Two young Cambridge University graduates are dead, murdered by a supposedly rehabilitated terrorist, in London last Friday. The Cambridge University students were part of “Learning Together,” a project that aims to bring rehabilitated terrorists back into mainstream society. This is liberalism gone mad!
A major weakness of western liberalism is the idea that we’re all the same, whatever culture or background we come from. We should know better. ISIS fighters are not going to repent – as they come back to western countries following the defeat of ISIS they will bring their ideology with them, and kill people. Anybody who thinks otherwise is a misguided fool.
The young male victim had written his dissertation on why minorities account for a disproportionate percentage of people in prison. The answer is simple – they commit more crimes.
It’s sad as more innocent lives are likely to be lost as we pursue rehab. Years ago, I remember reading in Psychology Today that 92% of sex offenders are never rehabilitated. When they leave prison, they commit the same acts again. Do we really think that terrorists will do better?
As Piers Morgan wrote in the Daily Mail, “Most terrorists don’t change their evil spots so it’s time Britain stopped going soft on hate-filled jihadis to please the PC hand-wringing brigade and does what Americans do – lock them up forever.” (12/2/2019 Daily Mail)
Even this may not work. Terrorists in prison might encourage fellow terrorists to seize hostages until they are released.
What would be more appropriate (and final) is the death penalty.
KING OF THE NORTH?
Following the opening, on September 30, 2019, of the Al-Bukamal-Al-Qaim border crossing between Syria and Iraq, which had been closed for five years due to the Syria war, Abu Al-Fazel Salehiniya, a culture advisor at the Iranian embassy in Damascus, published an article in the pro-regime Syrian daily Al-Watan, in which he presented the opening of the crossing as a step towards the realization of Iran’s vision of a new Middle East. He explained that Iran planned to establish a political, economic and cultural bloc consisting of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, which will impact the power-balance in the region and world, and thwart what he called the American and Western plan to fragment the Middle East into tiny states under Western control. For many years, he said, the U.S. and Israel have been working in various ways to prevent the creation of this bloc, including by instigating protests in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon; however, they have failed thanks to the resistance axis, which is now stronger than ever and has attained impressive achievements. (MEMRI 12/4)
Editor’s note: The four countries were roughly the borders of the biblical king of the North, in the second century BC.
GERMAN MILITARY EXPANSION by Johannes Stern, 29 Nov 2019, World Socialist Web Site
(Extracts) . . . Kramp-Karrenbauer replied: “We know we have to do more, but we are on the way.” In 2031 the German army would “realistically” be able to take over ten percent of NATO’s military capacity. Until that date at the latest, Germany would also reach the NATO target of two percent of gross domestic product for military spending. In fact Germany will make substantial steps towards this goal as early as next year, as the pact to form the grand coalition laid out. According to a report by the German Press Agency, the German government has reported to the military alliance its intention to spend 50.25 billion euros [$US55.3 billion] in 2020. “We are complying with our international obligations. The NATO defense rate is 1.42 percent,” boasted Social Democratic Finance Minister Olaf Scholz at yesterday’s presentation of the budget for 2020 in the Bundestag . . . Five years after the German government announced the end of military restraint at the Munich Security Conference in 2014, the ruling class can no longer hide the fact that it is basing its foreign and great power politics on the militaristic traditions of the German Empire and the Nazis. In his major lecture on foreign policy at the end of October, the president of the German parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), described 1945, i.e. the date of the downfall of the Third Reich and the defeat of Germany in World War II—as a “catastrophe” (https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/11/29/kram-n29.html)
GERMANY TO MATCH US CONTRIBUTION TO NATO BUDGET
From 2021, Germany will increase its contribution to the NATO budget to be in line with what the US pays. NATO officials hope the move will diffuse tensions surrounding the cost of maintaining the military alliance. (https://www.dw.com/en/germany-to-match-us-contribution-to-nato-budget/a-51446211)
German army sorry for ‘retro’ post
BERLIN, Germany — The German army on Wednesday apologized for posting a photo on Instagram of a military uniform complete with two Iron Crosses bearing the Nazi swastika and appearing to celebrate it as “retro.” After media reports sparked outrage, the army removed the picture of the Nazi-era Wehrmacht uniform and explained that it was an “unacceptable mistake.” The Bundeswehr said it was seeking to do a photo-essay on the influence of military uniforms on fashion through the ages but failed to provide the correct historical context in its captions. The Bundeswehr has over the years repeatedly come under fire over embarrassing associations with Germany’s militaristic past (https://www.timesofisrael.com/german-army-sorry-for-retro-nazi-uniform-post/)
Global Survey of 18 Countries Finds Hardcore Anti-Semitic Attitudes Remain Pervasive One in four Europeans polled fall into most anti-Semitic category.
