Rape sells papers

NewsagentRape and sexual abuse just aren’t what they used to be. They are – in the sense that what was regarded as rape since the abduction of the Sabine women (circa 750 BC), still is. But the concept has been expanded to include things that in the past were seen, at worst, as boorishness.

This means there are more cases for our newspapers to describe in every salacious detail so beloved of their panting readers. And boy, do they ever. One can’t open even a formerly respectable broadsheet without seeing stories of lusty males forcing themselves into chaste females.

Forensic rigour is nonexistent: the hacks don’t even notice that their stories include contradictory facts. Take today’s hit: a student describing himself as a ‘choral scholar’ allegedly raped a fellow student. The victim is female, which has made me upgrade my general assessment of choristers.

The way the case is covered, however, hasn’t appreciably shifted my view of hacks. Here I go by only what I read in the papers, and it doesn’t make much sense.

The half-dressed victim and the perpetrator were in bed together, engaged in heavy foreplay. Even at the time of the Sabine women, that was regarded as the first stage of a sex act – hence the name. “He started kissing me, then more passionately,” said the girl. “I was reciprocating at that point but then he got out of bed and manoeuvred himself on top of me”. The libidinous chorister then pulled her pyjama bottoms off, and nature took its course even though she said no.

The facts one can infer from this description is that the couple were in bed. It’s not immediately clear why the man had to get out of bed to ‘manoeuvre himself’ back on it, but that detail isn’t significant. The other details are, and not because I think that a young girl who goes that far issues a carte blanche to full-pen hanky-panky.

Alas, as one walks through life one does run into unsporting women who echo Job 38:11 (“Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further…”). They may be only prepared to remove some or all of their clothing and indulge in what used to be called heavy petting, leaving the man frustrated and often in physical pain.

If he refuses to stop, he’s a brute and, according to the current definition of rape, probably a criminal. Hence I don’t think that the girl has only herself to blame just because she let the chorister into her bed, and reciprocated his passionate kisses.

What interests me here isn’t so much the case, but the way it’s covered. And the article says that, “Jurors were told that [the chorister] had forced himself on her on at least two other occasions the previous month, in similar fashion.”

Do I smell a contradiction? After the first time she was raped, the girl didn’t report the crime to the police. Instead she found herself in the same room with the same man again, and got raped again. Yet though bitten twice, she didn’t get shy even once. Twice the victim of a violent crime, she found herself in bed with her attacker a third time, engaged in voluntary foreplay. Can a university student be so stupidly devoid of any self-preservation instinct?

There may be crucial details that the reports omitted. Yet apparently the hack felt the details were sufficient to describe the case as an out-and-out rape, without mentioning the incongruities that caught my eye.

One gets the impression that the piece was written for purely commercial purposes: sex sells, and coerced sex sells even better. Moreover, reporting of this kind is a gift that keeps on giving. The more coverage such cases get, the more cases there will be: women are being actively encouraged to come up with any stories of abuse, even if it happened half a century ago.

That’s another thing: one gets the impression that it’s not so much blondes as dead men who have all the fun. No sooner a celebrity, especially one known for his questionable morality, dies than a swarm of OAPs claim having been abused when they were still teenagers.

This week’s raping savage is Sir Clement Freud (d. 2009), and his shenanigans are being reported in every lurid detail. Personally, I’d expect any beastliness from the grandson of that grandfather, but it’s journalistic standards that excite me at the moment.

Three rapes have already been reported and lovingly described, but last night a fourth victim raise her hand and said ‘me too’. Apparently Sir Clement kissed a nubile 19-year-old without permission. That’s a bit naughty, but only in our time, where faked prudishness is liberally mixed with real pornography, would it be seriously considered newsworthy.

What makes the case grotesque is that the nubile 19-year-old is now 62. Let bygones be bygones, I’d say. I hardly know a woman who hasn’t had a kiss forced on her, and none of them claims, as this grandmother does, that the incident left her feeling “repulsed, numb and shocked”.

What memory you have, Grandma. But you inadvertently left out ‘traumatised for life’. You must read the papers more regularly.


At least, Mr Macron, they have no riots in Guernsey

RiotsFranceFor a nation supposedly committed to reason, the French are lamentably short of that faculty. In their defence, this deficiency is selective, only manifesting itself en masse in politics, economics – and especially the EU.

I’ve heard intelligent and educated Frenchmen talk about federalism in platitudes at best. I suppose I could try to analyse this paradox, invoking, for example, the unhealed trauma of 1940 and the subsequent Stockholm syndrome, making the French want to be Germans.

But instead I’ll focus on the latest manifestations of this malaise. One such manifestation is called Emmanuel Macron, France’s youthful finance minister. That is, at 38, he’s youthful for a minister. Otherwise he’s supposed to be mature, an expectation Manny frustrates by often sounding like a petulant adolescent.

If Britain leaves the EU, he whined, she’ll be like Guernsey, a Channel island of 63,000 souls. Since even Mr Macron can’t possibly think that Britain’s population will shrink so dramatically, he must mean that Britain will resemble Guernsey economically.

This prediction represents a downgrade, for a couple of months ago Manny foresaw Britain becoming like Jersey, a larger Channel island. Obsessed as Manny is with insular communities, I’m amazed he didn’t compare the UK to Devil’s Island, France’s notorious penal colony.

One can infer that, by contrast, Mr Macron regards France’s economy as a shining model to follow. Well, frankly, if we’re talking specifically economics, I’ll take Guernsey over France any day.

Even though Guernsey doesn’t inundate world markets with superior wines and inferior cars, it has a higher per capita GDP than France. Its unemployment rate is a negligible 1.2 per cent, as compared to almost 11 per cent in France tout court and 25 per cent for young people.

