Saudi Arabia Changes Course

Not gonna get overly heavy today, it is after all both the day after Thanksgiving and Friday. Personally, I spent too much time watching the equivalent of kitten videos far too late last night. But there is this, and it is important, and not much remarked. From Bookworm at Weasel Watchers.

Although I haven’t written about Saudi Arabia, I have been paying a great deal of attention to what’s going on in that kingdom. If Prince Mohammed bin Salman can avoid assassination (and I devoutly hope he can), he is a true reformer. He is trying to upgrade women’s status, he is purging the most corrupt members of the royal family and, most importantly, he is behind the outreach to Israel. There have been rumors that a member of the House of Saud made a secret trip to Israel and, assuming that rumor is true, Prince Salman is the best bet.

More recently, the hard-line Saudi Grand Mufti preached a very surprising sermon the other day. Melanie Phillips caught this story:

According to the Turkish Anadolu news agency, reported here, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz al Sheikh, has issued a quite remarkable religious ruling. Answering a question on TV about the Palestinian Arab riots over Temple Mount last July, he didn’t merely denounce Hamas as a “terror organisation”.

Much more significantly he actually issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, forbidding war against the Jews; and he said that fighting against Israel was inappropriate.

How can this be anything other than highly significant?

After discussing the Grand Mufti’s conservative stands and enmity towards Israel, Phillips believes something important is happening:

Nevertheless, he is the most senior cleric in the state which has served as the epicentre of Sunni Islamic fanaticism and the most austere and conservative interpretation of a religion which has Jew-hatred at its theological core. If such a man is now saying that war against the Jewish state is not holy at all but must be forbidden on religious grounds, will this not have some impact within the Islamic religious world for which holy war against the Jews is an article of faith?

A friend of Book’s add this…

I will say this for the Sauds. They are an incredibly corrupt clan, but they also enjoy their petro-billions and have no desire to so rock the boat that they have ever willingly joined in the Middle East wars of their era except on the most tangential level. True, it is their Wahhabi religion that has created the world wide mess that is radicalized Islam, but the Sauds funded and fanned that toxin to keep Wahhabism pointed at outward expansion, not at inner Saud corruption. If the Saud clan were not frightened of the Wahhabi scorpions in their midst, one gets the feeling they would all, each and every one of them, much rather be on the Riviera drinking Scotch and banging European hookers.

That’s the thing about the Sauds. They may be (and are) corrupt, very corrupt, in fact. But they are also dependable, all one needs to do is figure out what is best for the House of Saud. That’s why they embraced Wahabbism long ago, and why it is logical for them to embrace Israel, Eqypt, and yes, the United States, now. In a backhanded way, like we used to say of Chicago, they are honestly corrupt. And that is something we can work with, Iran, not so much.

The Acid Test of Civilization

You may have missed the news, the FSM (British and American) is doing its level best to make sure you do, but there has been a large increase in acid attacks in Britain. I noticed, but didn’t have enough to write about it, Daniel Greenfield, on the other hand, did.

Things are going smashingly well in Londonistan.

The City of London has the highest murder rate in the land. While the authorities launch investigations into pork being left at a mosque or a hijab supposedly being torn off, crime continues to rise.

Gun control has worked so wonderfully well that gun crime in London rose 42%. When gun control advocates insist that we should be more like the UK, London’s 2,544 gun crime offenses probably aren’t what they have in mind.

But gun control does work in London after a fashion. Those gang members who can’t lay their hand on a firearm must make do with a sharp blade. Knife crimes in London rose 24% to 12,074 recorded offences. 60 people were stabbed to death last year.

Why? Here’s a hint from the Metropolitan Police’s assistant commissioner. “There are complex social reasons why more young people are carrying knives and this cannot be solved by the police alone.”

Those complex social reasons would seem to involve stabbing other people. But like Islamic terrorism, stabbings in London are one of those things that can’t be solved by the police. Unlike people saying mean things about Muslims on Facebook and Twitter which the Met cops are well equipped to solve.

