World War I Continues to Haunt Us By Jonah Goldberg

Though it may seem anciently irrelevant, the war’s consequences remain very much alive.
World War I started one century ago. Wait! Don’t stop reading.

For most Americans, the war is like algebra or frog anatomy — something you have to study briefly in school but then never have to think about again. Unlike World War II, with its unambiguous villains, epic battles and clear victory, World War I is a hot mess. Countries and forgotten empires declared war on each other in no small part because a bunch of aristocrats in funny clothes said they had to.

Everything about World War I — from the seemingly ridiculous fighting techniques (who hasn’t watched a movie with trench warfare and thought, “Man, that’s a dumb way to die”?) to the clothes and music — seems anciently irrelevant.

But the truth is that almost no modern event can hold a candle to it. George Kennan observed that when studying the maladies of the 20th century, “all the lines of inquiry lead back to World War I.” A century from now, people might say the same thing of the past two centuries.

Let’s start with the obvious. The staggering loss of military lives: 650,000 Italians, 325,000 Turks, nearly a million from the British empire, over a million from Austro-Hungarian lands, 1.4 million from France, 1.7 million Russians, 1.8 million Germans and 116,516 Americans — not to mention 8.9 million civilian casualties worldwide. None of that counts the 50 million fatalities resulting from the influenza pandemic largely unleashed by the war.

Without World War I, you don’t get the second — a poignant irony given that the former was sold as the “war to end all wars.” The terms imposed on Germany, described as a “Carthaginian peace” by John Maynard Keynes, made another war virtually inevitable. Much as Adolf Hitler found his life’s mission while fighting in World War I. Benito Mussolini’s Fascism was a direct adaptation of what he called “the socialism of the trenches.”


A group of eminent leaders tries to build ties.
When in late 2009 MahmoudAhmadinejad, president of Iran at the time, made an unprecedented visit to Brazil at the invitation of Brazilian president LuizInácio “Lula” da Silva, Israel took note. Not six months later, traveling through Israel, Lula declined to visit the tomb of Theodor Herzl, the philosophical father of Zionism, whose tomb is an official stop for visiting heads of state. He made sure, though, to lay a wreath at the grave of Yasser Arafat.

Lula’s pronounced distaste for the Jewish state only made explicit the anti-Israel sentiment that has been simmering for decades in Latin America — a reality that, many have observed, is detrimental to Israel and Latin America both. With the United States and Europe facing the consequences of years of flawed economic policy, Israel is looking elsewhere for new economic partners, particularly for its noted high-tech industry, and burgeoning Central and South American markets present attractive opportunities. But there is an impediment to a mutually beneficial partnership, and it is not economic but political.

Since the beginning of the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, five Latin American nations — Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Peru — have withdrawn their ambassadors from Israel, officially severing diplomatic ties. Venezuela and Bolivia cut ties in 2009, and Nicaragua in 2010, but in late July Bolivia expanded its censure, ending a visa-exemption agreement with Israel that has been in effect since 1972. President Evo Morales declared Israel a “terrorist state.” A lawmaker from Venezuela’s ruling party called Israel’s latest operation “genocide.”

A strong anti-Israel reaction from the region is not overly surprising. The largest Palestinian diaspora outside the Arab world is in Latin America; 280,000 persons of Palestinian descent reside in Honduras, 350,000 in Chile, and tens of thousands more are scattered throughout the continent. The overwhelming majority of Palestinians in Latin America are Christian, but they sympathize with the cause of Palestinian nationalism, if not with the Islamist groups, such as Hamas, that tout it.

Latin America has also long been a bastion of political leftism; from Che Guevara and the Castros to the evangelists of liberation theology, political schemers have found inspiration in Marx and his utopian dreams. Cuba, the zenith (or perhaps nadir) of Latin American Communism, cut diplomatic ties with Israel in 1973, on the occasion of the Yom Kippur War. In the 1970s anti-American sentiment, common in Latin America, also extended to Israel, perceived by many to be merely an appendage of the U.S.


Major existential problems mean the organization may soon unravel.
Istanbul — April marked the 65th birthday of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, formed at the height of the Cold War to stop the huge post-war Red Army from overrunning Western Europe.

