lunes, 30 de noviembre de 2015

The Appeal of Radical Islam

Why ISIS Might Win, Even If It Loses

by S. Adam Seagrave

If Western culture continues to be defined by the pitiful desire to go on living in as much physical comfort as possible, we will continue to be victimized and oppressed by the much more powerful appeal of radical Islam to die for God and eternal happiness.

Based on the impassioned response of the French and the galvanizing effect of the recent attacks in Paris on the West more broadly, one might think that ISIS’s days are numbered. Surely they will be unable to withstand the massive multi-national military force that is progressively mobilizing against them.

Yet it would be a mistake to think that even the total defeat and eradication of the organization known as ISIS will result in long-term peace and an absence of radical Islamic terrorism in Europe and the United States. The organized existence of ISIS, and al Qaeda before it, is only one—easily replaceable—contributing reason for the perpetration of terrorist acts. There is a much more powerful and permanent reason behind radical Islamic terrorism: the motivation to die for an other-worldly cause inevitably overpowers the motivation to live for this world.

  • The Appeal of Radical Islam ...
  • The Decadence of Western Culture ...
  • Resources for Revival ...

S. Adam Seagrave is an assistant professor of political science at Northern Illinois University. He is the author of The Foundations of Natural Morality: On the Compatibility of Natural Rights and the Natural Law and editor of Liberty and Equality: The American Conversation.

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This supposed beacon of peaceful coexistence began, of course, with the Islamic Caliphate’s conquest of Spain.

The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, and Jews Under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain, by Darío Fernández-Morera (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)

“Islam,” said Barack Obama in his notorious speech at Cairo in 2009, "has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia.” 

In his forthcoming book The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, and Jews Under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain, Darío Fernández-Morera, who teaches at Northwestern University, shows in meticulous detail just how preposterous the story Barack Obama repeated is. 

In fact, in Andalusia, as in every place where the phrase “under Islamic rule” pertains, intolerance, segregation, formal inequality, and brutality were the order of the day. 

Jews and Christians, Fernández-Morera shows, were second-class citizens in Spain, subject to the arbitrary and tyrannical whim of their Muslim conquerors for whom there was no disitinction between religious and civil law: sharia, Islam law, ruled all aspects of daily life. 

Fernández-Morera also shows that “the oft-repeated assertion” that Islam preserved and transmitted forgotten classical knowledge from Aristotle and other Greek thinkers “is baseless.” “Ancient Greek texts and Greek culture,” he points out, “were never ‘lost’ to be somehow ‘recovered.’” 

You cannot read far into the academic literature on Muslim-controlled Spain without encountering the assertion that it represented “a golden age” of “enlightened rule” under the Umayyad dynasty in the latter half of the eighth century. 

Fernández-Morera shows that, on the contrary, “of all the dynasties of Islamic Spain," the Umayyads were the cruelest and most energetic in their persecution of non-Muslims. 

Inquisitions, beheadings, impalings, and crucifixions were rife, as were expropriations and the destruction of churches and synagogues. 

In a passage that might have been drawn from today’s news reports about the activities of ISIS, one scholar that Fernández-Morera quotes notes that the Muslim rulers of Andalusia “carried out indiscriminate beheading of prisoners of war.” 

Furthermore, in another passage that might be drawn from today’s headlines, we read that the Umayyad rulers “imposed brutal punishments on the dhimmis [i.e., the non-Muslims] who dared to openly proclaim their religious beliefs.” 

It was ever thus. 

The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise is a useful corrective to the emetic tripe about Islam being a “religion of peace” and “jihad” being essentially an effort of self-perfection that one hears endlessly repeated by people who should know better

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Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia.
—President Barack Obama, speech at Cairo University, June 4, 2009

Muslim rulers of the past were far more tolerant of people of other faiths than were Catholic ones. For example, al-Andalus’s multi-cultural, multi-religious states ruled by Muslims gave way to a Christian regime that was grossly intolerant.
—The Economist, November 15, 2001

[In the Middle Ages there emerged] two Europes—one [Muslim Europe] secure in its defenses, religiously tolerant, and maturing in cultural and scientific sophistication; the other [Christian Europe] an arena of unceasing warfare in which superstition passed for religion and the flame of knowledge sputtered weakly.
—David Levering Lewis, God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570–1215

Scholars, journalists, and even politicians uphold Muslim-ruled medieval Spain—“al-Andalus”—as a multicultural paradise, a place where Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived in harmony.

There is only one problem with this widely accepted account: it is a myth.

In this groundbreaking book, Northwestern University scholar Darío Fernández-Morera tells the fullstory of Islamic Spain. The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise shines light on hidden history by drawing on an abundance of primary sources that scholars have ignored, as well as archaeological evidence only recently unearthed.

This supposed beacon of peaceful coexistence began, of course, with the Islamic Caliphate’s conquest of Spain. Far from a land of religious tolerance, Islamic Spain was marked by religious and therefore cultural repression in all areas of life and the marginalization of Christians and other groups—all this in the service of social control by autocratic rulers and a class of religious authorities.

The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise provides a desperately needed reassessment of medieval Spain. As professors, politicians, and pundits continue to celebrate Islamic Spain for its “multiculturalism” and “diversity,” Fernández-Morera sets the historical record straight—showing that a politically useful myth is a myth nonetheless.

domingo, 29 de noviembre de 2015

Radical egalitarianism leads to mob rule, which itself leads to tyranny. So it happened in Ancient Athens, and so might it happen today.

The Dangers of Egalitarianism in a Democracy

by Louis Markos

Most Americans take for granted that democracy is an absolute good. If it can be said of an idea or a program that it promotes equality, Americans, whatever their political affiliations, will be loath to speak ill of the idea or to protest the program. “Of course,” they will think to themselves, “anything that fosters fairness and equal treatment must be good for society. Should we not strive to treat everyone the same? Is that not what America is all about?”

Well, no; at least not exactly. America strives to be the land of opportunity, a country where citizens are afforded equal dignity and are granted a say in their government. But the people do not control their government directly. They elect—or elect people to appoint—leaders who will represent their needs, values, and interests. We do so, not just for practical procedural reasons, but because we understand that there are certain people in our community whose skills for governing surpass those of their fellow citizens. In the same way, there are individual musicians, artists, and physicians whose skills in their respective areas are superior to the skills of others who share their aspirations for music, art, or medicine.

Imagine someone whose ruling ethic was that of egalitarian sameness trying to form a ballet troupe, an academic faculty, or a football team. I can’t say that many of us would be willing to pay to see such a troupe, to enroll in such a university, or to place a bet on such a team. Although the popularity of “reality TV,” the persistence of quota-driven affirmative action initiatives, and the lowering and/or mainstreaming of educational standards suggest, alarmingly, that many in our country would like to see the elimination of any kind of ranking, distinction, or hierarchy, the common-sense pragmatism of our citizenry has thus far prevented us from falling into the black hole of egalitarian mediocrity. We all recognize, in our best, noblest, and least envious moments, that just as we excel our neighbors in certain areas, they excel us in others.

Which is not to say that Americans would prefer a kind of rigid aristocracy in which only a very small number of upper-crust folk could engage, say, in drama or higher education or athletics. One of the strengths of our country is its widespread promotion of amateur theaters, community colleges, and local sports teams that involve people who may not have the skill to be the absolute best in their field, but whose significant gifts and talents allow them to make strong and meaningful contributions to their communities. The fact that there is only one Pope and a relatively small number of Cardinals has not prevented countless priests across the world from serving and enriching their local parishes.

In our American democracy, rulers hold power on the basis of popular election rather than hereditary right, politicians and soldiers swear allegiance to a code of laws rather than to a monarch, and average citizens have the right to appeal to and be protected by those laws. None of these political mandates necessitates a rejection of all hierarchy, rank, and distinction, though they do allow for more fluid movement within and between various social, political, and cultural classes. Still, democracy’s empowerment of the people does set in motion the potential for a kind of mob rule in which the people—drunk with their own power and sense of entitlement—demand that their whims be catered to by politicians and other leaders, while unscrupulous and flamboyant demagogues—drunk with their own delusions of grandeur—pander to the crowd and make promises that can only be met by draining and destabilizing the state.

Such things can happen. They happened, in fact, to the world’s first democracy.

Democracy was born 2,500 years ago in the city-state (or polis) of Athens. And it was born in a surprisingly radical form. Whereas our country has a representational democracy by election, the ancient Athenians had a direct democracy by selection. The assembly of Athens was a rotational one, governed each month by a new roster of citizens who were not elected but chosen by lot (rather like the jury system in America). What that meant practically is that over the course of several years, all Athenian citizens would have the right—and obligation—to serve directly in the working of government and possibly to make decisions that would have a profound impact on the polis.

For several generations, Athens’ radical democracy worked well.


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A Constitution cannot provide absolute protection for individual rights for the simple reason that rights are not absolute

Why the Bill of Rights Is a Failure

by Bruce Frohnen

"...order is the first need of all. And order, if it is not to come from the barrel of a gun, must come from law. For us that law once was rooted in our constitutional frame of government. Without that frame of government, without respect for the legitimacy and integrity—whatever the occasional abuses—of our constitutional order, all will be chaos and the pursuit of unjust power."

I have often thought that Americans believe the Framers of their Constitution actually bequeathed to them a bill of rights, with a frame of government attached as an appendix, in the form of a few general suggestions. Constitutional lawyers, judges, and especially academics have been among the worst offenders, here. Jesse Choper, for decades a prominent scholar of constitutional law, built an entire career around the notion that Supreme Court justices should see their job as protecting individual rights. Other supposedly lesser issues of mundane law such as contract disputes, wrongful death, and fraud that are at the center of law and what it can do for (and to) regular people should fend for themselves, on this view. As Mr. Choper would have it, the Supreme Court only has so much institutional capital and should use it where it is most needed.

