The Competing Merits of Saudis, Iranians and Canadians :: SteynOnline
Some reader commentary on Obama’s Iran deal. Craig Austin writes re the Chamberlain comparisons:
That last point is well taken: the Keystone pipeline has been subjected to a more rigorous inspections regime than the Iranian nuclear program. Because what matters to Obama is preventing Canada getting a pipeline, not Iran getting a bomb.
John Lord writes:
If you mean that the Shah’s Iran was a more advanced and civilized place than Saudi Arabia, there’s no question that’s correct. In geopolitical terms, arguing whether the present-day Islamic Republic of Iran is less worse than the House of Saud is one of those Samuel Johnson questions about the precedence of a louse and a flea. But four years ago in my book After America I characterized Saudi Arabia/Iran as a good cop/bad cop routine:
The House of Saud has advanced quite a long way toward the goal. Nevertheless, the idea that de facto acceptance of Iranian nukes plus giving them money, arms, technology and global legitimacy will assist Teheran to “change for the better” is stupid. As I said to John Oakley, Iran has spent 35 years declining to accept the most basic norms of state-to-state relations and using all means at its disposal to act extra-territorially. We have just substantially enhanced their means to act extra-territorially and cemented the regime in place.
Besides, Obama isn’t thinking about any of that. He isn’t weighing who’s more likely to moderate their particular virulent strain of Islamic imperialism – any more than he cares whether what replaced Mubarak was better or worse. He was opposed to Mubarak because Mubarak was a designated American ally, just as he was opposed to Gaddafi because George W Bush turned him. That’s why, in a choice between a pro-American theocratic dump and an anti-American theocratic dump, he instinctively favors the latter. The “student radical” here isn’t me, it’s Obama – aided by the quintessential superannuated “student radical” John Kerry.
~Speaking of Islamic imperialism’s varied strategies, ten years ago this September an obscure Jutland newspaper published the Danish Mohammed cartoons, and opened up a new front in the clash of civilizations: free speech and jokes. The inarticulate goon imams threatened to rain down death hither and yon, and then began actually doing so. Given that the media are incessantly congratulating themselves on their courage, I carelessly assumed they would welcome the opportunity to show some, and would reprint those cartoons as part of a legitimate news story. In fact, only my magazine in Canada, Ezra Levant’s Western Standard, and a satirical weekly in France, Charlie Hebdo, dared to show readers what all the fuss was about. Ezra was prosecuted by the disgusting Alberta “Human Rights” Commission and lost a six-figure sum. The Charlie Hebdo guys lost their lives.
On the fifth anniversary, I had the honor to appear in Copenhagen with a handful of friends from Scandinavia, the Netherlands and elsewhere at a conference to consider the question of Islam and comedy. There were six of us on stage that day: our host Lars Hedegaard, the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, the pseudonymous Dutch cartoonist Nekschot, the comedians Shabana Rehman and Farshad Kholghi, and me. Nekschot, for security reasons, was obliged to appear disguised in a burqa, and has since been forced to abandon his identity and the cartooning life entirely; Lars Hedegaard dodged a shot at point blank range by a man at his front door who subsequently fled to Turkey, where they’re refusing to extradite. Lars Vilks was the target of the jihadist attack on a free-speech event in Copenhagen this Valentine’s Day in which a Danish film-maker and a synagogue security guard were killed, and so he too has been obliged to retire from public life. Shabana Rehman has had her family restaurant firebombed. So, of the six of us, that’s an impressive 67 per cent hit rate for Islam.
But I’m still here and I love my beleaguered Scandinavian friends, and so I will be in Copenhagen for the tenth anniversary of the Danish cartoons. I will miss those who can’t be there, either because they’re dead or have had their public lives erased, but I will salute those who will be, including the editor who commissioned and published those pictures, Flemming Rose. It’s important to keep the flame of free speech burning in Europe, and in Denmark in particular. Because all you can do as the weasels and cowards of the fin de civilisation west trade away freedom of expression incrementally day by day is to stand up and use yours as loudly as you can. Copenhagen’s a nifty 20-minute high-speed train ride across the Øresund Bridge from Sweden and a short flight from Paris and London, so, if you’re minded to swing by, I’d love to see you there. It’s the afternoon of September 26th.
~Speaking of free speech, as readers may know, I’m being sued for “the high seven figures” by climate mullah Michael E Mann. Were Mann to win, it would be the worst setback for the First Amendment in half-a-century, which is why the ACLU, NBC, The Chicago Tribune and various other unlikely figures have filed amicus briefs against Mann. So I fight on, and I fight to win – even though, as I always say about these things, the process is the punishment. When you have a filthy choked toilet of a justice system such as the District of Columbia’s, just being lowered into it for a leisurely half-decade renders any eventual verdict largely irrelevant. Mann is backed by so-called “climate science defense funds”, even though I’m the defendant here and he’s a serial plaintiff.
I’m profoundly grateful to readers for helping keep me in the game this last year-and-a-half: as I’ve explained, I’m reluctant to set up a formal “legal defense fund” because I don’t trust a corrupt, depraved and politically partisan Obama revenue agency not to demand donor information and then punish them. So I’m fighting a seven-figure lawsuit as best I can. But, if you are overcome by an urge to help out, we do have a new way you can do that. I think you’ll enjoy it.
If I were looking at it objectively, the week after Mann filed suit I would have emptied my bank account, driven across the border and got on with my life somewhere else. But I’ve never ducked a free-speech fight, and here I will make my stand. Had I been in the situation of Dinesh D’Souza, however, I think I would definitely have scrammed. He was the target of a politically motivated prosecution and, bearing in mind that process-is-the-punishment shtick, he knew he couldn’t win, so he cut a deal. Under the appalling hacks who pass for jurists in this system, D’Souza is now discovering that, when you cut a deal with the feds, the terms have a way of subtly evolving. For example, a man called Richard M Berman, who purports to be a US district judge, has just ordered D’Souza to undergo psychological counseling.
I should say, as I always do, that I have no use for Dinesh D’Souza. Nevertheless, he is the victim here of an abusive prosecutocracy and an out-of-control judge who disgraces his office:
The guy who needs psychological counseling here is Richard M Berman. It is a common tool of totalitarian societies to classify any opposition as mental illness. You don’t have to like D’Souza to be utterly revolted when a thug operator posing as a judge starts using the medicalization of dissent with the enthusiasm of any old Soviet commissar.
D’Souza is in the horrible situation of having to weigh objecting to Berman against his urge to see family back in India and being denied freedom to travel – all for a campaign finance offense that is a barely discernible fraction next to what the Clinton Foundation, Lois Lerner’s IRS and Obama’s tax-exempt brother are pulling every hour of the day. The fact that d’Souza’s freedom to see his family is even at issue testifies to what a vile system federal “justice” is.
~Please join me on the radio this afternoon to chew over a lively week in world affairs with Hugh Hewitt, coast to coast at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific.