From the desk of Fjordman on Tue, 2007-07-31 08:59
I still get questions as to why I, being Norwegian, write more about Sweden than I do about my own country. First of all: I do write about Norway sometimes. And second of all: If you look at capital cities alone, Oslo could quite possibly be the worst city in Scandinavia. However, in virtually all other respects, Sweden is worse. And yes, it is every bit as bad as I say it is.
The primary reason why I write so much about Sweden is because it is the most totalitarian country in the Western world, and should thus serve as a warning to others. The second reason is that Sweden, like my own country, now needs some “tough love.” Too many Swedes still cling on to the myth of the “Swedish model” while their country is disintegrating underneath their feet. If Sweden the nation is to be saved – if it still can be saved, I’m not so sure – then Sweden the ideological beacon for mankind must be smashed, because vanity now blocks sanity.
According to news site The Local, a judge who hears migration appeals had his house vandalized by left-wing extremists. Threats were sprayed on the walls, red paint was poured over the steps and an axe was left outside his home. “When a judge in a Swedish court has his home vandalised in this way, it is of course very serious,” said Ingvar Paulsson, head of the Gothenburg District Administrative Court . The group Antifascistisk Action (AFA) writes on its homepage that the attack was motivated by the situation of Iraqi asylum seekers. The Swedish Board of Migration has ruled that they should be deported if they cannot show that a threat exists against them personally.
It should be noted here that Sweden alone in 2006 accepted almost as many asylum applications from Iraqis as all other European countries did combined. Native Swedes, who live in a country that was one of the most ethnically homogeneous nations in the world only 30 years ago, will be a minority in their own country within a few decades, if current trends continue. Sweden is self-destructing at a pace that is probably unprecedented in history, but for the extreme Left, even this isn’t fast enough.
AFA openly brag about numerous attacks against persons who get their full name and address published on their website. According to them, this is done in order to fight against capitalist exploitation and for a global, classless society. Their logic goes something like this: If you protest against Muslim immigration, you suffer from Islamophobia, which is almost the same as xenophobia, which is almost the same as racism. And racists are almost Fascists and Nazis, as we all know, and they shouldn’t be allowed to voice their opinions in public. Hence, if you protest against being assaulted or raped by Muslims, you are evil and need to be silenced. If a native Swede is really lucky, he or she will thus first get mugged or battered by Muslims, and then beaten up a second time by his own extreme Leftists for objecting to being beaten the first time. The state does next to nothing to prevent either, of course. Native Swedes who object to a mass immigration that will render them a minority in their own country within a couple of generations have already been classified as “racists,” and racists are for all practical purposes outside of the protection of the law.
According to some observers, Islamophobic hatred is on the rise in Europe. Let’s have a look at what constitutes “racist hatred.” The following is used as an official example of what is considered an Islamophobic hate crime in Sweden: A Muslim family in a Swedish neighborhood asks whether it is possible for them to get something else to eat other than sausages made out of pork. Linda then answers: “No, we live in Sweden.” The family asks what she means by that. Linda repeats that “We live in Sweden, and you have to respect that.” The man of the family says that “We respect you, why can’t you respect us?” Linda then replies that “No, unfortunately not.” She laughs and walks away.
Contrast this with an example from 2006, when Chancellor of Justice Göran Lambertz discontinued his preliminary investigation regarding anti-Semitism at the great mosque in Stockholm. He wrote that “the lecture at hand contains statements that are strongly degrading to Jews, among other things, they are throughout called brothers of apes and pigs.” Furthermore a curse is expressed over the Jews and “Jihad is called for, to kill the Jews, whereby suicide bombers – celebrated as martyrs – are the most effective weapon.” Lambertz thought that the “recently mentioned statements in spite of their contents are not to be considered incitement against an ethnic group according to Swedish law.” His conclusions were that the preliminary investigation should be discontinued because this incitement against Jews could be said to originate from the Middle East conflict.
