• Play the sound file (duration 43m21s).
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! This is your soporifically genial host John Derbyshire, broadcasting to you from Taki's private island in the sunny Aegean.
Much of this week's program will be given over to the Middle East. I apologize in advance for this, listeners. I know you'd rather not think about the filthy place and its deranged inhabitants; but it is our duty here as a major news outlet to keep you abreast of developments over there. So here we go.
02 — Is you is or is you ain't ISIS? ISIS, the fundamentalist Muslim group that controls territory in Iraq and Syria, now also has a foothold in Libya. CNN reported this week that Libyan fighters loyal to ISIS now control the city of Derna, population 100,000, on Libya's Mediterranean coast less than 200 miles west of the Egyptian border.
This was very bad news for some Egyptian Christian men who had been living as guest workers in Libya. On Sunday the 15th ISIS released a five-minute video showing the men, either 20 or 21 in number, being being marched along a beach with their hands bound, each one accompanied by an ISIS guy in black. On a word of command the men were halted, ordered to kneel, then all simultaneously decapitated.
The ISIS officer in charge then made a little speech in good American English. He threatened Europe, pointing with his bloody knife northward over the Mediterranean. Quote: "We will conquer Rome by Allah's permission, the promise of our prophet, peace be upon him."
That's got the Europeans worried, as well it might. The nearest bit of European territory is a Greek island — not this one, fortunately — just 150 miles north of Derna.
I'll have more to say about the threat to Europe in the next segment. Here I just want to comment on the deed itself, and the nature of ISIS.
First of all, why did they kill these Christians? Isn't the rule in Islam that conquered people are given the option to convert to the one true faith? It's even odder considering that the ISIS guy making the speech also said the following, quote: "We will fight you until Christ descends, breaks the cross and kills the pig," end quote. What's up with that?
Well, bear in mind that Jesus Christ and the rest of the Holy Family are saints in Islam. Jesus is in fact a prophet; just not the last prophet. I used to know a Turkish Moslem with given names Isa Yusuf, which are the Turkish words for Jesus and Joseph.
ISIS is a fundamentalist Muslim sect, very fundamentalist. They do close reading of the foundational scriptures of their faith, from which they have deduced an eschatology, a story about the End Times. There will, they believe, be a terrific last battle against an infidel power the scriptures call Rome. In the times when this stuff was written down, this probably meant Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire.
Whatever it meant, the Muslims will be losing this battle until suddenly Jesus appears. He rallies them and they win the battle, killing the pig, which is to say the Roman leader, whoever he is.
That's their story about the End Times. Note that Jesus will be on their side. Christianity as we know it, the Christianity of the cross, with Jesus as the Son of God, is to ISIS an abominable heresy. That's why Jesus breaks the cross.
Fair enough; but did these Egyptian Christians get a chance to convert? I'm not clear. Perhaps they were devout and refused to convert, I don't know. My guess is they didn't get the chance. Here's why.
Another feature of ISIS theology is a sort of Shermanesque doctrine of war-making. The Islamic state has an obligation to terrorize its enemies with beheadings and crucifixions and enslavement of women and children, because doing so hastens victory and avoids prolonged conflict. The Islamic scriptures present this as mercy, short wars being more merciful than long ones.
So in the minds of these ISIS guys, hacking away at necks there on the beach, they're being cruel to be kind. Whether you like it or not, that's not a totally preposterous doctrine. Hey, it worked for Sherman.
If you want a quick primer on ISIS theology, I recommend Graeme Wood's piece in the current issue of The Atlantic, title: What ISIS Really Wants. Wood's article was recommended to me by a friend very knowledgable about Islam, who in fact got part of his education in a Madrassah. I found the article fascinating.
03 — From the shores of Tripoli. That Libyan city of Derna, by the way, was the location of the very first land battle fought by the United States abroad.
That was the Battle of Derna, April 27th 1805, in the First Barbary War. United States Marines went into battle against the forces of the Ottoman Empire. We won the battle, and the victory is commemorated in the Marine Corps Hymn, "From the Halls of Montezuma / To the shores of Tripoli." Tripoli was the name of the Ottoman province Derna was situated in.
