The Majority of Palestinian Casualties are not Civilians. Here’s How You Can Tell.

This is where the blogosphere really comes into its own. Since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, NGOs have been calling it a “war on children” (the words of Osama Dayo, of Save the Children). The UN has claimed up to three-quarters of the casualties have been civilians. Nobody in the mainstream media questions these numbers. That’s because you can’t question the motives of a self-described human rights organisation, an established charity, or a UN agency.

My take on these claims is more sceptical. Firstly, experience tells me that ethnic and ideological hostilities often hide behind the more acceptable language of ‘human rights’ activism. Secondly, do you know the kind of people who work for the UN and NGOs?

But there is one method anybody can use to get a fairly accurate picture of the make-up of combat casualties. Some people have used it to assess the Second Intifada and more recent hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians. It devastates the claims of Hamas, the UN, Amnesty International, and other unsavoury types. And so far, none have been able to refute it.

Statistics

Basically, if Israel was largely killing civilians in Gaza through indiscriminate bombing, one would expect the casualties to be a fair reflection of the Gazan population. Around 50% would be male, and 50% female. Around 40% would have to be under the age of 14. But this is not the case, in the current war or the last.

A fellow by the name of Don Radlauer ingeniously laid out all Palestinian casualties from the Second Intifada on the basis of age and gender as part of a wider study. He found that 95% of the Palestinian casualties were male, while the gender ratio for Israelis killed was around 60:40. Not only that, but 80% of those male Palestinians were in their late teens and early twenties. We can assume that proportionately fewer civilians were killed on their side as opposed to Israel’s. It’s all here. Here are just two interesting graphs:
pal fatalities by gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pal fatalities by age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More recently, for Operation Protective Edge, an amateur pro-Israel blogger took the Palestinian casualties from a list provided by Al Jazeera. He broke them down by age and gender. Now we can see once again that there are far too many young males for the deaths to be majority civilian.  80% of the Gazans killed so far have been male, with almost half of these males being in the 18-28 age group.  20% of these males are between 29 and 48.

cas by gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If anybody of the anti-Israel persuasion can make a case against these figures and my conclusions, I’d like to hear it. I have sent the Protective Edge statistics to several colleagues of the extreme left and to a few angry Muslims on online forums. I have been doing the same with the Radlauer study for years. Nobody has come up with anything convincing yet.

Human Rights Organizations and that Joe Loughnane Incident

Two recent reports from Amnesty International on the ordeals of Palestinian communities in the Middle East could not be more different.

Trigger-happy‘ is supposed to demonstrate excessive forced used by the IDF in response to Palestinian demonstrations and rioting in the West Bank. Amnesty claims 22 civilians have been killed over a period of 12 months. The casualties are mostly young men, in or around areas of hostility at the time. The report is 87 pages long and contains 14 individual photographs and 18 in-depth biographies of the victims, some up to three pages long and with interviews of family members. There is also an accompanying video of four minutes length.

Squeezing the life out of Yarmouk‘, on the other hand, is Amnesty’s attempt at covering the siege of a settlement mostly populated by the descendants of Palestinian refugees in Syria. The death toll here has been close to 200 civilians in 8 months. They are a mixture of men and women, young and old, pointing to killings of an indiscriminate nature. The deaths have been primarily by starvation, sniper-fire, and bombings.  Yet this report is a mere 39 pages long. It contains no photographs of the victims. Nor is there any real information on individual casualties. It is as dry as a Wikipedia summary, reading like something Amnesty only had to do because they were obliged. ‘Trigger-happy’, on the other hand, is an emotive call to action, somebody at Amnesty’s personal crusade. ‘Trigger-happy’ was displayed prominently on the front page of their website for two weeks. The other was there for a day.

The information in the reports may or may not be true. I am more interested in the discrepancy of focus and language [H/T to Yisrael Medad for pointing this out to me]. One would have a very distorted picture of the global human rights situation from reading Amnesty reports. The reasons for the discrepancy are worth a discussion.

I identify three phenomena at the root.

Firstly, many of us sceptical about  the actions of NGO’s are familiar with Moynihan’s Law, which says that the greater the number of complaints being aired against a country, the better protected are human rights in that country. As a more open society, journalists, academics and other unsavoury types are free to roam and report in Israel. They are not in Syria. The philosopher Roger Scruton strongly hinted in his book on Lebanon, A Land Held Hostage, that Robert Fisk’s disturbingly soft treatment of Hafez Al-Assad during the civil war there helped ensure his access to the region, even though Fisk, the old fraud, was often out of the country for many of the events he claimed to witness.