Still the authorities have been doing their best to tackle stabbings with a knife ban. Carry a knife without a “good reason” and you can get four years in prison. Good reasons for carrying knives include using it as a prop in a production of Romeo and Juliet, taking it to a museum or “religious reasons”. The ban, which covers “sword-sticks”, samurai swords and “zombie knives” that are sold to fight zombies, isn’t working.

But it’s working well enough that many of the gangs responsible for the violence are turning to acid.

Acid attacks in London rose from 162 in 2012 to 454 last year. There have already been 199 acid attacks this year. Five acid attacks just happened in London in the space of little more than an hour.

And so the obvious new solution is drain cleaner control.

The push is on to “license” corrosive substances while banning anyone from carrying drain cleaner unless they have a good reason. When the public is banned from buying drain cleaners, then finally everyone in London will be safe. It’s worked for guns and knives. Bound to work for acid. And being stuck with a clogged toilet, like Allah Akbar car rammings, is the price we must all pay for diversity.

It’s easy to blame and ban inanimate objects. And it avoids any discussion of the perpetrators.

And to me, that is the most offensive part of all. If we don’t talk about it, if we bury the story, the story doesn’t exist. Except it does, and it is getting worse, fast. And HMG, instead of doing something useful, seems to be taking a page out of the Saudi manual, and criminalising reporting this stuff instead of prosecuting the perpetrators.

Now mind, the British justice system is rather a joke, anyway. While the prisons are rather nice, the inmates are either seriously incorrigible, or politically unconnected (near as I can tell), and that means they are simply victims there as well. But it’s very hard to get into a British prison (Rather like Tom Dart’s in Cook County, IL, in fact. And with similar results). Not sure if you can be sentenced to more than seven years for anything, probably can, but doesn’t seem to happen, and a probationary sentence for killing someone is entirely possible. Now, be careful, writing against same sex marriage will likely get you hanged, but then that is so very much worse than killing someone.

Daniel also says this:

Murders in London, like murders in most major American cities, are driven by gang violence. Behind the shootings, stabbings and acid attacks are gangs. Many of those gangs are made up of first and second generation migrants and settlers from the Muslim world. The UK’s prisons bulge with Muslim convicts. And these criminal gangs naturally feed recruits into Islamic terrorism as they do in Iraq and Syria.

Banning drain cleaner won’t stop acid attacks. Drain cleaner control is no solution. Migration control is.

Immigration from violent societies prone to terrorism is the acid that is eating away at Europe. Migration advocates have splashed acid on Britain, on America, on Australia and on Canada. The bombings and stabbings, the child rapes and acid attacks, are the burning sensation of the attack.

Yep, true enough, but you can have immigration, but only if you have and rigidly enforce laws against violence, and if you force immigrants to conform with the host country’s rule and laws. Europe, in general, and Britain in particular, are not doing so. They are hiding their head in the sand (actually up another dank and odoriferous canal) and if not checked, it will contribute to the end of Britain qua Britain.

Do read the article. Britannia is being very poorly served by her politicians and civil servants, not sure if it is misfeasance or malfeasance, but they need correction. And they need it fast, and they need it good and hard.

Britain’s global role: stepping up

Fallon

Some of you were surprised, I suspect, that I was (and am) quite taken by Theresa May as Britain’s Prime Minister. It’s true enough that I likely share more beliefs with Andrea Leedsom. But politics is the art of the possible, and in Mrs. May I saw a chance for Britain to resume its confident way, and more than anything for the Conservative Party to reunify. I don’t have many Britons horror of Nigel Farage and the UKIP. In fact, I like them, and think them very good for Britian, but that horror is there.

But one of the things we all expect from Britain is confidence in defense (or should that be defence) matters. And it looks to me that in Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defense, Mrs. May chose well. I’d like to see Americans once again speak as clearly.

FROM THE MoD…

Speech by Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence.

This year marks 70 years on from Winston Churchill’s famous speech “The Sinews of Peace” delivered in Fulton, Missouri in March 1946 in which he talked about the “special relationship.”

While that phrase is well known, it is perhaps less well known that Churchill was in the United States to receive an honorary degree from Westminster College.

An apt name as Westminster was the place he received a large part of his political education.
And Churchill more than anyone seemed to embody the will of the British people.

To the extent that both sides in the recent Referendum campaign sought to claim that he would have backed their particular position.

We can’t ever be sure how Churchill would have voted.

We do know that whatever the outcome he would have accepted the result, rolled up his sleeves and got on and delivered using all the considerable powers at his command to help us forge a new path.

Now I’m very much aware that vote has raised questions about the implications for Britain’s role in the world.

I’m here to assure you that we have a new Prime Minister

…technically a new government

…who wants Britain to continue to play a global role

…a government that is determined to make Brexit a success

…but a government that will put security front and centre of its efforts.

Today I’d like to set out the UK’s government’s approach.

It is based around 3 things.

1. Defence of our values

First, on the defence of our values of democracy, of the rule of law, and of freedom.

Back in that speech of 1946, Churchill memorably imagined an “Iron Curtain” spreading from east to west across Europe.

Today the Cold War is over but new threats continue… that spread an equally serious shadow.

In recent weeks we’ve seen the horrific truck attack on innocent men, women and children from France enjoying a summer’s evening on Bastille Day.

That attack and the others we’ve seen over the last year in places as far apart as Orlando, Brussels, Paris, Ankara, and Baghdad are similar r manifestations of extremism.

This isn’t the only danger we’re facing.

We’re seeing a resurgent Russia and a more assertive China.

We’re seeing North Korea continuing to rattle the nuclear sabre.

We’re seeing cyber attacks on states as well as companies and hybrid warfare.

Dangers which, taken together, seek to undermine our rules based international order on which the security and prosperity of ourselves and the next generation depend.

Like Churchill, we believe Britain, like the US, has a responsibility not just to defend its own security but the global system itself.

And we do have have the will and intent to respond to those threats whenever, or wherever, they come from.

Thanks to the Strategic Defence and Security Review we published before the end of last year, we are going to match that will with greater capacity.

Our SDSR gives us stronger defence with more than $200 billion to spend over the next 10 years on a more agile Joint Force with more ships, more planes, more troops at readiness, better equipment for Special Forces, and increased spend on cyber.

Let me tell you about those forces.

Last year our forces were active all round the world.

Some 80,000 soldiers deployed on more than 383 commitments during the year.

More than 30,000 sailors deployed, on over 700 ship visits, from Africa to Asia, Europe to Latin America.

More than 10,000 Royal Air Force personnel deployed in over 60 countries on operations, training exercises and defence engagement.

And we will have a similar level of effort this year.

2. Stronger NATO, stronger defence

My second point is that to defend our values we will rely on a stronger more united NATO.

And we ill continue helping that alliance to adapt.

Two years ago our Prime Minister, David Cameron then stood with your President at the Wales Summit and challenged other nations to step up, to spend more on defence and new capabilities.

Since then we have led by example.

And having honoured our pledge to meet the 2% target we’re now seeing other nations follow suit.

Twenty allies have now increased their spending since Wales and the overall decline in alliance defence spending has been halted.

As well as increasing spending, NATO has now agreed its Readiness Action Plan to ensure that the allies can respond swiftly and strongly.

Once more the UK is at the forefront of these efforts.

Our Typhoons are today conducting Baltic air-policing missions from a base in Estonia.

Our ships are making a significant contribution to NATO’s naval forces.

And we will lead NATO’s Very High Readiness Taskforce next year, with 3,000 UK troops ready to deploy within days.

And at last month’s Warsaw Summit we again helped to lead the way as NATO adapted its deterrence posture to challenges from east and south.

In the east, we are helping to reinforce the Wales’ commitment to act against aggression by delivering an enhanced forward presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.

The UK is one of four nations to lead a framework battalion, including the United States.

These battalions will be defensive in nature, but fully combat capable. Our force will be located in Estonia with 2 UK companies, a headquarters element and equipment including armoured vehicles, Javelin anti-tank guided missiles and mortars.

