Monday, March 28, 2011

Has the turnaround begun already?

In my previous entry I expressed hope that David Horowitz's abandonment of the "democracy project" would go further then just one statement and that it would spur a debate on the virtues of the idea not just among bloggers but mainstream commentators as well. It seems that at least on one of Horowitz's affiliates, Jihad Watch, things are beggining to move in the right direction.

For a few months now there is a new commentator on that site going by the assumed name of Roland Shirk who has been offering his views on islam(ideology and current events) and how the non-muslim world should interact with it. While I can not say I agree with all of Mr. Shirk's suggestions and ideas, his writings are on the whole a welcome breath of fresh air, especially in one aspect.

Roland Shirk has on the pages of Jihad Watch finally, openly and unequivocally, subjected neoconservativism, it's ideological postulates, it's view of the islam and the Middle East, it's role in the making of the US foreign policy to long overdue criticism. Neoconservativism has, of course, been attacked before but the vast majority of those attacks came either from the transantional and radical left, which saw neoconservatives as American imperialist nationalists bent on conquering the world and siezing all it's natural resources, especially oil, or from the hard-right which believed they are a secret, conspirational circle whose goal is to use American power to do the bidding of Israel and the Jews(awful old "Jewish conspiracy" canard). Both of them misrepresent what neoconservatives stand for, and unfortunately, both have dominated the neocon-critical scene over the years, which made possible for the neoconservatives to dismiss most of their critics as "loons" and "bigots" and those who they could not smear as such were given the "guilt by association" treatment. Roland Shirk, however, lays out what neoconservatives really believe and how their ideology which has driven their action is detrimental to our entire civilization. By doing this via Jihad Watch, Shirk ensures that it does not remain merely as a musing of an anonymous blogger and that he and the site that has given him a forum for his thoughts can not be labeled as "anti-American leftists" or "haters"(or, at least, that nobody in his/her right mind would take these labels seriously).

To be fair, Jihad Watch founder Robert Spencer was never an enthusiast for the democracy project, but his opposition to it was rarely expressed openly and even when it was he did it in mild terms. Roland Shirk, however, does not shirk(pun intentional) from heavy words and scatching qualifications. In one of his first columns Shirk says:

Neocons cannot face the truth about Islam--and indeed are as likely as liberals to demonize us when we try to tell it. Why? Because we are attacking all their most cherished illusions. We're insisting that human affairs are not a chess problem, or a really thorny edition of the Sunday Times crossword puzzle.


Shirk is even more ruthless towards the neoconservatives' darling, George W. Bush:

If there is a stupider, more insane speech in American presidential history than George W. Bush's neo-Trotskyite Second Inaugural, I haven't found it.


Roland Shirk's most riveting article so far critical of neoconservativism came yesterday, as a medical metaphore describing how foreign interventionism has become an addiction in American foreign policy, one that will not be shaken off easily. Neosconservatives did not invent interventionism, of course, but it is one of the pillars of their ideology.

Neoconservatives are not the only target of Shirk's criticism. As a self-described "paleoconservative with a libertarian streaks" he is not shy from pointing out egregious tendencies among his ideological brothers or their inability to rise above personal petty resentment. That he is not blind to the shortcomings of paleoconservativism and libertarianism when it comes to islam and the Middle East strongly enforces Shirk's credibility as a thinker and a writer.

I can only hope that there will be more writers like Roland Shirk and articles in the mould of his columns on Jihad Watch that will be given space on web sites close to the mainstream conservative right(seeing that, IMO, the left and liberalism are almost beyond redemption) and that the movement for more reality-based policies and solutions is getting under way.

Friday, March 25, 2011

If they lost him...

Reality has finally bitten David Horowitz as he announced that he is no longer a believer in the "neoconservative democratization project". Or rather, that he never really was one...He certainly supressed his scepticism quite well, as Lawrence Auster aptly put it. Horowitz, however, stopped short of saying how he was always at war with Eastasia...

Cynicism and joking aside, this is a welcome turn of events in several aspects. First, it might finally insert into the mainstream the notion of the existance of differences between cultures, peoples and civilizations, differences that sometimes make them incompatible with one another. And that some are even patently malevolent and hostile to others...

Second, it will begin dispell the delusion dominating American policy-making circles that the world can be shaped according to the American model and that this, instead of old-fashioned self-interest, should be the driving force of US foreign policy. There is a quote from Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" that perfectly captures such a mentality: "...inside every gook there is an American trying to get out." Kubrick did not prophecize, it is a malaise that has been in existance for quite some time now, one that predates the rise of neoconservativism.

Third and perhaps most important, no longer will it be possible to force upon people the false choice between neoconservativism and transnational progressivism, two seemingly different roads that both lead to perdition. Nor will it be possible for those ideologies to maintain their current percieved strangle-holds on anti-jihadism and anti-imperialism respectively which has permitted them to smear and defame those who oppose them from both left and right with near impunity. Common people will finally get a realistic, fact-based explanations for many of the things going on in the world, not oversimplified cliches and heated, emotional rhetoric full of gratuituos ideological labeling.

As you read this, you propably think I am being overly optimistic, that I am making to much from a statement of one man an you may well be right. But it would not be the first time an individual statement swayed, if not public opinion, then certainly public debate. Remember Walter Cronkite's editorial on Vietnam? If neoconservativism lost Horowitz, it is likely to lose the entire American right. Hopefully, Horowitz will not stop at this one statement and will in the coming days further elaborate on the moral and intellectual bancrupcy of neoconservativism as well as their separation from real world, as well as introduce viable, reality-based ideas on how to confront the dangers our world is facing.

UPDATE: Lawrence Auster reproduced this entry on his blog. However, he took exception to my reference of the quote from "Full Metal Jacket". I would like to point out that it was in no way meant either as a "cheapshot" or an endorsement of Stanley Kubrick's political views and I'm sorry that Mr. Auster saw it that way. I emailed him a more detailed explanation of what I meant to express with the reference and I might elaborate further on this in another entry.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

24.3.1999,NEVER FORGET



Things may seem bleak now, but as long as we do not begin to love our Big Brother, he will never fullfill his goals.

Memory eternal to all our victims of the NATO war of agression.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

On behalf of whom?

To paraphrase an old saying, nobody has ever gone bankrupt by betting on the lack of common sense of the American and western political elite. In defiance of all logic and common sense, not to mention internationa law, they began a military campaign against Lybia whose purpose and objective even they can not figure out. Prior to the air-strikes, there was the usual media preparation with well-known canards of the "evil dictator" murdering "peaceful demonstrators" who, after rumours of Ghadaffi's imminent demise proved to be exaggerated, became "rebels" all of a sudden.

Even if this sounds all eeriely familiar, the Lybia reporting also brought, even by the lowlife standards of today's mainstream media, an astonishing novelty. More then a month after the Lybian conflict started, not a single media outlet asks, let alone gives an answer to a very important question...

"Lybian rebels", who are those people?

It beggars belief that in the era of internet, satellite and mobile phones virtually nothing is known about one side of a conflict that threatens an entire region. If one can understand why the media won't cover the story much, bearing in mind their ant-Ghaddafi agenda, why aren't "rebels" themselves making an effort to present themselves to the world? Where are their sites, blogs, Facebook profiles and groups? Have they got something to hide, perhaps, and if so, what?

Teh answers to all these questions are given by the Nolan Chart columnist Andy Stone. Stone has discovered that the revolt against Ghaddafi, that started in Benghazi, was lead by an organization with the seemingly inoccuous name of National Conference of the Libyan Opposition. As it turns out, this group has it's internet site, but only in Arabic(why?). From it, Stone translated the organization's main grievances with Ghadaffi, which are:


•Qaddafi has closed an Islamic university and a seminary, has forbidden some Islamist publications, and has thrown thousands of Islamist activists into jail.

