Massacre in Paris...

Pete McCluskey.

Lifetime Supporter
It was reported here too that is how I knew about it. My point was more to do with the blanket coverage of Paris, with marches in the street by politicians celebrities et al.
Compared to the minimal coverage of 2000+ deaths in Nigeria. I think Keith nailed it.
Backs killing blacks ho hum!
Never in the history of public relations have an institution and its representatives been so mismatched as at the current U.S. Department of State, where, tasked with articulating America’s position toward Middle East terror outfits, Russian aggression, and the world’s other vicissitudes, are Jen Psaki and Marie Harf, currently in the midst of an interminable Lucy-and-Ethel routine as Foggy Bottom’s spokesperson and deputy spokesperson, respectively. In an administration that has always given the distinct impression of being directed by second-year poli-sci majors from the University of Wisconsin--Madison, Psaki and Harf are the only two under the impression that Legally Blonde was a documentary -- one that they are apparently trying to re-create, with little success, at Foggy Bottom.
Start with Harf, who apparently fell back on government work after losing out on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” anchor job. Talking to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews this week, she proclaimed that since “we cannot win this war by killing [Islamic State fighters]#...#we need in the medium- to longer-term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether . . .” Matthews interrupted before she could offer another possible motive, but we can assume it was not going to be “whether . . . they are Islamic fanatics who enjoy murdering in the name of the world’s second-largest religion.” No, clearly driving the recent spate of beheadings and burnings-alive is the absence of a neighborhood Gap store. That is, it seems, the wisdom bestowed by a master’s degree in foreign affairs at Mr. Jefferson’s University.
Harf has had a difficult time when it comes to the Islamic State. Appearing on Fox News to discuss the administration’s strategy on “extremism,” Harf noted that “there are other forms of extremism that are also important.” Fox host Martha MacCallum asked for examples.
Anyone? . . . Anyone? . . . Bueller?
And discussing the Islamic State’s rise with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in September, Harf argued that “everyone -- us, the Iraqis, even ISIL itself, probably -- was surprised by how quickly earlier this summer they were really able to take territory in Iraq.” Even those ISIS folks didn’t know they had it in them! Gee whiz! She explained why the U.S. was caught off-guard: “The capability is one thing you can assess, but the will is a tough thing to assess.” Televised beheadings did not tip them off?
But Harf is only half of Foggy Bottom’s PR problem. She is joined by Jen Psaki, whose response to Vladimir Putin’s aggression toward Ukraine was to tweet out a picture of herself holding a poster that read “#UnitedForUkraine,” flashing a thumbs-up, and smiling like this was actually a good idea. If only Churchill had thought of it! “#StandWithTheSudetenland.”
If Harf seems helpless, Psaki veers toward the downright sycophantic. “The president doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s done around the world,” said Psaki in a press briefing last May. Reporters in the room laughed out loud.
And in October, asked whether there were “flaws” in President Obama’s strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL,” Psakisaid that she “wouldn’t say that.” (Ask Egypt’s Coptic Christians about Obama’s “flawless” strategy.)
When the very next day she declared that “there have been, certainly, gains made by the Iraqi Security Forces in Iraq,” and she offered to “go through some of those for you, if that would be useful,” the assembled reporters watched her flip awkwardly through her briefing binder before saying, “Um. Well, I’ll find these.”
Last September Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly remarked, in a segment on his show, that “that woman [Psaki] looks way out of her depth over there -- just the way she delivers, it just doesn’t look like she has the gravitas for that job” -- a comment that earned him a Twitter rebuke from Harf, who later called O’Reilly’s language “sexist, [and] personally offensive.” Setting aside the obvious facts that 1) the official spokespersons of a government agency have no business singling out for criticism a media personality, and 2) those same spokespersons probably have more productive ways to spend their time, Psaki and Harf have not come in for criticism because of their “gender identity,” but because of their "Delta Nu" approach to diplomatic relations, as if Putin is carefully watching their Pinterest accounts and Islamic State terrorists are following them on Twitter. People in Foggy Bottom’s communications shop really seem to think that those enslaved Iraqi Christians are super-interested in Jen Psaki’s Instagram.
But a crew is only as good as its captain, and the captain for the last six years has been leading not “from behind,” but from a chaise lounge on the lido deck. If Psaki and Harf are often chuckleheaded cheerleaders, it’s in large part because Barack Obama has confused being commander-in-chief with being quarterback. Why wield the sword against Islamist lunatics when you can wield a selfie stick? Don’t these people know who they’re dealing with? This is the preezy of the United Steezy! He’s been on BuzzFeed!
Sure, it is easy to be hard on the Obama administration’s press people. The have the undesirable task of putting a serious face on an administration whose conduct is usually laughably unserious. But if Foggy Bottom seems particularly hapless recently, blame it on the Department of State’s dotty duo.
— Ian Tuttle is a William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow at the National Review Institute.

Pete McCluskey.