That contribution will be underpinned by our network of allies, including our partnerships with the French and the Danes… “multi-national by design”, reflecting the “international by design” approach in our SDSR.

In addition, to positing a formed Battalion to Estonia we will also deploy a company group of troops to Poland.

We also continue to train the Ukrainian Armed Forces with a further 4,000 troops due to be trained by this year.

All this is NATO’s response to Russian aggression.

A response rooted in balancing strong defence and dialogue.

Dialogue where it is right and in our interests to deliver hard messages to promote transparency and build the understanding necessary to avoid the risk of miscalculation.

As well as its efforts in the east, the alliance is also enhancing its role in the south.

We are increasingly seeing unstable, or fragile states threaten our collective security.

Putting a greater onus on NATO’s role in tackling potential conflict at source.

And following the Wales Summit NATO now has a defence capacity building initiative, to provide more tailored support to project stability.

And we will conduct more training and capacity building under a NATO auspices inside Iraq.

NATO’s biggest operation is its Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. That mission has helped local forces take on the responsibility for providing security across their country.

As a leading member of NATO, it is right that we stand by our allies and the Afghan people as they seek to build a safer Afghanistan because that also helps to keep our streets safe.

So next year, we will be increasing our t troop contribution by 10% to help build the capacity of the Afghan security institutions. And let me welcome the United States’ on going commitment to that particular mission.

Finally, we have promoted and supported initiatives that respond to the longer-term demands of 21st century warfare with initiatives on cyber and hybrid warfare among others agreed at Warsaw.

Nuclear deterrent

But if our defence and deterrence are to retain their credibility, they must respond to both conventional and nuclear dangers.

NATO remains a nuclear alliance, and our independent nuclear deterrent in Britain makes a key contribution to the overall security of the alliance.

That’s contribution recognised by the Warsaw Communiqué, and I quote:

“The independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France have a deterrent role of their own and contribute to the overall security of the alliance. These allies’ separate centres of decision making contribute to deterrence by complicating the calculations of potential adversaries.”

And what’s clear to us, as the world becomes more dangerous and unpredictable, is that the nuclear threat has not gone away. If anything, it is increasing.

We can’t today second guess the sorts of extreme threats to our very existence that we might face in the 2030s, 2040s and 2050s.

So our deterrent gives us that priceless advantage so that our adversaries know that the cost of an attack on the UK or our allies will always be far greater than anything it might hope to gain.

So our Defence Review committed to building 4 new Successor submarines to replace the Vanguard class which start going out of service in the early 2030s.

On Monday this week the Prime Minister made it her first duty in Parliament to lead the debate on renewing that nuclear deterrent.

And the House of Commons voted by an overwhelming majority of 355, over 100 more than when it was last debated in 2007, to maintain our deterrent to protect our way of life and that of our allies.

3. US-UK partnership

A powerful NATO is vital to our future.

So too are our key bilateral relationships.

And leaving the EU means will be we will be working harder to commit to NATO and our key allies.

We are now focused on reshaping our relationship with Europe, restoring sovereignty to the British Parliament but making sure our security, and trading relationship remain strong, while we forge new relationships right across the globe

70 years on from Churchill’s speech, the UK still has no stronger ally than the US.

We’re proud that together we continue to lead the world on security.

Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in our operations against Daesh.

At the end of last year, the UK erased the stain of its previous Syria vote in Parliament in 2013 with the new Parliament voting overwhelmingly to extend our airstrikes from Iraq to Syria.

Since then we’ve upped the intensity of our efforts.

Our aircrews have conducted more airstrikes in Iraq and Syria than any other country other than the United States.

Our aircraft are co-ordinating Coalition aircraft and providing a significant amount of the Coalition’s overall ISR.

And those collective efforts are paying off. Daesh has lost 40% of the territory it once held. Major progress has been made in the key cities of Ramadi, Hit and Fallujah.

But we’re going this year to go further.

At the Counter Daesh ministerial. which I have just come from, we have focused on reviewing our campaign plan and building on the progress we’ve already seen in the Euphrates River Valley and Tigris River Valley.