Secondly, it may be that the relative tranquillity of Israel and Palestine does more to attract aid workers and journalists. One of my favourite quotes of all time was given by a young lady called Emily Williams, an American manager of a medical NGO in the Palestinian territories:

“Palestine is the best-kept secret in the aid industry… People need field experience and Palestine sounds cool and dangerous because it can be described as a war zone, but in reality it’s quite safe and has all the comforts that internationals want. Quality of life here is so much higher than somewhere like Afghanistan, but we don’t tell anyone so that we are not replaced or reassigned.”

My understanding is that most correspondents would rather pen dramatic write-ups on clashes  between the IDF and its enemies from the comfort of the American Colony Hotel in eastern Jerusalem than endure the miserable, macchiato -free conditions of Yemen.

Finally, some time ago in National Review, John O’ Sullivan identified another law: any organization that is not explicitly right-wing will over time become left-wing. What is true of the Episcopalian Church is equally true for Amnesty, or Oxfam, or Human Rights Watch. It’s just the type of people organisations that shun profit-making attract.

And on that point I want to talk about Joe Loughnane and the jackasses at NUI Galway.

Here is Joe, in all his eloquence:

Notice Joe says he’s been on the Galway campus for ten years. That’s the product of an extensive education in human rights law, apparently. According to this piece, he’s worked for several months at an unnamed human rights organisation in London. His antics, which include very direct threats against students and guests at his university, are well known and should preclude him from employment in any respectable establishment. Yet I am not so confident that he’ll be shunned by any organisation dedicated to human rights today. It was this blog two years ago that pointed out that Amnesty Ireland’s Communications Co-ordinator  at Amnesty International in Ireland, Justin Moran, is a Sinn Fein activist. I’ve made similar allegations of extremist penetration into religious groups like Trocaire and EAPPI.

The hi-jacking of the language of “human rights” and many hitherto respectable organisations dedicated to that cause by people like Joe Loughnane and his Palestine Solidarity Campaign bullies is one of the most significant developments of our time. After all, how could a man proudly displaying the banner below actually believe in any honest notion of human rights? And how can a human rights organisation in good conscience hire him?

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Sean Gallagher and political agendas in RTÉ

I note than Sean Gallagher’s case against RTÉ may be heard in the High Court this year.

Good.

What the media overlooks is often more interesting than what it reports. The drama of the Halawa family was a missed opportunity to ask hard questions about a group of Irish Muslim activists in Egypt. Once upon a time, people who asked questions about Communist subversion of the American government were called paranoid “red-baiters”. Then came the Mitrokhin Archive and the declassification of the Venona Project in the 1990s, and we know those red-baiters were right. Senator McCarthy was widely laughed at in the 1950s for calling Harry Dexter White, one of the architects of Bretton Woods, a Soviet agent. In 2013, Foreign Affairs could run lengthy articles asking why Harry Dexter White spied for the Soviets. We can do the same for Alger Hiss, John Stewart Service, Owen Lattimore, and perhaps hundreds more of their contemporaries.

In the spirit of making sure justice is done today rather than by historians decades from now, the painful possibility of subversion of some kind needs to be confronted. Of particular assistance here may be be an assistant producer of Frontline, Aoife Kelleher, daughter of the Labour Party politician Tom Kelleher. It seems a lot of players here revolve around her.

So, even though Passover is still a few months away, I have Four Questions for Ireland’s national broadcaster about the infamous night of October 24th, the final Presidential debate:

1. Why was Michael D. Higgins was not asked a direct question by a member of the audience? This seems inexplicable, given that along with Gallagher he was the main contender.

2. Why was Glenna Lynch, a businesswoman and left-leaning activist, permitted to ask not one, but two questions to Sean Gallagher? Lynch is a follower of, and is followed by, the assistant producer Aoife Kelleher on Twitter (whose account is now private). Aoife has a history of sending supportive tweets about Lynch when she makes radio and TV appearances.

3. Why was Austin Stack not accepted on the show? The son of prison officer Brian Stack, who was murdered by the IRA in 1983, he made a request to Frontline in order to ask a question to Martin McGuinness. He was declined, and two others got to ask questions to McGuinness instead. One was an unremarkable Fianna Fail girl, and the other was Kevin Conroy. Conroy said he personally disliked Sean Gallagher and was contacted “out of the blue” by Aoife Kelleher to ask questions at the debate. Conroy opened his question to McGuinness with a statement condemning Sean Gallagher.

4. How could 26 minutes lapse between the reading of the infamous hoax tweet and the end of the program without a correction being issued?

I believe the real answers to these questions will show there really was a conspiracy that night. It was all rigged against Gallagher and in favour of Higgins. One can even make the case for Norris being hard done by. A young man by the name of Fitzpatrick was allowed to ask Norris a question. It was really more of a statement claiming he was irresponsible to re-enter the race. This man failed to identify himself as a Higgins supporter, and indeed his question would have bolstered the case for voting Higgins for those of the left-wing persuasion. He also appears to have at least some acquaintance with Aoife Kelleher.

