Profile for Caped Crusader > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Caped Crusader
Top Reviewer Ranking: 23,221
Helpful Votes: 195

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Caped Crusader (London, UK)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Israel, the Jews, and the West: The Fall and Rise of Antisemitism
Israel, the Jews, and the West: The Fall and Rise of Antisemitism
by William D. Rubinstein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Oldest Hatred Rises Once More..., 30 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In this short book, Professor of Jewish history, William D. Rubinstein, turns his attention to the fall and rise of Antisemitism within the West in modern times.

The book is a brief summation of everything in the Jewish history of the West, from the dreams of early Zionism and the situation in Europe at that time; the struggle in the West surrounding the creation of the modern state of Israel; right up to the threats to Jews today with the Islamisation of Europe.

Rubenstein starts off with a few examples of Medieval Jew-hate, such as blood-libels, then moving through the various issues regarding Jewish-Christian relations at the time.

Following the Second World War and the Holocaust, Antisemitism disappeared, but only for a short while. It re-emerged a couple of decades later, not on the right this time but on the left, where it remains and continues to grow to this day. Rubinstein then further divides the modern era of Antisemitism into two categories, 1967-90: from Israel's famous 6 day encounter with the Arabs in 1967, up to the fall of the Soviet empire (the chief sponsor of the Arab world during the Cold War). Then from 1990 onwards with the rise to prominence of the international left's hatred of Jews as well as theological Antisemitism from the West's new immigrants: the Muslims.

Having so much condensed into so small a place would seem to be too great a task in most circumstances, with the risk that something is left out which mars the overall effect. And although I did have a couple of gripes, this is still an entertaining and fast-paced read for those with absolutely no knowledge of the subject, and don't wish to read (or spend) too much getting to know the basics.

Although Rubinstein shows the repetition of history in the various different ways Antisemitism is displayed (such as distinguishing `good' and `bad' Jews), he doesn't go into one of the most grievous and disturbing facets in modern Jew-hatred, the forging of an Arab identity and replacing a formerly Jewish identity: namely replacing the original Palestinian, which were the Jews, with the utterly false notion that the Arabs who came to reside in Palestine were the `authentic' Palestinians. Not merely because they came to live in the land of Palestine, but because they have a history going back centuries and even millennia (even making absurd claims that Jesus was a Palestinian). This attempt to legitimise a Jewish `injustice' is the very heart and the central issue of the Israel-Palestine conflict (it is akin to Holocaust denial or 9/11 truthers - the attempt is to take the blame away from the perpetrators and place it with the victims). This is another exact replica of the type of propaganda used by the communist and fascist tyrannies of the 20th century, in order to manipulate their people, yet Rubenstein has overlooked this.

But nevertheless, this is still a worthwhile and very readable intro on so many other areas.

Related reading:

Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Fast Facts on the Middle East Conflict

The Poverty of Multiculturalism
The Poverty of Multiculturalism
by Patrick West
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars The Evil Twin Of Political Correctness, 29 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Multiculturalism and cultural relativism are alive and kicking in modern Britain. These are the doctrines that tell us, or even dictate, that no culture is superior, and to state otherwise is Eurocentric or racist.

Because of the cultural relativism inherent in multiculturalism (MC), we respect foreign cultures to the point where we no longer respect our own, and indeed encourage others not simply to maintain a connection to their roots, but to replace our culture with theirs. What Patrick West does in this book is explain why and how this all came about.

In this short and well-argued book Patrick West from the think-tank Civitas, provides us with a long litany of offences, consequences and implications from the doctrine of multiculturalism, which he labels `a dictatorship of virtue'. Partly going back to Multiculturalism's rise in modern times in the `60s and `70s, and at another level, going back to the Enlightenment, he looks at the key strains of thought which led to this ideology.

West shows that Multiculturalism's effects and consequences are, for the most part, negative and divisive. He shows how MC forms a link between state funding and ethnic identity, with various ethnic groups being labelled victims, which means being given greater state benefits (such as Muslims having mosques built). This has, in turn, led to various ethnic groups fighting to assert their (victim) status ever more fiercely, creating inter-ethnic strife, and the indigenous Brits (such as in Bradford, Burnley or Oldham) voting for National Front-type groups due to having been automatically disqualified from this race, because of their race...

