Archive for the ‘Extremism’ Category

Racism rampant within ISIS (Da’esh)

November 24, 2015

Racism is endemic in the Arab world. Central Asian Muslims at least have the Mongol warrior traditions to give them status. Muslims from S Asia are considered to have been converted by conquerors or by trader-conquerors and are not to be compared with pure-blood Arabs. African Muslims come even lower down the scale since they were slaves who were converted by their Arab masters. In Arab eyes, I think, first class Muslims are those from the Middle East and some selected parts of North Africa; second class are those from countries with a Mongol heritage of being conquerors; third class are those from South Asia and the lowest class are Muslims from sub-Saharan Africa. Generally, the darker the skin colour, the lower the class. (Persians are all of course mainly Shia and are not considered true Muslims).

It has long been suspected that Da’esh (ISIS) also implements a hierarchy of races among their members, over and above any adherence to any religious sect within Islam. Lowest of course are the infidels who follow some religion other than Islam (and worst of all are those who follow no religion at all).  Apostate Sunnis are also considered scum.Then come all Shia Muslims who are virtually infidels.

ISIS just mirrors the racism that is endemic in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. African, Indians and Pakistanis who may be Sunni Muslims are never quite completely trustworthy. They are not given positions of command responsibility, are expendable and serve as cannon fodder. That seemingly applies even to European citizens, but who are of S Asian or African origin, and who volunteer as jihadists. That also explains why Boko Haram and al Shabab may affiliate themselves to Da’esh, but Africans are never going to get a place at the top table. Only a true Arab who follows the Wahhabi brand of Salafist jihadism apparently makes the grade. Earlier this year NBC News quoted US intelligence sources about how the Arabs looked down on Africans:

“The Arab world is incredibly racist,” explained a U.S. intelligence official. “They don’t see black Africans as equivalent to them.” ISIS may show “affinity” with Boko Haram, said the official, “but they stop short of allegiance.” Moreover, said the official, while Boko Haram has in the past year released videos to show “affiliation” with groups like ISIS, there’s no evidence of either group sending members to fight with the other. And while Boko Haram has praised ISIS, and shown the ISIS flag in videos, ISIS has not reciprocated.

The Press Trust of India has just put out this story which is carried widely in India, and is apparently based on a report put together from a variety of intelligence sources/briefings.

PTI: …. ISIS does not consider South Asian Muslims, including Indians, good enough to fight in conflict zone of Iraq and Syria and so treats them as inferior to Arab fighters often tricking them into suicide attacks. 

According to an intelligence report prepared by foreign agencies and shared with Indian agencies, fighters from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as certain countries like Nigeria and Sudan are considered inferior to Arab fighters. 

There appears to be clear hierarchy wherein the Arab fighters are preferred as officer cadre and provided better arms and ammunition, equipment, accommodation and salaries. “The fighters from South Asia are usually housed in groups in small barracks and are paid less than the Arab fighters and are provided inferior equipment,” the input says. 

There are reports that the so-called inferior fighters are also, at times, tricked into suicide attacks. Usually they are given a vehicle loaded with explosives and asked to go near a targeted destination and call a certain number, who would purportedly come and meet them to explain the mission. However, as soon as the number is dialled, the car explodes due to a pre-set mechanism aimed at destroying a specific target.

A total of 23 Indians have so far joined the ISIS of which six reportedly killed in different incidents. ….. The intelligence report suggests that there is a disproportionately high level of casualty among the South Asian and African foreign terrorist fighters since they are forced to the frontlines of battle as foot soldiers. The Arab fighters with better battle experience are mostly positioned behind these fighters and hence their casualties are proportionally less in terms of their total numbers. 

According to The Hindu, the intelligence report also says that

“there is information that foreign fighters of Chinese, Indian, Nigerian and Pakistani origin are housed together and are monitored closely by the IS Police. ….  only Tunisian, Palestinian, Saudi Arabian, Iraqi and Syrian are allowed to be in the IS Police force, which is barred for fighters of all other nationalities. 