NATO in 1949 had only twelve members, comprising Western Europe, Canada, and the United States. Its original mission was simple. According to the alliance’s first secretary general, Lord Hastings Ismay, NATO was formed “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

Western Europeans were terrified of the Soviet Union, which had just gobbled up all of Eastern Europe. They feared that the American army would go home after World War II, just as it had after World War I, consistent with its isolationist past. And the war-torn democracies were scared that Germany might quickly rebound to prompt yet another European war for the fourth time in less than a century.

Sixty-five years later, the Cold War has been won and has now been over for a quarter-century. Germany is quite up. The Russians are not so out. America seems not to want to be in anywhere.

Those paradoxes prompt some questions. Is NATO even needed in the 21st century? Can it survive its new agendas and missions?

Article 5 of the NATO charter calls for all members of the organization to come to the aid of a fellow member if it is attacked. Article 4 is a watered-down version that obligates NATO members to consult on mutual defense when asked by a threatened member.

Dr. Mark Durie on “Islam vs. Human Conscience” — on The Glazov Gang

This special two-part Glazov Gang series was joined by Dr. Mark Durie, a theologian, human rights activist, pastor of an Anglican church, and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum, joined the show.

Dr. Durie joined the show to discuss “Islam vs. Human Conscience,” analyzing how Islam wages war on humans moral judgment and intuition. The focus on this phenomenon occurs in Part I below (starting at 5:30 mark). The dialogue transpired within the context of Boko Haram’s kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria and the Islamic roots of that barbaric act. Dr. Durie shed light on the Islamic theology that inspires and sanctions Muslims to enslave and rape kafir women.

In Part II below, Dr. Durie discusses,“Female Genital Mutilation and Islam-Denial,” analyzing how the world blinds itself to the Islamic theological foundation of a vicious Islamic crime [starts at 11:00 mark]. Our guest focuses on this issue within the context of “Our ‘Tend and Befriend’ Response to Jihad,“ — the phenomenon of how Islamic terror has traumatized the West into psychological slavery.

Don’t miss this special 2-part series!


Europe likes to think of itself as enlightened but Operation Protective Edge and Israel’s counter-offensive against Hamas terrorism has highlighted the extent to which Jew hatred is still ingrained on the continent. To be fair, much of the anti-Semitism we are witnessing there manifests itself among the Muslims who have made Europe their home. But in all honesty, European authorities have allowed the malignancy to fester and metastasize to the point where it is now uncontrollable and threatens other non-Muslim communities. Naturally, Jews, because of their small size are the focus for now but once the Muslim community reaches sufficient numbers, Sikhs, Hindus and yes, even Christians will be next. One need look no further than Gaza, Egypt, Iraq and Syria to witness first-hand the fate of Christians who live in majority Muslim states.

Of course, the irony is difficult to ignore. The Muslims who are currently demonstrating and displaying their blood-curdling hate and vitriol in a free environment would likely be mowed down en masse had they ever dared to protest in the fundamentalist and fascist countries they profess to support. Moreover, many of these Muslim provocateurs despise the very democratic institutions that sustain them. But Judeophobia and xenophobia have no rational basis precisely because they are ideologies rooted in a convoluted mixture of hate, jealousy and ignorance. Detesting the “enlightened” country that provides you with all sorts of entitlements and supporting despotic regimes who would deny freedom to all is consistent with the doctrine of anti-Semitism.

Then of course, there is the so-called intelligentsia and those among the cultural elite, the actors and actresses who feel compelled to weigh in on the Gaza issue and the broader Arab-Israeli conflict despite their extreme ignorance on the matter. Selina Gomez, a product of the Disney machine whose good sense of judgment compelled her to tattoo some Arabic gibberish on her back, posted on Instagram the message, “It’s About Humanity. Pray for Gaza.’’

Of course Gomez likely has no clue where Gaza is and as Joan Rivers sardonically pointed out, probably doesn’t even know how to spell “Palestinian.” Gomez quickly realized the minefield she walked into and backtracked some with a subsequent post stating, “I am not picking any sides. I am praying for peace and humanity for all.’’

Sure Selena, don’t pick sides after all, a genocidal organization like Hamas whose charter calls for the murder of every Jew on the planet is morally equal to the Mideast’s only liberal democracy. A democracy that has dispatched its specialized rescue and medical teams to Haiti, Japan, Turkey and countless other places to provide humanitarian assistance while Hamas was busy digging tunnels for ghoulish purposes with cement earmarked for building schools.

