To Understand France’s Jihadis, Look At Where They Came From

English: Regions of Belgium

English: Regions of Belgium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This, from Dan Hannan, is very interesting, I think. I haven’t much to add, particularly since I don’t really know much about continental Europe. So, I’ll let him tell it.


I think it has to do with the way that patriotism has been derided and traduced by Europe’s intellectual elites. If you want newcomers to assimilate into your society, you have to give them something into which to assimilate. You have to project a sense of pride, of common purpose, of self-belief.

This is perhaps especially difficult in Belgium. There is no Belgian language, no Belgian culture, precious little Belgian history. The country is divided between French and Dutch-speakers and subsists, as the saying goes, only in its monarchy and its football team.

The last Belgian election was won by a party that favors Flemish self-rule, and French and Dutch-speaking populations are, in consequence, identifying less with the national institutions, more with their own communities. But where does this leave, say, a Moroccan-origin boy from Molenbeek? What is there for him to be join?

Think of the experience that boy will have had in his adolescence. His every interaction with the Belgian state will have taught him to despise it. If he got any history at all in school, it will have been presented to him as a hateful chronicle of racism and exploitation. When he hears politicians on TV, they are unthinkingly blaming every ill in the world on Western meddling. It’s hardly an inducement to integrate, is it?

Americans are very good at assimilating newcomers. They go in for loud displays of national pride – flags in the yard and bunting on Independence Day and stirring songs – that strike some Euro-snobs as vulgar, but that make it easy for settlers to want to belong. [,,,]

Source: To Understand France’s Jihadis, Look At Where They Came From | PA Pundits – International

The thing is, what exactly do Europeans believe in? They seemingly are no longer Christian, they don’t believe in their countries, they surely don’t believe in Europe. they don’t even believe in reproducing themselves. Life really is more than football.

And how many times have we said, Nothing will fall for anything!

As it is now constituted, I think Europe is doomed, and perhaps yeats saw clearly


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?



God bless fracking! and Teaching our History

Look at this – Hard.

The environmentalists and the left and the Democrats1 would have us believe that fracking is evil, evil, evil! but I, as a working man, sure have seen the benefits. The chart shows what I had to pay for heating oil last winter, in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, compared with what I paid for a delivery on Wednesday.

The great increase in domestic oil production, coupled with OPEC’s decisions to not cut production, has driven the price of oil down, and that’s a real benefit to working families in the northeast.

Source: God bless fracking! | The First Street Journal.

Now tell me again why you oppose this safe method of obtaining oil, which is even environmentally friendly!


We talk a good bit here about education, and we try to do more than ‘scream and shout’ but look at things that don’t work, or might, or do. Well, you all know how much I love history, and how horribly it’s taught these days. Suzannah Lipscomb talks about it a fair amount as well, and with a far better grounding than I have. Here’s a bit of her latest.

On the eve of the invasion of Iraq, in July 2003, Tony Blair told the US Congress: ‘There has never been a time when … a study of history provides so little instruction for our present day.’ The aftermath proved how wrong this hubristic judgment was and it is a sentiment that few in the public eye would dare to voice today.


Much of the concern about the curriculum hinged on a perceived choice: that versions of history must either tell a traditional story of the great and the good, a national narrative of Whiggish heroes, or, by incorporating the histories of women and racial, religious and ethnic diversity, they will tell a politically motivated history that fragments our treatment of the past. My colleague, Oliver Ayers, reminds me that much the same discussion was had in the US in the 1990s, resulting in an all-out cultural war.

Both in the US and the UK it is and was a false dichotomy. First, there need not be anything intrinsically wrong with telling a nation’s history as part of the curriculum. As Simon Schama pointed out in 2013, there is value in preserving a national memory of our ‘imagined community’, but the narrative cannot be uncritical. Second, it is ahistorical to suggest that these two stories can be extricated from each other. Any intellectually robust tour of British history requires consideration of the ongoing interactions between Britain and the world and must incorporate local histories that will bring those global communications home.

Source: An adult education

That’s important, I think. We need some kind of balance, both in how we present our history (especially to our kids), we aren’t, and never were, perfect, but you know, we were and are pretty damn good at that. And it’s inexcusable to me to leave out other things, or exclude whole groups of people.

Leftover Turkey Day and How Do We Solve a Problem Like Syria

English: Iraq Defense Minister Abdul Qadir pre...

English: Iraq Defense Minister Abdul Qadir presents a gift to U.S. Army General David Petraeus during a farewell ceremony in Baghdad on September 15, 2008. Petraeus turned over command of Multi-National Forces – Iraq to Army General Raymond Odierno on September 16. Petraeus has served in three command positions in Iraq since 2003. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A little bit of leftover business from Jess’ new post yesterday, she also had a message for us as Americans:

As some of you know, I spent a year in America when I was younger, and that intensified a love of America that came from a crush on John Wayne and a love of American films. It’s so easy, looking and admiring that great nation, to forget how precarious were its origins, and now, with so much political correctness, almost to have to apologise for them. But those brave Pilgrims might easily have suffered the fate of those Vikings who had tried to establish settlement much earlier, and in fact almost did suffer that fate. But their faith in God which led them to cross a vast ocean in vulnerable wooden ships, kept them firm and saw them through. May that be said of us all – and let us always give thanks to Him who alone is truly worthy of all thanks and praise.

