The Mystic Who Set Europe On Fire

The Mystic Who Set Europe On Fire

By James Lewis

One of Aldous Huxley’s best novels, Grey Eminence, is devoted to Father Joseph, the mystical power-politician who helped set Europe on fire during the Thirty Years’ War (1618 to 1648).
Father Joseph believed zealously in bringing Paradise on earth through God’s own representative, the Most Holy King Louis XIII of France.  God was on the side of the King of France, and war was the means to make Catholic France the supreme power in Europe.
Father Joseph’s story is directly relevant to our lives today because he closely resembles Mahmoud Ahmadi-nejad, who proudly celebrated “Nuclear Day” recently in Tehran. Both were mystical visionaries, convinced they were divinely called to bring hellfire to God’s enemies on earth.  Both served as soldiers, zealously promoting violent campaigns against infidel peoples.  Both lived personal lives of austerity, combined with an absolute dedication to power. They tortured themselves, the better to torture others.
The vital difference is that Ahmadinejad is quickly obtaining the technical means to act out his fantasies. Father Joseph never had a nuclear button. Tehran will have one soon.
A columnist for Asharq al-Awsat writes:

“The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come to resemble a young child playing with a dangerous toy. On a daily basis he issues a new statement about this new toy, namely, “the nuclear bomb”. One day he is celebrating the use of the centrifugation process, another day he announces the “national nuclear day” for the Islamic Republic of Iran and on another day, he rejects nuclear inspection in protection of “the dignity” of the republic!”

Psychologically, mystical fanatics have prominent paranoid and narcissistic features. They can function very well in normal life as long as you don’t talk about their paranoid beliefs. But mention words like  “God,” “the CIA,” or “women,” and suddenly they flip into a totally different mode of thinking, isolated from their normal mental functioning.
The psychiatry manual cites

“prominent delusions … in the context of a relative preservation of cognitive functioning and affect. … Delusions are typically persecutory or grandiose, or both, but delusions with other themes (e.g., jealousy, religiosity or somatization) may also occur…” (DSM III, p. 287).

Ahmadi-nejad is said to talk to the Twelfth Imam, and claimed to have a sort of mystical-dissociative experience during his General Assembly speech at the UN. When he was confronted with protesting students at a university recently, he claimed that he was not angry at them, but was rather “filled with joy.” He is a man who feels fulfilled when he is attacked.
It’s not a good idea to try to analyze Ahmadi-nejad without knowing a great deal more about him, and he isn’t likely to walk into the local Tehran psychiatric hospital for a proper diagnosis. The point is that people like this occur often in human history. Sometimes, when the social and political conditions are just right, they are thrown up from anonymity and grasp positions of power. In the context of a grandiose power cult like the Khomeini type of Shi’ite Islam, there is a close fit between the group and the personality of the leader: It’s Jim Jones time.

That was the case with Father Joseph, as it is with Ahmadi-nejad and other paranoid-grandiose leaders in history. When great social turmoil throws up the most self-confident leaders, these personalities may come to power, leading to a giant political explosion. Peter the Hermit led the First Crusade. Father Joseph worsened the Thirty Years War. Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot became mass murderers, not many decades ago. Paranoid personalities are perfectly suited to the task of total warfare. 
Father Joseph was Cardinal Richelieu’s personal emissary to the warring sovereigns of Europe during the Thirty Years’ War, the longest and most destructive war in Europe before Napoleon and Hitler. Joseph would walk barefoot along the mud roads of the continent, through winter and summer, wearing only his Capuchin monk’s habit. Joseph wore a grey hood, and was therefore called the Grey Eminence, a phrase that came to stand for a sinister power behind the throne. 
Mystical dedication is quite compatible with bloodshed. Relatively few mystics are bloody-minded, of course. But some have been, historically, as Aldous Huxley pointed out, especially those who were dedicated to bringing Paradise on earth by fire and the sword. Europe has seen multiple episodes of mass murder motivated by the imagined will of God. Even China saw the same phenomenon during the Taiping Rebellion.
And of course Japan was seized by the Divine Emperor cult, which also promoted martyrdom warfare for the greater glory of a fallible ideal.
Totalitarian Communism is just another brand of utopian fanaticism with a strikingly similar psychology — zealous atheism being perfectly suited for warfare and killing.
What is unique today is not paranoids with a yen for political power. They are a dime a dozen throughout human history. What is uniquely dangerous is the mix of those destructive mental pathologies with nuclear weapons. Until such time as we find fool-proof defenses against nukes, the fate of the world cannot be left in the hands of Ahmadi-nejad and his like.
James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com