This double standard is not just limited to Jews. Dahn Pettersson, a local politician, has been fined 18,000 kronor for writing that 95 percent of all heroin brought in comes via Albanians from Kosovo. “It is never ethnic groups that commit crimes. It is individuals or groups of individuals,” prosecutor Mats Svensson told the court, which found Pettersson guilty of “Agitation Against a Minority Group.” Svante Nycander, former editor of daily Dagens Nyheter, stated that “the ruling in Malmö District Court is damaging to freedom of expression. Many will take it as proof that the authorities are afraid of uncomfortable truths, and that lacking reasoned counter-arguments they punish those who speak plainly.” In Sweden, saying that Muslim Albanians are behind much of the drug traffic in Europe (a fact) is a crime. Making derogatory statements about the native population, however, is just fine.
Bexhet Kelmeni is of Kosovar Albanian origin and lives in Malmö, the country’s third largest city, which is set to become the first Scandinavian city with a Muslim majority in a few years. He thinks that it is important that it has now been established that Dahn Pettersson’s assertions were criminal. “I am ashamed that there are such politicians,” says Kelmeni, who claims that he has been in contact with hundreds of Albanians and all of them have taken offense. “He needs to learn more about the Albanian culture,” Kelmeni says. What he doesn’t say is that many of the remaining Swedes in Malmö – the natives have been evacuating, or rather fleeing, the city for years due to rampant violence and harassment – get daily lessons in Albanian culture.
Feriz and Pajtim, members of Gangsta Albanian Thug Unit in Malmö, explain how they mug people downtown. They target a lone victim. “We surround him and beat and kick him until he no longer fights back,” Feriz says. They are always many more people than their victims. Isn’t this cowardly? “I have heard that from many, but I disagree. The whole point is that they’re not supposed to have a chance.” They don’t express any sympathy for their victims. “If they get injured, they just have themselves to blame for being weak,” says Pajtim and shrugs. “Many of us took part in gangs which fought against the Serbs in Kosovo. We have violence in our blood.” They blame the politicians for why they are mugging, stating that they are bored. If the state could provide them with something to do, maybe they would stop attacking people. But is the lack of leisure pursuits the only reason why they assault people? “No, it’s good fun as well,” says Feriz.
Criminal gangs of Albanians thus freely admit assaulting Swedes, but Swedes cannot suggest that there are criminal gangs of Albanians. That’s just racist.
The wave of robberies the city of Malmö is experiencing is part of a “war against the Swedes.” This is the explanation given by young robbers from immigrant backgrounds. “When we are in the city and robbing we are waging a war, waging a war against the Swedes.” This argument was repeated several times. “Power for me means that the Swedes shall look at me, lie down on the ground and kiss my feet. We rob every single day, as often as we want to, whenever we want to.” Swedish authorities have done virtually nothing to stop this.
Is there then no racism in Malmö? Yes, there are some nasty cases of Islamophobia. A bus driver was suspended for discrimination and hatred after he allegedly tried to stop a woman from boarding because she was wearing a burka. According to writer Mats Wahl, arson against schools costs more than 300 million kroner a year. An unofficial survey among 52 Swedish municipalities indicated that at least 114 such cases of arson were registered within the first half of 2006, but accurate numbers were hard to come by. At least 139 schools suffered attempted arson during 2002 alone. Björn Vinberg from the fire department in the Malmö area says it is degrading to put out fires again and again in the same immigrant areas, with school kids laughing at them and lighting a new one just afterwards. No doubt, this must be a protest against the institutionalized and pervasive Islamophobia in Swedish society.
In a country where the tax rate is above 60%, higher than in almost any other country on the planet save perhaps North Korea – which incidentally also has almost as much free speech as Sweden – the natives are attacked on a daily basis by immigrant gangs, yet the state seems unwilling to do anything to stop this. Although Muslims openly brag about targeting Jews and Christians, this doesn’t constitute a hate crime. But is does constitute racism and a hate crime if Muslims are not presented with halal sausages at all times or allowed to wear a burka wherever they want to.
According to Professor Wilhelm Agrell, Sweden now has a security policy based on the assumption that territorial defense is no longer needed. Military resources are only deemed relevant as political markers in distant conflicts and their own territory has become nothing more than a training ground. Agrell concludes that “after years of existential angst and budgetary black holes, Sweden’s military has finally taken down its flag, emptied its stores and fled the field.” The few soldiers they do have are in places such as Afghanistan, not at home. Jan Karlsen from the Swedish Police Union warned in 2007 that the underfunded police force would not be able to keep up with organized crime and ethnic tensions for much longer. Meanwhile, police officers are protesting against a new uniform designed to make them appear less aggressive by replacing boots with shoes, making guns less visible and changing the shirts to a softer, gentler color.
In an article from June 2007 with the title “Summertime — rape time,” Aftonbladet, the largest daily in Scandinavia, linked the spike in rapes during the summer to the warm weather. The official number of rape charges in Sweden has more than quadrupled during one generation, even more for girls under the age of 15. If this is due to the warm weather, I suppose the Scandinavian rape wave is caused by global warming? The fact that many of the suspects have a Muslim background, which is also proven by statistics from neighboring Norway, is purely coincidental, no doubt. The number of rapes in the Norwegian capital Oslo is now six times as high per capita as in New York.
According to journalist Karen Jespersen, Helle Klein, the political editor-in-chief of Aftonbladet from 2001 to 2007 and a former leading member of the Social Democratic Youth League, has stated that “If the debate is [about] that there are problems caused by refugees and immigrants, we don’t want it.” Opinion polls have revealed that two out of three Swedes doubt whether Islam can be combined with Swedish society, yet not one party represented in parliament has been genuinely critical of the immigration policies, and there is virtually no real debate about Multiculturalism and Islam.
During a demonstration in Stockholm organized by Islamic and anti-racist organizations in 2006, Helle Klein stood in front of a banner which read “A Sweden for all — Stop the Nazi violence” holding a speech warning against Islamophobia in the media. “Sweden for all” sounds almost exactly like “Sweden for Allah” in Swedish. When leading members of the political and media elites associate Islamophobia with Nazism while remaining silent on the violence committed by Muslim gangs in their own country, they are indirectly providing verbal ammunition to extreme Leftists groups such as AntiFascistisk Aktion, who physically assault critics of mass immigration.
The Brotherhood, an organization of Christian Social Democrats, has friendly relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, just as Klein’s Swedish Social Democratic Party had with the Fascist and Nazi regimes prior to WW2. Helle Klein has voiced sympathy for terrorist organization Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the MB, in her editorials, while warning against the threat to world peace posed by Israeli aggression and the Christian Zionist Right in the USA. Hamas is a Fascist organization openly calling for mass murder of Jews. The irony of warning against “Nazi violence” while showing sympathy for an organization that wants to finish what the Nazis started apparently doesn’t strike Ms. Klein, who is now studying to become a priest in the Church of Sweden. Her great-grandfather was a rabbi.
The Church of Sweden has announced its willingness to allow gay couples to marry in church, but would like marriage laws to be renamed “cohabitation laws.” How Klein intends to reconcile support for gay marriage with support for an Islamic terrorist organization that wants to kill gays beats me, but I’m sure she’ll think of something.
The British author Paul Weston believes that Britain’s national heart has ceased beating: “Our national soul is hovering indecisively above the operating table. The crash team have been called, but the politically inclined hospital switchboard have told them there is no problem, that everything is under control. The life support boys have heard otherwise, they are hurrying to get there, but other hospital staff members have switched the signage to the operating theatre and killed the lights. It is a big hospital, they only have minutes to get there, they are lost, confused, misinformed, and the clock is relentlessly ticking, and ticking, and ticking…”
I’m inclined to say the same thing about Sweden. The Swedish nation is currently on its deathbed. We can only hope there is life after death after all.