This is a nice introduction to the problems that are now literally tearing our society apart. But there a few small gripes I have. One is the English, it's complicated. Second, while looking at the cover, you'd be forgiven for thinking this is about what most of us have come to realise, that MC is simply code for Islamisation. While there are many instances of others using and abusing our customs and laws, these are simply eclipsed in number and scale by the Muslim problem. Ironically, West engages in a bit of moral relativism when he spends more time writing about a case of a Rastafarian selling drugs (due to religious beliefs), to a jihadist citing `human rights' laws when attempting to resist deportation after being charged with terrorism offences. It's a shame West does not focus on the more important issues. But again, overall this is a minor gripe as the main message about multiculturalism comes through loud and clear.

A little disappointing, but overall not bad. I found Civitas' other publication, The Retreat of Reason: Political Correctness and the Corruption of Public Debate in Modern Britain, to be a more interesting read.

Other reading:

Liberal Fascism

Londonistan: How Britain is Creating a Terror State within

World Turned Upside Down

34 Days: Israel, Hezbollah, and the War in Lebanon
34 Days: Israel, Hezbollah, and the War in Lebanon
by Amos Harel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Politics and the Personalities, 18 Sep 2011
34 Days, by Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, is an account of the diplomatic goings on, mainly inside Israel, during the disastrous 2006 war with the Iranian backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

There's no military account and the book is strange in that it is told almost exclusively from the Israeli side, focusing on the Israeli leadership and how its personalities dealt with events as they unfolded. The Winnograd Commission report into the war is also featured quite heavily providing impartial assessments and conclusions which aid in painting the picture of what exactly was going on. Because of this general approach I was quite disappointed on first reading. However, when I read it again a year later things seemed to improve somewhat, possibly due to me knowing what to expect...

At the beginning, an interesting background to the conflict is given, focusing on the key factors which enabled the war to take place. These were Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah's rise, the daily Lebanese political realities and so on. The central narrative of the book revolves around the diplomacy and dithering regarding decision-making in Jerusalem. And while this is interspersed with other pieces of information important to the context of the main story, I found myself becoming bored about half way through the book. In other words, the war is merely the background to the main story Harel and Issacharoff want to tell.

Although the book is based on many interviews and sources, these are dedicated towards the narrow focus of the storytelling and it just feels like telling the story from a variety of angles would've been so much better.

Having read a few books recently that contain good research, but are let down by poor spin, 34 Days Of War is the opposite. It is a dry account, lacking in imagination. Certainly the freak occurrence for Israel of such a poor leadership is a point worth noting, but it seems not enough to hold the average reader's attention for the entire duration of a book. For those avid readers of Mid East goings on, you will find info of interest. But for those who also like reading for pleasure, this may disappoint.

Arafat's War: The Man and His Battle for Israeli Conquest
Arafat's War: The Man and His Battle for Israeli Conquest
by Professor Efraim Karsh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.45

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Man, The Myth, The Murderer, 16 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In Arafat's War, Professor Efraim Karsh of King's College London, shows Yasser Arafat, the leader of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organisation), to have been what many in the West don't know, or refused to believe: that Arafat was a tyrant, complicit in many massacres and a betrayer of `his' people (Arafat was born in Cairo, Egypt. Therefore not even fitting his own definition of what constitutes a `Palestinian').

Karsh briefly introduces us to what is known about Arafat's personal life and childhood, but refrains from making significant comment. The reader is left to make up their minds about Arafat based on the key actions and events in history.

Covering the history of the Arab-Israel War, Karsh briefly takes us back to the birth of the refugee problem; the 1948 war with Israel and the subsequent birth of the Palestinian nationalist movement, which Arafat was to very quickly become leader of. The various groups' manifestos are revealed showing that throughout the years, these documents remained the same: calling for the destruction of Israel as their central pledge. Here, Karsh quotes Abu Iyad, Arafat's second in command from 1988 when he said "The establishment of a Palestinian state on any part of Palestine is but a step towards the [liberation of the] whole of Palestine" which includes Israel proper.

"At their core", Karsh writes, "these groups were inspired by Franz Fanon's writings on the Algerian Civil War and believed in the concept of `sacred violence' as a means of national purification in order to achieve deliverance" (very Hitlerian/socialist).

Throughout the book, Karsh has crammed in lots of facts, and spends some time debunking many myths and misconceptions surrounding the peace talks and the intifadas. In an account of the treatment of the refugees under Israeli control (contrasted with that of the PLO), we see that the West Bank and Gaza economies in the `70s and early `80s grew more quickly than Israel's own economy and that of many other states around the world, including Singapore and Hong Kong (never mind the paltry economies of neighbouring Arab states).

Other debunking includes the accusation surrounding the Second Intifada, which started in 2000, and was not the result of Ariel Sharon's `provocative' visit to the Temple Mount. Karsh quotes various written material when showing that it was not only the Israelis that the Arab refugees blamed for their plight. Karsh also shows some of the lesser known incidence of Arafat sacrificing his men, women and children during the Lebanon Civil War (and how Arafat kick-started the Civil War); and various other things, such as Nabil Amr's (PA Cabinet member) open letter of resignation to Arafat two years into the 2nd Intifada, disparaging the ageing PA Chairman for having failed the Palestinian people and missing the opportunities for creating a Palestinian State; and much more.

At the time of publication (2003), the hugely disappointing peace process had just fallen to pieces, thus Karsh spends a lot of time analysing the back-and-forth between the Israeli and American diplomats, the PLO leader, and the politics and dynamics of those relationships. As such, this takes up most of the book. Personally, I would've liked to have read more about `Arafat's battle for Israeli conquest' in the Cold War years, the connections and relationships with his Marxist patrons, the strategy to create hostility to Israel with his high-profile airliner hijacking campaign, his mass media campaign, as well as the simply stupefying privileges he received at the UN. But nevertheless, Karsh's account of the peace process will still leave many questioning just how anyone could have even conceived that the peace process could've worked, in light of all the evidence provided here.

Even with this being almost a decade old, it's amazing just how much is still relevant to today's political scene as history repeats itself. Karsh's book was so `cutting edge' on release there are many facts that have still not filtered down into mainstream discourse when it comes to the Middle East, although that may be deliberate in some sectors of the media.

Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle For Palestine
Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle For Palestine
by Daniel Pipes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.85

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Palestine-Palestine Conflict, 4 May 2011
In Gaza, June 2007, a high-profile battle broke out between two rival Palestinian factions. Fatah on the one hand was attempting to hold onto power after being defeated in landslide elections the year before by Hamas, and Hamas was now attempting to oust Fatah.

Although the violence was covered by the mainstream media, it seemed that this was merely a brief footnote in the Israel-Palestine conflict which soon passed. But far from it. Far away from the media's everyday coverage of the Jewish-Arab acrimony is another struggle, the struggle for Palestine with a long history. On the one hand, the secular nationalist Fatah (now ruled by Mahmoud Abbas) and Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. (Hamas being an Islamist organisation with terror status from the EU and US.)

Although many in the international community were surprised by the violence, this violence was the culmination of two decades of civil war started in 1987, during the first intifada.

With the over-reporting of the Israel-Palestine conflict in our media, you'd be forgiven for not having picked up on this aspect of Palestinian life. Jonathan Schanzer, a counterterrorism analyst for the US Dept of Treasury and research fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, laments the almost total lack of coverage of such an important story, and briefly goes into the reasons for this, such as a lack of press freedom in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as other reports that attribute this to academics `with an [political] axe to grind'.

