New UN resolution aims at nuclear-free world-And Iv’e got swampland in the Sahara for sale

New UN resolution aims at nuclear-free world
Sep 24 01:33 PM US/Eastern
By EDITH M. LEDERER
Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – With President Barack Obama presiding over a historic session, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a U.S.-sponsored resolution Thursday committing all nations to work for a nuclear weapons-free world.Russia, China and developing nations supported the measure, giving it global clout and strong political backing.

The resolution calls for stepped up efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote disarmament and “reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism.” It calls for better security for nuclear weapons materials and underscores the Security Council’s intention to take action if such material or nuclear weapons get into the hands of terrorists.

The resolution consolidated many elements previously endorsed individually in the Security Council or other international forums. But bringing them together in a single document, voted on by global leaders, should add political momentum to efforts to achieve these goals, particularly at important conferences next year on nuclear security and on strengthening the Nonproliferation Treaty.

It was only the fifth time the Security Council met at summit level since the U.N. was founded in 1945 and 14 of the 15 chairs around the council’s horseshoe-shaped table were filled by presidents and prime ministers. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s name was on the U.N.-circulated list as attending but he was a no-show. Libya’s U.N. ambassador spoke for his country.

The U.S. holds the rotating council presidency this month and Obama was the first American president to preside over a Security Council summit, gaveling the meeting into session and announcing that “the draft resolution has been adopted unanimously.”

“The historic resolution we just adopted enshrines our shared commitment to a goal of a world without nuclear weapons,” Obama said immediately after the vote. “And it brings Security Council agreement on a broad framework for action to reduce nuclear dangers as we work toward that goal.”

Just one nuclear weapon set off in a major city—”be it New York or Moscow, Tokyo or Beijing, London or Paris”—could kill hundreds of thousands of people and cause major destruction, Obama said.

The council endorsed a global effort to “lock down all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years” and the president announced that the United States will host an April summit to advance compliance and assist all nations in achieving the goal.

The resolution does not mention any country by name but it reaffirms previous Security Council resolutions that imposed sanctions on Iran and North Korea for their nuclear activities. It does not call for any new sanctions.

The resolution “expresses particular concern at the current major challenges to the nonproliferation regime that the Security Council has acted upon.”

“This is not about singling out an individual nation,” Obama said. “International law is not an empty promise, and treaties must be enforced.”

But Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy all identified North Korea, which has tested nuclear weapons, and Iran, suspected of harboring weapon plans, as obstacles to a safer world.

Sarkozy sharply criticized both countries for ignoring Security Council resolutions calling on them to cease such activities.

“We may all be threatened one day by a neighbor, by a neighbor endowing itself” with nuclear weapons, he said.

“What I believe is that if we have the courage to affirm and impose sanctions on those who violate resolutions of the Security Council we will be lending credibility to our commitment to a world with fewer nuclear weapons and ultimately with no nuclear weapons,” Sarkozy said.

The British leader called on the council to consider “far tougher sanctions” against Iran.

Iran’s U.N. Mission issued a statement calling allegations about its nuclear program “totally untrue and without any foundation,” insisting it is pursuing nuclear power as an alternative source of energy “to supply its booming population and rapid development.”

Iran called French claims “preposterous” and accused Britain of “deliberately and cynically” ignoring its legal commitments to take practical steps to eliminate nuclear weapons but did not mention the United States by name.

Diplomats from Iran are scheduled to hold talks on Oct. 1 with the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.

The Iranian statement reiterates the country’s “readiness to engage in serious and constructive negotiations with interested parties, based on respect, justice, rights of nations and collective commitments, aimed at reaching a framework for cooperative relationships.” But it said that to achieve success in future negotiations the six countries should abandon “futile and illegal demands of the past years” that include suspending Iran’s enrichment program.

Obama said the resolution reflects the nuclear agenda he outlined in his April speech in Prague when he declared his commitment to “a world without nuclear weapons.”

The president called in that speech for the slashing of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, adoption of the treaty banning all nuclear tests, an international fuel bank to better safeguard nuclear material, and negotiations on a new treaty that “verifiably” ends the production of fissile materials for atomic weapons.

He also strongly backed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT, which requires signatory nations not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for a commitment by the five nuclear powers to move toward nuclear disarmament. States without nuclear weapons are guaranteed access to peaceful nuclear technology for electricity generation.