Lifetime Supporter
The Weird Beards Are Winning
What do the events in Denmark and the town of Al Baghdadi have in common? Demonstrations of worldwide mass derangement syndrome caused by geo-political maltreatment perhaps? This might be favoured by those whose white guilt and heightened social conscience overwhelm cognitive abilities. President Obama would undoubtedly plump for violent extremism, which by his reckoning is haphazardly and illegitimately choosing Islam on which to hang its hat.
Those not severely stunted by fears of contributing to Islamophobia might well use the ‘I’ word and identify the commonality as violent Islamic extremism.
Those who have studied Islamic scripture, like Robert Spencer, go further and attribute the root cause of all Islamic terrorism to “a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers”. Egypt’s President Sisi seems to be an unlikely ally. Else why call upon imams to revolutionise the faith, as he urged on New Year’s Day at Al-Azhar University in Cairo?
But, take note! There is one disturbing commonality between the events in Denmark and Al Baghdadi that goes beyond the religious scripture and fervour that inspired them. That commonality is success.
A lone Muslim gunman succeeded in killing two people and injuring five policemen at a Danish free-speech meeting and later near a synagogue. No, unfortunately, Mr President we can’t get away this time with ‘the random act of violence’ ploy. One of those in the cafe was a Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who had drawn Muhammad, and unflatteringly to boot. Then there’s the whole synagogue complication. You know, only Jews go to synagogues, as distinct from kosher delis.
Separately, many miles away, ISIS — in the throes of being degraded and destroyed – took over Al Baghdadi. This is a small town only some five miles from Al Asad, the major air base housing a contingent of US Marines. I don’t want to be obtuse, but to me that doesn’t have the ring of ISIS on the run.
In fact, exactly where in the world can you say that Islamism has been decisively rolled back? Middle Eastern and North African rampages go unabated. Iran builds its bomb. Problems are evident throughout Asia and Southeast Asia. Muslim populations are growing rapidly in most Western countries, each of which has radical and violent elements.
Right now, the relevant question is not when and where Islamists will next be defeated. The relevant question is the purely defensive one: How can they be stopped from making further inroads? Can they be kept out of Sinai and Jordan, for example? Will we be able to forestall the inevitable next attack on a cafe, a railway station, a church or synagogue?
It’s all defensive, not to mention pathetic. To wit: “Bring our girls home”. It will remain defensive and pathetic at least up until the time that the enemy has been properly identified by western political leaders.
Robert Spencer, mentioned above, knows who the enemy is, as do Mark Durie, Mark Steyn, Peter Hammond, Hirsi Ali, and others. How in the world did they acquire this knowledge when, with all the resources at their disposal, it clearly eludes Obama, Cameron, Merkel and Hollande? Let me guess. I think they may have read some of the Koran and Hadiths and listened to any number of imams preaching. An analogy seems apropos: If Chamberlain had read Mein Kampf and closely followed Hitler’s speeches he might not have been so easily duped at Munich.
Religious education is alien to the modern Western mind. Yet that is the only key to identifying and subsequently defeating the Islamic enemy. Nothing else will work. When a particular scripture is consistently and widely invoked to support bombings, beheadings, rapes, enslavements and burnings; and when that same scripture has supported conquest and domination since the 7th century, it is surely time to look into it.
Start this way. If practising Muslims were to disavow the intolerant, violent and sharia parts of Islamic scripture what would be left of this (so-called) Abrahamic faith? Not being a religious scholar, I don’t know the answer. But isn’t it a question worth asking of leading Muslim clerics and scholars?
After all, there has to be something innovative in a mainstream faith. Jews introduced the single God, the creator of all things and lawgiver. Christians introduced Jesus as the pathway to God’s grace. (By the way, to ease the minds of non-Christians, the pathway is a multi-lane highway barring none from travelling if fit.) Exactly what does Islam add once stripped of Muslim domination and superiority? That, as they say, is the question.
Is Islam the religion of the Koran and its companion scripture, in all of its completeness and all of its ‘gory’. Or can the ‘gory’ be extracted and still leave a faith worth its salt? The answer to this question is crucial.
Egypt’s President Sisi seems to believe in the possibility of an affirmative answer. Disconcertingly, however, the Western conservative political world has taken more notice of Sisi’s speech than has the Muslim clerical world. You may have heard the deafening silence from that quarter. The omens are bad, as they were bound to be.
There are three developmental stages to go through before Islamism can be confronted. In stage one fools reign. As each beheading occurs to the cries of Allahu Akbar Islam is described as a religion of peace. Arrested development caused by political correctness can prevent graduation from this stage. David Cameron and Barack Obama are cases in point.
In the second stage comes recognition that Islam is not so peaceful after all, that it can quite easily accommodate beheadings and other unspeakable acts against those regarded as infidels. President Sisi seems to have reached and embraced this second stage of enlightenment. Presumably Cameron and Obama regard him as something of a heretic.
The third stage is the defining stage. It becomes clear that Islam cannot change. It has been set in stone since the 7th Century. The very words of God are not mutable at the hands of Johnny-come-latelies. Almost equally, the sayings and doings of the Prophet are not mutable.
If Western political leaders were ever to reach this third stage of understanding they might have a chance of devising strategies to undo Islamism at home and abroad and protect Western civilisation. Sad to say, Churchill is dead. In fact, even quoting him now in the UK, as politician Paul Weston found out, can get you arrested. What we have instead is a collection of prissy, post-modern political opportunists who are willing to sell their respective countries down the river for a Muslim vote. That is the real existential problem.
Leaders with gumption: Your countries need you!
Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

David Morton

Lifetime Supporter
Ignore them at your peril? Pete, I've been banging on about all of it for a long time and a few of our brethren do not believe it. It will get worse before it gets better. We have some really stupid politicians as well who will opt to do very little rather than getting involved again. Look at the fuck up the coalition caused in Libya and now we are reaping the rewards.
COBRA are keeping the smiling face on it all but nearly every weapon has been issued in the Met Police and there can only be more if a new larger budget is granted. That will go through a comittee stage before hand.