire on Palestinians who were pelting them with rocks on the orders of Gaza's Hamas rulers to protest the delay of the British based Viva Palestine "aid convoy" at the Egyptian port of El-Arish. They soon lost control over the situation.

More than 500 international activists accompanied the convoy, bringing tons of supplies and vehicles. It consisted of British, American, Jordanian and Turkish activists and politicians, including the infamous George Gallaway.

Scuffles at the port broke out late Tuesday when authorities told the organizers that out of the nearly 200 vehicles, some 59 could not enter Gaza through Egypt, but must go through Israeli terminals. More than 50 activists and over a dozen members of the security forces were injured. The "peace activists" briefly seized a police officer and four of his men. They were later released, some with broken ribs.

"We are activists. We condemn the Israeli siege to start with. We will only enter through an Egyptian-Palestinian crossing," said Wael al-Sakka, a Jordanian activist. Alice Howard, a spokeswoman for the group, said organizers were negotiating with an Egyptian security official, who said he would come back with answers. But instead, 2,000 riot police returned, spraying the activists with water cannons, and hurling rocks.

True in style Al-Sakka was blaming the police, who are "too high-strung". Egypt has come under fire from Arab and Muslim groups for cooperating with Israel in its blockade of Gaza. The blockade was imposed after Hamas violently seized control of the territory in a bloody coup against Fatah.


- "Middle East Peace" (dossier)
- DNA: "Islamabad to turn into a walled city"

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Serendipity Monday: Leftist Myth Explosion Day

Today saw a number of classic Leftist narratives had the bottom knocked out of them. Get it here and now, because you're not going at get it anywhere else, and it's hardly likely ever to be told again.

Miraculously there's no one addressing the objectively false Rousseau clarion call that has has it for two and a half centuries that "the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer".

Has the giant face-saving operation begun? Not being a poet, there's no good way to express the irony of the situation ... [sarc] "a pause", is that what it is, is it? and they never tell you it hasn't 'warmed' in a decade [/sarc]. The very idea is giving the game away. If it really is the climate that's gone haywire, present winter conditions should be meaningless!
Telegraph: "Big freeze could signal global warming 'pause'"
The Arctic conditions which have brought Britain to a standstill over the past week could be the start of a "pause" in global warming, some scientists believe. (...) >>>

The following notion always was an insult to the poor, whose interests they always claim to have at heart ...
Wall Street Journal : "A Crime Theory Demolished", by Heather MacDonald
If poverty is the root cause of lawlessness, why did crime rates fall when joblessness increased? The recession of 2008-09 has undercut one of the most destructive social theories that came out of the 1960s: the idea that the root cause of crime lies in income inequality and social injustice. As the economy started shedding jobs in 2008, criminologists and pundits predicted that crime would shoot up, since poverty, as the "root causes" theory holds, begets criminals. Instead, the opposite happened. (...) >>>

As of "Game Change" by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann hitting the bookstores we know for a fact that Democrats are expert projectionists (not that we needed any confirmation). The louder they accuse the opponents of transgression, the more they are guilty of it themselves - the true masters of hypocrisy!
Guanabee: "Harry Reid, Bill Clinton Busted For Making Racist Comments In Game Change"
juxtapose that to ...
Newsbusters: "Reid After Trent Lott's Resignation In 2002: 'He Had No Alternative'"
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 2002 agreed with former Sen. Trent Lott's (R-Miss.) decision to resign his leadership role after Lott made what some felt were racist remarks at former Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party. "He had no alternative," said Reid at the time claiming, "If you tell ethnic jokes in the backroom, it's that much easier to say ethnic things publicly. I've always practiced how I play." (...) >>>

Here's an interesting mental exercise that explodes the myth that the Palestinian question is at the heart of all problems besetting the Middle East (actually, it's the Near East) ...
The Huffington Post: "It's Not About Israel", by David Harris
(...) There are those in the international community who claim that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root cause of the Middle East's problems. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been among the most prominent of these voices. (...) True, genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinians would remove one of the long-standing conflicts in the Middle East. Moreover, to state the painfully obvious, peace would serve the best interests of those involved.
But the suggestion made by Prime Ministers Blair, Erdogan and others that such a settlement is a necessary precondition for wider peace in the Middle East and would take the wind out of radical Islam's sails is unsupported by the facts. Let's assume for a moment that Israel did not exist. Would that have changed the basic story line of the bulk of events in the Middle East? (...) >>>

Students of Marxism have long been aware that it's actually very hard to get the unwashed masses to revolt. They usually suffer from a false, bourgeois consciousness, or they're just too plain lazy. The Russian Revolution required World War I and countless agitators to set it off and even then no one really expected it. Which is why the Leftist intellentsia that think this stuff up, take refuge to upper and middle class brats. Consider ...

