Sep 01 2014

Slouching Towards the End of History

Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 6:52 pm

From American Thinker.Com

The famous (or once famous) psychologist Emile Coué initiated a school of hypnotic auto-suggestion that can be summed up with the phrase: “Every day and every way, things are getting better.” This mantra raises optimism to the caliber of a secular faith, and if we combine this mental fancy with History’s supposed “inevitable” impetus towards technological and moral progress, then sooner or later it’s a lead pipe cinch that we will be able to lasso our own happiness or legislate good intentions with a twitch of our noses. One can see the upshot of such a psychological conviction in Obama’s recent remark — a declaration that “the world is less violent that it has ever been.” Note to history: you are falling on your ass. Islam Ascendant is setting fires throughout Gaia and its zeitgeist is wholly inconsistent with a Golden Age — unless you are in the camp of the “Religion of Peace.” To this charge, one may recall Tacitus’ dictum: “We created a wasteland, and named it peace.”  So in all fairness, the perspective of the “peace of the dead” is perhaps Islam’s unique contribution to humanity.

The idea present in all philosophical theories of historical/social evolution, from H.G. Wells to G.W.F. Hegel, is that progress is deterministic. Thus, Enlightenment and the “March of God” in the world are on virtual autopilot. And even if Hegel’s God willed Hitler’s global bloodbath, the world is nevertheless moving towards greater and greater conjoining spheres of freedom, till eventually, we all arrive at the front porch of the End of History. Ding Dong! Can we have an Enlightenment Sandwich, please?

The Hegelian philosopher Francis Fukuyama produced his prescient tome The End of History when I was still in Grad School, and the thesis was this: Communism was as dead as a doornail and the last great dialectic had been resolved in favor of liberal democracy’s blessed synthesis. Thereafter, the procession of world regimes would halt, philosophy would disappear and the political art would content itself to a mere tinkering around utopia’s edges. God as History, (Big “H”) in grand Teutonic fashion, would soon unveil Himself in the cloak of “the world homogenous state.” Indeed, the Aquarian Age seemed at hand and liberalism as a force had prevailed. Now all restaurants would be Taco Bell.

The only problem was that someone forgot to memo Fundamentalist Islam… or Mr. Putin for that matter. Sometimes dialectics don’t remain synthesized.

But seriously folks, the niggling question remained: how can the procession of greater freedom in the world be driven by a process that was deterministic — or “unfree?” The answer, I suppose, is that you just have to get your mind right and embrace the utopia that’s coming around the bend like a cattle car bound for Auschwitz. In Rousseau’s terms, you may be “forced to be free:” which casts a pall on those Aquarian prognostications of free love, free stuff, and maybe having enough weed to take the edge off the mental hospitals and concentration camps that will house the retrograde non-compliant — Bad-Thinkers all. If Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, then Freedom is an unmarked plot — six feet from head to toe.

As for Historical Determinism, I call B.S. I believe we live in the best of all possible worlds, considering that pesky thing called free will that God felt obligated to grant us. Indeed, automatons can’t love, create, or enjoy beauty in a meaningful way, and these characteristics are the greatest attributes of the Christian God. But free will hasn’t been a cakewalk. After getting the bum’s rush out of the Garden, we had to toughen up a lot and get used to life amongst the thorns and toadstools. It’s no paradise, but it’s the only game in town since it is a logical impossibility for God to create beings that are both free and incapable of choosing the sour over the sweet — like crafting the proverbial one-ended stick. Because of that sin and disobedience thing, we won’t get around to building that heaven on earth a la “Star Trek”. However, we are promised, if we are somewhat faithful, that in the next life the worm in our characters will be dug out and that every tear shall be dried. So we got that going for us. Until then, we have to use the better part of our discretion and not set our hearts on the promises of every teleprompter genius with a crappy golf handicap. In the long view, the procession of history has its irony built-in, and even some of the greatest minds have revealed themselves as Bozos when it all shook out. Hubris is the downfall of the intellectual class, and the fashioning of the City of Man is always subject to that same fatal flaw: that men could not read the tea leaves of their own natures and were infatuated with their own intoxicating brilliance. Sort of like the audacity of the audacious.

If we keep in mind that nothing is inevitable, then we have a good chance of retaining our freedoms and our humility. Historically, sometimes the barbarian who has done his pushups wins out over the Progressive longhairs speculating on beauty in their thinkatoriums and enjoying Opera Night at the Kennedy Center. What Fundamentalist Islam lacks in technology, they make up in incalculable viciousness, guile, and inexorable demographics. If we are not careful, Fukuyama’s “End of History” may come to pass. However, it won’t be characterized by cheap tolerance and materialist glut, but by burkhas and the universal homogeneity of the Caliphate. The irony that attends prophecy, even the modern intellectual variety, is renowned for its cruel turns.

In contrast, our Founders, knowing what jerks even the best of us could be, built their sober edifice on lower but firmer ground — preferring to sidestep the charge of imprudence and impiety that comes with building lofty towers to hurl spears at the Face of Providence. Instead of constructing that terrible heaven of liberte’, egalite’, and fraternite’  – with its razor-sharp Guillotines of Reason, our Framers humbly erected those drab, inefficient, and provincial bulwarks — thwarting the accumulation of unmixed power and hamstringing the inevitable explosive association of smart guys like Obama and their dark propensity towards political catastrophe. In the end, those bitten by the “Will to Utopia” bug remain suspect, just as their policies are the same tinderbox they have always been — ever since Nimrod got his first big idea while sizing up the neighborhood. When it all comes down to dust, Ozymandias’ eternal monument is just another surface for a Bedouin to urinate against.

Because they believed in the possibility of human freedom, our Political Fathers made provision to maintain liberty through combining the enigmatic tension of our greatest strength and weakness: the wary skepticism of placing our necks on the chopping block of our neighbor’s altruism. Considering what they have accomplished, those Dead White Men and their cautious Constitution have proven themselves wise beyond history’s wildest dreams.

Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He welcomes your correspondence at arete5000@dslextreme.com.  He can be followed at www.stubbornthings.org and on Twittter.

