Class Warfare Erupts Into Just Plain Warfare

Class Warfare Erupts Into Just Plain Warfare

By Joseph
Ashby

Lately it seems the only thing more sobering than
America’s creeping decline is Europe’s rapid decline.  The riots in London put a
painfully fine point on the dark future that awaits us.  It is true that Greece,
Spain, Portugal, and Italy show us the grim numerical realities of unlimited
government, but all those nations were past their prime before the American
Founding.

Great Britain is different.  There are people alive
now who remember when Great Britain was the preeminent world power.  Today’s
hollowed-out version serves as an example of how quickly greatness can slip
through a nation’s fingers.

The riots in London show the logical conclusion of a
brand politics which is ashamed of national identity and is built on class
warfare.

The violence was lit off when, in what has been
reported as a gunfight between London police and some number of alleged
assailants, a black man named Mark Duggan was killed.  Years of
multiculturalism’s racial-grievance appeasement led the first rioters to seek
retribution for supposed police racism.  Never mind that an officer was hurt in
the confrontation or, as a friend described it, Duggan was “involved in things”
— rioters maintained that Duggan’s family required “justice.”

Before long, the racial component of the protest was
swallowed up in an apparent socioeconomic war.  To try to decipher the mob’s
motivations, an incredulous BBC reporter asked
rioters, “Why is it targeting local people, your own people?”  One of the two
drunken assailants responded, “It’s the rich people.  It’s the rich people, the
people who’ve got businesses, and that’s why this has
happened.”

The “this” in her statement doesn’t refer to the riots
themselves, but some condition over which the rioters are protesting.  Mary
Riddell of the UK Telegraph calls the
riots an uprising of the “underclass.”  Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone
blames the
violence on “social division” brought on by conservative cuts to welfare
spending.  The New York Times writes that
the cuts in social programs “have hit the country’s poor especially hard,
including large numbers of the minority youths who have been at the forefront of
the unrest.”

Such conclusions fit the longtime political narrative
of the left, but they struggle to match reality.  After faulting government
austerity for causing the violence, the Times reports that British
authorities may disable BlackBerry Messenger’s encryption capability.  Why?
Because rioters are coordinating attacks using the private message system.  How
exactly we can call these smartphone-owning agitators “the underclass” is
unclear.  What is clear, however, is that, on some level, the rioters believe
it.  “This was always going to happen,” declared Tony, a former resident who
believes the left’s narrative.

Belief in the “underclass” meme sets England’s anarchy
apart from most other austerity-related vandalism.  The protests in Wisconsin,
for example, were a combination of well-to-do leftists chasing Vietnam-era nostalgia and a privileged public-sector
union class who wanted to maintain their favored position.  Conversely, the
English rioters genuinely appear to believe that they are somehow
cheated.

As a result, those who have their schooling, food,
housing, and medical care paid for are now turning on their benefactors,
ostensibly as punishment for the benefactors’ privilege.  It is not so difficult
to see how such a deeply ingrained sense of entitlement and backward view of
personal property can come to exist.

Just look at the terms of the recent debt ceiling
debate here at home.  “It’s not right to ask middle-class families to pay more”
preached
President Obama while advocating for his so-called balanced approach.  Nancy
Pelosi said of
one Republican plan that it “burdens the middle class and seniors.”  To read
these sentiments, one would think that huge tax increases on the middle class
and seniors were on the table.  But no such proposal ever existed.  The “burden”
and “pay hike” described by Democrats were actually a reduction in transfer
payments to these groups.  That mindset equates shrinking a social program to
stealing from the program’s beneficiaries.

Thus a free and prosperous society destroys itself.
Both Great Britain and America became the world’s leading economic powers
because they fiercely protected their citizens’ property rights.  Not
surprisingly, both nations sink into decline as they now fiercely protect their
citizens’ ability to violate property rights.

John Adams, a man who was both a British subject and
an American president, shared these prophetic words in 1787: “The moment the
idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of
God…anarchy and tyranny commence.”  Because England was ashamed of her
national identity and cast aside her protection of property rights, anarchy and
tyranny have commenced.  Tragically, America nips at her
heels.