ISIS considers Islam, as it is practised in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh .., as apostate and a departure from the original teachings of Quran and Hadith, which makes them less motivated towards Salafist Jihad.

Further, passports of foreign terrorist fighters from South Asia and certain African countries are usually burnt upon their arrival in Iraq-Syria to prevent them going back to their countries.

European Muslims of S Asian origin who are attracted to Salafist jihadism because they feel they are second-class in Europe, will now find themselves even lower down the pecking order within Da’esh. The South Asian Muslim women who join Da’esh probably end up as little more than comfort women for their Arab superiors.

You cannot kill for free speech but you have to be prepared to die for it

January 16, 2015

The Pope just said that, if the limits to free speech are exceeded, then violence is to be expected. In spite of his separate statement that violence in the name of God was never justified, he has effectively condoned a violent reaction if and when some limit to “free speech” is exceeded.

Pope Francis says freedom of speech has limits

Pope Francis has defended freedom of expression following last week’s attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo – but also stressed its limits. The pontiff said religions had to be treated with respect, so that people’s faiths were not insulted or ridiculed.

To illustrate his point, he told journalists that his assistant could expect a punch if he cursed his mother.

But his handlers at the Vatican soon realised that he was effectively saying that at some level of perceived insult, a violent reaction was to be expected and, by implication, justified. They tried to put the cat back in the bag, but they cannot get away from the fact that even a playful punch at an assistant was, and was intended to, represent a violent reaction:

Yahoo News: The Rev. Thomas Rosica, who collaborates with the Vatican press office, issued a statement early Friday stressing that the pope was by no means justifying the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

“Pope Francis has not advocated violence with his words on the flight,” he said in a statement.

He said Francis’ words were “spoken colloquially and in a friendly, intimate manner among colleagues and friends on the journey.” He noted that Francis has spoken out clearly against the Paris attacks and that violence in God’s name can never be justified.

Leaving aside this Pope’s attempts at populism, he does not address the fact that all organised religions – and not least Catholicism – are fundamentally opposed to and deny free speech. They are all concerned with telling, and imposing on their members, what to think and how to behave.

Those who like to quote Voltaire and his “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”, need to admit that what he actually said was not that “free speech” was a right, but that “free speech was worth dying for”.

It could be argued that the Pope was saying the same thing. You cannot kill for free speech but you have to be prepared to die for it. The terrorists in Paris were killing because they felt insulted not because they were for or against free speech. The Charlie Hebdo journalists died for their right to express whatever they wished.

(Sometimes I wonder why something so simple is made so complicated. Of course, every individual can say or express whatever he likes. And of course he must take responsibility for that. He is not immune to the consequences of what he says. The problem comes only when the “free speaker” demands immunity from any prosecution and protection from any unpleasant consequence. The risk of retaliation – whether legal or not – must be taken by the speaker. Equally, the retaliator has no “right” not to be offended. The offense lies in his mind and he must take responsibility for his actions.)

But the Pope is not alone in being confused. His confused message is just an example of the many confused responses to the brutal murders at Charlie Hebdo’s office and the Jewish supermarket in Paris. Initially, there was universal condemnation of the killings and the “Je suis Charlie” meme was used to show solidarity with the victims and as a manifestation of support for free speech.

But it soon became clear that the manifestations of support were not as simple and unified as all that. The Left were – in their confused minds – supporting free speech and condemning violence by Islamic terrorists. But by some mental calisthenics they were also showing solidarity with moderate Islam. The confused Prime Minister of Turkey went to Paris and stood arm-in-arm with Hollande and other leaders and then went home and condemned the journalists for their insults to Islam and for the new Charlie Hebdo issue. The confused members of Pegida suppressed their dislike of the media and joined the wave of manifestations, to demonstrate their opposition to the Islamicisation of Europe. For them the attack was proof of the evil in Islam. They tried not to show too much sympathy for the Jewish victims but focused on the evil attackers. A confused Barack Obama did not know what to do and so – as usual – did nothing. Confused orthodox Jewish papers removed all women from their pictures of the Paris manifestation. A confused Angela Merkel joined the Paris manifestation and then went home and joined a pro-Muslim demonstration for balance. A confused David Cameron joined the Paris manifestation and then was quick to point out that he was only against the Islamic terrorists.