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Sep 01 2014

Jihad Watch: News Index - 1st September 2014

Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 2:37 pm

From Jihad Watch.Org

Islamic supremacists enraged: Michigan Governor affirms Israel’s right to exist at Hamas-linked ISNA convention

Sep 01, 2014 01:17 am | Robert Spencer

Islamic supremacist academic propagandist Hatem “Hate ‘em” Bazian, a professor of “Islamophobia” at (where else?) the University of California Berkeley, has equated the Boston jihad bombings with “Islamophobia” and, several years ago, called for an “intifada” in the U.S. Tonight he is enraged that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has dared to affirm Israel’s right to […]

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Australia Muslim named commander of Islamic State unit

Aug 31, 2014 11:30 pm | Robert Spencer

Abu Yahya ash Shami has been reported as having been killed waging jihad for the Islamic State, so it is unclear who this new commander really is, but if he is indeed Australian, he highlights one of the West’s most important new exports: jihad terrorists. “Sydney jihadist named commander of Iraqi Islamic State unit,” The […]

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Denmark-born jihadi vows Islamic State “war” against Denmark

Aug 31, 2014 06:21 pm | Robert Spencer

“Denmark is not my country. The Muslims’ country is the caliphate and inshallah there will soon be an attack here. Denmark should prepare itself. It is an open war now. ISIS has said that all infidels should be battled. They should be eliminated and soon it will be Denmark’s turn.” Yet again we see a […]

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Fort Bliss amps up security over Islamic State threat at US/Mexico border

Aug 31, 2014 06:12 pm | Robert Spencer

Five and a half years of Obama, and the jihadis are at the border. Remember when he first took office, and the mainstream media was actually running reports confidently predicting that because of Obama, jihad terror would soon end? “Fort Bliss amps up security over holiday weekend,” Associated Press, August 31, 2014 (thanks to Kenneth): […]

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Islamic jihad group captures US Embassy compound in Libya

Aug 31, 2014 05:53 pm | Robert Spencer

“American personnel evacuated the area roughly a month ago amid ongoing fighting in the country.” Obama’s foreign policy has been a catastrophic failure, and it is only going to get worse. The only people who don’t know this are Americans, because the mainstream media doesn’t tell them. “Islamic militia group says it has ‘secured’ US […]

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Jimmy Carter to Hamas-linked ISNA: Use “principles of Allah” to bring peace

Aug 31, 2014 05:41 pm | Robert Spencer

It’s scandalous enough that this aged clown addressed a Hamas-linked Muslim Brotherhood group, but even worse is that the mainstream media has no problem with it all — it’s indicative of how mainstream Islamic supremacism has become. Meanwhile, Carter showed his ignorance with fulsome references to the Qur’an and Islamic doctrine that show that he […]

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Islamic State’s key financier was director of Muslim school in UK

Aug 31, 2014 05:24 pm | Robert Spencer

How far gone is Britain? Practically every day there are new revelations that boggle the mind. As that unhappy land collapses into chaos, civil war, and jihad violence in the streets, its intelligentsia can settle into their bunkers secure in the knowledge that they were never “racist” or “Islamophobic.” “Revealed: Islamic State’s ‘banker’ was director […]

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UK: Female rocker embraces Islam — hopes to behead Christians

Aug 31, 2014 05:10 pm | Robert Spencer

Yet another convert embraces a form of Islam that Muslim leaders in the West profess to reject and abhor. Why can’t these leaders ensure that converts to Islam are taught the religion properly? “Revealed: How Sally Jones of Chatham went from being all-girl rock band member to ‘wife of ISIS jihadi fanatic who threatens to […]

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CNN host stunned when Muslim cleric makes 9/11 joke during soundcheck

Aug 31, 2014 04:51 pm | Robert Spencer

CNN thinks a debate between Jew-haters Reza Aslan and Peter Beinart offers balanced insight into the conflict between Israel and the “Palestinian” jihadis, and would rather take the gaspipe than give a fair platform to a counter-jihadist, but they have no problem featuring this pro-jihad Muslim cleric who gleefully celebrates the 9/11 jihad mass murders. […]

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Who is responsible for Muslim rape gang scandal? Nick Lowles, Fiyaz Mughal & co.

Aug 31, 2014 10:49 am | Robert Spencer

1,400 British non-Muslim children were gang-raped and brutalized by Muslims in one city alone, and “several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought as racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.” In the Telegraph today, Sean Thomas asks the question: We […]

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Fort Hood jihadi’s letter to Islamic State shows “government really has been lying”

Aug 31, 2014 10:25 am | Robert Spencer

The Obama Administration famously refused to designate the Fort Hood jihad massacre as terrorism. A lawyer for the victims says: “It’s just yet another piece of evidence demonstrating that the government really has been lying about Hasan and his motivation for years.” This is true; the government has indeed been lying, and this is more […]

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Nigeria: Islamic jihadists behead six-year-old boy because he was Christian

Aug 31, 2014 07:37 am | Robert Spencer

“When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks…” (Qur’an 47:4) This reads like the story of a Roman martyr from the second century: “Boko Haram beheaded six-year-old Christian boy, group reports,” Christian Today, August 28, 2014 (thanks to The Religion of Peace): It was revealed this week that Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram beheaded a […]

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Aug 31 2014

The Road To World War 3? Russia And Ukraine Expand Shooting War

Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 4:17 pm

From Prophecy News Watch.Com

Russian soldiers and Ukrainian soldiers are now shooting at each other in eastern Ukraine. Could this conflict ultimately lead us down the road to World War 3?

This week, a very robust force of “tanks, artillery and infantry” has opened up a “third front” in the Ukrainian civil war in a part of southeastern Ukraine that had not seen much fighting yet.

Exhausted Ukrainian forces are suddenly being pushed back rapidly and many outsiders are wondering how the nearly defeated rebels were able to muster such impressive military strength all of a sudden. But it really isn’t much of a mystery. The tanks, artillery and infantry came from inside Russia.

In recent days, Ukrainian units have captured ten Russian paratroopers and there have even been funerals for Russian paratroopers that have been killed in action back home in Russia. Even though it has become exceedingly obvious that Russia is now conducting a stealth invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is still choosing to deny it.

But if he did publicly admit it, that would be even more dangerous. Barack Obama would be forced into a position of either having to do something about the Russian invasion or look weak in the eyes of the public. And as the Russians have already shown, they are more than willing to match any move that the Obama administration makes.

There has already been much written about who is to blame for all of this, and I am sure that much more will be written about who is to blame in the future. The western world is blaming “Russian aggression” for the mess in Ukraine.

In return, the Russians point out that it was westerners that funded and organized the groups that violently overthrew the democratically-elected government of Ukraine. To the Russians, the current government of Ukraine is made up of neo-Nazi terrorist usurpers that are attempting to brutally oppress millions of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

So the Russians seem themselves as “the good guys” in this conflict and so does the western world. But that is how most wars start. Both sides usually feel morally justified at the start of a conflict.

In the final analysis, however, is it really going to matter very much who was “right” and who was “wrong” if the end result is World War 3?

If the rebels in eastern Ukraine had been able to defeat the Kiev government forces on their own, Putin probably would have been content to let them do that. But instead, they had been pushed back to two major cities and seemed on the verge of defeat.

But now it is the Ukrainian forces that are experiencing “panic and wholesale retreat”…

Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials are calling a stealth invasion.

The attacks outside this city and in an area to the north essentially have opened a new, third front in the war in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, along with the fighting outside the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

How is this happening?

It is the Russians of course.

In fact, if you talk to Ukrainian soldiers, they are very clear on who they are fighting now…

“I tell you they are Russians, but this is what proof I have,” said Sgt. Aleksei Panko, holding up his thumb and index finger to form a zero. Sergeant Panko estimated about 60 armored vehicles crossed near Novoazovsk. “This is what happened: they crossed the border, took up positions and started shooting.”

The Ukrainian Vinnytsia brigade met the cross-border advance over the six miles of countryside separating Novoazovsk from the Russian border, but later retreated to the western edge of town along the Rostov-Mariupol highway, where soldiers were collapsed in exhaustion on the roadside. “This is now a war with Russia,” Sergeant Panko said.

And as I mentioned above, Ukrainian forces have even captured ten Russian paratroopers. Rather than denying who they are, the Russian government is claiming that they wandered into Ukraine by mistake…

Ten Russian soldiers were detained in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, that country’s Security Service said Tuesday, as tensions simmered over the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels.

The Russian soldiers were captured with documents and weapons on them, the Security Service said.

Moscow has repeatedly denied claims by Kiev that it has sent troops and weapons over the border into Ukraine, where the Ukrainian military is fighting pro-Russian rebels.

Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited a source in the Russian Defense Ministry as saying the soldiers had been patrolling the border and “most likely crossed by accident” at an unmarked point.

The denials that Russian forces are actively operating inside eastern Ukraine have become so absurd that even some in the Russian press are openly questioning them. For example, just check out this excerpt from a USA Today article that was posted on Wednesday…

Vedomosti, a liberal business daily, published an editorial Wednesday on events in Ukraine under the headline, “Are We Fighting?”

It noted the recent capture of the Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory and reports of “mysterious funerals” of Russian soldiers, some of whom are officially counted dying during training exercises.

“The number of questions that hang in the air of the dead and detained Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine has reached a critical number. Does Russia fight in Ukraine and, if so, on what grounds? If not, then who is in those freshly dug graves or giving testimony at SBU (Russian Security service) interrogations?”

A Bloomberg editorial contained some more details about the “mystery funerals” that have been taking place inside Russia…

One such burial, of two soldiers, took place in the village of Vybuty near Pskov in northwestern Russia, where an airborne division is based. Efforts to conceal the deaths produced a fiasco. Though the wife of one paratrooper had reported his death on the Vkontakte social network, when a reporter, Ilya Vasyunin of the Russian Planet website, called the wife’s phone number, a woman who answered stated that the paratrooper was alive and well.

Two reporters, from Russian Planet and TV Dozhd, who visited the cemetery where the two fresh graves had been seen were immediately attacked by men in black tracksuits. Local journalists, however, succeeded in photographing the graves. According to the independent TV Dozhd, the soldiers’ names and wreaths have been removed from the graves.

There are other reports of paratrooper funerals, which are hard to conceal. Soldiers have grieving families who do not necessarily share the authorities’ desire for deception. In any case, Ukrainian troops have captured some Russian paratroopers. For the first time since the conflict began in March, they were able to record interviews with them.

Sadly, most Americans are not paying much attention to this conflict.

Most Americans are not really going to care much about a war on the other side of the planet that does not directly involve us.

But they should care.

Because things are about to escalate to a level that we rarely saw even during the darkest moments of the Cold War. Relations between the United States and Russia are spiraling downhill, and that could end up having a huge impact on all of our lives.

For example, in my previous article entitled “Russia Is Doing It – Russia Is Actually Abandoning The Dollar”, I discussed how this tug of war over Ukraine was causing Russia to think about moving away from the petrodollar. Well, it turns out that now the Russians are actually taking concrete steps toward abandoning the petrodollar for good…

The Russian oil company Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in rubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese yuan for the transfers, the Russian business daily Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The Russian government and several of the country’s largest exporters have widely discussed the possibility of accepting payments in rubles for oil exports.

Last week, Russia began to ship oil from the Novoportovskoye field to Europe by sea. Two oil tankers are expected to arrive in Europe in September. According to Kommersant, the payment for these shipments will be received in rubles.

That is huge news, but you probably haven’t heard a thing about it on the big mainstream news networks.

Meanwhile, one thing that you probably have heard about is how “Russian hackers” attacked JPMorgan Chase earlier this month…

Russian hackers attacked the U.S. financial system in mid-August, infiltrating and stealing data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and at least one other bank, an incident the FBI is investigating as a possible retaliation for government-sponsored sanctions, according to two people familiar with the probe.

The attack resulted in the loss of gigabytes of sensitive data, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the probe is still preliminary. Authorities are investigating whether recent infiltrations of major European banks using a similar vulnerability are also linked to the attack, one of the people said.

As relations between the United States and Russia continue to decline precipitously, both sides will be looking for ways to hurt one another.

And that won’t be good for any of us.

So let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

But ultimately, this current conflict could end up taking us to a destination that the Cold War never did.

World War 3 will probably not happen next week, next month or even next year, but right now we are on a road which could eventually lead to the unthinkable.

Let us pray that our politicians are able to find the exit ramp at some point.
Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2014/August29/291.html#wxMraTRLjeGptDqG.99

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Aug 31 2014

A Chinese Puzzle

Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 11:27 am

From KHouse.Org

An Enigma

In a radio broadcast in October 1939, Winston Churchill said, “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”

The same could be said of China. It is also an enigma. One the one hand, China wants to be part of the world community. It is reaching out in promoting peace efforts in the Middle East, negotiating with Iran to move it from being a pariah among nations to an acceptable partner with the West. At the same time, it is making aggressive non-peaceful moves against its neighbors: with Taiwan on its home waters, with Japan on some disputed islands in the South China Sea, with Vietnam on natural resources both claim off Hanoi’s coast.

The Key

Their key lies in their past. China is one of the world’s four ancient civilizations. Its history encompasses more than 5000 years of Chinese history, including the Great Wall. The written history of China can be said to date back to the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC), over 3,000 years ago. The first dynasty was founded in the 21st century B.C., and China was first unified in 221 B.C.

China can also lay claim to four great inventions of ancient China: papermaking, gunpowder, printing techniques and the compass. Those inventions were first attributed to China by British sinologist Dr Joseph Needham (1900–1995), which was later widely accepted by Chinese historians. These inventions of ancient China enormously promoted the development of China’s economy, politics and culture, which were introduced to the Western countries through various channels and had a substantial influence on world civilization.

Exploration

It was only after a long and expensive period of exploration around the world did China retreat into itself. Chinese sailors traversed the world from 2 B.C. until the 15th century AD. It travelled from China to India and Europe and there is evidence to suggest that China also explored both North and South America before Columbus came across the continents.

