Once More Across Europe The Spectre Of Fascism Raises Its Shrouded Head—In Agony!

Once More Across Europe The Spectre Of Fascism Raises Its Shrouded Head—In Agony!

The Story

In Austria’s recent general election, nearly 30 per cent of voters backed extremist right-wing parties.

After the FPO’s election victory, Nick Griffin, leader of the British Nationalist Party (BNP), sent a personal message to Strache.
‘We in Britain are impressed to see that you have been able to combine principled nationalism with electoral success. We are sure that this gives you a good springboard for the European elections and we hope very much that we will be able to join you in a successful nationalist block in Brussels next year.’

Paging Norman Lowell, white courtesy telephone please.

Continued…

The Advance of Islam and A “Moderate Muslim” Brags About the Muslim Conquest of Europe

The Advance of Islam

by Baron Bodissey

Muslim Conquest
The esteemed scholar, Arabist, and publicist Prof. Dr. Hans Jansen is a Professor in Leiden, the Netherlands, and a specialist in political Islam. He was Houtsma professor for Contemporary Islamic Thought in the Department of Arabic, Persian and Turkish at the University of Utrecht until his retirement in 2008.

The essay “De opmars van de islam” (“The advance of Islam”), was published in: Profetisch Perspectief, Volume 14, Spring 2009, Number 62, pp. 45-50; and on the Dutch website HoeiBoei, March 20, 2009.

The embedded links were added by the translator, our Flemish correspondent VH.

The Advance of Islam
“Islamic ideology is not resistant to the free word”

By the Arabist Hans Jansen

In less than four centuries Christianity was able to win the Roman Empire over to itself. This happened from the bottom up, without force or violence, without government intervention or support. On the contrary, the government of the Roman Empire, by persecuting Christians from time to time, hindered Christianization with force and violence.

During the period the Roman Empire was being Christianized, the process occurred more or less in what is now known as the Middle East, plus in Europe up to the Danube and the Rhine. That doesn’t mean to say that there were no Christians outside that area. By about 300-350, to the east of the Roman Empire in Persia, a fair number of Christians could be found (later known as the Nestorians). Also just outside the borders of the Roman Empire there lived the Armenians and Georgians, who by about 300 were not only majority Christian, but had adopted Christianity as a state religion. In the Roman Empire that happened shortly thereafter.

The Muslims managed to conquer roughly the same area as that of the ancient Roman Empire in about a century, with the exception of Western Europe, where they were stopped in France by Charles Martel (732), and with the exception of Turkey and the current Balkans, where the Muslims were stopped by the Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantines, until the middle of the fifteenth century.

CairoNevertheless it was a tremendous military achievement for the Muslims to conquer in such a short time a territory that stretched from Toledo to Gibraltar, Tunis, Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, Mecca, and beyond. According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad, who was the beginning of this wave of violence, died in 632. Exactly a century later, a temporary end came to the military expansion of Islam because of the defeat of the Muslims at Poitiers in central France.

There is not a single Muslim who is unaware of this century of conquests. The military successes of that time are generally perceived by Islamic theologians as proof of the truth of Islam and the correctness of the statements made by Muhammad about himself and his mission. This century of conquest plays a major role in Islamic apologetics. If Islam were not God’s own religion, Muslims reason, and if Muhammad were not the messenger of God, they think, then these conquests would not have taken place and would not have been so successful. These conquests can be considered as akbar dalaala alla Sidq muHammad, “the best proof of the sincerity of Muhammad,” as a comment in the Qur’an at one point expresses it.

Europeans who are not used to employing this kind of reasoning in a debate are sometimes left mute when they are for the first time confronted with this assertion. At some of the meetings that purportedly contributed to the dialogue between Christianity and Islam, this argument was used. Perhaps that is, after all, a good thing, because what is the use of having a quarrel?
- – - - – - – - -
But it is a ridiculous Islamic fallacy. When Christianity was able to win the Middle East and Europe over, it was without using violence. Should the Christians then be impressed that others, namely the Muslims, have managed to conquer such an area using brute military violence? No, of course not. On the contrary.

We should not enter into silly contests of miracles, but may establish that a religion like this needed to make use of the force of arms to achieve approximately the same thing that Christianity managed to achieve without violence. This of course proves nothing, but does make one think, and takes away from their hands one of their main “pieces of evidence” for Islam. In their propaganda, therefore, Muslims are eager to point to the later violent nature of churches and Christianity, in the centuries after Emperor Constantine, the emperor who made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. That of course is true. Man is inclined towards all kinds of evil. Once the power of the state during the fourth century AD came into Christian hands, it was obviously made use of in a way that was considered normal in those days. But that was only after the triumph of Christianity.

Those who wish to may apologize for the later Christian violence, even though their personal share in the mistakes that were committed during those centuries is small. Because of the “confession” that is part of the Christian liturgy, Christians are perhaps trained too well in the confession of guilt, and that contrasts with the views of most Muslims, who are in fact proud of the warfare of Islam against the Christians, and of the military triumphs that were achieved, at least in the early days. Later the balance of power changed in favor of Christianity. But we need to understand fully that the Muslims could have stayed at home in Medina. They did not do so; they marched out to battle. According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad settled in Medina in 622, and since then the Muslims have increasingly engaged their neighbors with the use of arms. Time and again, the Muslims declared war on their neighbors at the borders of their ever growing empire.

That is their choice. It might also have turned out differently. They could have tried the same way which allowed Christianity to flourish in its first three centuries. That is what the Muslims did not do, instead following Muhammad as example as they went into one after another armed conflict with their neighbors, to increase the area where Islam rules. The imperialist wars of conquest these fights and battles have been part of are not something for which Muslims will ever pardoned for. To this day they consider — and this is what modern people find the strangest — that the success that the early Muslims were able to obtain on the battlefield is a proof of God’s favor. Oddly enough, the defeats suffered by the Muslims are not seen by them as a proof to the contrary. For if God is interfering with their wars, then, for example, in the conflict between Israel and the Arabs he is on the side of Israel.

Once the Muslims were the masters of the Middle East, they started — and it can not be said otherwise — to the harass and bully powerless Christians who were in the majority in their captive nations. For the Christians of Egypt, for example, this has been defined in the History of the Patriarchs of the Egyptian Church, a book in many parts, attributed to Bishop Severus ibn al-Mukaffa. How unfortunate, sad, and incomprehensible that no one at the top of the Christian Democratic parties is prepared to read this book (which is translated into English). Did not the Romans state that the gods first blind those they want to pervert?

For the Jews in Egypt this bullying is demonstrated beyond any doubt by the so-called Genizah documents, a vast collection of correspondence, fragments of accounts, receipts, etc., from the medieval Jewish community in Cairo. Israeli intellectuals and politicians are to some extent familiar with this so-called Cairo Genizah; they at least consider it a part of the history of Judaism, unlike Christian intellectuals, theologians, priests, bishops and politicians who have never even heard of Severus ibn al-Mukaffa.

The Muslims themselves write very openly about this harassment in the manuals of the sharia and in fatwas. Historically therefore, there is no doubt whatsoever. The literary tradition in chronicles of the victims (Severus), archeology (Genizah), and the administration and reporting (Sharia) of the perpetrators totally agree. That is not often so, and therefore you might think that a crowd of scientists would have focused on this episode in history.

But that seems not to be the case. Research with a scientific approach that might anger the Muslim elite is usually ignored by Western scholars. Not because the members of that elite might raise arms themselves, for they are all nice civilized people without blood on their hands. For the bloodshed they have radicals like Mohammed B. at their disposal. They do not need to do that themselves. Light and in all ways civilized pressure on Western researchers and colleagues (to whom half a word will do) is enough to create a wall of silence.

What does the harassment consist of according to the Muslims themselves? The core of it is summed up on a list that is known as “the Pact of Omar”. There were two Caliph Omars; the first from 634 to 644, the second from 717 to 720. Both are mentioned as the monarch under whom these rules were issued. In Arabic, this list has a bit clearer name: the “conditions”, shuruuT of Omar. These are on the conditions under which the Christians, the Samaritans, and the Jews within the areas that are conquered by Islam may hold on to their religion. They must distinguish themselves by the color of their clothing or headgear as non-Muslim. This is where the yellow star for the Jews derives from. They are not allowed to carry arms or own them (and are therefore completely helpless). Riding horses is prohibited. In combination with the prohibition on possession of weapons this obviously made a trip of any magnitude impossible in the early days.

Annually every non-Muslim person had to pay a personal tax. When it was handed over, the tax collector had to strike a blow on the neck of the non-Muslim, which was meant as a symbolic beheading. The purpose of this was to remind the non-Muslim that he had been overcome by the superior Muslim armies, and even though he was spared from being a prisoner of war, enslaved or decapitated, this would only be as long as the Muslim rulers were pleased to do so. Whoever thinks that this is all a theory should read the books of Bat Ye’or, or the forthcoming book by the Australian theologian Marc Durie*. Whoever could not pay the tax had the choice between becoming Muslim or death. Even under all these humiliations the oriental Christians prefer to remain silent, and we in the West owe the greatest respect to all those who have managed to endure this century after century without becoming disloyal to their church.

The Sharia, the Islamic law, as revealed in the manuals written by Muslims for Muslims, adds a few nice things to this. Major maintenance to church buildings is no longer needed and therefore forbidden, because Islam is coming to replace Christianity. It is not permitted to build new churches and synagogues. When a Muslim accuses a Christian or Jew of “insulting the prophet”, the Christian or Jew in question usually can only be saved by becoming a Muslim. Children whose father is unknown are considered Muslim. Muslim children must be raised by Muslims, so the churches never had the opportunity to care for the children of unmarried mothers, for example, by hiding them in a monastery. The list is long, and nowadays can be found in many reference books, and it gives a pretty good idea of how false and mean people can be to one another, while always looking up piously and muttering that it is only about the implementation of the laws of God.

Christians are not allowed to marry Muslim women, although Muslims are allowed to marry Christian women. This has led to many hormone-driven conversions of young Christian men. For Christian and Jewish girls who were married off to their Muslim lord and master, this brought a lot of humiliation with it. Christians cannot be a witness for the prosecution in court cases against Muslims. This has and had enormous consequences for criminal law in Sharia. The Muslim prohibition of music and wine also affects church music and the Eucharistic wine. It is almost unbelievable, but Christians and Jews who grew up under Islamic supremacy have usually fully internalized these rules. The Dutch also internalize these rules more and more and find it self-evident that the Muslim demands in this area must be met, and according to good Dutch custom, they sometimes are even ahead of the requirements that Islam demands.

What is nice about the game is that Islam does not even explicitly make such demands. That forces Christians who live under the authority of Islam to constantly ask themselves what is allowed and what is not allowed. The inhabitants of the Middle East have developed a good feel for that, but nevertheless sometimes get it wrong. Someone who has been raised in a free country may possibly never learn this; think of the British teacher in Sudan who gave a teddy bear the name Muhammad, and then only with the greatest difficulty managed to save her life. The wonderful Roman rule nulla poena sine lege, “no punishment without [clear] law” is obviously not the case under Islamic law.

This vagueness of the rules of Sharia is highly praised by the friends of Islam as the “flexibility” of the Sharia. From the Islamic perspective this flexibility is very effective, because it forces Christians to constantly ask themselves what their Muslim masters desire of them. And it’s bizarre to see how much trouble the Dutch also go to prevent their Muslim neighbors from feeling displeased. Islam, unlike most other religions, is capable of having a decisive influence on the lives of those who do not adhere to that religion. Just grab a newspaper and see the examples.

With so many juridical rules that favor the Muslims and Islam, it is a miracle that about the year 1000 AD Muslims and Christians were still equal in number in the Middle East. Only in remote areas has Christianity managed to survive, as with the Maronites in the mountains of Lebanon. After the Crusades the percentage of Christians in the Muslim world dropped further, to about ten to fifteen percent; it remained roughly the same until the eighties of the last century. Only in exile, in the United States of America and Australia, have the Christian traditions that formed under Islamic supervision managed to maintain themselves.

After 9-11 and the millennium a lot quickly changed in this respect. In Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, the last of the remaining native Christians are trying ho get out. The hurricane of Sharia fanaticism — mostly called Islamic fundamentalism or radicalism by us — was noted by many of them much earlier than by us in the West. It will not take more than a few years before the last Arabic, Turkish or Syrian Christians will have left Nazareth, Bethlehem, Greater Syria, Turkey and Iraq. In Muslim eyes this is a historically important development, which coincides with the peaceful conquest of Europe by Islam. To us here in Europe this doesn’t matter at all; on the contrary, with boundless naïveté we are building mosques for our immigrants from the Islamic world. While the elite plays the fiddle of multiculturalism, the suburbs are already burning.

Mosques play a central role in the rise of the Islam. The mosque is not only the prayer house, it is also the command center of jihad. The daily commands to order must be issued from the pulpit in the mosque. The stoning for adultery and beheading of apostates takes place in front of the mosque. The army that marches out on jihad departs from the mosque. Since the relief of Vienna in 1683, jihad against unbelief and unbelievers is no longer practiced by states, but by private organizations like the elusive Al-Qaeda, because a state that wages jihad would be destroyed by the Western military. In contrast, masked individuals who shoot from an ambush are harder to combat.

The shame about their own cowardice has disappeared; to come out in the open to fight is characterized as simply stupid. The hiding of the heroes of the jihad between defenseless citizens is a routine maneuver. Intense complaints if the enemy also happens to hurt those citizens belong to the daily game with the ignorantly stupid Western news agencies. Kamikaze-artists who in addition to themselves bring death to dozens of others receive from the hands of Islamic clergymen like Al-Qaradawi the crown of martyrdom. This Al-Qaradawi also preaches that God’s last punishment of the Jews was carried out “by Hitler against the Jews, but the next punishment must be at the hands of the Muslims” (January 30, 2009). This Al-Qaradawi is brought to Amsterdam by influential PvdA politicians [Socialists, Labour] and seen as their mentor. Deeper than this the Netherlands cannot fall, you maybe think. But then you are mistaken.

The advance of Islam can still go much further than is the case in Western Europe at the moment, and can only be stopped when we ensure that future victims of the jihad (i.e., the population of the Netherlands and the rest of Europe) retain their freedom of expression. Muhammad, the founder of Islam, always took special care to silence his possible critics first, usually by assassination, just like his namesake Mohammed Bouyeri who carried out the assassination of Theo van Gogh. The Islamic tradition itself teaches that only after Muhammad had silenced his opponents with violence could the process of Islamization begin. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we in the Netherlands (and anywhere else in the Free World) do not go any further towards the prohibition of criticism of Islam, because Islamic ideology is not resistant to the free word.

Christianity on the contrary, is. Christianity is the religion of the word, reason, love, and freedom. Islam on the contrary is the religion of violence, coercion, fear, and obedience. The nature of man is such that it will be a close contest as to which the two religions will win.


* An article by Dr. Marc Durie on a number of Islamic presumptions, “Isa, the Muslim Jesus”, can be read here. — VH.

Cross-posted at the International Free Press Society.

Gordon Brown Makes History

by Baron Bodissey

More British ranting, this time from Aeneas. He’s got a few things he wants to say about Gordon Brown:

Gordon BrownWherever he goes he is being told facts by world leaders that he could quite easily have gained by talking to people at home. We all know that Gordon has led us to economic and cultural oblivion.

[…]

In Chile he was told that they made provision while he made none, and in Brazil he was confronted with the racist rantings of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. I dread to think what he was told in Argentina, where he was being buttered up to giving away the Falkland Islands.

- – - - – - – - -

Brown is friendless and isolated on the international stage. His has gone looking for friends and found indifference to his plight. He thought other leaders were as stupid as him but he has discovered the truth, that no leader in the world is as stupid as him. He has discovered that he is the most accident prone and incompetent Prime Minister that Great Britain has ever had.

Historians will write about his shortcomings for generations and children will laugh at his example in their schools. If he wanted to be the epitome of what not to do as Prime Minister then he has succeeded, in fact he has exceeded expectations. Congratulations Gordon on a job spectacularly botched in the grandest way possible! I bet you wish Blair was back! Well, time to enjoy wallowing in failure — you’ve made the history books in spectacular style.

Read the rest at Beer n Sandwiches.

A “Moderate Muslim” Brags About the Muslim Conquest of Europe

by Baron Bodissey

Fjordman just sent us this brief note, referring to a post at the Danish blog Uriasposten:

As I have explained before, we cannot rely on so-called “moderate Muslims” as most of them are lying, and even those who are not lying at the present can suddenly become “radicals,” i.e. normal Muslims, in a second. We thus have no choice but to treat ALL Muslims as potentially hostile people. Here is a “moderate Muslim,” who has earlier participated in “dialogue” meetings, who brags about how Muslims are conquering Europe. But only in Arabic, of course.

Below the jump is the video Fjordman is referring to:

“The House of Wisdom” by Jonathan Lyons: A Brief Review by Fjordman

by Baron Bodissey

The Fjordman Report
The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.


Stephen O’Shea of The Los Angeles Times has reviewed the book The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization by Jonathan Lyons. I will publish a longer and more thorough rebuttal of this book at some point in April, either at Jihad Watch or at Atlas Shrugs. I will publish a review of John Freely’s related book Aladdin’s Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World next week at The Brussels Journal.

I have read both of them, and Freely’s book is the best of the two, or the least bad, since he at a minimum has some understanding of the history of science, which Mr. Lyons in my view does not. That doesn’t mean that I would recommend buying his book; there are better and more balanced titles available on the market. Stephen O’Shea in his very positive review claims that “Dust will never gather on Jonathan Lyons’ lively new book of medieval history.” I strongly disagree. I consider The House of Wisdom to be a bad case of poor scholarship.

Lyons’ book is 200 pages long, Freely’s Aladdin’s Lamp 255 pages. Neither of them mentions the terms ‘Jihad’ or ‘dhimmi’ even once in their books about Islamic culture. This says a great deal about the current intellectual climate. I didn’t notice these words while reading the books and they are not listed in the indexes. The authors certainly don’t devote much time to debating the violent aspects of Islamic expansionism through the Islamically unique institution of Jihad, or the fates of the conquered peoples. Is it a coincidence that whatever useful work that was done in the Islamic world happened during the first centuries of the Islamic era, while there were still large numbers of non-Muslims living in the region? We don’t know because the question is never debated by these authors, but it deserves to be.

While we should give credit to scholars in the medieval Islamic world when they made real contributions, we should not forget the huge debt they owed to earlier cultures, to the Indians and the Chinese, the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians and above all to the ancient Greeks. Mr. Lyons talks extensively about the astrolabe, yet he does not mention the name of the man who is by many considered the likely inventor of that instrument, or at least a strong contributor to its development, namely the ancient Greek astronomer and mathematician Hipparchus from the second century BC. He was the greatest of all Greek astronomers next to Ptolemy, and even Ptolemy, whose astronomy ruled Europe until the sixteenth century and the Middle East even longer, owed much to him. Hipparchus is simply too important to ignore.
- – - - – - – - -
What’s worse is that Lyons doesn’t even mention Ibn al-Haytham, or Alhazen. I searched in vain for his name, which is not listed in the index. It is embarrassing for a book written specifically to criticize Westerners for their lack of appreciation of ‘Islamic science’ to completely fail to mention arguably the greatest scientist ever born in the Islamic world with a single word. It’s like writing a history of European science without mentioning Newton or Galileo. By saying that I do not mean to imply that Alhazen was of the same stature as Newton or Galileo. He was not. No scientist of that stature has ever been born in the Islamic world. But Alhazen was a competent scholar who did have a significant influence in optics.

Another omission, though not as bad as Alhazen, is Ulugh Beg, who was one of the best observational astronomers in the medieval Islamic world. He, too, is totally ignored. I find it a bit odd that I, being a notorious Islamophobe and thus one of the persons Mr. Lyons keeps warning against, have to lecture him on which Muslims scholars deserve to be mentioned.

On page four of his book, Jonathan Lyons writes the following:

The arrival of Arab science and philosophy, the legacy of the pioneering Adelard and of those who hurried to follow his example, transmuted the backward West into a scientific and technological superpower. Like the elusive ‘elixir’ — from the alchemists’ al-iksir — for changing base metal into gold, Arab science altered medieval Christendom beyond recognition. For the first time in centuries, Europe’s eyes opened to the world around it. This encounter with Arab science even restored the art of telling time, lost to the western Christians of the early Middle Ages. Without accurate control over clock and calendar, the rational organization of society was unthinkable. And so was the development of science, technology, and industry, as well as the liberation of man from the thrall of nature. Arab science and philosophy helped rescue the Christian world from ignorance and made possible the very idea of the West. Yet how many among us today stop to acknowledge our enormous debt to the Arabs, let alone endeavor to repay it?

This isn’t serious scholarship; it is myth-making. Muslims clearly owe vastly more of science and technology to Westerners than we owe to them. Perhaps it’s time they start repaying their debt to us, not vice versa. I’m not suggesting that there was no good scholarly work done in the Islamic world. There are a few Muslim scholars from the medieval period whom I respect. Their contributions should not be ignored, but nor should they be inflated beyond all proportions, as Lyons does. If the Western scientific and technological contribution to the world is the size of an elephant then the Muslim one is the size of a squirrel, or a Chihuahua at best. There’s no shame in that. I like squirrels, but I would never confuse one with an elephant.

I will conclude by recommending some serious books which people can read instead of The House of Wisdom or Aladdin’s Lamp. About Islam I recommend essentially everything written by Robert Spencer. Bat Ye’or’s books are groundbreaking and important, though admittedly not always easy to read. The Legacy of Jihad by Andrew Bostom should be considered required reading for all those interested in Islam. It is the best and most complete book available on the subject in English, and possibly in any language. Ibn Warraq’s books are excellent, starting with his Defending the West . Understanding Muhammad by the Iranian ex-Muslim Ali Sina is also worth reading, as is Defeating Jihad by Serge Trifkovic.

If you are looking for books about the history of science, I recommend everything written by Edward Grant. The Beginnings of Western Science by David C. Lindberg is very good, though slightly more politically correct than Grant when it comes to science in the Islamic world. The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China and the West by Toby E. Huff is excellent and highly recommended. These books are easy to read for an educated, mainstream audience.

For books that are excellent, yet more specialized and slightly more difficult, I can recommend Victor J. Katz for the history of mathematics and The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy by James Evans for the history of pre-telescopic astronomy up to and including Kepler. Evans’ book is extremely well researched and detailed, almost too much so on European and Middle Eastern astronomy, but contains virtually nothing on Chinese or Mayan astronomy. For a more global perspective, Cosmos: An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology by John North is good and not too difficult to read.

As I wrote, the book Aladdin’s Lamp is significantly better, but still not good enough. Author John Freely doesn’t explain why Europeans did so much more with the same Greek material than Muslims did, and he says virtually nothing about how Muslims have for 1400 years wiped out Greek-speaking communities across the Eastern Mediterranean, a process which has continued on Cyprus until the twenty-first century. If we are going to talk about how much Muslims have “preserved,” shouldn’t we also talk about how much they have destroyed, in Europe, Asia and Africa? How are the few Christian communities still left in Anatolia, now called “Turkey,” treated, and what happened to what was once a Greek-speaking region? What happened to the Greek-speaking community in Alexandria, Egypt?

It is true that Muslims translated many Greek scientific works, which provided the basis for much of the scholarly activity that they did have. But these works were based on Byzantine originals and were not “lost” in the first place. Moreover, the author largely fails to explain why there was no Copernicus in the Middle East, and no Kepler. After all, Europe and the Islamic world had essentially the same, Ptolemaic Greek starting point during the Renaissance. Through the work of Copernicus, Tycho Brahe and Kepler, European scholars had broken free of Ptolemaic astronomy even before the telescope had been invented. Why was there no similar breakthrough in the Middle East? Toby Huff is the man to ask about this, or Grant. Frankly, Western astronomy and mathematics owes much more to the pre-Islamic Middle East, especially to Babylonian planetary astronomy, than we owe to the Islamic Middle East.

He calls al-Azhar an Islamic university, which it was not. The modern university is a European invention. He says virtually nothing about the 1400 years of continuous warfare against the non-Muslim communities on several continents, of which Greek-speaking communities were often at the front lines. The word “Jihad” is not listed at all in the index of his book; neither is the word “dhimmi.” As far as I can see, it is not mentioned once in a book of several hundred pages specifically dealing with Islamic history.

The first chapters about the Greek scientific legacy are not too bad. I disagree with a few details here and there, as well as with the relative emphasis on various scholars, but all in all this section is worth reading. The problem is that you can get this information from other books which do not suffer from the same shortcomings. He correctly indicates that some of the key translators of scientific works such as Hunayn ibn Ishaq and Thabit ibn Qurra were non-Muslims, and he includes a chapter on the translation movement from Byzantium to Italy and Western Europe. These are redeeming qualities, but the overall balance is dishonest, as he fails to explain why “Islamic science” declined and how the pre-Islamic cultures and non-Islamic communities of the region shrank. Their shrinking overlapped to a significant degree with the decline of “Islamic science.” Is there a connection between the two? Why are the last remaining Christians in Turkey under siege now?

Diversity: Greatest Strength or Greatest Threat? by guywhite

Diversity: Greatest Strength or Greatest Threat?

“We didn’t have the wonderful diversity of people that you have here today,” said Hillary Clinton during her 1995 trip to the Chicago school she attended as a child. “I’m sad we didn’t have it because it would have been a great value, as I’m sure you will discover.”

At the time when Hillary made this declaration, her own daughter was a High School student. Neither Mrs. Clinton, nor her husband (“America’s First Black President”) thought it advisable to send their child to a “diverse” school. President Bill Clinton may open a library near the Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas – a school at the center of integration battles in the 1950s – but he won’t let his child anywhere near it. Are we to believe that Bill and Hillary refused to send their daughter to a diverse school because they hate Chelsea? Are we to believe that the rich always send their children to lily-white private or suburban schools because they want to make sure that space is open in “multicultural” schools for the poor who cannot afford either private schools or homes in wealthy suburbs with non-diverse schools?

There’re practically no Whites who had a choice who’ve opted for “diversity”. After the U.S. Supreme Court imposed integration and forbade segregation, the rich and the middle class escaped to suburbs as soon as minorities began moving into their neighborhoods. It was the so-called “White Flight” that led to the creation of not only the suburbs, but also the building of most American highways built since the Brown v. Board of Ed decision. For Whites to live in the suburbs, they needed effective infrastructure to move from the suburbs to the major cities where they worked.

The rich and the middle class used their political clout to lobby for highways that allowed them to escape “diversity”. Many of the highways and other public works projects were built in a way to protect urban White areas from “multiculturalism” by leaving minorities on the “other” side of the government project, thus slowing the flight of Whites (and the taxes they pay) from cities.

Diversity is a failure not only in the United States, but throughout the world. Over the long term, the only result of diversity is war. Different African tribes are at each other’s throats in every country they are forced to share. Muslims fight each other, Sunnis against the Shia, Arabs against Kurds against Persians.

We are told to believe that Mexicans, Muslims and Africans will integrate into Western societies. But what proof is there? Similar people may overlook their differences and integrate within a generation or two. But where do we see people of different races successfully integrate into one?

To the extent diversity works anywhere, it is a result of the White Westerners’ belief in the God of Multiculturalism and Peace. During the first half of the 20th century, European and Western nations fought the two bloodiest wars of all time. This was not a result of White brutality, but rather a product of innovation that created airplanes, tanks, rockets, missiles, machine guns and other deadly weapons. Coming out of World War Two, the White Man was simply tired and could not go on fighting. The idea of embracing each other seemed like a way out of a permanent disaster with constant warfare. And so the West agreed to look beyond one’s tribal instincts and embrace one another. Of course, that is relatively easy for nations that are similar. The French embraced the Walloons. The Germans embraced the Dutch. The Norwegians embraced the Danes. The WASPs embraced the Irish. The Askhenazi (European) Jews embraced the Sephardic (Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Spanish) Jews. But it’s easy for people who are already similar to join hands and sing the kumbaya around the campfire.

But what to do when Muslims who believe in covering up their women from head to toe arrive in Holland, a place famous for its libertine sexual mores? What to do when Africans arrive into Western countries and set fire in the middle of their hotel rooms when they want to cook food? Or when Mexicans demand that the City of Los Angeles spend money celebrating Cinco De Mayo rather than the Fourth of July? Most cultures would fight back. But Whites simply back down and go along with their own cultural destruction for the fear of being called racist.

Italians can live in the same neighborhood with Jews, and Germans can live with the English. But outside of their own race, they all feel uncomfortable. No White person will admit that he is unhappy about de-segregation forced upon them, but all Whites – those who joined Civil Rights marches singing “We Shall Overcome” and those who stood in front of school doors to prevent integration – oppose de-segregation when it comes time to choose the neighborhoods where they lived and schools where they sent their children.

Research by Harvard University’s liberal Professor Robert Putnam shows that the more diverse communities are, less its inhabitants trust anyone – from their next-door neighbor to the mayor. “The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us…. They don’t trust the local mayor, they don’t trust the local paper, they don’t trust other people and they don’t trust institutions. The only thing there’s more of is protest marches and TV watching.”

This is true not only for Whites, but for people around the world. Almost every conflict around the world has a racial/ethnic character, usually because “diverse” people are forced to live together. When Sudanese Arabs meet Sudanese Blacks, they do not discuss the benefits of diversity – they brutally slaughter each other. Hutus and Tutsis prefer murder to being enriched by multiculturalism. Israel repeatedly clashed with its Arab neighbors. Christian Armenians locked horns with Muslims, whether in Turkey or in Nagorno-Karabakh. In the nearby Georgia, terror and warfare is seen in the diverse regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The USSR, which for generations used force, shame and propaganda to create a New Soviet Man who did not care about nationalism, fell apart as everyone reverted back to their ethnic groups. Whites in Africa were largely kicked out of almost every country, from Algeria to Mozambique, and even the last white communities in Zimbabwe and South Africa will likely be gone within a generation.

The most consistent and significant problem in the United States has come from racial diversity. When groups of kids clash in high schools or when gangs attack each other in jail, we do not see class warfare – we see diversity wars. It is not the rich fighting with the poor – it is usually Blacks engaging Hispanics (and sometimes other races, ethnicities or nationalities). South Californian Blacks do not consider illegal Mexican immigration “enriching” – they see it as a threat. Were it not for security guards and police, as well as metal detectors, schools in poor South Californian districts that feature large Hispanic and Black populations would’ve been filled with rivers of blood.

The history of the rise of American suburbs is a history of a desperate White flight away from schools that were being filled with Black children. It is undeniable that suburbs would not be even a quarter of their current size but for school integration and busing of kids into schools outside their neighborhoods to forcibly mix races. White teachers ran from the schools that turned Black, and even government programs giving educators significant additional benefits (such as full tuition reimbursement in a Master’s degree program) cannot attract Whites into predominantly Black schools.

But while the rich and the upper middle class built a virtual wall around themselves in their suburbs and neighborhoods, the poor couldn’t just abandon their homes because they didn’t have the money for a second house, and could not sell the home they lived because of the drop in property values caused by crime and decay brought on by the Blacks.

Even those renting their apartments often found it impossible to move out of “inner cities.” Many couldn’t afford to buy cars needed to move from suburbs to their city jobs, or they couldn’t afford to spend 3-4 hours a day traveling because they had to be home to cook, clean, paint, fix the car and perform other duties for which the rich hire help. They also could not afford to “buy” protection from diversity by donating time and money to the campaigns of influential politicians who would then build shields in the form of government buildings, colleges and highways around their remaining neighborhoods to prevent minorities from moving in, as was done for the upper class Whites.

The poor were stuck with “diversity”. Most of the poor were not educated, and could not articulate their arguments properly. Due to their lack of education, they could not explain that they want to live in their own culture, and do not want to face all the benefits of multiculturalism: “white bitches” raped in building stairways, guns brought to schools, drugs sold in parks, elevators treated as bathrooms, and vicious gangs beings the normal after-school activity for 13-year-olds.

Instead of properly articulating their concerns about crime and shockingly different cultural norms of minorities, the uneducated poor yelled racial epithets. The so-called “rednecks” may not have read Henry David Thoreau and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, but they surely could understand when their daughter came home brutally beaten and raped by Tyrone and Darnell, as their girlfriends Laquisha and Uneeq pulled out the hair of the “white bitch”.

The rich could afford to support diversity and integration in theory precisely because they could afford to avoid it by moving into different neighborhoods or the suburbs where their children could attend schools that were near-exclusively White. The poor opposed integration because there was no way for them to escape it other than by preventing minorities from moving into their neighborhood or attending their schools. For the poor, integration laws had a direct effect on their lives. To the wealthy, it was a politically popular theory support for which made them “nice” and “open-minded”. Racial self-flagellation became a way to improve one’s reputation. That the rich were usually educated and the poor weren’t also made the integrationists feel not only that they are good people, but that they are also smart for taking a politically-correct point of view.

And so the rich felt morally and intellectually superior to the “rednecks”. They would never yell racial epithets in public. And they usually worked with a limited number of exceptionally-well educated minorities without a problem. In fact, a few exceptionally well-educated and high-income minority families may even live in their neighborhood.

Of course, nobody in their neighborhood is named Tyrone or Laquisha, nobody has two children at the age of 15, nobody sells guns in schools and nobody urinates in elevators. The few Black people they see are exceptional and do not “Stay Black” or consider education and marriage a sign of “acting White”. You don’t live in a “diverse” neighborhood if none of your neighbors are named ‘Uneeq’ – and everyone spells the word as ‘Unique’ …

Well, wealthy whites might have been insulated for the first few decades…but now they are reaping what they sowed…or at least allowed to happen

case in point…the beautiful, young college girls that are being murdered, raped and robbed on a weekly basis now

You see…white flight can no longer protect young white females even IF their parents are wealthy

Eventually one must go into the rest of the world…and when that happens whites, wealthy or not become prey

Sure, if you stayed in your gated community and never left, you might be safe…but think about that for a minute…imagine the claustrophobic feeling of feeling like you cannot go into the world lest you be attacked by vicious non-white savages…think about South Africa

How long do you think even wealthy whites can keep living like this?

I say not for long, I say it is already beginning to change.
Everyone I know is racially conscious now whereas a few years ago nobody was that racially conscious…now everyone I know is.

IMHO we are entering into a new era of racial consciousness…something is going to give. Forcing people to integrate has not worked and mulit-culti platitudes are falling on deaf ears. White people are slowly, but finally waking up.

I think now is the period where we will start putting our white minds to solutions, and when the white man starts to think of solution he usually finds them

So lets start talking about possible solutions

Repatriation, rescinding Civil Rights laws bit by bit, re instituting freedom of association aka our Constitution, separate living areas for blacks, or possibly a another black nation state possibly somewhere in the Carribean…these are just of the cuff ideas…perhaps a combination of these.

Whatever the case whites are not going to change black behavior and temperament, those are part of black nature, but we can say enough is a enough and with strong will and determination say NO MORE and begin to discuss ideas.

One thing is for certain, we cannot say “thats impossible”

the situation is setting itself up to where nothing but guaranteed protection of our precious race, our DNA will be acceptable.

Consider this…8 million blacks live on the island of Haiti. We gave it to them and set up it’s government as a negro nation in the 1800’s. If 8 million blacks live on Haiti how much land would it take for 40 million?

I’ve estimated it will take an area about 5 times the size of Haiti. We could build the infrastructure as a “good faith” effort to show blacks no hard feelings.

All the other non-whites for the most part will have to repatriate themselves…and anyone from South of the Border will have to return.

This can happen. We are facing genocide so something to assure our majority status and protection must happen. If we allow the third world to remain and continue to flood into our nation we will be replaced by non-whites who will not think twice about seizing power and dictating to us what will become of us. Look at Africa. In every country whites are being forced out. Even in South Africa whites are forced into gated prison communities and raped, robbed and murdered. It will be no different in America and Europe.

The revolution has begun.

Dead Culture Walking: Muslim Colonization Of Europe Should Frighten America

Dead Culture Walking: Muslim Colonization Of Europe Should Frighten America

By Brenda Walker

If there is anything that should make Americans’ blood run cold about immigration, it is the sight of Europe—and Britain, the home of Western civilization—being buried by millions of Muslim colonists. Europe is just hoping against hope that Islam isn’t going to explode into massive rioting (or worse), or impose total cultural Islamification.

Major jihadist terror occurred in London (July 7, 2005, killing 52 and injuring 700) and in Madrid (March 11, 2004, killing 191 and injuring 1841). Yet cowardly politicians continue policies of appeasement, which hostile Muslims correctly apprise as the fatal weakness of a culture too pacified to defend itself.

Some Europeans already accept the coming Eurabia. One Dutchman, mourning the future loss of Europe was quoted by Paul Belien as saying, “I am not a warrior, but who is? I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.”

Well, that’s honest. But how about less self-pity and more directed anger? Many Americans I know in the patriotic immigration reform movement had a come-to-Jesus moment of awakening from passivity, turning to resolve to save the country.

Did America encourage Europe’s socialist pacifism by protecting it too well, starting after the Second World War? Perhaps. Having your freedom handed to you on a plate is no way to appreciate its value.

Other causes of the continent’s tragic downfall are rooted in recent history. They include business’ desire for cheap labor (so familiar!), a trendy belief in secular multiculturalism as a replacement for Christianity and apparent ignorance of Islam’s long-standing enmity toward Europe.

Now the triumphs of Tours and Vienna are being trampled by immigrants, entering mostly legally. It’s a wonder the Muslims bother with terrorism at all when demography is working so well for them.

Europe’s swirl down the toilet bowl is little reported in this country largely because the Main Stream Media is not interested in showing it. The top media elites are still stuck on multiculturalism. But the European experience shows what a bogus ideology that is.

In 2004, CBS’s Sixty Minutes did present a chilling and memorable segment about the crime-filled immigrant housing projects in France, The New French Revolution:

“But nothing prepared France for what happened to a 17-year-old French Muslim girl named Sohane Benziane. Her case really woke up the country to the nightmare that has been festering so long in these projects.

“Sohane was burned alive in the basement of an apartment complex by a gang leader who had told her that he didn’t want to see her on his turf. After her murder, her sister, Kahina, dedicated a memorial at the site of her killing.”

Though emotionally searing, the Sixty Minutes piece contained no mention that France’s Muslim population is expanding rapidly. The number of Muslims residing in Western Europe in 1900 is estimated at around 50,000 . Now France alone is home to somewhere between four and eight million followers of Islam.

Just recently, five years later, Fox News has carried a televised report, Politicians Fret as Muslim Population Swells in Europe Amid Little Integration [March 24, 2009].

“Although there are no official statistics on how many Muslims live in Brussels, it is believed they make up about 25 percent of the city’s 1 million urban residents. [Filip] Dewinter, who opposes immigration and has called Islamophobia a “duty,” claims three of the 19 sections of Brussels, each with its own mayor, now have Muslim majorities.

“‘In those neighborhoods it’s not our government that’s in power,’ he said, ‘but the Muslim authorities — the mosques, the imams — who are in charge.’

“FOX News visited one of those neighborhoods, called Molenbeek, which looks more like North Africa than the heart of Europe…

“Yet Molenbeek remains disconcerting. Belgian police assigned three plainclothes officers to watch over a FOX News team shooting street scenes one morning in Molenbeek. When FOX News returned in the afternoon as more people were out and about, the police said it would be safer not to get out of the car. It wasn’t even dark yet.”

Notice this level of danger exists in Brussels—the supposed capital of the Europe Union.

News icon Edward R. Murrow is remembered in particular for broadcasting from London during the blitz to warn America of the threat to civilization posed by Hitler.

Had Murrow lived during our own time rather than WWII, he may well have tried to alert 21st century Americans to the present danger from totalitarian Islam on the march. But there is no modern Murrow to warn the people, because the MSM no longer does its job to inform about the pressing issues.

In the eye of the slow-moving storm, resistance to the invader is not particularly strong. Denmark has stiffened its entry requirements to keep out the unfriendlies, but it is the exception and not the rule. Italy’s education minister has suggested that a limit of 30 percent foreign students be the limit per classroom, so that the immigrants assimilate to the national culture rather than the other way around. Naturally, the economic downturn has made the majority of Europeans want the excess immigrants to go home, but many governments prefer not to upset Muslims, who are famously sensitive about the most minor slight.

Many Muslims are happy to remain on the dole anyway. One example is generous Sweden, where the primarily immigrant Rosengaard neighborhood of Malmo has an unemployment rate of 70 percent. (Plus, the area is so violent that fire trucks need police escorts, and the number of rapes has tripled in 20 years.)

Americans often have a low opinion of Europeans, particularly the French (once described on The Simpsons as cheese-eating surrender monkeys, a rip that has stuck). But we hate to see Britain turn into a quivering bowl of sharia jello out of respect for our shared Anglophone culture.

Who could have imagined that the countrymen of Winston Churchill would meekly acquiesce to recognizing and rewarding polygamy? Multi-wifed Muslim families even receive extra welfare benefits for the various harem members and kiddies—though bigamy is still illegal.

There was an uproar last year when Archbishop Rowan Williams suggested that Islamic sharia should be accepted as part of British law.

Sharia law—that’s the Muslim legal system that decrees the second-class status of women, executions for homosexuals and amputations for theft.

The Archbishop remains ensconced in Lambeth Palace, despite demands for his resignation during the sharia kerfuffle. In fact, weathering the crisis appears to have made him bolder.

“On the anniversary of the interview in which Dr Rowan Williams said it ‘seems inevitable’ that some parts of sharia would be enshrined in this country’s legal code, he claimed ‘a number of fairly senior people’ now take the same view.

“He added that there is a ‘drift of understanding’ towards what he was saying, and that the public sees the difference between letting Muslim courts decide divorces and wills, and allowing them to rule on criminal cases and impose harsh punishments.”

[Archbishop of Canterbury: Society is coming round to my views on sharia, By Martin Beckford,, Daily Telegraph, Feb 15, 2009].

Is everyone assured that “harsh punishments”flogging, amputations, etc.—will not occur at some future date?

And whatever happened to the proud tradition of the Magna Carta? Is nothing worth defending? How shameful to surrender founding legal principles of centuries’ duration so thoughtlessly to the Islamic interlopers.

Britain is fascinating to observe because it is far advanced along the immigration road to hell, especially given its powerful multicultural nanny state.

Plus, the extra helping of Muslims makes British cultural survival all the more challenging. The UK shows exactly what not to do in public policy—a combination of poorly chosen immigrants, the false ideology of multiculturalism and disempowerment (both physically and psychologically) by disarming the populace.

Sadly there seems to be little organized opposition among the traditional folk against their new alien overlords. However, there are uprisings of appropriate anger on rare occasions. One such was the outrage of Luton residents toward Muslims insulting British soldiers returning from serving in Iraq. Local people of all ages simply wouldn’t allow Muslims to abuse the troops and proceeded to chase off the obnoxious hecklers. [Watch.] It was brief demonstration that normal patriotism (and therefore hope) has not been completely repressed by the liberal thought police in Britain.

But from this side of the pond, the UK looks like toast. In 30 years, London will likely be a sand-free version of Riyadh, with wall-to-wall burqas, and Saudi-style morality police in place of bobbies.

Yet even with Europe’s Technicolor demonstration that Muslim immigration equals cultural suicide, American elites and the press still cling to the dangerous fable that we are somehow immune from those troubles because America does assimilation better than Europeans.

Perhaps we do in the area of employment opportunity. But that’s not the point. We should instead be asking whether Muslim immigrants become loyal members of the US community—and many don’t. A 2007 Pew poll found that only 28 percent thought of themselves as Americans first while 47 percent identified primarily as Muslims. Their loyalty lies abroad with the worldwide Muslim community (the ummah), which sees itself as being victimized by the West.

But because of what Enoch Powell called obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature” when grappling with slow-moving threats, we snooze on, despite the throbbing neon message of doom.

Muslim immigration to America is growing, but the overall number is still small as a proportion of population. But it’s never too early to quit the habit. Clever analysts have noticed that when the percentage of Muslims in a non-Muslim culture reaches around 10 per cent, bad things happen.

America—let’s not go there!

We are just as vulnerable to the actions of hostile Muslim immigrants as our fellow English-speakers across the Atlantic. But we still have the blessing of time. We could come to regret ignoring Europe’s experience by allowing numbers of Islamists here to reach critical mass. Even a handful of determined jihadists can kill thousands, as we learned on 9/11.

We must realize as a nation that there’s no right to immigrate—and we are foolish to welcome possible enemies.

Brenda Walker (email her) lives in Northern California and publishes two websites, LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. She’s still looking for the Mythical Moderate Muslim.

By Bernard Lewis
Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2007
SPEECHES
AEI Annual Dinner, Irving Kristol Lecture  (Washington)
Publication Date: March 7, 2007
View Europe and Islam, the monograph based on this lecture, as an Adobe Acrobat PDF
Introductory remarks by Christopher DeMuth, Reuel Marc Gerecht, and James Q. Wilson

Bernard Lewis

Lewis’s Lecture

Thank you, Vice President and Mrs. Cheney, ladies and gentlemen. As you have been told, I have studied a number of languages, but I cannot find words in any of them adequate to express my feeling of gratitude for the honor and appreciation which I have been shown this evening. All I can say is thank you.

My topic this evening is Europe and Islam. But let me begin with a word of personal explanation. You are accustomed for the most part to hearing from people with direct practical involvement in military and intelligence matters. I cannot offer you that. My direct involvement with military and intelligence matters ended quite a long time ago–to be precise, on 31 August 1945, when I left His Majesty’s Service and returned to the university to join with colleagues in trying to cope with a six-year backlog of battle-scarred undergraduates.

What I would like to try and offer you this evening is something of the lessons of history. Here I must begin with a second disavowal. It is sometimes forgotten that the content of history, the business of the historian, is the past, not the future. I remember being at an international meeting of historians in Rome during which a group of us were sitting and discussing the question: should historians attempt to predict the future? We batted this back and forth. This was in the days when the Soviet Union was still alive and well. One of our Soviet colleagues finally intervened and said, “In the Soviet Union, the most difficult task of the historian is to predict the past.”

I do not intend to offer any predictions of the future in Europe or the Middle East, but one thing can legitimately be expected of the historian, and that is to identify trends and processes–to look at the trends in the past, at what is continuing in the present, and therefore to see the possibilities and choices which will face us in the future.

One other introductory word. A favorite theme of the historian, as I am sure you know, is periodization–dividing history into periods. Periodization is mostly a convenience of the historian for purposes of writing or teaching. Nevertheless, there are times in the long history of the human adventure when we have a real turning point, a major change–the end of an era, the beginning of a new era. I am becoming more and more convinced that we are in such an age at the present time–a change in history comparable with such events as the fall of Rome, the discovery of America, and the like. I will try to explain that.

Conventionally, the modern history of the Middle East begins at the end of the 18th century, when a small French expeditionary force commanded by a young general called Napoleon Bonaparte was able to conquer Egypt and rule it with impunity. It was a terrible shock that one of the heartlands of Islam could be invaded, occupied, and ruled with virtually no effective resistance.

The second shock came a few years later with the departure of the French, which was brought about not by the Egyptians nor by their suzerains, the Turks, but by a small squadron of the Royal Navy commanded by a young admiral called Horatio Nelson, who drove the French out and back to France.

This is of symbolic importance. That was, as I said, at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. From then onward, the heartlands of Islam were no longer wholly controlled by the rulers of Islam. They were under direct or indirect influence or control from outside.

The dominating forces in the Islamic world were now outside forces. What shaped their lives was Western influence. What gave them choices was Western rivalries. The political game that they could play–the only one that was open to them–was to try and profit from the rivalries between the outside powers, to try to use them against one another. We see that again and again in the course of the 19th and 20th and even into the beginning of the 21st century. We see, for example, in the First World War, the Second World War, and the Cold War, how Middle Eastern governments or leaders tried to play this game with varying degrees of success.

That game is now over. The era that was inaugurated by Napoleon and Nelson was terminated by Reagan and Gorbachev. The Middle East is no longer ruled or dominated by outside powers. These nations are having some difficulty adjusting to this new situation, to taking responsibility for their own actions and their consequences, and so on. But they are beginning to do so, and this change has been expressed with his usual clarity and eloquence by Osama bin Laden.

We see with the ending of the era of outside domination, the reemergence of certain older trends and deeper currents in Middle Eastern history, which had been submerged or at least obscured during the centuries of Western domination. Now they are coming back again. One of them I would call the internal struggles–ethnic, sectarian, regional–between different forces within the Middle East. These have of course continued, but were of less importance in the imperialist era. They are coming out again now and gaining force, as we see for example from the current clash between Sunni and Shia Islam–something without precedent for centuries.