Not to cut too fine a point, France’s economy is a basket case, with not only a soul-destroying unemployment rate but also a practically nonexistent growth, exports stifled by the euro, unsupportable social costs made catastrophic by uncontrollable migration, constant strikes and riots – you name it.

Also, Guernsey boasts a top tax rate of just 20 per cent, as opposed to 45 per cent in Britain and 75 (!) per cent in Manny’s own economic fiefdom. Can we become like Guernsey please? And can we please not become like France, which we will if we vote Remain?

Sensing that his puerile rants don’t add up mathematically, Manny then switched to philosophy. Brexit, he said, will spell “the end of an ultraliberal Europe that the British themselves have pushed for, the end of a Europe without a political plan, centred on its domestic market.”

I’d like to have some of what Manny’s on, for I can’t imagine even a harebrained politician mouthing such gibberish if not under the influence. Rather than being ‘ultraliberal’, the EU is a protectionist bloc suffocating external trade with punitive tariffs.

That’s what Manny probably means by an economy ‘centred on its domestic market’. In other words, he equates economic liberalism à la Adam Smith and David Ricardo with protectionism. This is like equating sensible population control with Pol Pot.

This is what the original liberal economist Adam Smith had to say about Manny’s pet idea: “To give the monopoly of the home-market to the produce of domestic industry… must, in almost all cases, be either a useless or a hurtful regulation. If the produce of domestic can be brought there as cheap as that of foreign industry, the regulation is evidently useless. If it cannot, it must generally be hurtful.”

And the EU not having ‘a political plan’? Manny should brush up on the pronouncements of EU founders, Nazi, Vichy or other. The EU, as conceived by them, is nothing but one contiguous political plan, that of a giant suprastate pushing to grotesque limits the innate étatisme of Germany and France.

It’s staggering that the finance minister of a major European country can be so ignorant of history, economics, philosophy and basic arithmetic – in addition to being incapable of elementary sequential thought. But in that last category he’s outdone by the IMF head Christine Lagarde.

It’s refreshingly selfless of Miss Lagarde to divert her attention from her upcoming corruption trial to our EU referendum. I wonder if she’ll continue to pontificate on such matters even from the prison cell in which she’s likely to find herself. If so, one hopes she’ll learn to express herself with more logical rigour.

Miss Lagarde started out by correctly describing European economy as being on the verge of total collapse “due to political pressures”. She diagnosed the disease correctly, but her aetiology is suspect: she omitted her own role in this state of affairs, first as Manny’s predecessor and then in her current position.

But back to logic. What’s Britain supposed to do under the circumstances, Christine? Why, remain in the EU of course (!). This is what the Romans called ‘non sequitur’ and what the Russians deplorably call ‘woman’s logic’.

Then again, Miss Lagarde is a woman and, judging by George Osborne’s lascivious glances in her direction, a seductive one – at least to George Osborne. I suppose one has to make allowances for that, even as one rushes in four days to vote Leave.

She came back as Jo Cox

DianaYet another unfillable hole has been punched in our firmament – or rather 15 holes, one for every bullet and knife thrust that killed Jo Cox, MP.

Her political talent, integrity, passionate commitment to every good cause (such as destroying our ancient constitution and turning Britain into a province of Germany, or of the EU if you want to be a stickler), intellectual depth and moral virtue are extolled in every medium with nothing short of hysterical fervour.

Her murder, we’ve found out, deprived us of a future great minister definitely, the best prime minister Britain has ever had quite possibly, or even, dare I say it, our future queen, an ascendancy that possibly would have had too many divorces in its way but would have been eminently desirable anyway.

I’d go even further than that, and in fact some newspapers have done so, and suggest that Miss Cox transcended humanity and approached the semi-divine status reached before her only by Diana, the people’s princess, in Tony Blair’s immoral… sorry, I meant immortal, words.

It’s not blood that flowed out of her mutilated body, but ichor, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she now resided at the very top of the celebrity Olympus, sharing its summit with Diana and looking down on the occupants of the marginally lower tiers, such as Amy Winehouse, David Bowie and Prince. Two supreme goddesses lording it over mere demiurges.

This may sound as if I’m crassly mocking the victim of that horrific crime. I am not. In fact, I don’t care what objectionable or noble causes Miss Cox supported, what kind of politician she was or wasn’t, what her career might or might not have held in store for her.

When a young woman in the prime of her life is butchered by a lunatic degenerate, when she dies with the last words “My pain is too much”, when she leaves a bereaved husband and two orphaned children behind, I can feel the tragedy of it all as much as anyone. I pray for her soul and for her family; I hope God will judge her with kindness and she’ll rest in peace. And, as an unwavering supporter of the death penalty, I’d happily administer it to her murderer, by whatever means, quick or slow.

But I wasn’t related to Miss Cox. Nor, and I know this is an unforgivable omission on my part, did I ever meet her. To be brutally honest, until her tragic demise I hadn’t even heard of her. So yes, I mourn her death, but not as much as I mourned the death of my parents, some close friends or such people as Glenn Gould, whom I didn’t know personally but who had deeply affected my life. I keep my grief in perspective and, in the best traditions of Englishness, I tried not to show it too conspicuously even with those very tangible losses.

I share that tradition only vicariously, but those born to it are dropping it like a bad habit. At some point, Englishmen decided – or someone else decided it for them – that a modern person must wear his heart on his sleeve. Alas, when one does that, the heart gets caked in grime, the emotional air pollution being what it is.