All those measures are included in the draft resolution.

The resolution suggests that the Security Council consider taking firmer actions in the case of a country withdrawing from the NPT—as North Korea did—and stresses that countries that pull out are responsible for all violations before withdrawal.

Iran in its statement reaffirmed its commitment to the NPT, saying it takes its responsibilities under the treaty “seriously.”

In its opening paragraph, the resolution reaffirms the council’s commitment “to seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.”

Obama warned Thursday against violations of the NPT saying, “We must demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise, and that treaties will be enforced.”

But global differences remain.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that “our main shared goal is to untie the problem knots” among nations seeking nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.

“This is complicated since the level of mistrust among nations remains too high, but it must be done,” he said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao focused on a late addition to Thursday’s resolution: a call for all nuclear-weapon states to commit to “no first use” of those weapons, and to not using them against non-nuclear states. China has long proclaimed such a policy, which the U.S. has never embraced.

“All nuclear-weapon states should make an unequivocal commitment of unconditionally not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states,” Hu said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saluted the national leaders for joining in the unprecedented Security Council summit on nuclear arms.

“This is a historic moment, a moment offering a fresh start toward a new future,” he said.

Among the invited guests were U.N. nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei, former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry, media mogul Ted Turner, former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and Queen Noor of Jordan—all campaigners against nuclear weapons.

Nunn, a Georgia Democrat who heads the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington-based group designed to fight the global spread of nuclear materials, said the most important thing about the resolution “is the high-level visibility that will be taking place … with world leaders gathering to remind both themselves and the world that we are at a nuclear tipping point.”

As Obama left the Security Council chamber, he told the Associated Press: “It was an excellent day.”

___

Associated Press Writers John Heilprin and Charles Hanley contributed to this report from the United Nations.

Jihad Against Freedom of Speech at the United Nations

Jihad Against Freedom of Speech at the United

Nations

By Jeffrey Imm

 

The United Nations’ Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has no problem with its members suggesting that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” perpetrated by the United States on itself. The human rights of America’s 9/11 victims are not a priority for UNHRC’s Richard Falk, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, who engages in 9/11 conspiracy propaganda, while working for an organization headquartered in New York City funded by U.S. tax dollars. This is Richard Falk’s protected freedom of speech.

Denying the role of Jihadists in the 9/11 attacks is apparently perfectly acceptable freedom of speech for the UNHRC, but criticizing Sharia law is another story.

On June 16, 2008, UNHRC president Doru Romulus Costea announced that criticism of Sharia law will not be tolerated by the UNHRC, based on the complaints and pressure by Islamist delegates to the UNHRC. In effect, the Islamist nations represented at the UNHRC have effected a Jihad against freedom of speech at the United Nations when it comes to criticizing Sharia or Islamic supremacist (aka Islamist) theocratic ideologies that threaten the freedom and lives of innocents around the world. This again demonstrates the key imperative of control for Islamists – in this case in terms of controlling ideas, thoughts, and words of an international organization intended to promote human rights. Outgoing UNHRC Commissioner Louise Arbour subsequently raised concerns about debates on Sharia becoming “taboo” within the United Nations group, stating that it “should be, among other things, the guardian of freedom of expression.”

The UNHRC ban on debate regarding Sharia came as a result of a three minute joint statement by the Association for World Education with the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) to the Human Rights Council on women’s rights and the impact of Sharia law. These NGOs sought to address international issues of violence against women, specifically, the stoning of women, “honor killings” of women, and female genital mutilation, as a result of Sharia law.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Arab Republic of Egypt vehemently criticized this attempted NGO message, interrupting it via “16 points of order”, for an hour and twenty-five minutes per the IEHU. Jihad Watch provides a full transcript of the debate. The Egyptian UNHRC delegate claimed that silencing these NGOs was necessary to ensure “that Islam will not be crucified in this Council,” but the fact is that Islamist forces seek to silence any debate on Sharia at all – anywhere, any time.

