Friday, July 19, 2019

President Trump: “They will pay a price like nobody has ever paid a price”

Is Boris wrong to claim Islam set the Muslim world back?


18 July 2019
5:17 PM          

I do love the Guardian. As the years go by almost no publication continues to give me such constant amusement. This week has been no exception.

A couple of days after first reading it I still remain almost impossibly amused by the paper’s lead, front-page story from earlier this week. The banner headline read ‘Boris Johnson claimed Islam put Muslim world “centuries behind”.’ As the sub-header for Frances Perraudin’s piece put it:
‘Anger as 2007 essay lamenting ‘no spread of democracy’ in Islamic world comes to light.’

Comes to light, eh? Must be some under-the-counter pamphlet, previously hidden-from-public-view stuff. That impression is reinforced as we start reading  Perraudin’s piece, a piece that sets off with a paragraph of scintillating promise:
‘Boris Johnson has been strongly criticised for arguing Islam has caused the Muslim world to be “literally centuries behind” the west, in an essay unearthed by the Guardian.’

‘Unearthed’. Wow, this must be exceptionally secret – as well as strong – stuff. So we have to keep reading to discover that the offence complained of did not occur during a rally in a Bavarian beer-hall, but in ‘An appendix added to a later edition of The Dream of Rome, his [Johnson’s] 2006 book about the Roman empire.’ So in fact when the Guardian’s intrepid correspondent, Frances Perraudin, talks about ‘unearthing’ something, what she really means is that she has read some of a book published a little over a decade ago. You can say many things about reading books, including reading books by prominent politicians, but the turning of research into ‘unearthing’ is the sort of self-glorification and task-inflation that could only occur in a trade that is dying.

And what is the ‘Anger’ which helps to make this Guardian front-page story about a published book? Have the Ayatollahs in Iran commented on ‘The Dream of Rome’? Has Al-Azhar issued any ruling on the permissibility of the 2007 appendix? It appears not. Firstly because they are probably not much bothered by it. And secondly because to get comment from such sources would require effort. Instead Perraudin in all likelihood called up the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and ‘Tell Mama’ for comment. The way such organisations work is that journalists of the Perraudin school call them up to ask if they are outraged by something, the organisations then agree that they are outraged at this week’s outrage and thus the journalist gets a story and the group in question gets to continue to hold itself out as a representative body of some kind. Making everyone a winner.

Yet still this does not seem enough for a real story. Let alone a front-pager. So what we are really reduced to hoping for is that the contents of the book Johnson secretly published through one of the nation’s biggest publishers a decade ago must contain really frightfully incendiary stuff.
Alas here again we must be disappointed. For in his book Johnson apparently argued that the Islamic religion caused the Muslim world to be ‘literally centuries behind’ the West. He furthermore said,
‘There must be something about Islam that indeed helps to explain why there was no rise of the bourgeoisie, no liberal capitalism and therefore no spread of democracy in the Muslim world.

‘It is extraordinary to think that under the Roman/Byzantine empire, the city of Constantinople kept the candle of learning alight for a thousand years, and that under Ottoman rule, the first printing press was not seen in Istanbul until the middle of the nineteenth century. Something caused them to be literally centuries behind.’

The Guardian, and Perraudin, along with the MCB and Tell Mama and various other professional offence-takers think it not just outrageous but seriously provocative for someone to point this out.

So rather than counter anger with anger, I would like to respond in a spirit of charity and generosity. Thus do I hereby offer a box of Roses chocolates to any Muslim or non-Muslim organisation or spokesperson who can prove that Johnson was wholly wrong in the above statements, and that rather than being a plausible and legitimate interpretation of the historical record, the statements in fact constitute a set of wholly made-up hate-claims. I have purchased the box of chocolates. They are sitting beside me, temptingly, indeed coquettishly, as I write. Yet I will not touch them. All that Tell Mama, the MCB or anyone else needs to do to get them, is to prove that wherever and whenever the religion of Islam arrives in a society, that society sees a burgeoning of capitalism, democracy and the free exchange of ideas. It can’t be that difficult, can it? I await the deluge of applications.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Shame on the Democrats and the House!

Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

Shame on the Democrats and the House!  Trump’s tweets have nothing to do with racism and everything to do with the failure of Islamic ideology in the countries from which two of the congresswomen came from and the failure of Communist ideology the other two espoused. As Czech president Milos Zeman said, political correctness is a euphemism for political cowardice.

Just a few days ago Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote in the WSJ article titled Can Ilhan Omar Overcome Her Prejudice?:

“Islamists have understood well how to couple Muslim anti-Semitism with the American left’s vague notion of “social justice.” They have succeeded in couching their agenda in the progressive framework of the oppressed versus the oppressor. Identity politics and victimhood culture also provide Islamists with the vocabulary to deflect their critics with accusations of “Islamophobia,” “white privilege” and “insensitivity.” A perfect illustration was the way Ms. Omar and her allies were able to turn a House resolution condemning her anti-Semitism into a garbled “intersectional” rant in which Muslims emerged as the most vulnerable minority in the league table of victimhood.

Netanyahu: Europeans Won’t Wake Up Until an Iranian Nuclear Weapon Falls on Them

“The European reaction to the Iranian violations” of the nuclear accord, said Netanyahu, “are reminiscent of the European appeasement policy of the 1930s. Then too, there were those who buried their heads in the sand and did not see the coming danger.”

“It seems that there are those in Europe who won’t wake up until an Iranian nuclear weapon falls on European soil,” he quipped. “By then it’ll be too late.”

“In any event,” the prime minister declared, “we will do everything to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.”

Off topic - Apollo's Code: Meet the Computer Programmer Who Landed Us on the Moon

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Gathering Storm - Netanyahu is convinced that we are living out a rerun of the 1930s

Letters to the Editor, Jerusalem Post, July 10, 2019

That’s one small step for Iran

Regarding “Iran’s nuclear enrichment game” (July 9), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said World War II began in Europe “when Nazi Germany took one small step – to enter the Rhineland [in 1936]. A small step. No one said anything and no one did anything. The next step was the Anschluss, the connection with Austria [annexation of Austria in March 1938], and the next step was entering the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia [October 1938]. And the rest is known.” 

Netanyahu knows what is at stake. According to Ari Shavit’s 
article from 2012, “A few years ago Netanyahu held an in-depth discussion with Middle East expert Bernard Lewis. At the end of the talk, he was convinced that if the ayatollahs obtained nuclear weapons, they would use them. Since that day, Netanyahu seems convinced that we are living out a rerun of the 1930s.” 

So the question is not whether Israel is going to preempt; the question is only when.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Bibi and I are in sync on Iran

Two days ago I posted this in the Jerusalem Post

Today PM Netanyahu said

World War II began in Europe, he said, “when Nazi Germany took one small step - to enter the Rhineland [in 1936]. A small step. No one said anything and no one did anything. The next step was the Anschluss, the connection with Austria [annexation of Austria in March 1938], and the next step was entering the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia [October 1938]. And the rest is known.”

After all, we have been reading the same books

Time to get tuna - John Bolton’s tuna 

Eleven years ago I wrote Facing Iran, Alone and eight years ago started this blog. But it seems that I might have been wrong. We are not alone any more.