Anyone with any understanding of musical performance, or indeed composition, will know that feelings are at their most poignant when expressed with noble restraint. In music, any other art or – most definitely and relevantly – life, emotional incontinence doesn’t add but subtracts. It sounds vulgar even when the feelings are real, rather than manufactured to order – as, I’m afraid, they are every time the Dianification of England strikes again.

The order has been issued by a victorious modernity, that tyrannical rule by simulacrum. It has effectively replaced real feelings with the virtual, ersatz variety, and it has done this so successfully that we no longer know the difference.

When in the wake of Diana’s death that disorderly mob bearing flowers and fluffy toys descended on Buckingham Palace, the brainwashed asses brayed “Your Majesty, show us you care!!!” They felt it was more important for the Queen to show she was a brainless vulgarian like them than to take care of her grandchildren, which she was doing at the time.

To their credit, the Tories have already said they wouldn’t contest the seat vacated by the deceased, and the referendum campaigns have been suspended. That isn’t to say that the Remain campaign isn’t trying to sneak in some emotional blackmail through the back door. The implication is that the tragedy of Miss Cox’s death can only be exacerbated by Britain leaving the EU.

This resembles the standard communist eulogy of my Soviet youth: “Our comrade is dead, but his cause lives on.” Then too we were supposed to show grief whenever yet another communist chieftain pegged it. So the hysteria over the death of Miss Cox, who, unlike those communist chieftains, must have been a decent person, nonetheless has a familiar ring to it – except that I thought I now lived in a free country.

Xenophobia or common sense?

MuslimsOur strict gun laws failed to prevent the murder of Jo Cox, MP. After shooting her three times point-blank, the killer stabbed her a few times as well, to emphasise the point that a crazed murderer may use a gun if it’s handy, but he doesn’t have to.

Tommy Mair justifies both parts of that designation. He’s a murderer and a madman, with a long history of mental illness. As a manifestation of his condition he’s believed to have links with neo-Nazi groups, those only a fanatical libertarian wouldn’t wish to see banned.

One would think that Mair’s medical history should be viewed only from a psychiatric perspective, not a political one. Even qualified psychiatrists can seldom predict what may set a madman off, inspiring a violent act.

It may be politics or football or traffic – it may be anything. That’s why it takes sheer fanaticism to attach any significance to Mair’s screaming ‘Britain first’ as he pumped bullets into his victim.

Yes, Miss Cox was a Remain campaigner. And yes, Britain First is the name of a party dedicated to leaving the EU – and one wishes this right cause didn’t attract such wrong champions. And yes, it’s even possible that some switch was flicked in Mair’s fevered mind, and he thought he was committing a noble rather than monstrous act. Yet only an idiot or a cynic will link the Leave campaign with the act of a lunatic.

Yet Neil Coyle, another Labour MP, did precisely that, indirectly blaming UKIP’s new Leave poster for the murder. The poster, probably a pastiche of the iconic 1979 Tory ad saying ‘Labour Isn’t Working’, shows a long queue of immigrants heading for Britain. The headline says ‘Breaking Point’.

Speaking on BBC’s Newsnight, Mr Coyle suggested that the Leave campaign ought to be ‘careful’ about the kind of material it publishes. Presumably he believes that saying anything against the open door policy mandated by the EU is tantamount to incitement to murder.

It has to be said Mr Coyle isn’t alone in being unhappy about this hoarding. The poster has drawn vitriol from all the predictable quarters.

The predictable quarters described it as ‘fundamentally racist’, while one resident of those quarters, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, chose the adjective ‘disgusting’ instead. UKIP and specifically Nigel Farage have thereby revealed their ‘vile xenophobia’, according to Treasury Minister Harriet Baldwin.

No one has so far accused Mr Farage of xenophilia, a more plausible charge to level against an Englishman married to a German woman, but that may yet come. But I do wonder how this poster testifies to UKIP’s xenophobia or that of the whole Leave campaign.

The poster isn’t racist in that the depicted crowd shows a broad demographic cross-section, although Muslims do seem to feature more widely than any other group. Yet it’s hard to argue against the visual statement on those grounds because Muslim immigration is indeed huge and, more important, potentially more damaging than any other.

Moreover, HMG’s commitment to having Turkey admitted to the EU means that our continued membership in that pernicious organisation would increase our already vast Muslim population by orders of magnitude. At what cut-off point does Miss Sturgeon think objecting to Britain’s Islamisation stops being xenophobia and becomes common sense?

Currently we have about four million Muslims in the UK – officially. Let’s conservatively estimate the real unofficial number at four million or thereabouts. If that number tripled over the next few years, which isn’t just possible but assured should we stay in the EU, would one be within one’s rights to suggest that 12 million is too many?

What if we got to 20 million, which isn’t beyond the realm of possibility either, especially if 75 million Turks get automatic residence privileges? Most Muslims, after all, don’t assimilate easily. They tend to expect the host country to adapt to their customs, rather than the other way around.

For example, they often insist that Sharia law be recognised as equally valid with English Common Law. The fervour of that insistence is directly proportional to the number of Muslims in the community, and in many places with a large Muslim population Sharia law is already in force. Is it possible to argue this is wrong without being called a Nazi?

Love of one’s country, its historical, moral, religious and cultural foundations, doesn’t ipso facto presuppose uncontrollable fear of foreigners. Sturgeon, Baldwin et al may believe, and are welcome to argue, that such affections aren’t in conflict with welcoming millions of people alien to our civilisation and, typically, hostile to it.

But arguing the opposite point doesn’t make the person – or party – either ‘disgusting’ or ‘xenophobic’ or anything else disagreeable. What’s truly disgusting is trying to score political points off a horrific tragedy, as Mr Coyle did.