And we are responding to calls for the Coalition to accelerate its efforts by increasing our presence in Iraq.

We will be sending additional trainers to Al Asad Airbase in Western Iraq to instruct more Iraqi Troops in how they counter improvised explosive devices, improve infantry skills and provide combat first aid.

Those extra trainers will be working closely with US and Danish forces, providing training to the Iraqi Army 7th Division to their Border Guards and Federal Police.

We’re providing more people to assist in guarding the airbase, personnel to form an HQ to command the mission, and an engineering squadron to build the necessary infrastructure.

Those efforts as part of the Counter-Daesh coalition are just a small illustration of our co-operation with the US.

A collaboration as broad as it is deep.

And that joint-working is only set to intensify.

On exercises we’ve recently agreed to integrate a UK division more effectively into a US corps.

And on equipment there’s on going collaboration on F-35 and a week ago we saw this fifth generation fighter soaring over our new Queen Elizabeth carrier from whose decks they will fly in years to come.

And I look forward to the day when not only do our planes fly from your carriers but your planes too fly from ours.

And our carriers will be protected by another of our new equipment collaborations.

Our 9 new P-8 maritime patrol aircraft whose multi-billion dollar purchase I announced last week…alongside a further decision to buy 50 Apache attack helicopters.

But besides thinking of today’s technologies, we’re looking together with the US to tomorrow’s.

Last year, on his visit to London, Ash Carter and I challenged our 2 teams to develop together new technologies, new disruptive capabilities and new concepts of operation.

And we’re now seizing on the exciting opportunities. Last week, we announced the first project to develop autonomous robotic technologies…driverless technology that can ferry equipment over that last, most dangerous mile up to the frontline

That’s the kind of collaboration that will help us maintain the West’s technological edge.

And it’s that fraternal association between Britain and the US that Churchill was speaking about 70 years ago when he said:

“If all British moral and material forces and convictions are joined with your own in fraternal association, the high roads of the future will be clear, not only for us but for all, not only for our time, but for a century to come”

Conclusion

In conclusion, let me reassure you, Britain is not stepping back. On the contrary, we’re stepping up.

Standing up for our values.

Strengthening NATO.

Backing our nuclear deterrent.

And seeking a stronger alliance than ever with you in the US.

There’s been much speculation in recent weeks about our defence and security policy.

Let me reassure you.

The UK is leaving the EU.

But we’ve not forgotten that deterrence and defence are underpinned by cohesion and solidarity.

We’re still committed to those vital sinews of peace.

And we remain committed to European security and we are not turning our back on Europe or the world.

from Ministry of Defence – Activity on GOV.UK http://ift.tt/2adSNZ6

 

via Speech: Britain’s global role: stepping up – Think Defence

Inquisition Against ‘Climate Change Disbelievers’: and More

Harvey-Proctor-George-BellSomething here that we, and the Brits, had best start thinking about, read the articles, and then we’ll talk.

Beginning in 1478, the Spanish Inquisition systematically silenced any citizen who held views that did not align with the king’s. Using the powerful arm of the government, the grand inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada, and his henchmen sought out all those who held religious, scientific, or moral views that conflicted with the monarch’s, punishing the “heretics” with jail sentences; property confiscation; fines; and in severe cases, torture and execution.

One of the lasting results of the Spanish Inquisition was a stifling of speech, thought, and scientific debate throughout Spain. By treating one set of scientific views as absolute, infallible, and above critique, Spain silenced many brilliant individuals and stopped the development of new ideas and technological innovations. Spain became a scientific backwater.

As an old adage says, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. So we now have a new inquisition underway in America in the 21st century—something that would have seemed unimaginable not too long ago.

Treating climate change as an absolute, unassailable fact, instead of what it is—an unproven, controversial scientific theory—a group of state attorneys general have announced that they will be targeting any companies that challenge the catastrophic climate change religion.

Speaking at a press conference on March 29, New York Attorney General EricSchneiderman said, “The bottom line is simple: Climate change is real.” He went on to say that if companies are committing fraud by “lying” about the dangers of climate change, they will “pursue them to the fullest extent of the law.”

