L’Arabie Saoudite n’est rien d’autre qu’un Daesh qui a réussi. Éric Zemmour
Obama demande pardon pour les faits et gestes de l’Amérique, son passé, son présent et le reste, il s’excuse de tout. Les relations dégradées avec la Russie, le manque de respect pour l’Islam, les mauvais rapports avec l’Iran, les bisbilles avec l’Europe, le manque d’adulation pour Fidel Castro, tout lui est bon pour battre la coulpe de l’Amérique. Plus encore, il célèbre la contribution (totalement inexistante) de l’Islam à l’essor de l’Amérique, et il se fend d’une révérence au sanglant et sectaire roi d’Arabie, l’Abdullah de la haine. Il annule la ceinture anti-missiles sise en Alaska et propose un désarmement nucléaire inutile. (…) Plus encore, cette déplorable Amérique a semé le désordre et le mal partout dans le monde. Au lieu de collaborer multilatéralement avec tous, d’œuvrer au bien commun avec Poutine, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Saddam Hussein, Bachir al-Assad, et Cie, l’insupportable Bush en a fait des ennemis. (…) Il n’y a pas d’ennemis, il n’y a que des malentendus. Il ne peut y avoir d’affrontements, seulement des clarifications. Laurent Murawiec
Voilà plus de 60 ans que les gouvernements américains successifs s’opposent à la nation iranienne. En 1332  avec un coup d’Etat ils ont renversé le gouvernement national de l’Iran et l’ont remplacé par un régime dur, impopulaire et despotique. (…) Le 15 Khordad 1342 [5 juin 1963] ils ont humilié notre nation et ont tué 15 000 personnes de cette nation et ont exilé le chef de notre nation [Ajatollah Khomeini]. En 57  ils ont tué plus de 1 500 personnes sur la place des martyrs et les tueurs ont reçu le soutien du président américain. Ils ont soutenu la dictature jusqu’au dernier jour. Ils se sont opposés à la révolution de la nation iranienne en quête de liberté, indépendance et justice. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (discours de Kermanshah, le 28 janvier 2009)
En pleine Guerre froide, les États-Unis ont joué un rôle dans le renversement d’un gouvernement iranien démocratiquement élu. Barack Hussein Obama
“We know they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful program.” Obama (Dec. 7, 2013)
Iran has never intended and will never wish to develop nuclear weapons. Hassan Rouhani (Apr. 9, 2015)
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi also (…) pointed to “unfounded allegations” by some world powers over the past 10 years against Iran’s nuclear program and said it has been proved that such false claims have aimed to “exert cruel and illegal pressure [on the country] to prevent the Iranian nation and government’s march on the path of all-out development and progress.” Presstv.ir
We’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in. What we’re concerned about is going forward.” Kerry (Jun. 6, 2015)
Every one in the world knows that our Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) has placed a religious ban on the development, use or acquisition of military nuclear technology and Iran has never been after atomic bombs. » Hassan Rouhani (Jul. 14, 2015)
« I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously. But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts, or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hard-liners chant ‘death to America’ does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those hard-liners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hard-liners chanting ‘death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.” Obama (Aug. 6, 2015)
A senior intelligence official, when asked about the satellite imagery, told us the IAEA was also familiar with what he called « sanitization efforts » since the deal was reached in Vienna, but that the U.S. government and its allies had confidence that the IAEA had the technical means to detect past nuclear work anyway. Bloomberg
What’s curious is that the deal that the Obama Administration now celebrates is based on the same principles that the White House now derides as fairy tales. Like parents putting their children to bed, the White House once sang lullabies to congress and U.S. allies to quiet their concerns about the administration’s diplomatic approach to the Iranian nuclear program. Comparing the administration’s past public statements about the deal with its current positions is a lesson in the political uses of fairy tales … Tablet
The French Revolution, he insists, was a continental attempt to imitate England’s Glorious Revolution, and as soon as it went beyond installing a constitutional monarchy and descended into Jacobinism it drowned democracy itself in blood. Jacobin democracy—populist, egalitarian, naturally inclined to see Marx as the heir of Robespierre—is European. Real democracy—an independent civil society, rule of law, constitutional checks and balances—is an invention of « Anglo-Celtic civilization. »
Britain was lucky, rather than predestined, to be free. Liberty, he argues, is a happy accident of England’s history: « Since the collapse of Rome, there has never been any significant period in Britain when the state was strong enough to enforce its will without considerable concessions to the rights and liberties of important sections of its subjects and without reliance upon consent. » In Britain—and in America—society created and controlled the state. In continental Europe, the state created and controlled both society and nation.