Schanzer takes us on a chronological walk through the often overlooked history, from the origins of the factions to the run up to the first intifada. The picture described is one of chaos, but one of using chaos, of creating as much of it for the other factions (as well as Israel) in order to gain the upper hand. During the intifadas, Schanzer describes how both the secular Fatah and the more religious Hamas played their game. With Fatah attempting to balance a more moderate stance for its Western sponsors of the peace process, whilst showing to the Palestinians a more defiant, belligerent tone towards the Israelis; and Hamas on the other hand, with its fanatical Saudi and Iranian patrons, meant it could wage all out violence against Israel without pressure from the likes of Washington.

Israel's support of Hamas (before Hamas had a military wing) is described as one among several mistakes by the Jewish state. Later, as the PLO's main patron fell, the USSR, Schanzer describes PLO leader, Yasser Arafat's search for new sources of funding. And while Hamas allied itself with Iran and Hezbollah (in Lebanon), Arafat found funding from the likes of wealthy individuals in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the Gulf States. It was at this point in the early 1990s that Yasser Arafat's speeches began to take on a more Koranic flavour to them, and the PLO moved into Hamas' ideological territory.

Given that there have been quite a few books revealing Fatah (usually through bios of Yasser Arafat), you do get the feeling that everything here is described in relation to Hamas. Even the chapter about Fatah, is really about Hamas in relation to Fatah. In other words, it's a bit like Hamas vs everyone else.

But this is a small gripe in what is otherwise a refreshingly dispassionate documentation of so many ignored facets of the Israel-Palestine conflict. It is not a standalone work of history, and neither is it a comprehensive one, but one that will greatly supplement other accounts of this conflict.

With the recent Hamas/Fatah reconciliation deal, it remains to be seen whether this unity will last. But in the mean time this remains one of the only books on the market about this little covered topic, thankfully it makes for a great read.

Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge
Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge
by Alan M Dershowitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average, for Dershowitz..., 25 April 2011
In this book, Alan Dershowitz, professor of law at Harvard uni, focuses his attention on the moral-legal arguments facing the West as we now find ourselves combating terrorism. Not merely terrorists with reasonable demands, but terrorists with apocalyptic motivations (as Dershowitz explains, the hardest type of terrorist to combat). Further to this, they are state-sponsored terrorists with seemingly unlimited resources.

Focusing on state sponsored terrorism means that Dershowitz ignores individuals such as the Unabomber, and groups such as the Klu Klux Klan. As a background to state sponsored terrorism, Dershowitz goes back to the Cold War and looks at the Soviet funded Palestinian terrorists (now you know the real reason leftists have rated this book so poorly!) since this provides several parallels between yesterday's and today's situations.

The book's central thesis is that terrorism works because of the way we (or rather our governments) respond to it. In proving his case, Dershowitz looks at the way PLO terrorists were treated after committing their crimes, and how this merely encouraged 9/11 later on (and seeing as this was written before 7/7 2005, that too). But here Dershowitz highlights France, Germany and Italy's woeful approach to PLO hijackings; and later explains the possible reasons why they adopted the positions they did.

In comparing how a democracy should fight terrorism, the way an amoral society would fight terrorism is explored. And right before this Dershowitz shows where terrorism has failed, such as when fighting non-democracies or the failure of terror groups due to not expanding their operations internationally. The arguments over the rights and wrongs of torturing terrorists who could have information on an imminent terrorist attack were interesting.

Upon seeing this book, I snapped it up immediately. Having read Dershowitz' previous books, I knew the the title would be handled interestingly and in depth; and that, Dershowitz does. But I did end up being disappointed due to having misunderstood the way this question would be handled.

My impression was that it would be some sort of investigation as to why we, as a society, respond to terrorism the way we do. If you're looking for a book that explains the tactics and the psychological warfare inherent in terrorist tactics, better to look elsewhere.