Jihad in Britain: Repaying Good with Evil
By Vasko Kohlmayer
FrontPageMagazine.com | 7/31/2007
Recently a trial concluded in London with the convictions of four would-be suicide bombers whose failed attack on the London transport system took place almost exactly two years ago. It emerged in the course of the proceedings that the bombers’ ambition was to exceed the devastation caused by the July 7 terrorist strike which had taken place two weeks previously and which left 52 dead and more than 700 injured. That this was no empty hope was confirmed by experts who testified that the backpack devices contained a powerful mix of explosive substances previously unseen in Britain. The plot only failed at the last moment because of a flaw in the construction of the detonation mechanism. The desire to murder as many people as one can is in itself testimony to a truly depraved mind. But the full extent of these people’s evil can only be fully appreciated when we learn of what has been done for them by the country on which they plotted to inflict so terrible a harm. Now 29, Muktar Said Ibrahim, the group’s ringleader, was 14 when he came to the UK with his parents from Eritrea. Shortly after their arrival, the family was given a council house – a house paid for by the British government – and the young Ibrahim was placed in a public school. A troublemaker from early on, he soon came into conflict with the law. Unemployed after his release from prison, he was given a council apartment plus a jobseeker’s allowance of ₤56.20 per week. Despite his spotty record, he was granted British citizenship in 2004. Making a prompt use of his new passport, he traveled to a terror camp in Pakistan to prepare himself for his suicide mission. Yassin Hassan Omar, 26, came to Britain from Somalia as a 12-year-old refugee with his two sisters and was placed by social services with a foster couple. He attended public schools and at 18 was given a council apartment as a ‘vulnerable young adult’ where he lived on state handouts. In the six years prior to the attacks he received the equivalent of $50,000 (₤25,000) in housing benefits and $26,000 (₤13,000) in income support. Ramzi Mohammed, 25, came to the United Kingdom at 14 and was given public school education, courtesy of British taxpayers. After abandoning his partner and his two children in 2003, he was given a council apartment in the popular London neighborhood of Kensington where he lived on government support. Instead of looking for work, he spent his time hanging around radical imams and passing out Islamic literature. Hussain Osman, 28, arrived in Britain on falsified documents from Somalia and requested political asylum. He was given permanent resident status and an apartment in south London to boot. Unemployed, he lived there on government benefits with his Ethiopian girlfriend and their three children. Altogether these four jihadists collected the equivalent of nearly $400,000 dollars in various forms of government assistance in the years prior to their strike. High as this figure is, it does not include the healthcare and schooling they received over time. Yet all this generosity failed to elicit even the smallest measure of gratitude. Not only that, it provoked in them sentiments diametrically opposite – a hatred so intense that it gave birth to a desire to commit mass murder. As they put on their death-laden backpacks on that morning of July 21, all the free housing, education, healthcare and income support they had received counted for nothing. The only thing on their mind was murder. This was their payback to the country that provided for them so generously in their hour of need. Inspired by the teachings of Islam, they sought to repay great good with great evil. Their act throws light not only on their own personal depravity, but also on the larger problem of Muslim discontent as their sentiments are shared by scores of their co-religionists across the western world. No matter how much is done for them, far too many despise the societies from which they so willingly draw support and benefits. We can get some sense of just what we are up against from the suicide note of Ramzi Mohammed which reads in part: My family, don’t cry for me. But indeed rejoice in happiness and love what I have done for the sake of Allah for he loves those who fight for his sake.
Footage from a surveillance camera revealed the inhuman way in which Mohammed sought to carry out his errand ‘for the sake of Allah.’ As he was connecting the wires to set off the explosion, he purposefully pointed his device toward a mother and her child who were sitting next to him.
A question immediately comes to mind: How we are to live side by side with those whose outlook is irreconcilably hostile to the way we live and think? Those who argue that we must show them that we care could not be more misguided. What more, it must be asked, can a country do than Britain has done for Mohammed and his comrades? To make things worse, western countries lack the mental and legal framework to handle this kind of moral inversion and are largely unprepared to defend themselves against those whose moral values derive from the concepts of jihad and taqiyya.
During the trial it emerged that two of the 21/7 bombers came to the attention of Britain’s security services which, however, lacked the tools and powers to stop them. In December of 2004, some nine months before the attack, Muktar Ibrahim was stopped by immigration authorities at Heathrow airport as he checked in for a flight to Pakistan. Suspicions were aroused because his baggage contained large amounts of cash, cold-weather gear and a manual on ballistic injuries. After being questioned for nearly three hours, he was let go even though the kind of equipment in his suitcases was of the same nature as that carried previously by British men traveling to jihad training camps or to join Mujihadeen fighters in Kashmir and Afghanistan. Ibrahim’s destination was indeed a training camp and when he returned four months later he had a short list of those who would participate in the 21/7 strike.