The Decline of Europe

The Decline of Europe

A quote from Walter Laqueur in The Chronicle Review, 11 May 2007

True, the achievements of the European welfare state had been remarkable. Americans can only dream about a 35-hour work week or five weeks of paid holidays a year. But the problem was that all those social-assistance programs were affordable only as long as substantial economic growth took place. [...] Future historians may well be at a loss to understand why the sorry state of affairs was realized only late in the day, despite the fact that all the major trends — demography, the stalling of the movement toward European unity, and the crisis of the welfare state — had appeared well before the turn of the century.

The decline of the Roman Empire has been discussed for centuries, and it could be that the discussion about the decline of Europe will last as long. Decline often does not proceed as quickly as feared; there are usually retarding circumstances. But it is also true that, for better or worse, the pulse of history is beating quicker in our time than before.

[...] Surely decline offers challenges that ought to be taken up, even if there is no certainty of success. No one can say with any confidence what problems the powers that now appear to be in the ascendancy will face in the years to come. And even if Europe’s decline is now irreversible, there is no reason that it should become a collapse. There is, however, a precondition — something that has been postponed. The debate should be about which of Europe’s traditions and values can still be saved.

How Can Anybody Trust This Parliament?

How Can Anybody Trust This Parliament?

One of my regular rants about the European Parliament is that it is almost entirely unaccountable. Over 80% of the votes are by show of hands, thus there are no possible records as to how people vote. This in turn means that the electorate have no way of knowing what their MEP has done, and cannot judge them on their actions.

Remember what they vote on becomes law. And breach of laws created here in Brussels can be prosecuted with prison and/or fines. Therefore it would be nice to think that the votes are accurately counted.

Yesterday this happened,

“During voting on a report by Mr. Kaczmarek on EU partnership in the Horn of Africa, amendment No. 5 was declared ‘Rejected’ by the chairman Vidal-Quadras, having assessed the show of hands ‘for’ and ‘against’ the amendment.
The call for an electronic check revealed that it had actually been APPROVED by no less than 567 votes to 17 (with 18 abstentions).
He blamed the MEPs for ‘not holding their hands high enough’!
I close my case.”

This came from Graham Booth, UKIP MEP for the South Western Counties who has been running a campaign to have every single voted electronically counted (What we call RCV – Roll Call Vote). When he wrote to the president of Parliament he was told that to count the votes would, first take too long, after all many members have flights to catch. Better still it was pointed out that they would also miss their lunches.

Terror Fears Grip Europe

Terror Fears Grip Europe

German government warns Australians to stay away. New “Al Qaeda In The Lands Of The Villains” cell expected to strike soon.

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A sort of terror fever is sweeping Old Europe. Betting money is on an attack in the next 90 or so days.

Given that their governments would be changing hands in the coming weeks, both England and France were bracing for a nasty call from Al Qaeda. Well once staunchly anti-Jihadi, anti-Muslim Street Gang politician Sarkovy was elected its President, France has been all but assuming that it will be hit in the weeks ahead, especially because…

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…a very disturbing new tape, featuring a new European branch of Al Qaeda called “Al Qaeda In The Lands of The Villains” started making the international rounds on May 1. May Day. The tape features armed gangs practicing assaults on everything from buses to military installations, and lots and lots of IED making. Topographical analysis indicates it was shot in Eastern Europe, perhaps Chechnya.

The tape’s narrator lays out three specific priorities for Al Qaeda in Europe

1. A general worldwide jihadi recruitment campaign extolling the fun and virtues of killing Americans in Iraq, Jews in Palestine, Hindus in India. In other words, off-continental killing.

2. The training of believers to fight the infidels, namely the Christians and Jews living in Europe.

3. The establishment of separate Muslim states-within-states in Europe, ie the strongest admonition against culturally integrating into Western Societies. The need to remain both separate and jihadi in preparation for the ultimate conquest of the continent.