Being a layman in law myself, I found everything here totally readable and thought-provoking. But I came away without really having a better overall understanding of the legal way forward. Some of the questions that I would've liked to have seen answered, relate to the Geneva Conventions. They state that those who do not adhere to the rules of war are not entitled to their protections. This would seem to automatically dismiss any and all claims for rights made by terrorists and their lawyers, and all the arguments explored in this book (but the rules of war have been changed since the end of WWII). Also, Dershowitz doesn't go into other institutions such as the UN and the International Criminal Court's (ICC) extending the rules of war, far beyond those of the Geneva Conventions in a seemingly deliberate attempt to reduce the US's effectiveness on the 'battlefield'. But Dershowitz here simply states that the rules of war have 'evolved', which implies progress. Yet a moment later Dershowitz is calling for our laws of war to be revised and updated to the current situation... In terms of the UN and America being signatory (or not) to various laws, Dershowitz doesn't go into any of this.

These are just some of the questions I would have loved to know more about. There are more issues, such as the legal left's crusades and the battles in the courtrooms, not to mention the sociological and academic battles that indoctrinate future lawyers (such as Hillary Clinton). All in all, this book gives the layman an important insight into the legal challenges facing us in the modern age of terrorism, but I couldn't help feeling this could've been a lot better still...

The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower
The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower
by Robert Baer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.31

4.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's In The Detail, 5 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In the `Devil We Know' former CIA spy Robert Baer, provides an assessment of a rising star of the Middle East. An empire the West doesn't seem to realise is there, nor will acknowledge it has largely created.

This isn't a war the US has years to prepare for, it is already half fought and half won, by Iran. Baer writes that as soon as we understand who they are and what they want, we'll be better prepared to come to terms with the new Iranian superpower.

Baer speaks of Iran having started a war with the US back in the `80s, without declaring it. On America's part, being involved with the Cold War at the time, this was ignored. But slowly, over the last few decades, Iran has been slowly expanding its influence, the most visible example of which is Lebanon. But even more important than Lebanon is Iraq, which America handed to Iran on a silver platter.

With America's invasion of Iraq, America did in less than two weeks what Iran wasn't able to do in 8 years of a long, bloody conflict (The Iran-Iraq War). For within Iraq lies a Shia majority; a suppressed people with strong connections to their Iranian neighbours. With the fall of Saddam's regime, the cultural and religious connection between the two neighbours was opened once more. That Tehran would ultimately dominate this new found alliance should've been obvious to US intelligence.

I have to say that ultimately I disagree with Baer's overall outlook. Surprisingly, his is a leftist slant. But my surprise as I progressed through the book didn't stop me from really enjoying it.

This was one of the easiest reads I've had in a long time. The English is superb and the writing engaging. However, where I disagreed with Baer was in his talking up the regime. So for example you pick up on Baer's love of Iran and its people. With that you expect to be reading about the society, its culture, its youth rebelling against the regime, the feminist movement etc. etc. but Baer mentions none of that.

Up front Baer states that in order to understand Iran, it's best to observe them from the outside: from where its empirical aspirations lie. Fair enough. But what I felt Baer was trying to do was create the impression that Iran is so powerful we may as well surrender. But not only this, as Baer implies with his cheer-leading: surrender isn't so bad since Iran is desperately attempting to modernise. Some amazing facts he reveals to us is that the government pays for more than half the cost of sex change operations for transsexuals, and those from the Twelver sect of Shiite belief are peaceful (!). All of which, if true, would be of considerable comfort to those about to be stoned to death, hung, or executed for homosexual practices or adultery, or just shot for protesting. None of which Baer mentions...

On his particularly alarming point about the Twelvers, the Ayatollah Khomeini - who not only invented the suicide bomber, but the child suicide bomber - himself said of the Twelver sect that they were `dangerous' and 'extremists'...!

When it comes to Hezbollah, he describes them as more like a guerilla army than terrorists, because of their superior training and discipline. But he doesn't categorise where political assassinations lie. Is, for example Hezbollah's doing away with Rafiq Hariri, Lebanon's democratically elected PM, in 2005 a guerilla or terrorist action? Another particular bone of contention is that Baer completely messes up the history of Lebanon, admonishing Iran (and more notably the Shiites), of any wrong-doing, even though he sings their praises elsewhere in the book. Better another source on

By chapter 4, Baer's gloves really come off showing an amazing amount of chutzpah claiming that George Orwell would've laughed at the way the US portrays Iran! Baer states most of what we've been told about Iran is wrong. It is not on a crusade, it is not on a quest to convert the world to Islam...

