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November 18, 2006

EUROPA IS FINISHED

Filed under: Opinion — limewoody @ 9:32 am

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
November 14, 2006

[NY Sun title: “Steyn’s New Book Combines Humor, Accuracy, Depth”]

Mark Steyn, political columnist and cultural critic, has written a remarkable book, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It (Regnery). He combines several virtues uncommonly found together – humor, accurate reportage, and deep thinking – then applies these to what is arguably the most consequential issue of our time: the Islamist threat to the West.

Mr. Steyn offers a devastating thesis but presents it in bits and pieces, so I shall pull it together here.

He begins with the legacy of two totalitarianisms. Traumatized by the electoral appeal of fascism, post-World War II European states were constructed in a top-down manner “so as to insulate almost entirely the political class from populist pressures.” As a result, the establishment has “come to regard the electorate as children.”

Second, the Soviet menace during the cold war prompted American leaders, impatient with Europe’s (and Canada’s) weak responses, effectively to take over their defense. This benign and far-sighted policy led to victory by 1991, but it also had the unintended and less salutary side-effect of freeing up Europe’s funds to build a welfare state. This welfare state had several malign implications.

  • The nanny state infantilized Europeans, making them worry about such pseudo-issues as climate change, while feminizing the males.
  • It also neutered them, annexing “most of the core functions of adulthood,” starting with the instinct to breed. From about 1980, birth rates plummeted, leaving an inadequate base for today’s workers to receive their pensions.
  • Structured on a pay-as-you-go basis, it amounted to an inter-generational Ponzi scheme, where today’s workers depend on their children for their pensions.
  • The demographic collapse meant that the indigenous peoples of countries like Russia, Italy, and Spain are at the start of a population death spiral.
  • It led to a collapse of confidence that in turn bred “civilizational exhaustion,” leaving Europeans unprepared to fight for their ways.

To keep the economic machine running meant accepting foreign workers. Rather than execute a long-term plan to prepare for the many millions of immigrants needed, Europe’s elites punted, welcoming almost anyone who turned up. By virtue of geographic proximity, demographic overdrive, and a crisis-prone environment, “Islam is now the principal supplier of new Europeans,” Mr. Steyn writes.

Mark Steyn, author of “America Alone.”

Arriving at a time of demographic, political, and cultural weakness, Muslims are profoundly changing Europe. “Islam has youth and will, Europe has age and welfare.” Put differently, “Pre-modern Islam beats post-modern Christianity.” Much of the Western world, Mr. Steyn flat-out predicts, “will not survive the twenty-first century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most European countries.” With even more drama, he adds that “it’s the end of the world as we know it.”(In contrast, I believe that Europe still has time to avoid this fate.)

America Alone deals at length with what Mr. Steyn calls “the larger forces at play in the developed world that have left Europe too enfeebled to resist its remorseless transformation into Eurabia.” Europe’s successor population is already in place and “the only question is how bloody the transfer of real estate will be.” He interprets the Madrid and London bombings, as well as the murder of Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam, as opening shots in Europe’s civil war and states, “Europe is the colony now.”

The title America Alone refers to Mr. Steyn’s expectation that the United States – with its “relatively healthy demographic profile” – will emerge as the lonely survivor of this crucible. “Europe is dying and America isn’t.” Therefore, “the Continent is up for grabs in a way that America isn’t.” Mr. Steyn’s target audience is primarily American: watch out, he is saying, or the same will happen to you.