Their final foray out into the world came over 100 years before Martin Luther nailed his Ninety Five Theses on the church door at Wittenburg. Between 1405 and 1433, Ming China sent out seven gigantic naval expeditions under the command of Zheng He, the great eunuch admiral (Note: a eunuch didn’t necessarily mean a man who was castrated, though that could have been the case. A Eunuch also was a title given to a man high office and trust of the emperor.). These expeditions traveled along the Indian Ocean trade routes as far as Arabia and the coast of East Africa. The Ming admiral and his treasure fleet were not engaged in a voyage of exploration, for one simple reason: the Chinese already knew about the ports and countries around the Indian Ocean. In fact, both Zheng He’s father and grandfather used the honorific hajji, an indication that they had performed their ritual pilgrimage to Mecca, on the Arabian Peninsula. Zheng He was not sailing off into the unknown.

The voyages of the Treasure Fleet were meant to display Chinese might to all the kingdoms and trade ports of the Indian Ocean world, and to bring back exotic toys and novelties for the emperor. In other words, Zheng He’s enormous junks were intended to shock and awe other Asian principalities into offering tribute to the Ming.

However, in 1433, the emperor called off the expeditions, due to their enormous expense and called the fleet back. Having almost bankrupted the treasury and subsequently causing civil unrest, the Hongle Emperor burned the treasure ships on their return and forbade anyone from undertaking another voyage. From that point until 1842, China retreated into itself and had almost no contact with the outside world.

It is tempting to imagine what if the Chinese had continued to patrol the Indian Ocean? What if Vasco da Gama’s four little Portuguese caravels had run into a stupendous fleet of more than 250 Chinese junks of various sizes, but all of them larger than the Portuguese flagship? How would world history have been different, if Ming China had ruled the waves in 1497–98?

A Long Memory

China closed it borders to the West, but there still was some trade. While China bought nothing from the West, Chinese goods, particularly silk, spices and tea were in high demand in European countries. The market for Western goods in China was virtually non-existent.

British diplomat George Macartney’s 1793 mission to Beijing brought with him a “very extensive selection of specimens of all the articles we make both for ornament and use.” By displaying such a selection to the emperor, court and people, Macartney’s embassy would learn what the Chinese wanted.

The emperor accepted Macartney’s gifts, and quite liked some of them, but saw the trade expedition as one of tribute, not trade. The imperial court saw a visit from the representatives of King George as something similar in kind to the opportunities the emperor’s Ministry of Rituals provided for envoys from Korea and Vietnam to express their respect and devotion to the Ruler of All Under Heaven. The emperor could never conceive the suggestion that the Son of Heaven and King George were equals.

One product the British did perceive the Chinese consumers did want; highly addictive opium. While this too was banned by the Emperor, smuggling of the drug was rampant. The number of opium addicts increased, which greatly concerned successive emperors. This triggered what is known as the Opium Wars In 1842, the Treaty of Nanking—the first of what the Chinese later called the unequal treaties, opened five treaty ports, ceded Hong Kong Island to Britain and forcibly opened China to Western trade. The failure of the treaty to satisfy British goals of improved trade and diplomatic relations led to the Second Opium War (1856–60). The war is now considered in China as the beginning of modern Chinese history.

It also marked the period of Western dominance of the Middle Kingdom. This dominance lasted almost 100 years and ended with the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949. The revolution was the culmination of the Chinese Communist Party’s drive to power since its founding in 1921.

A nation in a quandary

China is still a nation suspicious of outsiders, especially the West. At the same time though, they want certain deference and the influence that befits their nation’s stature and economic power. China wants the conditions that have helped it grow to remain in place, but at the same time it wants its place on the world’s stage.

China’s leadership is facing a contradiction; it is caught between change and continuity at home as it tries to keep its grip on a society which has transformed itself socially almost as fast as it has grown economically. This contradiction is made more dangerous by the fact that China has a belligerent form of nationalism and ruled over by men who respond to every perceived threat and slight with disproportionate defensiveness.

China is building airstrips on disputed islands in the South China Sea, moving oil rigs into disputed waters and redefining its airspace with the hope that the world will see these moves as an acknowledgement it sees as it’s due.

This could make for a diplomatic crisis with its neighbors and the United States. Put together China’s desire to join the ranks of the world powers and America’s determination not to let that disrupt its national interests and makes for a rivalry that can prove to be very dangerous for everyone.

Shi Yinhong, of Renmin University in Beijing, one of China’s most eminent foreign-policy commentators, says that, five years ago, he was sure that China could rise peacefully, as it says it wants to. Now, he says, he is not so sure.

Notes

  • The Rising China: Essential Disposition, Secular Grand Strategy, and Current Prime Problems
    — Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA
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    Aug 31 2014

    Important News Headlines - 26th August 2014

    Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 11:10 am

    From KHouse.Org

    Important News Headlines

    Captured Russian troops ‘in Ukraine by accident’ - August 26, 2014

    Ten Russian soldiers captured in eastern Ukraine crossed the border “by accident”, Russian military sources are quoted as saying. Ukraine has released video interviews of some of the seized paratroopers. The incident comes as the Ukrainian and Russian leaders have held their first-ever bilateral talks in Belarus.

    BBC

    Do we live in a 2-D hologram? New Fermilab experiment will test the nature of the universe - August 26, 2014

    A unique experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory called the Holometer has started collecting data that will answer some mind-bending questions about our universe – including whether we live in a hologram. Much like characters on a television show would not know that their seemingly 3-D world exists only on a 2-D screen, we could be clueless that our 3-D space is just an illusion. The information about everything in our universe could actually be encoded in tiny packets in two dimensions.

    Phys.org

    Calif. governor signs smartphone ‘kill switch’ bill into law - August 25, 2014

    Gov. Jerry Brown signed the so-called “kill switch” bill — introduced in February by State Sen. Mark Leno and sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon — on Monday, after it passed the state legislature earlier this month. A smartphone kill switch enables an owner to lock down a phone if it is stolen, rendering it inoperable. A spokesperson from Brown’s office said the governor was not available for comment. (Will the government be able to kill a smartphone without the user’s permission?

    CNET

    ‘Robo Brain’ will teach robots everything from the Internet - August 25, 2014

    Robo Brain – a large-scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources – is currently downloading and processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. The information is being translated and stored in a robot-friendly format that robots will be able to draw on when they need it.

    Phys.org

    French Economy Minister: Enough With German Austerity - August 25, 2014

    Deficit-reduction measures carried out since the 2008 financial crisis have crippled Europe’s economies and governments need to change course swiftly or they will lose their voters to populist and extremist parties, Montebourg told a socialists’ meeting in eastern France.