The crybullies lately rampaging around Yale, the University of Missouri, and other campuses have shown how well that strategy works. Bewailing “microaggressions” that make them feel bad, increasing numbers of college students are dismissing civility, fairness, and especially free speech rights in the name of their “right” to emotional comfort. The Vice President of the University of Missouri student government, one Brenda Smith-Lezama, even said in a television interview, “I personally am tired of hearing that first amendment rights protect students when they are creating a hostile and unsafe learning environment for myself and for other students here.” The astonishing ignorance, selfishness, and contempt for American constitutional values packed into this one statement constitute proof that our constitutional rights are no longer valued or even vaguely understood by a wide swath of American college students.

How did this happen? It is too easy to stop at pointing out Ms. Smith-Lezama’s clear limitations. She is parroting the radical agitprop fed to her by the radical professors and community organizers infesting our universities. But her cynical mentors did not come from nowhere. They and their ideology are products of the limp liberalism of their own upbringing, of a liberalism rooted more than anything in an ideology of individual rights. The rights talk in which liberals for decades insisted we all engage to the detriment of the actual structure and language of our Constitution has only undermined respect for the rights themselves. As important, it has left us without the tools or the knowledge needed to combat the new intolerance that pervades, not just college campuses, but increasing swaths of our society. Remember Brendan Eich, forced to resign as CEO of Mozilla for having donated money to a campaign favoring traditional marriage? He is far from alone, and will have much more company in coming years.


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viernes, 27 de noviembre de 2015

To make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. ~ T. S. Eliot

Teaching Death to Nursing Students with Leo Tolstoy

By Richard Becker

“As though I had been going steadily downhill, imagining that I was going uphill. So it was in fact. In public opinion I was going uphill, and steadily as I got up it, life was ebbing away from me....And now the work's done, there's only death.”  Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych And Other Stories

Resultado de imagen para tolstoy gerasim

We’ve come to the close of our annual month-long reminder of the obvious: We’re all going to die. It’s a truism that we learned as kids in Sunday school and CCD—the first of the four Last Things: death, followed by judgment, and then heaven and (rather, or) hell—although we Catholics are reminded of death year-round. It’s front and center in our liturgy, our creed, and even our routine devotional prayers. “Pray for us sinners,” we repeatedly implore the Blessed Mother in our rosaries, “now and at the hour of our death.”

Even so, the reality of death—the actual dying part—makes us all … well, squirm. “Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?” is how Roz Chast’s aging parents deflected the topic, and we frequently do the same—that includes my nursing students. They’re mostly young, and prone to delusions of invincibility (remember those days?) Plus, they’ve grown up with television dramas that feature doctors and nurses rushing in at the last moment to successfully resuscitate patients on the verge of oblivion. The patients recover, the sub-plots are resolved, and all the loose ends are tied up by the time the credits roll.

Such tidy packaging of complicated and dire healthcare situations is great marketing for nursing school—who wouldn’t want to be the hero and save lives, right? Yet, there’s a downside as well, for it conditions those future nurses to expect unrealistic routine outcomes. The truth is, despite winning plenty of battles at the bedside, we’re always bound to lose the war against physical death, and that’s not easy to hear when you’re a budding life-saver.

Consequently, I put death and dying at the very beginning of my introductory medical-surgical nursing course—it puts everything else in context. “All the pathologies, diseases, and chronic illnesses we’ll be studying the rest of the semester,” I tell them, “are merely hints of what we’ll all face sooner or later—yes, you included!” Our cancers, our heart disease and diabetes, even our mild colds and bouts of indigestion are experiences in miniature of everyone’s inevitable final ailment. In temporal terms, physical death is the end game, and I’m inclined to deal with it up front.

So, what is there to say about physical death? Less than you’d think. Regardless of cause, death is pretty simple, and has been traditionally defined by common sense observations: We need air to breathe and blood to circulate in order to live, and so it has long been understood that their absence is the best indication that life has ceased. In medical terms, this is what we call a lack of vital signs: heartbeat, breathing, blood pressure, temperature. Once these are completely and irrevocably gone, we can be certain that physical life is gone as well—a natural conclusion to biological existence in scientific terms.

For Christians, however, and particularly for Christian healthcare workers, that’s just the beginning. To start with, we vehemently reject the widespread notion that “death is just a part of life”—nonsense! Instead, with the Catechism we affirm that death is a “departure” in which the “soul is separated from the body” and the “end of earthly life,”not a part of it. Furthermore, it’s a “consequence of sin,” and the “last enemy of man left to be conquered” (CCC 1008).