This was not the only missed opportunity, however. In May of 2004, Ibrahim was photographed by a police surveillance team in a training camp in Britain’s Lake District. Once again, no action was taken even though it was obvious that the participants – all young Muslim males – were not there to admire the beauties of nature which that part of England is famous for. One of the attendees, who turned an informant, later testified: ‘As far as I was aware, none of those going on the camp had any great interest in outdoor activity courses or climbing. They were preparing themselves for the type of environment they may encounter in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. They were getting fit for jihad.’ Had the police acted, they would have not only broken up Ibrahim’s cell, but may well have foiled the July 7 attack. It emerged later that Ibrahim knew Mohammad Sidique Khan, its ringleader, and that the two even spent some time together in a terror camp. It is very likely that they discussed and perhaps even coordinated their plots. Had Ibrahim been properly interrogated, he may have led authorities on Khan’s trail and the worst terrorist strike on British soil could have been averted. But operating with limited powers and under numerous restrictions, the security services concluded that the kind of evidence they possessed at the time would not pass the criminal mustard.
Countering this evil effectively will require that we fundamentally change the way we approach this problem. To begin with, western democracies will have to start crafting legislation aimed specifically at the destructiveness and murderousness peculiar to their Muslim residents. At the same, restrictions will have to be placed on Muslim immigration, for it is difficult to see how we can survive continued inflows of those who are not only hostile to the way we live, but are so willing to repay with evil the goodwill of their hosts.
Ed Morrissey of Captains Quarters blog looks at partisanship in Congress and arrives at something of a surprising conclusion Ed examined the frequency with which members of Congress voted with their own party:
[T]he Democrats take nine of the top ten partisan spots, as well as scoring 8 points higher in partisanship as a party. The lone Republican ties for first, though:
100% – Charlie Norwood (R-GA)
100% – Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
99.7% – Nita Lowey (D-NY
99.4% – Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)
99.1% – Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
98.9% – Xavier Bacerra (D-CA)
98.7% – Diana DeGetter (D-CO)
98.6% – Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
98.6% – Hilda Solis (D-CA)
98.6% – Ellen Tauscher (D-CA
98.6% – Al Wynn (D-MD)
Of course, Norwood is dead, and has been since February (h/t: The Anchoress). After Norwood, the next Republican comes in at 94.8%. JoAnn Davis (R-VA) has only cast 134 votes, however, as she has missed significant time while fighting a recurrence of breast cancer. She comes in at #174 on the list of partisans — which means that Democrats occupy all of the previous 173 slots, of those among the living, anyway.
In comparison, Republicans occupy all of the ten positions for the least partisan Representatives.
For a party that has constantly called for the GOP to end the partisanship is the height of hubris, projection and obfuscation. Perhaps, the Democrats in Congress might actually accomplish some goals if they were less partisan.
File under the New York Times view of Democrats: The paper has a see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil towards the Democratic Party.
Recall, the NYT engaged in a campaign attacking the election result that led to the defeat of Christine Jennings by her Republican opponent Vern Buchanan. In typical NYT fashion, Buchanan was disparaged and the contest’s results were attacked by the Times-criticism that was unwarranted as later studies show (the election was clean, despite the NYT characterization of voting problems).
Now, we find that the martyr Democratic candidate went years without paying taxes on payroll.
Democratic congressional candidate Christine Jennings went more than a year without paying taxes on both of her campaign committees’ payrolls,
Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports show. Jennings paid no payroll taxes on one committee, “Chris Jennings for Congress,” until May 23 of this year, more than three years after its first salary payment. On another committee, “Christine Jennings for Congress,” Jennings paid no payroll taxes until July 31, 2006, about 13 months after its first salary payment.
“Chris Jennings for Congress,” which Jennings used for her 2004 campaign in Florida’s 13th congressional district, lists a lump sum of $23,835.93 paid to the IRS on May 23. The payment came after years of inactivity.
No notice of this story in the New York Times.
A faction within America always denigrates our country, seeing our enemies through rose colored lenses and finding only oppression at home. The Long War we face with Radical Islam is matched by the long war against this bloc.