The coalition of 17 inquisitors are calling themselves “AGs United for Clean Power.” The coalition consists of 15 state attorneys general (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington State), as well as the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. Sixteen of the seventeen members are Democrats, while the attorney general for the Virgin Islands, Claude Walker, is an independent.

The inquisitors are threatening legal action and huge fines against anyone who declines to believe in an unproven scientific theory.

The inquisitors are threatening legal action and huge fines against anyone who declines to believe in an unproven scientific theory.

Schneiderman and Kamala Harris, representing New York and California, respectively, have already launched investigations into ExxonMobil for allegedly funding research that questioned climate change. Exxon emphatically denounced the accusations as false, pointing out that the investigation that “uncovered” this research was funded by advocacy foundations that publicly support climate change activism.

via 16 Democrat AGs Begin Inquisition Against ‘Climate Change Disbelievers’

Also this morning:

“Credible and true” is how the police described the evidence against former Tory MP Harvey Proctor. He had been taken in and questioned under the aegis of ‘Operation Midland’ – Scotland Yard’s investigation into allegations of a historic Westminster paedophile ring which serviced the needs of gay politicians throughout the 1970s and 80s, and then apparently kept their sordid assignations secret by murdering some of the boys who did the servicing. To be accused of being a serial child-murder and of the sexual abuse of children is a serious thing. You would expect the police to act on such an allegation, especially if they judged the evidence to be not only sufficiently credible to pass the file to the CPS, but true enough to secure a conviction.

But the investigation was halted, and the case against Harvey Proctor has been dropped. Having trashed the man’s name and splashed it about all over the media on the strength of one solitary, anonymous and uncorroborated allegation from decades ago, the Met told Harvey Proctor that he was no longer a suspected serial child-murderer and paedophile, and that everything was now just fine and dandy, thank you very much. The evidence that was once deemed to be both credible and true is now seemingly neither.

Harvey Proctor’s accuser was a man called ‘Nick’ (his real identity has not been disclosed). As a result of these allegations, Harvey Proctor has lost his livelihood and home. “I have been pilloried and the Metropolitan Police Service has enabled and allowed me to be wrongly depicted as a paedophile, child abuser and child murderer on the back of a liar,” he said. “Nothing the police do or say, no weasel words of regret, can remove that indelible stain. I hope they are proud of themselves for irreparably ruining my life.” Whatever he now does; however he proceeds; whichever way he turns, Harvey Proctor’s name will be forever associated with the whiff of paedophilia.

via Archbishop Cranmer

And again this morning

George Bell was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 to 1958. I first came across him when working on Churchill, who clearly found the good bishop a great trial. On one level this might seem odd, since Bell was one of the earliest opponents of Nazism, and at a time when public policy in the UK was one of trying to find accommodation with Hitler, Bell’s view was that his system was so evil that that would be impossible. He worked closely with ‘confessing churches’ in Germany which refused to join the official Reichkirche, and he worked tirelessly to help Jewish refugees, especially those who were Christian converts who were often not helped by anyone else. Bell also supported those in Germany who wanted to overthrow Hitler, and the last letter the great Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote was to Bell. One might, therefore, have imagine that the great anti-appeaser, Churchill, would have admired Bell, and perhaps even have recommended him for the See of Canterbury upon William Temple’s sudden death in 1944; he didn’t and he didn’t. Why?

T.S. Eliot described Bell as a man of ‘dauntless integrity’ – and that was his undoing in Churchill’s eyes. Bell detested Nazism with every fibre of his being, but he did not think barbarism should be fought with barbarism. He was an early, consistent and vocal opponent of area bombing – which brought him public opprobrium and the hostility of Churchill – and lost him the chance of Canterbury.

via All along the Watchtower

The thing is, in all cases, these are witch hunts, staged for political purposes. In the last two cases, the allegations, although they strike me as very unlikely, could be true. But so what? The defendants are dead, they are no longer in human jurisdiction, and we (British or American) have no extradition treaty with either God nor Devil.