Interesting. Because that's exactly what Ahmadinejad invited George Bush (and America) to do in an 18 page letter sent in 2006. Add to this Hezbollah's involvement with Venezuela and Mexican drug cartels (not only in training rival gangs, but also marriage), in what some are seeing as Iran's attempt to turn Mexico into another Iraq.

In addition to all this, Baer's little propaganda piece is beginning to be out of date. Not because of the recent uprisings across the Mid East, but because of a hint Baer himself gives: that most of the Iraqi Shiites, although Shia in belief are in fact Turkic, ethnically, not Persian. And Turkey is already in Iraq vying for influence. Baer is correct that Iran's strength is not in its military, but in its religious connections and proxy militias. However, Iran is only as strong as its core (Tehran). Turkey is a member of NATO, and Iran's military by comparison is, quite frankly, a joke. In any possible confrontation, Turkey would not likely be as concerned as the US with losing soldiers nor with Iran using chemical/biological weapons against its soldiers. Second, Turkey had one of the fastest growing economies last year (2010) with no shortage of investing/building power. So Baer's prediction of an Iran rising to `superpower' status, unmolested, will begin to look quite a bit like overreach, quite soon.

With Baer being a former CIA man, it's difficult to know whether he's serious about the factual 'embellishments' or is in fact, by providing such uncritical pronouncements about Iran, expecting us to read between the lines and realise that as an Iranian accredited journalist (!), the hype has to be included in order for him to be allowed continued access to that country. Either way, without a single reference to this book's name (citing the 1947 US National Security Act as the reason for not revealing his sources), it still contains some interesting points, but means that it is a book which cannot be cited for reference in any serious study.

I'd still recommend giving it a read, but with the proviso that this is nowhere near the final word on the mullahs or its 'empire'.

The Retreat of Reason: Political Correctness and the Corruption of Public Debate in Modern Britain (Second Edition)
The Retreat of Reason: Political Correctness and the Corruption of Public Debate in Modern Britain (Second Edition)
by Anthony Browne
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Poetry of Logic, 22 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Since its publication, `The Retreat of Reason' by Anthony Browne has become somewhat of a Bible to `refugees' of the politically correct hysteria. If you're like me, and fed up to the back teeth of having the PC police attack and attempt to censor you as the modern equivalent of a heretic because you happen not to tow the PC mob outlook, then this book is for you.

The book is written simply, laid out fairly well, and provides a wealth of, what should be, common sense as an antidote to the PC platitudes we're so often fed. Here you'll find recurring themes for this social experiment: the PC militia's lack of faith in human nature and democracy, the overwhelming desire of the PC police to re-`educate' (welcome to 1984), their attempts to censor free-speech, guilt by association, victimhood, group identities, and more.

Along the way, Browne really gets to the heart of this mindset, providing a wealth of observations: To the PC brigade, truth is no defence. Politically incorrect arguments are never engaged with, because PC opponents are not just wrong, they're evil. Factually correct truths don't have to be proven wrong, just by being politically incorrect they are not worthy of serious consideration.

Also too, Political Correctness opposes power, regardless of whether that power is used for good or bad. So police are automatically bad, but minorities are automatically good, simply because they are deemed to be from a minority class (weak).

This is one of the first books I read on this subject some years ago and it's a book I come back to again and again.

It is a sad state of affairs when our education system is so lacking in the skills of critical thinking, that we allow a dangerous system of thought such as this into our lives without even a second thought. We have been warned about ideas like political correctness quite a number of decades ago:

"Totalitarianism demands, ...the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run probably demands a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth. The friends of totalitarianism in this country usually tend to argue that since absolute truth is not attainable, a big lie is no worse than a little lie.

It is pointed out that all historical records are biased and inaccurate, or on the other hand, that modern physics has proven that what seems to us the real world is an illusion, so that to believe in the evidence of one's senses is simply vulgar philistinism.

A totalitarian society which succeeded in perpetuating itself would probably set up a schizophrenic system of thought, in which the laws of common sense held good in everyday life and in certain exact sciences, but could be disregarded by the politician, the historian, and the sociologist. Already there are countless people who would think it scandalous to falsify a scientific textbook, but would see nothing wrong in falsifying a historical fact. It is at the point where literature and politics cross that totalitarianism exerts its greatest pressure on the intellectual."

~George Orwell~

Related reading:

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the Left Uncovering the astonishing historical revisionism by the left on the real roots of fascism.

The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power The roots of the problem, where we're at, and quite scarily, where we're going.

Decline and Fall: Europe's Slow Motion Suicide

America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It

Inside the Asylum: Why the United Nations and Old Europe are Worse Than You Think
Inside the Asylum: Why the United Nations and Old Europe are Worse Than You Think
by Jed Babbin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.07

4.0 out of 5 stars Bursting the Sacrosanct UN Bubble, 12 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Why is it that when people think of the UN, they immediately think of some higher entity, almost as if it is something sent down from above; with impeachable credentials and a veritable do-good organisation which only a tyrant would object to? Indeed, the vision of the UN is consistent with its founding principles and aims: that of working towards a better world, and world peace. Unfortunately, the impression and founding principles have long ceased to be a reality. Far from tyrants and despots opposing the UN, they now control it, as Jed Babbin, former US Undersecretary to the UN, inconveniently points out.

This is an organisation where, shortly after the attacks of 9/11, created the Counter-Terrorism Committee. The one small catch is that the UN can't decide on a definition for terrorism. This impedes the UN's effectiveness when it comes to terror-sponsoring states, as was evident with Iraq. At the same time, one of its bodies, the ICC (International Criminal Court) expands its definition of war crimes far beyond that of the Geneva Conventions, going so far as to include `environmental damage' on the battlefield (!) as a war crime. Simultaneously, the UN's IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) lets Iran off the hook, giving it more time to pursue its nuclear aspirations.

Throughout, Babbin delivers a fact-packed punch against the myth of the democratic UN and its undemocratic cronies. The UN is hopeless because it contains many Third World states that are hostile to the West. They're hostile, not because as the rhetoric goes, they fear `capitalism' or `imperialism', but because they know that the single biggest threat to their regimes is democracy.

Throughout, Babbin interviews and talks to key officials, advisers and military, in helping to bring light on the inner workings there. Dennis Goodman said about the culture of the UN: "They don't care whether they're talking about commodity prices or transnational corporations. Every resolution had to end with the magic words "The secretary-general should study this resolution and report back", thus ensuring another round of meetings and more study... And longer job security for the bureaucrats."

Also on the list is the Oil-For-Food scandal; Clinton's debacle in Somalia and his approach to the UN, with how he lost the trust of the military as a result; former Secretary General Kofi Annan's power struggle with the US, with the 2003 attempt at an alleged UN reform, internet restrictions, and more.

In the second half of the book, after Babbin talks about moving out of the UN and possible alternatives, he talks about the European community and NATO. He attempts to persuade of the need for Europe to drastically improve its defence spending, if organisations such as NATO are to maintain their purpose. Babbin brilliantly fights the American corner here, chastising the irresponsible attitude in Europe that it is `more sophisticated' because `it has given up military solutions to its problems after two costly wars' (as a diplomat asserted to Babbin). Babbin retorts `That is non-sense, it took American military action - at great cost in blood and treasure - to save Europe from itself, twice.'

What I found quite interesting is just how many topics Babbin predicted correctly. He states that Socialist Europe is on the verge of collapse, which I laughed at as this is just the kind of statement leftists would have ridiculed in 2004. But when I first read this (in 2010) the riots in Greece were just breaking. But Babbin also states that Europe hasn't even woken up to where it's headed. And many would argue it still hasn't. Babbin reports that even as far back as the 1991 Gulf War, the allies' military was already a decade behind the American's. (Again, at the time of reading this I was hearing on the news about the British forces in Afghanistan complaining about equipment.)

