Day: November 30, 2006

Ban on Display of Nazi and Soviet Symbols

Via Ynet :

The Estonian government on Thursday approved a change to the penal code that would ban the display of Soviet and Nazi symbols and flags, saying the hammer and sickle and swastika both incite hatred.

Both the Nazi and Soviet regimes occupied Estonia at various times from 1941 to 1991, leaving bitter memories behind.

When Extremes Collide

In the Spectator (free reg. required), David Selbourne looks at the disturbing ascendancy of unreason in the blogosphere, both right and left, and considers that some sobering up may be required:

The feeling of world-endingness, of apocalypse, is rife on the sites of the ‘right’. For some, it is ‘the West’ which is done for. ‘We have allowed Islam in. We have sentenced ourselves to death’ is its voice. For others, it is Islam which faces Armageddon. ‘The final day of Islam will arrive very soon’ and it ‘will be vanquished utterly’, a blog prophet promises in biblical tones. Or another American civil war is foreseen. ‘If it breaks out,’ declares a would-be recruit, ‘my only comfort is that the left will be killed first, since most of them don’t carry guns.’

Moreover, just as the Islamist can assert that ‘we will not rest from our jihad until we have blown up the White House’, so non-Muslim terminators look to the day of a nuclear exchange. ‘I just hope the nuke attack comes soon. Let it be on the East Coast where it belongs,’ prays one; ‘I hope I wake up to Washington a glowing hole in the morning,’ prays another, almost in the same terms as the most violent of jihadists. ‘We would be able to fight back even with millions dead in our cities,’ predicts a third, ‘then we’d go get the oil fields.’

In this war of words as well as of worlds, reason is under pressure on all sides. The true complexity of things is being given short shrift by ‘experts’ and by vox pop alike: after all, London is no more ‘Londonistan’ than Israel is a ‘cancer’ and America the ‘Great Satan’. In particular, frustration at America’s reverses is driving many round the bend, if the torrent of opinion in the blogosphere is a guide. Or, as one poster demanded to know, ‘What the hell is our oil doing under their sand?’

Litvinenko, Russia, and the West

Mark Pettifor has sent the text of the following open letter:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

National Review more or less has asked the question recently “What has happened to the conservative movement?” American Spectator has yet to mention (to my knowledge) anything of the Litvinenko murder, which could play out to be a far-reaching event regarding our policy toward Russia. I mention these two magazines because they are probably viewed by most as central publications of the modern conservative movement. (I am sending this to many who work at each of those magazines.)

While domestic policy and politics is covered in these magazines with the same degree of detail as can be seen on the latest HDTV screen, discussions of foreign policy and geopolitical analysis of what is going on in places other than the Middle East is somewhat lacking. Arguably, events in Russia and China and other “non-Western” regions will have more profound effects on America and the West in the near future than anything coming from Islam, Al Qaeda, or even Iran (who would not have legs to stand on were it not for Russia).  These effects will not be good ones.

One reason why the conservative movement ignores such things is that it has its own “utopian vision” of the world, which does not make it conservative in the sense that Russell Kirk and others like him defined it. It has become an ideology – one of spreading democracy and free market capitalism everywhere, in the hopes that peace and security will follow, and that all future wars will be won or lost on the battlefield of ideas, and not on real battlefields of blood and guns and sacrifice.

Almost all conservatives believe that Communism has already lost on the battlefield of ideas, and that freedom and capitalism have won. While that is obviously not true (just look at Central and South America for starters), even worse is the assumption that because of this supposed victory, a real war on a real battlefield with those who still cling to such “outdated” and “discredited” ideas will never again happen. This is starting to become an indefensible position, as not only are countries still dropping like dominoes to Communism and Marxism, but ones thought “immunized” from such ideas are seemingly rising from the dead and going back to their old ways (Russia).

To see the trouble ahead (which conservatives are obligated to do, if trouble does indeed exist), we must admit some errors of judgment. I am hoping that the following two articles will help you ponder what those errors of judgment may be. Here are the links:

Why Poisoned Kremlin Can’t Be Trusted – by Caspar Weinberger

A New Methodology For Wet Affairs – by J. R. Nyquist

It’s time for conservatives to take a hard look at their presumptions regarding the Cold War and the “End of History.” If we keep going on as if the only enemy is Islamism, and that past enemies are dead and gone, we will be ill-prepared to defend the West against what may possibly be the greatest onslaught it has ever faced.

With highest regards,

Mark Pettifor