Tag-arkiv: Mark Steyn

At bortforklare

Efter at The Telegraph har droppet Mark Steyn, har jeg droppet dem og læser i stedet The Times som mit valg af et britisk centrum-højre MSM (med The Guardian som et centrum-venstre).

The Times har, hvad der nu er blevet fashionabelt blandt MSM, sin egen weblog ved David Aaronovitch. Den kan anbefales, hvad der hermed er gjort.

Dagens blog handler om nogle venstreorienteredes ønske om at bortforklare ubekvemme udsagn fra islamister, så deres* foretrukne verdensorden, hvor “Vesten” er årsagen til og resultatet af alt ondt, kan opretholdes. Det gælder i forhold til selvmordsterroristerne fra 7/7, og det gælder i forhold til Irans præsident Armageddonoutofhere, som Steyn vist kalder ham.

(* Med “deres” menes begge parter)

Her er slutsekvensen, men læs selv her:

Of course, it could all just be nonsense, as it wasn’t with al-Faisal and Abu Hamza. But it does remind me of these words from David Edgar’s play Albert Speer. The dead Hitler is reproving the dying Speer. “Why,” he demands, “did you insist that anti-Semitism was ‘a vulgar incidental’? I said it — clearly time and time again. I didn’t say ‘resettlement’ or ‘cleaning efforts’. I did not speak of ‘special handling’. And yet you all insist that when I said the Jews must be destroyed, I only meant ‘defeated’. That when I said ‘eliminate’ I didn’t mean ‘exterminate’, I only meant ‘exclude’. That when I said ‘purge’ and ‘perish’ and ‘annihilate’ it was, of course, a metaphor. Why was I cursed with never being taken literally? How could the world have been so blind? And how could you?” Well?

Well indeed.

Mere citatfusk

Husker De vores citatfusk-konkurrence?

Nå ikke.

Men husker De så Mark Steyn?

Naturligvis husker De ham. Han skriver ikke længere for The Telegraph, og dermed er tirsdagene blevet mere grå, og avisen ikke længere værd at læse (gratis på nettet, men der er jo andre fra UK). For selvom hans aftenlandsstemning ikke lige er min kop te, så han har ret i så meget andet og skriver bedre end de fleste.

Steyn skriver heldigvis stadig for mange andre medier. Her er han for fuld skrue i Chicago Sun-Times, hvor han rister demokraterne i al almindelighed, og senator Kerry i særdeleshed, for deres citatfusk om, at Thomas Jefferson skulle have sagt, at dissens kan være den højeste form for patriotisme.

Det er svært at konkurrere med Steyn, men det bør bemærkes, at Stjernfelt & Thomsen i deres kritik af den negative opbyggelighed, også påpeger det mildt sagt tåbelige i at hylde det negative, dissensen, afvigelsen, uden at gøre sig klart, hvad man så er for.

Men her er Steyn selv:

There is no virtue in dissent per se. When John F. Kennedy said, “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty” — and, believe it or not, that’s a real quote, though it’s hard to imagine any Massachusetts Democrat saying such a thing today — I could have yelled out, “Hey, screw you, loser.” It would have been “dissent,” but it wouldn’t have been patriotic, and it’s certainly not a useful contribution to the debate, …

Men læs og tænk selv.

Ugens citat: Steyn om "kooks with nukes", Iran, DK, etc.

Når det er svært at finde noget velformuleret at citere, kan vi bare gøre, som vi plejer: Stoppe hos Steyn.  Her er fra dagens kronik i Wall Street Journal:

“The bad cop/worse cop routine the mullahs and their hothead President Ahmadinejad are playing in this period of alleged negotiation over Iran’s nuclear program is the best indication of how all negotiations with Iran will go once they’re ready to fly. This is the nuclear version of the NRA bumper sticker: “Guns Don’t Kill People. People Kill People.” Nukes don’t nuke nations. Nations nuke nations. When the Argentine junta seized British sovereign territory in the Falklands, the generals knew that the United Kingdom was a nuclear power, but they also knew that under no conceivable scenario would Her Majesty’s Government drop the big one on Buenos Aires. The Argie generals were able to assume decency on the part of the enemy, which is a useful thing to be able to do.