Find Law tells us:

The 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution sets out many rights for defendants during a criminal prosecution, including the right of the accused to confront their accusers. The relevant text of the Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment reads as follows: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him.

The 14th Amendment has made the 6th Amendment’s right to confrontation applicable to state court as well as federal court.

The confrontation clause guarantees criminal defendants the opportunity to face the prosecution’s witnesses in the case against them and dispute the witnesses’ testimony. This guarantee applies to both statements made in court and statements made outside of court that are offered as evidence during trial.

How does that work out when you are dead? Here, in a PDF we may also read this:

The right of an accused to face one’s accusers is regarded as an old and venerable tradition. The history of the right to confrontation can be traced back to Roman law. The Roman Governor Festus is reported to have made the following comments regarding a prisoner: ?It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man up to die before the accused has met his accusers face to face, and has been given a chance to defend himself against the charges.”1 Thus, early Roman law recognised that the law does not convict a man before he is given an opportunity to defend himself face-to-face with his accusers.2 For centuries, the English also practised a form of confrontation that required an open and face-toface system, described as ?altercation”.3 Indeed, the justice of bringing accusing witnesses before the accused has been acknowledged for at least 1,500 years.4 Therefore, the right to confrontation has a lineage that can be traced back to the beginnings of Western legal culture.

It seems to me, that what connects all these cases, and many more, it firstly: to deny people the right to a fair trial, by publically denouncing them even before indicted, and sometimes, as in Bishop Bell’s case by the denouncing done by the police themselves, even though they had essentially no case. Where else do we see this type of misbehavior? Yes, you have it one, on our college campuses, where to be innocent of (especially) sex crimes is not enough, because one is guilty unless one can prove otherwise, which is completely antithetical to the rule of law, not to mention polite society. It is the war of all on all.

Thomas Hobbes said:

“To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.

“No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”

That is the course we are, increasingly, on.

Provide for the Common Defense

CT57UEaXIAEpS78I want to pick up on some of Jess’ points which she made so well, yesterday. She’s right, very few of the refugees had much of anything to do with causing the problems in Middle East. But there is also this, the highest duty of our secular governments, is to ‘provide for the common defense’.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a duty to help them, but it does mean we have the right to control who we allow into our countries, and we should not allow those who seek to destroy them. That is plain common sense. it is also one of the reasons, we set up governments, in the first place.

She’s also right, that America, not least because of the calumny directed at her for the last few decades (and other reasons) does appear to be returning to our historical outlook. We are remembering John Quincy Adams words:

Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America’s] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.

And that is much of what we are seeing happen, and we don’t like it. And so if Europe is to be defended, it will likely be up to Europe to do so. Mostly we have decided that three times in the last century is enough. And it is, it has dislocated our economy and our theory of government, but those ogres were so big, that we knew Europe would succumb.

It it succumbs to radical Islam though, it will be from essentially suicide. Andrew Bolt wrote recently in the Melbourne Herald Sun:

Why Brussels? Why have Muslim terrorists in Brussels this week slaughtered 34 civilians in the city’s airport and underground?

Why did Muslim terrorists from Brussels earlier join the Islamic State attack in Paris that killed 130 people?

Why did a Muslim terrorist in Brussels kill four people at the city’s Jewish museum? Why did Muslim terrorists from Brussels have a deadly shootout with police last year and again last week? Why have an astonishing 450 Belgian Muslims–the vast majority from Brussels–served with Islamic State?

The answer? There are now 300,000 Muslims in Brussels. That’s why.

Brussels is Europe’s biggest Muslim city, home to a virtual colony large enough to sustain its own culture and hide entire networks of terrorists from the police. What’s more, the huge Muslim enclave is in a European country already torn between its Flemish and Walloon halves, making newcomers in this militantly multicultural land more likely to take refuge in their own ethnic identity, too.

But maybe it’s already too late.

The vast demographic experiment of the West–importing largely unskilled immigrants from an essentially hostile culture–has failed and cannot be undone.

Europe is now paying the deadly price. There have been mass murders by Muslim extremists in Madrid, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Brussels and Toulouse.