Al Qaeda has only released tapes revealing new cells if those cells are about to launch attacks. In addition, Al Qaeda chatter in Spain is currently “off the charts”, and has been for the last two weeks. And the G8 Summit goes down in Germany next month, which resulted in a series of raids which just started today ( the growing links between American/European socialists and Islamic terrorists is also disturbing. This alliance is in fact the very lifeblood of George Soros and Moveon.org, and their puppet entity, the Democrat political party. Soros’ direct communication with terrorists is currently under both official and private surveillance and review ) As a result, the governments of all nations concerned consider May, June and July to be critical.

And also just in tonight:

Australian travellers are being warned to exercise caution if travelling to
Germany, which may be at an increased risk of a terrorist attack.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade tonight reviewed its travel
advice for Germany, alerting travellers that the German government had
warned terrorist attacks might be possible.

“German government public statements continue to note the possibility of
terrorist attacks in Germany,” DFAT said on its website.

“The German Interior Ministry has said the threat has become more serious.

“On 20 April 2007, the United States Embassy issued a warden message
advising that US diplomatic missions and installations are increasing
security in response to the heightened terrorist threat.”

Posted by Pat Dollard 5 Comments

What Does Muslim Immigration Cost Europe?

What Does Muslim Immigration Cost Europe?

Do gang rapes boost GDP? That was an offensive question, you say? 100.000 young Swedish girls live as virtual prisoners

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From Global Politician
Fjordman – 5/10/2007
Do gang rapes boost GDP? Was that an offensive question, you say? Well, according to Sweden’s finance minister Pär Nuder, more immigrants should be allowed into Sweden in order to safeguard the welfare system. However, in reality estimates indicate that immigration costs Sweden at least 40 to 50 billion Swedish kroner every year, probably several hundred billions, and has greatly contributed to bringing the Swedish welfare state to the brink of bankruptcy. An estimated cost of immigration of 225 billion Swedish kroner in 2004, which is not unlikely, would equal 17.5% of Sweden’s tax income that year, a heavy burden in a country which already has some of the highest levels of taxation in the world.

At the same time, the number of rape charges in Sweden has quadrupled in just above twenty years. Rape cases involving children under the age of 15 are six times as common today as they were a generation ago. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of rape suspects. Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm, who has investigated violent crimes in one court, found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or by foreign parents. Swedish politicians want to continue Muslim immigration because it boosts the economy, yet the evidence so far indicates that it mainly boosts the number of gang rapes. Meanwhile, research shows that fear of honor killings is a very real issue for many immigrant girls in Sweden. 100.000 young Swedish girls live as virtual prisoners of their own families. (Read More)

The Wahhabis are up to no good in southern Europe.

The Wahhabis are up to no good in southern Europe.

The Balkan Front

by Stephen Schwartz, The Weekly Standard

[..] Yet even in the Balkans, all is not peace and poetry. The ominous presence of Wahhabi missionaries, financiers, terror recruiters, and other mischief-makers bespeaks a fresh offensive in that tormented land. From the new Wahhabi seminary in the lovely Bosnian city of Zenica, to the cobblestone streets of Sarajevo’s old Ottoman center, to the Muslim-majority villages in southern Serbia, extremist Sunni men in their distinctive, untrimmed beards and short, Arab style breeches (worn in imaginary emulation of Muhammad), accompanied by women in face veils and full body coverings (a bizarre novelty in the contemporary Balkans), are again appearing, funded by reactionary Saudis and Pakistanis. They aim to widen the horizon of global jihad–witness the revived campaign of terrorism in Morocco and Algeria. In the Balkans, their targets are both Sufis and traditional Muslims. [..]