Color me cynical, but I think that the fix is in on Iraq. In September Gen. Petraeus will report on the surge and declare a qualified victory. Then President Bush will start drawing down the troops. Slowly.
Everyone will feel betrayed. The conservative base will feel that our steadfast support for the war was all in vain.
The netroots will continue to demand immediate withdrawal. Expect the Democrats in Congress to keep offering a Resolution of the Week to support the troops and bring them home now.
It would be easy in this situation to get discouraged, but we are conservatives and we are better than that. This is a point worth making because right now the Conservatives in Britain are having a total meltdown over a couple of minor political setbacks.
But if we are not to panic like our formerly stiff-upper-lipped cousins across the Atlantic we must “do something.” I recommend we “do” some strategic thinking. As we retreat from Iraq we should think about the big picture.
The great lesson that we should learn from the first six years of the 9/11 era is this. If it weren’t for our liberal friends here in the United States and in Europe, the terrorists would be nothing more than a bunch of Saudi rich kids and Iranian regime thugs out for a rumble.
What makes these Saudi rich kids and their pals world-historical is the understanding they get from the left and the publicity they get from the media. Exhibit A is the CNN-YouTube questioner who asked the Democratic presidential candidates:
“Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?”
Earth to YouTube: The gap that divides us from the thug dictators is not a lack of negotiations; it is the question of power. For a dictator power isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.
The left always seems to be swooning over the latest gang of designer thugs. Right now university book stores are featuring dozens of earnest attempts to understand Islam. Back in the 1980s the lefty Sandalistas were flocking to Sandinista Nicaragua. In the 1970s the left was busy understanding the rage of well-born terrorists in the Weathermen, the Italian Red Brigades, and the Baader-Meinhof gang. A decade before that it was Castro and the execrable Che Guevara. All of those thugs would have got nowhere without the fawning of the luvvies on the left.
You might think that these dictator lovers are evil, and you might be right. But conservative philosopher Roger Scruton talks instead, in A Political Philosophy, of a kind of sickness: “oikophobia.” It’s a fancy Greek neologism for “educated derision at… national loyalty,” always siding with “‘them’ against ‘us,’ and the felt need to denigrate the customs, cultures, and institutions that are demonstrably ‘ours.'” In short, as Scruton writes, it is “the repudiation of inheritance and home.”
Modern conservatism was founded by Edmund Burke upon the opposite idea. It regards “our liberties as an entailed inheritance derived to us from our forefathers, and to be transmitted to our posterity” without repudiation.
The great challenge for us, conservatives and libertarians, people inspired by the spirit of democratic capitalism, is the challenge of the “oikophobes.” It means that the war on terror is not finally a war with Islamic terrorism, but an episode in the long war within the west that began in 1789. It is the war between the heirs of Burke and the heirs of Rousseau and Robespierre, between ordered liberty and the “oikophobic” alliance between rational experts, progressive activists, designer revolutionaries and out-and-out thugs.
The “oikophobic” alliance presents a Janus face to the world. It claims to be the very highest and best in human evolution, committed to equality, sharing and caring. In pursuit of this ideal it advocates constantly for inclusiveness and against divisiveness. Yet it conducts its politics according to the crudest techniques of the demagogue, setting worker against boss, renter against owner, woman against man, poor against wealthy, secularist against believer, black against white, gown against town.
And its institutions–the schools, universities, foundations, arts communities, and newsrooms of the world–are the most exclusive and divisive around. Conservatives and Christians need not apply.
But for all their faults you would think that the “oikophobes” would be willing to help conservatives defeat the homophobes, the racists, and the patriarchs of the Middle East.
But they won’t. They are “oikophobes” and they believe in taking the side of “them” against “us.”
Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his roadtothemiddleclass.com and usgovernmentspending.com. His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.
The United States is now employing our former enemies to fight Al-Qaeda. This new approach, especially noticeable in the provinces of Anbar and Diyala, is paying off. We shouldn’t be surprised. History has ample precedent.
A number of former enemies – Sunni and Shi’a groups – of the American presence in Iraq have already signed on and are guided by three simple rules: they must promise to stop fighting American forces; agree to attack Al-Qaeda forces; and finally, begin a gradual rapprochement and cooperation with Iraqi military and police forces.