I don’t think truer words were ever spoken written.

 But that isn’t to say that all of our problems are due to political correctness, although it has much to do with why we can’t seem to solve them. As Jess and I both know, in order to solve a problem first you have to define it, and then define a plan for dealing with it. And that is much of the problem with IS (which someone this week defined as Islamic Scumbags, which I like). A retired British officer wrote about this in The Spectator this week. You need to read the whole article, but I’m going to give you a few highlights.

Like most British soldiers of my generation, I fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Few would now justify the reasons for invading Iraq; most of us who fought there at first recognised the amateurish nature of the strategy and its lack of realistic political objectives. But in 2007, under General Petraeus, the coalition adopted a new strategy that was underpinned by coherent policy. This stemmed from the recognition that unless common cause was found with moderate Sunnis, a workable Iraqi polity could never be established.

The rapid improvements that flowed from this change were impressive but disgracefully shortlived. The US departure from Iraq in 2010 allowed the Shi’ite Nuri Al Maliki a free rein to threaten Sunni interests and explains the Iraqi half of today’s tragedy in the Middle East.

In the other half, the West has shown similar strategic illiteracy in Syria. Efforts to excite opposition to Assad were unsupported by even the remotest understanding of what might follow. Just as with Saddam and Gaddafi, no credible alternative to Assad waits in the wings.

Part of this stems from the crisis of confidence experienced by both the US and UK as a result of Iraq and Afghanistan. The prevailing judgment is that all interventions are ill-advised, especially those involving boots on the ground. The best the West can do is to bomb from a safe distance and make half-hearted efforts to raise local militias. Bombing and drone strikes have their place if properly targeted, but no aircraft has ever held ground. Without western forces, local militias will continue to be highly unreliable.

[…] Until there is a change of policy, Obama is unlikely to provide the lead that he should. And Cameron has shown no appetite to have the sort of relationship that Churchill had with his military chiefs, preferring instead the advice of his intelligence agencies. Agency heads can give you the intelligence, but they are unqualified to determine the solutions.

(Emphasis mine) I think that is a good nutshell description of the problems we face in the UK and US.

The House of Commons should therefore ask itself the following questions:

— What is the political objective and is it realistic?

— Can a grand coalition of the willing be created under US leadership which can coalesce around the same political objective?

— If a grand coalition cannot be created (without for instance Russia and Iran), how would this affect the strategy?

— What military resources will be needed to achieve the objective?

— If, for political reasons, the right military means are judged unacceptable (notably ground forces), then would doing nothing be better than doing something?

— After the political objective has been achieved, are we willing to show strategic patience and stay the course?

If the government can produce sensible answers to these questions, then its strategy should be supported. But if not, the House of Commons would be wise to wait.

So emphatically should Congress, because we know the executive hasn’t the knowledge or the will to, and it should resume its rightful place as one of the keys of the American system, which seems nearly as doubtful, as is anybody doing the work of defining this problem and then its solution.

As I said above, you should read the whole article. It is: How to defeat Isis, by a retired British commander.


Happy Thanksgiving

I’ve a fairly serious Thanksgiving post up at AATW, so here let’s just relax. You know these guys, we’ve loved them most of our lives.


I will tell you want Isis don’t want. Overwhelming western military force

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, left, and France's President Francois Hollande arrive at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron have paid a visit to the Bataclan concert venue in central Paris, which saw the worst carnage of the Paris attacks that killed over 120 people. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, left, and France’s President Francois Hollande arrive at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron have paid a visit to the Bataclan concert venue in central Paris, which saw the worst carnage of the Paris attacks that killed over 120 people. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

This! Where, in God’s name, is the fire from our governments? We have been attacked (still again) and while David Cameron and François Hollande are making some of the right noises, and doing some of the right things, it seems to me to be rather half-hearted. We are not going to defeat IS from 29,999 feet, the only way is at the muzzle of a rifle. This is from Laura Perrins, and is directed to the British people and government. She’s right, and it applies with major emphasis to the American people and government as well.

Isis don’t do trigger warning; they just do triggers. It is time to get angry.

If you do not feel angry, very angry, about the Paris atrocity then there is something wrong with you. However, as Brendan O’Neill pointed out, at every second turn we are told to calm down because to show any other emotion other than sentiment is ‘what the so-called Islamic State (Isis) want!’

True to form, in The Times on Saturday Janice Turner told us, ‘Keep our words cool.’