    Business Insider

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    Aug 31 2014

    Jihad Watch: News Index - 31st August 2014

    Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 10:59 am

    From Jihad Watch.Org

    Canadian convert to Islam: Christians must convert or “face the sword”

    Aug 30, 2014 08:24 pm | Robert Spencer

    Where did he get this idea? Was any effort made by the Muslims in Canada who converted him to Islam to explain to him that Islam was a Religion of Peace and Tolerance? Or did they themselves give him this understanding of Islam? Authorities ought to be investigating these questions, but they probably aren’t, as […]

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    Nigeria: Islamic jihadists loot and vandalize Catholic parish

    Aug 30, 2014 07:11 pm | Robert Spencer

    Remember: Christians in the West are not to speak of such things. To do so would harm the “dialogue”: “Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” — Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop […]

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    National Post advises: Convert to Islam to avoid being murdered by jihadis

    Aug 30, 2014 11:31 am | Robert Spencer

    Kathy Shaidle’s comment on this appalling piece is excellent: “I would die before I would repeat those words under any circumstances. And yes, there is a ‘peaceful verse for every violent one.’ However, Muslims use abrogation to decide which verses are more authoritative. The later violent (‘sword’) verses cancel out the earlier, peaceful ones. ‘The […]

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    Turkish ex-mufti on Muhammad: “So many people can’t live properly because of him”

    Aug 30, 2014 10:50 am | Robert Spencer

    Turan Dursun was “a former mufti and imam and an open critic of Islam who fought for a freer and more humane world despite pressures from the state, the public, and even his own father, whose dream was to see him become a devoted cleric.” He lived in Turkey. He was, as was tragically predictable, […]

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    Prof: To end appeal of Islamic State to Muslims, Europe must embrace Islam

    Aug 30, 2014 10:23 am | Robert Spencer

    Jocelyne Cesari is “senior research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University, and director of the Islam in the West Program at Harvard University.” In this piece she epitomizes what is wrong with academic discourse about Islam today: she doesn’t even mention the blazingly obvious reason for “the […]

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    Feds warn of imminent jihad terror attack on US/Mexican border

    Aug 30, 2014 09:47 am | Robert Spencer

    A jihad attack? On the border? Why, those feds are racist Islamophobes! I thought those bigots had all been purged from law enforcement and intelligence agencies! “Imminent Terrorist Attack Warning By Feds on US Border,” Judicial Watch, August 29, 2014 (thanks to Pamela Geller): Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of […]

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    David Wood: Obama’s Escape from Planet Reality

    Aug 30, 2014 09:29 am | Robert Spencer

    Riotous. Watch it all.

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    Robert Spencer at Catholic Answers: Answering a Muslim Apologist

    Aug 30, 2014 09:22 am | Robert Spencer

    Over at Catholic Answers I clear away another set of detours, diversions and deceptions: Catholic apologists keep very busy clearing up common misconceptions about the Faith: explaining how the Church’s teaching, practice, and history are misunderstood—or willfully misrepresented—by its opponents. Islam, too, has its apologists. They also claim that many critiques of the Muslim religion […]

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    France: Two teen Muslimas arrested for jihad suicide bomb plot at synagogue

    Aug 30, 2014 08:57 am | Robert Spencer

    They’re misunderstanding Islam early and often in Europe these days, and the new and noxious legitimization of anti-Semitism (in the guise of opposition to Israel) has given rise to mass murder plots of this kind. And there will be more. “Two Teenage Girls Arrested Over French Synagogue Suicide Bomb Plot,” by Madeline Grant, Newsweek, August […]

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    Islamic State beheading women and children after stripping them naked

    Aug 30, 2014 08:47 am | Robert Spencer

    This piece was written by a Hindu human rights activist who has seen the devastation of jihad in India. Warning: extremely graphic images at the link. “ISIS beheading children and women (after stripping naked) -parallels Hindu Story,” Satya Blog, August 26, 2014: From the advent of Islam, it is the brutality that was used to […]

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    Islamic State makes over $2 million daily in oil sales

    Aug 30, 2014 08:34 am | Robert Spencer

    That pays for a lot of knives, guns and bombs. We all know that what they do has nothing to do with Islam, but it looks as if these misunderstanders of Islam are going to be around for awhile. “ISIS makes more than $2 million daily in oil sales,” Al Arabiya, August 28, 2014: Militants […]

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    Audio: Robert Spencer on KNUS Denver’s Peter Boyles show on the Islamic State

    Aug 30, 2014 08:28 am | Robert Spencer

    Thursday morning.

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    Aug 30 2014

    Does ISIS Have Black-op Backers?

    Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 12:47 pm

    From American Thinker.Com

    The bloody-handed butchers of ISIS behave like the worst Islamofascist gang we have seen so far — worse than the Taliban, worse than Hamas and Hezb’allah, worse than Al Nusra, worse than the Muslim Brotherhood, worse than all the little maniac gangs of cutthroats who have been practicing Jihad on innocent men, women and children for decades. In addition to which, ISIS has better PR, spreading its graphic images of human butchery of Christians, Yazidis, and Shi’ites, and other “infidels” around the world with amazing speed.

    On top of that, ISIS has engaged in Blitzkrieg warfare, overwhelming the defenses of Mosul, capturing and then retreating from the Mosul dam, stealing oil from Iraqi fields to pay for their depravities, grabbing half a billion dollars from a Mosul bank, and crossing the border back to Syria, using American tanks and artillery stolen from the pathetic Iraqi Army, launching sophisticated drones for recon, and now capturing the Syrian Tabqa airbase that potentially controls access to the Mediterranean.

    It seems as if in the pseudonymous Al Baghdadi the Islamic fascist movement has found its Field Marshall Erich Rommel.

    What’s wrong with this picture? Almost everything. None of it makes any sense. Nobody knows who is financing and controlling ISIS. Nobody knows how the royal mess in southern Syria suddenly emerged into a real army, moving at Blitzkrieg speed, knocking over all the armed groups in that treacherous part of the world by classical surprise tactics, and using a sophisticated PR-social media operation to breach the usual censorship of the Western media to reach worldwide notoriety. That instant fame has drawn would-be jihadis from all over the world to join the fabled march of Islamic fundamentalism to the ultimate Caliphate, the world-conquering utopian tyranny Muslims have imagined — but never achieved — in 1,200 years.

    In fact, this looks like a movement backed by unknown but radical sources, and somehow able to command the capability of a regular army, the logistics, planning, recon, real-time command and control, high-tech maintenance and use of advanced drones, tanks, tactical and strategic coordination, terror PR, as well as the usual screaming maniacs riding on pickup trucks with a 50 caliber machine gun precariously mounted on the truck bed. The Arabian desert of the 7th century has suddenly combined with a modern high-tech army.