Osservatorio Gender - Bollettino del 26 novembre 2015


25-11-2015 - Anche il Front National francese tra i partiti ‘contro natura’24-11-2015 - Le lobby gay fanno pressione per inserire un “Indice Globale di Inclusione delle persone LGBTI” tra gli “Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile”22-11-2015 - Un bambino nello spot della Barbie in nome dei giochi “gender neutral” (VIDEO)21-11-2015 - Portogallo: adozioni gay votate a tempo record dalle Sinistre19-11-2015 - Randy Barry, “inviato speciale” della Casa Bianca per i “diritti” LGBTI19-11-2015 - RE.A.DY: anche Avellino al fianco della comunità LGBT contro le discriminazioni19-11-2015 - Il catalogo di giochi “gender neutral” di Toy Planet19-11-2015 - Kayden Coleman, il transgender “uomo incinto”17-11-2015 - Gender e polemiche «Ora vigileremo sui testi a scuola»17-11-2015 - L’Università di Cagliari apre uno sportello LGBT16-11-2015 - Il gender: volto nichilista e autodistruttivo dell’Europa15-11-2015 - Camolei prende le distanze «No all’educazione sul gender»13-11-2015 - La parità nel wc, l’ultima frontiera transgender13-11-2015 - Prof. contro il gender? A rischio la cattedra. Storia di Robert Lopez12-11-2015 - La rivista LGBT “Out” premia Barack Obama come “alleato gay dell’anno”12-11-2015 - Padova. Le isterie apocalittiche della sinistra, la risposta del sindaco Bitonci e gli slanci democratici del Magnifico Rettore11-11-2015 - Libri gender all’asilo: “Vogliono plagiare i nostri figli”10-11-2015 - Padova. Riprende l’attacco a Don Giovanni Ferrara10-11-2015 - Argentina: la storia di Manuel/Luana, transgender a 6 anni10-11-2015 - Perché il gender uccide il corpo e annienta la realtà

martes, 24 de noviembre de 2015

People are not going to die for the right to eat in their favourite bistros

Is ISIS an ‘existential threat’?
Now, no. Later, possibly.

by Michael Cook

What is the greatest existential threat to world security? The Islamic State?

This month, yes. But back in July, the incoming chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Congressional committee that it was Russia. "If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I'd have to point to Russia. And if you look at their behavior, it's nothing short of alarming," said Marine General Joseph Dunford.

And what about China? And North Korea? Both of them have been described as existential threats to the West.

Western civilisation is always facing “existential threats” ranging from climate change to asteroids to a global pandemic to artificial intelligence to nuclear warfare. The University of Cambridge has a well-funded Centre for the Study of Existential Risk to alert people to the dangers of new technologies. We seem to be hard-wired to turn small disasters into existential risks. Perhaps that is why zombie films and other dystopian dramas are so popular.

So it’s not cowardice or naiveté to heed the Obama Administration’s call not to panic about the Islamic State after its Friday the 13th atrocities in Paris. “They’re a bunch of killers with good social media,” President Obama said yesterday. They are “dangerous,” but “Our way of life is stronger. We have more to offer.” And Vice-President Joe Biden has insisted: "ISIS is no existential threat to the United States of America."

However, there is an ominous precedent for these fears. Within a hundred years after the death of Mohammed, Muslim armies overran the Middle East, North Africa and Spain, obliterating Christianity from countries where it had flourished for centuries. It took 700 years for a resurgent Christian kingdoms to expel Islam from Spain. That left a scar on the Western psyche which still aches.

Could this happen again?

Not everyone agrees with Obama’s assessment. John Lloyd, an eminent journalism academic at the University of Oxford, recently wrote: “This, I think, adds up to war: and an existential threat. A threat to our existence, our way of life.” He quotes the former head of British armed forces from 2010 to 2013, General David Richards. Earlier this year he declared that the threat is existential and “that we need to approach this issue of Muslim extremism as we might approach World War II back in the 1930s.”


When Mohammed first saw his vision 1400 years ago, Islam, the new teaching of Mohammed, began to take territory.

The global ambitions of the Islamic State


The so called ‘Islamic state’ is an increasing presence on the world map. When Mohammed first saw his vision 1400 years ago, Islam, the new teaching of Mohammed, began to take territory. Hilaire Belloc, an Anglo-French writer and historian and one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century, wrote in his books The Great Heresies and Survivals and New Arrivals:
Within a hundred years, a main part of the Roman world had fallen under the power of this new and strange force from the Desert. Such a revolution had never been. No earlier attack had been so sudden, so violent or so permanently successful. Within a score of years from the first assault in 634 the Christian Levant had gone: Syria, the cradle of the Faith, and Egypt with Alexandria, the mighty Christian See. Within a lifetime half the wealth and nearly half the territory of the Christian Roman Empire was in the hands of Mohammedan masters and officials, and the mass of the population was becoming affected more and more by this new thing.
… For centuries the struggle between Islam and the Catholic Church continued. It had varying fortunes, but for something like a thousand years the issue still remained doubtful. It was not till nearly the year 1700 that Christian culture seemed - for a time - to be definitely the master.
ISIS is now taking territory in Iraq and Syria. It aims to submit the whole world to Muslim law, which encompasses politics, economics, family, science, and soul. However, the current disconnect in American politics regarding the nature of this group is interesting. Modern Western culture is now post-Christian with secular values and beliefs less fully defined and clear than those held by previous societies. President Obama and Hillary Clinton are fervently wary of using terminology other than ‘terrorists’. Last week Hillary Clinton stated: “Let’s be clear though, Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” Presidential candidate Ted Cruz holds a different view, emphasising "Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – the modern democratic party has a blindness to radical Islamic terrorism and they’ve endangered the safety and security of this country, the safety and security of millions of Americans.” He maintains that much of Obama's foreign policy has allowed ISIS to become stronger.