In media circles, there was clear preference for the left-liberal, openly homosexual candidate that was David Norris. After his campaign was wrecked beyond redemption in late July ans early August of that year, with the help of yours truly, Norris was too much of a lost cause. Yet we still have what many people in RTÉ probably wanted: a President with far more loyalty to the teachings of Marx, Shaw, and the Webbs that he does to the Irish Constitution.

Once this fact is established, the Irish people will have to make an informed choice about the future of RTÉ. We can stay the course. We can reform. Or we can do what Kennedy wanted to do to the CIA after the Bay of Pigs: splinter it into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.

You can guess my preference.

Religious perspectives on money-lending

So, I had an encounter with a rather unreasonable libertarian atheist who insisted the Church held back economic development for centuries by outlawing usury, which he said to be a clear indicator of an anti-capitalist worldview. This position is simplistic, contains error in basic facts, and a possible example of anachrony in narrating historical events.

While there existed since Gratian a broad principle that the lending of money for profit is sinful, often overlooked is the fact that canon lawyers used the word “interest” to mean a lawful charge for the loan of money. Generally this was seen as a fair charge to cover factors like risk and opportunity cost. “Usury” then and today has connotations of an unreasonable charge on borrowing money. In the Church, the law on this was often unclear and for a long time not systematized. Many inveighed against charging interest on personal loans, but not commercial ones. Some condemned both.

The Medieval Church proclaimed blanket prohibitions on usury in the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries. However, this must be seen in light of the economic structure of the time. Borrowing prior to the twelfth century was almost entirely for consumption rather than production or investment. In an agrarian society, tillers of the soil tend to simply borrow to get through hungry periods before the harvest.

With the rapid development of commerce in the 11th and 12th centuries, however, the Church began to properly systematize the law on usury and declared many for-profit financing operations and credit devices as non-usurious. The Church and the Papacy were themselves borrowers and lenders of large sums of money at interest, and Church institutions themselves pioneered strategies for investing the large sums of money they had lying idle in deposit.

Today, governments are borrowing large amounts of money to cover day-to-day operations, like the welfare bill, that they cannot pay off with direct tax collections in the course of a fiscal year. That cannot be justified like borrowing for large, expensive infrastructure projects with long-term benefits. So we might want to consider the nuances of the Medieval Church’s position on borrowing and debt.

The Jewish perspective on this is very similar with some interesting differences. Rabbi Baruch Epstein of Belarus, writing in the early 20th century, says that with economic development in the latter Middle Ages, offering a loan to a neighbour was no longer only to offer him some of your surplus to get him through bad days. It was now handing over capital and ultimately the main tool by which one earns a livelihood. This can be classed as an investment, which enjoys greater esteem in Jewish law than the acceptable interest-free loans and the totally forbidden act of usury.

However, Jewish law, unlike the Church and other systems, never drew a distinction between taking interest and usury. Thus there is the legal category called iksa, where the lender becomes a silent partner in the business so it is not considered a loan at all but an investment.

As is said in the Talmud:

He who lends money is greater than he who performs charity; and he who forms a partnership is greater than all (Talmud Shabbat 63a).

I used to disparage the iksa system as a legal fiction to justify usury but lately I see a beautiful consistency in it.

Good sources on this are Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition by Harold Berman, and Judaism, Law, and the Free Market by Joseph Isaac Lifshitz.

Dissenting on the Mandela Myth

What are people celebrating about the ‘New South Africa’ Mandela and the ANC have wrought, exactly?

That one in five whites left the country due to crime and the state of the economy? Half a million Europeans immigrated to South Africa in the 50s and 60s.

That about 10% of Boer farmers have been murdered, while 90% of land seized so far by the state the government admits is unproductive?

Unemployment is twice as high in South Africa as it was at the end of apartheid. Black life expectancy has actually fallen. The Johannesberg Stock Exchange, once the tenth largest in the world, has actually left the Central Business District for the safer suburb of Sandtown. The country’s main synagogue once sat proudly in the centre of Johannesberg. Now its in a gated suburb for safety.

White South Africa had its problems, but widespread misconceptions about it, spread with the help of communist regimes and left-wing activists, led to a takeover by the brutal ANC who are running the country into the ground and making life worse for blacks and whites.

While it was not an ideal situation for blacks back in the day, things were getting better gradually, and the National Party’s relatively conservative economic policies led to increased economic growth and standards of living for everybody. For instance, blacks in apartheid South Africa owned more private cars than the entire population of the USSR at the time.

The black school population grew by 250 percent in the first twenty-five years of apartheid. The black share of total personal income nearly doubled in twenty years, from twenty percent in the mid-1970s to thirty seven percent in 1995, while that of whites declined from seventy one to forty nine percent.

