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- Understanding terrorism By Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 6 June 2017
- Understanding blockchain, beyond the banks By Gerald Celente, for Daily Reckoning, Australia, 3 June 2017
- Time to confront local Islamists, this is war By Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 29 May 2017
Scroll down to read the most recent articles; links to previous articles follow.
Understanding terrorism By Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 6 June 2017
“While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is — to be frank — far too much tolerance of extremism in our country. So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across society.
“That will require some difficult, and often embarrassing, conversations. But the whole of our country needs to come together to take on this extremism, and we need to live our lives not in a series of separated, segregated communities, but as one truly United Kingdom.”
— Theresa May, British Prime Minister
It is impossible to miss the sense of frustration and exasperation in Theresa May’s voice as she responds to the latest terror attack in London. She didn’t put it this way but the question which haunts her is: why are so many young Muslim men in Britain willing to take up the path of violent jihadism?
Of course, the absolute number is small. Three attacks in recent months and a dozen foiled attacks. But Britain’s intelligence agency MI5 says 500 people — and they would overwhelmingly be young men — are of the highest priority on its watch list, and that at least 3000 people actively support jihadism. Perhaps 1000 young British Muslim men took the extreme step of travelling to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State’s ideals.
The British government’s counter-radicalisation program, Prevent, has been notably unsuccessful. Several mainstream Muslim organisations won’t have anything to do with it. Some local councils in high Muslim population areas won’t co-operate with it, nor will some Muslim schools.
But in this Britain is simply repeating the experience of every other Western nation. There is not a single Western nation whose experience of counter-radicalisation could be described as successful. The most that any of them could claim is that the odd person has been saved from going down a jihadist path.
May’s predecessor, David Cameron, spoke frequently and insistently on the need to counter “nonviolent extremism”.
In several eloquent speeches, Cameron argued that nonviolent extremism shares most of the jihadist ideology but stops short of advocating terrorism. That ideology consists in part of the idea that there is a giant Western conspiracy against Islam, conducted through foreign policy, international finance, Western military action in the Middle East and the policies towards Muslim minorities in Western nations.
Cameron’s point was that this ideology is based on falsehoods, but if a young man fully embraces this ideology it is much easier for him to take the final leap into believing that military action, or even terrorism, is justified in retaliation against the West.
However, it may be the problem is even broader than Cameron suggested. For the political discourse and broad culture in many Muslim societies — even notionally democratic societies such as Indonesia or Turkey, and among Western Muslims as well — includes what can only be described as myths and paranoid fantasies as a staple.
This is borne out in a series of polling data from Britain and indeed from many Western nations.
The good news is that most polls show that British Muslims overwhelmingly — often by figures near 90 per cent — believe Britain is a good place to be a Muslim. But this makes other polling results even more perplexing.
In a poll conducted last year by ICM Research for Channel Four, about 4 per cent of British Muslims, which would be more than 100,000 people, said they sympathised with suicide bombers. That result has to be treated with caution. Such a small number may or may not mean something. More significantly, only a third of respondents said they would help the authorities if a friend or relative was involved with extremists.
In a separate poll conducted for the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange, more than half of British Muslims polled said they did not know who was behind the 9/11 terror attacks in the US. More than 30 per cent believed the US government itself was responsible. About 7 per cent thought the attacks were a Jewish plot, which was fully 2 per cent more than those who thought the 9/11 attacks were the work of al-Qa’ida.
That result is startling. Al-Qa’ida itself boasts of having carried out the 9/11 attacks. Its provenance and the chain of events leading up to the attacks have been exhaustively investigated in numerous countries. Most leaders of most Muslim nations routinely acknowledge al-Qa’ida was the terrorist group responsible for the attacks. Yet only one in 20 British Muslims believes this.
That same poll showed that fully a quarter of British Muslims believe there is no such thing as extremist thought within the British Muslim community.