Frank Owen's Paintbrush: "The Pantybomber and the middle-class nature of terrorism"
(...) What I find interesting is that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and his alleged crime present further evidence that terrorism is an essentially middle-class endeavour. Perhaps even upper-middle-class, if we are going to get specific about it.
- Caption: Lenin at the All-Russia Subbotnik in the Kremlin - May 1 1920 -
Abdulmutallab is an extreme example in that his background is especially wealthy and privileged. Not quite at the same level of spoilt bratness as Osama bin Laden, but getting there. However, research suggests that most recruits to terrorism come from relatively well-off families and are educated to at least degree level, which makes them decisively middle-class. (...) >>>

The following article is pulling the rug from under one of postmodernism's many fallacies. The relativist belief that all faiths are equally valid, is equally offensive to all religions ...
The Washington Post: "Brit Hume's Tiger Woods remarks shine light on true intolerance", by Michael Gerson
(...) The root of the anger against Hume is his religious exclusivity -- the belief, in Shuster's words, that "my faith is the right one." For this reason, according to Shales, Hume has "dissed about half a billion Buddhists on the planet."
But this supposed defense of other religious traditions betrays an unfamiliarity with religion itself. Religious faiths -- Christian, Buddhist, Zoroastrian -- generally make claims about the nature of reality that conflict with the claims of other faiths. Attacking Christian religious exclusivity is to attack nearly every vital religious tradition.
It is not a scandal to believers that others hold differing beliefs. It is only a scandal to those offended by all belief. Though I am not a Buddhist or a Muslim, I am not "dissed" when a Muslim or a Buddhist advocates his views in public.Hume's critics hold a strange view of pluralism. (...) >>>

That's today's harvest of follies, folks. Let's give it a rest. Perhaps more rug pulling and myth exploding tomorrow.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Balance the Budget, Prune Development Aid

The Dutch Leftist flagship newspaper De Volkskrant recently published a series of proposals by writers considered experts in their fields, how to balance the budget. Here's development aid specialist Arend Jan Boekestijn's contribution (original article).

"Cutting Back on Development Aid"

Stop exporting good governance and nation building, and start supporting private enterprise!

It hurts having to make cut backs. Yet there are policy areas in which millions of people could benefit from it. Development aid is an example. Imagine these programs did not yet exist. As these aid programs really hurt poor countries, surely we wouldn't set them up like they are today. There are five problem areas.

- Caption: theme of Ending Poverty and Inequality

Aid addiction
First, there's aid addiction. If security is outsourced to the UN, and donor countries take care of education and health care, what do African governments have left to do for themselves? An average developing country is receiving hundreds of delegations each and every year offering money, and each making different demands in return.

How can recipient countries learn to accomplish anything by themselves? This problem can only be solved by extensive cut backs on development aid expenditure. The Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and Luxembourg together spend twice the EU average. If we truly want to promote self reliance we shall have to make cut backs.

Secondly, donor money has the effect of appreciating the local currency; as a consequence it undercuts exports and trade - the last thing these countries need.

In the third place development aid has a negative effect on democratization. Third world countries are suffering from a Boston Tea Party in reverse. In 18th Century America the maxim was "no taxation without representation". Recipient countries get so much donor money that there's no incentive to raise taxes. As a consequence there's also no trigger for representation. Only if we make cut backs democracy stands a chance.

In the fourth place, there's an unclear corrolation between aid and development. Aid per se doesn't lead to growth. That's a very good reason to rethink how we organize these programs.

Good governance
Also we have not been able to establish good governance. Most third world countries are closed societies. According to Nobel Laureate Douglass North these governments are primarily occupied with violence control, not with their country's development (read also by this author "How To Put Development Aid to Work"). North posits that features of open societies, such as democracy, the rule of law and civic society cannot be exported one on one to closed societies.

Even worse, enforcing these elements may even be counter productive. For example, if elections are being held in Afghanistan, a country without strong institutions, this leads to vote rigging. Good governance just cannot be exported.

The present Dutch policy, as well as the EU's and the World Bank's, do not take these considerations into account. Budget assistance consolidates evil regimes and fosters aid addiction. Good governance fails. And the ballot box grows corruption.

So should we abolish development aid, as Dambisa Moyo proposes? No, it's an illusion to think that third world countries will be able to procure loans for their investments on the regular capital market. So what can we do?