It also saved South Africa from the communist menace. If the ANC had come to power in the 1960s, Zimbabwe today would look enviable from the other side.

The gains were wrecked as a result of the revolutionary democratic-utopian fervour. Evolution, not revolution, was the way to black empowerment. The vote doesn’t mean much if you have no job and can’t get about your business safely.

Today, interest groups in South Africa are fighting viciously and desperately for a bigger slice of a constantly shrinking pie. This is what leads to tragic events such as the killings at the Lonmin mine strike.

The ANC has done in South Africa what Mrs. Thatcher said the socialists are always happy to do: make the poor even poorer, provided the rich get less rich.

If conservatives and libertarians are too afraid to address these things head on, we will always lose.

Mass Immigration and its Discontents

Is there an economic case against open borders, and not just a cultural one? Certainly, warnings about labor shortages from open-borders advocates like Paul Ryan strike me as rather hollow at a time of increasingly advanced automation and robotics. The collision course that is the welfare state and affirmative action on one hand, and mass immigration on the other, has been explored quite extensively.

But there is plenty of room for reservation about open borders if you just believe in something called supply and demand.

That’s what the always interesting Ron Unz argued recently in a debate against libertarian economist and pundit Brian Caplan. I was surprised to hear a few days ago that an Intelligence Squared audience, predictably very much in favor of mass immigration according to polls taken at the beginning of the debate, subsequently swung massively to Unz’s restrictionist side.

Now, my view is that the wants and needs of western countries, even with their aging populations, are vastly outnumbered by the wants and needs of the pools of potential migrants in poor countries. Eight out of the ten most fertile countries in the world are in the dysfunctional region that is sub-Saharan Africa. Conceivably, we may need some of their labor, even if the unemployment rate in Spain and Greece remains in the mid to high twenties. But the fact that 44% of Somalians are under the age of 15, for instance, should be giving us pause for thought before we even consider throwing the borders open. The supply and demand situation here is incredibly skewed. Greece, certainly an economic basket-case at present, still looks tempting enough from the perspective of a young person from Eritrea, where per capita GDP stands at $600.  My money would be on major economic and social upheaval if unfettered movement of people were actually adopted as it stands.

Back to Ron Unz, who calmly advanced a common-sense argument against a typically smarmy Brian Caplan. Unz simply states that allowing an unlimited number of additional workers from everywhere in the world to come to America, as Caplan advocates, would massively increase the supply of labor. This would tremendously disadvantage labor, to the tremendous advantage of capital. Ordinary workers would not benefit at all. True, there would be a huge increase in economic production, productivity, and GNP on paper. All of it, however, would be captured by capital. America’s minimum wage would quickly become the maximum wage.

This would exacerbate the bifurcation of American that has taken place over the past 40 years. While technology has increased living standards, real earnings for most have been stagnant during this time. Yet the wealthy have gotten much wealthier. The top 1 percent of American society has reached the point where it has as much wealth as the bottom 95 percent. Mass immigration and mismanagement of the currency have been the main culprits here. Female entry to the workforce has payed its part, though the wage sectors that have experienced the sharpest declines are not the ones that have seen massive influxes of women.

A recent cover piece at The Spectator described the American and British middle classes as “shrinking and sinking”. This may constitute the single most disturbing social trend of our age, and a true tragedy for the adults of tomorrow, who will not be able to enjoy the trappings of life their parents and grandparents did. Not to mention it is potentially destabilizing politically.

If libertarians like Caplan and mainstream conservatives (or more accurately, perhaps, Wall Street conservatives) are not helping to stop and reverse this trend, they are on the wrong side of history. Recent talk of a ‘libertarian populism‘ or ‘labor Republicanism‘ may indicate a growing awareness that conservatives and libertarians must speak the language of exurban Ohio rather than midtown Manhattan.

The policies of previous decades, focusing on tax cuts and privatization, will no longer cut it. We now have huge numbers of working poor and people earning under £1500 a month in Britain. They may pay no direct tax apart  from an £85 National Insurance contribution. They gain significantly more from government services than what they pay in. They have no incentive to vote for the Mitt Romneys of this world.

So we are going to have to find ways to genuinely improve the average man’s standard of living, economic mobility, and purchasing power. My first step would be an end to all immigration unless of a highly skilled, specific variety. Its not the only step that could be taken, but I am willing to say it is the most important one.

I have said to a colleague on Facebook that open-borders libertarians, and the editorial writers at outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the FT, are because of their adherence to this idea now as dangerous to the middle class and prosperity as any Bolshevik. I stand by it.

Henry Reilly: 9/11 “Truther” in UKIP

I see UKIP have released their final list of candidates for the European elections in 2014.