Al Qaeda in the Yemen claimed that they were responsible.

After a few days, while the support for free speech in the face of Islamic barbarism continues as the main theme, the message has now started to be diluted. Charlie Hebdo had gone too far and the reaction – while not justified – was to be expected. In other words the irresponsible journalists were – to some extent – culpable. By their racism and irresponsibility they had invited retaliation. The co-founder of Charlie Hebdo accused the editor of dragging himself and others to their deaths. The Pope said much the same.

SalonThe previously ubiquitous hashtags of #JeSuisCharlie were suddenly replaced by declarations that “I am not Charlie Hebdo, and torn commentators searched for alternative symbols to cling to in the wake of tragedy, such as Ahmed Merebat, the Muslim police officer killed by the terrorists as they made their getaway.

In the matter of three days, the staff of Charlie Hebdo had transformed from heroic symbols of free expression to the latest in a long line of racists whose right to say what they say we’ll defend to the death, even if we don’t particularly like what they’re saying.

But the events of Paris were not about free speech. They were – primarily – about Islamic terrorists who killed to satisfy their warped and twisted view of the world. They killed innocent Jews in a supermarket and journalists with a rather juvenile sense of humour. And while the Islamic fanatics may not represent the main body of moderate Muslims, the fringe that is radical Islam exists where it does because the main body of Islam exists where it does.

And the origins of most of the Sunni Islamic extremism are still rabid Saudi Arabian clerics and Saudi Arabian money.

A genetic component to extremism and cruelty?

December 17, 2014

One hundred and thirty two children were massacred by seven Taliban heroes in Peshawar yesterday. Three of the seven were suicide bombers seeking paradise who blew themselves up in an auditorium filled with 9th and 10th grade children. It was a public but an army-run school. The Taliban see anything connected with the Pakistan army as a legitimate target – even children. They have targeted and attacked the families of soldiers before. The day before the valiant heroes of ISIS beheaded another 13 people. Last week we heard about the brutal and degrading methods employed by the CIA. Every other day Al Shabab and Boko Haram kidnap, mutilate and kill innocents – often children. One despairs that humanity has not evolved away from this behaviour. Extremism and unfathomable cruelty is dominated by, but is not the exclusive domain of, religious fanatics. We find fanatics about other causes too. There are fanatics prepared to go to extreme lengths for many nationalistic – hence political – causes. Chechnya, the Uighurs, Kurds, the IRA, in Myanmar and of course in the Middle East and Africa. White power, Black power, animal rights, rain forests, abortion and environmental causes all attract some people capable of exhibiting extreme and cruel behaviour.

I wonder how humans could behave in this “bestial” manner and still be considered human? Is it the “cause” which elicits the behaviour or is it the deviant human who seeks the “cause”? Not every religious fanatic applies to become an ISIS executioner. Not every CIA employee is capable of being a torturer. Some, if not most, people, I think, are not capable of this cruel and “bestial” behaviour.

It suggests to me that there is a genetic component involved here. That does not mean that our genes determine our actual, day-to-day behaviour. But I am sure that it is our genes which determine the unique envelope of behaviours that is possible for each one of us. We may not exhibit all the behaviours within the envelope but all our actual behaviour will be contained within the envelope. I am inclined to believe that there is therefore a combination of genes which brings this kind of extreme and cruel behaviour within an individual’s envelope of possible behaviours, and then into play. Only some humans will have this within their envelope of possible behaviours and only some of them will then actually exhibit the behaviour. Possibly it is nurture and upbringing and exposure which determines if the potential behaviour becomes actual.

