Migrant influx has Europeans arming up

Arms and the civilization.

The workshop of Austrian gunmaker Steyr-Mannlicher. (Image via gunsforsale.com)
The workshop of Austrian gunmaker Steyr-Mannlicher. (Image via gunsforsale.com)

The urge to self-preservation may not be entirely dead among native Europeans.  According to European news sources, cited in this article at WND, Europeans who have the realistic option of purchasing firearms have started doing so, at a dramatically increased rate.

Although the citizens of several key countries (e.g., Germany, the Netherlands) are basically prohibited from buying guns — by the very high obstacles their governments set for such purchases — those who can are flocking to gun vendors.  Women are reportedly the customer base showing the biggest increase.

Austria is one of the nations where guns are selling fast. Continue reading “Migrant influx has Europeans arming up”

The future of our time: Rewriting ‘Westphalianism’

Interesting times: the new definition.

Past master. (Image via Outside the Beltway)
Past master. (Image via Outside the Beltway)

Reading Henry Kissinger’s typically well-considered and intelligent article for the Wall Street Journal this weekend (“A Path out of the Middle East Collapse”), I had a growing sense that it isn’t so much a prescription for the future as a description of the past.

The sense began with the first paragraph, in which Kissinger defines the scope of what’s collapsing, and dates it only to 1973, when the U.S. moved to stabilize the Middle East during the Yom Kippur War.

But far more than recent U.S. policy on the Middle East is collapsing today.  What we’re seeing is more like the collapse of “Rome” itself:  the organization of Western power as a Europe-centric territorial phenomenon, setting unbreachable boundaries north, south, and west of a restless and perennially “unorganizable” Middle East. Continue reading “The future of our time: Rewriting ‘Westphalianism’”

Syria: You know this isn’t about Assad anymore, right?

It’s on.

Putin confers with his senior military officials. (Image: Kremlin/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin via Newsweek)
Putin confers with his senior military officials. (Image: Kremlin/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin via Newsweek)

As Russia and Iran move in more overtly on Syria, it’s important to understand that their objective is not to prop up a weak, dependent Bashar al-Assad.  Doing that is a convenience.  Assad functions now as a fig leaf for the real objective of his long-time patrons: establishing effective control of the territory of Syria.

The Western media will probably keep saying, by rote, that Russia and Iran are supporting Assad – just as they will keep saying that the U.S. coalition is battling Islamic State.  But there’s a reason for the “why this summer; why right now” behind Russia’s seemingly sudden strategic move on Syria.  And it’s not the superficial motives being attributed to Russia or Iran.

There are two interlocking catalysts for Russia’s decision to intervene actively, just at this moment.  One is the U.S.-Turkey partnership “against ISIS,” which became active in late July, and immediately resulted in Turkey attacking not ISIS, but Kurds in Syria and Iraq. Continue reading “Syria: You know this isn’t about Assad anymore, right?”

Memphis and the inconvenient dead: We’re all snarling jihadis now

The worst of the Old World breaks out in the New.

Graves of WWII soldiers in Libya, desecrated by jihadis. (Image via euronews)
Graves of WWII soldiers in Libya, desecrated by jihadis. (Image via euronews)

Congratulations to the Memphis City Council.  As Howard Portnoy reported, Memphis’s finest voted this week to dig up the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest – and his wife – from their resting place beneath Forrest’s statue in a Memphis park.

It’s politically incorrect, according to the council, for the Forrests’ bones to repose there any longer.

“It is no longer politically correct to glorify someone who was a slave trader, someone who was a racist on public property,” said City Council member Myron Lowery.

So now our own, all-American Memphis, Tennessee is just like the jihadi animals who’ve been attacking graves around the Middle East, as they slash and burn their way through the post-Arab Spring landscape. Continue reading “Memphis and the inconvenient dead: We’re all snarling jihadis now”

Ramadi’s fall has positioned Iran for a big score

Interesting times.

Refugees from a fallen Ramadi clog the roadways outside Baghdad in May 2015. (Image: Corbis vis Newsweek)
Refugees from a fallen Ramadi clog the roadways outside Baghdad in May 2015. (Image: Corbis via Newsweek)

If you listen to the mainstream media, you probably think mainly that a superior force of Iraqi national troops abandoned the city of Ramadi to Islamic State 10 days ago – by implication, doing so in spite of U.S. support to the Iraqis and the battle.

As Americans were wondering “What happened?” over the past week, words uttered by Ashton Carter, the U.S. secretary of defense, came to seem like the answer.  His signature comment was to the effect that the Iraqis were unwilling to fight.

As a cherry on top, I heard (Tuesday evening) a news anchor on the local ABC affiliate chirp out the theory that Carter’s harsh assessment “may have prompted” the Iraqi government to mount its impending operation to retake Ramadi.  The implication is that the Iraqis had to be goaded into it.  Local affiliates don’t make up foreign-affairs news narratives on their own; this was undoubtedly fed to them by the staff at ABC headquarters. Continue reading “Ramadi’s fall has positioned Iran for a big score”