Saturday, March 11, 2006

Fighting the last war?

There is an old saying that nations are always fighting the last war. And there is good reason for that.

Witness what happened on 9/11 as an example. In the past hijackers have taken planes in order to issue demands or publicise a cause. The way to deal with such people was to keep them calm, do what they want as much as possible and let the situation play itself out. And it almost always played itself out in a way that saved the lives of most people aboard the plane.

September 11th changed that scenario. But the people aboard the planes were fighting the last war. They were co-operating as much as possible. They followed a strategy that would work had they been dealing with hijackers from previous years. But this was a new species. The crew assumed that they were working with rational people who had values, however wrong, that they wanted to achieve. What they didn’t expect was that these people were willing to die and take as many along with them as possible.

Had the passengers and crew understood the actual nature of the beast that hijacked the plane they would have rebelled. But people can learn quickly. And by the time the fourth plane was headed for Washington, DC the passengers had already learned of the fate of the other planes. They knew that the religious fanatics who had taken control of this plane did not intend to play by the rules of the last war. The passengers rose up and fought back. They lost their lives. But they prevented the hijackers from expanding the death toll.

I look at Europe and watch them fighting the last war—literally.

Take the sad figure of David Irving. Irving was once a respected author of major histories on World War II. You wouldn’t know that from how his critics talk today but many of them praised his massive volumes in the past. Very little of what he actually wrote caused him any problems. It was what he said. He questioned the Holocaust. He expressed very strongly worded doubts while always tossing in provisos about not being an expert on the subject.

Irving relished the attention he got from the neo-Nazi far Right. He spoke to their conventions. And he often made remarks that could only be interpreted as anti-Semitic. Jews were routinely called “our traditional enemy”. Irving’s reputation was destroyed and it wasn’t his “traditional enemy” that did it. He did it to himself. Anti-Jewish remarks are uncalled for, unnecessary and unpleasant.

That is not to say that he deserves to be in jail. He ought to be free to speak his mind. He should do so at his own expense of course.

The laws on Holocaust denial are wrong. Now supporters of the law point to the effect of Nazism on Europe. Fair enough. No one sane disputes that National Socialism was a tyrannical, despotic system that deserved to die. The Nazis were about as bad as one could get. Advocates of anti-Nazi speech laws say that Europe must never again be plunged into the depths of a Hitlerian nightmare.

I couldn’t agree more. And if there was a real danger that the Nazis could rise to power I might be persuaded about the necessity of such legislation. But let’s be honest here; David Irving is no threat. The chances of a resurgent Nazi movement in Europe is are almost nil.

In many ways the law is now making it more difficult to find the true Nazis. There are still there of course. And individuals who follow such matters know they exist. But these groups are more careful in what they say. Groups, like Jungen Freiheit, are widely seen as neo-Nazi. Yet the anti-speech laws keep them on the legal side of the line. One result of that is that some supporters insist they are not really Nazis since they never say they are. Of course they don’t. They can’t.

I would think that absent the law these people would quickly out themselves and it would soon be obvious where they really stood. The net result would be a reduction in support levels. European nations are fighting the last war. They are doing their level best to reduce the non-existent Nazi threat.

If a neo-Nazi got up in public and went into an anti-Jewish tirade he would be before a magistrate faster than the blink of an eye. The press would be breathing down his neck for the rest of his life. He would likely find himself thrown in prison like Mr. Irving.

Now don’t get me wrong. These people disgust me. I find their gutter rhetoric utterly offensive. And I’m glad that virtually no one takes them seriously. But I do not think they pose a threat.

On the other hand Europe is filled with people who openly preach the kind of hatred that fuelled Nazism. And European nations turn a blind eye to it. And these haters actually carry out their threats. They do beat. They do murder. They do bomb. So how does Europe respond?

They literally subsidise them. They give them funding.

Imagine if some neo-Nazi wanted state funding to run a National Socialist school. People would be outraged. It wouldn’t happen. Yet Islamic schools that openly preach hatred for Jews and hatred for European values are receiving money to train students in this form of totalitarianism. Islamic community centres that preach the same doctrine are subsidised as well.

The Imam who riled up radical Muslims around the world, which directly lead to riots and deaths, receives funding from the very government he attacked. He is paid to go into Danish prisons and preach Islam to criminals. Is this what Denmark really needs? Is there a shortage of Muslims with violent, criminal tendencies?

The radical Islamists who set off the bombs on the London Underground, had between them, collected hundreds of thousands of pounds in benefits.

Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot by a Muslim radical in Amsterdam because he produces a short film on Islam’s abominable treatment of women. The bullet knocked van Gogh to the ground. His killer then shot him 20 more times, stabbed him repeatedly and then, for symbolic good measure, cut his throat. He pinned a note to van Gogh’s body:

“I know definitely that you, O America, will go down. I know definitely that you, O Europe, will go down. I know definitely that you, O Netherlands, will go down.”

The killer was living off of the Dutch welfare system.

The mosques of Europe are filled with imams of hate; men who preach contempt for the West and disgust for freedom. Yet many of these mosques are built with funds from the respective governments. Many of the imams themselves collect welfare benefits due to the large number of children they have.

Best-selling Dutch author Leon de Winter recently offered one explanation as to why Europe is having problems with immigrants. He says the problem lies with the welfare state.

Critics of welfare around the world have noted it has a tendency to create a permanent underclass where generation after generation survives off the dole. De Winter argues that it also prevents integration into new cultures for immigrants. He told the German publication Der Spiegel: “A social welfare state like the Netherlands can never be a country of integration. Only a country like the US, with its weak social net, can integrate large groups of immigrants without problems. Immigrants there are forced to take two or three badly paid jobs just to survive. That would be incompatible with European moral values. But after one or two generations in the US, these people are integrated in society.”