Among the 2019 ADL Global 100 Index’s key findings: Negative attitudes in Argentina, Brazil, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine have seen marked increases since the last ADL Global 100 survey. Anti-Semitic attitudes remain pervasive in Europe. Roughly one out of every four residents of the 14 European countries polled by ADL fall into the most anti-Semitic category, subscribing to a majority of the anti-Semitic stereotypes tested in the index.
Stereotypes about Jewish control of business and the financial markets are among the most pernicious and enduring anti-Semitic beliefs. These are especially widespread in the Central and Eastern European countries surveyed. Asked whether they agreed with the statement that “Jews have too much power in the business world,” a staggering 72 percent of Ukrainians agreed, as did 71 percent of Hungarians, 56 percent of Poles, and 50 percent of Russians.
Jewish “disloyalty” is a widespread anti-Semitic stereotype in the Western European countries surveyed. In Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, more than 40 percent of the public believes that Jews are more loyal to the State of Israel than to their own country. This canard also scored high in Brazil (70 percent), South Africa (60 percent), and relatively high in Canada (25 percent) compared to its overall index score of 8 percent.
“Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust” was a statement supported by large segments of the populations of many of the European countries polled, even in Germany, where 42 percent of the population agreed. This sentiment was also prevalent in Austria (44 percent), Belgium (40 percent) Italy (38 percent) and Spain (37 percent).(https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-global-survey-of-18-countries-finds-hardcore-anti-semitic-attitudes-remain)
Zimbabwe ‘on brink of man-made starvation’, UN warns (BBC, 28 Nov 2019)
More than 60% of the country’s 14 million people are considered food-insecure, according to the findings. Hyperinflation, poverty, natural disasters and economic sanctions were among the identified causes. Women and children were “bearing the brunt of the crisis” with 90% of children aged six months to two years not consuming enough food. Hilal Elver, the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to food, reported her findings following an 11-day visit to the country. “I cannot stress enough the urgency of the situation in Zimbabwe,” she said, adding that the crisis continues to worsen. She said many of the people she met could only afford one meal a day and that most of the children she met were stunted and underweight. “The harrowing stories I heard from resilient grandmothers, mothers or aunts desperately trying to save their children from starvation, in the midst of their daily hardships, will remain with me.”
She also noted Zimbabwe was among the four highest food-insecure nations, alongside conflict-ravaged countries.(https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-50586514)
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS CHANGE ON ABORTION
To Christians, there are few issues more important than fighting against abortion. The millions of unborn children are made in the image of God, making it personal to Christians.
And millions of American might switch churches after what one denomination said about abortion.
If one were to ask virtually any Southern Baptist churchgoer, they would be strongly against abortion and supportive of the fight to end it.
But as it turns out, the Southern Baptist Convention doesn’t agree with that sentiment.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), which is the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, just came out stating that Christians should not preach against abortion from the pulpit, on the street corner, or in bumper stickers or social media posts.
They claim that it is “hurtful to women.” (Culture wars, 11/19)
LETTER FROM A UK FRIEND
“Channel 4 hosted a leaders debate on climate change yesterday. Boris Johnson. and Nigel Farage did not appear, and their vacant podiums sported ice sculptures instead. The problem is that Boris is not good responding to tough questioning. Boris is being shielded from scrutiny as much as possible, he may feel that he’s ‘Churchill like’ but in reality he’s no orator. In contrast Jeremy Corbyn is a rabble-rouser and whips an audience up to ‘cheers and chanting.’ Very popular with younger voters too. The Election is for Boris to lose. According to the opinion polls his lead is slipping back. I’m fearing another hung parliament.”
EU DECLARES “CLIMATE EMERGENCY”
The European Parliament declared a “climate emergency,” by a vote of 429 to 225. The decision is symbolic but important (the European Union is the world’s largest economy) ahead of the UN climate summit to be held in Madrid next week. The incoming head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has promised a package of ambitious green measures on December 11th. (The Economist, 11/29)
Britain’s ruling Conservative Party reacted furiously after Channel 4, a national broadcaster, replaced the prime minister with an ice sculpture during a debate on climate change. While most other leaders of Britain’s main political parties took part, Boris Johnson refused. The editor of Channel 4 News accused Mr. Johnson of trying to avoid scrutiny during the election campaign “like Donald Trump.” (Economist, 11/29)
Italy busts neo-Nazi ring, ‘Miss Hitler’ pageant winner
Prosecutors in Sicily have announced 19 arrests, exposing a nationwide network of would-be fascist militants. Police have uncovered weapons, explosives, and extremist propaganda in a series of raids.