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at August 11, 2011 – 11:51:27 AM CDT

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Everybody’s Asking ‘Is Obama Mentally Present?’

Everybody’s Asking ‘Is Obama Mentally Present?’

M Catharine Evans

 


Conservatives aren’t the only ones befuddled
by the President’s Gridiron dinner antics, March madness picks and his strange
Saturday radio address focusing on the Paycheck Fairness Act when a government
shutdown has been looming for weeks.

Daily
Mail’s Max Hastings
calls Barack Obama “cool, cold, cerebral, and arrogant”
in a March 14 lament.

Hastings, like millions of Europeans, fell in lust
with the U.S President back in 2008 and now that the bloom is off the stem, he
wants to break up. Like most of Obama’s star-struck groupies he’s racking his
brain trying to understand what happened to the knight “mantled in a glittering
white cloak…the great speechmaker.”

On the Mideast, Afghanistan, the
debt, unemployment, and myriad domestic and international crises the One appears
“remote” displaying “a curious lack of interest.” Curiously, Hastings cites
Obama’s post-massacre Arizona speech when he “rose to extraordinary heights of
rhetoric” as the single exception to the president’s otherwise glaring
indifference in the face of so much turmoil.

Hastings contention that
Obama is “missing in action” makes us wonder whether the President was ever ‘in
the action’ to begin with. By now, those paying attention know the Chicago
trained community organizer did not come to lead but to act as a mouthpiece for
those who desire to change the founding fathers’ vision of America. And he needs
four more years to finish the job. Hastings all but admits this may be the
case:

While the world welcomed Obama as a transformational figure, he
shows no sign of wishing to fulfil any such grand role.

Indeed, the White
House is obsessed with a single issue: how to get its man re-elected in November
2012.

A Washingtonian who has studied the President at close quarters
said to me: ‘I think I understand him now. He’s a “pol” – a politico – who
learned his business in the Chicago machine.

In trying to
make sense of it all Hastings, being a good liberal Brit, scapegoats the
American people as “nutters” and dutifully bashes Sarah Palin as that “moose
hunting air-headed vice presidential candidate” whose “hick followers still
love” her, but “Lord, be thanked, the White House now seems safe from her.”

The reporter insists that the majority of Americans who live in the real
world reject the “Republican excesses,” and appreciate a “brilliant man” who
never says or acts “irrationally.”

Hastings refuses to speak ill of his
former idol, but by the end of the piece he expresses frustration at the
President’s refusal to man up and “fight tough fights.” But it can’t be the
President’s fault; he “was bound to succumb to the sordid demands of machine
politics.” Was that before 2008 or after?

The reporter can’t seem to
bring himself to admit he was powerless over the Obama machine, taken in by the
phony Axelrodian reality. Instead Hastings blames the “hicks” that did their
homework. Weren’t they the ones who  googled ‘Alinsky;’ were aghast when they
listened to Reverend Wright’s anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-white speeches;
and who discovered the “brilliant man” voted ‘present’ 129 times in the Illinois
State Senate?

A “Washington admirer” urges Hastings to “not lose faith”
in Barack Obama, that he “may still lay claim to greatness.” What a twisted and
doomed love story this presidency is turning out to be.

Read
more M.Catharine Evans at www.potterwilliamsreport.com

Spain’s Policy of Appeasing Terrorists Backfires

Spain’s Policy of Appeasing Terrorists Backfires

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spain’s accidental prime minister who was thrust into office by the Islamic terrorists who set off a series of train bombs in Madrid only three days before the 2004 general elections, has just marked his third year in power.

Since taking office, Zapatero, who is dogmatically attached to the ideas of the European left, has presided over controversial domestic and foreign policies that range from legalizing gay marriage to supporting the separatist aspirations of regional Basque and Catalan nationalists to selling weapons to the authoritarian regime of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.