The cause of that First Barbary War was the raiding that went on in the Mediterranean by Muslim pirates from the North African coast, from places like Derna, in fact. That in turn is part of a much bigger story about Muslims raiding the Christian countries of Europe, seizing ships and dragging people away to be slaves, that went on for centuries. The whole horrifying story is told in Robert Davis's book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters, which I reviewed some years ago and which I recommend to your attention.
So far as I know we have never had an apology from the Muslims for those centuries of piracy and enslavement. Perhaps this is something our statesmen could get working on …
Now a British group that monitors Muslim terrorism claims to have got some ISIS documents spelling out a plan to make a nuisance of themselves in the Mediterranean just as they did in days of yore.
First off, say these documents, Libya presents a great opportunity to ISIS. It's in a state of societal chaos, with a barely-functioning government; or rather governments, since there are at least two. This is all thanks to the Arab Spring four years ago and the efforts of our brilliant diplomats and strategists. Libya is also awash with weapons from when various militia groups raided the late Colonel Gaddafy's arsenals
And then, another aspect of the Libyan chaos is that the place is now a major center for the smuggling of people from Africa and the Middle East across the Mediterranean into Europe. The Europeans used to pay off Gaddafy to keep this in check. Since he's been gone, the business has boomed. Italy alone claims to have gotten 170,000 illegal immigrants from across the Mediterranean last year. Not many of them will stay in Italy. Most head for the lush, easy-going welfare states of northern Europe and Britain.
Those boats packed with illegals are potentially a great resource for ISIS. Quote from the London Daily Telegraph, February 17th, quote:
Nasser Kamel, Egypt's ambassador to London, warned Britain to brace itself for "boats full of terrorists" unless action was taken in Libya. He spoke after 2,164 migrants were rescued at sea in a 24-hour period over the weekend in what has been described as an "exodus without precedent." Said the ambassador: "Those boat people who go for immigration purposes and try to cross the Mediterranean … in the next few weeks, if we do not act together, they will be boats full of terrorists also."
End quote. You might say that's just the Egyptians angling for another billion or two in Western aid, but the aforementioned ISIS documents do say, quote:
The number of trips known as "illegal immigration" from this coast … are huge in number … If this was even partially exploited and developed strategically, pandemonium could be wrought in the southern European states and it is even possible that there could be a closure of shipping lines and targeting of Crusader ships and tankers.
End quote. Well, if it happens, the fool Europeans will have only themselves to blame. They are as much in thrall to the open-borders, cheap-labor business lobbies as we are, and even more infected with that sick mixture of guilt and sentimentality towards the suffering masses of the Third World. They've been treating these swelling flows of illegal immigrants coming across the Mediterranean as a HUMCRI, a humanitarian crisis, instead of doing what they should have been doing: turning the boats back, interning and repatriating any illegals that make it to Europe, and mining the seas around the most common points of departure.
The old Barbary pirates stayed in business, though at a lower level, until France conquered Algeria in 1830. Now their descendants are starting up the traffic again; and today they face a Europe that has neither the will nor the manpower to solve the problem by colonization, or probably to solve it at all.
The current population of the European Union is half a billion, and fertility has flatlined. The U.N. estimates that Africa will have four billion people by the end of the century, This will not end well.
04 — Multiculturalism not working for Jews. Also last weekend, there was a terrorist attack in Copenhagen, Denmark.
This was a lone wolf Islamist nutjob, a 22-year-old Danish citizen of Palestinian-Arab parentage, name of Omar El-Hussein. On the afternoon of Saturday the 14th El-Hussein opened fire at a public discussion event titled "Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression." One of the speakers at the event was a cartoonist who had published some satirical drawings of Muhammed. The cartoonist wasn't hurt, but another person was killed and three policemen were wounded.
The next morning, Sunday the 15th, El-Hussein showed up at Copenhagen's main synagogue while a ceremony was going on. He shot and killed a volunteer security guard from the congregation and wounded two more cops. Later that morning El-Hussein was killed in a shootout with police.
El-Hussein was a misfit and sometime gang member with a criminal record: violence, weapon possession, drugs. Just two weeks before these killings he'd been let out of prison where he'd been serving a sentence for stabbing a stranger on the subway. There's no doubt, though, that his motivation in these killings was religious. He'd sworn allegiance to ISIS on his Facebook page and vowed death to infidels.