Italian police have arrested at least 19 people in connection with a militant neo-Nazi ring, national media reported on Thursday. Although the investigation was based in Sicily, several of the suspects hail from all over the country. One of the arrested included a 26-year-old Milan resident who had been the winner of an online beauty competition called “Miss Hitler.” She also spoke at an extreme-right conference in Portugal last August that attempted to unite the so-called “National Socialist movements” of Italy, Portugal, Spain, and France.
During the operation, led by prosecutors in Caltanissetta, Sicily, and dubbed “Black Shadows,” police undercovered troves of weapons, explosives, Nazi memorabilia and texts praising fascist dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, in a series of raids carried out across Italy. On top of possible weapons charges, promoting fascism is a crime in Italy. The supposed leader of the group is a 50-year-old public employee from the city of Padua, in the northeastern region of Veneto. She was not known to authorities prior to her detention, police have said, adding that they recovered anti-Semitic material at her home. Another suspect is an offender with multiple convictions and ties to the ‘Ndrangheta, the elusive Calabrian mafia, one of the richest organized crime syndicates in the world and by some estimates responsible for 3% of Italy’s GDP. The man, Italian media said, had turned informant for the police against the mafia but was apparently acting as the chief “trainer” for the violence the neo-Nazi group hoped to carry out. Specific center-left politicians were named as possible targets. The group used a Russian chat app to communicate and try to avoid detection, Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported. A Russian social media platform called VK was also used to host the “Miss Hitler” competition.(https://www.dw.com/en/italy-busts-neo-nazi-ring-miss-hitler-pageant-winner/a-51458025)
TO THE POINT
- CHINA FINANCIAL WARNINGS From rural bank runs to surging consumer indebtedness and an unprecedented bond restructuring, mounting signs of financial stress in China are putting the nation’s policy makers to the test. Xi Jinping’s government faces an increasingly difficult balancing act as it tries to support the world’s second-largest economy without encouraging moral hazard and reckless spending. While authorities have so far been reluctant to rescue troubled borrowers and ramp up stimulus, the costs of maintaining that stance are rising as defaults increase and China’s slowdown deepens. (China financial warning; Bloomberg, 11/28/2019)
- HONG KONG IN REVOLT “When Mao Zedong’s guerrillas seized power in China in 1949, they did not take over a clearly defined country, much less an entirely willing one. Hong Kong was ruled by the British, nearby Macau by the Portuguese. Taiwan was under the control of a Nationalist government Mao had just overthrown. The mountain terrain of Tibet was under a Buddhist theocracy that chafed at control from Beijing. Communist troops had yet to enter another immense region in the far west, Xinjiang, where Muslim ethnic groups did not want to be ruled from afar.” (“Hong Kong in revolt,” The Economist, 11/23/2019).
- Applying pressure on China is the top priority for the newly elected German EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. She announced that, on Sunday – her first day in office – she plans to call Beijing to discuss “human rights.” The People’s Republic of China is being accused of human rights violations in the context of its “war on terror” against jihadism in Xinjiang province. The German chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, David McAllister (CDU) announced that the EU Parliament also plans to discuss the situation in Xinjiang, in its upcoming plenary session (December 16 – 19). In Berlin, the transatlantic-oriented opposition plans to call for sanctions to be imposed on either Chinese politicians or Chinese high-tech-companies, already affected by US sanctions. Commentators in the USA, as well as in Germany, are equating China with Nazi Germany. According to a former liberal-oriented German daily, “there can be no long-term peaceful coexistence” with the People’s Republic of China. (German Foreign Policy, 11/29/2019)
- ZAMBIAN COUPLE GET 15 YEARS FOR SEXUAL ACT A homosexual couple has been given 15 years for a crime “against the natural order,” citing the fact that they are a very religious Christian country. They also happen to have one of the highest incidents of HIV in the world, reflecting widespread immorality. They should take a look at I Corinthians 6. Fornication, adultery and sodomy are all condemned equally, a fact that Zambian churches have failed to notice. In Africa, AIDS is invariably a heterosexual disease.
- A video has emerged from the Nato summit in London, which appears to show Boris Johnson, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Princess Anne and the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, laughing about the US president during a reception at Buckingham Palace. The meeting to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nato alliance began inauspiciously, with tensions on full display between Macron, Trump and Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It seems that other countries are more likely to ridicule Mr Trump, expecting that he will be impeached next year.
- PRINCE ANDREW As a former navy pilot, Prince Andrew would normally be present at a Nato shindig, but the disgraced duke has been stripped of his duties, leaving his mother to host the reception. Meanwhile, Trump’s claim not to know Andrew is contradicted by extensive photographic evidence. (Guardian, 12/4)