In Conquest’s view, South Africa, India, and democratic Nigeria share more with Canada, the US, and Britain than they do with African and Asian neighbors with political cultures of non-English origin. Common institutions—liberal constitutionalism, the rule of law, checks and balances, and common values like tolerance and individual rights—as well as a common language provide the basis for « a more fruitful unity » than, for example, common membership in the divided and generally impotent United Nations. Michael Ignatief
“The mere existence of the U.S.S.R., and its ideas, distorted the way in which many people over the whole world thought about society, the economy, human history. Many were seduced by the comfortable word ‘socialism,’ even to the extent of rejecting the Western ideas of free discussion, political compromise, plural society, piecemeal practicality, change without chaos.” Robert Conquest
« The Arab conquerors acted in a typically imperialist fashion from the start, subjugating indigenous populations, colonizing their lands, and expropriating their wealth, resources, and labor. (…) From the first Arab-Islamic empire of the mid-seventh century to the Ottomans, the last great Muslim empire, the story of Islam has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less important, of imperialist dreams.” Ephraim Karsh
Whether it was the Romans in Gaul, the Arabs throughout the Mediterranean and Southern Asia, the Huns in Eastern Europe, the Mongols in China, the Turks in the Middle East and the Balkans, the Bantu in southern Africa, the Khmer in East Asia, the Aztecs in Mexico, the Iroquois in the Northeast, or the Sioux throughout the Great Plains, human history has been stained by man’s continual use of brutal violence to acquire land and resources and destroy or replace those possessing them. Scholars may find subtle nuances of evil in the European version of this ubiquitous aggression, but for the victims such fine discriminations are irrelevant. (…) Yet this ideologically loaded and historically challenged use of words like “colonial” and “colonialist” remains rife in analyses of the century-long disorder in the Middle East. Both Islamists and Arab nationalists, with sympathy from the Western left, have blamed the European “colonialists” for the lack of development, political thuggery, and endemic violence whose roots lie mainly in tribal culture, illiberal shari’a law, and sectarian conflicts … Bill Thornton
Cachez cet imperialisme et ce colonialisme que je ne saurai voir !
Au lendemain de la signature d’un accord historique …
Sur le programme nucleaire inexistant …
D’un pays en train d’en effacer les dernieres traces …
Et combattant un ennemi sans nom …
Quel meilleur hommage en cette disparition de celui qui fut si longtemps seul, pendant la guerre froide, a denoncer les mensonges du monde communiste …
Que ce rappel par l’islamologue Bruce Thornton et le site The Muslim issue …
Que l’imperialisme et le colonialisme occidentaux dont tant les islamistes que leurs idiots utiles nous rabattent les oreilles …
Ne sont non seulement pour rien dans la situation actuelle du Moyen-Orient …
Mais qu’ils ont historiquement peu a apprendre des quelque quinze siècles d’imperialisme musulman …
Y compris celui qui de Chypre a la Papouasie occidentale (respectivement depuis 41 et 49 ans) …
Et sans parler de la pretendue et oxymorique Republique islamique d’Iran comme du soi-disant Etat islamique …
Continue a sevir dans la plus grande indifference, voire la complicite du pretendu Monde libre ?
West Papua: The small island where 15% of population have been killed by Muslims
The Muslim issue
August 2, 2015
Muslims are slaughtering the aboriginals of West Papua after taking occupation by force, and killing their dreams of independence granted onto them.