There have been attacks on cartoonists in Denmark, riots against Jews in Paris, a rape epidemic in Scandinavia, pack attacks on women in Cologne and the assassination in Amsterdam of a film director who mocked Islam.

And more every week.

Leslie Loftus wrote in The Federalist after the attacks on France last fall:

The hashtags might fly. The city skylines will glow in thick stripes of red, white, and blue. The politicians and so many others will publicly claim a prayer to a God that many of them don’t believe in. We will put on a good show of caring, but the harsh truth is, we aren’t coming.

We remain at heart as our sixth president had described. Unless we elect one of the Cuban senators, Americans will not come to Europe’s aid until they are in chains or on their knees and we feel the threat on our own shores. Perhaps that will happen faster than in the past, but students of history know that is how this story goes.

“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new’? It has been already in the ages before us” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10).

And that is, as always, true.

BRUSSELS ATTACKS: SUPPRESSING THE FACTS AND MUZZLING THE TRUTH

The Embattled Farmer

The Embattled Farmer

Well, we’re going to let the real world in here, for a bit. I seem to think I should mention a bit about the terrorist attack in Brussels.

It’s a terrible tragedy, and the victims and their families have my sympathy. But no one should really be surprised.

Weakness always invites attack. That’s one of the things Jessica was talking about yesterday as she spoke of The Man who shot Liberty VallanceBecause Ransome Stoddard looked weak to Liberty Valance, and indeed in a physical sense he was, but moral courage sometimes needs to be protected by rough men like Tom Doniphan.

And so it is today in Europe, as western civilization crumbles back into chaos. Europe has a dearth of rough men willing to challenge Islamic terrorism. Maybe the continent is simply worn out from the wars of the twentieth century, but that’s how history works.

Today, I hear some crying that we should simply nuke them. Well, one doesn’t fight evil by becoming evil. I think we really are degrading them, we could likely work harder at it, but we are having an effect. One does not if he is a real man, indiscriminately kill whole populations, at least if he has other options. We do.

The weapon that symbolizes America is the rifle, not the IED. Why, because a rifle defends against evil, only going after the evil, not all. And that ethos is exactly why we have developed missiles that can be used almost like a sniper rifle. It’s an extension of the old American canard, “One man, one bullet. Yes as Jess said earlier, men, all men, do bad things in war, that is the way it is. But civilized men do not do evil things by plan. Civilized people do not murder. That’s why the cold war, for all the tensions, never went hot.

But, understand this, this is not a political ploy, although many will fit into their reference as His Grace outlines below. It will be settled only one way, with cold steel, and hot lead. If Europe can not deal with that; Europe will die. And if America has learned anything in the last 20 years, it is that we cannot make men free, that is their right, and their duty, and they shirk it at their peril.

Here’s a bit from Archbishop Cranmer.

To every thing there is a season..
..a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak..

(Ecclesiastes 3:1,4,7)

Horror, disgust and incredulity come first, usually followed by tears, heartbreak and compassion. And sometimes there’s a prayer, even from the non-believer.

Each of us processes dismay and deals with grief differently. For some, they are dissected, scrutinised and embalmed within minutes; for others, they gnaw at the soul for weeks and months, and the consecrated mourning becomes a shrine in the temple of sacred memory. Anyone who profanes the holiness, let him (or her) be anathema.

Telegraph journalist Allison Pearson tweeted this swift response to the terrorist atrocities in Brussels:

Allison Pearson

“What a horror you are,” responded the SNP’s Alyn Smith MEP in equal haste. “Dust not even settled and you try to make a political point? For shame.”

Perhaps Ms Pearson had processed her dismay and grief a little quicker than Mr Smith managed to, but either way, it seemed insensitive and indecent, to say the least, to score points off Islamist bombs in Brussels for the Leave/Brexit cause. And yet..

via Archbishop Cranmer.

A wise dead white man once said:

Si vis pacem, para bellum

That man was Vegetius, and his people, the Romans didn’t listen.

It translates as,”if you want peace, prepare for war.” True then, true now, will be true until the second coming.

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