    I do not believe this happened by accident. I think it could be an operation with tacit CIA support, in active collusion with the Muslim Brotherhood, financed by the billionaire sheikhdoms of the Arabian Peninsula like Qatar, Doha, UAE, and some Saudi billionaires off their dog chains. Turkey is clearly a major enabler.

    If you think the CIA would never collude with the primitive head choppers of ISIS, consider what John Brennan and Obama have already done. In Benghazi we now know the CIA colluded with Al Qaida gangs in Libya and Syria to smuggle advanced weapons from Gadhafi’’s huge stockpile to the Sunni rebels in Syria, the precursors of ISIS.  In Afghanistan, Obama is negotiating to surrender to the throwback Taliban. In Egypt BHO tried to turn the country over to the sadistic Muslim Brotherhood, the same people who assassinated Anwar Sadat the peacemaker forty years ago — and who haven’t changed one little bit since then.

    It is a perverse strategy of this weird administration to flip sides: From the Bush-Cheney strategy of trying to stop mullahs with nukes, the US has turned into a cynical enabler of Iranian aggression. From a supporter of Israel, we are colluding with the superrich but tiny oil regime of Qatar to pay for Hamas and its ilk to attack civilians in Israel. Flipping sides and stabbing allies in the back is what BHO does best: Consider how he got the Democrat nomination by tarring Bill and Hillary as racists. In Alinsky language, this is  “acting outside the experience of the enemy” — the American middle class. Obama does it every day, in every way. Backstabbing allies works, according to this doctrine, because the “enemy” never expects it, can’t even recognize it when it happens, and has no prepared weapons to fight it. It is also treacherous and often evil, but that doesn’t stop these folks.

    If this hypothesis is correct, what is Obama’s purpose with the CIA-Qatar-Turkey tacit backing of ISIS?

    Here is a guess.

    1. Obama owes a big debt to the Saudis for flipping on the nuclear issue with Iran. Iranian nuclear weapons, which they are now free to develop, endanger Israel (and Europe) but they also endanger the major Muslim Sunni powers, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. When Obama publicly surrendered to the Iranian nuclear program the Saudis went ballistic.

    How does ISIS make a difference? As a Sunni terror state-in-the-making, ISIS is a radical threat to Iran. That is why the Iranians have just been reported as sending tanks against ISIS in Iraq. If ISIS can occupy territory — a big if — in what is now northern Syria and western Iraq, it can act as a buffer state between Iran and the Sunni powers of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

    ISIS is therefore a useful wedge to insert between Iranian aggression and Saudi control of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Iran has always wanted to capture those two glittering jewels of the Muslim world, but the Shi’ite “heresy” of Iran is only followed by about 20% of Muslims in the world, if that. Eighty percent of Muslims are Sunnis, and with its oil power it is Saudi Arabia has been sending Wahhabi imams to control mosques all around the world.

    2. ISIS is deliberately using horror photos of its crimes against humanity through the uncensored social media, notably the one called Diaspora. This is a deliberate propaganda strategy. It unifies the more “moderate” Sunni terror groups like Al Qaida against ISIS, and allows them to claim a kind of middle ground — they only kill infidels and women under the control of Shari’a courts, whereas ISIS deliberately kills wantonly. There are even degrees of human evil in some people’s eyes.

    3. ISIS is a magnet that draws in would-be jihadis from around the world into what could become a killing field in Iraq and Syria. That was essentially the Bush-Cheney strategy after 9/11/01, the flypaper strategy. Remember, 9/11 presented the United States and the West with a shadowy, widely scattered enemy, including radicalized Muslims in the West, who went on their own killing sprees. The brilliance of the Bush-Cheney strategy was to draw those self-indoctrinated militants into Iraq, where the US Army, Air Force, and Marines made mincemeat of them. (Naturally our media never figured out that strategy, or chose to obfuscate it even when it worked.)

    The “war porn PR strategy” employed by ISIS is consistent with the concept of drawing jihadis from around the world into a killing field. ISIS has had no air power until a week ago, and are therefore to conventional battle tactics, employed either by the US or whatever allies we have remaining. Turkey still has by far the biggest conventional army in the region, other than perhaps Iran, and Turkey’s Erdogan is constantly boosted as Obama’s “best friend” in the region. If the US and the Sunni powers combined against ISIS it could soon disappear.

    4. Obama has notoriously been unable to control Iraq’s Al Maliki, who has failed to unite Iraq, instead setting Shi’ites against Sunnis. The threat of ISIS has forced the Iraqi regime to fire al Maliki, and the current regime may be able to unite Iraqis more successfully. This is important, because Al Maliki’s Shi’ite regime would naturally fall under the power of the mullahs next door.

    The ISIS strategy therefore looks like a classical balance-of-power play. If ISIS kills and enslaves minorities like Christians and Yazidis in the process of rising to prominence, who cares? As Obama’s Katherine Sibelius put it a few months ago, “People live, people die.” Obama is not a sentimentalist. His native cult is the hardest of the hard-left, going back to the Stalinist CPUSA. (His childhood mentor Frank Marshall Davis was the CPUSA rep in Hawaii during the Stalin period, and an embittered race hater as well.)

    ISIS therefore looks like a major black operation directly manipulated by the neo-Ottoman fascists of Turkey, financed by tiny but superrich oil sheikhdoms like Qatar, and backed, behind the scenes by John Brennan’s CIA. This is not dissimilar from the CIA strategy in Nicaragua against the Sandinistas, or CIA recruitment of Laotian tribes during the Vietnam War. The great difference is that Vietnam was backed by a major US and Western consensus that Soviet and Chinese imperialism had to be stopped in buffer states like South Vietnam and South Korea. We felt a strong moral imperative to stop the mass-killing regimes spread by Soviet ideology in Cambodia, North Vietnam, North Korea, Mao’s China, Eastern Europe, and in the Soviet Union itself.

    If the ISIS hypothesis is correct, the Obama strategy in Iraq and Syria has no such moral rationale — just the opposite — and it certainly has no widespread US and Western consensus backing it. It is another Obama narcissistic gamble.  Making things worse is a necessary step for the “good guys” to take over and make things better. That is the nature of Marxist-Leninist revolution. It kills whole classes of people for a purpose — to destroy existing power balances on behalf of a new ruling class.

    5. In this view, ISIS is a pawn that can be sacrificed when it is no longer convenient. Nobody would object if the US trapped ISIS and bombed it into oblivion, complete with all the Europeans, Americans and other volunteers who are drawn to fantasy of a new Islamic Caliphate, along with the usual butchery, rape, and torture that ISIS loves so much.