It’s so easy to forget that Muslim violence and oppression is an everyday reality in many small places around the world too.
The people of West Papua have been suffering under Indonesian occupation since 1962. Over 500,000 civilians have been killed, and thousands more have been raped, tortured and imprisoned by Muslims. Foreign media and human rights groups are banned from operating in West Papua, so people rarely hear about the situation there.
The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished.
Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought the now-dominant Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolise trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia was granted its independence from the Dutch after World War II.The Dutch tried to avoid a Muslim takeover of the region and to prepare the natives for independence, the Dutch significantly raised development spending off its low base, began investing in Papuan education, and encouraged Papuan nationalism. But once the Dutch left freedom did not last long and the Muslims quickly moved in and took over.
Indonesia’s history has since been turbulent under its Muslim rule, with challenges posed by natural disasters, mass slaughter, corruption, separatism, a democratisation process, and periods of rapid economic change.
West Papua – The Secret War in Asia
The following short film gives a good introduction to what is happening in West Papua.
West Papua was colonised by the Netherlands in 1898, along with the islands that now make up Indonesia. When the Republic of Indonesia became an independent nation state in 1949, West Papua remained under Dutch control. The Dutch government began preparing West Papua for its own independence throughout the 1950s. At the end of 1961, West Papua held a Congress at which its people declared independence, and raised their new flag – the Morning Star.
But within months the dream was dead. The Indonesian Muslim military invaded West Papua and conflict broke out between the Netherlands, Indonesia and the indigenous population regarding control of the territory. The US intervened and engineered an agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands, which in 1962 gave control of West Papua to the United Nations and one year later transferred control to Indonesia. The Papuans were never consulted. However, the agreement did promise them their right to self determination – a right which is guaranteed by the UN to all people in the world.
Act of No Choice
By 1969 there was widespread resistance to Indonesian rule. The Indonesian military had killed and imprisoned thousands of Papuans in the seven years it had occupied the country – yet it was under these conditions that the people were supposed to exercise their right to self determination. It was agreed that the UN should oversee a plebiscite of the people of West Papua, in which they would be given two choices: to remain part of Indonesia or to become an independent nation. This vote was to be called the ‘Act of Free Choice.’
Protests at Act of Free Choice
West Papuans holding placards, calling for UN assitance, after Indonesia’s invasion of West Papua in 1962
But the Act was a sham. Instead of overseeing a free and fair election, the UN stood by while Indonesia rigged the vote. Declaring that the Papuans were too ‘primitive’ to cope with democracy, the Indonesian military hand-picked just 1,026 ‘representative’ Papuans, out of a population of one million, bribed them and threatened to kill them and their families if they voted the wrong way. So strong was the intimidation that despite widespread opposition to Indonesian rule, all 1,026 voted to remain a part of Indonesia. Despite protests from the Papuans, a critical report by a UN official and condemnation of the vote in the international media, the UN shamefully sanctioned the result and West Papua has remained under control of the Indonesian state ever since. The Papuans now dub this episode ‘the Act of No Choice’.
Consigning the fate of a million people to live under the brutal occupation that ensued is one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the UN. Recently there have been a number of detailed reports that heavily criticise the actions of Indonesia, the UN, and its member states during this period. One of the aims of the Free West Papua Campaign is to persuade the UN to review its role in this event and allow the Papuans a true act of self determination.
The People and Land Under Attack
Since the first days of Indonesian occupation, the people and land of West Papua have been under relentless attack. In an attempt to control the Papuans, and to claim the land to make way for resource extraction, the Indonesian army has systematically murdered, raped and tortured people in numbers that could constitute a genocide. One of the worst examples of this is the displacement and killing of thousands of people to make way for the giant American- and British-owned Freeport mine, the largest gold mine in the world, which has reduced a sacred mountain to a crater and poisoned the local river system. In a further attempt to eradicate Papuan culture, around one million people from overcrowded shanty towns across Indonesia have been moved into ‘transmigration’ camps cut into the forests.
