STRAWS: by Max TeichmannNews Weekly
Back to the state of nature? / 57 varieties of racism / Galahs 0, Kiwis 3
, October 6, 2001
STRAWS IN THE WINDBack to the state of nature?
The West, in the person of its leader, and principal standard-bearer, America, has just suffered its worst defeat at the hands of Muslim opponents since the Fall of Constantinople.
Depending upon how the rest of the West - especially the Europeans - react to America's call for support, we will either deal with this new radical challenge, possibly after a long and nasty struggle, or we will patch up some face-saving deal, whereby a few miscreants are scapegoated while the virus, with its core anti-Western, anti-democratic, religiously-intolerant philosophy, spreads.
The Muslims of the world are watching the West's reactions with close interests.
Not many of the world's Muslims would care to live under the Taliban, or Saddam, nor, I would suspect, the clerical-fascists of Teheran or the hypocritical puritans of Saudi Arabia - but if they thought militant armed Islam was the way of the future, and the West cowardly, or apologetic, divided and hence unreliable - then they might be prepared to hedge their bets - even switch horses. And the masses of poor, workless and resentful young males might really start moving.
So we have an obligation to all these people - as well as to ourselves - to put global terrorism out of business, along with the newest crop of revolutionary chiliastic megalomaniacs.
In the past we have had to deal with such sub-cultures within the West - e.g., Nazism - and succeeded, only after many false starts and unwise concessions, and great difficulties. But we succeeded. Interestingly, it was the Anglo-Saxons and Russians that did it.
Our Muslim Taliban terrorists are unashamed élitists - a new superior breed, who know all the answers to the very few questions they regard as important. They have as of right the power of life and death over other humans; the right to prescribe how they should live and what sort of world they might be allowed to inhabit. And this position need not be backed by argument, only by force. They are upwardly mobile, new bourgoisie, making an audacious grab for power - over their own peoples. And, as a bonus, us.
These authentic terrorist élitists have always attracted hosts of vicarious élitists; saloon bar revolutionaries and coffee house mayhem-spreaders - in the West, where the terrorist culture has always found admirers.
The number of instant civil liberties groups that spring up in defence of often quite distant terrorist groups, whom some government is trying to root out, testifies to the permanent constituency for terrorism in the bourgeois Left and its media.
Groups such as these are now all the rage: ETA, the Kurds, the Albanians, Chechens, Tamils, Kashmiris, Muslims in the Philippines and Aceh, and sporadically, terrorists in Japan. Then Hamas and Hezbollah - all strut the stage, to the fascination of the media.
Thus a number of countries are harbouring and training terrorists, who forge or already possess links elsewhere, especially in countries to which their friends have migrated legally or otherwise, e.g., Europe, America. Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Albania - all come to mind as terrorist hosts.
In all of these cases, the US/Western strategy would be to close the terrorist groups down and eject them. Ideally, the hosts would be required to do this. If not, pressure - if necessary intervention - from outside would be undertaken. The problem countries are Pakistan, Iraq and possibly Iran - where force might have to be brought to bear.
The only unequivocal allies the Americans might find would be Britain, Russia and ourselves. The Europeans, yet again, in the person of NATO and the EU, are showing how politically decadent and opportunistic (don't want to hurt trade with the Arabs, etc), and how militarily irrelevant they are. A bit reminiscent of Europe at the time of Genghis Khan or the Turks, or during the rise of Hitler.
The UN, set up to keep the peace and rebuild world order after the last Catastrophe, has no role except to obstruct America and try to preserve what in fact are terrorist states and cultures. It is playing the same role as the League of Nations did in the face of fascism.
There has always a trade union of terrorist organisations: in earlier years the PLO, the Japanese Red Army, IRA, Baader Meinhof, the Red Brigade, the Weathermen, not only coexisted but often did one another's dirty work. Why so easy to co-operate - given that they had different causes, support bases, supposedly different philosophies? The answer is, their basic philosophy and psychology were, and are, the same. And just as one shouldn't assume that IRA activists are just Irish patriots wanting the union of the 26 counties, neither should one assume that these pious Islamic terrorists are anything of the kind. Nor their Western-based followers.
One shouldn't load too much on Islam. But they are
anti-Western, especially anti-American - and many of them are anti-Jewish. And that
is their appeal to the social misfits and ideological nomads of the West's middle classes.57 varieties of racism
As Mark Steyn said recently, "There is no great issue facing the world today that can't be made worse by having a UN conference on it." Which is why I for one was relieved to hear that the approaching meeting of the UN General Assembly had been cancelled, alas only temporarily. More serious things are happening, and that Assembly would almost certainly have reproduced the chaos, the divisions, the bile and the enormous distance from reality which virtually wrecked the recent UN Conference on Racism.