    6. It is always essential to remember that Obama and his cult followers have a fixed and false idea about the Middle East — namely that its central problem is the existence of Israel. That is why Obama has consistently brutalized and pressured Prime Minister Netanyahu since the beginning of this administration. But of course the very idea that Israel is the source of all the strife in the snakepit of the Middle East is utterly twisted, a typical piece of ideological idees fixes that characterize this president. But Israel turns out to be the most stable country in the region, a model of what human beings can do if they focus on constructing a viable society rather than taking revenge for imagined wrongs. (Among Arabs, Palestinians have a reputation of being “like the Israelis” because many of them have indeed followed the path of education and modernization.) Israel is not the problem; it is the solution for the Middle East. That is why, after all the chaos of the “Arab Spring,” it is Israel that is left standing while all around the old regimes are crashing.

    Pressuring Israel to make lethal territorial compromises is therefore still Obama’s major policy objectives. Together with Turkey and the phony “humanitarian” front called IHH, there is another black stunt afoot to send a Mavi Marmara “peace flotilla” to Hamas in Gaza to “break the Gaza blockade.” But there is no Gaza blockade. There is a constant supply of food and civilian goods going across the border to Gaza from Israel and Egypt. The ‘blockade of Gaza” is an arms blockade, and Egypt is enforcing it as vigorously as Israel, because Gaza is run by the Muslim Brotherhood that tried to overthrow the current regime in Egypt. General Al Sissi is determined to stamp out Hamas and its parent, the Muslim Brotherhood, because they are in a war to the death. It’s either the modernist regime of Al Sissi, which is generally peaceful, or it’s the throwbacks of the Moo Bros, who want war with Israel. And Obama has constantly been allied with the Moos.

    Is that complicate enough for ya? Yes, it’s a snakepit. But the major players always show up in light disguise, wearing false mustaches and Groucho glasses. The most ancient division is Sunnis vs. Shi’ites. Then there are national divisions, with huge natural resources and strategic geography, like the Gulf oil regimes. And then there is the most important difference, between modernist Muslims, who want to live a normal life, and primitive fanatics who want to go back to the desert habits of the 7th century.

    The obvious goal for the West is to support Muslim modernists against throwbacks, who are morally indefensible by our values. They kill people for being gay, or in the case of women, being caught leaving their homes without a male escort. They brutalize and whip human beings, they bury them in the ground to be stoned to death, they kill animals sometimes with great cruelty at the ‘Eid holiday at the end of Ramadan. They pit brother against brother, cousin against cousin, tribe against tribe. That ancient war theology rewards martyrs who kill innocent people with car bombs for the sake of Allah. It is the Muslim Brotherhood that assassinated Anwar Sadat forty years ago for making peace with Israel. It is the offspring of the satanic Moobs, Hamas, that is bombing civilians in Israel every single day. It is the Iranians and their proxy terror group, Hezb’allah, that swears every single day to destroy the United States, the Great Satan, as soon as the Little Satan of Israel is nuked to a smoking ruin.

    These are the people Obama has consistently sympathized with and actually empowered. The future of the world depends on Americans’ ability to spot and repudiate the perverse immorality of this administration, both domestically and abroad.

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    Aug 30 2014

    PJ Media: News Watch - 30th August 2014

    Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 12:02 pm

    From PJ Media.Com

    Florida Gubernatorial Hopeful Once Begged to Be Arrested
    By Rod Kackley
    The Libertarian candidate in Florida’s gubernatorial election is not satisfied to be just an ideologue or even a spoiler in the November election.
    PJ Media Logo
    Hillary Is In No Rush
    By Rich Baehr
    PJ Media on Facebook PJ Media on Twitter PJ Media on Google+
    The conventional wisdom is that Hillary Clinton will make her announcement that she is trying for a second time to become the Democratic nominee for president sometime in 2015.
    The Islamic State Is Building a Capital
    By Bryan Preston
    PJ Media on Facebook PJ Media on Twitter PJ Media on Google+
    While President Obama dithers over a strategy and considers cobbling a coalition together to implement it, the Islamist State in Syria is entrenching and enforcing its barbaric law on the local inhabitants, reports Bloomberg.

    PJTV logo
    ZoNation
    Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain: Michael Brown isn’t Jesus Christ
    PJ Media on Facebook PJ Media on Twitter PJ Media on Google+
    Some crazy liberal pastor said Michael Brown was like Jesus Christ?!? And how about Russell Brand trying to patronize the poor while riding in a limo! Hear more on this new ZoNation.
    Hot Seat:
    Should We Re-Create Dinosaurs? (Members Only)
    PJ Media on Facebook PJ Media on Twitter PJ Media on Google+
    In the spirit of Jurassic Park, should we re-create dinosaurs if we could? What should the news be reporting about American power, capitalism and other issues? Hear Bill Whittle answer these questions and more on this members-only “Hot Seat.”
    What You May Have Missed
    NFL: ‘OK, Maybe Knocking A Woman Out Is Worse Than Smoking Pot’ (Stephen Kruiser)
    [VIDEO] Border Case Backlog: Does DOJ Scrimp on Immigration Courts Budget?
    When You’re a Leftist President Who’s Lost Esquire…(Ed Driscoll)
    Don’t Worry, Be Happy (Richard Fernandez)
    Gender Affects Types of Crashes for Young Drivers (Helen Smith)
    12 Questions With Monti Carlo, MasterChef Season 3 Star And Host Of Make My Food Famous (Chris Queen)
    Beyoncé’s 10 Steps for Becoming a Beyoncé Feminist (April Bey)
    There’s an App for Hijacking Your Phone (Stephen Green)
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    Aug 30 2014

    Jihad Watch: News Index - 30th August 2014

    Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 11:35 am

    From Jihad Watch.Org

    FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment omits Islamic terrorism

    Aug 29, 2014 04:44 pm | Robert Spencer

    According to the FBI, there are “eight types of domestic extremist movements—none motivated by radical Islam. They include anti-government militia groups and white supremacy extremists, along with ‘sovereign citizen’ nationalists, and anarchists. Other domestic threat groups outlined by the FBI assessment include violent animal rights and environmentalist extremists, black separatists, anti- and pro-abortion activists, and […]

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    UK raises terror threat level to “severe”

    Aug 29, 2014 10:37 am | Robert Spencer

    “I just don’t understand it, Theresa.” “What, David? What don’t you understand, luv?” “The ingratitude, innit? The base, black, bold ingratitude. Think of it: We hounded counter-jihadists domestically and banned Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from coming in from the U.S. We worked with Islamic supremacists that we pretended were ‘moderates,’ allowing them to gain […]

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    Muslim prof: “Shenanigans” of “so-called Islamic State” are “harmful to Islam”

    Aug 29, 2014 10:13 am | Robert Spencer

    “Dr. Farouk El-Baz is director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University. He served as science adviser to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt.” In this Boston Herald op-ed, he offers something we have seen before: a Muslim denunciation of the Islamic State that glosses over or ignores altogether the Islamic justifications for the […]

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    Islamic State holds Yazidi women as sex slaves, sells them for $25

    Aug 29, 2014 09:37 am | Robert Spencer

    According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of […]

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    Islamic State jihadi says his group gets funding from Turkey

    Aug 29, 2014 09:26 am | Robert Spencer

    With so many Islamic authorities condemning the Islamic State, albeit in vague and non-specific terms, it is noteworthy that it has received so much help from elements in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. There are obviously many people in both countries who believe that what the Islamic State is doing is perfectly Islamic, and to be […]

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    Al-Qaeda urges jihad attacks on Las Vegas, military colleges in U.S.