Pared to its essentials, he counsels two things: First, avoid the “bloated European welfare systems,” declare them no less than a national security threat, shrink the state, and emphasize the virtues of self-reliance and individual innovation. Second, avoid “imperial understretch,” don’t “hunker down in Fortress America” but destroy the ideology of radical Islam, help reform Islam, and expand Western civilization to new places. Only if Americans “can summon the will to shape at least part of the emerging world” will they have enough company to soldier on. Failing that, expect a “new Dark Ages … a planet on which much of the map is re-primitivized.”
This item is available on the Middle East Forum website, at http://www.meforum.org/article/pipes/4121

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November 2, 2006

Egypt poll: Israel, Denmark, US – enemies

Filed under: Mellemøsten, Opinion — limewoody @ 11:11 am

It’s been 27 years since the Camp David accords were signed, but the vast majority of Egyptians still see Israel as an enemy state. A poll conducted by an Egyptian state institute determined that Israel and Denmark were not only the least poplar foreign countries among the Egyptian public, but that they were also considered enemy nations. The poll, made public on Wednesday, showed that 92 percent of respondents see Israel as an enemy – despite the lasting peace agreement between the two countries. Only two percent believe that Israel is “a friend to Egypt.”

But Israel shouldn’t feel lonely on the enemy shelf – 60 percent of respondents say that Denmark is an enemy of the Egyptian Republic. A view which likely stems from Muslim rage over the publication of caricatures of the prophet Muhammad Danish daily ‘Jyllands-Posten’ last year. 90 percent of Egypt’s population is Muslim. Coming in third on the most-hated list is the United States, 50 percent of respondents said they saw America as an enemy of Egypt.And which countries have been crowned as ‘friends’ of Egypt? The list is topped by Saudi Arabia, Libya, the Palestinian Authority, Sudan and Syria.

http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3322428,00.html

October 16, 2006

New Poll: Immigration Key Issue

Filed under: Migration, Multi Kulti, Opinion, USA — limewoody @ 8:55 pm

WASHINGTON , D.C. (October 16, 2006) — A new poll, using neutral language, finds intense voter concern over immigration in 14 tight congressional races.  The surveys were conducted by the polling company for the Center for Immigration Studies. 

In addition to a national survey, detailed polling on immigration was conducted in four contested Senate races (click on the state/district to see the results): Missouri, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Montana; and in 10 contested House races: Arizona 5th, Connecticut 4th, Indiana 8th, Kentucky 4th, Pennsylvania 6th, Texas 17th, Louisiana 3rd, Georgia 8th, Colorado 7th, and Ohio 6th

Among the findings:

  • Immigration is a big issue throughout country.  Of likely voters nationally, 53 percent said immigration was either their most important issue or one of their top three issues, while just 8 percent said it was not at all important. With the exception of CT-4th, in races surveyed only about 10 percent of voters said it was not important at all.
     

  • When told numbers, voters want less immigration. When told the actual number of immigrants here (legal and illegal) and the number coming (legal and illegal), and asked to put aside the question of legal status, 68 percent of voters nationally thought immigration was too high, 21 percent about right, and just 2 percent thought it was too low.  In every    congressional race surveyed, the share who said overall immigration was too low was in the single digits.
     

  • Voters less likely to vote for immigration-increasing candidates.  Experts agree that the bill recently passed by the Senate would at least double future legal immigration, yet 70 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who wanted to double legal immigration.  Overwhelming majorities in every battleground race feel the same way.
     

  • Voters reject extremes of legalization or mass deportations.  Some previous polls have shown support for legalizing illegal immigrants.  But those polls have given the public only a choice between large-scale deportations or an earned legalization, and not the third choice of across-the-board enforcement, causing illegals to go home. This third option, which is the basis of the bill passed by the US House, is voters’ top choice.
     

  • U.S. House immigration plan by far the favorite.  Enforcement approaches with no increase in legal immigration were the most popular policy option — 44 percent wanted enforcement that causes illegals to go home, the US House’s approach, and another 20 percent wanted large-scale deportations.  Just 31 percent supported a legalization. 
     

  • Intensity stronger among enforcement supporters.  Nationally, 32 percent of voters said they would be much more likely to vote for a candidate who would enforce the law and cause illegals to go home, compared to just 15 percent who said they would be much more likely to vote for a candidate who supports legalization.  This same pattern holds in battleground contests. 
     

  • Voters skeptical of need for unskilled immigrant labor.  More than 70 percent of voters nationally agreed that there were, “plenty of Americans to do low-wage jobs that require relatively little education, employers just need to pay higher wages and treat workers better to attract Americans,” compared to 21 percent who said we need immigrants because there were not enough Americans to do all such jobs.  The results were very similar in all the contested states and districts surveyed. 
     