It is clear that ISIS, at least, believes that it is charged with changing the demography of the entire world, because that is what its reading of Islam charges it to do. Noah Feldman, a professor of constitutional and international law at Harvard, makes some interesting comments about ISIS’s current strategy:
  • To understand the strategic objectives of the Beirut bombings, begin by putting yourself in the shoes of the planners. Almost all of Islamic State's successes have come under identical circumstances.
  • In essence, the group's trademark is to exploit the vacuum in weak or crumbling states. This includes Syria, where civil war rages, and the Sunni area of Iraq, where the Baghdad government's writ barely ran even before Islamic State took over.
  • It also includes those far-flung places where self- declared affiliates have sprung up to exploit power vacuums, particularly Libya and Afghanistan.
  • In Egypt, the state is relatively strong, but Islamic State nevertheless is challenging it at its weakest points. The bombings in August of government security facilities in Cairo, attributed to Islamic State, were intended to push Egypt into chaos.
  • Since then, the downing of the Russian jet, almost certainly carried out by Islamic State affiliates in Sinai, has revealed this strategy further by raising questions about Egypt's ability to function as a sovereign state that protects air travel.
  • Lebanon is a far more fragile state than Egypt.
  • And it has a far greater advantage as an Islamic State target: Its proximity to the Syrian battlefield.
  • Right now, the group has no direction in which it can plausibly expand its territory except Lebanon. Turkey, Jordan, Iran and Saudi Arabia are all strong states that won't countenance the loss of land.
  • Lebanon, however, is vulnerable to civil war, which would create the vacuum Islamic State needs.
We are all interested in stopping them. The West does not sanction murder to get ones way. Yet, Modern Western culture tends towards relativism – from the point of view of the state, all religions are equally true for those who believe in them. This presents a problem when dealing with extremist religious groups. For example, last week a lady fought to wear a colander on her head in her driver’s licence photo and won, despite no head coverings being allowed, because she said she her religion is ‘Pastafarian’ and requires this. The state has no way of evaluating religious claims like this beyond lumping it in the broad category of 'religious belief'.


"If this is achieved, then the Sexual Revolution will have accomplished the diabolical task of mocking the creation of God"

Slouching Towards a Genderless Society

By Joe Kral

It would seem that in today’s modern US society there are pundits who wish to make gender something that is fluid. Something that can change on a whim, if one wills it. On November 3, the voters of the city of Houston decided on whether to keep their local Equal Rights Ordinance. While on the surface, this sort of legislative initiative seems just since no one is in favor of unjust discrimination, this ordinance posed several problems with its language. The City Council of Dallas, Texas, is another locality that recently passed an ordinance identical to that of Houston’s, and it too may end up on the local ballot to see if the citizens want to keep it. While many are familiar with the recent decision of the US Supreme Court’s decision to mandate that all states recognize the so-called right to same-sex “marriage”, it seems that something much more nefarious is afoot when it comes to the subject of gender. As of late, there have been multiple attacks on the institution of marriage and these particular ordinances are among them.

Many who opposed this type of legislation make the argument that it would legally allow a man who claims to be a woman to go into a woman’s public restroom. However, the problem extends beyond the issue of a man using the opposite gender’s public facility. The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance is a clear indication of what modern day proponents of the Sexual Revolution are moving towards. This is seen when one reads the definition of “gender identity” within the ordinance itself; it reads as “an individual’s innate identification, appearance, expression, or behavior as either male or female, although the same may not correspond to the individual’s body or gender as assigned at birth” (see City of Houston Ordinances, Chapter 17, Section 2). In essence, a man may merely will himself to be a “woman” and vice versa. Basically, instead of having the law recognize the uniqueness of each gender and how each gender reflects the image of God in its own way, these individuals wish to twist the civil law in order to reflect the idea that gender is legally meaningless. Biology is merely ignored.


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Hungary’s premier says immigration and terrorism link ‘obvious,’ calls for greater EU border controls, vetting of migrants.

Viktor Orban: ‘All Terrorists Are Basically Migrants’

“All of them [migrants] present a security threat because we don’t know who they are. If you allow thousands or millions of unidentified persons into your house, the risk of … terrorism will significantly increase,” Orban is quoted as saying.

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Europe’s main priority should be to impose tighter security at its external borders and greater controls on immigrants, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Politico in an exclusive interview, saying the link between immigration and terrorism is an "obvious fact, whether you like it or not."