Resistance to Indonesian Colonialism
Resistance to the Indonesian occupation started from the first days after the invasion. An armed guerrilla group called the OPM (Free Papua Movement) was formed in 1970 to resist the colonisation of West Papua. The OPM carried out a number of guerrilla attacks on the Indonesian military and on the holdings of multinational companies who had taken Papuan land and resources – including a successful attempt to close down the Freeport gold and copper mine. Armed mostly with bows and arrows, the small, ragged but determined OPM fought an almost unknown war against the well-armed, Western-backed Indonesian military for decades.
Following the fall of the Indonesian military dictator, General Suharto, in 1998, a political space briefly opened up in West Papua. The Morning Star flag was flown again and a huge public congress was held in the year 2000 with hundreds of delegates from tribes all across Papua. The Congress rejected the result of the 1969 Act of Free Choice and reaffirmed West Papua as an independent nation. It also gave power to the newly formed Papuan Presidium Council (PDP) to gain world recognition for West Papua’s independence. But these hopes were soon dashed. Fearing secession, the army moved in, and hundreds of people were shot and arrested for public flag raisings and independence rallies. Then, in November 2001, the charismatic president of the PDP, Theys Eluay, was assassinated by Indonesian soldiers.
Independence aspirations continued to be publicly demonstrated and whilst on the ground the police and military continued to respond with violence and intimidation, the Indonesian state attempted to quell these hopes by passing special autonomy legislation. The legislation was supposed to devolve some power and distribute more resources to West Papua but it is widely regarded as a failure by the indigenous Papuans with corruption leading to money being hoarded or misspent.
In recent years a new independence organisation, the KNPB (National Committee for West Papua) has become prominent. Under its guidance huge independence rallies have been held across West Papua and the West Papuan’s voice is united more than ever. As a result, many of its members have been arrested, tortured and killed. In 2012, the KNPB chairman Mako Tabuni was killed by Indonesian police, whilst many others face lengthy jail sentences of up to fifteen years just for raising the West Papuan flag.
Today West Papua’s tragedy continues with ongoing reports of villages being burnt, Papuans being arrested, tortured and shot and the beautiful natural wilderness being devastated by logging, mining, agricultural and biofuel interests.
“I recognise the inalienable right of the indigenous people of West Papua to self-determination which was violated in the 1969 “Act of Free Choice”. The human rights of each of us are undermined if the human rights of others are denied.”
But there is good news too. The issue of West Papua is creeping up the international agenda as campaign groups, Papuan leaders-in-exile and concerned people all over the world alert their leaders to the injustice that is happening in West Papua.
Despite a ban on foreign journalists, media outlets are beginning to cover the story and have exposed leaked videos of West Papuans being tortured by their Muslim occupiers.
With the advent of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) and the International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP) politicians and lawyers are beginning to engage with the issue. Things are moving in the right direction – but they need to move faster if more bloodshed is to be avoided, and the people of West Papua’s cry for freedom is finally to be heard.
Ahmad Zainuddin a member of the House of Representatives claims that West Papuan people voted to join Indonesia with the 1969 Act of free choice.
Ahmad Zainuddin, a member of the House of Representatives in Jakarta, Indonesia, claims that West Papuan people voted to join Indonesia with the 1969 Act of free choice.
West Papau occupied region filled with muslim violence
Herded up like cattle and led away onto Indonesian army trucks to be tortured and then murdered. This is the reality of life in occupied West Papua. A land where over 500,000 people have been murdered by the Indonesian army, and thousands more have ‘disappeared’, been raped, tortured and imprisoned.
July 29, 2015
Language is the first casualty of wars over foreign policy. To paraphrase Thucydides, during ideological conflict, words have to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which is now given them.