But in any contretemps with Iran the other party would be foolish to make a similar assumption. That will mean the contretemps will generally be resolved in Iran’s favor. In fact, if one were a Machiavellian mullah, the first thing one would do after acquiring nukes would be to hire some obvious loon like President Ahmaddamatree to front the program. He’s the equivalent of the yobbo in the English pub who says, “Oy, mate, you lookin’ at my bird?” You haven’t given her a glance, or him; you’re at the other end of the bar head down in the Daily Mirror, trying not to catch his eye. You don’t know whether he’s longing to nut you in the face or whether he just gets a kick out of terrifying you into thinking he wants to. But, either way, you just want to get out of the room in one piece. Kooks with nukes is one-way deterrence squared.

If Belgium becomes a nuclear power, the Dutch have no reason to believe it would be a factor in, say, negotiations over a joint highway project. But Iran’s nukes will be a factor in everything. If you think, for example, the European Union and others have been fairly craven over those Danish cartoons, imagine what they’d be like if a nuclear Tehran had demanded a formal apology, a suitable punishment for the newspaper, and blasphemy laws specifically outlawing representations of the Prophet. Iran with nukes will be a suicide bomber with a radioactive waist.

Vintage Steyn

Her på bloggen har vi med jævne mellemrum behandlet FN og gjort det mindre venligt. Men nok engang må det konstateres, at ingen gør det mere velskrevet end Mark Steyn. Det er et af de hellige emner, som det endnu ikke er blevet forbudt at skrive kritisk eller satirisk om — selvom ingen selvbevidst dansk journalist i MSM kunne drømme om at gøre det.

Dette link er til en tale, som han holdt i december (hat tip Instapundit). Her er nogle få uddrag, men læs selv, selvom det er langt.

Let me give an example. Nearly three years ago, the space shuttle Columbia crashed, and Katie Couric on NBC’s Today show saluted the fallen heroes as follows: “They were an airborne United Nations—men, women, an African-American, an Indian woman, an Israeli….” By contrast, there’s a famous terror-supporting Islamist imam in Britain, Abu Hamza, who, when the shuttle crashed, claimed it was God’s punishment “because it carried Americans, an Israeli and a Hindu, a trinity of evil against Islam.” Say what you like about the old Islamofascist nutcake, but he was at least paying attention to the particulars of the situation, not just peddling, as Katie Couric did, vapid “multi-culti” bromides. Why couldn’t Katie have said the Columbia was an airborne America? After all, the “Indian woman,” Kalpana Chawla, was the American Dream writ large upon the stars: she emigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s and became an astronaut within a decade. What an incredible country. But somehow it wasn’t enough to see in the crew’s multiple ethnicities a stirring testament to the possibilities of her own land; instead, Katie upgraded them into an emblem of what seemed to her a far nobler ideal—the UN. …

Didier Bourguet, a UN staffer in Congo and the Central African Republic, enjoyed the pleasures of 12-year-old girls, and as a result is now on trial in France. His lawyer has said he was part of a UN pedophile network operating from Africa to southeast Asia. But has anyone read anything about that? The merest glimpse of a U.S. servicewoman leading an Abu Ghraib inmate around with girlie knickers on his head was enough to prompt calls for Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation, and for Ted Kennedy to charge that Saddam’s torture chambers were now open “under new management.” But systemic UN child sex in at least 50 percent of their missions? The transnational morality set can barely stifle their yawns. If you’re going to sexually assault prepubescent girls, make sure you’re wearing a blue helmet. …

What’s important to understand is that Mr. Annan’s ramshackle UN of humanitarian money-launderers, peacekeeper-rapists and a Human Rights Commission that looks like a lifetime-achievement awards ceremony for the world’s torturers is not a momentary aberration. Nor can it be corrected by bureaucratic reforms designed to ensure that the failed Budget Oversight Committee will henceforth be policed by a Budget Oversight Committee Oversight Committee. The Oil-for-Food fiasco is the UN—the predictable spawn of its utopian fantasies and fetid realities. If Saddam grasped this more clearly than, say, Katie Couric or John Kerry, well, that’s why he is—was—an A-list dictator and they’re not. …

It’s a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice cream and a quart of dog mess and mix ’em together, the result will taste more like dog mess than ice cream. That’s the problem with the UN. If you make the free nations and the thug states members of the same club, the danger isn’t that they’ll meet each other half-way but that the free world winds up going three-quarters or seven-eighths of the way. Indeed, the UN has met the thug states so much more than half way that they now largely share the dictators’ view of their peoples—as either helpless children who need every decision made for them, or a bunch of dupes whose national wealth can be rerouted to a Swiss bank account. …

