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18 November 2015


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"who have been won over by radical Islam through years of indoctrination in desolate suburbs that are now strongholds of Salafi beliefs..."

It is my impression that Saudi money and Saudi-educated preachers have played the main role in this. Is that correct?

If so, a logical long-term counterstrategy would be to invite the present ones to leave, and not to take any more.

William R. Cumming

Assuming the terrorists are ideologues of some sort how soon before criminal elements conduct such ops for purposes of BLACKMAIL? Or are they doing so already? See movie BLACKHAT!



How are they defining "terror" in Europe? When they kick around those stats in the US they dilute the numbers of Muslims and immigrant terrorists by expanding the definition of "right wing terrorist" to "Ron Paul fan".

David Habakkuk

Patrick Bahzad,

This was one of the best of your – immensely illuminating – series of posts on SST.

A few – rather pessimistic – observations, in the light of events since it was written. At least in Britain, it is not helpful that large elements of the 'liberal elites' do appear unable to grapple with what is happening.

On Sunday, the 'Financial Times' had a column from a 'contributing editor', the historian Simon Schama, entitled 'a proclamation against Isis, the party of death'. The subtitle was: 'Our citizens need an inspiring statement of just what it is we must defend, writes Simon Schama.'

Looking at the comments pushed me back to an exchange on the BBC programme 'Question Time' last month, in which Schama told the journalist Rod Liddle:

'Do not presume to lecture me about the inadequacy of an emotional response to mass human suffering. Go back to your journalistic hackery and talk about outcomes, and turn your suburban face away from the plight of the miserable.'

(See http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/10/15/bbc-question-time-rod-liddle-simon-schama_n_8308108.html .)

I have some sympathy for the paper's deletion of my comment, because it was written in a state of fury.

But my comparison of Schama to a member of the French aristocracy before 1989 was not simply silly.

There is a very large section of 'middle British' opinion which was always deeply unhappy about mass immigration – out of view, Enoch Powell has continued to have a large following. People who think like this have repeatedly been told by 'liberal' elites that there was no problem accommodating cultural difference, that they were simply backward and obscurantist, etc etc.

If one looks at comments on stories in the 'Express', 'Mail', or 'Telegraph', there is now an absolute seething fury. Hardly entirely surprisingly, people who were all along sceptical about mass immigration feel both acutely threatened and triumphantly vindicated. This is, moreover, not a simple party matter. While Blair is widely and intensely hated, Cameron is commonly referred to in the 'Express' as 'Camoron' – and I won't go into what is implicit in the description 'Porky'.

It is increasingly common to find admirers of Putin, who say – at least he is a real leader, who sees it as his job to look after Russians: why can't we have a leader who sees it as his job to look after the British (or the English, depending on who is writing.)

As it happens, Schama, the child of Jewish immigrants, left for the United States a long time ago. The paper for which he works, which used to be a great traditional British institution, was sold to Nikkei in July.

His comment is actually intensely arrogant. It was the use of 'suburban' as a sneer which did me – among other things, it made me think, go back to New York, and let us have a discussion among people whose hearts are in this country.

But it was also intensely stupid. Commonly, what terrorists want to do is to polarise. Conditions in Britain at the present time are very favourable to polarisation. Actually limitation of immigration is clearly a necessary, if not sufficient, precondition to containing it.


DH, did you save a copy of your deleted comment?

Schama's sole redeeming feature is that he inspires people like this ....


William R. Cumming

An excellent comment IMO so thanks again DH! I read Simon Schama's book REVOLUTION concerning the context of the French Revolution and aftermath. Oddly your comment reflects his view of that important revolution in which he believes the lack of unit of French elites was its cause not the degradation and impoverishment of the peasant class.

What is being overlooked in MENA IMO and the Arab Spring is that environmental degradations over the 20th Century was to some degree masked by oil and gas production in that area. Low energy prices and population growth seem to unstated factors in the social turmoil in MENA. Religion might not be Lenin's opiate of the masses but a stimulant to turmoil.


There is a YT cottage industry of amateur Schama spoofs. I think this one deserves a decent production.


perhaps an apology is in order for frivolous posts, but I really don't understand how anyone could take the man seriously.


When a religion switches from opium to meth, things can get crazy.
A bit deeper point may be the insidious nature of growing fault lines within Western countries. A nation's culture broken into contending pieces can weaken consensus response to severe threats.
One aspect that may deserve more attention is the rise of the suicide weapon system. The rise of the constructed human cruise missile is daunting to process.


The clown and the truth

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