Ongoing Efforts to Silence Debate on Sharia

This is not the first time that efforts have been made by such pro-Islamist Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member nations to influence the United Nations. In my article “Jihad, Islamism, and the United Nations,” I addressed the efforts of OIC member nations to reword a UNHRC resolution on religious freedom so that it would not respect the right of individuals to change their religion, as this would be in conflict with Sharia law. The OIC continues global efforts to influence the United Nations and worldwide organization to silence any debate on Sharia by painting such debate as “Islamophobia.”

In the war of ideas, the debate over Sharia’s influence on Jihad (or “Islamist terrorism” per the 9/11 Commission Report), continues to remain under the radar for many analysts. Yet in the ongoing battles by the Taliban in Pakistan, a primary stated objective of the Taliban is enforcing Sharia law throughout the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a sentiment that nearly 75 percent of Pakistanis agree with. (I address this issue in my article “Pakistan and the Growing Threat of a Sharia Mini-State.”)

Two days after this silencing of debate on Sharia at the UNHRC, a man was sentenced to death for “blasphemy” in Pakistan by a Sharia court. This is the same Pakistan, whose government seeks to export the death penalty for “blasphemy” against Islam on a global basis, that now has successfully achieved the silencing of debate on Sharia in the United Nations. Moreover, when the Danish Embassy was attacked by terrorists in Pakistan recently, the Pakistan ambassador suggested that this was deserved due to the “blasphemous” cartoons published in Danish newspapers — the Pakistan ambassador to Norway further stated to the press that “blasphemous” cartoons are “an act of terrorism.”

The challenge of Sharia’s impact on Jihad is so completely beyond the thought processes of counterterrorism analysts that Sharia is not even mentioned in the latest “terror lexicon” publications by the DHS and NCTC warning government officials not to use terms like “jihad,” “Islamist,” “caliphate,” “mujahedeen.” Yet Sharia is a fundamental component of what western political scientists call “Islamism” or “political Islam.” The 9/11 Commission Report specifically states that “Islamist terrorism” is based on “Islamism.”

Nevertheless, as the U.S. and the United Kingdom governments seek to end dialogue on jihad, Islamism, etc., the United Nations now seeks to end debate on Sharia. The war of ideas seems to be ending before it is even begun.

News media publications cannot be relied upon to address this vacuum in ideological debate either. Most refuse to address Islamic supremacist ideologies, including the impact of Sharia law on human rights and freedoms. The Wall Street Journal even employs specialists on Sharia law to help promote Sharia-based financial instruments.
Silence on Supremacist Ideologies Not Consistent With History or Democracy

The gross illogical nature of such an approach is seen by looking at another form of supremacist political ideology that the United States government, the United Nations, and other nations have aggressively debated and have enforced change in their governments and their people to remove.

If the issue was a racial supremacist ideology, would such objections exist?

Can one imagine the United Nations refusing to debate “white supremacism” due to fears of insulting “whites,” or refusing to debate “apartheid”?

Can one imagine the U.S. government refusing to use terms such as “white supremacism” in dealing with fighting the Ku Klux Klan, or in refusing to consider the influences of white supremacist ideology when guaranteeing civil rights for all of its citizens, and in creating laws to effectively ban white supremacist influences in schools, businesses, and public places?

Most of all, in fighting white supremacist terror groups as the Ku Klux Klan, would the FBI have consulted “non-violent” white supremacists for ideological guidance? Would the FBI and the federal government have stated that it could not be involved in the “war of ideas” against white supremacism?

With the context of history, such questions are obviously absurd. That is precisely the point regarding the unwillingness to address the challenges of Islamic supremacist ideologies.

History shows that, in fact, none of this happened, and that the United Nations, the U.S government, and federal U.S. law enforcement all took action against such supremacist ideologies and publicly, aggressively, debated these in a war of ideas that would change the world and the nation. For the United States, the history of such federal action against such supremacist ideologies goes back nearly 140 years.

Therefore, such deliberate silence and denial regarding Sharia and Islamic supremacist ideologies is completely inconsistent with the history of such organizations and with America’s democratic values. I will be addressing this in more detail in a future article to be entitled “Jihad and Supremacist Ideologies.”

UNHRC president Doru Romulus Costea silenced debate on Sharia due to his fears of pursuing a “slippery slope” in such discussions.

Yet it is precisely such a “slippery slope” of denial on Islamic supremacist ideologies that the world is facing in the debate over Jihad, or in the words of Osama Bin Laden “the greater state of Islam from the ocean to the ocean, Allah permitting.”

