Saturday, October 07, 2006

Book Review: Londonistan

The rise of Muslim extremism in Europe is a story that has, thankfully, received more and more attention these past few years. Melanie Phillips makes clear in her book Londonistan that the problem is particularly acute in her home country.

"Londonistan" is the name given to the British capital by French security officials outraged at the British refusal to extradite Algerian terrorist Rachid Ramda claiming he could not get a fair trial in France(!) It took the French 3 requests and 10 years before they finally got their man. During the 80s and 90s, it became well-known among the security forces of Europe that the UK was becoming a terrorist haven. Time and again the warned the British, who did nothing. The inevitable came about in July of 2005 whem Muslim terrorists bombed the London Underground.

How this state of affairs came about is the subject of Phillip's book. It is a must read for anyone interested in our current war.

How bad is it? According various surveys on British Muslims that Phillips cites in her book
- Up to 16,000 are actively engaged or support terrorist activities
- Up to 3,000 have actually gone though al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan
- Several hundred are "thought to be primed to attack the United Kingdom"
- 61% want to be governed by Sharia law "as long as the penalties did not contravene British law", a clear contradiction.
- 26% say they have no loyalty to Britain
- 13% defended terrorism
- 15% suported the 9/11 attacks on the United States

Given these numbers, it is cold comfort to hear that we shouldn't worry because the majority of Muslims do not want to kill us. Other surveys that I have written about show similar results.

The British people are well aware of the danger of Muslim extremism. The problems, Phillps says, are twofold. One, they blame American, British, and Israeli policy for their problems, and two, they are so indoctrinated by leftist multiculturalism that they are unable to act even when the problem is staring them in the face.

Many casual observers of the news in America, I think, tend to assume that because Tony Blair is such a staunch ally in the War on Terror (or whatever we're going to call it), most Britains are too. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is that there are two countries; Tony Blair and everyone else. Even British conservatives are virulently anti-George Bush. No one has the political will to do anything about the extremists in their midst.

And as Phillips makes clear, London is indeed the central hub of European Islamic terror. She reels off name after name of extremist organizations and people, and even outright suspected terrorists, who have taken up residence in London, all with the knowledge and even acquiensence of the British government. Government the world around lodged protest after protest as suspected terrorists that the were after took up refuge in London, and the British government refused to extradite them, each time for one human rights concern or another.

No doubt there are often legitimate concerns over how a suspect will be treated when extradited to a country like Russia. And if that were all there was to it then British concerns would at least sometimes be legitimate.

But refusal to extradite raises the questions of why suspected or even known terrorists were let into Britain in the first place, and why there are being coddled once there.

There were several reasons for this attitude. One, British officials made a de facto "deal" with the extremists; we'll give you all the benefits of our welfare state as long as you don't attack us. That agreement, however, was declared null and void by the Islamists when Britain joined the United States in the invasion of Afghanistan. Second, the British simply do not understand the concept of religious fanatacism or how seriously it is taken by the Islamists. The British are used to dealing with the IRA, which was a secular(even Marxist) group that had specific territorial and political goals. third, from their colonial experience the British believed that appeasement was the best way to deal with extremists. Lastly, the Foreign Office convinced everyone that Muslim extremists were only people upset by various things overseas and that none of it had anything to do with the UK.

The British police have been almost completely paralyzed into inaction by the fear of being called "racist". Phillips cites example after example of political correctness taken to absurd lengths. The police are more concerned with Muslim "sensitivities" than in fighting crime.

Multiculturalism has almost completely destroyed the country's sense of nationhood. It is considered "racist" to teach British history in any manner other than to suggest that the English were the greatest oppressors in world history. The government has given up much of it's sovereignty to the transnational institutions such as theInternational Criminal Court, the European Court of Justice, and the European Union. Patriotism, as we understand it in America (and I stress from either a liberal or conservative viewpoint), is all but dead and buried. The consequence is that Britons have nothing to believe in, and as a result do not have the psychological fortitude to confront the danger posed by the Islamists among them.

British Muslims are deeply alienated from the country that has given them refuge. They see and hear the multiculturalist propaganda that the UK is a racist country with a history of oppression, and, big surprise, they believe it. The surveys cited above provide alarming evidence of this. Further, British Muslims live in cloistered communities, completely separate from other Britons. While other minorities, such as Hindus have had no problem assimilating, Muslims refuse to do so. All of this is exacerbated by the vast amount of hate-filled propaganda brought into Britain from Muslim countries, and disseminated by satellite TV, ethnic newspapers, and preached from Mosques. Any criticism is taken as an assault on Islam itself.