The paranoid style and the pervasiveness of conspiracy theories have been a feature of Muslim political culture for many years. More than a decade ago, on a visit to a university campus in Istanbul, I was astonished to find a big public display in the main student sheltered eating area devoted to the phenomenon of the Israeli army strapping Palestinian children to the front of their tanks and using them as human shields as they advance into Palestinian areas.
Whatever you may think of the Israelis, that accusation is simply preposterous, it exists in a state of complete unreality.
This year, in a series of trips to the Middle East, I have spent some time in both Jordan and Morocco, two admirably moderate and Western-aligned Arab nations that in their own ways are doughty fighters against terrorism. But two conversations — one in each country — shed some light on the nature and source of the paranoid style in Muslim political culture.
In Jordan I met a number of cabinet ministers who were impressive figures, in their region and their nation’s strategic circumstances, dedicated political moderates and firm in their solidarity with nations like the US and Australia in the fight against Islamic State terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
But there was one conversation I found completely befuddling.
I went one day to the grand Jordanian parliament building to meet Abdullah Obeidat, a leading member of parliament and chairman of one of the parliament’s policy committees.
Displaying full Arab courtesy, he met me on the steps of parliament. He and I and a retinue of officials strolled into the official meeting room where we sat in grand sofas and were served sweets and tea. And his extravagant speech of welcome made me blush in unaccustomed modesty.
The first part of the interview was conventional enough — Jordan was suffering from a regional crisis of refugees and needed the world’s help. Absolutely true and an entirely reasonable request for any Jordanian to make. But when I got on to the conflict in Syria and the campaign against Islamic State, which Obeidat referred to by the Arab term Daesh, the conversation became more than a little testy. “Let me tell you something,” he said. “It’s something I know you’ve never heard before. The people in Syria are now subject to the worst episode in history. The total terrorism is sponsored by the West and carried out by Russia on the pretext of protecting the Syrian people.”
I wasn’t sure I had heard him right, so I asked: Did you say terrorism in Syria is sponsored by the West?
“Yes, truly I stated that. Terrorism is manufactured by the West. All its intelligence agencies are operating there, sharing information with each other, and the victim is the Syrian people. All these international forces, including those involved in the bombardment of Daesh, they are pre-planned to deplete the resources of the Arab peoples and lands and to injure Islam in its image.”
Obeidat’s hostility to the West is combined with a characteristic wild overstatement of American, and in other contexts Israeli, power.
“This is a major point in my own point of view, is it really possible that the various armies of the Western allies could defeat Saddam Hussein in a few days but cannot defeat Daesh in Mosul or elsewhere? Is it possible to believe that all these nations are pounding Daesh and cannot win?”
As with many conspiracy theories, Obeidat’s combine the strangest of bedfellows, in this case Iran and the US.
“I believe that the West stands behind Daesh. Iran is a stick being used by the West. The nuclear treaty with Iran does not serve the Arab people. Daesh is an illusion. All these terrorist groups are being sponsored by the West.
“Daesh is a Western game and the purpose is to defame Islam.
“Our religion of Islam is a religion of tolerance and love and friendship. In the Islamic books we read and study there are no extremist ideas. I raise my son to say if you have bread in your mouth and your brother is hungry, give the bread to him.”
Obediat then tells me an anecdote concerning his son, who lives in America, finding a homeless white American whom he takes to his own apartment to feed him.
One of the small notable features of a few days in Jordan is that almost everyone I met who spoke English had a son or daughter living in the US or Europe, even if, like Obeidat, they thought the West was involved in a vast conspiracy against Arabs and Islam. The only time in our conversation when Obeidat’s flow faltered was when I pointed out that Jordan itself undertakes aerial strikes against Islamic State targets in coalition with the US in Syria. Obeidat did not care to criticise the Jordanian government.
I have often read of views like Obeidat’s but it was in its way enlightening to have them expressed so forcefully and at such length.
A few weeks later, in Morocco, in one of the most fascinating conversations I have had, I got a completely contradictory explanation of the modern Arab mindset.