On a national and global level, the combination of denial and refusal to address the impact of Sharia and Islamic supremacist ideologies in providing an ideological basis for global Jihadist activity is truly a “slippery slope” for the safety of the entire world.
Sources and Related Documents:

June 19, 2008 – FOX News: Critics Demand Resignation of U.N. Official Who Wants Probe of 9/11 ‘Inside Job’ Theories

June 19, 2008 – Pakistan Daily Times: Muslim countries win concession regarding religious debates

June 19, 2008 – JihadWatch: UN Human Rights Council: Any mention of the word “sharia” is now taboo

June 18, 2008 – AFP: UN Rts Head Concerned At Council “Taboos” After Sharia Row

June 18, 2008 – Reuters: UN’s Arbour opposes “taboos” in human rights body

June 17, 2008 – International Humanist and Ethical Union: Human Rights Council President: “We are on a slippery slope”

June 18, 2008 – AP: Muslim man in Pakistan sentenced to death for blasphemy

February 29, 2008 – OIC Statement on Islamophobia

February 1, 2008 – Jihad, Islamism, and the United Nations – Counterterrorism Blog – by Jeffrey Imm

February 29, 2008 – Jihad, Islamism, and U.S. Envoy to OIC – Counterterrorism Blog – by Jeffrey Imm

November 14, 2007 – Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, and Islamist Financing – Counterterrorism Blog – by Jeffrey Imm

June 10, 2008 – Pakistan and the Growing Threat of a Sharia Mini-State – Counterterrorism Blog – by Jeffrey Imm


UN Watch Blog

UN Watch Home Page

German authorities watch increasing conversions to Islam with concern

German authorities watch increasing conversions

 to Islam with concern

05 September 2007

Berlin (dpa) – The German authorities are watching the rising tide of conversion to Islam with some concern, the daily Berliner Zeitung reported Thursday.

The newspaper cited figures compiled by a Muslim group that showed that 4,000 Germans had converted last year, compared with just 1,000 in 2005.

It was common knowledge that the German authorities were monitoring converts to Islam closely, it said.

Quoting Interior Ministry officials, the newspaper said there had been a rise internationally in the number of converts involved in Islamist terrorist acts.

Among them are “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, a Briton who tried to blow up an American Airlines flight in December 2001, and Muriel Degauque, a Belgian suicide bomber who blew herself up in Iraq in November 2005.

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Guido Steinberg, who researches Islamic issues, said extremists were targeting new converts, and terrorist expert Rolf Tophoven said converts tended to be fanatical.

According to Salim Abdullah, who runs the Islam Archive, there are currently 3.3 million Muslims in Germany, 18,000 of them of German origin.

The Interior Ministry estimates the number of converts at 15,000 but notes that woman converts tend to bring up their children as Muslims and estimates that 40,000 native Germans are living according to Muslim custom.

Abdullah attributed the increase in conversions to rising Islamophobia. “Whenever Islam falls under suspicion, many people start to feel solidarity with the religion,” he told the Berliner Zeitung.

This had been visible immediately after the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Abdullah noted that more women than men were converts, in a ratio of 60 to 40, but added that conviction rather than marriage to a Muslim was usually the reason.

dpa

Subject: German news

Who Is Allah?

Who Is Allah?

By Soeren Kern

Europeans love to mock the salience of religion in American society, but they won’t be laughing for very long. The de-Christianization of Europe in the name of “tolerance” is rapidly driving the spiritually shiftless continent into the arms of Islam. And now, amidst the postmodern theological confusion that defines contemporary Europe, even Catholic clergy are jumping on the Islamomania bandwagon.

The latest post-Christian theological spectacle comes to us from the Netherlands (of Ayaan Hirsi Ali fame), where the Roman Catholic Bishop of Breda, Tiny Muskens, says he wants Christians to start calling God “Allah” because he believes such a gesture would promote “rapprochement between Christianity and Islam”. Appearing on Dutch television, the 71-year-old cleric said:

“Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? … What does God care what we call him?”