  • Voters think lack of enforcement is reason for illegal immigration.  Three out of four voters in the nation agreed that the reason we have illegal immigration is that past  enforcement efforts have before “grossly inadequate.”  Voters strongly reject the argument that illegal immigration is caused by overly restrictive legal immigration policies.  Strong majorities in every battleground contest surveyed felt this way.
     

  • Numbers make a difference.  One key finding is that when told the scale of immigration (legal and illegal), voters overwhelming thought it was too high.  Also when told how much the Senate bill would increase legal immigration voters tended to reject it. This would seem to undermine the argument that voters are only concerned about illegality and not the level of immigration.  The level of immigration used in the questions are those widely agreed upon by experts based on government data. 

For more information, contact Steven Camarota at (202) 466-8185 sac@cis.org or Kellyanne Conway at (202) 667-6557.

# # #

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institute
which examines the impact of immigration on the United States.

http://www.cis.org/articles/2006/2006pollrelease.html

The man who likes to poke the world in the eye

Filed under: Freedom of expression, Media, Opinion — limewoody @ 5:10 pm
Linda Frum
National Post

Long-time readers of the National Post will know that former columnist Mark Steyn is one of Canada’s most gifted political writers, a man weirdly able to provoke laughter while forecasting the end of the world.

In his newly released book, America Alone, he argues that without vigilance and the unapologetic assertion of American force, we will all soon be living under Sharia law. And while Mr. Steyn muses in his book that he may not mind picking up a few extra wives, he worries that the rest of us may not like the system as much.

Mr. Steyn lives in rural New Hampshire with his (only) wife and three children.

LF You were born in Toronto, but live in the U.S. Are you still a Canadian citizen?

MS I’m a citizen of Canada, never been anything else. I don’t believe in dual citizenship.

LF So if you ever require rescuing by the Canadian government, you’ll deserve it?

MS I can assure you that if I’m ever calling the Canadian consulate in some godforsaken hell demanding that HMCS Toronto come and get me, it won’t be because I’ve called five other embassies in the previous 20 minutes.

LF In your new book America Alone you argue that: “America should proclaim the obvious: We do have a better government, religion and culture than our enemies, and we should spread America’s influence around the world.” On a spiritual/emotional level do you consider yourself an American?

MS Well, I don’t want to get into a whole kind of Michael Ignatieff pronoun-trouble thing. I’m sympathetic to him on that, because when I say “we” I generally mean “the West,” or “the civilized world,” or — more broadly — “the good guys.” I feel I’ve got a stake in the United States because I’m a resident and a taxpayer and I have my children in the public school system in the State of New Hampshire. So if I was writing about public education, I feel it would be quite reasonable to say “we.” It doesn’t mean I’ve tossed out my passport and signed up with the Great Satan once and for all.

LF Is there a quick answer as to why you live in New Hampshire of all places?

MS Long ago I was on an Amtrak overnight train from Montreal to New York and it broke down halfway, and they tossed us all off the train in the middle of the night. They sent a little bus to take us to a neighbouring inn, and I woke up the following morning and thought, “Actually, it’s quite nice around here.” I like New Hampshire because it doesn’t have a state income tax or a state sales tax, and it has a very limited government done at a very local level, which is my preference. On the other hand, there are great disadvantages. If you want to get a decent dinner, your best bet is to drive an hour and a quarter up

I-91 and eat in almost any small Quebec town.

LF Let no one say you are a self-hating Canadian. What a terrific endorsement for our cuisine.

MS I love Quebec. I’m not opposed to Quebec independence. I think it would be a huge laugh. The fact of the matter is they have a ridiculous independence movement, and they’re never going to go. Even if you threw a sovereign state at them, they’d refuse to take it. They’re no different from the Palestinians in that respect.