Only two nations, Israel and the USA, actually walked out - because of the blatantly anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic resolution that the Arab states wouldn't abandon; but there were also many other statements that could have prompted similar walk-outs by other countries.
As we had predicted in earlier columns, a great anti-Slavery push was made with claims for compensation for past injuries caused by ex-colonial powers. Demands to "say sorry" filled the air with clear intimations that, legally speaking, the matters wouldn't end there. Far from it. Even though, as Steyn reminds us, the 30 million American blacks have a greater combined income than the 30 million Canadians to the north. But enough is never enough. Most black Americans don't care tuppence, but their "leaders" and lawyers have different agendas.
Of course there still is
slavery in the world - flourishing - in Ghana, Mali, Niger, Sudan, Ivory Coast, etc, while conditions of child labour in South Asia, at least, are scarcely distinguishable from slavery, as is the peonage still practised in parts of Latin America. But the Conference wasn't interested in that, any more than it was in the Hindu caste system and its implications for human rights. No; it was the past misdeeds of the West; and their present faults, which appear to be those of being much richer (forget the Arab oil states please), or much more powerful than the majority at the Conference (and forget about China at this point). Very early on, it turned into a get-whitey humbug explosion, not likely to solve or improve anything - nor intended to.
Fidel Castro was praised as the leader of "the most democratic country in the world" by South Africa's Foreign Minister.
Robert Mugabe, who was welcomed as a hero, gave a stirring address on the evils of racism, while his Justice Minister demanded that Britain and the USA should "apologise unreservedly for their crimes against humanity"!
In a second large meeting of 3,000 non-government organisations (yes!) on the fringe of the Racism Conference, a declaration was passed accusing Israel of the "systematic perpetration of racist crimes, including war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing". Not everyone was amused.
There were a number of reasons. Many people didn't realise just how many NGOs there were. Some, like Greenpeace, Oxfam, Amnesty, having the resources of multinationals or small states: nor how states and taxpayers fund them - to play politics - like this. And how world networks of NGOs, unelected, unappointed, with many backers in the shadows, have been determining UN outcomes and heavying, blackmailing and coercing nation states. However, this
Conference was their Waterloo - vale
Mary Robinson - as the World Trade Centre bombing could be their Stalingrad.
This was not a Conference to discuss or analyse racism or to combat it. Rather, to propagate it using double standards, NGO newspeak and some rich metaphors. Mark Steyn picked up on a young Zimbabwean saying on Canadian TV that it's all very well going on about property damage to white farms [and killings?] but what about the ongoing "psychic" damage done to the country by colonialism?
There was, and is, a general breakdown in communication, or else a bogus togetherness between difference groups of states and difference cultural/religious formations that we continue to ignore at our peril. We are looking at Sam Huntington's "Clash of Civilisations", which is not about racism or economics, but about culture. Different strokes.
The operators of world communication systems selling mass consumer culture; the global marketeers, and the vendors of difference schemes for "One World" - be they political, ideological or religious - don't want to hear any of this, but are quite unable to explain or handle the fault lines that have become visible in our post-Cold War world.
And now that decolonisation has been in operation for 50 years, who would like to say that it has been a success, or turned out remotely as we had expected, or hoped for? Don't the results resemble the ruined ideals of the Russian and the Chinese Revolutions; or the New Society supposed to emerge from the schemes and fantasies of the 60s Generation? Or the Palestine supposed to result from the Balfour Declaration?Galahs 0, Kiwis 3
While on racism, few would have missed the outrageous, though predictable, attacks on New Zealand and New Zealanders. "Kiwi bashing" and quite reminiscent of the cretinous, spiteful campaign against our French at the time of Muroroa. That was orchestrated by the green eco-nincompoops, egged on by the paparazzi; while the race-based abuse of New Zealanders was run by trade union uglies, to fire up the masses. It was gleefully reported as "news".
There are ironies here: New Zealand tourists play a most important role in our tourist economy, and following upon this New Zealand abuse, NZ tourist numbers have fallen substantially. Any New Zealanders here or listening to some of this abuse will not easily forgive us. As to Labor leaders who attended such rallies, rallies lined with anti-Kiwi placards, they
came over as quite unconcerned, except for those 15 minutes of television they hoped to get as reward. In fact, they simply demeaned their positions and short sold their party.