One word that has been central to our foreign policy for over a century is “colonialism.” Rather than describing a historical phenomenon––with all the complexity, mixture of good and evil, and conflicting motives found on every page of history––“colonialism” is now an ideological artifact that functions as a crude epithet. As a result, our foreign policy decisions are deformed by self-loathing and guilt eagerly exploited by our adversaries.
The great scholar of Soviet terror, Robert Conquest, noted this linguistic corruption decades ago. Historical terms like “imperialism” and “colonialism,” Conquest wrote, now refer to “a malign force with no program but the subjugation and exploitation of innocent people.” As such, these terms are verbal “mind-blockers and thought-extinguishers,” which serve “mainly to confuse, and of course to replace, the complex and needed process of understanding with the simple and unneeded process of inflammation.” Particularly in the Middle East, “colonialism” has been used to obscure the factual history that accounts for that region’s chronic dysfunctions, and has legitimized policies doomed to fail because they are founded on distortions of that history.
The simplistic discrediting of colonialism and its evil twin imperialism became prominent in the early twentieth century. In 1902 J.A. Hobson’s influential Imperialism: A Study reduced colonialism to a malign economic phenomenon, the instrument of capitalism’s “economic parasites,” as Hobson called them, who sought resources, markets, and profits abroad. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin, faced with the failure of classical Marxism’s historical predictions of the proletarian revolution, in 1917 built on Hobson’s ideas in Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. Now the indigenous colonized peoples would perform the historical role of destroying capitalism that the European proletariat had failed to fulfill.
These ideas influenced the anti-colonial movements after World War II. John-Paul Sartre, in his introduction to Franz Fanon’s anti-colonial screed The Wretched of the Earth, wrote, “Natives of the underdeveloped countries unite!” substituting the Third World for classic Marxism’s “workers of the world.” This leftist idealization of the colonial Third World and its demonization of the capitalist West have survived the collapse of the Soviet Union and the discrediting of Marxism, and have become received wisdom both in academe and popular culture. It has underwritten the reflexive guilt of the West, the idea that “every Westerner is presumed guilty until proven innocent,” as French philosopher Pascal Bruckner writes, for the West contains an “essential evil that must be atoned for,” colonialism and imperialism.
This leftist interpretation of words like colonialism and imperialism transforms them into ideologically loaded terms that ultimately distort the tragic truths of history. They imply that Europe’s explorations and conquests constituted a new order of evil. In reality, the movements of peoples in search of resources, as well as the destruction of those already in possession of them, is the perennial dynamic of history.
Whether it was the Romans in Gaul, the Arabs throughout the Mediterranean and Southern Asia, the Huns in Eastern Europe, the Mongols in China, the Turks in the Middle East and the Balkans, the Bantu in southern Africa, the Khmer in East Asia, the Aztecs in Mexico, the Iroquois in the Northeast, or the Sioux throughout the Great Plains, human history has been stained by man’s continual use of brutal violence to acquire land and resources and destroy or replace those possessing them. Scholars may find subtle nuances of evil in the European version of this ubiquitous aggression, but for the victims such fine discriminations are irrelevant.
Yet this ideologically loaded and historically challenged use of words like “colonial” and “colonialist” remains rife in analyses of the century-long disorder in the Middle East. Both Islamists and Arab nationalists, with sympathy from the Western left, have blamed the European “colonialists” for the lack of development, political thuggery, and endemic violence whose roots lie mainly in tribal culture, illiberal shari’a law, and sectarian conflicts.
Moreover, it is blatant hypocrisy for Arab Muslims to complain about imperialism and colonialism. As Middle East historian Efraim Karsh documents in Islamic Imperialism, “The Arab conquerors acted in a typically imperialist fashion from the start, subjugating indigenous populations, colonizing their lands, and expropriating their wealth, resources, and labor.” Indeed, if one wants to find a culture defined by imperialist ambitions, Islam fits the bill much better than do Europeans and Americans, latecomers to the great game of imperial domination that Muslims successfully played for a thousand years.
“From the first Arab-Islamic empire of the mid-seventh century to the Ottomans, the last great Muslim empire,” Karsh writes, “the story of Islam has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less important, of imperialist dreams.”
A recent example of this confusion caused by careless language can be found in commentary about the on-going dissolution of Iraq caused by sectarian and ethnic conflicts. There is a growing consensus that the creation of new nations in the region after World War I sowed the seeds of the current disorder. Ignoring those ethnic and sectarian differences, the British fashioned the nation of Iraq out of three Ottoman provinces that had roughly concentrated Kurds, Sunni, and Shi’a in individual provinces.
There is much of value to be learned from this history, but even intelligent commentators obscure that value with misleading words like “colonial.” Wall Street Journal writer Jaroslav Trofimov, for example, recently writing about the creation of the Middle Eastern nations, described France and England as “colonial powers.” Similarly, columnist Charles Krauthammer on the same topic used the phrase “colonial borders.” In both instances, the adjectives are historically misleading.
France and England, of course, were “colonial powers,” but their colonies were not in the Middle East. The region had for centuries been under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire. Thus Western “colonialism” was not responsible for the region’s dysfunctions. Rather, it was the incompetent policies and imperialist fantasies of the Ottoman leadership during the century before World War I, which culminated in the disastrous decision to enter the war on the side of Germany, that bear much of the responsibility for the chaos that followed the defeat of the Central Powers.
Another important factor was the questionable desire of the British to create an Arab national homeland in the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, and to gratify the imperial pretensions of their ally the Hashemite clan, who shrewdly convinced the British that their self-serving and marginal actions during the war had been important in fighting the Turks.
Obviously, the European powers wanted to influence these new nations in order to protect their geopolitical and economic interests, but they had no desire to colonize them. Idealists may decry that interference, or see it as unjust, but it is not “colonialism” rightly understood.
No more accurate is Krauthammer’s use of “colonial borders” to describe the region’s nations. Like all combatants in a great struggle, in anticipation of the defeat of the Central Powers, the British and French began planning the settlement of the region in 1916 in a meeting that produced the Sykes-Picot agreement later that year. But there is nothing unexceptional or untoward in this. In February 1945, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in Yalta to negotiate their spheres of influence in Germany and Eastern Europe after the war. It would be strange if the Entente powers had notlaid out their plans for the territories of the defeated enemy.
Thus as part of the peace treaties and conferences after World War I, the French and British were given, under the authority of negotiated treaties and the supervision of the League of Nations, the “mandates” over the former Ottoman territories lying between Egypt and Turkey. In 1924 the goal of the mandates was spelled out in Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant: “Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.”
Thus the nations created in the old Ottoman territory were sanctioned by international law as the legitimate prerogative of the victorious Entente powers. There was nothing “colonial” about the borders of the new nations.
One can legitimately challenge the true motives of the mandatory powers, doubt their sincerity in protesting their concern for the region’s peoples, or criticize their borders for serving European interests rather than those of the peoples living there. But whatever their designs, colonizing was not one of them. Indeed, by 1924 colonialism had long been coming into question for many in the West, and at the time of the post-war settlement the reigning ideal was not colonialism, but ethnic self-determination as embodied in the nation-state, as Woodrow Wilson had called for in February 1918: “National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent.” The Anglo-French Declaration issued a few days before the war ended on November 11, 1918 agreed, stating that their aims in the former Ottoman territories were “the establishment of National Governments and administrations deriving their authority from the initiative and free choice of the indigenous populations.”
Again, one can question the wisdom of trying to create Western nation-states and political orders in a region still intensely tribal, with a religion in which the secular nation is an alien import. That incompatibility continues to be an ongoing problem nearly a century later, as we watch the failure of nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the hopes of the Arab Spring dashed in the violence and disorder of the Arab Winter.
But whatever the sins of the Europeans in the Middle East, colonialism is not one of them. The misuse of the term may sound trivial, but it legitimizes the jihadist narrative of Western guilt and justified Muslim payback through terrorist violence, now perfumed as “anticolonial resistance.” It reinforces what Middle East scholar J.B. Kelly called the “preemptive cringe,” the willingness of the West to blame itself for the region’s problems, as President Obama did in his 2009 Cairo speech when he condemned the “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims.”
