Friday, January 20, 2006

The Chinese Connection

In a lengthy article in Policy Review, Tony Corn makes an interesting observation about Chinese influence in the Middle East and in East Africa.

The Sino-Islamic connection is not the fruit of some fertile neocon imagination, but a fundamental fact of international life for anyone who cares to take a closer look at China’s energy policy. The “it’s about oil” mantra heard in some Western quarters is indeed not unfounded — so long as one remembers that in little more than a decade, China has changed from a net exporter of oil into the world’s second largest importer, and that in the not-so-distant future, the energy needs of 1.2 billion Chinese will dwarf those of 300 million Americans. The oil factor does indeed explain why China has a more proactive policy than the U.S., and a more reckless one as well. As the most populated country in the world, China is also the country that cares the least about the danger of nuclear proliferation involved in some of its more Faustian bargains.

But there is more than oil at stake in China’s strategic relations with Muslim countries. If 1979 marks the return of Islam in history, it also marks (more significantly than 1949 ever did) the return of China in history. Throughout the 1980s, China experienced phenomenal growth rates and was catching up fast with the West, when the advent of the information revolution widened the gap anew. Since the Chinese leadership cannot go into overdrive without destroying the social fabric (and ultimately its own power base), it can only hope to narrow the gap by slowing down the West. For Western historians, all this has a deja-vu all over again feel. Just as imperial latecomers like Germany and Japan did not hesitate to play the Islamic card for all it was worth in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, today China has — to put it mildly — no reason to be a priori hostile to the idea of using jihadism as a weapon of mass disruption against the West.

The congruence between the Islamic 4GW jihad and China’s own Unrestricted Warfare20 doctrine is therefore no surprise. This Sino-Islamic connection has been largely ignored by European elites too busy indulging in anti-American posturing instead. In the EU media, China is invariably portrayed as being all (economic) opportunities and no (political) threats; from the Spanish and French media in particular, one would never guess that China in fact has a rather proactive — and sophisticated — policy in Spain’s and France’s former colonies. As for the Islamic question, EU elites continue to believe that it can best be solved by keeping as much distance as possible between the U.S. approach (Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative) and the EU approach (Euro-Med Partnership).21

The recent referenda on the EU Constitution have proven, if anything, how disconnected EU elites have become, not just from world realities, but from their own constituencies. It should now be clear to all that the intra-European gap between elites and public opinion is greater still (and in fact older) than the transatlantic gap between the U.S. and the EU. For Washington, there has never been a better time to do “European Outreach” and drive home the point that the existence of a “Sino-Islamic Connection” calls for closer transatlantic cooperation and a reassertion of the West. In short, if the Atlantic Alliance did not exist, it would have to be invented.22

Europe's reluctance to join Washington in the Iraq adventure should not be conflated with its refusal to deal realistically with its growing Muslim insurgency. European leaders had valid, rational concerns regarding the Iraq War. But the failure of European leaders to address the threat of Muslim immigration has no rational basis save fear. Fear of the growing Muslim electorates inside their own countries - electorates whose values and predispositions are antithetical to the European cultures in which they are growing. A foolish, and even desperate, adherence to leftist multicultural dogma in the face of approaching disaster, is the current hallmark of most European governments. The next uprising by Muslims in France will see a lot more than just cars burned.

But Iraq has so absorbed the attention of Washington, that Bejing's strenghtening influence in the Middle East and even in the Americas has been overlooked. al Qaeda makes nothing of its own. China is a manufacturing giant to which the US has exported most of its industrial base. Which is the greater threat?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Dennis Dale on Mark Steyn

Blogger Dennis Dale offers an insightful analysis of Mark Steyn's recent essay, which takes far too much pleasure in Europe's collapsing demographic, and the consequences of a simultaneously diminishing birth rate among native Europeans and rising Muslim immigration. Steyn makes a number of good points throughout the piece, but his glee at Europe's crisis is inappropriate. Europe was the cradle of Western Civilization and remains home to most of its historical wonders (the Acropolis, the Vatican, the Louvre). It's loss or diminishment only weakens the rest of the West, and should be no source of satisfaction, no matter what our differences with our European cousins. Europeans may be smug and irritating, but taking any sort of pleasure out of their demographic/immigration dilemma only spites ourselves. Instead of making merry with their errors, we should be encouraging them to change direction and save themselves. And we might want to take a harder look at our own issues and apply correction there as well.

Dale trenchantly takes Steyn to task for glossing over America's own immigration problem.

Those who are out-breeding the rest of us are largely Latin American immigrants, hostile toward caucasian gringos and feeling that they have been cheated by the very existence of the U.S. and, yes, rapidly multiplying. Meanwhile, multiculturalists stand waiting for these ostensibly conservative voters. They are taking the conservatives' bet.