I have long worried about UKIP lacking professionalism in their selection of local candidates, but the problem is evidently much bigger.

UKIP’s candidate for Northern Ireland, Henry Reilly, is party chairman there. He is also a 9/11 truther, which he oddly combines with a little philo-Semitism. Reilly has been open about this on Facebook, before deleting any potentially embarrassing comments. Luckily, some of us  like to get screenshots.

a.reilly1

a.reilly2

a.reilly3

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And my personal favorite. Never go full truther:

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The Halawa incident, and the Muslim Brotherhood plays the victim

In the past few days, the Irish media has been saturated with coverage of those members of the Halawa family who got trapped in a mosque in Cairo, surrounded by police. This happened on the Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Day of Rage’ last Friday. They are now being held in an Egyptian prison.

The family have marketed themselves as unlucky tourists, and the media are dutifully parroting this line. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One of these ladies, called Fatima, was being interviewed on Radio One claiming to be innocently trapped in Fateh Mosque on Ramses Square. There was no mention of the Islamist mob that had attacked the police station on the corner of that same square from that same mosque; a mob they were certainly there to support. There was no mention of the fact that the army, police and residents provided safe passage for women to leave Al-Fatah Mosque. Here’s a picture from Egypt Daily News:

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Were the Halawas really “trapped” in this mosque?

Fatima’s father is Imam Hussein Halawa, a very prominent Islamist figure operating out of the Clonskeagh mosque. Clonskeagh is a Gulf-state operation and a haven of Muslim Brotherhood ideology.

This young lady was saying her phone battery was so low that she could not call the Irish Embassy, yet she could do several interviews over the same phone with RTE in one day.

Aside from presenting the story from an angle the media wont, I want to offer some thoughts on what just happened here.

Firstly, the ‘plight’ of the Halawas, who arrived in Egypt to agitate, received many times more attention than the 40 churches burned to the ground and looted in the last few days in Egypt. This crime was committed by people the Halawas came to assist. This disparity in the media coverage is in itself obscene.

Moreover, the Muslim Brotherhood had called days in advance for a ‘Day of Rage’, which led to dozens of policemen being killed and violence which is still ongoing. Just two day ago, 25 soldiers were lined up and shot by Islamists in the Sinai. Several were beheaded. The Halawa girls were with the Muslim Brotherhood in one of its mosques that same day, by their own volition. Over three weeks ago, Omaima Halawa posted a message on Facebook pledging to stay in Egypt and saying “we only fear Allah not bullets”. Papa Hussein Halawa ‘likes’ this post. Here is a link.

I believe these people, the Halawas and the Muslim Brotherhood, are incredibly talented liars and propagandists, good at portraying themselves as victims. The image below shows them using a tactic the Palestinians have been employing for years: professional “corpses” wheeled out for the cameras.

There is a reflex tendency to see Arab Muslims as innocent victims; of western powers, the Israelis, and so on. Islamic persecution of Copts has no place in the narrative, so it’s simply ignored. Here, for instance, is a report of Muslim Brotherhood supporters capturing nuns and parading them down the streets of Cairo as ‘prisoners of war’.

Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood may be good at PR, but the media won’t ask hard questions because they fear being seen as ‘Islamophobic’. Some westerners are as much to blame as them.

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P.S. – I feel I should give you a very short summary of my views on the Egyptian military’s actions against the Brotherhood.

It is commonly said the military are opposing the democratic will of the Egyptians. This is true; but it’s also a very good thing. The Egyptian elections saw the Muslim Brotherhood coming out on top, with over half the vote, and the even more extreme Salafists landing in second, getting about a quarter of the vote. Both groups came out far ahead of the nearest liberal faction. The democratic will of the Egyptian people, much like that of the Arab people in Syria and Palestine, is expressed in fanaticism, supremacism, and hatred. Its far from a minority of Muslims that are Islamists, a lie we have been told for many years.

I do not accept the legitimacy of Muslim Brotherhood or Salafist ideology, and I would not even if 51%+ of my fellow citizens did. Thus, I wish General Sisi the best of luck mowing down every last one of these swine.

Race in America: A conflict of visions, most of them false

Real History

I’m quite the secessionist, but I’m sick of hearing that Lincoln was a ‘racist’.

I am also tired of hearing that Lincoln was an anti-racist.

The first has become something of a trope in Neo-Confederate circles, otherwise doing some admirable revisionist history. See, among others, gripes like this from Tom DiLorenzo.

The second view seems to be shared by just about everybody else, or at least it predominates among mainline conservatives and liberals. In the case of the former, see the recent Lincoln hagiography from Official Conservatism’s Rich Lowry. For the liberals, there’s the hit-pieces of Michael Lind in Salon.