Inquiring minds want to know: If the bishop really thinks the names “God” and “Allah” are interchangeable, why doesn’t he ask Muslims to start calling Allah “Yahweh”, the biblical name for God? But he won’t, because he knows they won’t.
Indeed, just because Christianity, Judaism and Islam are called “monotheistic” faiths, it does not follow that Christians, Jews and Muslims pray to the same God. So for those pre-postmoderns who believe that words still mean something, a quick survey of archaeology, history and theology-accompanied by a dose of common sense-can answer the question of whether the Allah of Islam is really the God of the Bible.
What Archaeology Says about Allah
Muslims claim that in pre-Islamic times, “Allah” was the biblical God of the Patriarchs, prophets and apostles. Indeed, the credibility of Islam as a religion stands or falls on its core claim of historical continuity with Judaism and Christianity. No wonder, then, that many Muslims get uppity when the claims of Islam are subjected to the hard science of archaeology.
Because archaeology provides irrefutable evidence that Allah, far from being the biblical God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was actually the pre-Islamic pagan moon-god. Indeed, it is an established archaeological fact that worship of the moon-god was the main religion of the ancient Middle East.
But what about the Arabian Peninsula, where Mohammed (570-632) launched Islam? During the last two centuries, prominent archaeologists have unearthed thousands of inscriptions which prove beyond any doubt that the dominant religion of Arabia during Mohammed’s day was the cult of the moon-god.
In fact, for generations before Mohammed was born, the Arabs worshipped some 360 pagan gods housed at a stone temple in Mecca called the Kabah. According to archaeologists, the chief deity of Mecca was the moon-god called al-ilah (meaning the god or the idol), which was shortened to Allah in pre-Islamic times. Pagan Arabs even used Allah in the names they gave themselves: Mohammed’s father (Abdallah), for example, had Allah as part of his name.
What History Says about Allah
Historians say that pre-Islamic Arabs worshipped the moon-god by bowing in prayer toward Mecca several times a day. They would also make a pilgrimage to Mecca, run around the Kabah seven times and throw stones at the devil. And they fasted for one month, which began with the appearance of the crescent moon and ended when the crescent moon reappeared.
These same rites form the core of Islam today: Muslims bow in prayer toward Mecca; they make a pilgrimage to Mecca and run around the Kabah seven times; and they still throw stones at the devil. They also observe the fast of Ramadan, which begins and ends with the crescent moon.
Moreover, the ancient symbol of the pagan moon-god, the crescent moon, is the official symbol of Islam; it appears on the flags of Muslim countries, as well as on the tops of mosques and minarets everywhere.
Historians say that Mohammed, who as a traveling trader was exposed to Judaism and Christianity during his visits to different parts of the Middle East, tried to mimic those monotheistic faiths by taking Allah, the main deity within the Arabian pantheon, and making it the only god. Indeed, the basic confession of Islam is not that “Allah is Great” but that “Allah is Greater”. Greater than all the other idols, that is.
But Islam also draws from other pagan traditions. For example, the tale of Mohammed’s night journey into heaven parallels the Zoroastrian story of Arta Viraf. Zoroastrianism also inspired the Islamic belief that dark-eyed virgins await every man who enters heaven. And the Islamic ritual of praying five times a day? That, historians say, originates with the Sabeans, Syrian pagans who practiced an ecumenical mixture of Babylonian and Hellenic religion.
No surprise, then, that some scholars refer to Islam as monotheistic heathenism.
What Theology Says about Allah
Muslims claim that Islam is Judaism and Christianity reformed. They say the Koran confirms the truth of the Torah and the Gospels. But since those texts did not jive with Mohammad’s beliefs, they accuse Jews and Christians of changing and distorting the original versions. Muslims therefore assert that the Koran “clarifies” the Bible.
Even if that were the case, the Koran and the Bible present ideas about God (especially about His character) that are so diametrically opposed that any reasonable observer would conclude that each book refers to a distinct deity.
The Koran, for example, states unequivocally that Allah is an unknowable and non-personal deity. By contrast, the God of the Bible allows Himself to be known and desires fellowship with human beings on a personal basis. Indeed, the Bible says that Abraham (the same Abraham whom Muslims say they venerate) was the “friend of God.”
The Koran also portrays Allah as a vindictive deity who hates sinners and desires to afflict them. But the Bible says God is love.
Moreover, the New Testament teaches that God loved humanity so much that He came to earth to pay the debt for man’s sin, and that that act of grace is available for free to anyone who believes Jesus Christ is their personal Savior. But Islam denies that Christ was God or that He died in order to save humanity. Indeed, Allah does not provide any way for man to be reconciled to God.
And the theological differences go on and on, so much so that the God of the Bible cannot possibly be the Allah worshipped in Islam. Unless, of course, a Dutch bishop says so.
Allah and Eurabia
Mohammed thought the Jews and Christians of his day would receive him as a prophet. But the Bible says that any new revelation must agree with what is already established in Scripture (Isaiah 8:20). So they rejected his Allah as a false god. And Mohammed replied by setting his Islam on a permanent warpath against Judaism and Christianity that continues to this day.
The Dutch bishop and other Muslim fellow travelers think they can buy a fake peace with Islam by playing relativistic word games as a part of an “inter-faith” dialogue. But Muslims understand much better than do post-modern Europeans that ecumenical appeasement is a symptom of a Judeo-Christian civilization that is weak and dying.
The irony is that the real danger from Islam stems not so much from ordinary Muslims as it does from sickly Europeans who have subverted their Judeo-Christian heritage in search of secular hedonism. Because they live only for the moment, they are willing submit to anything, including Islam, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the pursuit of pleasure today.
It has been more than 50 years since the late Christian apologist C.S. Lewis first warned about Western Civilization’s disastrous lurch into post-Christianity. But even he would be surprised to see how quickly Islam is filling the religious and cultural vacuum that is post-Christian Europe.
It’s not that Europeans haven’t been forewarned. It’s that they couldn’t care less.
Soeren Kern is Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.