Both Remain and Leave campaigners had the good taste to suspend political activities in honour of the late Miss Cox. But fanatics, especially the leftie variety, won’t observe the civilised niceties. That’s why they’re called fanatics.




Putin’s stormtroopers have a fine model to follow

Zu dem Verbot der S.A. der "Privat Armee" Adolf Hitlers! [Herausgabe des Fotos April 1932] Die Totenkopf-Brigade der S.A. während eines Aufmarsches in Braunschweig

Watching Russian football thugs turning France into hell made me upset for my friend Vlad. Really, I thought, I must tell him to avoid in-your-face parallels, lest some people might become wary.

The muscle end of Hitler’s regime had several branches and, one must admit with chagrin, Putin’s equivalent is beginning to resemble the earlier model in many structural details.

Early in his days at the helm, Hitler created the SS (Schutzstaffel), his personal guard led by his confidant Himmler. Initially a small, tight-knit force, the SS later expanded, bringing under its aegis the entire security apparatus, including the police, foreign intelligence, counterintelligence and even its own army, the Waffen-SS.

It’s instructive to observe how Putin follows the same pattern, recreating a massive security system on the basis of his personal guard, the Federal Guard Service (FSO in Russian, formerly the KGB Ninth Chief Directorate). A month ago both its remit and numerical strength were vastly expanded, with new police, security and even military functions added to its responsibilities.

The new head of this shadowy setup, Dmitri Kochnev, used to be in charge of Putin’s personal security detail. The FSO now numbers around 40,000, which alone is sufficient to demonstrate that its job goes way beyond throwing bodies between Putin and assassins’ bullets. Such is Vlad’s SS.

But Hitler also had a paramilitary force called the SA (Sturmabteilung). Before the SS was formed, the SA was his principal shock force. Its function was to intimidate and create mayhem, whenever intimidation and mayhem were required. Initially most stormtroopers didn’t carry firearms, making do with fists, knives, truncheons and some such.

It was SA bands that harassed Jews, dispersed the meetings of opposition parties and marched through cities creating havoc everywhere they went. Their MO consisted of beatings, murders and vandalism, all finding a well-publicised expression in Kristallnacht, the 1938 Jewish pogrom.

Russians know that Putin’s junta has its own SA, an unofficial and deniable force of thugs originally put together some 20 years ago by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the openly fascist Deputy Speaker of the Duma.

Football hooligans were the core of that group, but it quickly snowballed to include generic young thugs. They were used to protect neo-fascist marches, disperse anti-fascist ones, harass any gatherings of Putin’s opponents, beat up, maim or – if need be – murder those who wouldn’t be harassed.

In 2007, Putin’s close confidant Vitaly Mutko, Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy, created the All-Russian Union of Football Fans, a palpably fascist group supervised by the government. Its leaders were honoured by Vlad’s appearance. “You’re a real force,” he declared. “Don’t let anyone control and manipulate you.” Except of course Vlad himself and his special services.

None of this is news to Russians, but the rest of the world didn’t know much about this ‘force’ until it made its international debut during the ongoing UEFA Championship. British papers, shocked that for once our own football plankton was defeated in several battles, refer to the Russian thugs as ‘football hooligans’.

The Russians are undoubtedly that but, when unqualified, the term is misleading. For one thing, however much we may bemoan the impotence of our government in dealing with football violence, it wouldn’t occur to us to accuse the government of organising it.

Yet that’s precisely the situation in Russia. The militant thugs were carefully trained in special camps, then handpicked and equipped for this mission by Alexander Shprygin, head of the Union I mentioned.

Shprygin, Mutko’s man and a known neo-fascist, played a hands-on role in the violence and was one of the 20 thugs deported by the French. He thus didn’t pay for his return flight, but then his gang flew into France for free too, in a Ministry of Sport 300-capacity charter commandeered by Mutko, ‘Putin’s charter’ as Russian opposition websites call it.

Most of the thugs have full-time jobs in various security services, where they acquired general martial skills later customised for specifically football violence. The English beer-bellied hooligans were no match for the athletic Russians in anything but the density of tattoos.

The French were amazed at how well the Russian gang performed. The muscular yobs came kitted with identical black T-shirts and bandanas (a uniform clearly designed to avoid confusion between friend and foe), mouth gumshields, martial half-gloves and waist bags containing knives and other weapons.

After those stormtroopers claimed their victory over the English, the papers ought to have commented on a fundamental difference between them and our home-grown plankton. Whenever our lot act up, normal people – and this once I include government officials in that category – are indignant and ashamed.

However, the Russians are transparently proud. A typical reaction came from Igor Lebedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian parliament (Duma): “I don’t know what’s wrong with the fans fighting,” he tweeted. “Quite the opposite – well done, lads, keep it up!”

We can count on that. Far from being a sporadic outburst of violence, English-style, this was a carefully prepared subversive operation. And just like Hitler’s SA, Putin’s stormtroopers weren’t created for a one-off action. Now they’ve made their way outside Russia, brace yourself for more of the same.


The only appropriate reaction to Paris murders

PresidentObamaYesterday, a knife-wielding ISIS militant murdered a police chief and his wife in Magnanville, near Paris. Commandos shot the assailant dead, just managing to save the couple’s child taken hostage.

As a part-time resident of France, I feel I ought to respond to the tragedy, offering words of comfort to the French people. Yet I’m so overcome by grief that I’d be stuck for words – but for the shining example set by my political idol Barack Hussein, ‘Hussie’, as he likes to be known to his friends, among whom I’m proud to count myself.