The only way to foster growth is to concentrate on private enterprise. No one ever got rich off of charity. Stop funneling aid to dubious regimes, but invest in private citizens with knowledge and expertise so as to empower them to earn a living. Also in the field of agriculture much can be done. So let's  reorganize the Ministry. Stop exporting good governance and stop nation building - concentrate on private enterprise.

Market access
Reforming EU agricultural policy by bringing it back to the level of member countries will open up European markets. NGOs are often led by people with very little notion of private enterprise. Audits and evaluations are being side-stepped. So  force them to work more efficiently by dismantling the present edifice of subsidies. Fund some twenty procent on a case by case basis and let them fend for themselves in the charity market.

Enforce independent policy evaluation on all activities. See to it that climate change policies do not lead to a fresh multi billion dollar stream to developing countries they cannot absorb. Recognize that the top-down approach of the Millennium Development Goals project is bankrupt. Replace it with bottom-up, independently evaluated projects.

Be critical of plans such as Paul Collier's to militarize aid. From our own history we know that conflict constitutes nations. Nation building is precisely what Africa needs.

In short, private enterprise will foster sustainable growth which will eventually produce a middle class that will demand good governance.


- Arend Jan Boekestijn's page
- "How To Put Development Aid to Work"
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

#ClimateGate - BREAKING NEWS - of Knorr, Mao and the War on Reality

IBD just put up a post, announcing two more nails in the coffin of warm mongering.

The first is a study carried out by Wolfgang Knorr of Bristol's Earth Sciences Department. Unlike the climate charlatans of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia Knorr followed the data where it may lead. He concluded that just 45% of anthropogenic CO2 remains in the earth's atmosphere. The remainder is absorbed by nature. Those figures have not changed since 1850!  IBD:

"Knorr arrived at the figures by relying solely on measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice. He did not rely, as the CRU did, on badly written computer models with built-in fudge factors to direct the data to a foregone conclusion."
The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters doesn't deny that increasing amounts of CO2 have been generated as the world industrialized, but it also eradicated disease, produced agricultural abundance and improved man's standard of living. CO2 is an indispensable element for life on earth.

Climate believers hold that all man-made emissions are pollutants, the cause of climate change - the word in itself a tautology.

But there's more good news on the climate front. Anthony Watts of is reporting that the carbon footprint as a result of deforestation in order to grow crops for climate saving biofuels, have been overestimated by a factor two.

It is borne out by another study carried out by a team led by Guido van der Werf of the VU University in Amsterdam, published in November in Nature Geoscience.

In the US, preempting Obama's unprecedented Cap 'n Trade Bill, the Environmental Protection Agency has declared CO2 a toxic substance. Reduced to its root Leftism is a war on reality. The EPA's indictment of natural gas reminds me of China during Mao's Great Leap Forward when the masses were also mobilized to unleash a campaign against the metaphysical. Target was the humble sparrow, considered a fiend to the success of the drive for agricultural collectivism. In that light it should perhaps come as no surprise that the Obama administration enjoys its share of Mao admirers.


Elsevier: Dutch (right wing) liberal VVD party is demanding independent scientific study of climate change


- "Greenism" (dossier includes COP15 and Climategate)
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

How to Put Development Aid to Work

"The Price of a Bad Conscience"

by Arend Jan Boekestijn (original post in Dutch)

A comedy of errors. Time: one Saturday in the year 2009. Setting: the palace of President Kagame of Rwanda. Characters: President Kagame of Rwanda and Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation Bert Koenders. Subject: Koenders' wish to save the development cooperation with Rwanda and Kagame's wish to severe all ties with the Netherlands.

Koenders has had better times. Lumbered with a predecessor's feelings of guilt  - why didn't we stop the genocide? - Koenders finds himself caught up in a relationship with the victims of that tragic event. But regretably they aren't angels either. Kagame and his good, old buddy Museveni of Uganda have effortlessly swapped  the role of victims for the one of perpetrators.  In the war in Eastern Congo five times as many people lost their lives as in the genocides of Rwanda and Darfur combined. Small wonder tax payers and politicians in the Netherlands, the UK and Sweden are questioning the ongoing need to subsidize Kagame.

Couldn't Koenders' predecessors have seen this coming? Not quite. Politicians aren't clairvoyants. Should the victims have been left to fend for themselves?

It's much more interesting to draw lessons from the demise. Why did the Netherlands, the UK and the US believe that they could control Kagame? The answer is astonishingly simple. Our Governments are guilty of an unhistorical approach to the Rwandan question.