Posted by Ted Belman @ 9:49 am |

Europe (finally!) gets the War on Terror

Europe (finally!) gets the War on Terror

By James Lewis

Two headline-grabbing signals came from Europe this week, one from Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany, and the other from Nicolas Sarkozy, the presidential front-runner in France. Both show a new desire to heal the Atlantic alliance, which has been badly strained in the last several years.
The media on both continents naturally blame the Bush Administration for the breach; but there is no doubt that ex-Chancellor Schroeder and outgoing President Jacques Chirac exploited and worsened policy differences for their own political gain. Their aim was to separate Europe from America, in order to build up their own power by way of the European Union. Chirac was scheming to become the first full-term  president of the EU. Schroeder kept his office by scapegoating the Bush Administration. The EU Constitution was supposed to carry it all over the top, and the European Union was supposed to sail into everlasting paradise. Breaking away from America was the key.
Well, it didn’t happen that way.
One signal of new realism in Europe is a public call by the German news magazine Der Spiegel to tone down the over-the-top anti-American cat-calling that has obsessed the German press in recent years. That was followed by two major puff-pieces for Chancellor Merkel’s effort to reconnect with America.
In France, Nicolas Sarkozy has started what he hopes to be his final sprint to the Presidency by criticizing the “1968 generation,” which includes all the recent leaders of the EuroLeft. “1968” refers to the year of student rebellion that brought people like Schroeder and Joschka Fischer to power, just as in the United States the Sixties Left launched Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Both Merkel and Sarkozy are “welfare-state conservatives” rather than ideologically pure socialists. They can see clearly the suicidal limits of the multiculti Left, particularly its support for uncontrollable millions of anti-Western migrants, fresh dependent voters for the welfare state. They also see the looming fiscal limits of the social welfare state, as the Euro Boomer generation retires while a host of poorer nations are joining the European Union. Those nations cannot get the massive handouts that were routinely channeled to France. The money isn’t there. The word “cynical” and “immoral” were used by Sarkozy recently to describe the Boomer Left. Europe’s vacation from reality is reaching its natural limits, and public opinion is sobering up fast.
Most important, Europe can no longer deny the Islamist threat. The War on Terror isn’t just George W. Bush’s private phantasmagoria any more. Nicolas Sarkozy as French Minister of Interior has had to deal with two years of nightly riots by thousands of ethnic Muslim adolescents. The rioters are French citizens and cannot be expelled. They are not devout Muslims, but rather classically alienated young males who are easy prey for jihadist propaganda — just as alienated young men were natural recruits for absolutist ideologies in previous generations. 
Islam, Communism and fascism provide much the same kind of gratification. Islamists view women as either family chattel or whores to be preyed on; there are no free, respectable women in their eyes. So they are imbued with very different values from their middle-class European peers. Smaller versions of the French riots have erupted in the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway. Germans fear a spread of anarchy to their own Muslim population.
The link between terror and nuclear threats is now undeniable. Nobody doubts what Ahmadinejad wants — since he repeats it in public at every opportunity.  London newspapers have reported “dirty nuke” terror plots that were stopped in time. But it is not a comforting bit of news. Even the UK Guardian is beginning to see the writing on the wall.
Europeans are aware of the spread of nuclear technology from Pakistan and North Korea to  Syria, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Today Paris is only fifteen minutes away from an Iranian ICBM attack. That threat will not materialize until Iran obtains nukes, but that may be only a matter of time
So the Europeans might not say it out loud, but they finally “get” the War on Terror — six contentious years after the Twin Towers fell. They still hope that a Democrat will be elected in 2008, because they are more comfortable with a European-style socialist in the White House. But given the common threat to civilized countries, they are prepared to work with the US either way. Hillary as president may declare the end of the words “War on Terror” — for PR purposes — but in truth, everybody knows that the anti-jihad struggle must be either won or lost, and the West cannot afford to lose.
Angela Merkel was visibly shocked by Ahmadinejad’s open threats of a nuclear Holocaust against Israel last year.  She has signaled very clearly that Germany takes the Iranian threat very seriously.  While Jacques Chirac still believed that France could buy off Middle East tyrants, Nicolas  Sarkozy seems to be more grounded in reality. Europe, in blissful pursuit of the fantasy of eternal peace and prosperity without having to even pay for its own defenses, may return to realism in Paris and Berlin.
In Russia, Vladimir Putin is happy to sell nuclear power plants to Iran, but he cannot tolerate the rise of a nuclear martyr regime at his southern border. Putin will publicly resist US anti-missile defenses against Iran, but privately he hopes to pressure the West to allow Russia to join missile defenses.  Every advanced nation will need such defenses in the coming decades, and Russia lacks the expensive technological edge to make effective anti-missile systems on its own.
While the Russians are making angry noises about US anti-missile installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, in fact they cannot believe that the West is a real threat to them. NATO never dreamed of invading Russia during its greatest period of weakness, and there is no reason to suppose it would do so today. As Condi Rice just said, the very idea is ludicrous. So Putin wants to bluster and threaten for the best deal he can get. In the end, he sees far greater danger from nuclear jihad than from NATO.