Hussie’s heartfelt message of condolences offered to his fellow Americans, specifically the families of the Orlando victims, has cast a bright light in whose rays I feel privileged to bask. So here are my words of hope and unity, inspired by Hussie:

Today we grieve the brutal murder – a horrific massacre – of Commander Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and his wife. We pray to God, Allah or other, for their surviving family members, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts. We stand with the people of Magnanville, who have endured a terrible attack on their city. Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate. And we are united in grief, in outrage and in resolve to defend our people.

I know that many of us feel tempted to ascribe Larossi Abballa’s heinous act to his association with ISIS or indeed his Muslim faith. Though it’s still early in the investigation, we can state with certainty that nothing can be further from the truth. For one thing, we haven’t yet fully established what organisation hides behind those initials. It is wrong to jump to the conclusion that they stand for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Just as easily they could denote the International Society for Iguana Safety. In fact, considering that Islam is a religion of peace, this is the likelier possibility.

In any case, we’ve reached no definitive judgement on the precise motivations of the killer. Whatever they are, this act is a sobering reminder that attacks by any Frenchman – regardless of race, ethnicity or especially religion if it happens to be Islam – is an attack by all of us. We all must take the collective blame and not try to assign it to any group, especially one like the Muslims whose commitment to peace and nonviolence is widely known and amply documented.

Instead we must redirect our attention to the real cause of this unspeakable tragedy. The stabber was apparently armed with a knife. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for people to get their hands on a weapon that lets them stab human beings in a school, or in a house of worship, or a cinema, or in a nightclub – or indeed in their home. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want France to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.

A woefully wrong decision. This morning I went to my local department store, finding to my horror that hundreds of deadly weapons can be purchased by anyone with a few euros in his or her or their or its pocket. Chopping knives, serrated knives, fish knives, steak knives, vegetable knives, fruit knives, bread knives, boning knives, kitchen knives, carving knives, paring knives, chef’s knives, utility knives and just knives. Add to this hatchets, heavy frying pans or variously sized nails and bottles of lighter fuel, which could easily be brought together to make bombs, and you’ll realise that our department stores are veritable depositories of lethal weapons positively inviting murder.

But it’s knives than concern me most, and we must decide if we want France to be the kind of country where anyone with hatred in his heart can walk into a department store and, for a mere €14.50, walk out with a Sabatier blade – and a whetstone that could hone the knife razor-sharp, turning it into a lethal throat-slashing, head-severing weapon. Because some people, regardless of race, ethnicity or especially religion if it happens to be Islam, can’t control their lethal impulses, we must muster strength and resolve to control lethal weapons: knives of all types.

May God, Allah or other, bless the Frenchmen we lost this morning. May He comfort their family. May God continue to watch over this country that we love. Thank you.

Palestine: there are two sides, but only one truth

WestBankNormally, when I respond to my readers’ comments, I do so in a sentence or two. However, a reply even longer than my usual articles is called for this time, because the issue of the so-called Palestinian refugees comes up time and again.

This is what my reader had to say: “It’s not easy to sort through the conflicting and biased information from both sides. Curious on your views on this perspective.” ‘This perspective’ was represented by a link to a flagrantly propagandistic and mendacious pro-Palestinian video.

Among its other lies, the video claims that Israeli Arabs only became citizens in 1967, not 1949 when it actually happened. But what’s a couple of wrong numerals among friends? It’s the thought that counts.

First a bit of history. Following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War, Britain received the League of Nations mandate to administer Palestine, a territory carved out of southern Syria.

Under the mandate, Britain ran Palestine from 1920 to 1948. The critical consideration here is the mandate’s wording, which incorporated the declaration issued in 1917 by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour:

“His Majesty’s government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…”

It was specifically because of the Balfour Declaration that the Arabs fought the British tooth and nail. Their official motive was striving for national self-determination. But the anti-Semitism prescribed by Muslim scripture and sanctified by Islamic history played a significant role.

“Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends…,” dictated Mohammed in his Koran (5:51), and he started his reign when, upon moving from Mecca to Medina, he had 900 Jews massacred, beheading many of them with his own trusted sabre.

It’s no wonder that Palestinian Arabs, so inspired, resisted any kind of Jewish home in Palestine. In 1936 they rose in violent revolt, and the mandate became unworkable. Instead the British government proposed the creation of two separate states, one Arab, the other Jewish.

It was understood that the two states would be separate politically but united economically, with each housing and treating well a minority of the other group. Yet, inspired by their fire-eating leaders, the Arabs turned the proposal down and continued their revolt until 1939, when Britain became otherwise engaged.

One of the most prominent of those leaders was Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Al-Husseini, whose movement was from the very beginning funded by the Nazis. During the war Husseini collaborated with both Hitler and Mussolini in producing incendiary radio broadcasts. He also led the drive to recruit Bosnian Muslims in the Waffen-SS. (Incidentally, both Egypt’s president Nasser and his successor Sadat also served the Nazis well during the war.) The Mufti’s meeting with Hitler established the common goal: extermination of Jews.

After the war, this distinguished gentleman played a major role in helping the ODESSA network to find refuge for SS murderers. Many of them settled in Arab countries.

It was then, after the world had gasped with horror at the Holocaust, that the UN revived partition plans. In 1947 the UN vote for partition was carried with the majority of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions and one absent. The Arabs stated immediately that they wouldn’t abide by the resolution and, for once, they were as good as their word.

In the subsequent war, only the heroism of the early Israeli settlers, aided by arm supplies from the US and especially Czechoslovakia (the Czechs provided weapons of both their own and Soviet manufacture), that prevented an extension of the Holocaust – something the Arabs openly craved.