Bringing former insurgents into the fold is a mark not only of progress but of sound, practical thinking, a good grasp of historical precedent, and a much better understanding of local politics. Pols everywhere agree: all politics is local.
U.S. commanders have in fact realized that the best weapon against a guerrilla is frequently a former guerrilla. Except to the political naifs who get their history lessons from Showtime this is not a new concept, but one which has been used by the U.S. Army — indeed by a number of armies — in the past, and frequently with remarkable success.
When the fascist government in Italy finally collapsed, some of the fiercest fighters on the Allied side were Italian soldiers who but weeks before had fought alongside their German counterparts. The Italians, however, had come to fear and loathe their Nazi allies. It hadn’t taken too long for them to realize who their real enemies were. Eager to come to blows with their former oppressors they sought to fight alongside Allied forces. Allied leadership was practical enough to recognize the potential contributions of Italian fighters. Rather than disarm these former enemies or shift them to the sidelines, we took strategic and tactical advantage of our new allies’ hard won experience, their intimate knowledge of Wehrmacht operations, and their enthusiasm to pay back their Nazi overlords.
Payback is by no means a new concept. When Hernando Cortez conquered what is now Mexico he never had more than 500 Spanish soldiers under his command. Certainly the horses, steel swords and primitive muskets gave the Spaniards a limited advantage, but even these would have been fairly useless in confronting an enemy numbering literally in the tens of thousands. Instead, Cortez quickly realized that while the Aztecs were the big dog on the block, they had not made any friends in the region. Arrogant to a fault, rapacious and brutal to neighboring tribes, the Aztec Empire looted and murdered its neighbors without compunction. They herded thousands of captured subjects back to Tenotchtitlan for the sole purpose of butchering them to appease bloodthirsty gods. (Does the behavioral pattern sound familiar?) When the Spaniards arrived they were delighted to welcome the thousands upon thousands of local tribesmen who flocked to their banners in the hope of getting back at their Aztec overlords. This approach worked to a fault. In record time the vaunted and vicious Aztec Empire ceased to exist.
American soldiers in the field were quick to recognize the potential of the disenchanted and yet fierce members of Native American warrior sects. The majority of scouts for the US Army during the extensive Sioux Wars of the 1870’s through 1890’s for example were not, as Hollywood might have us believe, United States soldiers. Instead they were largely Arikara, Shoshone, Pawnee, Winnebago, and Crow scouts. All of these indigenous people knew and hated the Sioux. The Sioux were fellow Indians to be sure, but not well loved by those who by necessity or tradition lived near them. It was a group of Shoshone and Crow scouts who in June of 1876 first discovered and then blunted a massive assault by Crazy Horse’s warriors on Brigadier General George Crook’s encampment along the Rosebud. A week later, George Custer would use Crow and Arikara scouts to discover a large encampment of Sioux led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Unfortunately for him and many of his men Custer would dismiss the Crow’s declaration that the camp contained “…more warriors than you have bullets.” A cavalier disregard of his scouts’ advice proved disastrous in this event.
The following year the Sioux themselves would actually volunteer to track and fight the Nez Perces. And in later years General George Crook would be faced with the task of bringing to bay Geronimo’s fierce marauding Apaches. No pushovers, Crook described the Apaches as “the tigers of the human species.” Knowing the difficulties facing him Crook quickly enlisted the aid of other Apache warriors as scouts. It was the Apache scouts who finally located and brought Geronimo to bay. They knew the enemy and the terrain intimately. Apaches would continue to serve as scouts for the Army as a separate unit until as late as 1942. In almost every significant case, throughout the Indian wars it was the Indian Scouts who led American forces to the enemy in question.
We should keep this in mind when congressmen and news commentators begin to question a military use of former guerrillas against Al-Qaeda or the Mahdi Army. Perhaps it has taken us some time to relearn the lessons of history but this may just be the approach that our commitment to Iraq requires. Our newly acquired allies have learned their lessons the hard way. They have come to realize that the true enemies of Iraq and the Iraqi people are not American GIs — instead they are fanatical Saudis, Syrians, Egyptians, Chechens, Palestinians and Iranians who have come to feed their blood thirsty gods with the bodies of Iraqis. Or they are criminals and murderers who thrive on the chaos of war at the expense of those who would work and live in peace rather than raise their children in a climate of fear and death.
