2015 January 12 Monday
Facts And Logic Versus Screeching Condemnation
A good piece: PETER HITCHENS: The sinister, screeching mob who want to kill free speech (And no, I DON'T mean the Islamist terrorists in our midst).
We were told on Friday that ‘politicians from all sides’ had lined up to attack Ukip’s Nigel Farage for supposedly ‘exploiting’ the Paris massacre.
Mr Farage had (quite reasonably) pointed out that the presence of Islamist fanatics in our midst might have something to do with, a) uncontrolled mass migration from the Muslim world, and b) decades of multicultural refusal to integrate them into our laws and customs.
Rather than disputing this with facts and logic (admittedly this would be hard), the three ‘mainstream’ parties joined in screeching condemnation.
Observation: The multicultural emperor has no clothes. Discuss among yourselves.
I keep thinking about Daniel Greenfield's points about the modern empire's interests and how much these interests conflict with our own. The empire is winning. We are losing.
By Randall Parker at 2015 January 12 08:30 PM
The "far right" answer to Islamic extremism is to end Muslim immigration to the West. That is extremist.
The left-wing answer to Islamic extremism is to create a massive police and surveillance state, and impose serious restrictions on freedom of speech. That is NOT extremist.
I have long thought there is no peaceful solution to this problem.
Actually there may be one but I can't for the life of me think of it.
The Charlie Hebdo attack could very well be another false flag operation. France's 9-11. No blood, the masked shooters leaving their ids in the car, massive printing of the magazine, new freedom-restricting laws in France. Something stinks here. Business as usual.
"The "far right" answer to Islamic extremism is to end Muslim immigration to the West. That is extremist.
The left-wing answer to Islamic extremism is to create a massive police and surveillance state, and impose serious restrictions on freedom of speech. That is NOT extremist."
While you are right in principle, I have objections:
1. Europe isn't America. Freedom of speech really isn't very important there. By that I mean, it really doesn't exist.
2. Many far righters have different ideas, such as banning Islam, ethnically cleansing Muslims so that Europe is moslemfrei. Regardless of citizenship or innocence.
The main thing that makes this kind of attack hard to stop (even with massive surveillance, suppression of extremist speech and religion, etc.) is that it's done on a shoestring. The total budget here was probably in the range of the cost of a new car, and the attacks were carried out by three guys with guns. I can see how secret police and eavesdropping on everyone's internet use might help you catch a large conspiracy with a big budget, but it's hard to see it working against an attack like this one, or the Oklaholma City bombing, where you're looking at two or three people carrying out the attack with minimal resources.
This kind of attack is probably not possible to stop, in general. And that means that all the stuff that didn't work to stop it can be (and is, constantly) done even harder to stop the next attack, with no more effect.
 I expect the main value of the post-9/11 massive domestic surveillance is empire-building and spreading around the taxpayers' money, and a secondary value is spying on people who actually pose a threat to the powerful--their rivals or potential rivals, people working at big media companies, judges, the very rich, leakers, etc. If they happen to catch the odd terrorist, so much the better. Note that the NSA couldn't come up with any real cases of terrorist attacks they'd foiled, the FBI has done a lot of high-profile arrests of inept nobodies who probably couldn't have attacked anything (though we're surely better with those evil-intentioned idiots in prison), the TSA hasn't ever actually stopped anyone trying to hijack or blow up a plane, etc, and yet they get more budget and more powers every year, not less.