They acted on those cravings at least twice again: in 1967 and 1973. The video I saw refers to the lands occupied by Israel in 1967 after the Six-Day War, modestly forgetting to mention why the war happened. It was then that the Soviet-backed Nasser-led coalition of Arab states set out to re-enact the Holocaust by “driving Israel into the sea”. It amassed vast forces on Israel’s borders, leaving her no option but to beat it to a punch with a textbook display of modern warfare.

In 1973, during the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the Israelis didn’t launch such a preemptive strike, either out of negligence or, more likely, reluctance to find themselves yet again on the receiving end of worldwide anti-Semitic propaganda, masquerading as anti-Zionism.

The Arabs were allowed to strike first, and the Yom Kippur War was touch and go for a while. But the Israelis triumphed yet again, with Gen. Sharon matching the armoured heroics of the Six-Day War general Tal.

(The Israelis’ war effort was augmented no end by their contemptuous rejection of my attempt to volunteer: my Soviet military training was deemed grossly inadequate. I was then, and still am now, wary of any state founded, like Israel, or for that matter the US, on an ideological premise. Yet I considered it my duty to help the bulwark of my Judaeo-Christian civilisation desperately trying to fight off its mortal enemies.)

In 1982, following the peace treaty with Egypt, Israel returned the lion’s share of her 1967 gains, specifically the Sinai Peninsula. That had no effect on either the worldwide anti-Israel (or, to be more exact, anti-Semitic) propaganda inspired by the Soviets or the on-going Muslim attempts to murder as many Israelis and their supporters as possible. Then again, anti-Semitism is never affected by anything Jews do or don’t do.

The video proceeds to state that the one million Israeli Arabs (the actual figure is almost twice as high, representing 20 per cent of the country’s population) enjoy few political rights. That’s another lie.

They boast equal voting privileges and their own political parties represented in the Knesset. Some limitations to their political rights do exist, mostly those involved in military service. Yet the civil rights enjoyed by Israeli Palestinians are infinitely greater than in any other Middle Eastern country, which is why 77 per cent of them would rather live in Israel than anywhere else.

Those sentiments are fully shared by the Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia. They remember the hell into which Palestinian Arabs plunged the Muslim countries that tried to accommodate them, namely Jordan and Lebanon and, for a short while, Saudi Arabia herself.

This brings us to the main reason for the unprecedented three generations of ‘Palestinian refugees’. Practically none of those who were adults in 1948 survive, and few of those who were alive at all. Since then, tens of millions of refugees from elsewhere (including millions of Russians, of whom I was one) have made a successful home for themselves in other countries, including some that didn’t particularly want them, like Britain.

So why do five million Palestinians, representing three generations, still live in West bank camps and shanty towns, a situation unique in history? The main reason is precisely that Muslim countries don’t want the Palestinians, except as the vanguard of their own hostility towards Jews in general and Israelis in particular.

The Arabs could easily have used their petrodollars to find homes for the Palestinians. Yet they chose instead to radicalise them and make them unacceptable to act in any capacity other than suicide bombers or rocket firers.

Israel has tried to be as accommodating as humanly possible, offering one peace initiative after another. The response came in the shape of suicide bombings, knifings, shootings and thousands of rockets. These, and any attempts by the Israelis to defend themselves, proceed to the accompaniment of leftie bleating the world over.

Some are inspired by traditional Marxist anti-Semitism, so amply manifested by the British Labour party. Others are animated by an emotion of more recent provenance: the leftie hostility to Western civilisation that leads to championship of any Third World cause. Hence its hatred of Israel, the only Middle Eastern country close to us culturally and politically.

Yes, there are two sides to this, or any other, story. Yet there’s always only one truth and, with a modicum of effort, it’s never very difficult to tell it apart from lies.

Are we going to war with Russia?

RussianArmyThe top NATO brass fear this is possible. Echoes of some such fears reach the public – enough to give the matter some serious thought.

Yet when it comes to Russia, the pundit Peter Hitchens only has emotions, not thoughts, serious or otherwise. He can’t understand why our soldiers are in Poland, taking part in the NATO exercise. “A Russian attack in the region,” he writes, “is about as unlikely as a Martian invasion.”

Now, Hitchens would consider a Russian attack unlikely even if a Spetsnaz division landed in Kent – the Russians can do no wrong, especially if they’re led by a strongman with sculpted torso muscles. However, those less enamoured of raw masculinity aren’t so complacent – the memory of the late 1930s is still alive.

For all I know, a Russian attack may not be imminent. It’s possible that Putin only wants to rattle a few MIRVed sabres, scaring the West into taking him seriously. Yet it would be suicidal idiocy not to prepare for another possibility, that Russia is actually planning for war.

Si vis pacem para bellum, the Romans used to say: if you want peace, prepare for war. That means that those who don’t prepare for war are likely to get it, a point driven home by the Luftwaffe’s Soviet-made bombs raining on London in 1940.

So does Russia’s ruling KGB junta want war? Here I can’t claim to be privy to any classified information pointing one way or the other. All I have is the modest analytical ability God gave me to make sense of what’s in the public domain.

That may suffice: no matter how hard a potential aggressor tries to keep his plans secret, there are always telltale signs: official rhetoric, the recent record of aggression, the build-up and strategic deployment of the armed forces, fluctuations in the military spend. All of these show that Russia is gearing up for war, though of course it may all be empty braggadocio.