LF One of your best qualities is that you’re so insensitive. For example, when writing about what you call the most important fact of our time — the explosion of the Muslim global population — you say: “Those self-detonating Islamists in London and Gaza are a literal baby boom.” Making offensive jokes like that takes guts. Where do you get the courage?

MS Being offensive actually has its merits. An excessive deference to sensitivity is very harmful, particularly when you’re dealing with people so ready to take offence. I didn’t really think of it in an Islamist context until the fall of 2002, when I said in the National Post, something like: “Is it just me, or does Ramadan seem to come around quicker every year?” The point is Ramadan is every eleven and a half months. And of course I immediately got all these humourless letters from people saying, “Oh, you complete idiot! Are you not aware that under the Islamic calendar Ramadan comes…” Of course I’m aware! I’m making a cheap joke about it! It’s my standard Ramadan joke, and I’m going to do it every 11-point-however-many-months for as long as I live. I seriously do believe that it’s very hard to have a functioning society if you can’t make cheap jokes about each other all the time. One of the key signs of a shared culture is if you can all cheerfully abuse each other. In the space of the last five years the multiculturalists seem to have internalized the psychology whereby it’s taken for granted that you make whatever abusive jokes you want about Christians, but none of those same jokes can be made about Muslims. Well, the minute you accept that, I think you’re doomed.

LF Islam is the second-biggest supplier of new Canadians. Does it matter?

MS Well, I think at some point a profound question mark goes up about where a society is going. If you drive around certain parts of town you’ll see more headscarfed women. It’s the sort of thing nobody really thought about much before September 11th. We all assumed that everyone thinks the same, that everyone who gets off the plane at Pearson is coming because they want to be part of a multicultural, pluralist, liberal democracy. But what proportion of people are opposed to that view of society for it to become a problem? We’re not at that stage in Canada, but they’ve already reached that stage in Belgium, in the Netherlands, in France, in Scandinavia and in many other parts of Europe. I don’t want to see Canada having the incompatibility, the tensions that are now the absolute fundamental political dynamic in the Netherlands and Belgium.

LF Now that Stephen Harper is Prime Minister of Canada, is America still alone?

MS On that January night when he kind of snuck across the finishing line I didn’t think that Canada had voted for a Conservative revolution. Through the quirks of the Westminster system, Harper found himself in power. Since then he has not done what all the so-called realists and smart guys would have advised, and certainly not what the Mulroney government would have done. At every opportunity he has been incredibly grown-up about the realities of the world we live in and about the responsibilities that wealthy, powerful — and Canada is powerful, or would be if it would get over this kind of sissified, “My name is Joe and I drink Molson” view of the country — Canada is a potentially powerful country and needs to play its role in the world. I think the best thing about a man like Stephen Harper is that he’s not a revolutionary, but in his own way he’s not wasting any time, dragging us bit by bit to a point that is consistent with our history, consistent with who we are, basically, for the half-millennium before this concocted, ludicrous, completely obsolescent, Trudeau-PM fantasy took hold. Stephen Harper’s view of Canada’s role in the world is about where a serious second-rank power should be, and that’s the kind of country Canada was in 1945. That doesn’t mean he’s getting his orders direct from Bush’s ranch in Texas. It’s consistent with Canadian history.

LF Your book is very gloomy. After I read it, I glanced over at my three-year-old daughter and was filled with fear for her future.

MS Well, I’m in this for the three year-olds. My youngest child is six now, but my little girl and your little girl, when they’re our age, they will find a large number of places in what we think of as the free world, the developed world, far less congenial than we would. I mean, you and I would think nothing of hopping on a plane, going to London, Paris or Berlin. Those are going to be very uncomfortable places for a young, middle-aged Western woman circa 2020, 2030, and it’s precisely because we’ve taken for granted this very unusual period in history. We take it for granted that it’s a permanent state of affairs. It isn’t. It requires incredible vigilance and incredible effort to preserve it.

LF What can we in Canada do about it?