No I don’t think I will, thanks. What is there to be cool about? The same paper rightly made space to remember all 130 people who were gunned down by these Islamist Scumbags, so accurately described by Andrew Neil. […]

Herein lies my exasperation; that this at times sentimental show is aired in place of genuine anger towards these barbaric killers and in particular the liberal governing elite and intelligence services who let it happen. Long ago countries used to build defences to keep the enemy out – our elite invited them in with their useless mad, no border policy.

Notably the Left have a new slapdown, one cannot ask any hard questions because to do so is ‘doing Isis’s job for them.’ […]

What is wrong with these people? What part of ‘I hate you and your entire way of life that I want to blow you to bits’ don’t they understand?

It is not our foreign policy, our non-existent refugee policy (refugees welcome!) multiculturalism or indeed a more demanding form of integration they hate. It is our existence – a liberal society, freedom of speech and religion, and the Christian heritage – that they hate. They wish to destroy this and return to “a seventh–century legal environment, and ultimately to bring(ing) about the Apocalypse.”

Apocalypse – not hug a refugee – Apocalypse. Go negotiate with that.

Source: Laura Perrins: I will tell you want Isis don’t want. Overwhelming western military force

Not to say that a good many Brits don’t get it. I was quite amazed to see this on the BBC. I wanted to stand up and cheer.

The only reason that won’t happen is if Pogo is right:

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Moe Lane over at RedState had some parallel thoughts:

Are you afraid of terrorism? Or just simply angry about it?

We call this ‘projection,’ where I come from.

After the attacks in Paris, the world is again challenged by fear.

I suppose that I should be used to this, after a decade and a half of listening to well-meaning fools uttering it, but; I’m not. Or at least I’m not willing to let it remain unanswered, out of sheer weariness if nothing else. If I’m weary of anything, it’s being told that I’m scared, just because some editorial writer on the NYT is scared and so he* thinks everybody is scared, too. […]

So if the alternative to fear is not hate – if hate is merely a subset of fear – then what is the true alternative?  Why, it’s anger. I didn’t get scaredabout the enemy after 9/11; I got mad at them.  How dare those people come halfway across the world to strike at a city that I loved and murder my fellow citizens and try to kill people just like me. How dare they insert their literally medieval fantasy ideology into my daily life. The terrorists had no justification, and they had no right.  And they made a hideous mistake back then, because while an angry man might make mistakes, those mistakes pale in comparison with the mistakes that a fearful man will make

Source: Are you afraid of terrorism? Or just simply angry about it?

That’s my take. I may die in this mess, although I doubt it, but you know something, I’m going to die anyway. What’s to be afraid of? It’s far better to die on your feet than to live on your knees, hoping for some scraps from your master’s table, especially when he’s a seventh-century thug. As always the Bible has guidance for us. From Ecclesiastes.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

And, once again, it has become a time for war.

Jeremy Corbyn (and Others) aren’t anti-war. They’re just anti-West

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is from The Spectator (UK), and it’s about Jeremy Corbyn (the head of the Labor party). I think the author, Nick Cohen, is precisely on point. But I don’t think Corbyn is the only one. I would posit that anyone taking that position, and that includes all of the Democratic candidates for President and Obama as well, is in the same place.

To me, at least, it disqualifies all of them from leading our governments, a leader should have the well-being of the led as his first priority, and these people obviously do not.

Before the bodies in Paris’s restaurants were cold, Jeremy Corbyn’s Stop the War Coalition knew who the real villains were — and they were not the Islamists who massacred civilians. ‘Paris reaps whirlwind of western support for extremist violence in Middle East’ ran a headline on its site. The article went on to say that the consequence of the West’s ‘decades-long, bipartisan cultivation of religious extremism will certainly be more bloodshed, more repression and more violent intervention’.

This flawless example of what I once called the ‘kill us, we deserve it’ school of political analysis takes us to the heart of Corbyn’s beliefs. Even his opponents have yet to appreciate the malign double standards of the new Labour party, though they ought to be clear for all to see by now.

Whatever its protestations, Corbyn’s far left is not anti-war. Pacifism may not be a moral position in all circumstances but, in my view at least, it remains an honourable belief, rooted in Christian teaching. Corbyn does not share it. He does not oppose violence wherever it comes from, as the BBC’s political editor claimed this week. When anti-western regimes and movements go to war, his language turns slippery. Corbyn never quite has the guts to support the violence of others, but he excuses it like a gangster’s lawyer trying to get a crime boss off on a technicality.

He defended the Russian invasion of Ukraine by saying the West had provoked the Kremlin. His spin-doctor, Seumas Milne of the Guardian, the nearest thing you can find to a Stalinist in the 21st century, joined the leaders of Europe’s far-right parties at Putin’s propaganda summits. Meanwhile Corbyn and John McDonnell have defended the IRA, Hezbollah and Hamas. Like many on the far left (and right), they are pro-Assad. So committed to Syrian Ba’athism are Stop the War that they tried to stop Syrian refugees from Assad’s terror speaking at their meetings.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn isn’t anti-war. He’s just anti-West » The Spectator

But let’s simplify it a bit. Here’s Bill Whittle o do exactly that.


As Kipling said:

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

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