Europe’s Dreaded Affliction

Europe’s Dreaded Affliction

Created 2007-08-01 09:01

Liberal politicians, like Hillary Clinton, envy Western Europe for its welfare state. They tell U.S. voters that a European-style welfare state is needed to help the poor. In reality the motives of liberal politicians are not altruistic, but egotistical. Welfare makes people dependent on the state. It is not a coincidence that liberalism and secularism are almost synonyms. Liberals want to replace God by the state.The difference between Americans and Europeans is the state-dependency of the latter. Contemporary Europe is in crisis. Its welfare systems are running out of money. Its moral and legal order is breaking down, while the influence of radical Islam is growing. Its nation-states are being undermined by the European Union. Most Europeans look on passively. After three generations of welfare dependency, they have lost the ability to take their fate into their own hands.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, North America was colonized by freedom-loving people. They had left Europe because they wanted to live according to their own conscience instead of submitting to the centralist absolutist rulers of the new age that was sweeping across Europe from the 16th century onward. Their traditions were rooted in the late Middle Ages and the Aristotelian philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, which was centered on the individual. God had called man to be free from sin, but in order to be free from sin he had to be virtuous, and in order for virtue to have any value it had to be voluntary, implying that the virtuous man had to be free in every aspect of his life, including his economic activities.

Hence the paradox came about that the civil society developing in America was, in a sense, older than the new Modern Age of the absolutist monarchs governing Europe. When Americans rebelled in 1776, they rebelled against absolutism in order to keep their old freedoms. Theirs was a conservative revolution. Europe had its own series of revolutions from 1789 onward, but these were revolutions of a different sort. They toppled the ruling absolutists to replace them by absolutists of an even more extreme form: totalitarians. These were not satisfied with controlling their subjects’ political and economic lives but also wished to control their minds and souls.

Here lies the origin of the European disease, which arose from the systematic loss of faith in the Judeo-Christian God and the Judeo-Christian moral legacy, and an increasing reliance on the state as the source of order, authority and legitimacy. That disease culminated, after causing two world wars, in the creation of the European Union (EU) as a superstate, the god to absorb all gods, with a nihilistic and atheist agenda.

The perceptive Irish philosopher (and British politician) Edmund Burke, who supported the American colonies in their dispute with King George III, noticed already at the time that the spirit of the 1789 French Revolution was totalitarian. The same secularist spirit inspired the Russian Revolution, National Socialism and European welfarism.

The British economist John Maynard Keynes, who was handed the pen to draw the blueprint of Britain’s welfare system, was very candid about the true nature of his design for society. In the preface to the 1936 German edition of The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, he wrote explicitly that his “theory of [economic] output is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state” than to “conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire.”