Steyn might want to stick around to see what becomes of the children of these people he so condescendingly thinks of as docile breeders. Spending time in a working class neighborhood anywhere in L.A. County might quickly disabuse Steyn et al. of any silly notions they have about this demographic saving us from our cultural decline. A good recreational mugging at the hands of congenitally mean-spirited cholos has a way of relieving one of his liberal conceits; and this canard about “red state” Latino immigrants saving us from effete white liberals seems to have found its way by insensible circularity to a naiveté practically indistinct from that of liberal Democrats. Having titled his essay, “It’s the Demography, Stupid”, Steyn ignores the demography and concentrates on the stupid...

Of course, Steve Sailer has been making this point for some time:

Okay, so will the United States be an economic powerhouse if it's populated by Latin Americans? Exactly how many economic powerhouses have Latin Americans run? That would seem to be another tricky proposition, but it's the kind of question that apparently never occurs to Steyn, who lives in a small town in New Hampshire. I could see America continuing on at a high rate of prosperity for awhile, but losing its economic dynamism as the culture comes to be dominated by a people who have never shown much interest in scientific, technological, or economic progress.

Monday, January 16, 2006

MLK Day's Double Standard

On the very day that the US government has set aside ostensibly to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King's struggle for a color-blind society, the Mayor of New Orleans gives a racially charged speech declaring that:
"It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans _ the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," the mayor said. "This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."
Mayor Nagin made his declaration before hundreds of spectators, who responded approvingly, and scores of reporters, not one of whom took him to task for it. The remarks were carried - including the "chocolate" remark - on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, without any commentary whatsoever.
Just imagine, for an instant, if the mayor of a devastated town in Louisiana or Mississippi or Alabama, whose pre-storm population came out and said,
"This town will be rebuilt. And it will rebuilt vanilla. This town has always been white and will always be white. God wants it that way."
Does anyone want to suggest that such statements would have been anything other than the top news story, reported as evidence of southern racism, eliciting long, tortured commentary by pensive journalists about the problem of American (read: white) racism. Does anyone fail to believe that the very next day Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton & Co. would be on their way to that town to "march for justice," demanding the mayor's resignation in addition to a government funded plan to "de-segregate"the town?
But, no. The mayor of a major US city, one that has been pleading for the help of the entire nation - demanding it, actually - openly declares that his city will remain black, because that's how God intended it. And because Mayor Nagin is black, and because he said New Orleans should be black rather than white, no one will criticize a word of it. And this just a few months after the US Airforce Academy football coach was nearly run off campus because he said his team needed more black players, because black players were better.

And that is how the MSM and the cowed, politically correct political elite celebrate the color-blind vision of Dr. Martin Luther King.

The European Resistance Grows

While many in Europe continued to be cowed by militant Muslims, some countries are beginning to rise to the challenge of defending their cultural identities, casting aside the multiculturalist dogma that was meant to render them helpless. In Holland, where the echoes of public anger resulting from the murder of Theo van Gogh continue to reverberate, politicians are considering an outright ban on the Islamists' main tool in the suppression of women, the all-covering burka.

The Dutch parliament has already voted in favour of a proposal to ban the burqa outside the home, and some in the government have thrown their weight behind it.

There are only about 50 women in all of the Netherlands who do cover up entirely - but soon they could be breaking the law.

Dutch MP Geert Wilders is the man who first suggested the idea of a ban.

"It's a medieval symbol, a symbol against women," he says.

"We don't want women to be ashamed to show who they are. Even if you have decided yourself to do that, you should not do it in Holland, because we want you to be integrated, assimilated into Dutch society. If people cannot see who you are, or see one inch of your body or your face, I believe this is not the way to integrate into our society."

MP Wilders epitomizes the situation in which Holland, once a nation utterly dedicated to tolerance and multiculturalism, finds itself. After having criticized Islamic terrorism and the treatment of women by Muslims, he has received death threats, including being branded an "infidel" who should be killed by the Muslims who murdered Theo van Gogh. MP Wilders is now constantly under the watchful eye of two bodyguards, as are other prominent Dutch politicians who voiced concern over Islamic radicalism like Ethiopian-born Hirsi Ali.

According to the BBC, one town in neighboring Belgium has already banned burka-like garments.

Women can now be fined 150 euros (£102) if they are found to be wearing the niqab.

"There were six ladies who wore the niqab. I think two or three weeks after the council passed this law, five have dropped it," says Mr Creemers. "One lady is still wearing it but the last step in the procedure will be that she must go to jail."

The husband of the woman who defies the ban is being held in connection with the Madrid bombings. But the police here are not too happy with the ban. They say it has made relations with the Moroccan community worse and gives young people a reason to resent society.

Perhaps the Belgian police should be less concerned with placating the "Moroccan community" and more concerned with defending Belgium from those who would erase its culture from the Earth. If demanding that Moroccan immigrants assimilate to the culture to which they chose to live, and in which their children have grown up, provokes resentment from those Muslims, what does it say about their true allegiance? And what does it say about the policies that permitted that immigration?