The other thing more directly relevant to my theme this evening is the signs of a return among Muslims to what they perceive as the cosmic struggle for world domination between the two main faiths–Christianity and Islam. There are many religions in the world, but as far as I know there are only two that have claimed that their truths are not only universal–all religions claim that–but also exclusive; that they–the Christians in the one case, the Muslims in the other–are the fortunate recipients of God’s final message to humanity, which it is their duty not to keep selfishly to themselves–like the Jews or the Hindus–but to bring to the rest of humanity, removing whatever obstacles there may be on the way. This self-perception, shared between Christendom and Islam, led to the long struggle that has been going on for more than fourteen centuries and which is now entering a new phase. In the Christian world, now at the beginning of the 21st century of its era, this triumphalist attitude no longer prevails,
and is confined to a few minority groups. In the world of Islam, now in its early 15th century, triumphalism is still a significant force, and has found expression in new militant movements.

It is interesting that both sides for quite a long time refused to recognize this struggle. For example, both sides named each other by non-religious terms. The Christian world called the Muslims Moors, Saracens, Tartars, and Turks. Even a convert was said to have turned Turk. The Muslims for their part called the Christian world Romans, Franks, Slavs, and the like. It was only slowly and reluctantly that they began to give each other religious designations and then these were for the most part demeaning and inaccurate. In the West, it was customary to call Muslims Mohammadans, which they never called themselves, based on the totally false assumption that Muslims worship Muhammad in the way that Christians worship Christ. The Muslim term for Christians was Nazarene–nasrani–implying the local cult of a place called Nazareth.

The declaration of war begins at the very beginning of Islam. There are certain letters purported to have been written by the Prophet Muhammad to the Christian Byzantine emperor, the emperor of Persia, and various other rulers, saying, “I have now brought God’s final message. Your time has passed. Your beliefs are superseded. Accept my mission and my faith or resign or submit–you are finished.” The authenticity of these prophetic letters is doubted, but the message is clear and authentic in the sense that it does represent the long dominant view of the Islamic world.

A little later we have hard evidence–and I mean hard in the most literal sense–inscriptions. Many of you, I should think, have been to Jerusalem. You have probably visited that remarkable building, the Dome of the Rock. It is very significant. It is built on a place sacred to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Its architectural style is that of the earliest Christian churches. It dates from the end of the 7th century and was built by one of the early caliphs, the oldest Muslim religious building outside Arabia. What is significant is the message in the inscriptions inside the Dome: “He is God, He is one, He has no companion, He does not beget, He is not begotten.” (cf. Qur’an, IX, 31-3; CXII, 1-3) This is clearly a direct challenge to certain central principles of the Christian faith.

Interestingly, they put the same thing on a new gold coinage. Until then, striking gold coins had been an exclusive Roman privilege. The Islamic caliph for the first time struck gold coins, breaching the immemorial privilege of Rome, and putting the same inscription on them. As I said, a challenge.

The Muslim attack on Christendom and the resulting conflict, which arose more from their resemblances than from their differences, has gone through three phases. The first dates from the very beginning of Islam, when the new faith spilled out of the Arabian Peninsula, where it was born, into the Middle East and beyond. It was then that they conquered Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa–all at that time part of the Christian world–and went beyond into Europe, conquering a sizable part of southwestern Europe, including Spain, Portugal, and southern Italy, all of which became part of the Islamic world, and even crossing the Pyrenees into France and occupying for a while parts of France.

After a long and bitter struggle, the Christians managed to retake part but not all of the territory they had lost. They succeeded in Europe, and in a sense Europe was defined by the limits of that success. They failed to retake North Africa or the Middle East, which were lost to Christendom. Notably, they failed to recapture the Holy Land, in the series of campaigns known as the Crusades.

That was not the end of the matter. In the meantime the Islamic world, having failed the first time, was bracing for the second attack, this time conducted not by Arabs and Moors but by Turks and Tartars. In the mid-thirteenth century the Mongol conquerors of Russia were converted to Islam. The Turks, who had already conquered Anatolia, advanced into Europe and in 1453 they captured the ancient Christian citadel of Constantinople. They conquered a large part of the Balkans, and for a while ruled half of Hungary. Twice they reached as far as Vienna, to which they laid siege in 1529 and again in 1683. Barbary corsairs from North Africa–well-known to historians of the United States–were raiding Western Europe. They went to Iceland–the uttermost limit–and to several places in Western Europe, including notably a raid on Baltimore (the original one, in Ireland) in 1631. In a contemporary document, we have a list of 107 captives who were taken from Baltimore to Algiers, including a man called Cheney.

Again, Europe counterattacked, this time more successfully and more rapidly. They succeeded in recovering Russia and the Balkan Peninsula, and in advancing further into the Islamic lands, chasing their former rulers whence they had come. For this phase of European counterattack, a new term was invented: imperialism. When the peoples of Asia and Africa invaded Europe, this was not imperialism. When Europe attacked Asia and Africa, it was.

This European counterattack began a new phase which brought the European attack into the very heart of the Middle East. In our own time, we have seen the end of the resulting domination.

Osama bin Laden, in some very interesting proclamations and declarations, has this to say about the war in Afghanistan which, you will remember, led to the defeat and retreat of the Red Army and the collapse of the Soviet Union. We tend to see that as a Western victory, more specifically an American victory, in the Cold War against the Soviets. For Osama bin Laden, it was nothing of the kind. It is a Muslim victory in a jihad. If one looks at what happened in Afghanistan and what followed, this is, I think one must say, a not implausible interpretation.

As Osama bin Laden saw it, Islam had reached the ultimate humiliation in this long struggle after World War I, when the last of the great Muslim empires–the Ottoman Empire–was broken up and most of its territories divided between the victorious allies; when the caliphate was suppressed and abolished, and the last caliph driven into exile. This seemed to be the lowest point in Muslim history. From there they went upwards.

In his perception, the millennial struggle between the true believers and the unbelievers had gone through successive phases, in which the latter were led by the various imperial European powers that had succeeded the Romans in the leadership of the world of the infidels–the Christian Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the British and French and Russian empires. In this final phase, he says, the world of the infidels was divided and disputed between two rival superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. In his perception, the Muslims have met, defeated, and destroyed the more dangerous and the more deadly of the two infidel superpowers. Dealing with the soft, pampered and effeminate Americans would be an easy matter.

This belief was confirmed in the 1990s when we saw one attack after another on American bases and installations with virtually no effective response of any kind–only angry words and expensive missiles dispatched to remote and uninhabited places. The lessons of Vietnam and Beirut were confirmed by Mogadishu. “Hit them, and they’ll run.” This was the perceived sequence leading up to 9/11. That attack was clearly intended to be the completion of the first sequence and the beginning of the new one, taking the war into the heart of the enemy camp.

In the eyes of a fanatical and resolute minority of Muslims, the third wave of attack on Europe has clearly begun. We should not delude ourselves as to what it is and what it means. This time it is taking different forms and two in particular: terror and migration.

The subject of terror has been frequently discussed and in great detail, and I do not need to say very much about that now. What I do want to talk about is the other aspect of more particular relevance to Europe, and that is the question of migration.

In earlier times, it was inconceivable that a Muslim would voluntarily move to a non-Muslim country. The jurists discuss this subject at great length in the textbooks and manuals of shari`a, but in a different form: is it permissible for a Muslim to live in or even visit a non-Muslim country? And if so, if he does, what must he do? Generally speaking, this was considered under certain specific headings.

A captive or a prisoner of war obviously has no choice, but he must preserve his faith and get home as soon as possible.

The second case is that of an unbeliever in the land of the unbelievers who sees the light and embraces the true faith–in other words, becomes a Muslim. He must leave as soon as possible and go to a Muslim country.

The third case is that of a visitor. For long, the only purpose that was considered legitimate was to ransom captives. This was later expanded into diplomatic and commercial missions. With the advance of the European counterattack, there was a new issue in this ongoing debate. What is the position of a Muslim if his country is conquered by infidels? May he stay or must he leave?

We have some interesting documents from the late 15th century, when the reconquest of Spain was completed and Moroccan jurists were discussing this question. They asked if Muslims could stay. The general answer was no, it is not permissible. The question was asked: May they stay if the Christian government that takes over is tolerant? This proved to be a purely hypothetical question, of course. The answer was no; even then they may not stay, because the temptation to apostasy would be even greater. They must leave and hope that in God’s good time they will be able to reconquer their homelands and restore the true faith.

This was the line taken by most jurists. There were some, at first a minority, later a more important group, who said it is permissible for Muslims to stay provided that certain conditions are met, mainly that they are allowed to practice their faith. This raises another question which I will come back to in a moment: what is meant by practicing their faith? Here I would remind you that we are dealing not only with a different religion but also with a different concept of what religion is about, referring especially to what Muslims call the shari`a, the holy law of Islam, covering a wide range of matters regarded as secular in the Christian world even during the medieval period, but certainly in what some call the post-Christian era of the Western world.

There are obviously now many attractions which draw Muslims to Europe including the opportunities offered, particularly in view of the growing economic impoverishment of much of the Muslim world, and the attractions of European welfare as well as employment. They also have freedom of expression and education which they lack at home. This is a great incentive to the terrorists who migrate. Terrorists have far greater freedom of preparation and operation in Europe–and to a degree also in America–than they do in most Islamic lands.

I would like to draw your attention to some other factors of importance in the situation at this moment. One is the new radicalism in the Islamic world, which comes in several kinds: Sunni, especially Wahhabi, and Iranian Shiite, dating from the Iranian revolution. Both of these are becoming enormously important factors. We have the strange paradox that the danger of Islamic radicalism or of radical terrorism is far greater in Europe and America than it is in the Middle East and North Africa, where they are much better at controlling their extremists than we are.

The Sunni kind is mainly Wahhabi and has benefited from the prestige and influence and power of the House of Saud as controllers of the holy places of Islam and of the annual pilgrimage, and the enormous oil wealth at their disposal. The Iranian revolution is something different. The term revolution is much used in the Middle East. It is virtually the only generally accepted title of legitimacy. But the Iranian revolution is a real revolution in the sense in which we use that term of the French or Russian revolutions. Like the French and Russian revolutions in their day, it has had an enormous impact in the whole area with which the Iranians share a common universe of discourse–that is to say, the Islamic world.

Let me turn to the question of assimilation, which is much discussed nowadays. How far is it possible for Muslim migrants who have settled in Europe, in North America, and elsewhere, to become part of those countries in which they settle, in the way that so many other waves of immigrants have done? I think there are several points which need to be made.

One of them is the basic differences in what precisely is meant by assimilation and acceptance. Here there is an immediate and obvious difference between the European and the American situations. For an immigrant to become an American means a change of political allegiance. For an immigrant to become a Frenchman or a German means a change of ethnic identity. Changing political allegiance is certainly very much easier and more practical than changing ethnic identity, either in one’s own feelings or in one’s measure of acceptance. England had it both ways. If you were naturalized, you became British but you did not become English.

I mentioned earlier the important difference in what one means by religion. For Muslims, it covers a whole range of different things–marriage, divorce, and inheritance are the most obvious examples. Since antiquity in the Western world, the Christian world, these have been secular matters. The distinction of church and state, spiritual and temporal, lay and ecclesiastical is a Christian distinction which has no place in Islamic history and therefore is difficult to explain to Muslims, even in the present day. Until very recently they did not even have a vocabulary to express it. They have one now.

What are the European responses to this situation? In Europe, as in the United States, a frequent response is what is variously known as multiculturalism and political correctness. In the Muslim world there are no such inhibitions. They are very conscious of their identity. They know who they are and what they are and what they want, a quality which we seem to have lost to a very large extent. This is a source of strength in the one, of weakness in the other.

A term sometimes used is constructive engagement. Let’s talk to them, let’s get together and see what we can do. Constructive engagement has a long tradition. When Saladin re-conquered Jerusalem and other places in the holy land, he allowed the Christian merchants from Europe to stay in the seaports. He apparently felt the need to justify this, and he wrote a letter to the caliph in Baghdad explaining his action. I would like to quote it to you. The merchants were useful since “there is not one among them that does not bring and sell us weapons of war, to their detriment and to our advantage.” This continued during the Crusades. It continued after. It continued during the Ottoman advance into Europe, when they could always find European merchants willing to sell them weapons they needed and European bankers willing to finance their purchases. Constructive engagement has a long history.

One also finds a rather startling modern version of it. We have seen in our own day the extraordinary spectacle of a pope apologizing to the Muslims for the Crusades. I would not wish to defend the behavior of the Crusaders, which was in many respects atrocious. But let us have a little sense of proportion. We are now expected to believe that the Crusades were an unwarranted act of aggression against a peaceful Muslim world. Hardly. The first papal call for a crusade occurred in 846 C.E., when an Arab expedition from Sicily sailed up the Tiber and sacked St. Peter’s in Rome. A synod in France issued an appeal to Christian sovereigns to rally against “the enemies of Christ,” and the Pope, Leo IV, offered a heavenly reward to those who died fighting the Muslims. A century and a half and many battles later, in 1096, the Crusaders actually arrived in the Middle East. The Crusades were a late, limited, and unsuccessful imitation of the jihad–an attempt to recover by holy war what had been lost by holy war. It failed, and it was not followed up.

Here is another more recent example of multiculturalism. On October 8, 2002–I insist on giving the date because you may want to look it up–the then French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who I am told is a staunch Roman Catholic, was making a speech in the French National Assembly and talking about the situation in Iraq. Speaking of Saddam Hussein, he remarked that one of Saddam Hussein’s heroes was his compatriot Saladin, who came from the same Iraqi town of Tikrit. In case the members of the Assembly were not aware of Saladin’s identity, M. Raffarin explained to them that it was he who was able “to defeat the Crusaders and liberate Jerusalem.” Yes. When a French prime minister describes Saladin’s capture of Jerusalem from the largely French Crusaders as an act of liberation, this would seem to indicate a rather extreme case of realignment of loyalties.

I was told this, and I didn’t believe it. So I checked it in the parliamentary record. When M. Raffarin used the word “liberate,” a member–the name was not given–called out, “Libérer?” He just went straight on. That was the only interruption, and as far as I was aware there was no comment afterwards.

The Islamic radicals have even been able to find some allies in Europe. In describing them I shall have to use the terms left and right, terms which are becoming increasingly misleading. The seating arrangements in the first French National Assembly after the revolution are not the laws of nature, but we have become accustomed to using them. They are difficult when applied to the West nowadays. They are utter nonsense when applied to different brands of Islam. But as I say, they are what people use, so let us put it this way.

They have a left-wing appeal to the anti-U.S. elements in Europe, for whom they have so-to-speak replaced the Soviets. They have a right-wing appeal to the anti-Jewish elements in Europe, replacing the Axis. They have been able to win considerable support under both headings. For some in Europe, their hatreds apparently outweigh their loyalties.

There is an interesting exception to that in Germany, where the Muslims are mostly Turkish. There they have often tended to equate themselves with the Jews, to see themselves as having succeeded the Jews as the victims of German racism and persecution. I remember a meeting in Berlin convened to discuss the new Muslim minorities in Europe. In the evening I was asked by a Muslim group of Turks to join them and hear what they had to say about it, which was very interesting. The phrase which sticks most vividly in my mind from one of them was, “In a thousand years they (the Germans) were unable to accept 400,000 Jews. What hope is there that they will accept two million Turks?” They used this very skillfully in playing on German feelings of guilt in order to inhibit any effective German measures to protect German identity, which I would say like others in Europe is becoming endangered.

My time is running out so I think I’ll leave other points that I wanted to make. [Shouts to go on.] You don’t mind a bit more?

I want to say something about the question of tolerance. You will recall that at the end of the first phase of the Christian reconquest, after Spain and Portugal and Sicily, Muslims–who by that time were very numerous in the reconquered lands–were given a choice: baptism, exile, or death. In the former Ottoman lands in southeastern Europe, the leaders of what you might call the reconquest were somewhat more tolerant but not a great deal more. Some Muslim minorities remained in some Balkan countries, with troubles still going on at the present day. If I say names like Kosovo or Bosnia, you will know what I am talking about.

Nevertheless, I mention this point because of the very sharp contrast with the treatment of Christians and other non-Muslims in the Islamic lands at that time. When Muslims came to Europe they had a certain expectation of tolerance, feeling that they were entitled to at least the degree of tolerance which they had accorded to non-Muslims in the great Muslim empires of the past. Both their expectations and their experience were very different.

Coming to European countries, they got both more and less than they had expected: More in the sense that they got in theory and often in practice equal political rights, equal access to the professions, all the benefits of the welfare state, freedom of expression, and so on and so forth.

But they also got significantly less than they had given in traditional Islamic states. In the Ottoman Empire and other states before that–I mention the Ottoman Empire as the most recent–the non-Muslim communities had separate organizations and ran their own affairs. They collected their own taxes and enforced their own laws. There were several Christian communities, each living under its own leadership, recognized by the state. These communities were running their own schools, their own education systems, administering their own laws in such matters as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and the like. The Jews did the same.

So you had a situation in which three men living in the same street could die and their estates would be distributed under three different legal systems if one happened to be Jewish, one Christian, and one Muslim. A Jew could be punished by a rabbinical court and jailed for violating the Sabbath or eating on Yom Kippur. A Christian could be arrested and imprisoned for taking a second wife. Bigamy is a Christian offense; it was not an Islamic or an Ottoman offense.

They do not have that degree of independence in their own social and legal life in the modern state. It is quite unrealistic for them to expect it, given the nature of the modern state, but that is not how they see it. They feel that they are entitled to receive what they gave. As one Muslim friend of mine in Europe put it, “We allowed you to practice monogamy, why should you not allow us to practice polygamy?”

Such questions–polygamy, in particular–raise important issues of a more practical nature. Isn’t an immigrant who is permitted to come to France or Germany entitled to bring his family with him? But what exactly does his family consist of? They are increasingly demanding and getting permission to bring plural wives. The same is also applying more and more to welfare payments and so on. On the other hand, the enforcement of shari`a is a little more difficult. This has become an extremely sensitive issue.

Another extremely sensitive issue, closely related to this, is the position of women, which is of course very different between Christendom and Islam. This has indeed been one of the major differences between the two societies.

Where do we stand now? Is it third time lucky? It is not impossible. They have certain clear advantages. They have fervor and conviction, which in most Western countries are either weak or lacking. They are self-assured of the rightness of their cause, whereas we spend most of our time in self-denigration and self-abasement. They have loyalty and discipline, and perhaps most important of all, they have demography, the combination of natural increase and migration producing major population changes, which could lead within the foreseeable future to significant majorities in at least some European cities or even countries.

But we also have some advantages, the most important of which are knowledge and freedom. The appeal of genuine modern knowledge in a society which, in the more distant past, had a long record of scientific and scholarly achievement is obvious. They are keenly and painfully aware of their relative backwardness and welcome the opportunity to rectify it.

Less obvious but also powerful is the appeal of freedom. In the past, in the Islamic world the word freedom was not used in a political sense. Freedom was a legal concept. You were free if you were not a slave. The institution of slavery existed. Free meant not slave. Unlike the West, they did not use freedom and slavery as a metaphor for good and bad government, as we have done for a long time in the Western world. The terms they used to denote good and bad government are justice and injustice. A good government is a just government, one in which the Holy Law, including its limitations on sovereign authority, is strictly enforced. The Islamic tradition, in theory and, until the onset of modernization, to a large degree in practice, emphatically rejects despotic and arbitrary government. Living under justice is the nearest approach to what we would call freedom.

But the idea of freedom in its Western interpretation is making headway. It is becoming more and more understood, more and more appreciated and more and more desired. It is perhaps in the long run our best hope, perhaps even our only hope, of surviving this developing struggle. Thank you.

Bernard Lewis is the recipient of AEI’s Irving Kristol Award for 2007.

Knoxville Horror Prosecutions Spinning Out of Control?

Knoxville Horror Prosecutions Spinning Out of Control?

By Nicholas Stix

Knoxville County (TN) Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner had better get a grip. This jurist, who since early 2007 has been presiding over all four state murder trials in the Knoxville Horror (KH) case—the January 7, 2007 carjacking-kidnapping-gang-rape-torture-murders by black criminals of white couple Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom—is in danger of losing control of his courtroom. After permitting dithering and brinksmanship on the part of prosecution and defense to force him to postpone the respective cases for a year, Baumgartner found himself forced to replace a negligent defender in the first scheduled case, and hence postpone it (and thus all the others) yet another six months. Meanwhile, the defense attempt to sandbag another KH trial with specious constitutional objections has gained a sympathetic ear from Judge Baumgartner.

Each of the four black defendants—Letalvis Cobbins, Cobbins’ girlfriend, Vanessa Coleman, George Thomas and Cobbins’ half-brother, Lemaricus Davidson—is being tried separately in consecutive trials. All but Coleman have court-appointed, private attorneys; Coleman secured private counsel. Because each is on trial for his life, Rule 13 of the Tennessee Supreme Court provides that each must have two death penalty-certified defense lawyers.

That rule has proven the greatest boon to Tennessee private criminal bar since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1963 decision in Gideon v. Wainwright forced the states to provide counsel to indigent defendants in all felony cases. At $75-100 per hour per attorney for top private defenders, plus expert, prosecution, document and court costs, by my reckoning the case has already cost humble Knox County over $2 million, before any trial has even begun.

Letalvis Cobbins’ case comes first. On November 7, Judge Baumgartner removed co-counsel, Bruce Poston, due to Poston’s neglect of Cobbins’ defense (particularly Poston’s failure to meet the deadline for filing a motion to suppress Cobbins’ statement to police); scheduled Poston, whom he said he considers a friend, for a contempt hearing; and replaced him as Cobbins’ co-counsel with local attorney Scott Green. (Kim Parton has served from the start as Cobbins’ lead defense counsel.)

“… the judge noted that, like the late [James] Brown, Poston is considered the hardest-working man in the defense bar when it comes to criminal trials but doesn’t devote much time to the more mundane work of filing motions and appeals.” [Attorney accused of failing to devote time to defense, by Jamie Satterfield, Knoxville News-Sentinel, November 8, 2008.]

On February 6, Baumgartner postponed Poston’s contempt hearing until after Cobbins’ trial has concluded. (Poston, by the way, is white.)

On February 25, Judge Baumgartner ruled that Cobbins’ statement is admissible. In Cobbins’ statement, he placed himself at the scene of the crime, but denied having committed any crimes, which he blamed on his half-brother, Lemaricus Davidson. So much for family loyalty.

In the event of a conviction, Cobbins could appeal with a new lawyer, arguing that due to Poston’s failure he received ineffective assistance of counsel, which could potentially be grounds for reversal.

Green’s need to familiarize himself with Cobbins’ case necessitated yet another postponement of the trial. Green soon sought to be removed from the case, and in February “filed a motion asking for a complete media blackout on pre-trial hearings, or to be removed from the case,” citing death threats against him and his family on WBIR’s message board.

In the meantime, Cobbins has also been charged with misdemeanor assault for an alleged attack on Knox County Sheriff’s Office jailer Bryan Hackett on February 2.

In the second scheduled trial, “defense attorneys for Vanessa Coleman seek to suppress statements [Coleman] made to police when she was arrested in Kentucky in January 2007,” which incriminated herself, Davidson, Thomas and Cobbins.

Prosecutors earlier offered Coleman a plea bargain of a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole, in exchange for a guilty plea and her thorough, “truthful” testimony at her co-defendants’ trials; she rejected the offer. Prosecutors have offered no plea bargains to Coleman’s co-defendants.

Lemaricus Davidson’s trial is due third. His attorneys have largely kept their own counsel.

That leaves George Thomas. His attorneys, Thomas Dillard and co-counsel, Stephen Ross Johnson, last May petitioned the court “to dismiss the request for the death penalty,” asserting that it was racially biased; their petition was apparently rejected.

In late February, Dillard petitioned Judge Baumgartner to force two Knoxville media outlets to censor their respective Websites. Dillard is demanding that the Knoxville News Sentinel newspaper and NBC affiliate WBIR ensure that each poster provides his real name and address, and review each post prior to publishing it, to ensure that it is not “inflammatory,” prejudicial, or otherwise liable to taint the jury pool.

If Baumgartner rules in Thomas’ favor, he will be imposing state censorship of the sort known as “prior restraint.” While the News-Sentinel and WBIR are private companies, since the limitations on their respective message boards would be imposed by the state, said limitations would entail state censorship.

In my opinion, Dillard’s petition is without merit, based on four factors:

1.  That ship has sailed. The most prejudicial statements imaginable were posted to Internet message boards in early 2007, shortly following the murders. Baseless rumors asserted that the killers had sexually mutilated the presumably still living victims, lopping off Christopher Newsom’s penis, and one of Channon Christian’s breasts. In the course of researching my first article on the case, for American Renaissance, I was able to track these rumors back to white supremacist/neo-Nazi/whatever Internet broadcaster, Hal Turner. The facts of the crime, however, were so gruesome that the phony rumors were unnecessary. And if anyone was guilty of promoting an atmosphere conducive to wild rumor-mongering, it was the Knoxville PD, which suppressed most of the facts of the case. I find it hard to believe that over two years later, new postings could change Knoxvillians’ attitudes towards the crime;

2.  The focus on local Knoxville media outlets bespeaks of a pre-Internet mentality. But the Internet is everywhere. True and false claims alike about the case, posted by people from around the world, are available at scores, if not hundreds of blogs and Web sites;

3.  Internet prejudice has cut both ways. Supporters of the defendants have made the baseless assertion that Christian was “cruising” in a bad part of town, or looking to buy drugs, as if such claims would justify the crimes committed against her and Newsom, even if they were true; and

4.  No can do. Both the First Amendment and U.S. Code, Title 47, Section 230 forbid the suggested censorship. The First Amendment forbids prior restraint, and Section 230 holds that media outlets that have message boards or the like are “common carriers”—specifically, “interactive computer services”—just like Internet service providers such as AOL, and are not “publishers.” Thus, they are not liable for false or libelous statements made by people using their services. It is precisely the Section 230 loophole that has permitted Wikipedia/The Pretend Encyclopedia to function as a libel factory.

Dillard’s claims are specious; he is likely laying the groundwork to later argue reversible error on appeal, should his client be convicted. Should Judge Baumgartner yield to such entreaties, he will find himself on a path to folly.

If Baumgartner is worried about the jury being prejudicially influenced, he could sequester it and prevent it from having any Internet access. However, sequestered jurors have the right to conjugal visits. During previous high profile trials, visiting spouses were suspected of passing along prejudicial information. The best path is to reject Dillard’s arguments, and just get on with the trials. Judge Baumgartner has not yet said when he will rule on the matter. (Thanks to reader JC, for alerting me about this matter.)

Procedurally speaking, the strongest defense motion yet was made on March 13 by one of Lemaricus Davidson’s lawyers, Douglas Trant. He argued that the January 9, 2007 search of the since-demolished house at 2316 Chipman Street, where the gang-rapes and torture of the victims and Christian’s murder had been committed, was illegal—because the lead case investigator had signed the second page of the search warrant, but not the first.

“‘That this search warrant is not valid, I would submit for that reason the burden should then shift to the state,’ Davidson’s attorney Douglas Trant said.

“Defense attorneys for Davidson say because Knoxville Police Officer Todd Childress did not sign the first page of a search warrant, then the Court should not allow the search warrant or evidence discovered by the search.

“The signature line is cut off. Childress said he did not realize there was supposed to be a signature line on the first page.

“The second page is signed by Officer Childress and Judge Tony Stansbury.” [Update: Judge to decide if search in the Christian and Newsom murders was legal by Yvette Martinez, WBIR, March 14, 2009.]

To put this amazing claim in perspective, remember police had previously found a bank envelope with Lemaricus Davidson’s fingerprint on it inside of Channon Christian’s dumped SUV, knew Davidson’s address, and he was already wanted for an unrelated misdemeanor.

Since most of the incriminating evidence, including Channon Christian’s corpse, was found at the house on Chipman Street, Davidson’s dream outcome would be the suppression of all such evidence. Would prosecutors then have to proceed as if Channon Christian’s body had never been found, and not show the jury the photographs of her wounds? And since the suspects’ crucial interrogation statements, which Judge Baumgartner has permitted into the record, were all taken by law enforcement based on what the latter had learned at the house on Chipman Street, would the falling dominoes knock them down, as well?

Many Northerners assume that the Volunteer State is backwards. But Tennessee is actually one of the most sophisticated, progressive states in the Union, when it comes to encouraging the manipulation of the criminal justice system. Filing defense motions during a capital trial in Tennessee is like throwing spaghetti against a wall. The more motions you throw, the more likely that one will stick—on review, if not during the trial itself.

One study found that from 1977-1995, Tennessee Courts of Appeals reversed 32 out of the 109 capital cases it reviewed on direct appeal “for errors made during the trials.”[PDF ] According to a 1999 Tennessee Supreme Court finding (in State v. Ferguson), the state constitution’s due process protections are stronger than those contained in the U.S. Constitution Former Tennessee Attorney General Paul G. Summers (1999-2006) once observed that the state’s appellate death penalty process is “one of the most lengthy criminal appeals processes in the United States.”

Assuming Judge Baumgartner doesn’t let defense counsel walk all over him, I expect Davidson, Cobbins, and Thomas all to be convicted on some of the 46 felony charges against each.

At press time the case against Davidson is airtight—with DNA evidence tying him to Christian, and statements by all four co-defendants claiming he carried out one murder, and at minimum, ordered the other murder. Thus I give Davidson a 90 percent chance of being sentenced to death. But in the world of diversity, no capital case sentence of a black or Hispanic defendant is a foregone conclusion.

DNA evidence ties Cobbins to Christian, but as no co-defendant statements claim he carried out either killing, I give him a 50 percent chance of getting a death sentence.

No DNA evidence ties Thomas to Christian, but co-defendant statements claim he admitted to killing Newsom. Thus, I also give him a 50 percent chance of getting the death penalty.

Considering that no DNA evidence ties Coleman to either victim, no co-defendant statement has her killing either victim, her self-presentation in her police statements as a hapless, terrified prisoner of the men (her transparent lies and self-contradictions notwithstanding), and the preferential treatment black females routinely enjoy in matters of the law, I give Coleman zero chance of being sentenced to death. She might even skate on all 40 felony counts against her.

Presently, the trials are slated to begin on July 6 (Cobbins); August 10 (Coleman); September 21 (Davidson); and December 2 (Thomas), respectively.

Eric Boyd was convicted last April 16 in a federal trial, and sentenced to 18 years in prison, as an accessory after the fact to carjacking. Boyd will appeal his conviction; I have argued that the mess from his trial may be spilling over for some time to come.

With the exception of Coleman, the defendants are certainly getting the taxpayers’ money’s worth, as are the defense attorneys.

But are the taxpayers?

In the dock for this racial atrocity we have men whose days, when they are not in prison, are spent hurtling from one violent crime against hardworking citizens to another, buying food and drugs with the proceeds from those crimes, having sex (whether through consent or rape), falling asleep, and starting a new series of crimes the next day; and a drifter of a woman who is content to go along for the ride.

A sane, decent, prudent society seeks to limit both the number of such people, and the damage they can do.

But we live in a society whose elites “celebrate diversity”—a euphemism for more madness, evil, and, of course, ever-rising expense.

Nicholas Stix [email him] lives in New York City, which he views from the perspective of its public transport system, experienced in his career as an educator. His weekly column appears at Men’s News Daily and many other Web sites. He has also written for Middle American News, the New York Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, Chronicles, Ideas on Liberty and the Weekly Standard. He maintains two blogs: A Different Drummer and Nicholas Stix, Uncensored.

Glenn Beck: America past the point of no return?

Glenn Beck: America past the point of no return?

Audio Available:

March 27, 2009 – 12:04 ET

Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina

GLENN: Senator Jim DeMint is on the phone with us now. Senator, how are you, sir?

SENATOR DeMINT: Hey, Glenn, I’m much better now that I’m back in South Carolina and out of Washington D.C.

GLENN: I bet you are. Senator, I want to have a frank conversation with you, if we can, about the times that we’re living in and how close do you believe we are to turning a page on this country that cannot be turned back.

SENATOR DeMINT: Well, Glenn, it’s an excellent question. If I use my business mind and look at it like look at our country’s financial situation like a balance sheet, I don’t see any sustainable path or any plausible way to turn this around, in light of the experts now are saying the only way we can make the financial side of this work is to what they call debase our currency or heavily inflate it. And I think that’s why you hear countries like China and maybe Geithner even agreeing some new world currency that allows some realignment. But all of it’s a scary thought to me. But I don’t think we’re over the cliff yet. I think we but it is a time of realignment. I think our political parties have let us down. I don’t think they reflect America anymore, but Americans have to decide what we want to be. We’re fighting for the soul of our country. And as you’ve talked about a lot, we need as a country to come back to the basics of values and principles, those things that we can see through our history that worked, that made us unique, that made us prosperous, that made us a good people and those things are not coming out of the political sphere right now. So we need a realignment among the people and we need folks who really want to stand up for our country to decide we’ve got to take the politics back because for me right now the political labels mean very little because, just because they have a Republican stamp on them does not mean they are going to vote in a way that I

GLENN: Okay.

SENATOR DeMINT: That seems obviously constitutional to me.

GLENN: Senator, I want to ask you this question if that’s what you believe, and that’s what I believe. I mean, I didn’t leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me. You know, and I would vote for Republicans. The minute I find a Republican that I could vote for in Connecticut where I could vote for in Connecticut that actually believed in what I believe, I would vote for them. But I would vote for a Democrat if I could find them that believed in the what I believe.

SENATOR DeMINT: Right.

GLENN: Unfortunately they both believe in varying degrees of out of control spending, corruption through power and gigantic government. So they left me.

So here’s what I want to ask you. Isn’t it time for somebody to be George Washington? And I mean, I read the words of our founders. George Washington warned us about these two party systems.

SENATOR DeMINT: Right.

GLENN: Isn’t it time for somebody to say the Republican Party has left me and I will be a Republican the day they decide to come to their sense, but common sense has been lost and the clock is ticking and it’s not about the parties. And I guess what I’m trying to get to is there are people that are rallying now and they look at these tea parties and it’s anti Obama, or they’re confused. There’s nobody to be for.

SENATOR DeMINT: Right.

GLENN: There’s nobody that is in Washington that you can stand up and say, yes, I’m for that guy, and have him be the rallying point, have him be the guy who will actually stand and hold the banner.

SENATOR DeMINT: Well, Glenn, for me I don’t think we should be looking for the person. And you said this, too. We need to be we need to clarify what our principles are, particularly on the political side.

GLENN: But Senator, I understand that. But see, what’s happening is nobody listens to anybody. The good guys or the bad I don’t put you guys on TV much anymore, even the good ones.

SENATOR DeMINT: Right.

GLENN: Because I don’t think anybody’s listening to you guys. Because there has been such a you want to talk about debasement of the currency, the currency of trust has been so debased by the parties that all of course you say that; you’re a Republican. Or, of course you say that; you’re a Democrat.

SENATOR DeMINT: Right.

GLENN: Somebody needs to stand above that and say, “Look, I’m going to I don’t care if I’m ever reelected again and I’m just asking people to join me. I’m not the leader.” You know, George Washington was a reluctant leader.

SENATOR DeMINT: Right.

GLENN: And we didn’t build our country on him. We built it on principles and values, but somebody like George Washington needed to stand up and say, “Here we go, gang.” So who is that person?

SENATOR DeMINT: Well, I don’t know who it is right now and I think it’s and I don’t think it’s going to be any one person. I think you are going to see people around the country begin to grasp these principles and stand up and talk about just simple concepts of limited government and a free people and that free markets can work. And when we see those people standing up and leading and they are likely to come from out of the political sphere. I frankly find when I’m talking to people around the country, people who call themselves Republicans, they believe just as I do but something happens once people get elected, particularly after they stay in Washington a long time. They tend to think that all solutions have to be government solutions and when people in Washington think their job is to do what they think is best for America, which sounds wonderful but that doesn’t work. Then you have 535 people putting, you know, just kind of putting all of their wants and desires for the country in this legislation with this thousands of items in it. But that’s not what we’re there for. We’re really there to limit the power of government and I think a lot of people understand that. And what we’re seeing more and more, Glenn, is the power in America is going to go back to the people through shows like yours, radio talk shows across the country, a lot of new cable news blogs and I’m just encouraged to see people all over the country who are standing up. I mean, we get thousands of calls a week typically fighting or what are you guys thinking, those kind of things. So people are more engaged and that’s the only way we can get it back because like you said, you can put people on your show and they will say one thing and it may sound great. But then it doesn’t seem to have any resemblance to what we actually do.

GLENN: Right.

SENATOR DeMINT: So there is a lack of trust because words don’t mean anything now. But I haven’t given up because I really believe that people out across this country still get it. They are going to have to stand up and fight because I really think we have to understand. We’ve given away a lot of our freedoms with our vote and now we’re going to have to fight to get it back.

GLENN: Senator, what is the, what is the one thing, I mean because people are really I think my audience is worn out. I think Rush’s audience is worn out and Sean’s is. I mean, they are invigorated because they believe it but, you know, I think they are worn out a little bit on, I’ve called, I’ve called, I’ve called, I’ve called. What is the one thing that people should do?

SENATOR DeMINT: It’s to look back to themselves and the people sitting next to them at work or church. I still want people to call and e mail because it has helped us back people down on some pretty bad votes but don’t look to Washington. America is not Washington. It’s not Republican or Democrat. It’s a very unique people that believe in freedom. And freedom does work and actually we’re much more secure as individuals when we’re free even though there are a lot of people telling us we have to have government to keep us secure. The government should secure us in a sense of our military and defense, but all of us need to stop looking to Washington to solve our problems and to look in our communities, and the more we do for ourselves and our own families and people locally and the more we just see that just as, you know, de Tocqueville noticed about America the difference between us and France is when a person saw a problem here, they went and got a friend and tried to solve it. In France they said someone ought to do something about it and tried to get the government to do it. We’ve started doing that increasingly here in our country.

GLENN: Yep.

SENATOR DeMINT: But I still think the soul of America is alive and well. We just need to call on it to get us out of this.

GLENN: Senator, thank you very much. I appreciate it and we’ll talk again.

SENATOR DeMINT: Thanks.

Brazil’s leader blames white people for crisis

Brazil’s leader blames white people for crisis

By Jonathan Wheatley in São Paulo and agencies

Published: March 27 2009 00:27 | Last updated: March 27 2009 00:27

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Thursday blamed the global economic crisis on “white people with blue eyes” and said it was wrong that black and indigenous people should pay for white people’s mistakes.

Speaking in Brasília at a joint press conference with Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, Mr Lula da Silva told reporters: “This crisis was caused by the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing.”

He added: “I do not know any black or indigenous bankers so I can only say [it is wrong] that this part of mankind which is victimised more than any other should pay for the crisis.”

Mr Brown appeared to distance himself from Mr Lula da Silva’s remarks. “I’m not going to attribute blame to any individuals,” he said.

Mr Brown was visiting Brazil as part of a five-day tour of Europe, the US and South America in preparation for the G20 summit to take place in London next Thursday. He made a joint appeal with Mr Lula da Silva for the world’s biggest economies to provide $100bn to boost global trade.

“I’m going to ask the G20 summit next week to support a global expansion of trade finance to reverse a slide in world trade,” Mr Brown said.

Mr Lula da Silva also spoke out strongly against raising trade barriers in response to the global crisis. “I compare protectionism to a drug,” he said. “Why do people use drugs? Because they are in crisis and they think the drug will help them. But its effects pass quickly.”

The two leaders’ remarks demonstrate the desire each will have to secure the other’s support during the G20 meeting.

Brazil – which has long campaigned unsuccessfully to be given a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council – will argue for a bigger voice for Brazil and other emerging nations in multilateral organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and the Financial Stability Forum, a group of central banks and national supervisory authorities established in 1999.

Brazil is one of many nations calling for increased regulation of global financial markets and greater powers for multilateral regulators.

It will also call for a resumption and conclusion of the Doha round of talks at the World Trade Organisation.

In return for supporting such initiatives, Mr Brown will expect Brazil to endorse calls for fiscal stimulus in a bid to mitigate the impact of the global crisis, such as the proposed $100bn in trade finance.

The “culture of complicity” continues with Tim Geithner’s new toxic asset plan and President Obama casts a vote against Iran’s President Ahmadinejad

The “culture of complicity” continues with Tim Geithner’s new toxic asset plan
You may recall back to last fall, when then Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulsen got Congress to pass his $800 billion TARP (Troubled Asset Recovery Program) proposal, almost overnight.

The idea was this: Banks have huge volumes of mortgage-backed securities in their portfolios. These securities are CDOs (collateralized debt obligations), CDOs-squared (CDOs of CDOs), CDSs (credit default swaps), and numerous other highly leveraged structured securities designed by brilliant financial engineers just a few years ago.

These securities are now being called “toxic assets” or “toxic waste,” because they’re worth a lot less than thought.

There’s no market for these securities any more, and when forced to sell via a “fire sale,” banks are getting 20 or 30 cents on the dollar. If banks are forced by “mark to market” rules to mark down the values of these assets to 20-30 cents on the dollar, then many banks immediately become essentially bankrupt, for all practical purposes.

So the TARP program was supposed to purchase the toxic assets at something like 60-80 cents on the dollar, so that banks can get them off their balance sheets, and still survive. Paulsen got his $800 billion, but unfortunately he never got around to buying up all those toxic waste securities. For some strange reason, he just never got around to it. I guess he must have spending too much time working out at the gym, or something.

Anyway, early in February, President Obama gave a press conference at which he announced that the shiny, brand new Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, would announce the details for how the banks would be saved. The next day came and and Geithner gave his own press conference but, for some strange reason, he provided absolutely no details whatsoever. I guess he must have spending too much time celebrating the inauguration, or something.

I’ve said repeatedly what the problem is. The problem is that there are many tens of trillions of dollars worth (nominal value) of this toxic waste, perhaps over a hundred trillion, and there isn’t enough money in the world the buy them all.

That’s the ice water reality that keeps striking these government officials.

People keep saying, “Why doesn’t the government just buy these things up?” Or, “Why doesn’t the government just nationalize the banks?” Or, “Why don’t we just let these banks fail, and the market will dispose of the toxic waste?”

The problems is that none of these “solutions” has any chance of working. When you’re talking about many tens of trillions of dollars of toxic waste, there’s literally no way to deal with it, without massive and widespread homelessness, bankruptcies, poverty, and starvation.

The dot-com, real estate, credit and stock market bubbles took almost 15 years to grow. By using leverage, and leverage on leverage, and leverage on leverage on leverage, there are now well over $1 quadrillion worth of structured securities in the world.

All those bubbles have to deflate before things can return to normal. And it can’t be done overnight. If it took almost 15 years for the bubbles to expand, then it will take a similar period of time for the bubbles to deflate. This crisis has barely begun.

So finally, Tim Geithner had to do SOMETHING. The investors were demanding it. The Congress was demanding it. The public was demanding it. The President was demanding it.

So he came up with a “public-private partnership” that tries to use allow the market to dissolve the toxic waste. The Treasury won’t buy the toxic waste from banks, as it would have with the TARP plan.

Instead, a bank can sell the toxic waste to certain third party investors, and the Treasury will put up 86% of the purchase price. The purchaser need put up only 14% of the purchase price, providing 6 to 1 leverage.

But by another arrangement, the FDIC will put up half of the remaining price. So the investors only puts up 93% of the purchase price, providing 13 to 1 leverage.

It wouldn’t be a straight sale. Instead, several of these investors would bid on the toxic waste at an auction. That way (it is hoped), a realistic market value for the toxic assets will be established.

If the value of the toxic waste assets goes up, then the investors will make money. If the value goes down, then the investors lose less than they would have otherwise.

This doesn’t solve the size problem in any way that I can see. There are still many tens of trillions of dollars worth of these things, and now the US government only has to pay 93% instead of 100%. That isn’t going to make any difference.

The deflationary spiral

As I’ve been saying for years, we’re in a deflationary spiral. People keep asking me why there won’t be hyperinflation instead of deflation, but that’s impossible. Here’s why.

According to the Bank of International Settlements, there are over $1 quadrillion ($1,000 trillion) worth (notional value) of credit derivatives and other structured finance securities in the portfolios of financial institutions around the world.

Now, if mortgage-backed securities are turning out to be worth only 20-40 cents on the dollar, how much will these other securities turn out to be worth?

Some people say that most of them are solid, and that they’ll be worth at least 90 cents on the dollar. I have my doubts, but let’s suppose it’s 90 cents on the dollar.

That means that the $1 quadrillion worth of securities will lose $100 trillion in value. There just isn’t enough money in the world to make up for that. And it might be even more than $100 trillion.

So we spent 15 years leveraging debt to create a massive credit bubble over $1 quadrillion in size. Now there’s a deleveraging process going on. That bubble is leaking, and all that money is disappearing.

So if there’s less money (fewer dollars) in the world, then dollars become more valuable, and that’s deflationary. Nothing can be done to stop that.

The above is not a fanciful story. It’s really happening. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Bank of International Settlements said that Europe’s banks face a $2 trillion dollar shortage, and they’re going to have trouble rolling over their debts. That’s deflation.

Krugman feels despair

Pity poor Paul Krugman, the man who received the Nobel Prize for Economics because he hated George Bush. His view of any dilemma was to blame the problem on the evilness of George Bush’s ideology, and his solution was to do what anyone else suggested, as long it was different from what George Bush wanted.

On the day that Krugman won the Nobel Prize in October of last year, he was congratulating the UK and the Europeans for announcing a bailout and other steps that “exceed expectations,” steps that the US didn’t take. He indicated that the reason that the US didn’t take these steps earlier is because of “ideology,” and that finally there was a plan that WOULD work.

There have been several new bailouts and stimulus packages since then, and nothing has worked. And it can’t possibly be because of ideology, because George Bush is gone, and the new President doesn’t do ideology; he “makes decision based on facts, rather than ignoring them.”

So now Krugman has to deal with the fact that things keep going downhill, and it’s not because of some ideology. He’s learning a little more about the real world.

In a recent opinion column, he calls Geithner’s proposal “cash for trash,” and says that it fills him “with a sense of despair.”

In an interview on Bloomberg TV he expanded his thoughts on the subject, and said some very interesting things. Here are some excerpts (my transcription):

“This plan is — once you strip away the basically confusing details — it is the same plan proposed by Hank Paulsen back in September. It is right back to “We’re going to have the government buy up some of these toxic assets in the hope of driving up their price enough to make the banks whole again.” It’s disguised, it’s done through these loans, it’s a very sweet deal. Investors who participate in the plan are given a shiny new toaster, plus a gigantic put option as part of the deal, which makes it a very attractive thing, so they’re going to buy the stuff.The problem with the plan is that — first of all, it’s a pretty bad deal for the taxpayers. It’s not very well focused on the most troubled banks. And it’s very unlikely to produce enough gain in the prices of these things to make the most troubled banks viable again.

It’s a very diffuse, ill-defined instrument. …

There’s a reasonable case that [the toxic assets are] somewhat undervalued. So there are banks holding stuff at 60% of face value, and the market value, if they were to try to sell it, is 30 cents. And maybe it’s really worth 40 cents. That’s a possibility.

But what’s pushing that price from 30 to 40 — first of all wouldn’t be enough to make the banks want to sell it, because they don’t want to mark down stuff they’re holding on their books. They’re really afraid of what that would do to their [measure?] capital. Basically they can’t handle the truth.

And do we really think that’s enough to make the banks whole, even if they do so. It’s not enough to say that the stuff may be somewhat undervalued. There’s a good case that it is, though that’s not for sure. But it has to be grossly undervalued for this plan to be capable of doing more than just handing some extra money to people who are holding toxic waste. ..

[Question: As the economy improves, won't the values of some of these toxic assets increase?]

Well, yeah, but you have to believe that there’s really the possiblity of a self-fulfilling prophecy here — if only people feel better about this stuff that the economy will surge so much, and the value of these assets will surge so much that it will make everything fine.

To believe that, you really have to believe that most of the problems facing the banking system are the results of a more or less irrational panic, that there isn’t a fundamental huge loss facing the system. I don’t think that’s right. Essentially our banking system — some of the biggest banks — bet heavily that home prices in 2006 made sense.

The idea that consumer debt at unprecedented levels relative to consumer incomes — made sense. Those bets were wrong. It’s a tremendous loss that you can’t wish away. That even if you had full return to the normality of the markets would still be there.

And if you can’t make it go away, then the idea that we’re going to get this self-fulfilling thing with the economy improves, confidence improves, everything fixes itself is just not going to happen.

