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June 2013


The economics of the ‘Turkish Spring’

Pitched battles between anti-government demonstrators and Turkish police over several days at Istanbul’s Taksim Square constitute a national uprising against Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s incipient Islamist dictatorship. As of this writing on June 2, tens of thousands of regime opponents are in control of the heart of Istanbul while police have withdrawn. The economic distress of Turkish households is an important factor in the country’s political upheaval.

News media have already dubbed the demonstrations a “Turkish Spring”. That is a turnabout, for the “Turkish model” was touted two years ago as the solution to the economic and social
problems of the failing police states of Arab nationalism. Erdogan’s supposedly moderate Islamism and dynamic economic management supposedly offered a way out for Egypt and other failed economies of the Middle East.

Erdogan had declared himself a “servant of Sharia” during his 1994 mayoral campaign in Istanbul, but most Western observers chose to take the would-be Turkish dictator at his subsequent word that he would respect the secular character of the Turkish state.

It was never to be. Erdogan did not preside over an economic miracle – contrary to the credulous estimates of many Western observes – but arranged, rather the usual sort of Third World credit bubble, which has left Turkish consumers to tighten their belts in response to a devastating debt burden. “Economic troubles will dominate the political agenda, and Erdogan’s claim to leadership of the Islamic world – let alone his own country – will look far less credible,” I warned in this space April 23 (see Turkey’s ticking debt time-bomb, Asia Times Online), just before Moody’s assigned Turkey an investment-grade rating, perhaps the poorest judgment by the rating agency since it put a “Aaa” stamp on securities backed by subprime mortgages.



On April 15, 2013, during the Boston Marathon, two bombs exploded among spectators near the finish line on Boylston Avenue. Three people, including an eight-year-old boy, were killed, and over two hundred injured, many losing their legs and suffering wounds caused by nails, ball bearings and other shrapnel. The murderers were brothers, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 – two young Muslims whose parents brought them to America.

The Boston Marathon bombing is the latest episode of violent Islamic jihad – a campaign to wage war on non-believers of Islam to convert them to Islam, or to subjugate them, or to kill them. Globally, incidents of Islamic terrorism since 9/11 alone have passed the 20,000 mark. Islam has been at war with the West, and in particular with the U.S. and Israel, for decades, if one does not count the centuries Muslims have raided European coasts for slaves, estimated to be around two million, and captured American merchant vessels in the 18thand early 19th centuries, and enslaved their crews or held them for ransom. The U.S. has been the subject of dozens of attacks here and abroad.

Violence is in Islam’s DNA. Mohammad died in 632. His successors continued his jihad until all of the Arabian Peninsula and Armenia were under Islamic rule. In 634 the Muslims invaded Palestine. In 639 they invaded Egypt and took Alexandria. In 711 the Muslims invaded and conquered Spain, but were turned back by the Franks at the battle of Tours in 732 from conquering the rest of Europe.

Obeying the will of Allah and wishing to fulfill the purported prophecy of Mohammad, Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, was unsuccessfully besieged twice by Muslim caliphs, between 674 and 678, and between 717 and 718. When the Empire collapsed into anarchy, Islam rushed in to fill the vacuum in the Middle East, just as rampaging barbarian Huns and Visigoths filled the vacuum left in Europe by the collapse of the Roman Empire. Constantinople finally fell to the Islamic Ottoman Turks in 1453.

Fanaticism and the Assault on Western Democracies by PATRICK DUNLEAVY


As U.S. and coalition forces begin to draw down in Afghanistan many are being led to believe that the war against radical Islamic groups such as the Taliban and Al Qaeda is drawing to a close. However several incidents in recent months have shown us that wars are often fought on many battlefields.

The Boston Marathon Bombing demonstrated not only the jihadists’ ability to strike at a popular public event but their willingness to kill and maim innocent civilians including children. We are told that the Tsarnaev brothers’ motivation was retaliation for the prolonged wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and what they called “America’s attack on Muslims.” Right or wrong this was the opinion voiced

Officials sought to down play the significance of foreign influences on this attack by saying either the brothers were “lone wolves” or “self radicalized”. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) sees it differently. They believe it was a result of their call for jihadists to act within their own countries and that it was not necessary to travel overseas to a training camp to become a bona fide mujahid. They also took credit for providing instructions on how to construct the IEDs that were used in the terrorist attack through their organizations Inspire Magazine article “How to make a Bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom”.

Again whether this was an embellishment of the truth or not, Al Qaeda got their message out. Why? Because Wars are fought in many places other than the battlefield. Wars are also fought in the arena of public opinion. They are seeking to influence a whole new generation with their brand of Islamic fanaticism. Truth matters not to them.

A little over a month later in the Woolwich neighborhood of London a British soldier Lee Rigby, who had served in Afghanistan was brutally attacked by two men as he returned to his barracks. Immediately following the killing the two individuals, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale responsible stood in front of a video camera with Drummer Rigby’s blood on their hands and declared the murder as an act of retribution for the U.K.’s participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


http://frontpagemag.com/2013/joseph-puder/new-arab-piece-initiative-same-old-failed-plan/ Why do the Arabs deserve territory captured by Israel in wars it didn’t initiate? The new Arab Peace Initiative, which calls on Israel to withdraw to the June 4, 1967 boundaries with a possibility for minor and equally agreed upon territorial exchanges, has become the basis for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s new […]


http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/al-qaeda-in-iraq-still-threatens-america/ A week ago, Obama declared that Al Qaeda was on a path to defeat. Not only is that not true of Al Qaeda as a whole; it’s not even true of Al Qaeda in Iraq. During his multiple withdrawals from Iraq, Obama claimed that the mission had been successfully concluded and that the war […]