A recent book asserts the primary importance of Christianity in the complex structure that we call Western civilization

The soul of the West in eclipse

by David Daintree (*)

"This book is a modest attempt to encourage those who are determined not only to resist the negative winds of change but to go on the offensive against them. It is an apologia for the Great Tradition."

Christianity is not an optional extra, a supplementary subject for those who want to earn a few more marks in the school of life! On the contrary, you can’t begin to understand Western culture in isolation from the story of Christ and his Church. Those who claim they can are deluding themselves. The last laugh, surely, is on Christopher Dawkins: he is the man who has delusions about God.

The influence of Christianity on science, law, government, philosophy, literature, language and on our sense of mutual obligation has been quite literally immense. Today we are in the midst of a struggle sometimes known as the Culture Wars: powerful elements in our society want to minimize or even extinguish the influence of Christianity in education and to downplay its role in history.

In fact most opinion makers in the West have no understanding of any kind of religious impulse. If it were not so serious it would be almost amusing to observe the incapacity of the commentariat to understand the Paris killings. Stubbornly denying that such deeds have any connection with Islam, and accusing the killers of cowardice or insanity or both, is clear evidence that much influential opinion in the thoroughly secularized West simply cannot grasp that fact that courageous young Islamists are willing to give their lives for their faith, that they count the riches of this world as nought compared to the glories to come, and that there is a crystal-clear logic to their actions. All that is invisible to anyone who has lost, or has never possessed, the faculty of thinking in spiritual categories.

If some of the language in the preceding sounds familiar it should do. A willingness to lay down one’s life for others, a desire to be with God, has been fundamental to Christian spirituality. Arguably it has never been possible for Christians, in the clear light of the New Testament, to kill the innocent (though many have sought to justify such deeds), but Christians ought to understand at least some of the impulses that drive Muslims to contempt for the world, and contempt for worldliness in others.

For another illustration of the great gulf that divides the religious from the secular mentality consider the Lindy Chamberlain case of 35 years ago. Lindy completely lost the sympathy of her peers when she made it plain that she had absolute faith in her child’s survival after death. To most people it was simply inconceivable that a bereaved mother could be anything other than inconsolable: her joy was an affront and an outrage. Of course she was guilty of murder!

Thirty-five years later the dominant atheism of the secular West has moved on and gained ground. How long will it be till Christians and other religious people are brought to justice simply for teaching their beliefs to others? But wait. Hasn’t that already happened to Archbishop Julian Porteous, in Tasmania?

The traditional culture and civilization of the West has never before been in such grave danger of being overwhelmed and cast aside. Equally imperilled is the Christian faith that has been its creative principle, its very soul. By a sad irony the greatest threat to the Western tradition is in its heartland.


(*) David Daintree, formerly President of Campion College Australia, established the Dawson Centre in 2013 as a means of asserting the importance of the Catholic intellectual tradition. For more information about the Centre

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“Hybrid Warfare on the Rise: A New Dominant Military Strategy?

“Hybrid Warfare on the Rise: A New Dominant Military Strategy?

This article was adapted from Aivar Jaeski's presentation for Baltic Russia Youth forum panel called “Hybrid Warfare on the Rise: A New Dominant Military Strategy?” that took place in Tallinn, 16.-19.October.


I must say that I don’t like the term hybrid warfare, its sounds far too nice. We all know that the Toyota hybrid is a very modern, ecologically clean, friendly, and technically sophisticated machine. Putting the word hybrid in front of the word war is like trying to soften the cruelty of Putin’s regime when he ordered the annexation of Crimea and initiated the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. War is ugly, believe me, I have seen it; there is nothing friendly or clean about it.

Regarding the term ‘war’, Sun Tzu wrote that ‘the supreme art of war is to conquer the enemy without battle’ already in 513 B.C. The annexation of Crimea was a well-conducted strategic act that must be defined as war. War is war. But why talk about the events that took place in Ukraine using such terms?

Putin’s team has implemented several new tactics in his approach to strategic combat. I would like to bring your attention toCRIMINALITY as an aspect of the new hybrid war. What do I mean by that?

In a normal democratic country, when you see people wearing camouflage (bought from a shop, as Mr Putin said), equipped with rifles, you might think this man is a hunter, but when these men are walking through the centre of the town, green and friendly, or driving cars thathave no number plates, they are breaking the law; such people are criminals by definition since only particular authorities designated by the country in question have the right to give others the permission to carry weapons or remove car number plates. When armed people are blocking the work of governmental institutions, their actions are taken in blatant disregard for the law.