Before elaborating, I want to say that its fairly obvious Lincoln was a ‘racist’. That’s what positions like this are dubbed today:

I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.

For anybody defending the South’s prerogative to secede, however, this is a particularly puerile line of inquiry, and a strategic dead-end.

Firstly, I am loathe to call towering figures in history racists, homophobes, or moral failures if they did not adhere to a post-1960’s worldview on matters of race or homosexuality. Its arrogant, and its sinister. Follow this through and you will end up demonizing everybody from John Locke to Voltaire, and from America’s Founding Fathers to the French Revolutionaries. You will end up repudiating all of human accomplishment up until 1968 or so. Which I figure is what some people want.

Secondly, Lincoln’s views would have been shared by the bulk of his secessionist counterparts to the same or to an even fiercer extent. Crying racism is a knife that cuts both ways. At best you can say Lincoln was no better than his enemies, if you accept conventional views that such positions are wrong.

Finally, Lincoln’s worldview was one very much in the American grain and in the tradition of the Founding Fathers. I would go so far as to say many of his ideas were perfectly sensible for his time and place. To understand this, we need to understand what Lincoln’s long term goals on the Negro Question actually were, and honestly address the place of race in the American project.

There were heated debates on the issue of slavery prior to the War Between the States, but they did not focus on the merits of complete abolitionism, which was very much a minority position. The issue was slavery’s expansion into Missouri after 1818 and into the new western territories after the Mexican-American War. The ideal for most residents of the Northern states, including Lincoln, was to keep not just slavery out of these territories, but all blacks. This was not unlike the situation in many Northern states at the time, which under the Black Codes required blacks seeking to enter to post enormous bonds, or forbade their assembly, or forbade them from residing at all. Lincoln’s home state of Illinois possessed all of these laws (black settlement eventually being banned entirely in 1853). He demonstrated absolutely no opposition to them in his many years in Illinois politics or during his Presidency.

That’s because, like all of the Founders, Lincoln did not believe in miscegenation or the equality of the races. Like many, he believed the best long-term solution to the race question was to free blacks (thus avoiding a slave revolt) and promptly get them out of the country. This idea, popular throughout the North, was backed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Madison even proposed that all public lands be sold off to pay for the forcible removal of the black population, as well as a constitutional amendment to establish a colonization office to be run by the President.  Madison would eventually head the American Colonization Society, advocating the shipment of blacks to Africa or the Caribbean. Other prominent figures who served as officers of the society were Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Stephen Douglas, William Seward, Francis Scott Key, Winfield Scott, John Marshall, and Roger Taney. James Monroe worked so tirelessly for the cause that the capitol city of Liberia is named Monrovia.

A few years back at a Young Americans for Freedom event a typically deluded activist for Official Conservatism tried to tell me that Lincoln was such an enlightened politician that he was the first President to invite a black delegation to the White House. He certainly was, on August 14th of 1862, when he urged that black delegation to leave the country. In the midst of the war, he appointed the Rev. James Mitchell Commissioner of Emigration to work on this problem, and argued that blacks should be forcibly removed from the United States before Congress. Yet many people, conservative and liberal, still spread this myth of the black delegation to prove that Lincoln was not a racist.

Colonization faced many difficulties. The primary reason for its failure may be that Americans became too reliant on black labor. Theodore Roosevelt would go so far as to curse Southerners for importing blacks and keeping them in the country, to the point where their descendants, he lamented, “can neither be killed nor driven away”. It reminds me of an Afrikaner who told me, bitterly, that most whites in South Africa would rather die in their beds than make them. Their position on the continent of Africa is precarious. Perhaps this is a fate some feared could be in store for whites on the American continent.  Benjamin Franklin himself said that “the number of purely white people in the world is proportionally very small…. I could wish their numbers were increased… why increase the sons of Africa, by planting them in America?” The Zionist pioneers realized the importance of Jews becoming as economically independent as possible. Kibbutzim often forbade the use of non-Jewish labor even when such a policy raised enormous difficulties. For a new nation seeking to establish itself in a hostile environment, the long-term success of the project may very well require the sacrificing comfort in the short-term.

The words of Franklin and others give lie to the notion that America is, uniquely, a universal nation built on an idea. This claim would have shocked John Jay, who wrote in the Federalist Papers that “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs”.

Benjamin Franklin himself sought to restrict the entry of German immigrants, in which he was partly successful in colonial Pennsylvania. Franklin’s reasoning seems to have been based on three factors:

1. He wanted to preserve the country’s Anglo-Saxon character.

2. The complex internal politics of Pennsylvania. Franklin felt his rivals in the Penn family were ruling the place in a feudal manner, and much of their support hinged on the German population. Indeed, the Penns and Franklin’s opponents in the Quaker party actively recruited immigrants from Germany to strengthen their position. There is probably a lesson for the modern Republican Party there somewhere.