In a venerable office overlooking the ancient Medina of Rabat, I had a long discussion with Ahmed Abbadi, secretary-general of the Rabita Mohammedia al-Ulema, or Council of Religious Scholars.
Most of our discussion dealt with why Morocco, at official and popular level, has been able to generate such a strong mainstream Islam resistant to extremism.
Of course, Moroccans living in Europe have been radicalised and overall perhaps 3000 young Moroccans went to Syria or Iraq fight with one or other of the jihadist groups. But Abbadi sketches for me the outlines of a grand Moroccan history, through which his country was mostly an independent kingdom, never colonised by the Ottoman Turks and only briefly subject to European colonialism. It grew its own independent and self-confident traditions of Islam, its moderation buttressed by the prestige of the monarchy and by the tradition of independent, moderate scholarship in the nation.
His combination of complete mastery of his own society’s history, of Islam generally and, crucially, of all the trends in the West is highly impressive and more unusual in the Middle East than I would have imagined.
Finally I bring him round to the question of why so many young Muslim men are attracted to violent jihadism.
“There is nothing more dangerous than a youngster who is bored and angry,” he says. “Then someone gives them some fun and links it to grand principles.”
He outlines an impressive list of youth outreach activities that his organisation sponsors, but I persist in seeking from him some explanation of the paranoid style — my words, not his — in Muslim political culture.
“You cannot miss that there is now a kind of stigmata in Muslim societies that bases itself on repetitive grievances.”
These grievances are not all fake, nor are they all genuine. He lists 10 — 1. The sense always of an anti-Muslim conspiracy. 2. The legacy of colonialism, and that the West has not paid the Muslim world reparations for this period. 3. Israel and the grievances of the Palestinians. 4. The double standards which Muslims believe see them more criticised than members of other religions. 5. The humiliation of Muslims in the Western media. 6. The actions of Western militaries in Iraq and Afghanistan and now Syria.
These six are all highly contestable but have some basis in reality. The next four are much more far fetched. 7. The alleged robbery of Muslim wealth by the West. 8. The infiltration of Western values into Muslim societies and Muslims in the West through Hollywood. 9. The falsification of history, to the detriment of the historic achievements of Muslims by the West.
And then 10, the constant reporting, almost all of it wrong, that a copy of the Koran has been burned by some enemy of Islam somewhere.
The constant repetition of these claims ultimately warps Muslim political culture.
Abbadi says: “The Koran has more than 6000 verses. Only 250, or 4 per cent, touch on laws.
“So 96 per cent of the Koran, where all the beauty and ethics are, is neglected.”
I don’t mean to present Abdullah Obeidat as a bad person. Our discussion, though emphatic, was limited and conducted through an interpreter.
But there is a kind of dialogue in the Islamic world today between the grievances and the dark fantasies of the Abdullah Obeidats, and the poetry and vision and common sense of the Ahmed Abbadis.
And on that dialogue hangs a world of pain or redemption. In the past this has been essentially a dialogue for Muslims. Now it is too important for that. Every Western society has a central interest in who wins that contest of ideas.
Understanding blockchain: beyond the banks
Understanding blockchain, beyond the banks By Gerald Celente, for Daily Reckoning, Australia, 3 June 2017
If you want to talk about a big trend that began taking shape, look no further than the state of cash — the pace at which currency across the globe was challenged or devalued accelerated in the past year.
The stage is now set for even greater momentum: In 2018 and 2019, there’ll be a global sprint toward digital currency.
Sweden — where barely 2% of all payments are in cash — is leading the way.
Government-orchestrated demonetisation efforts in India, Britain, France, Austria, Belgium and other countries are also fuelling the cashless movement.
Ranging from eliminating some currency, to negative interest rates on cash deposits, to assigning fees to cash payments and more, the war on cash grows in reach and intensity.
And so does the growing investment in the technology needed to support a digital currency world.