These killings came just weeks after the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the kosher supermarket murders two days later. So far as we know, all these incidents were ISIS inspired, but not ISIS-directed. The perps had, like El-Hussein in Denmark, pledged allegiance to ISIS on social media; but ISIS has at this point been concentrating on defending and expanding its territory in the Middle East, not in organizing attacks on Western countries.
After the Copenhagen killings, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged European Jews to move to Israel. Quote from him, at a meeting of his cabinet on the 15th, quote:
This wave of attacks is expected to continue. Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Israel is your home.
End quote. OK, Bibi, but here's my question: Why should the Jews quit Europe? If anyone should leave, it should be the Muslims. Three points:
So it seems to me that if the Europeans had a sense of fairness and their own interests, they'd be encouraging their Muslims to leave and their Jews to stay.
Of course the Europeans have no sense in this matter. Like Americans, they are sunk in multicultural fantasies. The irony here is that Jews in America and Europe have been foremost in planting and nurturing those fantasies.
After what happened in the 1930s and 1940s, Western Jews came to the understandable conclusion that it was not good for them to be the only noticeable minority in otherwise homogenous countries. The more multicultural Western societies became, they reasoned, the safer Jews would be. It was, I say again, understandable, but it hasn't worked out too well.
So maybe Bibi's right and the Jews should decamp to Israel. It'll be Europe's loss, though.
05 — Let's help ISIS! As a matter of fact, in a curious kind of symmetry to Netanyahu's call to Jews to return to Israel, ISIS would also like Europe's Muslims to head back home.
This again comes out of ISIS theology. The leader of ISIS, a 43-year-old Iraqi named Abubakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed himself Caliph last July.
This has great significance. The Caliphate is the true and holy Muslim government, and the Caliph is a successor to Muhammed. All pious Muslims owe allegiance to the Caliphate.
There is of course nothing to stop any warlord with some territory from declaring himself the Caliph and his patch of desert the Caliphate, and many have done so. Majority Muslim opinion, though, is that the last Caliphate was the Ottoman Empire, which was wound up in 1924. There's been no Caliphate since then, and no Muslim nation recognizes ISIS as a new Caliphate with al-Baghdadi as the Caliph.
ISIS in fact resembles certain Christian heresies of the Middle Ages: the Albigensians, for example, who likewise cooked up their own theology from close reading of the scriptures, and claimed total spiritual and temporal authority in the territories they gained. They gave the medieval Church no end of trouble, and had to be crushed by force at last.
The claim by ISIS to be the Caliphate does have great emotional appeal to a lot of passionate Muslims, though. Recruitment of fighters into ISIS shot up following the announcement of the Caliphate last July.
Now here's the thing. One item of ISIS theology declares that all pious Muslims are obliged to immigrate into the Caliphate when it exists. So if al-Baghdadi really is the true Caliph, all the Muslims of Europe and America — and everywhere else, too — should emigrate to northern Iraq.
I think this is something we should encourage. We should help ISIS to promote their theology, so that Muslims everywhere know it's their holy duty to move to the Caliphate.
Perhaps this is the answer to stabilizing the Middle East. The Muslims could have their Caliphate, the Jews could have their Israel, and maybe — who knows? — even the poor persecuted Christians of the Middle East could have a country of their own. They did used to have one: Lebanon. That went down the tubes with the rise of militant Islam forty years ago, though.
Nah, just fantasizing there. A slightly more probable outcome is that the Muslim nations of the Middle East — Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Syria — might get their act together and do to ISIS what the medieval Papacy managed at last to do to the Albigensians.
The keynote there was struck by Abbot Amalric, the Papal emissary in charge of the army sent to retake the city of Béziers in the year 1209. He told the army to kill the heretics but spare the true Catholics. OK, said the army, but how do we tell the heretics from the true believers? Abbot Amalric pondered this briefly, then uttered the famous words: Caedite eos, novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius — "Kill them all, God will know his own."
06 — Muslims are the real victims. What does our President have to say about all this?
This week he told us. On Tuesday he unbosomed himself of some thoughts on the topic in an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times. The word "thoughts" there should be taken in the broadest possible sense. Obama's Op-Ed was pure kapok. Sample quote:
Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.
End quote. You still awake? So basically what we have to do is democratize the world. That should be easy.
The President vouchsafed some more of his thoughts about violent extremism on Wednesday, in an address at the White House. This address marked the opening of a three-day international conference titled "Countering Violent Extremism."