Zapatero has also managed to re-open many of the wounds that most Spaniards thought had been put to rest with the end of the Franco dictatorship (1975) and the advent of democracy (1978). The result is that Spain is more divided today than at any time in its modern history.

Nowhere have Zapatero’s policies been more controversial than in his approach to countering terrorism. In fact, Zapatero, a self-proclaimed feminist, lately has committed a number of blunders so outrageous that Spaniards of all political leanings now fear that he has made Spain more, not less, vulnerable to terrorism.

Zapatero’s ‘Truce’ With Islamic Extremists

A few days after taking office in April 2004, Zapatero withdrew the 1,300 Spanish troops that were deployed to Iraq by the previous government of José Maria Aznar. Opponents of the withdrawal accused Zapatero of naively thinking that the threat posed by Al-Qaeda terrorists exists only because of the war in Iraq. And although it is true that a most Spaniards opposed the intervention in Iraq, many also believed that Zapatero’s precipitous action smacked of appeasement that not only weakened Spanish national security, but also destroyed the international credibility and stature that Spain had built up during the Aznar government.

Although the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq did not make much of a strategic difference in terms of the war effort, the move sent a symbolic message that represented a major victory for Al-Qaeda. Because what Zapatero did not seem to understand was that Islamic radicals still consider four-fifths of Spain to be Muslim land that must be liberated from the Spanish infidels who drove out the Moors in what is known as the Reconquista (1492). Thus by appearing to give in to the demands of medieval-minded Islamic extremists, Zapatero reinforced the perception that it is the terrorists, not the government, that sets the agenda in Spain.

Confirming the growing suspicion that Zapatero’s post-modern approach to fighting terrorism lacks a basis in reality, he told TIME Magazine in September 2004 that ‘sexual equality is a lot more effective against terrorism than military strength’. At the same time, he announced an ill-defined initiative he calls the ‘Alliance of Civilizations’, which borrows heavily from the ‘Dialogue of Civilizations’ concept promoted by Islamic radicals in Iran during the 1990s; in its essence, the initiative calls on the West to negotiate a truce with Islamic terrorists, and on terms set by the latter.

Indeed, Zapatero seems to believe that multilateral group therapy is the best way to work out his differences with the Islamic extremists who want to take over his country. But the prime minister’s initiative has been widely criticized in Spain and elsewhere because of its failure to comprehend that Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists are at war not just with Spain or other individual states, but with the very ideals of Western society…and especially with post-modernist hyper-secularists like Zapatero himself.

But now that Zapatero has had three years in office to test his feminist approach to fighting terrorism, has it brought any tangible benefits for Spain? A Google-search on Zapatero will show that he is almost universally held up as the epitome of a post-modern appeaser. Even those on the political left in a Europe that is awash with like-minded equivocators have expressed serious doubts about the wisdom and efficacy of Zapatero’s anti-terrorist policies.

But what do the terrorists think? Well, they seem to understand Zapatero better than Zapatero understands himself. Indeed, in March 2007, Al-Qaeda launched new threats against Spain, this time over its military deployment in Afghanistan. In a video, a hooded man said the presence of Spanish troops in Afghanistan “exposes Spain again to threats” unless they withdraw their troops from the country. “The Spanish people have been tricked by a socialist government which withdrew troops from Iraq and sent 600 to Afghanistan,” the man proclaimed.

Then on April 11, the Islamic terrorists who claimed responsibility for an attack which killed some 25 people in Algeria, called for the reconquest of Spain. “We will not be in peace until we set our foot again in our beloved al-Andalus,” Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb warned. That prompted Spanish anti-terrorism judge Baltasar Garzon to caution that Spain was at a “very high risk” of suffering an Islamist attack. So much for Zapatero’s truce with Islam.

Zapatero’s ‘Truce’ With Basque Extremists

Notwithstanding the embarrassing setbacks for Spain vis-à-vis Islamic extremists, however, Spaniards have reserved their fiercest criticism of Zapatero over his domestic anti-terrorism policies.