Because the other things are not in place. We have stimulus plan that is helpful but not nearly big enough to produce recovery. There is nothing out there suggesting that we’re going to have an economic recovery any time soon. We might see the pace of decline level off. But the idea that we’re going to bounce back to full employment any time in years is hard to credit at this point.

So you really don’t want the centerpiece of your financial strategy to be based up on hope that something isn’t true might be true.”

This is a very striking assessment from Krugman, much more gloomier than anything in the past.

Krugman gives specific reasons why Geithner’s new proposal won’t work, but that’s not the most surprising thing.

What’s surprising is that Krugman is just one step away from concluding that NOTHING will work.

I could hardly believe my ears when I heard him say, “To believe that, you really have to believe that most of the problems facing the banking system are the results of a more or less irrational panic, that there isn’t a fundamental huge loss facing the system.

Krugman is repudiating the common wisdom of the time, that fundamentals don’t matter, that only words matter.

I remember how shocked I was in 2004 then Ben Bernanke congratulated himself and the Fed for using words — Fed statements that interest rates would be kept low — were all that was necessary to keep stock prices up. I couldn’t believe that the head of the Princeton economics department could possibly say anything so stupid. But in fact, Bernanke’s claim was just the common wisdom.

This common wisdom is shared by President Obama, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, the Wall Street Journal, and almost everyone else.

Krugman has now repudiated the common wisdom, and his own ideological beliefs. It will be interesting to see where the leads.

Restoring confidence

Krugman isn’t the only one who’s suddenly decided that the common wisdom must be wrong.

Here’s what Tom Brokaw said last Sunday on Meet the Press, in explaining why people are so angry:

“Well, I–my take, I think it’s understandable. One of the things that I’ve been saying is that for a year now, for a full year nothing that the American people have been told about the financial condition of this country has proved to be true. And very good people–Jamie Dimon from JPMorgan Chase said last June, after Bear Stearns collapsed, “Well, we think we’ve seen the worst for Wall Street now. We still have the housing crisis to go.” Well, we hadn’t seen the worst from Wall Street. And this AIG bonus thing exploded in everyone’s faces.”

Apparently the only people who still believe the common wisdom are President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

President Obama clearly believes that if he goes on the Leno show or ESPN and other media outlets, and he talks confidently, then he’ll “restore confidence.” He believes that because that’s the way he got elected President, and he believes that if he can win an election that way, then he can turn the economy around that way.

Most incredible of all, Obama continually claims that the way to save the economy is essentially to implement universal health care, as well as a large energy program that would defeat global warming. It’s possibly his repeated claims that the more you spend the more you’ll save that are the most bizarre to me.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, “restoring confidence” is impossible. There is a generational change in behaviors and attitudes going on, and it’s only begun.

Here are the attitudes that are changing:

  • People will not “start spending again.” People are beginning to understand that if they save a dollar today, then that dollar may save their lives a year from now. Those of you who remember how parsimonious and penny-pinching your grandparents were should understand that you and everyone else are turning more and more into your grandparents. Your transformation will be complete before all this is over.
  • It’s impossible to “restore trust” in the financial system. Bankers will be blamed for this catastrophe, and they’ll be distrusted and reviled for years. I wrote recently how spooky I’m finding it personally that I’m suddenly hearing exactly the same rhetoric about greedy bankers that I used to hear all the time when I was growing up in the 1950s.
  • The “credit crunch” will not be reversed. After the 1930s, debt and credit were treated with extreme suspicion for decades, and that will happen again. People are learning that debt is the road to personal disaster.
  • Banks will not “start lending again,” as they did before. There will always be some lending, of course, but it will grow very slowly, over many years, and it will never be as extravagant as it’s been, as long as current generations are alive.
  • New regulations are almost useless. I explained all this in my “The outlook for 2009.” There were plenty of regulations passed in the 1930s to prevent the current catastrophe, but they were all ignored or repealed at exactly the time when they were needed. This was done over many years, but I believe that the crucial turn was taken in 1999, when the Glass-Steagall act was repealed, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac turned seriously into structured finance. New regulations aren’t needed today, because nobody would invest in a mortgage-backed CDO today. As soon as the regulations are needed, they’ll be repealed by later generations.

Politicians, journalists and analysts expect the opposite of all of these. They imply that with the right words and right incentives and right regulations, trust will be restored to the financial system, and people will start borrowing and spending again.

What they’re expecting is that people will return to the “bubble mentality” that’s existed for the past twenty years.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, that’s impossible. The current generations of Boomers and Gen-Xers are suffering from their own abuses, and the young people in the Millennial generation are watching all this are learning lessons about trust, spending, debt and credit that they will live by as long as they’re alive — just like your grandparents.

More important, all the bailouts and TARP programs, as well as Geithner’s new plan, depend heavily on the assumption that people will quickly return to this “bubble mentality.” If there were no other reason why Geithner’s plan has to fail, this reason would mean its failure anyway. No one alive today will return to the “bubble mentality” of the past years.

The culture of complicity

Last week, Jay Leno asked President Obama why people weren’t being sent to jail. Obama said, “Here’s the dirty little secret though: most of the stuff that was done was perfectly legal.”

I strongly disagree, and I’ll briefly repeat the reasons.

As I wrote a year ago in “Brilliant Nobel Prize winners in Economics blame credit bubble on ‘the news,’” experts who were complicit in originally creating the toxic assets, like Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, are lying and making excuses, like blaming it on the news or on the Iraq war.

The universal excuse is that when these toxic assets were designed in the early 2000s, no one knew that they would fail. But even if that were true in the beginning, that excuse falls apart later.

Maybe that excuse works for toxic assets sold in 2003, 2004, 2005, or even 2006. But by 2007, it was perfectly clear that the housing bubble had burst, and that interest rates were rising. So by 2007, the financial engineers should have stopped creating new toxic securities, the bank marketing departments should have stopped selling them, the ratings agencies should have stopped giving them AAA ratings, and the monoline insurance agencies should have stopped insuring them.

But that didn’t happen. By 2007, the volume of toxic assets actually increased substantially, and they were designed, sold, rated and insured as before. What happened was that everyone wanted to get their fat fees and commissions before the game was up.

This is overwhelming circumstantial evidence that massive fraud was committed in 2007, by people who knew exactly what was going on. There is no question in my mind that it could be proven that hugely illegal activities were going on, and that they could be proven in court by prosecutors who could subpoena the relevant paperwork.

The reason that isn’t happening is that, like Stiglitz, the prosecutors were complicit in the fraud. The government regulators and prosecutors had access to the data that these toxic assets were becoming worthless, but they did nothing about it, probably because they didn’t want to harm their own investments.

I frequently quote John Kenneth Galbraith on this web site, especially his 1954 book The Great Crash – 1929. His son, James K. Galbraith, is an economics professor at University of Texas.

In an a recent interview with Der Spiegel, James Galbraith described what’s been happening as a “culture of complicity” in response to a question about the German bank Hypo Real Estate:

“I sincerely hope the bank management conducted some due diligence with the products they bought. And if they relied on agency ratings, they should have asked whether the agencies were working on their behalf. But I am very sure that, again, the answer is ‘no’. The rating agencies made a mess by rating asset backed securities with AAA, so we’re seeing a failure of due diligence at every stage. And a deep fraudulence at every stage. When a rating agency certifies that a security is AAA, it is making a claim about the quality of that security. It cannot make this claim unless it has closely looked at this security. …The representation of such a quality of this security without examination is fraud. Perhaps Hypo Real Estate has legal recourse to these rating agencies for having relied on their fraudulent ratings.

Actually I doubt that, as there was some hidden understanding between such banks and rating agencies. The language they used reveals a different story than the one bank managers are selling to the public these days. “Liars’ loans,” “toxic waste,” or my favorite: “neutron loans” — loans that destroy the people but leave the buildings intact. These were the words to describe these loans and they were used by the people who were working in this industry. They reveal a culture of fraudulence on a massive scale. And of course governments now have to come to recognize that these are things they have to deal with. …

There was clearly a systemic failure. But that does not mean there was no criminal energy around. The language one uses to describe these things is very important. I tend to stay away from neutral terms like “systemic failure” or “bubble,” because these terms imply the innocence of the people involved — and I can’t see that. …

The reality of the financial crisis is that it was caused by a culture of complicity. That makes it so difficult for people to come to grips with it, especially for people who were involved, who were denying it themselves and who were partially aware of the extent of the damage. Probably many of them thought they would get away with it and now they realize that they have created an enormous slump.”

This is exactly the point that I’ve been making. When politicians and analysts make excuses for what happened, it’s to hide their own complicity.

So what did President Obama mean when he said that nothing illegal had occurred? Is he completely ignorant of what’s going on, or is he hiding his own complicity? You decide.

And let’s make it clear: The culture of complicity has not disappeared. The people in the same lethal combination of Boomers and Gen-Xers that caused the current catastrophe are still around, and they’re still making it worse. Geithner’s plan, as well as the various bailouts and stimulus plans, are part of the culture of complicity and are making the problem worse, prolonging it, and guaranteeing that the bankruptcies, homelessness and poverty will be even worse than they might have been.

Harry Markopolos, Bernie Madoff and the SEC

You’ll recall the Bernie Madoff is the man who defrauded thousands of investors out of $65 billion.

Madoff himself has been quoted as saying, “In today’s regulatory environment, it’s virtually impossible to violate rules. This is something that the public really doesn’t understand. But it’s impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time.” When Madoff said that, he had already been violating the rules and defrauding people for decades.

Two weeks ago, the CBS show 60 Minutes ran a news segment on Harry Markopolos, the man who repeatedly complained to the SEC that Bernie Madoff’s claimed returns were mathematically impossible. He made five separate submissions to the SEC, in May 2000. October 2001. October, November, and December of 2005, and then again June 2007, and finally April 2008.

“It took me five minutes to know that it was a fraud. It took me another almost four hours of mathematical modeling to prove that it was a fraud. As we know, markets go up and down, and his only went up. He had very few down months. Only four percent of the months were down months. And that would be equivalent to a baseball player in the major leagues batting .960 for a year. Clearly impossible. You would suspect cheating immediately.”

Markopolos said there were only two plausible explanations: either Madoff was using insider information to rack up the huge profits or he was running a giant Ponzi scheme. Both of those are illegal.

I identify very closely with Markopolos’ story. In 2002, I was eating lunch at the mall reading the Boston Globe, when I saw a graph of the Dow Industrials going back to the early 1900s. I took one look at it and said, “Ohmigod, the stock market is going to crash.” (Yes, it was that obvious, just from the graph.) Later, I did the detailed analysis.

I was really naïve at that time. I thought that once this problem was identified, people would want to know about it and take immediate action. Instead, I was simply blown off. That’s what happened to Markopolos.

There’s another similarity. Markopolos said, “I would say that hundreds of people suspected something was amiss with the Madoff operation. If you look at who the victims were not, you’ll notice that the major firms on Wall Street had no money with Mr. Madoff.”

In other words, Markopolos believes that hundreds of people knew that Madoff could be criminal, though he doesn’t know precisely who they were.

I set up this web site in 2002-2003 with the purpose of publishing analyses and predictions, so that people could judge for themselves whether the predictions were right or wrong. There are tens of thousands of people who now read this web site regularly. I don’t know who they are, but I assume that most of them know that we’re headed for a major financial crash, and they’re preparing for it.

Just as Markopolos said that it was mathematically impossible to doing what he’s doing legally, I’ve shown that it’s mathematically impossible to avoid a major stock market crash and a new 1930s style Great Depression. (See: “How to compute the ‘real value’ of the stock market.”)

But most people go to great lengths to main their state of denial.

I was talking to a friend, and I told him that I believe that one of the most important statements of the last decade was Alan Greenspan’s testimony to Congress in February 2005, when he completely repudiated his earlier views on the dot-com bubble.

My friend said, “You must be wrong, because if what you’re saying is right, then it would have been very big news, and all the news shows would have reported it.”

I said, “You can check Greenspan’s testimony for yourself,” but to no avail. This person did not want to know the truth, and nothing could change his mind.

Bernanke interview

There was another 60 Minutes segment that I want to comment on — the March 12 interview with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

As I watched the interview, I realized that I have a great deal of respect for him as a man.

Now, no one has been a bitingly critical of him as I have. I’ve been relentless in mocking his policies, and pointing out that they couldn’t possibly succeed, as indeed they haven’t. And last year I wrote, “WSJ’s page one story on Bernanke’s Princeton ‘Bubble Laboratory’ is almost incoherent.”

But of the people that I criticize, I find most of them to be personally sleazy, taking ideological positions on the left or right designed to cover up their own personal failings, and their own complicity in the disasters of our time.

But what I see in Bernanke is a somber, modest man who talks openly and honestly about what’s going on, who really believes what he’s saying, who doesn’t put an ideological spin on it, and who feels personally devastated about the state of the economy, much of which he feels personally responsible for.

As much as I want to believe Bernanke, I just can’t understand what’s going through his mind. I don’t expect the average man on the street to understand the Law of Mean Reversion, but I do expect the head of the Princeton University Economics Department to understand it, and how it provides a mathematical proof that a new Great Depression is almost 100% certain. In the 60 Minutes interview he said that he expects the recession to level off this year, and growth to begin again next year. Does he really have so little understanding of the long-term damage caused by the dot-com, real estate, credit and stock market bubbles? Or is he saying what he’s saying because he doesn’t dare talk about what he knows to be the truth?

To infinity and beyond

Last year, I wrote the article, “One, Two, Three … Infinity,” in which I compared to the ever-increasing government spending plans to a book by George Gamow that I read in school in the 1950s.

I’ve really lost track of it all. It seems that ever week there’s a new stimulus plan or new budget or new bailout plan that adds a trillion dollars to the national debt. It’s a process that has no possibility of succeeding, and is mind-boggling in its stupidity.

One phrase I hear all the time from the journalists, politicians and analysts is, “When this thing is over ….”

Thus, you might hear this: “When this thing is over, the Fed will have to raise interest rates again.”

The assumption always seems to be that “this thing” will be over by the end of this year, or the beginning of next year. The assumption is that people will return to their “bubble mentality,” and the credit bubble will start growing again. Of course that’s impossible, as I explained earlier.

But there’s another insidious assumption being made. The assumption is that the reason for the budget deficit in the Bush administration is from the Iraq war, and that Obama is going to end the Iraq war, and end the deficit.

Here’s a chart that I posted a couple of years ago. It comes comes from the Calculated Risk blog from 2005:


Income vs Outlay as %-age of GDP for Federal Government, 1971-2005, not including Social Security <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: Calculated Risk)</font>
Income vs Outlay as %-age of GDP for Federal Government, 1971-2005, not including Social Security (Source: Calculated Risk)

This graph shows that the huge deficit, which was supposedly caused by the Iraq war, actually began in 2000, the last year of the Clinton administration, with the dot-com crash. The outlays caused by the Iraq war were not particularly large by the standards of the preceding three decades. What mattered was the collapse of tax revenues.

At the beginning of 1996, President Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over.” What nobody knew then was that tax revenues were going to increase substantially in 1996, and every year after that, thanks to the dot-com bubble.

In fact, tax revenues depend on the state of the economy, and have almost nothing to do with anything else. Tax revenues went up in 2006 because of the credit bubble, and this year they’re going to crash dramatically, because corporate earnings, and the economy in general, are crashing.

Just as President Clinton was pleasantly surprised in 1996 when tax revenues surged, President Obama is going to be very unpleasantly surprised this year, when the weakened economy delivers substantially lower tax revenues.

Perhaps that’s why the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a report last week saying that the deficits will be much larger than President Obama’s estimates.

So President Obama is making incorrect assumptions on multiple levels.

He’s assuming that “when this thing is over,” people will return to their old “bubble mentality,” and they certainly will not.

And he’s assuming that tax revenues will hold steady, even though reported corporate earnings have been crashing.

All of the Obama administration’s assumptions are completely wrong. Tim Geithner’s new toxic asset plan doesn’t have a prayer of working.

The Obama Administration is a full partner and leading advocate in the culture of complicity. That’s why Washington’s budget plans are going to be a frigging disaster.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, as well as more frequent updates on this subject, see the Financial Topics thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Read the entire thread for discussions on how to protect your money.) (26-Mar-2009)

President Obama casts a vote against Iran’s President Ahmadinejad
Can reformist Mir-Hossein Musavi beat Ahmadinejad in the June 12 elections?

Most analysts expect hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be reelected for a second term as Iran’s president in the election scheduled for June 12.

Now that popular reform candidate former president Mohammad Khatami has dropped out of the race, Ahmedinejad’s principal opponent is lesser known Mir-Hossein Musavi. Musavi is more conservative than Khatami, but is still considered a reform candidate with a chance of beating Ahmadinejad.


Decorations around the grave of a martyr from the Iran/Iraq war <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: merip.org)</font>
Decorations around the grave of a martyr from the Iran/Iraq war (Source: merip.org)

On Friday, US President Barack Obama send an open letter to the Iranian people in the form of a letter and an online video:

“Today I want to extend my very best wishes to all who are celebrating Nowruz around the world.This holiday is both an ancient ritual and a moment of renewal, and I hope that you enjoy this special time of year with friends and family.

In particular, I would like to speak directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nowruz is just one part of your great and celebrated culture. Over many centuries your art, your music, literature and innovation have made the world a better and more beautiful place. …

For nearly three decades relations between our nations have been strained. But at this holiday we are reminded of the common humanity that binds us together. Indeed, you will be celebrating your New Year in much the same way that we Americans mark our holidays — by gathering with friends and family, exchanging gifts and stories, and looking to the future with a renewed sense of hope. …

So in this season of new beginnings I would like to speak clearly to Iran’s leaders. We have serious differences that have grown over time. My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community. This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.

You, too, have a choice. The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. You have that right — but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization. And the measure of that greatness is not the capacity to destroy, it is your demonstrated ability to build and create.”

Supporters of President Obama has described this as a brilliant move, designed to change the dialog between Iran and the West, and reverse the damage done by the evil Bush administration. Opponents of President Obama have described it as sending a message that, in the Persian mind, will be interpreted as defeat and surrender of the United States to the realities of Iran’s strength.

In between these two extremes lies a more sober assessment that can be derived from the principles of generational analysis. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Obama’s actions appear to have provided support for Ahmadinejad’s reform opponents in the upcoming June 12 Iranian elections.

The fact is that Iran is entering an extremely tumultuous political period. It’s now 21 years since the end of Iran’s last crisis war, which began with the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and continued with the Iran/Iraq war, climaxing in 1988. Thus, we can roughly compare today’s generational mood in Iran to the generational mood in America in 1966, 21 years after the end of World War II. In 1966, college students were mobilizing for the nationwide protests that led to the Summer of Love, the violent riots that accompanied the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968, the collapse of President Lyndon Johnson’s presidential campaign, and the bombings and violence perpetrated by the Weather Underground.

Remember what happened during the 1960s, America’s last generational Awakening era. It began in August 1963, when Martin Luther King led a march on Washington in which over 200,000 people participated. Later, President Kennedy was assassinated, and so was King. There were numerous demonstrations and riots throughout the country. There were “long, hot summers,” led by the Black Panthers, and there were bombings and declarations of war against the government, led by the Weather Underground.

That’s precisely the kind of tumultuous period that Iran is entering right now.

On the one hand you have the older generations that survived the Iran/Iraq war, and who revere those who were killed in the war as martyrs. For these people, the spirit of the Islamic Revolution is as strong today as it was in 1979, and Islamic morality is essential to keeping any such disaster as the Iran/Iraq war from happening again.

On the other hand, you have the generations born after 1984 or so, with no personal memory of either the Islamic Revolution or the Iran/Iraq war, who see the imposition of austere Islamic morality as the ideological demands of doddering old fools.


An obvious criminal at large on the streets of Tehran (from April 2007) <font size=-2>(Source: france24.com)</font>
An obvious criminal at large on the streets of Tehran (from April 2007) (Source: france24.com)

The most obvious symbol of this generational conflict has been the requirement that Iranian women must wear headscarves that entirely cover their hair, and I’ve enjoyed making fun, from time to time, of Ahmadinejad’s campaign to arrest young women in Tehran who don’t follow the strict dress code. (See “Iranian police swoop down on women with loose headscarves.”)

Related Articles

Iran

President Obama casts a vote against Iran’s President Ahmadinejad: Can reformist Mir-Hossein Musavi beat Ahmadinejad in the June 12 elections?… (22-Mar-2009)

Stock markets in Iraq and Iran are surging.: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says “it is the end of capitalism.”… (17-Oct-2008)

Wall Street Journal describes Iran’s generational Awakening era: Young Iranians turn away from the Quran and go for self-help and New Age…. (1-Jul-2008)

Israel conducts mock attack on Iran: The rumor mill is predicting a real attack…. (21-Jun-2008)

China “betrays” Iran, as internal problems in both countries mount: Diplomats say that China has provided Iran’s nuclear weapons plans to the UN…. (5-Apr-08)

Iranian speedboats threaten to blow up US ships in Gulf of Hormuz: Question: Why did Iran do it?… (9-Jan-08)

Students at Tehran University risk protest against Ahmadinejad: When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University… (8-Oct-07)

Iran’s President Ahmadinejad facing a growing “generation gap”: Gas rationing and restrictions on women are infuriating the college-age generation…. (2-Jul-07)

Iranian police swoop down on women with loose headscarves: Sorry, I just can’t stop laughing at this one…. (25-Apr-07)

An Iranian scholar says that Tom and Jerry cartoons are a Jewish conspiracy: Professor Hasan Bolkhari is loonier than Ahmadinejad…. (29-Mar-07)

Iran is using cartoons to fight decline in anti-Americanism: Anti-Americanism has been declining in Iran for ten years,… (24-Mar-07)

Iran and Russia increasingly at odds over Iran’s nuclear development: Saying that Moscow “will not play anti-American games” with Iran,… (17-Mar-07)

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holds two-day Holocaust denial conference: He says that Israel “will soon be wiped out.”… (13-Dec-06)

Iran and Ahmadinejad are waiting for the Mahdi: Most people know about the belief by Christian fundamentalists about the Second Coming of Christ,… (22-Aug-06)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a very charismatic leader: In his 60 Minutes interview, he was witty, charming, confident and deadly…. (14-Aug-06)

State of the Union speech displays continuing misreading of Iran: It’s wishful thinking to believe that an overthrow of the Mullahs is coming…. (1-Feb-06)

Europe resigns itself to a nuclear Iran: Defiant Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to lead Iran to be the regional superpower,… (16-Jan-06)

Iran appears to be positioning itself as a post-war superpower: Iran restarts its nuclear enrichment program while calling for Israel’s removal…. (11-Jan-06)

Feminism flourishes in Iran, as the international crisis on nuclear weapons intensifies: Iran’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, named a hardline Islamist cabinet on Sunday,… (15-Aug-05)

Iran’s plan to develop nuclear fuel is “irreversible”: France calls it a “major international crisis”… (3-Aug-05)

Ultraconservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wins Iran Presidential election: I try to find humor wherever I can for this serious web site, and with this guy it’s easy…. (25-Jun-05)

Iran: Tehran University student unrest is building against the government: “Moderate” President Mohammad Khatami blamed the hard-line Muslim clerics… (8-Dec-04)

Iraq Today vs 1960s America (Revised): They have much in common: Bombings, assassinations, student demonstrations, violent riots, calls for insurrection and civil war and harsh rhetoric. That’s much more than a coincidence. (8-May-2004)


Riots in Iran: Will there be a violent overthrow of the Iranian Mullahs? Generational Dynamics says ‘No.’ (25-Jun-03)

However, the morality drive did not begin with headscarves in 2005. For Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the revival of Islamic morality was an integral part of the Revolution. Khomeini himself created the Islamic “morality bureau” in 1979, to uproot corrupt pre-revolutionary cultural habits.

By the late 1990s, as the first of the young post-Revolution generation began to reach manhood, Tehran’s culture was changing. Kids were willing to accept Islam as their religion, but saw no contradiction in also adopting European and American styles and behaviors. The morality police were beginning to arrest young people who violated Islamic dress and behavior rules.

That gave rise to the “reformist” movement and the election of Mohammad Khatami (whom we mentioned at the beginning of this article) in the 1997 presidential elections. He was reelected in 2001.

In November 2002, and again in May 2003, violent student protests raged in Tehran over the death sentence imposed by the Islamic courts on Hashem Aghajari, a history professor at a Tehran university.

Aghajari was a Iran war hero — have lost his leg while serving in the Iran/Iraq war.