3. He also believed that a smaller population combined with an ample supply of land would help the average man prosper and obtain the liberating effects of land ownership.

The United States seems to have become a “propositional nation” built by immigrants after the fact. Only two years after the Constitution was ratified, a naturalization law was enacted stipulating that only “free white persons” could become citizens. This lasted until after the Civil War. America is no “nation of immigrants”. It was built by settlers, most importantly of Anglo-Saxon stock. As settlers, they built the society, to which people later immigrated. This is an important distinction.

Many libertarians claim the United States was always country of open borders, and that the restrictionist period of 1921-65 was an aberration. They are either lying, or ignorant, or both.  There were long periods of lulls in American immigration. If anything, the period of largely unrestricted mass immigration from the late 1840’s to just after WW1 was the aberration, but one that was justified in a rapidly expanding nation where most people still made their living in farms and factories. Because of the economic structure of the time, the average immigrant from Europe could quickly find the same type of work with the same remuneration and opportunities as the native.  Today, Americans import 19th century workers into a 21st century economy and seem shocked that these people don’t advance like the Irish, Poles, or Jews did. But that’s another story.

A New Narrative

There currently appears to be two broad narratives on the history of America. The typical mainstream conservative, like Michelle Bachmann or Glenn Beck, will cast the Founding Fathers as highly progressive classical liberals. They will either ignore the white consciousness of these men, or even claim that racial egalitarianism was their goal for the United States from the very beginning. Peculiar factors like slavery just got in the way. Beck has even claimed that “American history can be described as one long Civil Rights struggle”.

The left, in a Howard Zinn kind of way, cast America as an evil, sweltering pile of racism and apartheid under the thumb of cruel and paranoid white men, all built on genocide and slavery. This was the case until Martin Luther King and Ted Kennedy’s 1965 immigration reforms came along. Lincoln is seen as the most important 19th century precursor to that result. Look at Spielberg’s portrayal of Lincoln as a racially enlightened progressive in his most recent epic.

I believe we are badly in need of a new narrative, as the main two are really under the same paradigm. I call this the John Ford narrative of American history.

John Ford, in my estimation, is the greatest ever film director (or at least he is second only to Stanley Kubrick). Just about the only decent initiative the Irish artistic community has come up with in my lifetime has been the annual John Ford Symposium. At one of the public discussions on Ford held last year, it took Ken Loach, of course, to offer the most predictable clichés about Ford when he said: “I never was interested in American cinema. The ideology does not appeal to me. It’s all to do with the lone gunman who will sort things out”.

This is absolutely the opposite of the spirit of Ford, whose work is profoundly collectivist in many senses. The protagonists of my two favorite Ford films, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and The Searchers act for the good of their people, not for themselves. If you haven’t seen them, you must. Behind the manifest content about killing ruthless bandits or rescuing young women from Indians, they offer profound insights into the building of America.

Liberty Valance portrays a young lawyer arriving in the Old West, who seeks to use the law, and not violence, to bring down a criminal terrorizing the small settlement of Shinbone. A common theme here and in The Searchers is the blow-in Easterner, who represents the future, clashing with the earlier settler-types who still carry the stench of hay and blood. There are memorable moments towards the end of The Searchers, for instance, when hardened Texas Rangers walk all over a young and rather clueless professional Yankee cavalryman. The Yankee at one point sounds a bugle before an assault on an Indian camp, to the ire of the old Texans planning a surprise raid. He represents how Texans will defend themselves in the future: with a professional military replete with all the inevitable ranks and rules. But before that happens, you need local militiamen not afraid to act roguish and with frequent brutality in defense of their own homes and firesides. In another scene, a woman tells the protagonist, played by John Wayne, that Texas will one day be a great state. Texans, she says, just need “bones in the ground”. This is how humans plant roots. The Indians in the film seem to realize this. As does John Wayne, whose philosophy is best summed up by the words “us or them”. With this as his guide, he sees it as his moral duty to send every Indian to an early grave, even to the point of wantonly slaughtering buffalo to make sure there are fewer for any of them to eat. To Wayne’s character, this is only self-defense.

Back to Liberty Valance. One of my favorite scenes is when a character makes a speech on behalf of Jimmy Stewart, playing the lawyer protagonist, who seeks to become a delegate for the never-named territory and campaign for statehood. His natural constituency are the farmers and townspeople, but he is fiercely opposed in his efforts by the cattlemen, the kind of rough stock who originally settled the territories, and who, as the films says, had

[N]o law to trammel them except the law of survival, the law of the tomahawk and the bow and arrow… with the westward march of our nation, came the pioneer and the buffalo hunter, the adventurous and the bold.