There is evidence that being “nice” does have a genetic component. There is little doubt that our social behaviour does have genetic components. Some genes do seem to effect something called the Empathy Quotient and there are clear linkages between empathy and the propensity to cruelty. Matt Ridley speculated in the WSJ about Osama bin Laden’s genes:

…. But, Prof. Baron-Cohen went on, it would at least be interesting to take a look at bin Laden’s MAOA gene (linked to aggression), his AVPR1A and CNR1 genes (linked to emotional expression) and his CYP11B1, NTRK1, and GABRB3 genes, which show some association with how individuals score on a scale called the “Empathy Quotient.” He discovered these linkages in the course of testing his hypothesis that cruelty is generally enabled by a failure of empathy. 

In most cruel people, Prof. Baron-Cohen argues, the “empathy circuit,” which runs through 10 different regions of the brain, goes down either temporarily or permanently, leaving the person with “zero empathy.” The reasons may be partly innate, partly a function of early experiences such as birth trauma or parental neglect, or an interaction of the two.

Not all zero-empathy people are cruel. There is a category of “zero-positive” people, with autism or severe Asperger’s, who lack empathy but show no tendency to unkindness. And not all cruel people lack empathy (bin Laden may be among the exceptions). But if Prof. Baron-Cohen is right, a combination of a brain scan, a genotyping and a case history could “diagnose” many or even most cruel personalities, perhaps even before they commit crimes. ….. 

If we could identify the genes and epigenetic factors which led to “inhuman” cruelty, then what would we do if we diagnosed someone as likely to become a cruel extremist? Would we be prepared as a society to act against an individual because he had the potential to be a terrorist – but before he had committed any terrorist act? And should we be ensuring that he does not pass his genes on?

A New Eugenics perhaps. The rational and logical conclusion if we could clearly identify “unwanted” characteristics would be to eliminate these characteristics in all future generations. We would also have to eliminate the possibility that there is any collateral damage, that some wanted characteristics disappear when the unwanted one is removed. Certainly social skills have been instrumental in the success of the species. But humans without some measure of aggression would probably not have survived. If removing cruelty also removed aggression then we would have to tread very carefully.

Is human cruelty the price the species pays? for what?

Tony Blair as spin doctor for ISIS next?

August 25, 2014

Tony Blair’s venal opportunism in Kazakhstan is well established. After the massacre of 15 civilian protesters in 2011, he has had a lucrative business acting as spin doctor for President Nursultan Nazarbeyev by video interviews and personal advice and speech writing.

The GuardianIn a letter to Nursultan Nazarbeyev, Blair told the autocratic ruler that the December 2011 deaths, “tragic though they were, should not obscure the enormous progress that Kazakhstan has made”. Blair advised Nazarbeyev that when dealing with the western media, he should tackle the events in Zhanaozen, when police opened fire on protesters, including oil workers demanding higher wages, “head-on”. ……  he also suggested passages to be inserted into a speech the president was giving at the University of Cambridge aimed at counteracting any bad publicity. One read: “By all means make your points and I assure you we’re listening. But give us credit for the huge change of a positive nature we have brought about”.

The former Labour leader’s consultancy, Tony Blair Associates, set up in the capital, Astana, in October 2011, signing a multi- million pound deal to advise Kazakhstan’s leadership on good governance, just months after Nazarbeyev was controversially re-elected with 96% of the vote and weeks before the massacre.

Tony Blair is also – believe it or not – the EU’s Middle East Envoy!

While one could question the wisdom (folly?) of the EU in such a choice, there is no doubt that Blair will be able to, and will, leverage this appointment to win future consultancy contracts in the Middle East. He is gaining – based on his record – quite a reputation as being able to “spin” death and destruction to the media and to politicians as “regrettable but unavoidable and don’t forget all the good things”. He well knows how to “sex” up a dossier.

It is now reported that the gruesome and barbarous murder of James Foley by a British ISIS Jihadi also had publicity objectives.

News.comTHE beheading of American journalist, James Foley, at the hands of ISIS militants shocked the world but forensic experts have revealed the video was probably staged, with the murder happening off camera. ….. ……… an international forensic science company, which has worked for police forces across Britain, said there is no question Foley was beheaded but that camera trickery and post-production techniques look to have been used.