What we must now strive to do is to not repeat our past grievous errors. Most Native American Indian scouts were woefully treated after they had served honorably and well. Disarmed, abused, returned to reservations, their treatment amounts to nothing less than a national disgrace. In our own history General Crook, in a rare display of integrity, resigned his commission when his promises to his Apache scouts were broken by a duplicitous government in Washington.
But I don’t worry about the generals, it’s the politicians who bear careful watching.
Frederick J. Chiaventone – retired Army officer and award-winning novelist and screenwriter taught counter-insurgency at the Army’s staff college.
Such pictures as this one in Newsweek are akin to the performances of the Muslim women, usually Pakistanis, who come to elementary schools to “talk about Islam.” They bring pretty postcards of mosques and a prayer rug that can be turned Meccawards, and are eager to share information about “family-centered” Islam. Everything concentrates on the trivial (for Infidels) rituals of worship: Shehada, zakat, salat, hajj, and especially Ramadan, which allows for all kinds of wide-eyed wonder at the depth of feeling which Muslims must have to stick to a daytime fast for a whole month.
And then of course the discussion can be all about not only what good things there are to eat at the break-fast Iftar dinner, but how various are those things — because, you see, “Islam is not monolithic.”
Because in the view of Abdul Raheem (Richard Reid), Allah would find nothing objectionable in the mass murder of infidels.
Meanwhile, why is he allowed books about Islam in prison? Do prison officials suppose they will make him better, when it is clear from this article and from everything else that we know about him that they are the things that made him worse?
“Crazed bomber says Allah will get him out of Supermax poky,” by Corky Siemaszko for the New York Daily News (thanks to WriterMom):
Shoe bomber Richard Reid sits and waits in his cell at the Suprmax prison in Colorado. The British terrorist says he has dreamed he will be spared from the life sentence he serves.Failed shoe bomber Richard Reid fantasizes that Allah will free him from the Supermax prison cell where he lives in isolation – and in his socks.
“I had a couple of good dreams about my situation changing for the better in the not-so-distant future, so this is a blessing from Allah,” Reid wrote in letters obtained by a British newspaper.
“I place my trust in Allah that he will bring that into fruition and ask him to give me patience until the time when that occurs.”
The Mirror also secured exclusive photos of the 33-year-old Al Qaeda acolyte who tried to blow up a packed Miami-bound jet with booby-trapped sneakers – and who stares with crazy eyes at the camera.
Behind the British-born Muslim convert are his paltry possessions – a few books about Islam, scraps of writing paper, a bear-shaped plastic container of what appears to be honey resting beside a shabby trunk.
His beard is scraggly and he wears a white, long-sleeved T-shirt and gray sweatpants. He expresses no remorse for his failed attempt at mass murder – and seems serene despite the terrorist path that landed him in prison.
“As long as we strive to follow the laws which he has laid down for us then everything which occurs in this life contains some good for us,” he wrote.
Reid is serving a life sentence in the ultratough federal prison in Florence, Colo., for attempting to bring down an American Airlines jet with nearly 200 people aboard on Dec. 22, 2001. Fellow passengers and crew members overpowered him before he could ignite the explosives hidden in his shoes.
In missives to his Jamaican father, Robin Reid, the bearded bomber hectored him to get religion – the Muslim religion.
“How’s your situation in regards to upholding the daily prayers?” he wrote. “Hopefully my advice was well received and if you didn’t start praying yet, I’d ask you to re-read the two letters I wrote earlier this year on that subject and to reflect on your situation with Allah.”
Reid also harshly rebutted his dad’s suggestion that a Christian aunt who died suddenly was in a “better place.”
“You should know that while Allah is merciful and forgiving, this applies only to those who upheld His rights,” he wrote. “I do know that if she died while still believing that Jesus and God are one then that’s not good as she had the chance to find out about Islam.”