However, he enraged conservatives in Iran in 2002 when he questioned the rule of clerics, and said that Muslims should not follow Islamic clerics “like monkeys”. The student protests were triggered when he was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2002, and again when the sentence was confirmed in 2003. Finally, he was released in 2004 in reaction to increased political pressure from students and intellectuals.

By 2003, the student movement was growing, and so was anger at “reformist” Mohammad Khatami, according to student leader Saeed Razavi-Faqih, in a 2003 interview:

“What we have realized is that the majority of students no longer want to maintain any dialogue with the regime. Previously, the students distinguished between the reformers in government, whom the students helped to elect to office and with whom they shared many concerns, and the hardliners, whom they had not elected and who were intent on maintaining their authoritarian grip on power. But the events of the past months, and especially these past few weeks [as supra-parliamentary conservative bodies have blocked legislation enhancing Khatami’s powers], have deeply changed this attitude. Students believe that some of the government reformers are sincere in their commitment to change, but are simply powerless to deliver on their promises. Their presence in the government only prolongs the life of a system that is incapable of reform. Following the recent attacks on students by vigilantes and thugs, the students wrote a frankly worded letter to Khatami, challenging him either to stop these violations and punish the culprits, or to resign and avoid legitimizing this regime.”

Old fogies in America’s Boomer generation may feel a certain familiarity with the above rhetoric — it’s very similar to the rhetoric used by students in America’s Awakening era in the 1960s. If you have a moment, go back and read the letter from Mark Rudd of Columbia University that I quoted several years ago. The more you read about this kind of rhetoric from students during Awakening eras for students in different countries, you realize that it’s all bluster and that it all sounds the same.

Razavi-Faqih continued as follows, when asked what the students will do next:

“It is not clear yet. Civil disobedience, strikes and peaceful protests in various locations…all these measures are being considered. The student movement is not prone to violence, although anger and frustration may lead to isolated incidents of violent reaction by students. We realize that violence will destroy our hard-won gains of the past few years. That is why we are moving toward connecting our movement to the demands of other social groups, like workers and even families. What is clear, though, is that we no longer feel there is any use in continuing a dialogue with the regime, even with the elected reformers. In realizing this, the student movement has shown itself one more time to be a step ahead of the rest of society.”

Thus, the election of hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency in 2005 was a major blow to the student movement.

I’ve written about student unrest in Iran a number of times on this web site. (See for example “Iran: Tehran University student unrest is building against the government” for unrest targeting President Khatami in 2004, and “Students at Tehran University risk protest against Ahmadinejad” from 2007.)

I’ve written about it because it’s the hallmark of a generational Awakening era, one that begins a generation past the end of a crisis war.

(For information about generational Awakening eras, see “Basics of Generational Dynamics.” For information about America’s Awakening era in the 1960s-70s, see “Iraq Today vs 1960s America.” For information about the Summer of Love, see “Boomers commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love.”)

The axis of evil

One thing that I’ve always found pleasing — going back as far as 2000 — was that I’d occasionally read news stories about pro-American student demonstrations in Tehran. It was such a pleasant contrast to the anti-Americanism that seemed to exist everywhere else, including even the American press. And when Palestinians were dancing in the streets after the 9/11 attacks, Iranians were expressing genuine sympathy.

I’ve written several times about the schizophrenic national strategy that Iran has been exhibiting. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, what’s important is the behavior and attitudes of large masses of people, entire generations of people. The attitudes and behaviors of the politicians are irrelevant, except insofar as they reflect the attitudes of the people.

Thus, when I’ve analyzed Iran’s strategy, I’ve had to emphasize the effects and potential outcomes of the drastically different attitudes of the older generation politicians and people — the “kids.” I have absolutely no doubt that the kids are going to win this political battle. The only question is — when?

And when we discuss politics, we have to go back to 2002. Possibly no single sentence has roiled Iranian politics in the last decade more than President Bush’s statement, in 2002, naming Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the new “axis of evil.”

Here’s what NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote in 2002:

“[If you come to Iran,] you’ll discover not only a Muslim country where many people were sincerely sympathetic to America after Sept. 11, but a country where so many people on the street are now talking about — and hoping for — a reopening of relations with America that the ruling hard-liners had to take the unprecedented step two weeks ago of making it illegal for anyone to speak about it in public. …But what is striking is how much President Bush’s branding of Iran as part of an “axis of evil” (along with Iraq and North Korea) intensified this discussion. At first, reformers in Parliament and the media were embarrassed by Mr. Bush’s statement, which hard-liners used against them as “proof” that America would never have ties with the Islamic Republic. But since then, reformers have retaliated by pointing to the “axis of evil” accusation and saying to the hard-liners: “Look where your policies have led us.”

Add to this the reduction in U.S. visas for Iranians since Sept. 11, which has dispirited many Iranian college students, and the shock the Iranians had two weeks ago when Russia, their longtime backer, effectively joined NATO, and you can understand why a lot of people here are rethinking ties with Washington. …

I don’t know what the final outcome will be, but I do know this: If Secretary of State Colin Powell were to announce tomorrow that he was ready to fly to Tehran and put everything on the table — an end to sanctions, Iran’s nuclear program, its support for Palestinian terrorists, diplomatic relations — he would light this place on fire.”

That column appeared on June 12, 2002. And now we’re headed for an election on June 12, 2009, and President Obama has done — sort of — what Thomas Friedman has suggested. When we say “sort of,” we mean that no real policies have yet changed. The Iranians are still enriching uranium and producing plutonium (ingredients in both reactor fuel and nuclear weapons). And last week, Obama signed a renewal of the US economic and trading sanctions against Iran.

Still, for those who believe that words can change the world, will Obama’s remarks “light [Tehran] on fire?”

Since the kids are going to win the generational political battle eventually, the kids may get a victory on June 12, and that’s the possible scenario that has to be considered.

Analysts that I’ve heard on BBC say that Ahmadinejad is heavily favored to win. They point to his popularity in parts of Tehran, and especially in the rural villages scattered around Iran’s countryside.

However, Ahmadinejad may not be as popular in rural areas as he used to be, according to one recent news story:

“On March 4, Ahmadinejad decided to make one of his frequent provincial stops on the city of Orumieh in west Azerbijan. This was supposed to be a great publicity tour with thousands of appreciative townspeople cheering and applauding their beloved president. It was after all in west Azerbaijan that Ahamdinejad’s career– as the governor of the province—had been launched before he came to national prominence as Tehran mayor. Instead, he was treated to a rare display of public anger not seen in Iran in recent memory. Right in the middle of the public spectacle, Ahmadinejad’s motorcade came under attack by more than one shoe-thrower who were apparently not enthused with this visit.According to the March 6 Guardian report on the incident, after the repeated shoe-throwing and booing’s, the security guards scrambled to catch the offending individuals but were unable to do so. Instead, the president’s automobile quickly sped away to avoid further embarrassment. Following the incident, all the president’s provincial excursion tours have been indefinitely cancelled and the Iranian media have been strictly forbidden to report on the episode—for very good reason.”

Of course much of the world press, including the Iranian press, has been very gleeful in describing the shoe-throwing incident directed at then-President George Bush visiting Iraq. So these new incidents might be described as examples of the old saying, “What goes around comes around.”

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, it’s not a surprise that there’s a change in attitude among rural voters that’s similar to the change in attitude among Tehran students. After all, the change is a generational change, and the same young generations are growing up in rural areas.

So if the shoe-throwing incident in Orumieh represents a widespread change in rural attitudes towards Ahmadinejad, then he could indeed be in serious trouble in the June 12 election.

That’s the reason why the title of this article is, “President Obama casts a vote against Iran’s President Ahmadinejad.” In the current climate, the kids are going to support the reformist candidate, and Obama may have given their cause a boost.

The main reformist candidate was originally going to be Mohammad Khatami, but he stepped down last week, giving as a reason that there were several “reformist” candidates, and he didn’t want to split the vote, although other news stories hint that he was pressured, and perhaps threatened with violence.

That leaves the hopes of the reformists in Mir-Hossein Musavi. Musavi also served in the Iran/Iraq war, but he’s less well-known than Khatami, and his “reformist” credentials are sometimes questioned by student groups. Furthermore he will have to split the vote with another “reformist” candidate, Medhi Karrubi.

Today, the election favorite would have to be Ahmadinejad. However, the election is now 2½ months away, and that amount of time is an eternity in politics.

If Ahmadinejad loses, then President Obama’s supporters will undoubtedly claim some of the credit for him. This will be a bright spot for him, since the financial crisis and other policy areas will give him little or nothing to crow about.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, as well as more frequent updates on this subject, see the Iran thread of the Generational Dynamics forum.) (22-Mar-2009)

News from American Renaissance, read and learn what has become of the west!

<!–

We’re currently doing some site maintenance, so news items may be unavailable.

–>

News from American Renaissance, read and learn what has become of the west!
March 25, 2009

Polls Reaffirm Americans Support Immigration Enforcement, Federation for American Immigration Reform; 3 comments
Americans want the borders enforced and illegals deported.

Report Sees ‘Sobering Statistics’ on Racial Inequality, CNN; 17 comments
Obama’s election hasn’t ended “discrimination, division and inequality.”

D.C. Emancipation Day Could Be Dropped As a Public Holiday, Examiner (Washington, D.C.); 7 comments
Budget woes threatening to cancel blacks’ “only public holiday.”

Oakland: Within Local Community, Reaction to Saturday Killings Is Mixed, KPIX-TV (Oakland); 19 comments
Honoring “the resistance of the African community as represented by Brother Lovelle Mixon.”

Md. School Board Rejects Illegal Immigrant Tally, Capital News Service; 2 comments
County wanted to determine how much educating illegals costs taxpayers.

Ten Inmates Charged With Hate Crimes After White Prisoners Beaten in Lafourche Jail, WWL-TV (New Orleans); 10 comments
Blacks force two white prisoners to join in beatings of other whites.

Family Members Allegedly Ran Heroin Smuggling Ring, Los Angeles Times; 3 comments
Federal wire-tappers couldn’t understand perps, who spoke in Mixtic Bajo.

Wife of Pirates Prospect Arrested for Kidnapping, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; 0 comments
Hispanic woman posed as immigration officer to kidnap baby.

Quiet Muslim-Only Town in N.Y. Founded by Alleged Terrorist, FOX News; 11 comments
News media not permitted to enter Islamberg, New York.

Huzza! Md. Mulls Changing ‘Offensive’ State Song, AP; 5 comments
State song brands Lincoln a tyrant, urges Maryland to join Confederacy.

Politicians Fret as Muslim Population Swells in Europe Amid Little Integration, FOXNews; 5 comments
Some Brussels neighborhoods look more like Morocco than Belgium.

Nigeria Re-Brands to Shed Chaotic Image, Reuters; 6 comments
Nigerians are known to believe in magic.

March 24, 2009

Letter from a UK Union to Its Branches, Communication Workers Union (UK); 14 comments
The left demonstrates its commitment to democracy.

Oakland Killer Had Just Been Linked to Rape, San Francisco Chronicle; 24 comments
He made sure the police he shot were dead.

Foundations Oppose Call to Target Grants, Wall Street Journal; 10 comments
Resist quotas for “minorities, the poor, and other disadvantaged groups.”

Few Black Coaches Found in Region’s College Programs, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; 7 comments
Schools should interview a non-white for every head football coaching job.

US to Woo Millionaire Immigrants, Inquirer (Makati City Philippines); 12 comments
Immigrants needed to create jobs Americans won’t create.

Study Says Hip-Hop Dumbs Listeners Down, This Is Real Music; 37 comments
It must have missed the artists who rap about Socrates, Descartes, and Hume.

Obama Is ‘First Hispanic President,’ Geraldo Rivera Says, CNS News (Cybercast News Service); 22 comments
Rivera: “Nativists” control immigration debate in US media.

Group Grows Its Political Voice, Detroit News; 12 comments
… by throwing fruit and Oreo cookies.

UK Population Must Fall to 30m, Says Porritt, Times of London; 21 comments
That means getting rid of half the population.

German Soccer Federation Backs Black Player, AP; 13 comments
Urging that German team be German a prosecutable offense in Germany.

Pope Decries ‘Clouds of Evil’ Over Africa at Mass, AP; 11 comments
Pope begins to get the picture.

March 23, 2009

3 Officers Dead, Suspect Killed in Oakland, Calif., AP; 54 comments
Black crowd taunts grieving police officers.

New Way to Count Pupils’ Race, Washington Post; 5 comments
Liberals fear they won’t be able to track student progress.

Asian-Americans Urge Obama to Reform Immigration, AFP; 23 comments
Congressional caucus wants Obama to help Asians come to US.

Liberians in New York ‘Jubilant’ at Expulsion Reprieve, New York Times; 15 comments
“Temporary refugees” get to stay in US another year.

Obama and Immigration Reform, Los Angeles Times; 5 comments
Did Obama really cave in to pressure from immigration-control activists?

Disney to Feature Its First Black Princess . . . But Critics Complain As She Falls in Love With a WHITE Prince, Daily Mail (London); 66 comments
Disney’s first American princess is a New Orleans black.

Filipino Who Accused Marine of Rape Changes Story, AP; 13 comments
Says now she and Marine may have just “gotten carried away.”

Africans Came with Columbus to New World, LiveScience; 32 comments
“Africans played a much larger role in the first documented explorations of America.”

Racism ‘Starts in the School System and It Ends in Prison’, Metro News (Halifax); 12 comments
Racism plagues multicultural Halifax.

Police Figures Show Massive Shootings Increase, Copenhagen Post; 5 comments
Danish gangs fighting immigrants for control of drug trade.

Immigration, Crime and the Solutions of the NRP, National Renewal Party (Partido Nacional Renovador); 5 comments
Portuguese nationalist party: Growing crime is directly related to immigration.

March 20, 2009

Barnes and (Ig)Noble White Supremacy, Parrhesia; 91 comments
Hilarious lefty promotes Jared Taylor’s work.

Black Candidate Wants to Solve Crime With ‘Noose’, AP; 13 comments
Would bring back the lynching party.

Conservatives Invoke Obama in Voting Rights Act Challenge, Los Angeles Times; 3 comments
They claim Obama presidency means non-whites no longer need protection.

Teenage Birthrate Increases for Second Consecutive Year, Washington Post; 9 comments
White birth rates up 2 percent, Hispanics down 2 percent.

How Can Greens Make Themselves Less White?, Wall Street Journal; 43 comments
Environmentalism doesn’t appeal to non-whites.

Michelle Obama Once Teased for Talking ‘Like a White Girl’, Chicago Sun-Times; 24 comments
Wants ghetto blacks to think they can live in the White House.

Principal in Providence Bit, Punched by Mom, Police Say, Providence Journal; 17 comments
Hispanic mom goes berserk; other casualties include cops and teacher.

Losing Anti-Black Hate Crime Battle, The Star (Toronto); 20 comments
Canadian blacks feeling increasingly left out.

Federal Minister Says Canada Needs to Get Tough on Immigrants Who Want Citizenship, The Canadian Press; 8 comments
Says there is no excuse for not learning French or English.

French Ask: Should It Be a Crime to Help Illegal Immigrants?, Christian Science Monitor; 9 comments
1945 law makes it a crime to help illegals.

The Great Refusal, AR Classic Article; 21 comments
Can European civilization be saved?

March 19, 2009

Extreme Motherhood, Newsweek Web Exclusive; 74 comments
Quiverfull movement could reverse white decline.

Pelosi Tells Illegal Immigrants That Work Site Raids Are Un-American, FOXNews; 37 comments
Legal and illegal immigrants are all “very, very patriotic.”

Immigration Enforcement in Meatpacking, Center for Immigration Studies; 12 comments
Wages and bonuses rose 8 percent once illegals left.

Study Gives More Proof That Intelligence Is Largely Inherited, UCLA Newsroom; 8 comments
Genes determine brain’s processing speed more than “was previously though.”

1 in 100 Young Blacks Has Heart Failure, AP; 8 comments
Twenty times more likely than whites to be afflicted.

ACORN to Play Role in 2010 Census, FOXNews; 13 comments
“Nonpartisan” group’s assurance: We’re not crooks.

Calif.’s Affirmative Action Ban Again Under Court Scrutiny, National Law Journal; 13 comments
Finding a way around Prop. 209.

Vogue’s Beyonce Cover, Racist?, The Frisky; 33 comments
Put a black on the cover and you are still “racist.”

Instant Family, Globe and Mail (Toronto); 29 comments
Adopting Third-Worlders two at a time.

Labour MP Predicts Total Islamification of Britain, BNP News; 10 comments
Suppressed video predicts Muslim prime minister within 30 years.

Two out of Three Serious Teenage Criminals Are Immigrants, Netherlands Info Services (GM’s-Hertogenbosch); 19 comments
Moroccans and Turks top list of Holland’s teenage criminals.

March 18, 2009

How Ethnic Groups Change Oakland Neighborhoods, San Francisco Chronicle; 32 comments
Oakland’s “new Americans” want neighborhoods that remind them of their homelands.

Truck Ban Prompts Mexican Retaliation, WorldNetDaily; 12 comments
Will ramshackle Mexican trucks be rolling through your state?

Filipino Teachers Exchange Homeland for Jobs in America, Los Angeles Times; 31 comments
LA’s 600 foreign schoolteachers not prepared for US school troubles.

A Year After Race Speech, Silence, The Politico; 17 comments
Was the “historic” Philadelphia speech just a way to get past Jeremiah Wright?

Death Penalty Applied Unevenly, News & Observer (Raleigh); 27 comments
Disparity in death-penalty prosecutions can be due only to “racism.”

Carpinteria Board Votes to Retain Native American Images As Part of School Regalia, Los Angeles Times; 7 comments
“I’ve looked into the eyes of the stone Indian [sculpture] and seen the degradation of my ancestors.”

Most Colleges Knowingly Admit Illegal Immigrants as Students, Survey Finds, Chronicle of Higher Education; 1 comments
Only 20 percent of colleges attempt to verify immigration status.

Dallas Judge Criticized for Racially Charged Quote, AP; 16 comments
Black judge: Blacks have been “cleaning up white folks’ messes” for centuries.

Thousands of Girls Mutilated in Britain, Times of London; 15 comments
500 girls mutilated per year in UK, and still no prosecutions.

Gambians ‘Taken by Witch Doctors’, BBC News; 5 comments
Presidential security forces rounding up suspected witches in Gambia.

March 17, 2009

A Leadership of Cowards?, National Review Online; 12 comments
Why is Eric Holder embarrassed about enforcing civil rights in Noxubee County?

Foul Play on Black Athletes’ Graduation Rates, Boston Globe; 22 comments
Black college basketball players’ graduation rates vary significantly by school.

79% Support U.S. Troops on the Border to Fight Drug Violence, Rasmussen Reports, March 16, 2009; 14 comments
Illegal immigration not as important to Americans as Mexican drug violence.

Research Finds Segregation in Hospital Rates, Daily Iowan (University of Iowa); 10 comments
Black patients more likely than whites to go to “high mortality” hospitals.

NAACP Calls in Attorneys, The Skanner (Portland, Oregon); 7 comments
Seattle’s plan to close schools to save money draws ire of NAACP.

Playing Race Politics As a Zero-Sum Game, Chicago Tribune; 7 comments
Blacks closing ranks around tainted Sen. Roland Burris.

Snoop Dogg-Jay-Z: ‘Hip-Hop Has Improved Race Relations’, contactmusic.com; 51 comments
“It’s very hard to teach racism to a teenager who idolizes, say, Snoop Dogg.”

Former Detroit Mayor Hires Willie Gary to Sue Over Release of Incriminating Text Messages, South Florida Times (Miami); 6 comments
Disgraced former Detroit mayor fights back with black “super lawyer.”

Obama’s African Blood Lines Are Not a Gateway to Success, Ebony/Jet; 20 comments
Only one person of African descent on FT’s list of 50 influential persons.

Obama Rejects SC Gov’s Bid to Use Stimulus on Debt, AP; 3 comments
Governors who don’t take “stimulus” money guilty of “slap in the face of African Americans.”

The Fake White Slavemaster Black Slave Rape Epidemic, Robert Lindsay; 57 comments
Liberal pooh-poohs claims of white rape of black slaves.

Supreme Court: Insulting Islam Is Not Insulting Muslims, Netherlands Info Services (GM’s-Hertogenbosch); 5 comments
A partial win for free speech in Holland.

March 16, 2009

Three Race Murders in Seattle, Special to AR News,; 56 comments
Media pretend race was not a factor.

Job Losses Hit Black Men Hardest, Christian Science Monitor; 17 comments
And black women hardly at all.

Why the GOP Can’t Win With Minorities, Wall Street Journal; 20 comments
Liberalism offers whites redemption; conservatism offers only discipline.

HIV-AIDS Rate in D.C. ‘Higher Than West Africa’, AP; 1 comments
Black men have highest infection rate in DC.

Budget Woes Cut Health Care for Illegal Immigrants, AP; 5 comments
Economic crisis forces local governments to stop coddling illegals.

Police in Conn. Chase Outbreak of Cockfighting, Boston Globe; 4 comments
Hispanics account for more than one-fourth of Waterbury’s population.

Boy Banned From Wearing Obama Mask in Skit, The Oregonian (Portland); 20 comments
Obama mask is “offensive,” but no one will say why.

Chaos Breaks Out at ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Audition in Manhattan, New York Daily News; 17 comments
News accounts fail to mention the race of the crowd.

More Than Three-Quarters of Britons Want to See Jobless Immigrants Forced to Leave UK, Daily Mail (London); 13 comments
Majorities in Germany, Spain, Italy, and US all agree.

Was This Britain’s First Black Queen?, The Guardian (Manchester); 55 comments
Black residents of Charlotte, NC, see themselves in 18th-century British queen.

Australia to Slash Immigration by 14% in Battle to Save Jobs From Foreign Workers During Recession, Daily Mail (London); 13 comments
The other “nation of immigrants” sees unemployment reach 7 percent.

March 13, 2009

Guarding the U.S.-Mexico Border, Live From Suburban New York, CNN; 18 comments
Website is tool for citizens to watch Mexican/US border from their homes.

Wal-Mart Looks to Hispanic Market, Financial Times; 44 comments
New lay-out, signing, products to make stores “more relevant” to Hispanics.

Chicago Settles Reverse Discrimination Lawsuit, AP; 15 comments
Supreme Court says test was fair and whites were discriminated against.

NAACP Says Bank Giants Steered Blacks to Bad Loans, AP; 39 comments
NAACP: “Tens of thousands” of blacks were forced into taking out bad loans.

Death of Two Black Comedy Shows Says More About TV Than Race, St. Petersburg Times; 36 comments
Black comedy needs white audience

Saudi Academy Revises Islamic History Books, AP; 2 comments
Critic: Texts’ Wahabbism shows they have no real intent to reform.

Barack Obama ‘Receives Preferential Treatment on Wikipedia’, Report Claims, Telegraph (London); 13 comments
Topics removed said to be “fringe” material.

Vikings Were ‘Model Immigrants Who Lived Happily Alongside Ancient Britons’, Daily Mail (London); 88 comments
At first there was disruption, but four centuries later Vikings had been assimilated.

Crime by Foreigners Doubles in Five Years, Telegraph (London); 10 comments
Meanwhile, overall crime rate falls.

South African Men Are ‘Raping Women to Cure Them of Being Lesbians’, Daily Mail (London); 25 comments
South African blacks come up with another superstition to justify rape.

Who Wants to Be a Black Millionaire?, AR Classic Article; 4 comments
The untold story of how USDA is handing out billions because of “racism.”

March 12, 2009

Obama Grants Two More Lobbyists Waivers, The Hill; 19 comments
La Raza VP moves to the White House.

Waters Helped Bank Whose Stock She Once Owned, Wall Street Journal; 12 comments
Black LA congresswoman’s husband served on the board, too.

‘Resident Evil 5’ Reignites Debate About Race in Videogames, Wall Street Journal; 28 comments
Latest version of popular video game pits a white hero against African “zombies.”

VA Hospital Pulls ‘Japs Surrender’ Headline from Historical Display, CNN; 54 comments
Headline “sends the wrong kind of message to today’s generations.”

Parent Objects to ‘Second’ National Anthem, Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star; 30 comments
Nebraska students asked to stand during “Black National Anthem.”

Arpaio to Be Investigated Over Alleged Violations, \Arizona Republic (Phoenix); 29 comments
First “civil-rights” investigation stemming from immigration enforcement.