According to the Geneva Convention, the situation in Ukraine is defined as an international armed conflict. International armed conflict is a conflict between states. So we can say that by denying the presence of Russian forces in Crimea, the Russian leadership was breaking the international law of armed conflict. Here is a timeline containing statements made and real actions taken by the leadership of the Russian Federation.
  • 22 Feb—Putin orders the annexation
  • 23 Feb—a large military exercise is launched in Russia
  • 24 Feb—Russian Forces enter Crimea
  • 25 Feb—Foreign Minister Lavrov claims Russia’s ‘principled position of non-interference in the domestic affairs of Ukraine’
  • 26 Feb—Defence Minister Shoygu announces that the snap exercise being conducted in Western and Southern Russia involving over 150,000 troops ‘is unrelated to Ukraine’
  • 27 Feb—Russian forces occupy key Crimean buildings
  • 1 Mar—Putin is authorized by the Duma to use force in Ukraine
  • 3 Mar—the Russian Foreign Ministry says that the Black Sea Fleet warships ‘are not involved’ in Crimea;
  • 4 Mar—President Putin says ‘Those were self-defence forces.’
  • 10-13 Mar—Paratroopers, artillery, and armour ‘exercise’ near Ukraine
  • 16 Mar—Crimean referendum
  • 18 Mar—Russia annexes Crimea
  • 18 Mar—Putin says ‘Russia’s armed forces never entered Crimea.’
  • One year later, on 22 Mar 2015—the Documentary «Crimea: The Way Back Home» reveals the truth. ( )
Crimea: The Way Home - EN Subtitles - Full Documentary from on Vimeo.

How can the international community trust the Russian President and his Foreign and Defence Ministers when they come to the negotiation table after telling such large lies?

In a civil war or internal armed conflict, Putin’s green men would be identified as combatants; criminal law would not apply to them. It was the use of civilians, or so-called non-legal combatants, that violated the law of armed conflicts in Crimean crisis. Unidentified civilians, who take active part in military actions, are unlawful combatants whose actions can be prosecuted by domestic law.

Thanks to the 27 February 2013 issue of the magazine Voenno-promyshlennyi kur’er (the Military-Industrial Courier or VPK), we know that General Gerasimov, Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces has written the use of civilians during a crisis into his military doctrine. Can we conclude that criminality is an accepted part of Russian military thinking? Stalin himself had a criminal record. He was prosecuted for robbery before he became a communist. After his death things started to normalize, but sometime during the 1970s, when the Soviet army lacked manpower, a decision was made to allow criminals, those who had been convicted of less serious crimes and had completed their punishment, could serve in the Soviet Army. This was the decision that brought criminal behaviour into the ranks of the Soviet Army conscripts. Today criminal behaviour has reached as far as the Generals, the leadership of the Russian Armed Forces.

Hiring actors to distribute false information to internal and external audiences is perfectly acceptable for the criminal mind. Most people familiar with this topic know the facts concerning Russian actor Galina Pyshniak, who was required to play the role of witness in the story of the crucified boy, a wounded bystander in a shooting incident, as well as a member of an angry crowd. This is another example of an unlawful combatant who can be prosecuted by domestic Criminal Law.

General Gerasimov’s doctrine also states that military actions should be undertaken during peacetime, and the first confrontation should be in the communication environment where military means can also be used.

The military uses special tools, not available to general public. Such tools were used to hack the telephone call of former Estonian Foreign Minister Mr Paet to EU high official Ms Ashton. The call was recorded and posted on YouTube. This is not the only incident; there are many examples from Lithuania and the US as well. These are illegal activities. Hacking is a criminal act, even in Russia.

Another unique tactic in the information war that the Russians have developed is the ‘Troll Farm’. The closest one is located 150 km from the EU border in St Petersburg, at Savuskina 55. Computer operators or trolls are paid to write false and inflammatory comments to blogs, online magazines, and various social media platforms. Today the main focus is, of course, Ukraine, but there is some activity regarding the Baltic States as well. The StratCom Centre of Excellence conducted a study on trolls in Latvia identifying five categories of trolls: 1) the blame-the-US troll, who consistently finds a way to put the US at fault for everything, even bad roads in Russia 2) the angry troll, who focuses on hate speech 3) the bikini troll, who asks naïve questions and posts pictures posing as a girl dressed in a bikini 4) the Wikipedia troll, who creates false arguments using lots of materials copied from many different sources, and 5) the attachment troll—the most dangerous type—because, in addition to leaving inflammatory comments, they also distribute viruses using attached links.

The Kremlin is currently putting more emphasis on means of combat that undermine and create confusion. By using a combination of falsified historical and present day facts, the trolls create confusion, influence public opinion through social media, and disseminate conspiracy theories with the goal of undermining Western values and the existing democratic system.

Another criminal tactic is the violent rhetoric used by the Kremlin, driven by the intent to scare. This tactic can also be traced to Russian convicts and criminals who live by the phrase ‘боится значит уважaет’, which means ‘if you are scared of me, you respect me’. Putin makes enormous efforts to show Russia’s superiority. His belligerent attitude can be seen in the Georgian conflict, the annexation of Crimea, and the continuing tension in Ukraine. If we look more broadly, we see it also in the increase in flights of old Russian nuclear bombers in sensitive airspace, as well as the establishment of the Arctic Joint Strategic Command, a fifth Russian military district, in December of last year.