The rhetoric of Russian chieftains and their principal mouthpieces is more bellicose than I’ve ever heard. Every day Putin or another KGB thug in his government or employ (85 per cent of Russia’s top officials have a KGB background) screams about “turning the US into radioactive dust”, lays claim to “traditionally Russian territories”, such as the Baltics and the Ukraine, reminds the West that Russia is a nuclear power not to be trifled with or promises to regain all the bailiwicks lost after the break-up of the USSR, which Putin describes with refreshing candour as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century”.

The recent record of aggression is there for all to see, in all its explosive glory. Chechnya, Georgia, Crimea, the Ukraine, Syria all testify to the belligerently acquisitive nature of the KGB junta. Even in the absence of such forays, the very fact that Russia’s government is indeed a KGB junta would be sufficient to worry any reasonably intelligent and unbiased observer – but Putin provides physical reminders with obliging regularity.

The build up of Russia’s armed forces and the nature of their deployment are hardly a secret either. The former is proceeding at a pace not seen since the 1970s, and possibly not even then; the latter shows a clear westward bias. Not since the heyday of the Cold War have so many new weapon systems been brought on stream, nor so much manpower concentrated on Russia’s western frontiers.

This is made possible by expenditures unseen in any country at peacetime. A few days ago Russia’s PM Medvedev was visiting Crimea, where he was cornered by the local starving pensioners. Pointing out that 8000 roubles a month (less than £100 – this in a country where the staples cost only marginally less than in Western Europe) isn’t enough to live on, they angrily demanded why even those miserly giveaways weren’t being indexed according to inflation.

Medvedev replied with a phrase to make Dave turn green with envy: “We have no money, but do hold on. I wish you all a good mood.”

There may not be any money to feed starving pensioners, but there’s plenty for really important things, as shown by the analysis by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the world’s most reliable authority on military spends.

Its research shows staggering findings. Russia’s military and ‘security’ expenditure equals 5.5 percent of her GDP and close to 50 per cent (!) of the federal budget – something seldom matched by any country even at wartime. By contrast, China, another potential aggressor, is only spending 1.2 per cent of her GDP on war needs, just over a fifth of that spent by a country with no money to feed old people.

At the same time, between 2010 and 2015, Russia’s combined spend on education and healthcare went down to 6.4 per cent of the budget, which shows where Putin’s priorities are.

I don’t know how the Martians, Mr Hitchen’s control group, break up their budgets. The way Russia breaks up hers should make us pay attention at the very least. Instead we’re disarming even faster than Russia is arming, but then there are foreign aid and EU contributions we have to worry about.

Bibi + Vlad = love

PutinNetanyahuIf Netanyahu and Putin get any closer, they’ll have to get married. Or so it seems. They’re enjoying much public foreplay, complete with hugs, glad-handing, back-slapping and all sorts of things one simply doesn’t do on first date.

It’s not that Bibi and Vlad have much in common, far from it. Bibi is every bit Western conservative, which Vlad every bit isn’t. The two men must detest each other’s politics, which, however, doesn’t prevent them from recognising each other’s interests. And these largely overlap, much to the chagrin of those who understand Russia.

Bibi has to put on a show of love for Vlad, because Barack doesn’t love Bibi anymore. To be frank, Barack never actually liked Bibi, correctly seeing him as his political antipode. Bibi could live with such coolness, provided it didn’t come packaged with Barack’s distinct frigidity towards Bibi’s country.

Like most lefties, Barack hates to see Bibi trying to defend his country from being raped by wild-eyed Muslims. Third-generation Palestinian ‘refugees’ are shooting up Tel Aviv markets. Hezbollah and Hamaz murderers fire thousands of rockets at Israeli settlements. Others strap explosive to their bodies and blow themselves up together with dozens of Israelis – yet any reaction from Israel, no matter how mild, is portrayed as gross overreaction.

Israel has already relinquished most of the territory she claimed as a result of what Al Jazeera recently called “an unprovoked attack on her neighbours”. That, in case you don’t speak leftie, is the correct way of referring to Israel’s successful 1967 attempt to preempt, at the last moment, her extinction at the hands of Muslim fanatics publicly committed to “driving Israel into the sea” and murdering every Israeli.

That situation hasn’t changed since then, at least not for the better. Then as now Israel is surrounded by mortal enemies daydreaming of realising Nasser’s 1967 dream. And Israel is probably the only civilised country in the world that can’t afford to lose a war: Israelis know that any defeat wouldn’t just mean they’d be occupied. They’d be destroyed – it would be the Holocaust all over again.

Outnumbered by several orders of magnitude, Israel desperately needs powerful friends, and traditionally it’s the US that has acted in that capacity. Hence Israel’s politicians are acutely sensitive to any coolness on the part of the Americans, and Barack’s has been borderline icy.

Under normal circumstances Bibi wouldn’t mind that, knowing that Barack is but a few months removed from a lucrative lecture circuit. However, the upcoming changing of the guard doesn’t look promising either. Hillary is no friend of Israel and, when she no longer needs the Jewish vote, may turn out to be even more frigid than Barack. And Trump is making distinct isolationist noises, which to Israeli ears sound like death knells.

Since Israel can’t afford to be politically celibate, Bibi indicated he wouldn’t mind submitting to Vlad, who’s desperately trying to fill the Middle Eastern space being vacated by Barack. Hence the heavy petting for the camera.

The war Barack’s predecessors unleashed so irresponsibly is moving closer to Israel’s borders, with Hezbollah, in cahoots with Assad and, most worryingly, Iran, is looking at Israel with distinct longing. That makes Bibi even more affectionate towards Vlad – someone has to protect the airspace Israel needs to hit the arms supply routes leading to Hezbollah and Hamaz.