For proper comprehension one must study the new approach laid out by Nobel Prize Laureate and Economic Historian Douglass C. North in cooperation J.J. Wallis, S.B. Webb and B.R. Weingast in a World Bank Paper (4359), suitably entitled 'Limited Access Orders in the Developing World: a new approach to the problems of Development'. Development aid workers of all countries, pay attention now: you are on the verge of experiencing a paradigm shift.

North et al. posit that societies will develop various strategies of reducing violence; and how they are coping is of great influence on their potential for growth and development. Elite infighting has negative economic effects on everyone. In primitive societies of hunter gatherers there's a distinct lack of specialization, but an abundance of violence. That's a drag on a man in the long run.

One needs to give it a rest every once in a while; a good night's sleep in indispensable to that effect. This is how 'primitive societies' develop into' limited access societies'; violence is brought under control by violence specialists contracting not to use force against each other.

How do they do this? There's a measure of stability as long as the division of the spoils is reflecting the balance of power; vassals may be thrown a trinket or two. As long as the elite is able to keep up this system there's no reason for conflict. That was the way in Tudor England and Carolingian France, and so it is in African Rwanda.

Kagame is the leader of the Tutsi elite; not only do they consistently exclude Hutus (the odd Kabinet member notwithstanding), they also exclude their own fellow peasant Tutsis. Rwanda is a special kind of limited access society. Half of the Kigali budget consists of foreign aid. That is pleasant for the elite. Besides - enabled by sympathetic local Tutsi populations - the elite is also moonlighting in looting the minerals from the neighboring mines in Eastern Congo. That's not bad either.

At this point representatives of Western, open societies are arriving on the scene in order to pay off their bad consciences with development aid. Open societies are much more pleasant places to live in than societies with limited access. The rule of law enables fair competition for economic and political power. This ensures the production of wealth.

And what do the representatives of open societies tell those they've come to help in limited access societies? Be like us. Concentrate on good governance and democracy, and all will be well.

Limited access elitists can't believe what they're hearing. Democracy? You must be joking! That may well endanger their position and that can never be the natural order of things. No wonder Kagame is tapping phones, has spies everywhere, and is manipulating the elections.

Nevertheless, Rwanda is developing, is building schools, roads, hospitals and does not have more than its fair share of corruption, at least on the national level. But it comes at the price of freedom. There isn't any. It's a dictatorship by a Tutsi elite propped up with our money. It's the result of unhistorical thinking. Rudimentary awareness of our own feudal history might have giving us reason for pause.

Word has it that this unholy concoction of African autocrats, donor money and Congolese incompetence is on the verge of collapse. The English, Swedish and Dutch Parliaments are reconsidering their position. The Rwandese elite is well aware of the critical UN report on Kagame's involvement in atrocities in Eastern Congo and that it is jeopardizing the free flow of donor money.

Kagame hastened to clinch a deal with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): he would arrest Nkunda, if Kabila would deal with the Hutu perpetrators of the genocide.What a masterly coup. Kagame of course wouldn't dream of extraditing Nkunda to the DRC or the International Criminal Court (ICC); his powerplay in the Eastern Congo would come to light.

The deal gave Nkunda's successors the option of continuing the profitable mineral looting. Rwandan customs statistics indicate the country is exporting tons of minerals of foreign origin. It's a great deal!

Yet the equilibrium has become fragile. Grease is dripping from the political system: mineral prices have plummeted, donor funds may well dry up. Even Kagame's most loyal allies are getting nervous: French and Spanish indictments name Kagame himself as having shot down the Presidential airplane that led to the genocide. The elite's privileges are no longer reflecting the shifting balance of power.

Kagame's recent sneer that he doesn't need the Dutch aid, and that it never led to anything positive, is baloney. In reality Kagame needs Koenders as much as he needs Louis Michel, Lord Malloch-Brown and Obama. The question is, why would tax payers want to subsidize an African dictator? To what moral avail? Let's hope Koenders will remember that at dinner in Kagame's spy-bug ridden Presidential palace.

When the entire power edifice comes crashing down to earth and new atrocities ensue, will somebody recognize that unhistorical, Western makeability illusions aren't always a blessing? And will we, like in 1994, look the other way?

Also by this author:

- "De Prijs van een Slecht Geweten", book only available in Dutch (via Van Stockum)
- "Losing the War is Not an Option", part I of a series on "Afghanistan: the Road to Nationhood"


- "The Perversion of Developent Aid" (dossier)
- Angelina Jolie's journal "Ripples of Genocide" (site)
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