Changes in immigration policy or language requirements won’t solve the problem for Europe either, at least not for the “generation that has already been lost. The parents of these children were never obligated to take charge of their own destiny. The state allowed them to live here and it paid their rent.”

If de Winter is correct then a major cause of the problem of cultural integration for immigrants is welfare policies.

Immigrants routinely integrate into their new nations. It may not be done over night but, as de Winter notes, it is usually accomplished within a generation or two. The prime motivating factor is economic. People integrate to survive. What welfarism does is remove the necessity of integration. It allows people to remain totally isolated from the society around them.

The Hispanic community in the United States, contrary to public perception, proves this. A survey of Spanish-speaking homes found that 85 percent of the children speak English well. And another survey showed that about half of second generation immigrants were bilingual and the other half where English-dominant. By the third generation some 80 percent were English dominant. Another survey of immigrant students in the US found that by the end of high school 98 percent spoke and understood English well and that 90 percent of them preferred speaking English over Spanish.

Even cultural values and world outlooks change rather quickly. Tamar Jacoby, of the Manhattan Institute, wrote: “Nearly 60 percent of Spanish-speakers, for instance—compared to 15 percent of non-Hispanic whites—where so fundamentally fatalistic that they saw no point in planning for the future. But among second-generation and English-dominant Hispanics 75 percent said that they felt they were in charge of their lives. American had already changed them that much—they had assimilated that thoroughly.”

The United States has a welfare advantage over Europe. With weaker social welfare nets immigrants seek work. And efforts that make employment more difficult are liable to hamper, not encourage, assimilation. Many of America’s Hispanic immigrants are here without government permission thus making them ineligible for most welfare programs.

In Europe many of the immigrants are there with permission and can immediately go on the dole. Where American immigrants are forced to seek gainful employment, something which can be difficult, the Islamic immigrants in Europe are allowed immediate access to welfare. Even illegal immigrants in Europe can qualify for benefits due to the “compassionate” values widely held there.

But good intentions do not necessarily lead to good results. They may in fact lead to disastrous results.

Anthony de Jasay, an economist and resident of France, recently wrote about the riots that erupted across the country. And he pinned much of the blame on the French social model, “the principal achievement” of which is that “it has maintained unemployment at about 10 percent since it was fully unfolded in the 1980s” and which will maintain “this level for years to come.”

De Jasay writes: “Regular visitors to France testify that they see more beggars on the street than ever. However, French opinion from the presidential and ministerial level downwards, is convinced that unemployment and poverty are the result of ‘the Crisis’ (there is always some undefined crisis going on in the outside world and France is always its victim). The ‘social model’ is not its cause, rather, it serves as the bulwark against it.”

De Jasay sees the French “model” as a prime cause of the problems France now faces. And as the comments by de Winter proves, he is not alone.

In the US immigrants from Mexico assimilate relatively quickly. In Europe Islamic immigrants do not. One shocking study showed just how little assimilation took place over several generations. A Danish researched followed 145 Turkish Muslims who had immigrated to Denmark during 1969 and 1970.

The men had settled in one town. This group of 145 immigrants now was a community of 2,813 Muslims. All the men married women from Turkey not Danish residents. And the wives were then brought to Denmark. Some of the men divorced the wife who stayed in Denmark and then married again, also another woman brought in from Turkey. A small number married a third time and again the women were from Turkey.

So 145 men lead to more than 145 wives all Muslims from Turkey. And the average family then had 6.4 children each. Heavily subsidised by the Danish government of course.

Of course one these new wives settled they were allowed to start the process of “family reunification” which meant they could bring over siblings and parents. And the siblings brought over wives or husbands who brought over their parents and siblings.

But what about the children? By the end of the study 98 children of these men had themselves grown and married. Eighty-nine of them imported Muslims from Turkey to marry. Seven married local Turks. One married a Turk living in Sweden and only one married a Dane. There were also ten who had married a second time and all ten married Turks.

But even some of the grandchildren had also marrie --- 62 as of a few years ago. Of those, 60 of them imported their spouse from Turkey. Bruce Bawer outlines this in his disturbing book While Europe Slept. He quotes one Danish teacher lamenting the Muslim students in her class. She said: “I had a class in which nineteen of thirty-three children couldn’t say anything in Danish, even though they were all born in Denmark.”

Without learning Danish in Denmark how do they expect to earn a living? They don’t. This cultural isolation is hard to sustain without an income. How is it possible to survive without knowing any of the language? Through the welfare state.

And we are not even speaking about the original immigrants any more. We are talking about second and third generations who do not know the language. The exact same thing has been reported in the Netherlands and in France. It is not an isolated incident. And with some European nations pushing to admit Turkey to the European Union the problem will only grow.

Within these immigrant communities there are very substantial majorities of individuals who hate European values. They may want the comfort of Europe over their homeland, they may be happy to live off the dole, but they hate all European values. They don’t even try to hide it.

At least David Irving spoke in code. The Jungen Freiheit makes sure that it’s language is subtle. But the radical Islamists are openly contemptuous of Europe and Europe turns a blind eye, makes excuses, or throws money at them.

For most Europeans they are still in 1944. The enemy is still Hitler and the problem is National Socialism. They are fighting a war that was won long ago. They are fighting an enemy that was vanquished and is all but extict. Meanwhile a new war is brewing at home and they refuse to see it.

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