Yet the old saw about being careful what to wish for shouldn’t be far from Bibi’s mind. For Russia, especially when led by Putin-like regimes, doesn’t see any marriage as a partnership of equals. She’s out to dictate her will and bend everyone to it.

Nor does Vlad believe in exclusive relationships. Both before and after his tryst with Bibi, he allowed himself to be courted by Palestinian chieftains. Vlad finds them sexier than Bibi, but marriage with him has a stronger convenience aspect: Bibi carries more international weight and he may use it to push Vlad to international respectability.

Netanyahu would do well to recall what happened to Rome when it started using foreign, Germanic, contingents for protection. The Visigoths sacked Rome in 410, teaching a valuable lesson to subsequent generations. When you sup with the devil, no spoon is long enough.

Russia lording it over the Middle East would represent a geopolitical catastrophe for the West and a strategic triumph for Putin’s kleptofascist junta. In a Middle East run by Russia, Israel would at best act in the capacity similar to that of the Pale of Settlement of yesteryear. At worst, she could suffer a fate not dissimilar to that awaiting her in case of an Islamic triumph.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, Bibi no doubt thinks in his Philadelphia English. Yet he sees an immediate benefit in courting Vlad, and Israel’s situation is so finely balanced on a knife’s edge that it’s hard to look beyond an immediate benefit.

Yet some cures are worse than the disease, and Bibi would be ill-advised to develop the relationship beyond the foreplay stage. Otherwise Israel might find herself on the receiving end of Russia’s ardour.

£6,900 is the price of true companionship

AndroidThe price cited above is now attached to a product you can buy in the US and Japan. TrueCompanion is an android robotic sex doll, which represents the state of the art in eroticism, or degeneracy if you’d rather.

This brings to mind a crude American limerick: “There was a young man from Racine// Who invented a f***ing machine,// Both concave and convex,// Able to suit either sex,// The goddamnest thing ever seen.”

What used to be a perverse fantasy has now become a reality, but that’s how modernity operates. It’s called progress, in case you’re wondering.

The android comes in two models, male Rocky and female Roxxxy. Both Rocky and Roxxxy can be customised to your specifications, including hair colour, facial features and some other things you’re too young to know about.

Rocky and Roxxxy are life-sized, but for now they feature only limited speech recognition. I couldn’t find out what kind of limited speech they recognise, and wouldn’t venture a guess out of decorum.

However, if you’re looking for an android whose vocabulary extends beyond the words that only appear in unabridged dictionaries, wait a year or two. Sex robots will become infinitely more sophisticated, as electronic devices tend to do.

Roxxxy will be able to say “Can we talk first?” She’ll demand flowers and chocolates before, and respect after. She may also ask what sexual variant you prefer, rather than just move docilely to a key stroke.

For the sake of verisimilitude, she’ll give you a hard time if you’re late from work and say “Not tonight, love, I’ve got a headache”. If you go ahead anyway, she could be programmed to claim marital rape.

And Rocky will be gentle and tender or, if the woman prefers the rough stuff, vigorous and powerful. Either robot will know how to deviate from the trodden paths into such areas as S&M, B&D, water games and homosexuality. The opportunities are limitless.

Neither android will demand exclusivity or being treated like a person, rather than just a sex machine. Roxxxy won’t inspect her man’s shirts for traces of lipstick, and Rocky won’t ask his woman why she comes home all dishevelled every time she goes out with her girlfriends. Neither will insist on expensive gifts or dinners out.

If Rocky could open tins and lift heavy furniture, or Roxxxy do washing and ironing, who could wish for a better companion. No one, I dare say.

However, Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of robotics at Sheffield University, has his reservations about this startling breakthrough: “It’s not a problem having sex with a machine. But what if it’s your first time, your first relationship? It will get in the way of real life, stopping people forming relationships with normal people.”

Noel ‘Frankenstein’ Sharkey doth protest too little, methinks. He ought to be struck off and, ideally, flogged for his first sentence. Yes, Professor, having sex with a machine is indeed a problem even if this isn’t one’s first relationship. It’s not a relationship at all, for the word presupposes intercourse between two humans.

Sharkey’s colleague, Dr Kathleen Richardson, shares his misgivings, such as they are. However, the way she words them is an inadvertent explanation of how we’ve created a society in which a sex robot could be thought up, never mind created: “We think that the creation of such robots will contribute to detrimental relationships between men and women, adults and children, men and men and women and women.”

She left out men and pigs, women and Shetland ponies, and two transsexuals, which is an inexplicable oversight in someone who speaks the modern jargon with such fluency. With all that attention to detail, no one seems to be bothered that such degenerate perversions drive nails into the coffin of our civilisation, with its every founding moral tenet.

Granted, Jesus didn’t say “That whosoever looketh on a robot to lust after it hath committed adultery with it already in his heart” – the possibility simply didn’t occur to him. Or rather I’m sure it did, but he didn’t expect his audience to understand. But there’s little doubt how he – or anyone raised in the culture he inaugurated – would feel about this technological advance.

However, one doesn’t have to a be Christian to deplore this dehumanisation of man – or to believe that there has to be a limit to what science and technology are allowed to do.

One of Lenin’s letters features the phrase “We can and therefore must…” He applied it to confiscating church valuables and murdering as many priests as possible in the process. But modernity seems to live according to the same principle when it comes to anything material.

Civilisation is all about putting a limit on things we do, even if we can do them. Science and technology should be subject to the same restraints: we mustn’t do certain things just because we can do them.

At the risk of upsetting my libertarian friends, I say ban the bloody things. No one will of course. The barbarian is no longer at the door – he’s squatting inside every house. And there’s no limit to what he’ll do, just because he can.