With Nine Mouths to Feed, Travis Henry Says He’s Broke, New York Times; 36 comments
Former NFL running back has nine children by nine different women.

Highway Robbery? Texas Police Seize Black Motorists’ Cash, Cars, Chicago Tribune; 22 comments
Lawsuit: Stop-and-seize practice targets “apparently non-white citizens.”

Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Explained, Reuters; 6 comments
Deaths traced to higher rates of high blood pressure among blacks.

The Independent Passes Along Outright Lie About the BNP, Special to AR News; 14 comments
Journalists must not give BNP positive coverage.

2009: Year of Crisis – “Prepare to fight to the finish, or your kind will vanish.”

2009: Year of Crisis

Michael O’Meara

“Prepare to fight to the finish, or your kind will vanish.”

In the last year, one crisis has followed another. First there was a housing mortgage crisis, then a liquidity crisis that led to a banking crisis, then a dollar crisis, then a credit crisis, then a geopolitical crisis, then an energy crisis, then a crisis of consumer confidence, and finally a political crisis at the highest level of the state, involving a crisis of meaning that brought a negro to power—a negro symbolizing everything against which the American once defined himself, and thus symbolizing a transvaluation of the very basis of the American’s original being.

­­The burning question today is: are these cascading crises “conjunctural” (i.e., due to a combination of circumstances) or are they “structural” (inherent to the system’s nature)? If the latter, then the “American System,” which has governed the world since 1945 and which has programmed the end of European man, faces a potentially systemic rupture whose implications are catastrophic. If only conjunctural, the news is still good, for it cannot but highlight the system’s anti-white nature, of which most white Americans are still clueless.

A crisis, it needs stressing, is always a turning point, “a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or worse, is determined.” Though most commentators tend to emphasize the economic origins of the crisis, almost all of them recognize its system-disrupting potential. Hence the current obsession with the Great Depression of 1933 and, in more radical quarters, the Soviet crisis of 1985 that brought Gorbachev to power. But whatever its exact nature—and time alone will tell—the crisis is likely to put increased demands on the welfare and security of the white middle class and thus advance the cause of the ethnostate favored by white nationalists. Lacking an organizational structure and a popular following in the real world, the white nationalist project is, in fact, predicated on just such a crisis.

As we enter the new year, the one clear thing is that the crisis is going to get worse. Since the mortgage meltdown of December 2006, the crisis has mainly affected Wall Street, commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, and several government-sponsored enterprises (like Fannie May and Freddie Mac). The new year is likely to take the crisis to Main Street, in the form of retail bankruptcies and unemployment. Auto and related industries will also be hit hard. At the same time, many local and some state governments (like California or Michigan) may collapse because of insolvency. It’s “the worse economic crisis in 70 years” most agree, but no one quite knows exactly what it forebodes. Indeed, the pervasive uncertainty surrounding the crisis, threatening as it does the capitalist system, the prevailing model of globalization, and America’s standing in the world order, lends it a certain apocalyptic quality.

1. The Crisis

Americans like to think that their country is “number one,” though they know almost nothing about “the rest of the world.” Compared to the black and brown nations that comprise the Third World, America may indeed be a paradise (even if most white Americans are lonely, isolated, and lacking any sense of who they are as a people). But compared to Western and Central Europe, or to Japan, Hong Kong, and certain of the other Asian Tigers, it shapes up badly.

The great industries that once made America the world’s foremost economic power and provided working people a decent standard of living have been shipped overseas, along with the technologies and know-how that made them such powerhouses. Trade imbalances have correspondingly grown, just as the US has shifted from being a creditor nation to a debtor nation. At the same time, the national infrastructure has been neglected, household debt has become as unmanageable as the national debt, and American-pioneered technologies are being applied more often abroad than at home.

In 2005, James Fallow, one of the few to predict the current crisis, wrote that: “A year in a private college now costs $83,000, a day in a hospital $1,350, a year in a nursing home $150,000. . . . Eighty percent of the public [has been] priced out of a chance for future opportunity”—that is, they have been priced out of participating in what our ideologues call the “American Dream.” Other mainstream observers are claiming that the US “no longer controls its economic fundamentals” and that “compared with the rest of the world, it’s on the way down.”

Even Thomas Friedman, the oily globalist cheerleader at the New York Times, has, after a recent trip to the Far East, begun to complain that America is becoming “decrepit”—somewhat in the way the Stalinist achievements of the old Soviet Union were becoming decrepit in the 1980s. Friedman nevertheless continues to celebrate the openness and creativity of the American people, though he fails to note that unrestricted Third-World immigration has changed not simply the population’s composition, but its character, and that discriminatory practices against white males, based on disproportional taxation, affirmative action in education, hiring, and contracting, and anti-free speech laws and denial of due process, are hardly sign of America’s alleged openness and creativity.

The dominant mantra, which endeavors to portray the above as signs of progress, remains, accordingly, to “consume,” not “produce.” It seems hardly coincidental that America’s principal export is now the junk culture fabricated in Hollywood, a “culture” which celebrates behaviors and values historically-considered pathological.

De-industrialization and “financialization” (i.e., the hegemony of financial economics over equity and industrial economics), which were to make the United States the leading edge of the new postmodern global market, are obviously implicated in the current crisis, but few establishment commentators have cared to explore these implications. At the most basic level, it might be noted that the new interdependence of a world market based on financial exchanges means that problems in one sector inevitably become problems in another, that disturbances in one country are likely to set off corresponding disturbances in other countries, and that local crises have the potential of becoming system-wide crises. Added to the inherent instability of this compromising dependence on exterior forces is the “Ponzi” dynamics of the U.S. financial sector, which is based on speculative confidence, not wealth creation.

Just to pay the interest on its limitless credit card debt, the country in the last decade has been obliged to borrow two to three billion dollars a day from foreigners, mainly Chinese and Japanese, who are acquiring in the process ownership of large swaths of the economy, while American speculators accumulated vast (and, as it turns out, largely meaningless) ciphers of wealth in the virtual world of cyber space.

America’s human capital is also in decline. Literacy rates are among the lowest in the industrial world, its once prestigious graduate schools of science and engineering are now filled mainly with foreigners, and its public schools are less and less concerned with mastering the rudiments of reading and writing than with dispensing contraceptives to fourteen-year-olds and preventing the use of hand guns on its premises.

Geopolitically, the situation is even worse, as other countries begin lecturing the formerly self-righteous schoolmarm on how to conduct her bungled affairs and as regions traditionally subservient to the US (like Latin America) defiantly assert their autonomy.

But most consequential, the dollar is losing its status as the world’s reserved currency—which means no more credit cards and no more free rides.

Relatedly, both American and foreign academics, some with very distinguished credentials, have begun predicting “an economic and moral collapse [which] will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the United States.”

There have also been warnings from several former high-ranking Bush officials of a “secret coup,” as the higher reaches of the state fall increasing under military control. What began in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the Army became a colonial administrator, is apparently “coming home.” In violation of the Constitution, the Army is now planning to deploy 20,000 troops within the US to respond to any possible “civil unrest.”

Though the military’s “mission creep” began under Bush, Obama has already appointed three high-ranking officers to his Cabinet, promised not to cut the Pentagon’s astronomical budget, and plans to augment US ground troops by another 100,000.

The Pentagon has also, according to a recent US Army War College publication, prepared its own “transition” in case the crisis provokes social struggles that will need to be quelled at home. What’s most significant here is the expectation, among numerous establishment authorities, that the crisis could lead to violent class struggle, military dictatorship, or even social revolution.

The American System that must be held responsible for this situation has, against all traditional precept, made “the rapacious business-dominated state the embodiment of every cherished human value.” Unlike the 19th and early 20th-century European nation-state, the American System is not, and never has been, a national-state system committed to the defense and well-being of the nation; instead, its principal function has always been to defend those liberal democratic practices that facilitate market transactions. Uncommitted, thus, to the embryonic white nation that made up the American people before 1965, governmental elites have been free to pursue policies that foster their specific institutional interests or those of the dominant economic interests, while policies favoring the interests of the country’s white majority have only rarely been adopted and then usually only under threat of electoral retaliation. More scandalously still, this system, in true liberal form, has “privatized profit and socialized loss,” so that now middle-class tax payers will be expected to pick up the tab for the reckless policies of billionaire CEOs.

The distant lineage of this American System can be traced back to the liberal modern principles born in 1789. More immediately, its foundations were laid by the architects who designed the National Security State and its phony Cold War. When, in the course of the 1970s, this postwar system went into crisis, its social democratic components, which favored a social security net and regulation of important industries and utilities, were jettisoned by the free-market fundamentalism of the neo-liberal Reagan Administration and then given a new armature with the “globalist revolution” carried out by the Clinton Administration.

As globalists proceeded to remove those national barriers preventing the free movement of capital, goods, and labor (which meant, among other things, eliminating borders and “old-fashioned” obstacles representative of any lingering sense of national interest and national identity), they sought a complete deregulation of financial practices, based on the capitalist fiction that markets are self-correcting. At the same time, the globalization of American capital severed whatever remaining ties it may have had to the American nation and its culture.

The folly and stupidity of this system, whose ramifications are now going to be paid for with a good deal of popular misery, assumed fantastic—and, as it turns out, unbearable—proportions under the present outbound Bush Administration. Thus it was that the neo-liberal, globalist tenets that ideologically undergird the American System and reduce every question to a matter of individual economic interest gave way under Bush’s neocon cabal to the boundless vanity identified with its Judeo-Evangelical “faith-based community”—which held that anything the American state does is right, that the US always triumphs in the end, and, contrary to traditional Christian stricture, that the US is identified with God’s purpose in the world. As a result, Washington for the last eight years has been unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy.

A four-hundred-billion-dollar-a-year war, with no strategic goal, except perhaps to support Israeli interests, was launched simply on the basis of a neocon hallucination (non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction). Then, as the government entered this theater of illusion, its vast military machine bogged down before a few lightly armed insurgents (who were eventually bought off with great dollar sums during the so-called “surge”); lies and deception then became the basis of US policy; incompetents and schemers willing to kowtow to the reigning illusions were put in control of policy-making; billions and billions of US loans and aid somehow went missing; those who questioned the Administration’s aims and practices were deemed un-American, as historic liberties were compromised or destroyed; and, all the while, aliens, at the top and at the bottom of the American polity, were allowed the full run of things—from dictating foreign policy to allowing Mexicans to challenge American sovereignty on American streets.

When George W. was asked recently who should be held accountable for the present economic crisis, he answered that no one person or group was actually responsible. “The whole system,” he explained, “became inebriated.” To the degree that the crisis is indeed systemic, he, better than most commentators, has designated the real culprit. But what he didn’t mention is that the system wasn’t just temporarily inebriated: It was plastered from the start. And like the mind-numbing incoherence of any serious drunk, the destabilizing, destructuring, and disordering power of the American System of the last sixty years—despite the wealth and prosperity it created for some—is about to provoke the most massive civilizational hangover in history.

2. The Man of Destiny

There has been no better example of the bankruptcy of the American System, based as it is on liberal ideological abstractions and certain well-meaning but illusory tenets, than the presidency of George W. Bush. That this third-rate individual, lacking an understanding of the most basic things, including English syntax, was put at the helm of the most powerful state in history testifies better than anything else to the system’s unfathomable corruption. Though different from his predecessor, “a self-indulgent bubba with the morals of an alley cat,” he too was another example of the system’s want of character. Bush’s mediocrity, his lack of vision, his small stature as a man—have all consequently taken a terrible toll on both the nation and the state. His presidency, as even many Republican commentators acknowledge, bears responsibility for squandering the vast power and legitimacy that was bequeathed to the United States in the wake of the Soviet collapse.

Obama’s programmed election was specifically designed to restore something of the power lost by Bush’s neocon administration. In the highest reaches of the American establishment (and this is evident less in written documents than in the innuendos and asides of its representatives), it became apparent in the last two or three years that a restoration of American power and prestige in the world would require a make-over of unprecedented proportions. Hillary, who was previously the leading establishment candidate, was thus abandoned, for she was simply too closely associated with the establishment to create the impression of a major turn-around in American politics.

Hence, the entrance of the black knight, who was provided the money, the advisers, and the media frenzy to make his candidacy not only a shoo-in, but a god-send. Obama has not disappointed his handlers, for he was an ideal candidate: he was inexperienced, undistinguished, and possessed the seemingly “populist” credentials to appeal to an electorate fed up with the neocon mania of the Bush Administration; he naturally took to the tiresome rhetoric of stirring but vacuous campaign promises; and, above all, he knew how to appeal to MTV-educated white youth and feminist-influenced white women who saw his campaign as some sort of rehash of the Great Awakening (with “racism” replacing the older Calvinist notion of sin), which had entranced earlier generations of Americans. He was also, of course, guaranteed the vote of the hundred million non-whites who now occupy our lands. The prominent British historian, Niall Ferguson (who has been dubbed “the Leni Riefensthal of Bush’s new imperial order”), could thus trumpet, once the formality of the vote was over, that “American world leadership is [now] back in business.”

Obama may, however, turn out to be the last president of the United States. For those who care to look, scandal and fraud seem to lurk everywhere behind his media-constructed image. His past has thus been carefully erased from the public record; he may not even be a native-born American and thus not constitutionally eligible to be president. But this cover-up won’t last forever. The strident anti-white racism of his wife and many of his close negro associates, as well as his numerous dubious connections to the corrupt Daly machine of Chicago and the scandal-ridden governor of Illinois (Blagojevich) will also eventually surface. Finally, given the nature of the economy, he probably won’t even be able to deliver the goods to the black masses, who see him as some sort of cargo-cult Messiah, and this will undoubtedly become a source of further unrest. But most of all, Obama is thick with the Jews, whose wealth and power controls the Democratic party (even more than the neocon-led Republican party) and whose interests, as already evident, will be foremost among his Administration’s concerns. The gap between the governing elites and a white middle class wary of further social experimentation may thus widen and become more unbridgeable, as blacks, Jews, and raceless whites join the crusade to “change” America.

Obama’s failure, though, will not come through an exposure of the smoke and mirrors surrounding his fabricated persona. There is a deeper, structural problem that confronts this first post-American US government. As William Lind points out, “the heart of our inability to reform is the crisis of the state itself. Reform endangers the money and power of the New Class, which controls the state and feeds off it.” Though there will be a qualitative expansion of the state under the new regime, as money is thrown at the crisis and new projects are undertaken to root out the “racism” of white Americans, the anti-national impetus of the American System, which wars on the forces of history, culture, and nature, is almost certainly to remain untouched, just as the parasitic economic system, so crucial to the elites who support him, will go unreformed. If the crisis is conjunctural and short-lived, this, of course, may not matter; but if it is structural, it will mean the collapse of order and authority, and ultimately of the state’s legitimacy.

Against this backdrop of impending “change” and uncertainty, the controlled media (to the obvious delight of the immodest African) has endeavored to portray Obama as a man of destiny, another FDR or Lincoln, who will lead us through the valley of shadows to the Promised Land. This may, perhaps, occur, for anything today is possible. But I tend to agree with Philippe Grasset at dedefensa.com that our postmodern global age, which destablizes and disorders everything that has meaning for us, is being shaped not by our putative leaders, but by the accelerating force of events, whose “maistrian” effects simply sweep up and carry along all who try to control them.

The man of destiny may turn out, then, to be the man manipulated by destiny. Given that he represents the refutation of America’s European being, it would be ever so fitting if he should preside over the demise of the failed experiment known as “the United States,” opening thus the way to the founding of another, more organic expression of European America.

3. The Knife

As we enter the new year, white Americans once again face a despotic threat to their way of life, as they did in 1776. They have fallen under a regime that cannot control the dysgenic economic forces it has unleashed; a regime ruled by incompetents, thieves, and cosmopolitans; one that never considers the interests of those it rules; that is contemptuous of the history, culture, and tradition of the majority; that refuses to uphold laws and defend the border; that is influenced by foreign lobbies; that relentlessly attacks Christianity; that establishes “hate” laws and restrains free speech to muzzle whites opposing its anti-national policies.

This regime is not, however, some modern variant of old George III’s venal monarchy, but the American System founded on the same liberal modern principles that inspired the Communist system. Native to both systems is the primacy of “reason,” understood mainly in quantitative economic terms. Liberal reason consequently believes in nothing, for belief (which stems from religion, culture, tradition, and tribe) is the opposite of reason. Such economically-anchored systems of “consummate meaninglessness” may therefore function smoothly as long as they deliver the goods, but once things begin to break down and become dysfunctional, they lose all legitimacy.

A half dozen years ago, “Yggdrasill,” one of the pioneers of American white-nationalist thought, argued that the United States would likely go the way of the former Soviet Union if its system of financial rewards and punishments should ever cease to benefit the white majority. For though US elites have not the slightest interest in the welfare and security of the white majority, the majority was willing to be bought off as longs as the elites provided the material benefits to ensure its allegiance. Today, we are entering an era when that ability to deliver the goods may be rapidly diminishing.

For this reason, I believe catastrophe alone will cause white Americans to abandon their allegiance to the existing system and to see the elites controlling it as their real enemies. Such a transfer of loyalties away from the state is thus likely to entail less a racial awakening than an understanding how to live in a hostile reality, once the virtual realities that are at the heart of the American System have collapsed. Nevertheless, at that point when whites abandon the status quo, the possibility of an emerging white national movement will quicken.

Our role as nationalists ought thus to be subversive and revolutionary, not conservative. For there is nothing worth conserving in the existing anti-white system. Instead, we need to forge a spirit that opposes it at its root, that defines America as a nativist variant of European civilization, and that prepares a new Declaration of Independence.

“But our numbers are too small!” it will be argued. This, however, is always the case. For “history is made not by majorities who vote but by minorities who fight.” The great Belgium revolutionary, Jean Thiriat, once pointed out that a man skilled with a butcher knife can reduce a five ton whale to steak slices. The knife is the revolutionary sect and the whale the completely flabby society preoccupied with economic matters and devoted to the pursuit of pleasure. Such a society is extremely vulnerable to the action of a determined and organized political minority, especially in times of crisis.

Where, today, are such minorities to be found?

Every generation of Europeans has produced men ready for the heroic life. When the opportunity arises, they will appear.

The important thing to remember, as we enter this year of crisis, is that the future belongs to us—if we will it!

Race and Education

Race and Education: An Interview With Professor Raymond Wolters

[See also Brown vs. Board, Govt. vs. People: The Curious Course Of The Desegregation Wars, by F. Roger Devlin]

Raymond Wolters, Thomas Muncy Keith Professor of History at the University of Delaware, is the author of Race and Education, 1954-2007 (University of Missouri Press), an examination of the impact of desegregation of public education in the post-Brown v Board era. His other books include: The Burden of Brown: Thirty Years of School Desegregation; Right Turn: William Bradford Reynolds, the Reagan Administration, and Black Civil Rights; Du Bois and His Rivals, Negroes and the Great Depression: The Problem of Economic Recovery; The New Negro on Campus: Black College Rebellions of the 1920s.

VDARE.COM’s Kevin Lamb recently interviewed Professor Wolters.

Lamb: What is your academic background? How did you become interested in the issues surrounding the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions on race, desegregation and education policy?

Wolters: I was educated at Stanford (B.A., 1960) and Berkeley (Ph.D., 1967) and have been a member of the faculty at the University of Delaware since 1965.

My special interest in school desegregation came about by chance.

In 1978-79 the federal courts ordered my county, New Castle County, DE, to implement one of the most wide-ranging of all of the plans of busing for racial balance. At that time, 90 percent of the students in Delaware’s biggest city, Wilmington, were black, and on standard tests the high school seniors in Wilmington were scoring at about the level of 8th grade students in the suburbs, where students were 90 percent white. The hope was that this “racial-achievement gap” would be reduced if students were bused so that the enrollment at each school in the county was about 80 percent white.

On May 17, 1954, the date of Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court had decided five cases that presented a similar issue—not only the Brown case from Topeka, KS, but also cases from Wilmington, DE, Summerton, SC, Prince Edward County, VA, and Washington, D.C. As it happened, Wilmington had desegregated its schools immediately after Brown, but between 1954 and 1975 the racial balance in Wilmington’s public schools tipped from 73 percent white to only 9 percent white.

That led me to question the view that seemed to prevail in most books and articles. Most writers depicted desegregation as a great success, but the policy had not worked well in Wilmington. I wondered if the policy had also failed in the other places whose cases were decided on May 17, 1954.

It turned out that, with the possible exception of Topeka, desegregation had also failed in these other districts, and I told the story of this failure in my book, The Burden of Brown, published in 1984.

Lamb: What prompted you to revisit the topic of “race and education” having written The Burden of Brown? How does your new book differ from the work of other scholars who have broached the topic of the “racial gap” in educational achievement, such as Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom, James T. Patterson, and Diane Ravitch.

Wolters: Instead of focusing monographically on what happened in five districts, Race and Education is more of a synthesis. In addition to drawing on my own research, it summarizes the work of several other scholars. It also covers a longer time frame, 1954 to 2007.

Although I have cited and benefited from the work of the Thernstroms, my work differs from theirs. In No Excuses, they categorically deny the importance of IQ and attribute the racial achievement gap entirely to dysfunctional black and Hispanic subcultures and to bad teachers and schools. In Race and Education, on the other hand, I am more interested in describing (and only implicitly explaining) what has happened. I do make it clear, however, that personally I consider the IQ thesis plausible even if it has not been proven conclusively, and I am less censorious when it comes to teachers and schools.

Personally, I agree with the Thernstroms’ emphasis on the importance of culture, but I don’t share their belief that school reforms (like the KIPP program) can be brought to scale.

My book also differs from that of James Patterson. Patterson’s assessment of the legal cases is similar to my own. We both emphasize that, between about 1966 and 1991, liberal officials and judges interpreted the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act to require racial balance—and that in doing so they went far beyond anything that the Brown Court had in mind in 1954 or that Congress had anticipated when it passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Patterson, however, says almost nothing about what desegregation and integration actually wrought in the schools—the disorder, the de-emphasis on academics, the growing emphasis on remediation.

I admire Diane Ravitch’s work and am not sure we have any major differences. I sense, though, that Prof. Ravitch and I may differ on the potential of “school reform”—that she thinks the achievement gap would be eliminated if schools and teachers did a better job. I doubt that.

The most I would hope for is some reduction in the achievement gap. I think it’s possible to teach most students how to read and compute at an elementary level. But I don’t think it is possible to eliminate (or even to sharply reduce) the disparities in group averages on academic tests.

Lamb: The post-Brown period has been largely defined by a perpetual need for educational “reform”—from A Nation at Risk to No Child Left Behind. Why have these reforms been so largely ineffective in “reforming” America’s educational system?

Wolters: Race and Education notes that the racial gap in average academic achievement has persisted, despite more than 50 years of desegregation and integration. This has forced many reformers to recognize that they can no longer regard getting the “right” racial mix as the key to better education. They have no choice but to experiment with other approaches. In my next book I plan to discuss this turn toward “school reform”.

Lamb: Russlynn Ali, incoming Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, is vice president of the Education Trust, an organization established in 1990 by the American Association for Higher Education to support K-12 “reform” efforts with an emphasis on “closing the achievement gap”. The website of Education Trust contains 10 Things Every American Needs to Know about Brown v. Board of Education and concludes that “Brown v. Board is part of a long legacy of unmet promises”. Do you agree?

Wolters: I’d characterize Ms. Ali’s comments as the sort of rhetoric that one is expected to utter but that few informed people really believe. By now most knowledgeable observers recognize that our educational problems do not stem so much from bad schools as from bad students. The problem is not a lack of equal opportunity. It is a lack of either the ability or the culture, or a combination of the two, that is needed to achieve success in school.

This point is reinforced when impoverished immigrant students from China and Vietnam and Russia do very well, on average, even when they attend crime-ridden schools where most of the black and Hispanic students are below grade level.

Because most reformers recognize this, the reformers are trying to instill new cultural values in under-achieving students. So far the reformers have had some success in individual schools, such as the KIPP schools, but they have not been able to bring this success to scale.

Lamb: There is a body of research in the social and behavioral sciences, such as behavioral genetics, that rarely penetrates the public domain or informs public policy [The controversy that engulfed The Bell Curve is one exception, see here and here.] Will this taboo ever be lifted?

Wolters: I believe it has been a mistake to quarantine research on IQ and racial differences. In Race and Education I made a point of discussing these subjects. I think the research on IQ is one of the most important bodies of work that must be pondered in order to understand the history of American education.