While the American people support Israel by overwheming margins, just the opposite is true in Britain. They have completely bought into the Muslim view that Israel is the evil oppressor of the Palestinians. Because the United States supports Israel, we are supporting an unjust country. Most Britains believe that the Israeli/Palestinian conflice is simply over land that can be negotiated away, much like was done in Northern Ireland. Therefore, it is our fault that Islamic terrorists strike our two countries. All trhis would change, they believe, if only the UK and US would change their Middle East policies.

Just as David Horowitz has documented for the United States, Phillips shows how the hard left in Britain has allied itself with Muslim radicals. The left knows that the Muslims are antithetical to their own views, but the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" it a temptation too strong to resist. Leftists believe that they can exploit the Islamists and keep their own purity as long as they keep their distance.

Exacerbating all this is a media that is prevasively anti-Israel. The BBC is the worst offender, the problem being made more difficult by the fact that it is essentially a state-run monopoly. The diversity of news outlets that we enjoy in the United States is simply not available in the UK.

In the United States, Christian churches help lead the defense of Western values, and evangelicans in particular are among the most staunch supporters of Israel. Not so in Britain. Few people go to church in the UK, or Western Europe at all, for that matter, and not many more profess any serious belief in Christianity. The Church of England has responded by adopting the new religion of multiculturalism and moral relativism. Far from providing the people with guide to moral and ethical thinking, it has become a leader in the appeasement movement. Phillips documents time after time whereby church leaders attempt to de-legitimize Israel and excuse Muslim terror.

Her conclusion is that Britain is in a state of denial about the threat it has allowed to grow within it. Rather than confront the extremists, it prefers to appease them. Muslim extremists see this as weakness and have learned how to manipulate the British. Phillips explains the result:
The fervent embrace of "victim culture" means instead that this minority has to be treated on its own assessment as a victim of the majority and its grievances attended to on the grounds that it is these grievances that are the cause of terrorism. At the same time, however, this minority disavows any connection with terrorism and vilifies anyuone who dares suggest the contrary. This Britain is being foced to act on the basis that if it does not do so it will be attacked - by the people who claim that terrorism runs totally counter to the values of their religion, but then demand that the grievances of members of that religion are addressed as the price of averting further attacks.
Does she exaggerate? Consider some recent stories from a variety of news sources

* The Sun reports that a British Muslim policeman was assigned to guard the Israeli Embassy and who refused to do so citing "moral grounds after the Israeli bombing of Lebanon." His request was granted.

* Another story in The Telegraph tells of a British paratrooper, wounded in Afghanistan and recovering in a hospital, who was threatened by a Muslim visitor over his countries involvement in the Afghan war. "You have been killing my Muslim brothers in Afghanistan," the man said. Far from being an isolated incident, other soldiers at the hospital have complained that they fear for their safety also.

* Returning British soldiers have good reason to be worried for their safety. The Sun tells of how Muslim youths vandalized a house to prevent four veterans of the Afghan war from moving in. The officers were going to stay at the house while they rested from their ordeal in the war.

* Art Museums often cancel or refuse to show works that might cause offense among Muslims. The Guardian reports that an exibition by a Bangladeshi-British photographer was removed because one of the photos was of a semi-naked woman. When queried, the museum admitted that " it had acted on a complaint from a member of the Muslim arts group Artists Circle." A Reuters story describes another incident in which the Whitechapel Art Gallery removed works by surealist artist Hans Bellmer so as not to offend local Muslims.

* When Britons object to Muslim intimidation, they are told that they are "insensitive. The Daily Mail reports that a Muslim taxi driver refused to pick up a blind lady because she had her guide dog with her. Dogs are considered "unclean" by Muslims, explained the driver, and it would be contrary to his religion to let it in his taxi. When the lady complained to the taxi company, she was told that she was being insensitive to Muslims. Although the government has fined the company, the driver " remained defiant and insisted that he would continue refusing passengers accompanied by guide dogs."

* The problems extend beyond the UK. The Telegraph recently printed a bombshell story about "no go zones" for police in France. A French police union official said that they were "in a state of civil war" with the inhabitants of Muslim enclaves, and that the violence had gotten so bad that an average of 14 police officers were being wounded every day, with a total of 2,500 police casualties for the year. In October and November of last year thousands of cars were burned, and hundreds arrested when Muslim youths went on a weeks-long rampage throughout France.