As you may have noticed, the good people of Darfur in Sudan have been fortunate enough not to attract the attention of the arrogant cowboy unilateralist Bush and have instead fallen under the care of the UN multilateral compassion set. So, after months of expressing deep, grave concern over whether the graves were deep enough, Kofi Annan managed to persuade the UN to set up a committee to look into what’s going on in Darfur. Eventually, they reported back that it’s not genocide. That’s great news, isn’t it? Because if it had been genocide, that would have been very, very serious. As yet another Kofi Annan-appointed UN committee boldly declared a year ago: “Genocide anywhere is a threat to the security of all and should never be tolerated.” So thank goodness what’s going on in Sudan isn’t genocide. Instead, it’s just 100,000 corpses who all happen to be from the same ethnic group—which means the UN can go on tolerating it until everyone’s dead, and none of the multilateral compassion types have to worry their pretty heads about it. …

The tsunami may have been unprecedented, but what followed was business as usual—the sloth and corruption of government, the feebleness of the brand-name NGOs, the compassion-exhibitionism of the transnational jet set. If we lived in a world where “it’s what you do that defines you,” we’d be heaping praise on the U.S. and Australian militaries, who in the immediate hours after the tsunami dispatched their forces to save lives, distribute food and restore water, power and communications.

Det går den gale vej

Nej, overskriften har ikke noget at gøre med Irak, hvor det som bekendt for alle andre end MSM fortsat går den rigtige vej mod et stadigt bedre fungerende demokrati og stadigt dårligere for lystmorderne i al-Qaeda, som nu er i åben krig med flere sunni-modstandsgrupper.

Det angår Aho-gruppen. Og nej, det er ikke en norsk popgruppe, men tæt på sådan rent geografisk. Det er en ekspertgruppe under ledelse af den tidl. finske statsminister Esko Aho (åh, ham!)

Gruppen gav sin rapport i fredags til Europa Kommissionen. Har De ikke set det i Deres avis? Så er det fordi, De ikke læser Information, der som eneste MSM omtaler rapporten i dagens udgave. Forståeligt nok, da den må bekymre avisens aldrende læserkreds af offentligt ansatte socialister. Eller De kunne have læst det i The Telegraph, hvor Mark Steyn meget naturligt leger hvad-sagde-jeg.

Det er da også deprimerende læsning. Her er et par uddrag:

Europe and its citizens should realise that their way of life is under threat but also that the path to prosperity through research and innovation is open if large scale action is taken now by their leaders before it is too late. (…)

Europe must break out of structures and expectations established in the post-WW2 era which leave it today living a moderately comfortable life on slowly declining capital. This society, averse to risk and reluctant to change, is in itself alarming but it is also unsustainable in the face of rising competition from other parts of the world. For many citizens without work, or in less-favoured regions, even the claim to comfort is untrue.

God citatskik byder mig påpege, at den Knud Heinesenske fremhævelse (Hvem? Ham med “afgrundens rand“. Nå, ham. Ja, ham. Altså ungdommen nu til dags…) i første afsnit er fra originalen. Nej, ikke Aho, den originale rapport.

Som det kan forventes af en offentlig rapport rettet mod Kommissionen, er løsningen på alle vores problemer flere store planer. Spørger man en frø, hvad der er løsningen på et problem, vil den formodentlig også foreslå, at man hopper. Og hvis man spørger en frø, er man vel kun lidt mere ude at svømme, end hvis man spørger en gruppe eksperter om Europas problemer. Medmindre den sidder på bredden. Men jeg fortaber mig.

Man kan mene om rapportens konklusioner, hvad man vil. Men den peger på nogle problemer i vores gamle velfærdsomklamrede Europa, som man bør beskæftige sig med.

På denne blog vil vi bl.a. fremhæve det pudsige, at rapporten ser det som et problem, at venture capital-branchen har sværere ved at rejse den kapital, som giver den navn og gør den til en fristende syndebuk for ubefæstede politikere. Se herom den seneste posting fra vores underjordiske punditokrat.

Er alt tabt, som Steyn og ligesindede gerne antager? Ikke nødvendigvis. Da Knud Heinesen (Hvem? Nu holder du op!) advarede om afgrunden, gav det et kulturchock, som socialdemokraterne aldrig rigtig har overvundet. Landet kom væk, ikke langt nok, men alligevel nok til, at der fortsat er håb.