The Forgotten Child Victims of Hamas and ISIS By Daniel Greenfield

While furious mobs of leftists draped in Keffiyahs and corn syrup were shrieking about Gaza in the public squares of every major city, ISIS was continuing its genocidal advance on Baghdad. In the last 24 hours, the Yazidis, a non-Muslim minority, fled ISIS to a mountaintop where their children are dying of thirst.

The stark reality of their plight, caught between thirst and a genocidal army, is in sharp contrast to the phony claims made about Gaza where truckloads of goods continue passing from Israel during wartime, where the malls have iPhones and the five star hotels offer cakes so tall they can only be cut from a crane.

The dead Yazidi children won’t inspire any protests or much in the way of outrage. The hysterical rallies for Gaza won’t suddenly turn into anti-ISIS rallies. If any of the angry white hipsters with dead baby posters are asked about it, they will offer some variation on, “It’s Bush’s fault” or “It’s Tony Blair’s fault.”

And they had been out there in the early part of the century denouncing any move to remove Saddam Hussein from power. The dead children gassed by Saddam, along with the children in his prisons, were unfortunately created less equal than the photogenic, oddly blonde children of Gaza’s Hamaswood.

Anna, a two-year-old girl whose feet were crushed by Saddam’s torturers, never mattered to them. It isn’t the children that they care about, not the dying Yazidi children in Iraq, the tortured children in Saddam Hussein’s prisons, or even the dead children of Gaza, used as human shields by Hamas in life and then brandished at rallies after their deaths as cardboard propaganda shields by furious Marxists.

When they thought that Israel had bombed a playground near the al-Shati refugee camp killing nine children, they went into murderous paroxysm of outrage. When it turned out that a misfired Hamas rocket was responsible, they fell silent.

They have equally little interest in the 3-year-old Gazan girl killed by a Hamas rocket in the early days of the war.


The Islamic State organization is continuing to make gains on both the Syrian and Iraqi fronts. The advance and consolidation of the jihadi entity which today stretches from Mosul in Iraq to the outskirts of Aleppo city in Syria is a development of profound importance for the future of the Middle East.

Global media attention has been focused elsewhere in recent weeks, of course. The Gaza war — which has changed precisely nothing — has been hitting the headlines. The real Middle East action, however, is taking place far from Gaza. The Islamic State is on the march.

After its capture of the city of Mosul from the Iraqi government’s forces, IS began to integrate the weapons systems it had captured back into the Syrian battlefield.

An early attempt to destroy the Kurdish Kobani enclave stalled. But the organization enjoyed better fortune against the regime, as it sought to expel Assad’s forces from its positions in the Euphrates valley.

The base of the Syrian Arab Army’s Division 17 fell. IS celebrated in the fashion for which it has become known by massacring 200 members of the garrison who failed to escape in time. A number of their severed heads later appeared on spikes in the city of Raqqa, capital of the Syrian part of the IS domain.

Since then, IS has turned its attentions back to Iraq. In recent days it has captured the towns of Zumar and Sinjar from the Peshmerga forces of the Iraqi Kurds. Around 200,000 people fled after the taking of Sinjar. Most were members of the Yezidi minority, an ancient non-Muslim group whom IS have designated “devil worshippers.”

The capture of Sinjar brings IS to within 10 kilometers of the Mosul hydro-electric dam, the largest in Iraq.

The prospect of IS control of Iraq’s major dams is a chilling one. The Mosul dam holds back tons of Tigris River water which, if allowed to flow downstream, would cause mass flooding in Baghdad (though IS would need to think carefully before doing this, since populated areas under its control are also situated downstream). The coming days will see if the dam falls to the jihadis.

Carter and Robinson: The Hamas Jihad’s Useful Idiots By Andrew C. McCarthy

Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson have jointly penned a characteristically appalling op-ed in Foreign Policy magazine assigning primary blame to Israel for the war in the Middle East. The key to ending the violence, they contend, is for the United States and the European Union to recognize the Hamas terrorist organization as a legitimate “political force.”