“I think it has been staged,” said one expert in visual forensics, after he was commissioned by The UK Times to examine the footage. “My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped.”

Aymenn al-Tamimi, a fellow at the Middle East Forum think-tank, said over the years ISIS militants have improved the production quality of their videos.

The analysis by experts has highlighted a number of inconsistencies that could suggest that the beheading of Foley, which was seen on the video, was not his actual death.

ISIS is not short of money. The Spanish, French and German governments have been reported to have paid large ransoms to ISIS to get their hostages released. The reports are of tens of millions of Euros paid. The demand for releasing James Foley was said to have been $132 million. But the UK and the US generally do not pay ransoms. In any event,  “ISIS has about $2 billion in its war chest”. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Qatar are also apparently quite generous in their funding of ISIS.

So ISIS would seem to be able to afford the best in weapons. They would even have the funds sufficient and necessary to employ Tony Blair Associates. Blair should be able to come up with some helpful and creative suggestions for ISIS on how to get more positive coverage from the world media and improve upon the scripts to be used in their video executions?

Where will the next Anders Behring Breivik come from?

July 28, 2011

There are those who say that the ideas and words were correct but the man was a lone lunatic. They are indignant when accused of creating the world in which the murderer lived. They refute the notion that it was their writings and speeches which fed the monster and pushed him over the edge from rhetoric to action. They invoke the dangers of repression of free speech to defend their own speeches or writings. They condemn violence but will not concede that their words and ideas can lead to violent actions.

But I think they need to think again. Forbidding what people may say or write is not the answer. But those who speak and write cannot just disconnect themselves from the consequences of what they speak or write. Words and ideas are not actions but one person’s words cannot be insulated or divorced from the actions of others that they may cause. Using language is not without responsibility. If we want the freedom to speak and write whatever we want then we cannot escape from some of the  responsibility for whatever ensues from what we speak or write.

Anders Behring Breivik was not born a murderer. Somewhere along his 32 years of history he became one. I have no doubt that some part of his early upbringing contributed to this and that his parents bear some – rather diffuse – responsibility. We don’t know enough about human behaviour to be certain what factors in his childhood may have laid the foundation for the choices he later made. But certainly it was at this time that the choices that would become available to him were defined. The possibility that he could become a mass-murderer – the path he could tread – was surely created then. But it was his own choices which took him down this path. He joined the Freemasons and was later seduced by a glorified fantasy of the Knight Templars. His world – by his own choice – for the last decade or so has been in that populated by the anti-left, anti-immigrant, anti-islam, christian fundamentalist bigots and a large part of that world has been on-line. He has devoured the extreme rhetoric that was there to be devoured. That it was readily available and politically acceptable – albeit with a minority – has provided him with a cloak of legitimacy for continuing down his path and eventually making the choices he did. And somewhere along the way, something in this rhetorical environment where hate was not just permitted but was politically legitimised and socially acceptable, pushed him over the edge from compiling manifestos to killing teenagers. In his world his actions were rational and those who helped to create his world cannot just dismiss his actions as those of a lone lunatic. He surely bears the responsibility for the choices he has made and for his actions. But others bear responsibility too.

Another Anders Behring Breivik is developing somewhere right now. And while we may not know where this may be and the environment in which he is developing and what rhetoric is triggering his choices, all politicians and journalists and bloggers and writers who disseminate extravagant rhetoric need to think twice about the consequences of their words. None of them speak or write to be ignored. They all have the intention – or the wish – that their words will be listened to, will form opinion and will lead to actions. And when their words lead to actions – but not perhaps the actions they intended – another Anders Behring Brevik may appear.

Der Spiegel carries a story about the behaviour of one particular group which – to me – sounds like it has the potential for creating another Anders Behring Brevik. It only takes one.

