2015 January 25 Sunday
Ross Douthat On Two Stories Of King Abdullah
Ross Douthat thinks we are trapped in a relationship with Saudi Arabia and therefore our high government officials won't speak the truth about the nature of its government.
Along the other path, anyone outside Western officialdom was free to tell the fuller truth: that Abdullah presided over one of the world’s most wicked nonpariah states, whose domestic policies are almost cartoonishly repressive and whose international influence has been strikingly malign. His dynasty is founded on gangsterish control over a precious natural resource, sustained by an unholy alliance with a most cruel interpretation of Islam and protected by the United States and its allies out of fear of worse alternatives if it fell.
While I fully agree with Ross it is worth pointing out that this "most cruel interpretation of Islam" is believed by many millions of people. Our problem is not just with the government of Saudi Arabia or the Islamic Caliphate (which agree with each other on many topics) but with the religion Islam as most of its adherents see it. We are in a clash of civilizations with Islam which our elites deny. Every time another group of Jihadists carry out a terrorist attack our leaders in America and Europe sickeningly sing together "nothing to do with Islam, the religion of peace" (which puts British government minister Theresa May in perverse agreement with the Sydney chocolate store hostage taker).
Ross also thinks the future of Muslims in Europe will be determined in France.
So if there’s a path to greater Muslim assimilation and inclusion, it’s more likely to be pioneered in France. If Islamic radicalism is going to gain ground or mutate into something more pervasive and dangerous, it’s also more likely to happen in France’s sphere of influence than elsewhere. And if Europe’s much-feared far right is going to complete its journey from the fringe to the mainstream, it will probably happen first in Paris.
France's problem with (mostly Muslim) immigrants is very serious, and not just in the form of terrorism.
The criminality we are talking about is the kind that is making life unbearable for the population: burglaries, thefts of all sorts, assaults, violent thefts without firearms, etc. In these specific cases, 7 out of 10 of these crimes are committed by people who in one way or another have an immigrant background, either directly (first generation on French territory, with or without a residence permit) or indirectly (second generation). (Chevrier and Raufer, 2014)
Since immigrants made the difference that got Francois Hollande elected the French are in a weak position to stop the deterioration of security unless more native French turn against the left's view of immigration and oppression.
By Randall Parker at 2015 January 25 08:44 PM
The elites have more animosity towards the "much-feared far right" than towards any Muslims, even outright terrorists. Preserving the EU is more important than preventing a low-level insurgency against Europeans, punctuated by annual or semi-annual massacres. It'll be very interesting to see what le Pen can achieve if she comes to power. With Muslims nearing 10% of the total French population, I think the best they can do for now is stop the bleeding by preventing new, Muslim immigration. A friend of mine is a professor in Bordeaux, but spent a lot of time teaching in Paris. He's no right-winger, but he's seen enough to know things aren't right in France. Even the bright, promising Muslim students (most of them girls) get dragged back down like crabs in a barrel into the muck of their backwards culture.
The Paris massacre is nothing compared to the violence to come.
"Our problem is not just with the government of Saudi Arabia or the Islamic Caliphate (which agree with each other on many topics) but with the religion Islam as most of its adherents see it."
In fact Saudi Arabia is a huge problem with respect to worldwide Islam. Saudi Arabian Wahabbism is the worst of the worst, and they export this to the upper strata of every Muslim town and village in the world. How?
Every Muslim is supposed to make a hajj to Mecca, but in practice it is the more moneyed and respected people in every Muslim town and village that can afford to do this. So the respected people of every town in the Muslim world go to Mecca and learn this extreme form of Islam and bring it back home.
Unlike with Christianity where the poorer and less educated are more likely to be fundies, the reverse is true in Islam because of this.
What we have seen all over the world is that Islam is now more fundamentalist, more primitive and more backward than it was 10, 20 or 50 years ago. Surveys show this.
Further proof that the current class of Saudi Arabians are more primitive than any of their Muslim predecessors is that they have set about destroying their own art, architecture and heritage in a dramatic way, including much that was faithfully preserved for more than a thousand years.
The problem is not immigration. The problem in depth is immigration of belief. Western countries should start welcoming more agnostics and atheists as immigrants and stop the inflow believer immigrants whether Muslim or Christian. Especially Muslim and Christian.
The new king, Salman, reportedly suffers from Alzheimer's disease. All the Saudi kings have been sons of Ibn Saud, the first king of modern Saudi Arabia, installed with plenty of American help, who died in 1953. Ibn was succeeded by his oldest son, Saud, whose lavish lifestyle led to his removal by his half-brother Faisal, in 1964 (this happy event was endorsed by the country's top religious leader, the Grand Mufti). Faisal was murdered in 1975 by a nephew, also named Faisal, who was promptly executed. Another brother, Khalid, then became king and died of natural causes in 1982. He was succeeded by Fahd, who suffered a stroke in 1995. The recent king Abdullah, gradually assumed more power and formally became king in 2005 when Fahd died. He named Sultan, his younger brother, as his successor, but he died in 2009. Unlike many Western monarchies, the Saudi royal house has never had a clearly defined order of succession, so the real struggle for power will come when there are no more sons, because there are lots of grandsons. Should be interesting - stay tuned. Saudi Arabia is one of the worst regimes on the planet and has been a major source of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism for decades. The US should wash its hands of the whole Middle East mess and get completely out of the region. We don't need there precious oil anymore.
@Seth W. --
Yeah, totally! Atheists only murdered 110 million of their own citizens, which is small potatoes compared to those Christians, who probably murdered trillions!
It's ironic, Dan, that you blame "atheists" for the acts of cultists. It's still a problem of belief without questioning; "anyone who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."
Strange about the Sauds. Russia doesn't permit them to build their terrorist mosques and import their terrorist preachers the way the rest of the West does. Nor does it tolerate Muslim nutjobs going to joint ISIS and then coming back (!) to spread the jihadi nutjobbery around all the Muslim folks in Russia. Seems like common sense to me. I wonder why our rulers don't do the same.
We cannot pressure the Saudis to change. We desperately need them to support Nixon's petrodollar. If they started accepting payments in Euros, Rubles, Dinar, Reminbi, whatever, our leverage over the world economy would collapse. No more massive national debt. No more consumerist buying sprees. The fear of losing control of the world economy and the dollar displaced as THE world currency is too frightening to imagine. We have to take any Saudi hand-chopping, head chopping, wife stoning, homosexual lynching, Philipino servant raping, etc. with a (rather terse) smile. Yes, it makes us look like hypocrites and fools, but really, what choice do we have? What would happen to America without Walmarts full of cheap Chinese trinkets to keep the proles happy?