And critics across the political spectrum say that nowhere has the prime minister erred as much as when, in June 2006, he agreed to begin a dialogue with ETA, the Basque separatist group, without first requiring that the group disarm. ETA, which is listed as a terrorist organization by both the European Union and the United States, has killed almost 1,000 people over the past four decades in its quest for an independent Basque state in seven parts of northern Spain and southwest France.

To initiate his dialogue with ETA, however, Zapatero pulled out of an agreement that he himself had proposed in 2000 with the PP not to talk with ETA unless it agreed to disarm. “Any normal person understands you can’t negotiate with someone whose negotiating weapon is as powerful and hard to argue with as a pistol,” PP leader Mariano Rajoy said at the time. The PP also opposed any talks with Batasuna, the outlawed political front of ETA.

This split between Spain’s two main political parties had the effect of limiting public support for a negotiated settlement; it also left the PP positioned to gain politically should the peace process break down. Zapatero, on the other hand, made the peace process the centerpiece of his political agenda in the hopes that a resolution to the Basque conflict would help him secure an easy re-election victory in early 2008. This highly risky proposition, however, also made him acutely vulnerable to intimidation from ETA.

Indeed, during the final months of 2006, ETA began complaining that the peace process had stalled because Madrid was refusing to make preliminary concessions. For example, ETA has long demanded that more than 400 of its prisoners, who are being held in locations across Spain, be moved closer to the Basque region. ETA has also insisted that the government stop arresting ETA suspects and that it legalize Batasuna.

Undeterred, Zapatero said at a year-end news conference on December 29 that his peace initiative was making progress. “Are we better off now with a permanent cease-fire, or when we had bombs, car bombs and explosions?” he asked. “This time next year, we will be better off than we are today.”

The very next morning, ETA set off a powerful car bomb at Madrid’s International Airport, killing two people and bringing to a dramatic end nine months of a so-called ‘permanent cease-fire’. The bombing caught Zapatero completely by surprise and shattered his attempt to solve the 40-year Basque conflict through dialogue. It also sent hundreds of thousands of Spaniards onto the streets in rallies to protest the attack and left a reeling Zapatero fighting for his political future.

The attack has produced a profound split within Spain: on the one hand, there are those on the left who remain open to the idea of re-establishing some sort of dialogue with ETA in the future; on the other hand, there are those on the right who believe that ETA must be forced into an unconditional surrender.

But by far the most controversial decision Zapatero has made since taking office was to convert the prison sentence of Iñaki de Juana Chaos, a high-profile member of ETA, to house arrest. De Juana began a hunger strike in November 2006 to protest a second jail sentence, which he received for ‘inciting terrorism’ (he had already completed an 18-year term for the murder of 25 people). In March 2007, when de Juana was reportedly near death after more than 100 days without eating, Zapatero agreed to allow de Juana to finish his sentence at his home in the Basque Country.

The outrage felt by Spaniards across the political spectrum was immediate; spontaneous anti-government demonstrations have been held across Spain. In response to the criticism, however, the Zapatero government justified its decision with an incredible statement that perfectly encapsulates the moral confusion of the post-modern mindset: “One of the differences between terrorists and us is that for us, life is important, no matter whether the person is a terrorist or not, and this is where our moral legitimacy derives,” said Interior Minister Alfredo Rubalcaba.

Many Spaniards say it was weakness, not morals, that guided Zapatero’s decision. Indeed, critics of the government say that although the Madrid bombing should have brought an end to the fledgling peace process, it did not, in fact, diminish Zapatero’s willingness to negotiate with terrorists. Others argue that Zapatero allowed himself to be blackmailed by ETA, and that he caved in to that blackmail. Some suspect he still hopes that a resolution to the Basque conflict will earn him another term as prime minister.
 
Whatever the rationale behind Zapatero’s decision to free de Juana, it has divided Spain in a way not seen since the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. And that, say critics, is precisely the problem. Because when Spain is divided, terrorists are strengthened.

Indeed, in Zapatero’s Spain, the terrorists seem to have more influence than the government. And many Spaniards now fear it’s only a matter of time until they strike again.
Soeren Kern is Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.