The Wednesday remarks were worse than kapok. There are representatives from 60-odd nations attending this conference, but a majority of them were Muslims. This offered Obama a temptation to do some Islamo-pandering; and that's a temptation our President finds awfully hard to resist. Sample quote:
We all know there is no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist, so there's no way to predict who will become radicalized. Around the world, and here in the United States, inexcusable acts of violence have been committed against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths — which is, of course, a betrayal of all our faiths. It's not unique to one group, or to one geography, or one period of time.
End quote. You got the impression Obama was just itching to tell us that the real violent extremists we should worry about are white guys in Southern states with pickup trucks and guns. And do you know who those evil white racists are targeting? MUSLIMS! Quote:
Muslim Americans feel they have been unfairly targeted. We have to be sure that abuses stop, are not repeated, that we do not stigmatize entire communities.
End quote. Obama actually raised the killing of three Muslims in North Carolina last week, though there's no evidence the killer had any anti-Muslim motivation. He seems to have just gone postal after a long-running dispute over parking spaces. The Muslims have been hyping up the incident anyway. The official Saudi Press Agency called the North Carolina murders a "heinous terrorist" act and demanded an end to incitement against Muslims.
See? It's Muslims that are the real victims!
Our Community Organizer-in-Chief also brought up the root-causes argument. Quote:
When millions of people — especially youth — are impoverished and have no hope for the future, when corruption inflicts daily humiliations on people, when there are no outlets by which people can express their concerns, resentments fester.
So again, all we have to do is put the world to rights: Stamp out corruption everywhere, democratize everybody, abolish poverty. Hey, let's get on it!
07 — Amnesty on hold. Some good news for a change. Late on Monday this week a federal judge in Texas, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, issued an order blocking Barack Obama's executive orders granting amnesty to several million illegal aliens.
Judge Hanen was acting in response to a coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, who want to be given time to pursue a lawsuit permanently overriding Obama's orders. The first of Obama's orders would have taken effect on Wednesday this week. It would, as Judge Hanen said, be irreversible once executed, making moot the efforts by the 26-state coalition to kill the amnesty. Hence Judge Hanen's blocking order.
The argument of the coalition is that Obama's amnesty violates the "Take Care Clause" of the U.S. Constitution. That's the clause in Article II, Section 3 that says the President shall, quote, "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."
The word the plaintiffs are leaning on there is "faithfully." Everybody agrees that the President has some power over how and when laws are executed, but he has to exercise that power faithfully. What does that mean? Well, that's what the states want to get a ruling on. They don't think, and I don't think either, that a blanket amnesty to an entire category of people numbering several million, with subsequent huge costs to the states for education, healthcare, and law enforcement, is faithfully executing the people's laws.
Judge Hanen's blocking order triggered a lot of weeping and wailing from the mainstream media, with sob stories about illegals having their hopes dashed, their futures blighted, their dreams shattered, and so on. Of the big TV networks, NBC Nightly News was the worst.
Tuesday night's program trotted out photogenic victims to tug at our heart strings. Quote: "Tonight, Andrea Gabelones is devastated, worried her dream of working for the FBI may not come true." Then we got to hear Ms. Gabelones herself, quote: "You know, we were so ready for this and then today it just crushed us, you know?"
NBC didn't tell us why a person who thinks U.S. laws should be set aside for her convenience is a good candidate for a job in law enforcement.
Then we met Alfredo Garcia. Mr Garcia's future plan, to pursue a Ph.D program at Notre Dame, is at stake, we were told. Quote from him: "All the possibilities that I have in the future just vanished." Really? What, they don't have universities in Mexico with Ph.D. programs? We're not told what subject Mr Garcia's Ph.D. thesis would have addressed. Nuclear Physics? Raza Studies? We're not told. Whatever subject it was, though, Mr Garcia should at least take some comfort in the fact that the graduate-school slot he was aiming for is now open for some lawful American citizen to apply for.
A couple of years ago Brenda Walker, my colleague at VDARE.com, suggested that the government issue a special journalist visa, so that mainstream newspaper editorialists and network news anchors could share with construction workers and computer programmers the experience of losing their jobs to foreigners working for lower pay. I second that idea … although of course there should be an exclusion for the hosts of popular award-winning conservative podcasts …
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Microaggression of the week: The Krispy Kreme donut chain has franchises in England. One of these franchises, for promotional purposes, started up a kids' club to meet on Wednesdays. Since "Krispy" and "Kreme" are both spelt with a "K," they decided to spell "club" with a "K," too.