This is a fact-packed little book, much better and with more info than I was expecting from a book of this size. He also includes a little international law, as well as some of the Geneva Conventions which are equally easy to read as well as informative. It has to be said, this was written in the run-up to the US presidential elections of 2004, and he occasionally has a go at John Kerry (?), and roots for George W Bush. But if you can overlook that, this is an informative book which could not only serve as an intro to many aspects on the UN, the EU and the relationship between the two continents, but provide some enlightening insights to the more informed reader as well.

Further reading:

America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It

Betrayal: France, the Arabs and the Jews
Betrayal: France, the Arabs and the Jews
by David Pryce-Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The French Take On Multiculturalism, 2 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
With several European leaders recently (2011) stating that multiculturalism is a failure (among them Nicolas Sarkozy) 'Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews' provides much of the history of Franco-Arab relations and France's attitude to both Muslims and Jews in today's society.

France's current predicament, David Pryce-Jones argues, is due to French leaders and bureaucratic elites consistently pursuing a foreign policy at odds with French ideals. These have betrayed the French people and destroyed any chance for peace in the Middle East. Further still, if there is a clash of civilisations, then France will have done much to bring it about. This then is not only a short history of the country's meddling in the Middle East, it is the very evidence for the creation of what we today call multiculturalism.

This policy stems back to the colonial era in order to exploit its 'subjects', because, as Pryce-Jones puts it, France thought it was well placed to take advantage of the Arab world. It did not occur to the French leaders at the time that the Arabs or the Muslim world might one day be in a position to take advantage of France.

The book covers a wide range of incidents, all based on one simple policy; giving the Muslim world what it wants in the hopes of gaining power and prestige in the Middle East, and through it the world.

With Pryce-Jones introducing the France of today (the book came out shortly after the 2005 Muslim riots; so bad President Chirac declared a state of emergency), Pryce-Jones then moves on to describe its background, starting with Napoleon's campaign in Egypt. Subsequently, the invasion of Algeria was in order to rival British India; and by France taking the Arab world, it was to become a rival to the British Empire.

From Damascus in 1840, the archives reveal a Jewish blood-libel which the French PM opportunistically amplified; this gives a perfect illustration for the background in France in the run-up to the Dreyfus Affair. Then Pryce-Jones provides the Catholic angle on developments in the Holy Land, with an increasingly anxious Vatican worried about the status of Holy sites; not only because of the Jewish immigrants, but because of the `British heretics'. The scene is then set for the French to exploit and infuriate an already agitated Muslim populous by encouraging anti-Semitism and anti-British sentiments, giving rise to Arab nationalism in the process. Here Pryce-Jones strongly implies France was more than likely behind the Arab riots of 1920 against the Jews.

But not only was the Holy Land the only battleground. In many places in Europe, from Budapest to Bucharest, the rise of Zionism was largely welcomed and encouraged by non-Jews, being seen as something anti-French. This was only to cause the French to further dislike Zionism and the Jews. In much the same way Muslims today equate Jews with evil, the ministers from the Quai in the pre-WWI period were of the same mind. Around this time, a diplomat by the name of Jules Cambon noted that the creation of a Jewish state had one benefit because `They [the Jews] could grow oranges and exploit each other'.

From there, the book goes on to show the period between the two world wars, with the Quai d'Orsay never missing an opportunity to play one side against the other with the Sykes-Picot Agreement (Picot was from the Quai), and then moves onto WWII onwards, with the harbouring of Hajj Amin al-Husseini, and later Ayatollah Khomeini, to protecting Yasser Arafat, to France's opposition to the Iraq war and more.

Another reviewer mentioned that this is a poorly written book, I found only chapters 3 - 7 (out of fifteen) to be somewhat problematic. Normally I would have reduced my rating accordingly, but the mine of interesting information simply make this history book something quite unique. David Pryce-Jones' work provides a much-talked about subject a fresh perspective, an essential read for those interested in seeing how multiculturalism formed, step by step. This book further provides evidence for an official policy of moving Europe towards Eurabia.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6