Keynes’ oft-quoted quip, “In the long run, we are all dead” was typical. It also offers a poignant resume of the contemporary “European spirit.” In a moral society people would say: “In the long run our children and grandchildren will take our place.” Europe does not particularly care about the future: It is only interested in enjoying the present. This attitude also explains why Europe’s demographics have collapsed. People who are not prepared to make sacrifices for the future do not invest in children.

This attitude has left Europe with gigantic problems: a rapidly aging population, an unsurmountable public debt, 19 million unemployed and an overall youth unemployment rate of 18 percent. While the world’s economy is booming, Western Europe’s economic growth rate is significantly below America’s (2.6 percent vs. 3.3 percent).

Turkey (5.2 percent) is doing even better. On July 22, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey’s governing party since 2002, won a huge election victory. During the past five years the country introduced pro-capitalist economic reforms, influenced by libertarian economists such as Atilla Yayla. The AKP does not stand for radical Islamism, as its secularist opponents claim, but is an anti-centralist, conservative party of moderate, but devout Muslims. According to Dr. Yayla, a free society “requires private property, free exchange, limited and responsible accountable government, freedom of expression, religious freedom including minorities and non-believers, the absence of political crimes in law, political opposition, the rule of law and freedom of association.”

European secularists do not like the AKP and prefer its secularist opponents, who wish to build a centralist, socialist Turkey where the state is god. However, as Dr. Yayla says, “Nobody can play god or hold eternal truth in his hands” – not even the state.

Turkey’s recent election results indicate that the Turkish electorate wants to avoid the European disease. Let us hope that the American people will be equally wise next year.
 
This piece was originally published in The Washington Times on August 1, 2007 .


Source URL:
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/2281

Why the European Union Must Go

Why the European Union Must Go

At the EU Observer, Anthony Coughlan, a senior lecturer at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, notes that in every EU member state at present the majority of laws come from Brussels. Why do national politicians and representatives accept this situation? He suggests a plausible explanation:

“At national level when a minister wants to get something done, he or she must have the backing of the prime minister, must have the agreement of the minister for finance if it means spending money, and above all must have majority support in the national parliament, and implicitly amongst voters in the country. Shift the policy area in question to the supranational level of Brussels however, where laws are made primarily by the 27-member Council of Ministers, and the minister in question becomes a member of an oligarchy, a committee of lawmakers, the most powerful in history, making laws for 500 million Europeans, and irremovable as a group regardless of what it does.

“National parliaments and citizens lose power with every EU treaty, for they no longer have the final say in the policy areas concerned. Individual ministers on the other hand obtain an intoxicating increase in personal power, as they are transformed from members of the executive arm of government at national level, subordinate to a national legislature, into EU-wide legislators at the supranational.”

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China Promises EU Action on Product Safety

China Promises EU Action on Product Safety

The European Union Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Meglena Kuneva, told reporters Tuesday that Chinese officials have said they will follow through on their agreement to provide quarterly reports on investigations into dangerous Chinese products exported to the EU.

“I received a political commitment of the highest level, and I will watch how this political commitment will be translated into practice,” Kuneva said.

Kuneva said China is obliged by a memorandum of understanding, signed with the EU in early 2006, to fully investigate EU complaints of unsafe Chinese products and to provide a summary of enforcement efforts in quarterly reports. However, in the last year, she said, China has provided only two reports.

“The first report was very poor in respect of tracking down, the second was better but still not sufficient,” she said. “That’s why I’m here.”

Half of all unsafe exports last year to the EU came from China. The EU is China’s largest trading partner and one in four products imported to the EU come from China.

But those products include children’s toys with high lead or chemical content or small parts that posed a choking hazard, batteries that may explode and lamps that could electrocute.

China is under pressure to better enforce product safety standards after a series of revelations about tainted and deadly exports.

Chinese officials last week announced the closure of a company that exported mislabeled chemicals that were used in cough syrup in Panama, resulting in the deaths of dozens of people there in the last year.

Two other companies were closed for using toxic chemicals in pet food ingredients believed to have killed hundreds of dogs and cats in North America earlier this year.

The United States has refused exports of Chinese farm-raised fish and seafood after drugs banned in the US were found in shipments.

Chinese officials acknowledge some Chinese companies are responsible for unsafe exports, but insist the vast majority of products are safe.