* While a tip line that the FBI has set up in the US has seen much use,
reports that "German counter-intelligence officials are dismayed at how passive German Moslems have been towards the threat of Islamic terrorism." A tip line set up by German security officials to take calls on suspected terrorist activity has received little use by the country's Muslims.

* And although the situation in the United States is not that of Europe, we shouldn't be complacent. The headline of this Washington Post story is "America's Muslims Aren't as Assimilated as You Think", and goes on to say that "...the real story of American Muslims is one of accelerating alienation from the mainstream of U.S. life, with Muslims in this country choosing their Islamic identity over their American one."

The good news is that there is an increasing sense of outrage among British newspapers about the threat. The bad news is that they blame their own foreign policy for their troubles. As such, they are effectively letting the radical Muslims blackmail them.

Phillips offers a number of things that might be done to amelorate the problem in Britain. Expelling radicals would be a good place to start, she says, but this would require repealing it's Human Rights Act, and withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on Refugees. They would ban extremist organizations and recognize that the problem is radical Islam, not British and American foreign policy . She also admits that virtually none of these ideas stand much chance of being implimented, and unfortunately she is right. Her book is a timely warning that the British face a dangerous future.

All of my book reviews can be found on my webpage here.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kofi Annan - War Criminal

The Sunday Times of London has a piece that removes any doubt that Kofi Annan is one of the worst and most destructive men ever to have headed the insane asylum known as the UN (hat tip LGF and Powerline). The piece examines Annan's tenure at the UN, first as bureaucrat and then as Secretary General. Money quote
A more specific charge would be that, under the doctrine of command responsibility, the UN is guilty of war crimes. Broadly speaking, it has three principles: that a commander ordered atrocities to be carried out, that he failed to stop them, despite being able to, or failed to punish those responsible. The case rests on the second, that in Rwanda in 1994, in Srebrenica in 1995 and in Darfur since 2003, the UN knew war crimes were occurring or about to occur, but failed to stop them, despite having the means to do so.

Yep. That's how Dore Gold laid it out in his book, Tower of Babel, too.

Here's the part leading up to that quote
The bodies were still warm when Lieutenant Ron Rutten found them: nine corpses in civilian clothes lying crumpled by a stream, each shot in the back at close range. It was July 12, 1995, and the UN-declared “safe area” of Srebrenica had fallen the previous day. The lush pastures of eastern Bosnia were about to become Europe’s bloodiest killing fields since 1945.

Refugees poured into the UN compound. But the Dutch peacekeepers (Dutchbat) were overwhelmed and the Serbs confiscated their weapons. “From the moment I found those bodies, it was obvious to me that the Bosnian Serbs planned to kill all the men,” Rutten said. He watched horrified as Dutch troops guided the men and boys onto the Serb buses.

Srebrenica is rarely mentioned nowadays in Annan’s offices on the 38th floor of the UN secretariat building in New York. He steps down in December after a decade as secretary-general. His retirement will be marked by plaudits. But behind the honorifics and the accolades lies a darker story: of incompetence, mismanagement and worse. Annan was the head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) between March 1993 and December 1996. The Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 men and boys and the slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda happened on his watch. In Bosnia and Rwanda, UN officials directed peacekeepers to stand back from the killing, their concern apparently to guard the UN’s status as a neutral observer. This was a shock to those who believed the UN was there to help them.

Annan’s term has also been marked by scandal: from the sexual abuse of women and children in the Congo by UN peacekeepers to the greatest financial scam in history, the UN-administered oil-for-food programme. Arguably, a trial of the UN would be more apt than a leaving party.

The charge sheet would include guarding its own interests over those it supposedly protects; endemic opacity and lack of accountability; obstructing investigations, promoting the inept and marginalising the dedicated. Such accusations can be made against many organisations. But the UN is different. It has a moral mission.

It was founded by the allies in 1945 to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights”. Its key documents – the Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the genocide convention – are the most advanced formulation of human rights in history. And they have been flouted by UN member states for decades.

A more specific charge would be that, under the doctrine of command responsibility, the UN is guilty of war crimes. Broadly speaking, it has three principles: that a commander ordered atrocities to be carried out, that he failed to stop them, despite being able to, or failed to punish those responsible. The case rests on the second, that in Rwanda in 1994, in Srebrenica in 1995 and in Darfur since 2003, the UN knew war crimes were occurring or about to occur, but failed to stop them, despite having the means to do so.
It goes on like this for several pages. Read the whole thing and then tell me that we should stay in the UN.