Lamb: You make an interesting point about radical egalitarians—historians, educators, and social scientists —who have confused skepticism about racial inequality with a belief in racial equality. For example, John P. Jackson, a social scientist and author, is someone you point to as “crudely” obscuring this distinction.

You compare your view of race differences in mental ability with Dr. Dwight Ingle’s position of accepting the possibility of a genetic basis underlying racial differences in IQ levels. Ingle urged scientists to carry out research that would shed further light on the issue.

From your vantage point, is the scientific research reasonably conclusive one way or the other?

Wolters: In my book I have written that in the 1950s and early 1960s “most scholars questioned the evidence that had been presented to show that Caucasians were superior to Negroes intellectually. [But] it did not follow that they thought the earlier claims had been disproved”. Among well-informed scholars and scientists, the prevailing view was not that the races were equal but that the evidence of Negro inferiority was not conclusive. The scientific skepticism arose because social scientists cannot control for all the racial differences in environmental opportunities and historical experience.

Thus Henry Garrett, a president of the American Psychological Association, acknowledged that the matter of the Negro’s alleged intellectual inferiority had not been proved beyond question. But Garrett nevertheless reported that the gap in IQ and other test scores did not disappear when black and white subjects were paired in terms of fourteen social and economic factors. The persistence of the gap, and the regularity of results from many studies, made it “extremely unlikely [in Garrett’s opinion] that environmental opportunities can possibly explain all the differences”.

According to Garrett, “the differences between the two racial groups in a variety of mental tests are so large, so regular and so persistent under all sorts of conditions that it is almost unthinkable to conclude that they are entirely a matter of environment”. [Henry E. Garrett, "Negro- White Differences in Mental Ability in the United States," Scientific Monthly 65, 9 October, 1947]

Dwight Ingle expressed a similar view: “The concept that the White and Negro races are approximately equally endowed with intelligence remains a plausible hypothesis for which there is faulty evidence. The concept that the average Negro is significantly less intelligent than the average White is also a plausible hypothesis”. [Dwight Ingle, "Comments on the Teachings of Carleton Putnam," Mankind Quarterly 4 (1963): -.]

Ingle went on to say that he thought the evidence for the second hypothesis was “somewhat stronger”.

With the passage of time, many scholars came to believe, or at least to say, that the races were equally endowed. The Harvard historian Oscar Handlin expressed this opinion when he said, in 1963, “There is no evidence of any inborn differences of temperament, personality, character, or intelligence among races”. And the Berkeley historian Kenneth M. Stampp similarly asserted, in memorable language, “Negroes are after all, only white men with black skins, nothing more, nothing less”.

Your question is: did Handlin, Stampp, and other egalitarians have an ideological ax to grind? Or did they mistakenly think that the absence of conclusive proof of inequality sufficed to establish the existence of equality.

I don’t know. Some “egalitarians”, however, were careful to qualify their statements. One such was the anthropologist Ashley Montagu. In 1942 Montagu published a book that was widely considered an egalitarian manifesto. The thesis of his book was implicit in its title, Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race. In 1944 Montagu wrote, “with some degree of assurance that in all probability the range of inherited capacities in two different groups is just about identical”. And in 1950 Montagu was the principal author of a UNESCO statement that declared, “’race’ is not so much a biological phenomenon as a social myth…. Biological differences between ethnic groups should be disregarded….. The unity of mankind is the main thing”. [The Race Question, PDF]

Yet Montagu retreated in the face of criticism from other anthropologists. In 1961 Montagu said he had been misunderstood; that he had never maintained that the races were “equal in mental abilities”. He explained that the “range” of intelligence differed from the “distribution”. In using the former term, Montagu said, he was referring only “to individuals—where each race possesses a great range, from the retarded to the genius”. Montagu went on to say, “during thirty-five years of reading on the subject I have not more than once or twice encountered a writer who claimed that ‘the races were equal in mental abilities’”. Montagu was reluctant to make these concessions—but he apparently felt that he had to do so in order to maintain the respect of his professional peers.

Times have changed. In 1988 Mark Snyderman and Stanley Rothman [authors of The IQ Controversy] surveyed more than 600 experts in the field of psychological measurement. They discovered that most of the experts believed that IQ tests measured the ability to solve problems and to reason abstractly; that most of them believed that heredity accounted for much of the variation within racial groups; and that most also thought that the IQ gap between blacks and whites was due in part to genetic inheritance.

But these responses were made anonymously on a survey. By 1988 the force of political correctness was such that only a few of these psychologists would state their views openly.

Lamb: In your book you make a careful distinction between desegregation and integration. It is a difference that many scholars seem to gloss over. Can American society can be fully integrated and remain a free society with free association? Do you think the matter of desegregating public schools is finally a settled legal issue?

Wolters: I do indeed distinguish between desegregation and integration. In Brown v. Board of Education (1954, 1955), the Supreme Court held that schools must be “desegregated”—in the sense that students must be assigned to public schools on “a racially nondiscriminatory basis”. However, subsequent cases [Green (1968). Swann (1971), and Keyes (1973)] redefined “desegregation” to mean that students must be assigned “affirmatively”, on the basis of race, to achieve racially-balanced integration. Still later, in a series of cases beginning with Dowell (1991) and continuing through Parents Involved v. Seattle (2007), the Supreme Court returned to Brown’s understanding the students must be assigned on a racially nondiscriminatory basis.

Many scholars have “glossed over” the distinctions. Scholars associated with “the civil rights community” are especially likely to equate “desegregation” and “integration”.

Why they do so necessarily involves some speculation. Some probably were influenced by the sociology of James S. Coleman—who noted that students are influenced by their peers, and predicted that blacks would take school work more seriously if they attended schools where most of the students were from the white middle class. Others may have been skeptical of Coleman’s sociology but were so desperate to reduce the racial gap in academic achievement that they were willing to try almost anything.

Still others, I suspect, liked to lord it over others—and derived special pleasure from trying to force “bourgeois” whites to send their children to school with lower-class blacks.

Whatever the reason, beginning in the late 1960s and continuing for another 30 years, liberals social scientists and judges glossed over the distinctions and insisted that, to achieve “desegregation”, students should be assigned on the basis of race to achieve racially balanced enrollments.

Yet when it became clear that these affirmative assignments did not narrow the racial achievement gap, but instead instigated “white flight”, most people—blacks as well as whites—turned against racially balanced integration and instead began to demand other approaches to achieve “school reform”.

I believe the tide finally has turned against affirmative assignments to achieve racially balanced integration. In large part, this is because experience has shown that affirmative assignments do not narrow the racial achievement gap. In addition, the Roberts Court has weighed in against affirmative assignments. Of course, the personnel of the Court could change. But by now most people, blacks as well as whites, have come to emphasize “school reform” rather than “integration”.

Lamb: Hypothetically, if you could become America’s Education Czar tomorrow, what would policies would you implement and what reforms would you adopt to improve America’s educational system?

Wolters: If I were “America’s Education Czar”, I’d be tempted to try to alter the anti-academic values that are prevalent in the African American, Hispanic, and white working-class subcultures (and that are also becoming more widespread among middle-class whites).

But then I’d back off—because I am leery of cultural imperialism and because I think many people should be working in manual trades instead of more academic fields. There is nothing wrong with manual work. What’s wrong is that America has become so “de-industrialized” that there are too few good jobs for manualists.

Another problem stems from the influx of immigrants who have driven down the wages of America’s working people. I think deindustrialization and immigration are bigger problems than the much ballyhooed racial gap in academic achievement. Admittedly, though, I know more about education than about industry and immigration.

If I were to plump for one school reform, it would be choice”. I would give every student (or the parents) a voucher that could be used wherever they chose. Maximizing freedom would not be a panacea, but I think it would do more than anything else to improve our system of education.

However, I should quickly add that I am not America’s “Education Czar”. I am a professor of history, and as an historian my job is to describe what has happened, not to prescribe what should be done.

Kevin Lamb (email him) is a former library assistant for Newsweek and managing editor of Human Events. He was also assistant editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report, which involved no contact with Novak.

Brown vs. Board, Govt. vs. People: The Curious Course Of The Desegregation Wars

By F. Roger Devlin

If you’re like me, you learned that segregation was an unmitigated evil before you were old enough to pronounce the word correctly. A whole generation of us got our first lesson in Constitutional jurisprudence from the early 1970s rock group Three Dog Night

The ink is black
The page is white
Together we learn to read and write
The child is black
The child is white
The whole world looks upon the sight
The beautiful sight

And now a child can understand
That this is the law of all the land

All the land…

Even sober legal scholars lapse into religious language when dealing with Brown vs. the Board of Education. The justices of the Supreme Court,” according to Law Professor Michael J. Perry [Email him]as cited by historian Raymond Wolters in his new book Race and Education 1954-2007,were modern ‘prophets’ selected by an ‘American Israel’ and authorized to strike down laws they deemed mistaken.” [The Constitution, the Courts, and Human Rights, 1982]

Others quoted by Wolters liken desegregation’s crusaders to Joshua—making walls tumble down and leading people into the Promised Land of American public schools. So sacrosanct has the landmark 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision become that no judge can be confirmed for a federal appointment today without paying it lip service.

Even Wolters reassures the average reader with a few conventional phrases: Brown “condemned an entrenched injustice [and] reconciled the nation’s official policies with its basic principles”. ()But he demonstrates conclusively that the legal reasoning behind the decision was spurious and many of its later outgrowths problematic or negative.

Before deciding the Brown case, the Supreme Court asked the NAACP’s lawyers for evidence that the framers of the 14th Amendment had contemplated school desegregation. The Court, it seems, wanted to rule against segregation but feared being accused of the sort of judicial activism which several of the justices had denounced during the years of the New Deal.

The NAACP commissioned historian Alfred H. Kelly, who quickly discovered that the very Congress which submitted the 14th Amendment to the States had itself established segregated schools in the District of Columbia! Kelly later described how he had

“manipulated history…carefully marshalling every scrap of evidence in favor of the desired interpretation and just as carefully doctoring all the evidence to the contrary, either by suppressing it when that seemed plausible, or by distorting it when suppression was not possible.” [Clio and the Court: An Illicit Love Affair, by Alfred H. Kelly, Supreme Court Review, 119 (1965)]

Afraid bad history would be insufficient, the NAACP mixed in some bad social science. Black psychologist Kenneth B. Clark reported that nine out of sixteen Black children from segregated schools in South Carolina preferred to play with a white rather than a black doll. Clark did not mention that his study of desegregated black children found the same phenomenon. But citing this crude experiment as “modern authority,” the Supreme Court decided that the segregation of Black pupils imposed upon them “a feeling of inferiority… that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.”

In actual fact, segregation had served to spare blacks invidious comparisons with whites. Later studies, reported by Wolters, confirmed that black children in segregated schools had higher self-esteem than those in majority-white schools.

By its appeal to sociology, Brown set a precedent for deciding cases on extralegal grounds. Segregationists, who had at first based their case on eighty years of legal precedent, soon responded with scientific evidence of their own. (Wolters reports that a reviewer for his publisher, the University of Missouri Press, was so disturbed by the objective tone in which Prof. Wolters recounted these segregationist arguments that he recommended not publishing the book unless the author disavowed them!)

In Stell v. Savannah (1963), segregationists produced expert witnesses to testify that

“the differences between the two racial groups in a variety of mental tests are so large, so regular and so persistent under all sorts of conditions that it is almost unthinkable to conclude that they are entirely a matter of environment.” [Henry E. Garrett, "Negro- White Differences in Mental Ability in the United States," Scientific Monthly 65, 9 October, 1947]

Wesley Critz George, a distinguished professor of anatomy explained to the court that

the average weight of the brains of Caucasians was about 1,380 grams, that of Negroes about 1,240 grams, with the difference especially pronounced in the prefrontal area where abstract thought occurred.[Wolters, p. 36]

This evidence was powerful enough, Wolters reports, to cause NAACP attorney Constance Motley “to weep audibly in the courtroom.” [Race and Reality, by Carleton Putnam, Chapter IV]

Despite having won Brown on the basis of extralegal evidence, the NAACP now did an about-face and tried (unsuccessfully) to get scientific testimony excluded from the case as irrelevant. The presiding judge in Stell v. Savannah ruled in favor of the segregationists. (His ruling was overturned on appeal.)

The quest for integration now entered its second phase. For more than a decade after Brown, “desegregation” was not understood to require integration. Well-established residential patterns meant that many schools would continue to be virtually all-white or all-black even without practicing racial discrimination. Desegregation meant merely that a child could not be excluded from the local public school on the grounds of race. But it did not mandate racial mixture in schools.

This distinction between desegregation and integration was made explicitly and repeatedly by the courts, and was written into the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Prof. Wolters considers it both clear and valid. But most legal scholars now disagree; they reject or ignore the distinction and (at least nominally) interpret Brown to require racial mixing. How did this change come about?

After ten years of resistance, the South grudgingly accepted Brown in the wake of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which tied federal funding to desegregation. Most districts adopted a freedom of choice policy, allowing students to attend any school they wished. Typically, this resulted in a few Negro children transferring to previously all-White schools; transfers in the opposite direction were almost unheard of.

However, a significant faction within the Civil Rights movement (and increasingly within the government bureaucracy) was unsatisfied with these modest changes. It would settle for nothing less than full integration. Some were inspired by Equality of Educational Opportunity, a seven-hundred page study produced under the direction of sociologist James S. Coleman and commonly called the “Coleman report.” This document, issued in 1966, was interpreted to imply (among other things) that when blacks attended majority white schools, their academic performance improved without the performance of whites declining.

That same year, the federal Office of Education issued a new set of guidelines for enforcing desegregation. The guidelines stated:

“The single most substantial indication as to whether a free-choice plan is actually working is the extent to which Negro or other minority group students have in fact transferred from segregated schools.” [United States Commission on Civil Rights, Federal Rights Under School Desegregation Law, June 1966,PDF]

The document went on to specify that a school would not be considered desegregated unless the amount of racial mixing doubled each year until racial balance was achieved! One southern Senator, Richard B. Russell, described the new guidelines as “fanaticism at its very zenith”. Wolters argues that the Office of Education knew perfectly well that it was changing the meaning of the law.

Court challenges quickly followed, with the Fourth Circuit rejecting the guidelines and the Fifth Circuit upholding them. Then, in the case of Green v. New Kent County (1968), the Supreme Court unanimously sided with the Fifth Circuit and ordered southern school districts to assign students by race in order to achieve substantial integration. The court had overturned Brown while claiming to uphold it.

It was in response to the Green decision that a judge in Charlotte, North Carolina imposed a busing program to disperse the races until no school was recognizably black or white. The Supreme Court reviewed the case and upheld the ruling in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg (1971). The justices specifically endorsed means such as busing and the gerrymandering of school districts to bring about integration. But they also cautioned that such integration was mandated only in order to remedy past segregation, rather than as an end in itself. As a result, the ruling applied mainly to the South.

Nevertheless, within two years the Supreme Court was requiring integration in Denver in order to “remedy” de facto segregation determined by residential patterns (Keyes v. School District No. 1).

In Detroit plans were soon afoot to combine the black city districts with fifty-three white suburban districts. The new consolidated school district was so large that some children would have been bused three hours each day.

At this point, finally, the Supreme Court flinched before the monster it had wrought—and possibly “followed the election returns”, in the shape of the George Wallace phenomenon and the Nixon presidency. In Milliken v. Bradley (1974), a 5-4 majority voted to reverse and censure the lower courts for having mandated the Detroit integration program.

As Prof. Wolters summarizes:

Brown had been the watershed of school desegregation. Green, Swann and Keyes represented the high tide for integration. Milliken marked the water’s edge.”

Integration was a failure. It did nothing to improve the performance of black schoolchildren (as even James S. Coleman came to concede in a 1978 paper noted by Wolters). It wasted untold money and time. It sparked massive white flight. And it created deep resentment among both blacks and whites. Blacks perceived white academic achievement as a form of “showing off” intended to make them feel inferior. The minority of blacks who did keep up with whites got accused of being “sellouts.” Whites were put off by black rowdiness, profanity and—sometimes—misconduct toward white girls. Prof. Wolters documents the entire fiasco with a wealth of detail I can only hint at here.

In integration’s third phase, which still continues, the Supreme Court in a series of rulings issued between 1991 and 2007 has moved gradually back toward the original understanding of Brown. But by this time, there were fewer whites left in many public school districts for blacks to integrate with anyway—and those remaining were disproportionately poorer and disadvantaged.

Prof. Wolters shares a common tendency to identify education with public education. Private schools receive passing mention in his narrative only to explain the otherwise mysterious disappearance of wealthier white students following Brown.

Yet judicial meddling in education was only made possible by that great egalitarian reform of a previous era, public schooling. Race in education became a political issue because education itself had long since been politicized by governmental takeover. This might be a matter worth Prof. Wolters’ attention in writing his promised next book on the subject of educational reform.

F. Roger Devlin [Email him] is a contributing editor for The Occidental Quarterly and the author of Alexandre Kojeve and the Outcome of Modern Thought.

Is the Bailout Plan Breeding a Greater Crisis?

Is the Bailout Plan Breeding a Greater Crisis?

By Paul Craig Roberts

At his March 24 press conference President Obama demonstrated that he is capable of understanding issues as presented to him by his advisers and able to pass on the explanations to the press. The question is whether Obama’s advisers understand the issues.

Obama’s advisers are focused on rescuing banks and the insurance company, AIG. They perceive the problems as solvency and paralyzing uncertainly or fear. Financial institutions, unsure of their own and other institutions solvency, hoard cash and refuse to lend. Credit is needed to get the economy moving, and the Federal Reserve and Treasury are doing their best to inject liquidity and to remove troubled assets from the banks’ books.

This perception of the problem and the “remedies” being applied, might be causing a greater problem for which there is no solution. Obama’s approach, and that of the previous administration, requires massive monetization of debt by the Federal Reserve and massive new debt issues by the Treasury.

The unaddressed question remains: Is the US dollar’s status as world reserve currency threatened by the massive debt monetization and multi-year, multi-trillion dollar issuance of new Treasuries?

The United States has become an import-dependent country. The US is dependent on imports for energy, manufactured goods including clothes and shoes, and advanced technology products. If the US dollar loses its reserve currency status, the US will not be able to pay for its imports. The ensuing crisis would dwarf the current one.

Obama’s advisers believe that the US can monetize debt and issue new debt endlessly, because America’s capital markets are the deepest and most liquid. The dollar is strong, Obama said at his press conference.

But already cracks and strains are appearing. The day after Obama’s press conference, an auction of UK bonds, known as gilts, failed when bids fell short of the supply offered and interest rates rose. This is a bad sign for Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s plan to market an unprecedented amount of new debt during the current fiscal year.

It is also a bad sign for Obama’s similar plan. In the US, interest rates on US Treasuries have risen in anticipation of unprecedented new Treasury issues despite the Federal Reserve’s recent announcement that it intends to purchase $300 billion of existing Treasuries held by the banking system.

Normally, Fed purchases raise bond prices, thereby lowering interest rates. However, the inflation and interest rate implications of the unprecedented supply of new Treasuries necessary to finance the multi-year, multi-trillion dollar budget deficits are beginning to be recognized in bond and currency markets. Everyone knows that the Federal Reserve will monetize the new debt issues rather than allow a Treasury auction to fail. Recently, America’s largest creditor, China, expressed concern that the value of its massive holdings of US dollar investments is in danger of being inflated away.

The Fed cannot monetize new Treasury issues without the word getting out. If and when this happens, the US dollar’s exchange value is likely to drop while interest rates and inflation rise.

To avoid a crisis of this magnitude, the US needs to focus on saving the dollar as reserve currency. As I previously emphasized, this requires reducing US budget and trade deficits.

Despite the near-term budget costs of ending the occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, terminating these pointless military adventures would produce immediate large out-year budget savings. Closing many foreign military bases and cutting a gratuitously large military budget would produce more out-year savings.

The Obama administration’s belief that it can continue with Bush’s wars of aggression while it engages in a massive economic bailout indicates a lack of seriousness about America’s predicament.

Rome eventually understood that its imperial frontiers exceeded its resources and pulled back. This realization has yet to dawn on Washington.

More budget savings could come from a different approach to the financial crisis. The entire question of bailing out private financial institutions needs rethinking. The probability is that the bailouts are not over. The commercial real estate defaults are yet to present themselves.

Would it be cheaper for government to buy the shares of the banks and AIG at the current low prices than to pour trillions of taxpayers’ dollars into them in an effort to drive up private share prices with public money? The Bush/Paulson bailout plan of approximately $800 billion has been followed a few months later by the Obama/Geithner stimulus-bailout plan of another approximately $800 billion. Together it adds to $1.6 trillion in new Treasury debt, much of which might have to be monetized.

Could this massive debt issue be avoided if the government took over the banks and netted out the losses between the constituent parts? A staid socialized financial sector run by civil servants is preferable to the gambling casino of greed-driven, innovative, unregulated capitalism operated by banksters who have caused crisis throughout the world.

Perhaps the Federal Reserve should be socialized as well. The notion of an independent, privately-owned Federal Reserve system was never more than a ruse to get a national bank into place. Once the central bank is part of the state-owned banking system, the government can create money without having to accumulate a massive public debt that saddles taxpayers’ and future budgets with hundreds of billions of dollars in annual interest payments.

Free market ideologues will say the government would inflate. However, the government has been inflating for generations and is now set on a course for hyperinflation. Monetization of troubled financial instruments by the Federal Reserve is just beginning. In addition, there are the multi-trillion dollar budget deficits which probably cannot be financed other than by monetization of new debt issues.

The US money supply as measured by cash in circulation and demand deposits (checking accounts) is currently about $1.4 trillion. If this year’s budget deficit is monetized, the money supply doubles. If next year’s budget deficit is monetized, the money supply would have tripled in two years. Inflation would explode. The combination of high unemployment and high inflation would be devastating.

In contrast, protecting depositors is not inflationary. It merely prevents monetary contraction.

If the Obama administration can think about socializing health care as a single-payer system, it should be able to think about socializing the banking system. Currently, Medicare is paid for by taxpayers, Medicare beneficiaries, healthy retirees, and doctors. Beneficiaries have to pay substantial premiums for supplemental coverage whether ill or healthy, and doctors are paid a pittance from the schedule of fixed prices. The insurers are the ones who make money, not the medical service providers. The single-payer system would shrink costs by the amount of the health insurance industry’s profits and the enormous paperwork and enforcement compliance costs.

The trade deficit is even more difficult to address. The American economy lost much of its manufacturing leg to offshoring. It has now lost its real estate and financial sector legs. Real incomes for the average family have not increased. The consumer-demand-driven economy became dependent on the accumulation of consumer debt, which has reached its limit.

When the production of goods and services for the domestic market is moved offshore, Americans lose income and the economy loses GDP. When the goods and services produced offshore return to be sold to Americans, they constitute imports that widen the trade deficit.

The US finances its trade deficit by turning over to foreigners ownership of existing US assets and their future income streams, which, of course, increases the flow of income away from Americans.

The claim that low prices in Wal-Mart compensate for all these costs is ridiculous. Nevertheless, the Obama administration, corporation executives, and the economics profession remain committed to offshoring.

The claim, expressed by Obama at his press conference, that retraining programs are the solution to manufacturing and IT unemployment caused by offshoring is also ridiculous. For a decade the only source of American job growth has been domestic services that cannot be offshored, such as hospital orderlies, barbers, waitresses and bartenders. Retraining is simply a government subsidy to educational institutions, a subsidy that insures their continued support for offshoring.

The enormous trade deficit that has been created by the pursuit of short-term corporate profits can only be closed in two ways. One is to stop the offshoring and to bring home the offshored production. Possibly, this could be done by replacing the corporate income tax with a tax based on whether value added to a company’s output occurs domestically or abroad.

The other way the trade deficit can be closed is by the inability of Americans to pay for imports. If debt monetization wrecks the dollar and drives up import prices, Americans will have to learn to live with less imported energy and manufactured goods. American annual consumption would shrink by the amount of the trade deficit.

The Bush/Obama approach to the crisis in the financial sector is to monetize existing debt and to accumulate massive new debt that will likely also require monetization. The monetization threatens inflation, high interest rates, and depreciation of the US dollar and loss of its reserve currency role. The accumulation of new public debt implies larger annual interest payments that could make future deficit reduction problematic.

Clearly, the Obama administration needs to broaden its perception of the predicament to which financial deregulation and offshoring have brought the US economy.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.