The US would be wise to attempt to bring Russia into the Western defense perimeter, while continuing to pressure Putin to act more responsibly at home and abroad. It will not be easy, but a shared anti-missile defense agreement would be a powerful incentive for better Russian behavior. Russia has always been torn between the West and its long history of Asiatic autocracy. It should be possible to encourage Russian Westernization against a common threat.
Bottom line: We are beginning to see a reconstruction of the Western alliance after a decade of unprecedented propaganda attacks from the European Left. That does not mean that Europe will be subservient to the US as it was in the 1950s and 60s. Europe will try to stay neutral in any nuclear standoff between the US and Iran, even though it also wants to be protected against Iranian blackmail. Ideally, Europe wishes to control America as its own foreign legion; but Americans would be fools not to demand commensurate contributions from the 450 million people of Europe. Today Europe pays less than half of what we do for defense, but they still expect to be protected by us. That is an exploitive and one-sided arrangement. France and Germany must do much more for the common defense.
Chancellor Merkel has signalled her intention to continue pursuing EU unification
The British military are being radically cut back, with the aim of reinvesting UK budgets in a EU-centered military. So the EU will try to continue its massive bureaucratic expansion in the coming decades.
Nevertheless, the fact is that Europeans do not trust themselves to exercise a muscular foreign policy in the Middle East. If German fighter jets bombed Iran or Iraq, ancient European fears of a revived Prussianism or Hitlerism would arise automatically, justified or not. The US can simply do things Germany will not be able to do for the foreseeable future. And nobody trusts the French not to be cynically self-serving. In spite of anti-American rage, therefore, in military affairs Europe reluctantly trusts the US and Britain more than it does itself.
But it does not want to repeat the helpless experience of being caught between two nuclear superpowers, as it was during the Cold War. This is understandable. But technology now seems to promise a solution. The greatest difference from the Cold War is the growing availability of effective strategic defenses. The offensive edge in nuclear warfare is slowly being whittled away. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is therefore likely to be superseded by a more normal balance between offense and defense.  Effective defenses make life a lot safer. But it will take adequate expenditures and a lot of realism spread defenses to all of Europe, and the continent must be told to carry its part of that financial and military burden.
The next US Administration will make a great public to-do about reconciliation with the sadly offended Europeans. A Giuliani or a Hillary administration would be wise to engage in a public peace dance with the continent. But we must not be fooled into believing that Europe does not serve itself first. Over the longer term the EU still aims to emerge as an autonomous superpower, in competition with the United States. The European Left is extremely powerful, and it has indoctrinated four successive generations into wanting a United States of Europe. Such ambitions can be carried out in a rational and civilized way, but Europe’s anti-American hysteria should not be indulged. The US has a tendency to overlook verbal slander by our nominal allies. But over the longer term, such “allies” are ambivalent at best, and should not be treated as friends. We should not reward sabotage.
It seems that Europe’s peace-now-and-forever fantasies will be postponed in the coming decades, as the West engages in a more cohesive struggle for survival against nuclear Islamist threats. There is no alternative.
In retrospect, the Bush Administration may look much like the Truman Administration, which first confronted the Stalin challenge in the Cold War. George W. Bush is a conviction politician just as Harry S Truman was. He has taken his stand, and it will have historic impact, just as Truman’s did.
The early years of the War on Terror have been a watershed. Nations around the world have been forced to open their eyes and make their choices. They are doing so now, not because they have been talked into it by George W. Bush, but because they have come to see the same reality he does. Nobody said leadership was going to be easy.
That does not mean that present US policy is going to work without course adjustments.  The Iraq War may turn out to be much like the Korean War, a test of American resolve, and also of the limits of American commitment to an important but remote war. At the end of the Korean War, American forces withdrew from North Korea but not from the South.  Because of that American willingness to hold firm, South Korea grew into a formidable bulwark against Asian Communist expansion, as it remains to this day. China’s new prosperity can be attributed to the democratic capitalist successes of South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, all of them dependent upon American support. We cannot predict the outcome in Iraq, but somewhere in the Middle East a defensible line will emerge against jihadist Iran, and perhaps against newer threats.
Europe imports far too much oil from the Gulf to evade the obvious: A vital need for a renewed alliance with the United States against totalitarian aggressors with strategic weapons.
Call it Cold War Two — if we are lucky and keep our wits. But we must expect continental Europe to play a more active and constructive role for its own defense than it did in the last sixty years.
James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com

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