MS It starts in kindergarten. Every time you’re faced with a situation where a grade school teacher is telling your child patent nonsense, you should object. Every Canadian is the heir to a thousand years of constitutional evolution from the one civilization that has done the most to create the world we live in. Canada has very little to be ashamed of in its inheritance. Every country needs a heroic national narrative. Canada has actually got one. Why not tell it?

lfrum@nationalpost.com

October 14, 2006

The Lancet and the Ideology

Filed under: Opinion, Politics, UK — limewoody @ 1:44 pm

I could bring together the themes of the last two posts by saying that none of the British quality papers in their coverage of the latest Lancet study has mentioned that one of the authors, Les Roberts, recently ran for Congress as a Democrat. Until he dropped out of the race in May, he was one of the candidates in New York State’s 24th congressional district. Here is his position paper on Iraq and here’s an interview with him for a website supporting the left wing of the Democratic party called That’s my Congress. Here’s another interview, this time with Socialist Worker Online.

Three of the authors of the two general studies of casualties in Iraq (Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta and Gilbert Burnham) are also the authors of The Role of Small Arms during the 2003-2004 Conflict in Iraq. It was produced by the Small Arms Survey. The Survey is a gun control organisation “dedicated to documenting the effects of small arms on social well-being and public health throughout the globe.”

From the various links above, I think we can get a picture of Les Robert’s politics. He is a transnational progressive.

His politics do not mean that his figures are wrong. [ADDED LATER: I think, however, that his politics make certain types of error more likely. LATER STILL: I keep not making myself clear. What I meant to say was that his politics are not in themselves a sufficient reason to suppose him wrong, although they are one factor contributing to my assessment that he is wrong.] But the fact that he, like me, is a political animal is something I wouldn’t mind knowing, and something that we would hear a lot more about if the boot were on the other foot.
To me, Les Roberts comes across as somewhat more politically congenial – or less uncongenial – than the editor of the Lancet, Dr Richard Horton. In the Socialist Worker Online interview Dr Roberts doesn’t sound particularly happy about it when he says that most of the interviews he has had in America were with “marginal” left wing magazines – a bit of an “ouch” moment for Socialist Worker‘s Joseph Choonara, perhaps.
In contrast Dr Horton appeared passionately happy to be on the same stage as Galloway and friends in Manchester last month. Harry’s Place has up a couple of videos showing Dr Horton. The first was filmed at the Stop the War rally in Manchester on September 23. Horton tells the crowd:

“As this axis of Anglo-American imperialism extends its influence through war and conflict, gathering power and wealth as it goes, so millions of people are left to die in poverty and disease.”

The second video is less moonbatty – being unashamedly to the left of the Labour party is not the same as moonbattery – but I am not sure how Dr Horton reconciles

“Values and ideas are, of course, worth defending”

with

“We have got to avoid the suggestion that we in Britain are somehow superior, better and more civilised; that our values somehow trump the values of other societies.”

There is a paragraph near the end of the article from the Socialist Worker Online which says,

Speaking at a special lecture at London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine last week, Les Roberts said that the Lancet was chosen because it was the most highly regarded medical journal in the world, with the tightest peer-review procedures.

Something tells me that another reason the Lancet was chosen was that Dr Richard Horton was its editor.

More:

http://www.nataliesolent.blogspot.com/2006_10_08_nataliesolent_archive.html#116064780470288396

June 28, 2006

[Pew Poll on] How Muslims Think

Filed under: Opinion — limewoody @ 8:47 pm

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
June 27, 2006

[NY Sun title: “Survey of World’s Muslims Yields Dismaying Results”]

How do Muslims worldwide think?

To find out, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press carried out a large-scale attitudinal survey this spring. Titled “The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other,” it interviewed Muslims in two batches of countries: six of them with long-standing, majority-Muslim populations (Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey) and four of them in Western Europe with new, minority Muslim populations (France, Germany, Britain, and Spain).