This apologetic stance has characterized our foreign policy and emboldened our enemies for half a century. Today the region is in more danger of collapse into widespread violence and more of a threat to our national interests than at any time in the last fifty years. Perhaps we should start crafting our foreign policy on the foundations of historical truth and precise language.
The Triumph of Robert Conquest
He chronicled the Soviet terror that so many in the West refused to see.
Aug. 5, 2015
Robert Conquest was born in 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution, so it seems fitting that he outlived the Soviet Union by more than 25 years.
The indefatigable historian, and enemy, of Soviet totalitarianism died Tuesday at age 98.
Conquest’s major themes were reality and delusion. “The Great Terror” (1968) was the first and still definitive treatment of Stalin’s purges, gulags, show trials and secret police, meticulously documenting the enormity of the death toll. “Harvest of Sorrow” (1986) chronicled what he called the “terror famines” that followed agricultural collectivization.
When sources inside Russia were few and most Kremlinologists were oblivious, these classics contributed immensely to understanding the nature of the Communist project. They also helped shape the response that won the Cold War; Reagan and Thatcher were among his readers.
Still, until Moscow opened the archives post-1989, leftist intellectuals and especially academics denied the realities Conquest exposed, claiming he exaggerated Stalin’s evil. That debate is now closed beyond challenge.
Conquest dedicated his later years at Stanford’s Hoover Institution to plumbing delusion, which he defined as “massive reality denial,” or why Russia had so many apologists and sympathizers. He blamed the persistence of destructive beliefs and the bottomless human capacity for self-deception.
“The mere existence of the U.S.S.R., and its ideas, distorted the way in which many people over the whole world thought about society, the economy, human history,” Conquest wrote in these pages in 1992. “Many were seduced by the comfortable word ‘socialism,’ even to the extent of rejecting the Western ideas of free discussion, political compromise, plural society, piecemeal practicality, change without chaos.”
Conquest added that the lessons of the bloody 20th century “have not yet been learned, or not adequately so.” Many today across the world still offer solace to dictators and mass murderers, whatever their reasons, so Conquest’s insights into human deception remain and will always be relevant.
Right now the United States of America is being led by the ideological heir of Lenin and Stalin, Barack Hussein Obama. A man raised and mentored by hardcore Communists. I have not read the « Great Terror », but I have read and own « Harvest of Sorrow » and the level of abject depravity depicted is beyond description, reducing Ukraine to the cannibalization of children. A systemic war against « the peasantry and the Kulaks » so brutal that it led Stalin’s wife, Nadya, to commit suicide from guilt. This ideology, morphed and re-marketed to fit 21st Century America, is alive and well in the policies of Barack Obama, who has wrecked the greatest nation in the course of human history with his Third World Bolshevism, paraded as democratic socialism.
Let us use the work of Dr. Conquest as a catalyst and a warning of the detriment a cult of personality wedded to totalitarian ideology can have on a people and a society, so as to stop what happened in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany from happening here, or else we are going to need historian’s like Robert Conquest to document Obama’s crimes and atrocities against America. You think we would have learned.
It is human nature not to want to believe the worst. It is what makes Leftism possible. To support Leftist causes, one is required to look away, to deny reality. One can only defend their extreme position on abortion if one does not look at sonograms or the recent videos of Planned Parenthood and refuse to hear the gruesome details of partial birth abortion. And so it is with the Iran peace ‘deal’; to support it one is required to ignore the anti-Semitic, anti American pronouncements of Iran’s leaders, their history of deception, their open support for terrorism, and the violent subjugation of their people . Obama argues that his critics are wrong to take things at face value and that the price of their misjudgment will be war. But if Obama is wrong, if the Ayatollah really means what he says, if history really does teach us, what will the price of Obama’s misjudgment be? Peace? Yep, you would have to believe that too.