In conclusion, the Kremlin leadership has broken a number of laws and we have been giving a rather soft name to an ugly thing instead focusing on the hard truth.

Understanding of Russian strategic thinking

The ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’ and Russian Non-Linear War

By Dr Mark Galeotti

Call it non-linear war (which I prefer), or hybrid war, or special war, Russia’s operations first in Crimea and then eastern Ukraine have demonstrated that Moscow is increasingly focusing on new forms of politically-focused operations in the future. In many ways this is an extension of what elsewhere I’ve called Russia’s ‘guerrilla geopolitics,’ an appreciation of the fact that in a world shaped by an international order the Kremlin finds increasingly irksome and facing powers and alliances with greater raw military, political and economic power, new tactics are needed which focus on the enemy’s weaknesses and avoid direct and overt confrontations. To be blunt, these are tactics that NATO–still, in the final analysis, an alliance designed to deter and resist a mass, tank-led Soviet invasion–finds hard to know how to handle. (Indeed, a case could be made that it is not NATO’s job, but that’s something to consider elsewhere.)

Hindsight, as ever a sneakily snarky knowitall, eagerly points out that we could have expected this in light of an at-the-time unremarked article by Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. In fairness, it was in Voenno-promyshlennyi kur’er, the Military-Industrial Courier, which is few people’s fun read of choice. Nonetheless, it represents the best and most authoritative statement yet of what we could, at least as a placeholder, call the ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’ (not that it necessarily was his confection). I and everyone interested in these developments are indebted to Rob Coalson of RFE/RL, who noted and circulated this article, and the following translation is his (thanks to Rob for his permission to use it), with my various comments and interpolations.


Peut-on faire confiance aux Turcs ?

Le problème turc. 


La destruction, ce matin, par la Turquie d’un avion russe n’est pas qu’un simple incident de frontière lié à la violation de l’espace aérien. C’est un acte délibéré de la part d’un pays qui joue un jeu de plus en plus trouble. La Turquie conduite d’une main de fer par le mégalomane Erdogan fait la richesse de l’État islamique en lui achetant des citernes de pétrole tous les jours. Son président, que l’on sait proche des frères musulmans, a déclaré : « les minarets sont nos baïonnettes, les coupoles nos casques, les mosquées nos casernes et les croyants notre armée ». Et nul n’ignore qu’il rêve de reconstruire le califat ottoman aboli en 1924. Tout cela conduit à se demander quelle place la Turquie a encore dans l’Otan, et si cet acte de guerre ne vise pas à empêcher une grande coalition pour éliminer Dae’ch.

Quelle société voulons-nous pour nos enfants ?



Stop au Gender à l’Ecole. Les enseignants instruisent et les parents éduquent. Soyons complémentaires pour le bien des enfants.

Quelle société voulons-nous pour nos enfants ? Explications ou incitation à la sexualité ? La société entière doit être rééduquée. 

La théorie queer, qui prétend « recouvrir l’ensemble des activités et identités sexuelles, […] vise à la déstabilisation identitaire et institutionnelle généralisée, à une subversion radicale ». Le Gender, une norme mondiale? Marguerite Peeters

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Chers parents,

Nous avons décidé de prendre la parole pour décrypter la voix que nous entendons tous les jours : une conception de l’égalité qui nie la différence et la complémentarité homme-femme dans tous les champs de la société.

Cette égalité, fondée sur le Gender, conteste l’évidence pour détruire nos différences : nous sommes homme ou femme, synthèse de notre corps (inné) et de notre culture (acquis). Pour le Gender, rien n’est déterminé. Tout repose sur les choix de chacun au cours du temps.

Notre combat contre cette idéologie s’inscrit dans la durée et nous devrons agir sans jamais lâcher prise.

Si nous nous opposons dès maintenant au programme ABCD de l’égalité expérimenté dans 700 classes de 10 académies, nous devons également poser les bases d’un débat qui est confisqué par des lobbies. Ce débat, nous le construirons ensemble dans les prochains mois, pour une société préservant l’homme, la femme et la famille. C’est l’avenir de notre société que nous construisons aujourd’hui !

Nous sommes tous des parents et futurs parents qui refusons de fonder l’avenir de notre société sur des codes dictés par des minorités engagées.

Nous voulons vous donner les moyens d’agir pour contrer la diffusion du Gender à l’Ecole, notamment une vision de l’égalité garçon-fille qui va détruire les repères des enfants pour se construire.

Ce site est une pièce maîtresse de notre plan VigiGender, parce qu’il est un outil d’information et de liaison destiné à vous aider à lutter pas à pas contre cette idéologie, là où vous êtes. Chaque petite victoire pour la promotion de l’homme et de la femme respectés dans leurs différences et dans leur responsabilité éducative est l’assurance d’une plus grande liberté.

Rejoignez-nous pour construire notre avenir et celui de nos enfants et petits-enfants !