According to the authors, the latest outbreak of fighting was triggered neither by Hamas’s murder of three Israeli teenagers nor its firing of thousands of missiles into Israel. Rather, they proceed from the premise that Israel is the culprit, for what Carter and Robinson deceitfully describe as:

[Its] deliberate obstruction of a promising move toward peace in the region, when a reconciliation agreement among the Palestinian factions was announced in April. This was a major concession by Hamas, in opening Gaza to joint control under a technocratic government that did not include any Hamas members. The new government also pledged to adopt the three basic principles demanded by the Middle East Quartet comprised of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia: nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and adherence to past agreements. Tragically, Israel rejected this opportunity for peace and has succeeded in preventing the new government’s deployment in Gaza.

This surely reflects Obama administration thinking, as well. Obama’s presidency has aptly been called the second (and now third) Carter term — a downward spiral from the shambles made of American foreign policy in the late seventies. Mrs. Robinson is the former president of Ireland and UN high commissioner for human rights, whose pro-terrorist sympathies and anti-Israel animus were ably chronicled several years back by Michael Rubin. (See “Mary Robinson, War Criminal?”) In 2001, she led the notorious Durban conference (the “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Zenophobia and Related Intolerance”) that was so rabidly anti-Semitic the American delegation stormed out. Yet, eight years later under a new, hard-Left administration, there stood Robinson in the White House being honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Of course, anyone who grasps the details of the “unity government” and Hamas’s strategy in agreeing to it quickly realizes it is the antithesis of “a promising move toward peace.” In fact, Hamas is simply applying the Hezbollah model to the Palestinian territories. In Lebanon, the Hezbollah terrorist organization — Iran’s forward jihadist militia and oft-time Hamas mentor — agreed to participate in a unity government while maintaining the independence of its jihadist military and intelligence apparatus. That is exactly what Hamas has done.

The Tunnels of Hamas—and of Ancient Jews A Shared Tradition of Digging to Avoid Detection. But the Similarity Ends There: Benny Morris

Benny Morris has much to atone for. He was one of the first Israeli “historians” who slandered Israel, in his book “1948: History of the First Arab-Israeli War” thus, opening the floodgates for antagonists who were inhibited by fear of being called anti-Semitic. However, of late, he has had a sea change in attitudes. A very good column by him “The 1948 War Was an Islamic Holy War” is very informative.
I often walk my dog along the dusty paths of Khirbet Madras in the Judean foothills, just south of Beit Shemesh in central Israel. Occasionally, after the rains, an ancient coin—Hasmonean, Roman, Byzantine—will surface, testifying that here stood a small Jewish and then Byzantine town. Archeologists have uncovered the remains of a synagogue and a church. At the center of the ruins are entrances to an underground cave complex, which the Jews had hewn out of the rock 2,000 years ago.

Archaeologists say there are some 450 such cave systems in Israel/Palestine, 350 of them in the Judean hill country, especially in the foothills, at 1,000 to 1,600 feet above sea level, where the rock is soft and easily excavated. During the two Jewish revolts against Rome, in 66-73 and 132-135 A.D., which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem and in much of the population’s exile, the Jews used these cave systems to hide from the ravaging Roman legions and, guerrilla style, to attack them from behind.


Anti-Israel posturing is for many people the cheapest route to the appearance of virtue. So it is with British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the Tory peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi. Both have in recent days called for the suspension of U.K. arms-export licenses to the Jewish state. The Baroness took the further step on Tuesday of resigning her post as a Foreign Office Minister over David Cameron’s “morally indefensible policy” on Gaza, as she put it in a letter to the Prime Minister.

The usual media suspects frame this minor rebellion as a heavy blow against Mr. Cameron: As the Liberal Democrat leader, Mr. Clegg is the junior partner in the coalition government; Baroness Warsi, meanwhile, is said to represent a groundswell of Tory discontent over Britain’s mildly pro-Israel policy.

All that may be, but Mr. Clegg’s and the Baroness’s gesture politics also expose their own inconsistent moral outrage.

London has over the years granted thousands of licenses to sell arms to authoritarian regimes. That’s according to a multi-committee Parliamentary report issued last month. With respect to Russia, the committees found that licenses worth £132 million were still in place even after the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea. They cover “body armour, components for assault rifles, components for body armour, components for small arms ammunition, components for sniper rifles, equipment employing cryptography . . . and weapon sights,” among other items.

The coalition government also approved two licenses for dual-use chemicals sold to Syria in January 2012—nearly a full year after Bashar Assad had commenced an industrial-scale slaughter of his people.