Noget tilsvarende kan ske for EU, især hvis vi dyrker det nye Europa, dvs. de baltiske og centraleuropæiske nye medlemsstater. De har sunde instinkter, bl.a. deres aversion mod statsstyring, deres støtte til USA og deres ligestilling af nazisme og kommunisme. De er endnu ikke korrumperede af EUs støtteordninger, og selvom den slags gift virker hurtigt på tankebanerne, kan de stadig danne modvægt til de mere terminale tilfælde blandt de gamle medlemsstater.

Men det kræver en mere aktiv indsats fra vores egne politikere i EU, og en evne til at forstå problemerne, som de endnu har tøvet med at vise.

Ugens citat: Steyn om relativistisk multikulturalisme

Den velskrivende Mark Steyn har onsdag et længere indlæg i Wall Street Journal.  Det er som helhed en anelse mere deprimerende, end jeg foretrækker, men så længe det er så velformuleret og tankevækkende som dette, går det nok:

“The progressive agenda–lavish social welfare, abortion, secularism, multiculturalism–is collectively the real suicide bomb. Take multiculturalism. The great thing about multiculturalism is that it doesn’t involve knowing anything about other cultures–the capital of Bhutan, the principal exports of Malawi, who cares? All it requires is feeling good about other cultures. It’s fundamentally a fraud, and I would argue was subliminally accepted on that basis. Most adherents to the idea that all cultures are equal don’t want to live in anything but an advanced Western society. Multiculturalism means your kid has to learn some wretched native dirge for the school holiday concert instead of getting to sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or that your holistic masseuse uses techniques developed from Native American spirituality, but not that you or anyone you care about should have to live in an African or Native American society. It’s a quintessential piece of progressive humbug.

Then September 11 happened. And bizarrely the reaction of just about every prominent Western leader was to visit a mosque: President Bush did, the prince of Wales did, the prime minister of the United Kingdom did, the prime minister of Canada did . . . The premier of Ontario didn’t, and so 20 Muslim community leaders had a big summit to denounce him for failing to visit a mosque. I don’t know why he didn’t. Maybe there was a big backlog, it was mosque drive time, prime ministers in gridlock up and down the freeway trying to get to the Sword of the Infidel-Slayer Mosque on Elm Street. But for whatever reason he couldn’t fit it into his hectic schedule. …

In most circumstances, it would be considered appallingly bad taste to deflect attention from an actual “hate crime” by scaremongering about a purely hypothetical one. Needless to say, there is no campaign of Islamophobic hate crimes. If anything, the West is awash in an epidemic of self-hate crimes. A commenter on Tim Blair’s Web site in Australia summed it up in a note-perfect parody of a Guardian headline: “Muslim Community Leaders Warn of Backlash from Tomorrow Morning’s Terrorist Attack.” Those community leaders have the measure of us.

Radical Islam is what multiculturalism has been waiting for all along. In “The Survival of Culture,” I quoted the eminent British barrister Helena Kennedy, Queen’s Counsel. Shortly after September 11, Baroness Kennedy argued on a BBC show that it was too easy to disparage “Islamic fundamentalists.” “We as Western liberals too often are fundamentalist ourselves,” she complained. “We don’t look at our own fundamentalisms.”

Well, said the interviewer, what exactly would those Western liberal fundamentalisms be? “One of the things that we are too ready to insist upon is that we are the tolerant people and that the intolerance is something that belongs to other countries like Islam. And I’m not sure that’s true.”

Hmm. Lady Kennedy was arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people’s intolerance, which is intolerable. And, unlikely as it sounds, this has now become the highest, most rarefied form of multiculturalism. So you’re nice to gays and the Inuit? Big deal. Anyone can be tolerant of fellows like that, but tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure to the multiculti masochists. In other words, just as the AIDS pandemic greatly facilitated societal surrender to the gay agenda, so 9/11 is greatly facilitating our surrender to the most extreme aspects of the multicultural agenda.

Steyn om FN

Ja, ja, vi ved det godt; alt for mange citater fra Steyn. Men det er svært at lade være, når han dyrker emner, der også interesserer os, f.eks. FN, og gør det så forbandet velskrevet.

Nyd lige dette lille uddrag:

What’s important to understand is that Mr Annan’s ramshackle UN of humanitarian money-launderers, peacekeeper-rapists and a human rights commission that looks like a lifetime-achievement awards ceremony for the world’s torturers is not a momentary aberration. Nor can it be corrected by bureaucratic reforms designed to ensure that the failed budget oversight committee will henceforth be policed by a budget oversight committee oversight committee. The oil-for-food fiasco is the UN, the predictable spawn of its utopian fantasies and fetid realities. If Saddam grasped this more clearly than Clare Short or Polly Toynbee, well, that’s why he is — was — an A-list dictator and they’re not.