•Qaddafi has urged to put the Qur'an on the shelf, as no longer appropriate for this age.

•Qaddafi has made fun of the Islamic veil, calling it a "rag" and a "tent".

•Qaddafi has dared to say that Christians and Jews should be allowed to visit Mecca.

•Qaddafi has rejected the Hadith and Sunnah, and said he follows the Qur'an alone.


Besides this, Stone also quotes a Wikileaked State department document from 2008 which describes eastern Lybia(also known as Cyrenaica), the epicenter of the anti-Ghaddafi revolt, as an area of fervent Islamic sentiment, where "a number of Libyans who had fought and in some cases undergone 'religious and ideological training' in Afghanistan, Lebanon and the West Bank in the late 1970's and early 1980's had returned [...] in the mid to late 1980's". There they engaged into "a deliberate, coordinated campaign to propagate more conservative iterations of Islam, in part to prepare the ground for the eventual overthrow by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) of Muammar Qadhafi's regime, which is 'hated' by conservative Islamists". While Qaddafi's position was perceived to be strong, the East Libyans sent jihadis to Iraq, where "fighting against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq represented a way for frustrated young radicals to strike a blow against both Qadhafi and against his perceived American backers".

In light of all this, it is understandable why western governements and the media are trying to conceal all relevant information about the "rebels" and demonize Ghadaffi as much as possible. My impression, however, is that the population of USA and Europe is largely beyond such propaganda. There is a growing consciousness among common people about the dangers that islamist movements represent to their countries and way of life. In this day and age, it would be impossible to sell te reasons of goint to war on behalf of islamists, no matter how much politicians and the media try to villify Ghadaffi, not only attributing alleged "attrocities towards his own peolle" to him but also by dragging out "past sins" that they said they have put behind them when it suited them so.

It remains to be seen yet where this latest NATO-islamist alliance will lead to. The precedents teach us we can expect nothing good to come out of it.

UPDATE: Literally as I was typing this, I saw an article on Yahoo with the headline:"Who are the Lybian rebels". My mistake was to expect to find some substantial information in it. It is simply a littany of over-used propagandist canards fitting the "evil-dictator-versus-unarmed-peaceful-people" narrative. There is one small exception though: the writer describes the statement by the so-called Interim national council, the only known official body of the "rebels", as "reassuring buzzwords the West would like to hear". Meaning, "I might have to write this propagandist piece but I don't have to believe it". Also, the comments on the article are a true silver lining and confrim my thesis that westerners are largely beyond such propaganda.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan



Just as I announced my return, a small illness prevented me from continuing to blog...For the time being, this is my modest way of supporting the people of Japan and their efforts to overcome multiple catastrophes that have befallen on them these days.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm back at last!

Took me long enough, but here I am...There are various reasons for my almost year-long hiatus.

Most important are those personal. A child changes your life, it turns it around completely, especially a firstborn...Priorities change, and dramatically so. Thus blogging descended on my list of priorities.

Besides, there was very little to blog about, really. The reality was grim, almost everything transpired in the horrible way I had forseen and I did not fancy writing something resembling a chronicle of a downfall.

In the past months things began to change though, in Serbia and the world. Here, the people are finally starting to sober from euro-insanity and the hangover is not pretty. It seems, also, that we finally have seeds of new parties and movements forming, people unwilling to settle for unprincipled comprimises, accept existing rotten and out-dated ideological matrixes and willing to speak and tackle real problems.

Elsewhere, in America, such a movement finally brought the issue of national debt to the forefront (with the latter staying there for the forseeable future) as well as the collapse of HopeAndChange. Now, will they have the guts to push it all the way? That would mean a reassesement of many assumptions represented as sacrosant by the establishment...

And last but not least, we have the upheaval in the Arab/Muslim world...Is it over? Hardly. How will it bode for the future? Nobody knows for sure but there are worrying indicators...

More on all of this later. Suffice to say for the time being that I will be more active from now on.