One night back in the summer of 1990, I traveled by train from Munich to Berlin. The Wall had come down, in the sense that the borders between East and West could now be crossed at will, even though the two Germanys had yet to become one and the actual physical Wall itself was still largely intact. (In Berlin, I would find natives and tourists alike busily chopping away at it.) When, in the dead of night, the train stopped at a dilapidated, seemingly deserted station somewhere in the East, there appeared on the platform an aging, grim-faced woman, dressed in an extremely shabby military (or military-style) uniform and holding a clipboard, who, making her way along the length of the train, meticulously copied down the numbers on the sides of the carriages, performing a task that, I suspected, she had been carrying out for years, most likely decades, as a compliant tool of the totalitarian state. Her efforts were now utterly pointless, but she had plainly not been issued new orders, and so here she was, at the dawn of a new era, still robotically going through her Soviet-era motions.

I was reminded of that woman the other day when I saw the photograph (which by now, I gather, has been pretty widely distributed) of another woman, this one calmly writing up parking tickets for the skeletal remains of cars destroyed by the jihadist arsonists in Stockholm. Although this woman, unlike that German frau all those years ago, appeared to be young and slim, and wore a well-fitting, immaculate uniform, she, too, looked every bit the relic of a dying order – a functionary confronted with a new reality, but unprepared to do anything other than mindlessly copy down numbers, just as she had been trained to do. The image seemed to me instantly iconic – succinctly capturing the utter inability of official Europe to confront, and act upon, the horrific reality right before its eyes.


Oprah Gets a Degree From Harvard


This week, Oprah Winfrey became just the latest celeb to grab an honorary degree from a prestigious university. Speaking at Harvard, Oprah lectured the graduates about immigration and gun control. She stated, “In our political system and the media, we often see the reflection of a country that is polarized, that is paralyzed, that is self-interested. And yet I know you know the truth. We all know that we are better than the cynicism and the pessimism that is regurgitating throughout Washington and the 24 hour cable news cycle.”

There’s a reason this rhetoric sounds familiar. It’s straight from Barack Obama’s playbook. But that’s what’s so astonishing about today’s politics: if you took the quote out of context, you wouldn’t know whether it came from the Queen of Daytime Television or the President of the United States.

And Oprah’s politics are the same as Obama’s, too. “The vast majority of people in this country believe in stronger background checks,” she said, “because they realize that we can uphold the Second Amendment and also reduce that violence that is robbing us of our children.” She then went on to immigration, where again President Obama’s teleprompter clearly spoke through her: “it’s possible to both enforce our laws and, at the same time, embrace the words on the Statue of Liberty that have welcomed generations of huddled masses to our shores.”

Finally, she ended with welfare. “People from both parties and no party,” she said, “believe that indigent mothers and families should have access to healthy food and a roof over the heads and a strong public education. Because here in the richest nation on earth, we can afford a basic level of security and opportunity.”

Why does Oprah sound so similar to President Obama? And is she cribbing from him, or vice versa?

In all likelihood, Obama’s America got its start in Oprah’s audience. Oprah described her mission on television this way to the Harvard audience: to show Americans “that what unites us is ultimately far more redeeming and compelling than anything that separates [us].” That’s just the sort of bromidic nonsense that President Obama speaks, before pretending that a false consensus for liberalism exists. This phraseology means nothing. What unites Americans and al-Qaeda terrorists — our biology as homo sapiens — is larger than what divides us. But that doesn’t mean that there are philosophical battles worth fighting and values worth defending.

But Oprah’s entire mission in life is to enfeeble those values. Her entire show was geared for years toward driving sympathy for poor decision making. Emotion was the name of the game. A typical hour of Oprah often included a weepy sob story from someone – either deserving or undeserving – followed by a giveaway to her audience.


http://frontpagemag.com/2013/david-solway/the-immoderate-moderation-of-the-moderates/ In an article I posted on FrontPage Magazine, in which I was at pains to suggest that from the standpoint of the ongoing war of Islam against the West—anyone who doubts this has not been paying attention—the distinction between Islam and Islamism is functionally moot, if not chimerical. I was by no means implying […]


http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/ On a mild London afternoon, two Muslims rammed a car into a British soldier returning to the barracks after working at the Tower of London. They shouted Allah Akbar and hacked and slashed at his body in an attempt to behead him. By the time they were done, his body could only be identified […]


Wall Street Journal columnist launches vitriolic attack on New York City bike share program


Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz attacked the green Citi Bike program in an online video
Rabinowitz criticized Major Bloomberg for his support of the program calling him a ‘totalitarian’ and ‘autocratic’ leader
She also blasted cyclists for their alleged disregard of traffic laws

By Laurie Kamens

A Wall Street Journal columnist made an impassioned attack against New York city’s new bike share program, known as Citi Bike.

In an online video segment entitled ‘Death by Bicycle,’ editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz criticized Mayor Bloomberg for allowing the ‘dreadful program’ to come to New York.

Rabinowitz also attacked cyclists who she said were given carte blanche to ignore the rules of the road in the interest of environmentalist programs.

When asked by the host of Wall Street Journal Live why she thought the local government would want to implement a program like this, Rabinowitz came out swinging replying, ‘Do not ask me to enter the minds of the totalitarians running this government of the city.’

She went on to attack Bloomberg for his support of the program and bemoan the damage she felt it had done to the city.
‘Envision what happens when you get a government that is run by an autocratic major before which you are helpless,’ she said. ‘We now look at a city who’s best neighborhoods are absolutely begrimed by these blazing blue Citibank bikes.’