Og så lige denne her:

Transnationalism is the mechanism by which the world’s most enlightened progressives provide cover for its darkest forces. It’s a largely unconscious alliance but not an illogical one. Western proponents of ‘sustainable consumption’ and some of the other loopy NGO-beloved eco-concepts up for debate in New York this week have at least this much in common with psychotic Third World thugocracies: both groups find it hard to win free elections, both regard transnational bodies as useful for conferring a respect unearned at the ballot box, and neither is unduly troubled by the lack of accountability in global institutions.

Det er fra Spectator (17/9 05, men nu også gratis tilgængeligt på hans hjemmeside). Læs selv hans stilling til FN, ikke mindst hans opbakning til, at Kofi Annan bliver på posten så længe som muligt…

Ugens citat: Steyn om lig, Tyskland & euro-velfærd

Vores med-pundiokrat Mr. Law har henledt Punditokraternes opmærksomhed på Mark Steyns farverige status i The Telegraph over det tyske valg og den europæiske velfærdsstat:

“If you want the state of Europe in a nutshell, skip the German election coverage and consider this news item from the south of France: a fellow in Marseilles is being charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month.

She was 94 when she croaked, so she’d presumably been enjoying the old government cheque for a good three decades or so, but her son figured he might as well keep the money rolling in until her second century and, with her corpse tucked away under a pile of rubbish in the living room, the female telephone voice he put on for the benefit of the social services office was apparently convincing enough. As the Reuters headline put it: “Frenchman lived with dead mother to keep pension.”

That’s the perfect summation of Europe: welfare addiction over demographic reality.

Think of Germany as that flat in Marseilles, and Mr Schröder’s government as the stiff, and the country’s many state benefits as that French bloke’s dead mum’s benefits. Germany is dying, demographically and economically. Pick any of the usual indicators of a healthy advanced industrial democracy: Unemployment? The highest for 70 years. House prices? Down. New car registration? Nearly 15 per cent lower than in 1999. General nuttiness? A third of Germans under 30 think the United States government was responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11.”

Læs selv resten af den underholdende og deprimerende analyse.

Afrika – Steyn Rocks

Som tidligere nævnt er tirsdag Steyndag i The Telegraph, og i dagens klumme, What rocks is capitalism, tager han fat på indsamlingen til Afrika. Det er et svært emne, da behovet for hjælp til Afrika er så indlysende, men hans pointe er så meget desto mere vigtig: det handler ikke bare om at sende penge, det handler om at bruge dem rigtigt.

Rockstjernerne forstår selv at udnytte markedsøkonomien til at blive fabelagtigt rige og undgå for meget nærkontakt med skattefar; de burde lade afrikanerne få samme chance.

En smagsprøve, men læs selv:

The system that enriched them could enrich Africa. But capitalism’s the one cause the poseurs never speak up for. The rockers demand we give our fokkin’ money to African dictators to manage, while they give their fokkin’ money to Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts to manage. Which of those models makes more sense?

Mark Steyn

Tirsdag er en dejlig dag, for så har The Telegraph en klumme skrevet af Mark Steyn. Dagens klumme handler om kunstnernes opposition, som ingen af dem åbenbart tør opponere imod.

Søndag er også god, for så kan man læse hans klumme i Chicago Sun-Times. Her er hans seneste, der handler om valget i UK og Blairs efterhånden nedslidte mulighed for genvalg. Her er et uddrag, ren Steyn:

The problem with the war on terror is that once it was framed as an existential struggle for Western civilization, it was all too predictable that the left would act as it did the last time we had one of those, the Cold War: They’d do their best to lose it.

Vil man have mere af denne utroligt flittige skribent, kan man gå til hans hjemmeside. Vil man have det i koncentreret form, findes der flere citatsamlinger, f.eks. denne.

Det er en ren fornøjelse at læse hans kommentarer, også selvom man ikke deler hans pessimistiske tro på Vestens død. Han undervurderer (forhåbentlig) befolkningerne i det gamle Europa; et folk er sjældent så dumme som deres intellektuelle elite. Dette være sagt på en blog kaldet Punditokraterne og med en venlig tanke til en anden Blair, der også var venstreorienteret og alligevel i stand til at kende forskel på frihed og diktatur.