    Aug 29, 2014 09:10 am | Robert Spencer

    “This recipe gives you the ability to make a car bomb even in countries with tight security and surveillance.” And we have already seen a car bomb that cam very close to exploding and murdering untold numbers of people in Times Square. This is only a matter of time, but remember: to oppose it and […]

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    Egypt’s Mufti adviser: Islamic State’s terror has nothing to do with Islam

    Aug 29, 2014 08:41 am | Robert Spencer

    It would be refreshing if even one of those who are condemning the Islamic State would explain how this misunderstanding of Islam spread to so many people all over the world. But they never will do so, and the mainstream media will never ask them to. “Daesh terrorist acts have no link with Islam: Mufti […]

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    Yemen: Woman burned to death by brother for converting to Christianity

    Aug 29, 2014 08:36 am | Robert Spencer

    Muhammad commanded: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they […]

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    Report circulates that O. J. Simpson has converted to Islam in prison

    Aug 29, 2014 08:27 am | Robert Spencer

    This story is circulating around today, but not at the major news outlets; it may not be accurate at all and should be treated with reserve. It does exemplify, however, how Islamic proselytizing in prison focuses on people who are angry and feel as if they have been treated unjustly, and channels their anger in […]

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    Aug 29 2014

    History Repeating Itself in Europe

    Tag: Global CommentarySage @ 5:07 pm

    From American Thinker.Com

    Watching history repeat itself in Europe is truly unsettling.  Just as occurred not once but twice with Germany, Europe is now allowing Russia to go wilding across the continent scant years after having done the same with the USSR.  Will these people ever learn?

    Within the past few days, two events neatly capture the bloodthirsty Russian bear in action.

    First, Europe found Russia repeatedly violating the airspace of Finland – not just flying attack aircraft near the border, as Russia has repeatedly done, for example, with Norway, but actually crossing it in a naked act of intimidation and war.

    Then, Ukraine captured a whole platoon of Russian soldiers who had crossed into Ukraine’s territory in another blatant act of war.  Caught red-handed, the Kremlin pathetically tried to claim they were there by mistake.  FOX News showed a photograph of highly sophisticated Russian military hardware parading shamelessly through the streets of Krasnodon, in the Luhansk region at the heart of rebel separatist activity.  There were soon other reports of heavy Russian forces crossing the border farther south and use of artillery located in Russia against Ukraine government targets.  Heavy weapons that could have come only from Russia were documented parading through parts of Ukraine.

    Even as Vladimir Putin was planning a summit with his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, Putin’s Goebbels, Alexander Dugin, was publicly stating, sounding just like Iran on Israel, that Ukraine had no right of existence independent from Russia.  And in a shameless violation of the Geneva Conventions, the pro-Russian rebels were engaging in barbaric acts of humiliation against captured Ukrainian forces, including even civilian women accused of being spies.  The emptiness of Russia’s commitment to a purported peace process could not have been made more plain.

    And how did Europe respond?  The only symbolic gesture it could muster was a visit to Kiev by Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose comments on the ground were so ambiguous as to permit state-sponsored Russian propaganda outlets to claim she had come to lobby for decentralizing Ukraine’s government and leaving the rebel areas of the country to their own devices.

    But Merkel looked like Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate compared to the other leaders of the NATO countries.  Barack Obama, for instance, simply ignored the entire matter and chose to lie in the sun on Martha’s Vineyard.  Selling out American values and interests around the world is so exhausting, you see.  The most Canada could mention was a blunt and confrontational tweet.  For its part, France continued to make it appear that it would actually deliver dangerous offensive weapons systems to Russia.  When the Swiss look like the tough guy on the block, you know you’re in serious trouble.

    What is it, exactly, that the leaders of NATO think will happen if they just ignore Russian aggression?  Do they actually believe it will simply go away sooner or later?

    It certainly can’t be that they think Russia is too strong to attack.  Signs of Russian weakness are everywhere.

    Even high-ranking Kremlin officials openly admit that the economy will languish in recession for years.  Putin’s grandiose plan for a “Eurasian Economic Union” has collapsed in utterly humiliating failure.  Young Russians overwhelmingly want to leave the country and work abroad.  Russian rockets have an astoundingly consistent habit of exploding on the launch pad rather than making it into space.  And on and on and on.

    Nor can Russian military power justifiably be intimidating Europe.  Any comparison of the budget, military hardware, manpower, or power-projection capabilities between NATO and Russia leaves Russia looking like a backwards, third-world quagmire.  Even if the conflict were limited to economic warfare alone, NATO would win in a rout.

    And Putin left no doubt that the West isn’t going to be left unscathed in his neo-Soviet campaign against freedom and democracy.  In a shocking development, the FBI was investigating whether a massive cyber-attack on one of America’s most critical financial institutions originated in Russia.

    So the only things that can explain Europe’s failure to act are cowardice and stupidity, and above all a total inability to remember their own history.  When Putin took pieces of Georgia, Europe was warned that if he was not stopped, he would soon look to pick up pieces of Ukraine.  But Europe did nothing, and Ukraine was shattered.  Now Europe is warned that if it does not stop Putin in Ukraine, next he will look to the Baltics.

    These same sorts of events took place when Europe was faced with Hitler.  France essentially decided to just surrender to him.  England pursued a course of appeasement, while Germans of course actively supported the maniac for years.  One would have thought that the holocaust that followed would have permanently educated Europeans about their folly, but recent events show that this is not the case.

    The closest thing the West has right now to a new Ronald Reagan is Anders Fogh Rasmussen, head of NATO.  Rasmussen bluntly told the media: “Russia is a nation that for the first time since the Second World War has grabbed land by force. Obviously we have to adapt to that.”  He announced that for the first time since the collapse of the USSR, NATO would be moving significant numbers of troops and other forces to bases near the Russia border.

    But there’s no indication at present that the leaders of Europe will in fact recognize the new Russian reality that Rasmussen is warning them about.  They didn’t act promptly or decisively to respond to Hitler or Stalin, and it does not appear that they learned their lesson from those experiences.

    Follow Kim Ziegfeld on Twitter @larussophobe.

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