Family Life Among Germany’s Far-Right Extremists

Experts are worried about the children of Germany’s neo-Nazis growing up in isolated extremist communities. The children read Nazi-era books, put together puzzles showing maps with 1937 borders and attend camps with ideological instruction.

….. The more brazen the self-identified “National Socialist Movement” has become in Germany in recent years, the more energy it is devoting to members’ children. Investigators estimate that neo-Nazi households are raising several thousand children to be familiar with weapons, violence, raiding private homes, Nazi cult objects, songs of the Hitler Youth and Waffen-SS, and the worshiping of major figures from the Third Reich. They are unwittingly becoming part of a sworn “fighting community” hidden behind a middle-class façade.

Could Paul Ray or Alan Lake be Anders Behring Breivik’s UK mentor?

July 26, 2011

Right wing bloggers are busy distancing themselves from Anders Behring Breivik. These include Robert Spencer, Baron Bodissey, Pam Geller, Carl in Jerusalem, EU Referendum, Lionheart and Fjordman among others. Some are mounting a defence of their views while trying to separate their ideologies from the actions in Norway.

The anti-immigration political parties in Scandinavia are busy trying to separate their ideologies and rantings from the “insanity” of Breivik’s actions. It is interesting that they are very quick to blame any terrorist action by any Islamist group onto Islam as a whole but are now desperately denying that their ideologies could have contributed any legitimacy to Breivik or to the massacre in Norway. This morning I listened to a spokesman for the Swedish Democrats on radio but he came across as being defensive, rather plaintive and peevish and suffering under the weight of unjust accusations.

The Freemasons in Norway and worldwide are are also trying to get as far away from Anders Behring Breivik and as quickly as possible.

The English Defence League is the most likely home of Breivik’s UK support. Paul Ray (Lionheart) of the English Defence League may be one of the favourites to be  “Richard” the UK mentor of Anders Behring Breivik.

Paul Ray

Facebook: “Paul Ray even by EDL standards is a ****ing nutter. a hardline Christian fundamentalist obssessed with the crusades and St George. Ray has already been kicked out of the EDL once for insubordination and organising demos and not turning up to them. 

But he is busy pointing the finger at Alan Lake.

It has been implied several places that due to the fact I use the name Lionheart on this blog and my anti-Islamic fundamentalism ideology is similar, not the same, as Anders Breivik that Richard could mean Richard the Lionheart, thus Lionheart could mean me.

I might be a Christian fundamentalist who has a deep dislike for Islamic fundamentalism who looks to Templarism as an example, but anyone who knows me knows that I personally would play no part in such inhumane savagery that has no place in the civilised world.

…….  and now the penny has finally dropped on who the most likely person is, who ‘Richard’ the English mentor of Anders Breivik is. EDL’s financier and political controller Alan Lake.

The Right Perspective:

The “perfect knight” Norwegian terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik said he met at a 2002 London initiation ceremony of the Knights Templar is English Defence League financier and political controller Alan Lake, according to a self-proclaimed “founding father” of the group.

Ray, who calls himself one of “the founding fathers” of the right-wing English Defence League, and was arrested three years ago for “inciting racial hatred” with his blog. He writes under the penname “Lionheart,” named after King Richard I, who earned the name Lionheart for commanding armies as a teenager during the Third Crusade.

Alan Lake addresses a Sweden Democrat conference in September 2009

Alan Lake addresses a Sweden Democrat conference in September 2009

Alan Lake is not an unlikely contender. Lake is a 45 -year-old businessman from Highgate, North London, who claims to have made his money through computers, and runs a series of intranet services for far-right groups around the world. He also has strong links with the anti-immigration parties in Sweden and Norway. He spoke at a seminar organised by Kent Ekeroth of the Sweden Democrats in Malmö on 6 September 2009. In April 2010, Lake admitted to a Norwegian TV channel that he had helped to fund the EDL. Following the Utoya Massacre in Norway on 24 July 2011, Lake commented:  “Apparently, in a long screed Anders Behring Breivik posted on line, he did this attack to protest against the way that Islam is taking over large parts of Europe. By attacking the leftist politicians that are enabling this, the chickens have actually come home to roost – altho I’m sure it won’t be depicted that way”.    

Osama bin Laden dead – but he changed our world

May 2, 2011

All the deaths in the US, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan and in bomb attacks in many European, African and Middle-East countries can be linked to the events of September 11th 2001 and to Osama bin Laden. Whatever the subsequent duplicity and stupidity of Bush and Blair and Howard, they were merely reacting to what bin Laden had set in motion. Bush’s thirst for revenge in Iraq was enabled therefore by bin Laden.

Bin Laden’s body will no doubt be displayed as evidence buried at sea with DNA collected and there will be much celebration and jubilation in some quarters. There will be dismay and – hopefully – some despair and fatigue among those who use mindless violence for their political aims. The response to the events of 9/11 itself has perpetuated the cycle of violence and has even legitimised the use of terrorism as a political tool. Collateral damage has become acceptable. All manner of “means” have become justifiable and acceptable where the purpose has been the “War on Terror”. Fundamental values have been subject to new limitations and constraints. Using violence to effect regime change in other countries  is no longer taboo. Mass arrests, torture, pre-emptive strikes across country borders and the assassination of  political enemies have become legitimate actions for even “democratic” nations.  All that had been achieved in terms of civil liberties, human rights, freedom to travel and freedom to work since the end of the World War II suffered a massive setback after 9/11.

Ten years on his death is of course a milestone of great symbolic importance. But his death will not provide any simple closure to the  “War on Terror”. All the different political movements around the world which now use mindless violence and suicide bombers in public places will not cease their actions. The Al Quaida networks will not suddenly dissolve. The extremists will not disappear. But perhaps the long-term futility of using such mindless violence will become more obvious to them.

The developments in Tunisia and Egypt were not precisely what bin Laden wanted. He would have preferred a religious uprising. But the rise of the “democratic” yearnings in North Africa and the Middle East could also not have happened before 9/11. Even if the regime in Saudi Arabia is still in place and any democratic movement there is still a long way off, the popular expression of the fundamental yearnings of people  is irreversible and will not be denied.

Osama bin Laden will live in infamy far longer than Bush or Blair. The world after 9/11 is not the same as it was before bin Laden struck. 

Ecofascism – the new shameful face of environmentalism

September 18, 2010

The Guardian (Micah White) gives a lot of space to effectively promoting the views of a self-styled “ecofascist”.

Micah White

Anti-consumerist and ecofascist Micah White

Micah White is a self-styled activist who clearly supports the suspension of democracies and the introduction of an “authoritarian, ecological regime that ruthlessly suppresses consumers”. That the Guardian would give so much space to ranting of this kind is not very surprising but is irresponsible. Apologists for fascists and terrorists – even by adding the prefix “eco” – remain apologists for fascists and terrorists.

Pentti Linkola, a Finnish fisherman and ecological philosopher. Whereas Lovelock puts his faith in advanced technology, Linkola proposes a turn to fascistic primitivism. Their only point of agreement is on the need to suspend democracy. Linkola has built an environmentalist following by calling for an authoritarian, ecological regime that ruthlessly suppresses consumers.

Pentti Linkola, pensive

Ecofascist Pentti Linkola

Largely unknown outside of Finland until the first English translation of his work was published last year, Linkola represents environmentalism pushed to its totalitarian extreme. “An ecocatastrophe is taking place on earth,” he writes concluding several pages later that “discipline, prohibition, enforcement and oppression” are the only solution.

Linkola has a cunning ability to blend reasonable ecological precepts with shocking authoritarian solutions. His bold political programme includes ending the freedom to procreate, abolishing fossil fuels, revoking all international trade agreements, banning air traffic, demolishing the suburbs, and reforesting parking lots. As for those “most responsible for the present economic growth and competition”, Linkola explains that they will be sent to the mountains for “re-education” in eco-gulags: “the sole glimmer of hope,” he declares, “lies in a centralised government and the tireless control of citizens.”

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