The boldest of these were the cattlemen, who seized the wide-open range for their own personal domain, and their law was the law of the hired gun. But now, today have come the railroads and the people. The steady, hard-working citizens, the homesteader, the shopkeeper, the builder of cities…

We get it by placing our votes behind one man. One man! And we have that man with us here. He is a man who came to us not packing a gun, but carrying instead a bag of law books. Yes. He is a lawyer and a teacher!

In the film, the man of violence, Liberty Valance, represents the first wave of Westerners. Most of the people of Shinbone represent the second generation. Jimmy Stewart – the educated, the professional, the one who plays by the rules, as opposed to living by a stark code of honor, and the one who believes America is built on an idea – is the future. Yet ultimately even he could not transcend the reality of what it took to build the West. I wont spoil that for anybody who hasn’t seen it.

Ford is showing us the real story of America, which is not so much about the progress of an idea, but the progress of European peoples seeking to build roots and expand in a new continent. This reality of this has been dressed up in myth and legend. Indeed, the power of legend is what Liberty Valance is all about. The reality is that the kingdom, like all kingdoms, was established over dead bodies and skulls. Yet in examining Ford’s telling, one is left with the feeling that it was all worth it in order to build the new American civilization, one that would eventually make room for those who despise it and seek to undermine its very existence. This kind of critical self-examination only exists among white westerners, most of whom would not be here if it weren’t for the cattlemen who seized the open range and drove the buffalo to extinction. I often say that our fight with the far-left should not be reduced to economics: Hayek vs. Keynes, or Mises vs. Marx. The enemy today is trying to destroy the civilization that gave birth to both Hayek and Keynes.

The Revolution

Bill Clinton was the first President to talk honestly about the shift in opinion on race and immigration in the United States in the late-20th century. That is because he openly admitted that what happened was no less than a revolution, a complete abrogation of what came before. Clinton triumphantly declared at Portland State University in 1998 that there would be no majority race in the United States in fifty years time. This, he acknowledged, is “the third great revolution of America”, after the War of Independence, which forged a republic, and the War Between the States, which changed the nature of the American Union. He claimed that America must “prove that we literally can live without having a dominant European culture”.

This would, however, involve spurning the Founding Fathers. Conor Cruise O’ Brien once said that “there can be no room for a cult of Thomas Jefferson in the civil religion of an effectively multiracial America… Once the facts are known, Jefferson is of necessity abhorrent to people who would not be in America if he could have had his way”.

Americans seem to have undergone the revolution, but they have not consigned the Founders to the dustbin of history. Instead, they just make stuff up, as the statements of Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann demonstrate. Can history really be censored in such a way in a modern and free society? It seems it can, and this isn’t unique to America. On June 14th of this year, the leader of the Scottish National Party at Westminster, Angus Robertson, actually told Nigel Farage, with a serious face, that Scotland was “built on immigration” (see 29 mins on). One day, Scottish schoolchildren may be forced to recite this same lie.

I am not advocating a positive political platform here. I just want to talk honestly about race and immigration. While Clinton is entitled to work for a “post-racial” America, however, I am left wondering two things: is such a place really America, and is it even possible?

For if any man represents a post-racial America, it is probably a resident of Florida by the name of George Zimmerman. I speak of the half-Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer with the German surname, who fought the police in his hometown of Sanford to secure justice for a mistreated homeless black man. George Zimmerman: the resident of a heavily-black community who tutored black children in his own home.

Yet they came to lynch Zimmerman, too.

Paul Murphy MEP: What happens when angry kids are in charge

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Fascism was born with the realisation that the revolutionary left don’t play by the rules and only use the institutions of liberal democracy to subvert them.

If Lenin and Trotsky didn’t exist, there would have been no Hitler and Goebbels.

Neither of these parties has any claim on or affections. However, looking at the likes of Paul Murphy MEP, one begins to understand the appeal of donning a black shirt and knocking him on the head.

With peace talks just about to get underway between Israel and the Palestinians, Murphy decided to offer his own alternative: telling Russia Today that Palestinians should begin a new violent Intifada and bring down – get this – “the capitalist establishment in Israel”.

What kind of idiot would do this?

A man stuck in an angsty teenage phase who has never had a real job in his life, perhaps.

Murphy graduated from University College Dublin in 2004. Until he landed the role of an MEP, he had never held down a real job, being described instead as a full-time activist for the Socialist Party. He did not even have to fight an election campaign: he stepped into a seat vacated by the ever sullen and gloomy Joe Higgins. Apparently, he’s also written a PhD thesis titled “Does socialist law exist?”

Does Paul Murphy’s sense of responsibility exist?

Murphy highlights the dangers of putting childish activists into positions of power and influence. Sure, the mainstream parties stuffed full of elderly people might not be up to much. They may even be gobsites. But we should not forget that there are always worse gobshites out there:

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