The survey, which also looks at Western views of Muslims, yielded some dismaying but not altogether surprising results. Its themes can be grouped under three rubrics.

http://www.danielpipes.org/pf.php?id=3706

June 24, 2006

Poll shows Muslims in Britain are the most anti-western in Europe

Filed under: Opinion — limewoody @ 8:15 am

Across the board, Muslim attitudes in Britain more resembled public opinion in Islamic countries in the Middle East and Asia than elsewhere in Europe. And on the whole, British Muslims were more pessimistic than those in Germany, France and Spain about the feasibility of living in a modern society while remaining devout.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,1804078,00.html

PEW:

Filed under: Opinion — limewoody @ 8:12 am

Nonetheless, majorities in every country surveyed except Pakistan expressed pessimism about Muslim-Western relations, with Germany most strongly viewing the situation as bad (70 percent), followed by France (66 percent), Turkey (64 percent), Spain and Britain (61 percent), and Egypt (58 percent).

More:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/22/world/europe/22cnd-pew.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

June 19, 2006

If Things Go Wrong: Eurabia: Blame USA and NOT Yourself

Filed under: Eurabia, Frankrig, Islam, Migration, Multi Kulti, Opinion, Terror — limewoody @ 5:54 pm

LONDON, June 19, 2006 (AFP) – The French are highly pessimistic about their country's future, with 85 percent finding their nation headed in the wrong direction, a survey of five European countries published here Monday showed.

The poll in the Financial Times newspaper, spanning 5,000 people across Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, found that Spaniards were the most optimistic, with 44 percent believing their country was on the right track as opposed to 45 percent thinking the opposite.

The FT business daily put their confidence down to a buoyant property market and strong economic growth.

Just nine percent of French respondents thought the country was moving in the right direction as it enters the final months of Jacques Chirac's 12-year presidency, ahead of elections in April.

Britons were nearly as glum, with only 21 percent saying things were on the right track and 66 percent finding the country headed down the wrong path, followed by the Germans and the Italians.

Europeans feel that the United States poses the biggest threat to global safety — more so than Iran, China, Iraq, Russia and North Korea — the poll showed.

The survey found that in Italy, France and Britain, more people favoured than opposed the construction of new nuclear power stations.

The FT said the results should provide some relief for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is undertaking a major energy policy review and supports a new generation of nuclear power plants.

Across the five countries, 44 percent were in favour while 43 percent were opposed.

The survey also found that Europeans thought it was too easy for foreign companies to take over businesses in their countries.

Concern over foreign predators was highest in Britain (68 percent), followed by Germany (57 percent), France (52 percent) and Italy (50 percent).

Harris Interactive interviewed 5,000 adults across the five countries between June 6 and 9.

June 15, 2006

A minority – only 40% – of Dutch/Moroccan Youth in the Nederlands reject Western values.

Filed under: Global Jihad, Islam, Multi Kulti, Opinion, Terror — limewoody @ 3:08 pm

AMSTERDAM — A new centre for the study of radicalism and extremism has been established in Amsterdam.

The Centrum voor Radicalisme en Extremisme Studies (CRES) is being hosted by the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and will bring together researchers from various universities to advance the study of religious radicalisation in the Netherlands.

Researcher Frank Buijs of UvA's Institute of Migration and Ethnic Studies decided there was a need for the new academic centre while he was researching radicalisation of Moroccan youth on behalf of the Ministry for Immigration and Integration.

The study found 40 percent of the Moroccan youth in the Netherlands reject western values and

democracy. Six to seven percent are prepared to use force to defend Islam.

The majority are opposed to freedom of speech for offensive statements, particularly criticism of Islam. Buijs is the first director of CRES, which will provide information to people who come into contact with radicalism as part of their work.

Buijs said on Wednesday that the government must provide alternatives for Salafism, a contemporary movement in Sunni Islam that seeks a return to the 'pure Islam' of the days of Mohammed.

Salafism is a gaining ground in the Netherlands and Buijs said the government must do more to stimulate a more pluralistic form of Islam. Buijs and his colleagues discuss the issue in a new book 'Strijders van eigen bodem – radicale en democratische moslims in Nederland' (home-grown warriors – radical and democratic Muslims in the Netherlands.

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