So this Wednesday event got abbreviated down to "KKK Wednesday." That's how it appeared on the store's Facebook page.
As you may imagine, there was shrieking, swooning, and rending of garments from John O'Groats to Lands End. The waves of outrage crossed the Atlantic and were picked up by corporate headquarters in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The company's Manager for Public Relations, name of Lafeea Watson, said that Krispy Kreme was, quote, "truly sorry for any inconvenience or offence this misstep may have caused our fans," end quote.
"Lafeea" … Let me see … oh yeah.
So … no more KKK Wednesday. You can't open your mouth without offending someone nowadays. I just hope the suits at Taki's Magazine don't make me cancel my annual Aryan Nations Clambake. I put a lot of effort into organizing that.
Item: Science may have come up with a cure for racism. Some researchers at the University of London think we can reduce racial bias by "body swapping." Quote:
Their new study shows that by using illusion techniques, it is surprisingly easy to trick people into thinking they have a body part with a different skin colour than their own, or even a different body.
End quote. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't. I don't know: this story got me sidetracked into remembering that old joke, unfortunately not suitable for a family show, whose punchline is: "That's the one I want. But … can I get it in white?"
Next item, please.
Item: I mentioned kapok up there. I have to tell you, though, that kapok-wise, we Americans are mere amateurs. The Chinese have been putting out political kapok for five thousand years.
Check out, for example, the book by Chinese President Xi Jinping that came out last September. The title is The Governance of China. It's a collection of 79 speeches and directives that President Xi Jinping has extruded since taking up the Presidency two years ago.
The book is just as much fun as it sounds. If listening to an Obama speech is like eating a cushion, reading The Governance of China is like chomping your way through an entire mattress and box spring. Sample quote:
Under the guidance of Marxist and socialist ethics, we should decide to make the past serve the present and put forth new ideas on the basis of eliminating the false and retaining the true for the creative transformation of traditional Chinese ethics.
Mark Twain said that the Book of Mormon was "chloroform in print." The Governance of China looks more like carbon monoxide in print: you're not going to wake up from this one.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who desperately wants the Chinese to unblock Facebook in China, told a Chinese news outlet that he has distributed the book to Facebook employees because he wants them to, quote, "understand socialism with Chinese characteristics."
I don't know about that; but any Facebook employee who reads all 515 pages and survives the experience will definitely understand kapok with Chinese characteristics.
Item: Congratulations go out from Radio Derb to 40-year-old Mikhail Ivan Gallatinov and his sweetheart 31-year-old Marc Goodwin. They will be getting married shortly; the banns have already been posted.
So, two guys are getting married. Is that really newsworthy any more?
In this case, yes. Mr Gallatinov and Mr Goodwin are both serving life sentences for murder in a British prison. This will be the first same-sex marriage in a British prison. We are told that the newlyweds will not be allowed to share a cell. I wonder how long that ruling will stand up once the Human Rights lawyers have got to work.
This story does raise the question: Why do we still have single-sex prisons? Gender is just socially constructed, after all. It's not a real thing. So let's integrate the prisons and jails! It's high time we dragged our penal system into the 21st century.
09 — Signoff. And there you have it, ladies and gents: another week, another … [Phone rings] Could you pick that up, Mandy? … Who is it? … Corporate headquarters? The Marketing Director? I'd better take it … Excuse me, listeners. Hello? … Yes … … No, no. That was just a joke … No, really … No, there is no Aryan Nations clambake, honestly. I was just kidding … Yes … well, you may have heard that, but actually I had that tattoo removed long ago … No, not at all … OK, fine … Yes, thanks … Thanks, Shaquonda. [Click] Phone back on the hook, Derb off the hook. Phew! I'd hate to be fired for being racially insensitive. I believe that does actually happen.
OK, let's have some exit music. Thursday this week was the first day of Chinese New Year, so let's hear some traditional Chinese music. Here's a lovely piece, played on traditional Chinese intruments. The title is 春江花月夜, "Springtime Rivers and Flowers on a Moonlit Night." Just the thing to have on as background music while you read Xi Jinping's book.
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: 春江花月夜]