Debit cards were our first big step toward a cashless economy…
…Blockchain technology now lies at the heart of the second step.
Groups ranging from Wells Fargo to the London Stock Exchange are getting ready for a blockchain-based future.
You should, too.
Perhaps as early as next year, your bank or investment manager could be managing your money with blockchains.
This technology also has a rich future in the online shopping world. It can be used to not only store currency in a digital wallet that is accessed over time but to track purchases and shopping preferences.
The roots of blockchaining
Blockchains were devised as the accounting system for the Bitcoin online currency, also often called a ‘cryptocurrency’ because it doesn’t physically exist.
But once their special qualities became clear, blockchains were quickly adopted for all kinds of uses.
Medical labs use them to track specimens’ movements. Lawyers use them to record signatures to contracts. People, individually or in groups, can use them to buy and sell among themselves, using their own forms of value.
So what’s a blockchain? How can it replace cash?
Put simply, a blockchain is a series of pieces or ‘blocks’ of digital data, chained together by computer code.
A block may be a transaction, such as a check you write. Or it could be an integrated group of transactions, like your monthly banking statement listing all debits and credits.
A chain is a series of blocks linked sequentially through digital code. Usually, a chain orders its blocks chronologically, though there are other ways to group or sequence the blocks.
A blockchain can be permission-less, meaning open to anyone, such as bitcoins are. It also can be ‘permissioned.’
Those are usable only by people authorised by others already in the chain.
This doesn’t seem all that unusual. But two additional features make blockchains special.
- A blockchain is secure. Often, users get a passcode. Some chains use two codes: one to enter the chain, the other to identify an individual user. Once a transaction is entered into the chain, it can’t be altered or deleted. This makes a blockchain a reliable, hard-to-dispute record of who did what.
- A blockchain is distributed among its users. When a transaction is added to the chain, a new copy of the chain is sent to all participating in it. This ensures no one can attempt to fiddle with data in a chain’s blocks without everyone in the chain knowing.
Another security measure, and one with appeal to online retailers: When a block is added to the chain, every copy of the blockchain in the user network automatically runs a digital security protocol.
That makes sure the entry is legitimate — that it’s being entered by someone authorised, or that the entry doesn’t violate the chain’s rules of operations, for example.
If a majority of copies of the blockchain return a positive verdict, the block is entered into the chain. If a significant number of copies send up a flag, the block is rejected.
Here’s what makes blockchain technology truly revolutionary: Blockchains don’t require a central administrator.
No bank needs to clear your checks or provide your balance.
No notary public needs to vouch for your signature on a contract.
No treasury is needed to issue “legitimate” currency.
Blockchains define their own purpose, their own measures of value, and keep their own accounting.
Banks scramble to stay relevant
If our concept of money is about to change fundamentally, no one is more interested than banks.
Deutsche Bank has called blockchains a ‘wake-up call’ to the financial industry.
Using digital currencies in global trade requires no credit cards, no lines of credit, not even a checking account. The bank noted that a person could become a Bitcoin billionaire without ever having dealt with a bank.
In fact, almost everything a bank does — keeping deposit accounts, making loans and taking payments — could be done via blockchains.
So banks are scrambling to figure out how to bring blockchain technology in-house and remain relevant in a financial system lurching through major changes.
The scramble is taking them places.
IBM surveyed 200 major banks in 2016. It found 15% will begin using blockchains in 2017. That’s happening. Two-thirds will use blockchains routinely in commercial products before 2022 — ‘dramatically faster than expected,’ the survey said.
One blockchain developer said more than 100 banks have contacted it to learn how blockchains might work for them.
IBM also surveyed 200 nonbank financial businesses around the world. It found that 14% expect to launch commercial blockchain products in this year.
No bank has placed a bigger bet on this than Bank of America.
Last year it was granted 15 patents on blockchain applications.
It also reportedly filed for at least 20 more, including a ‘suspicious user alert system’ and a ‘cryptocurrency risk detection system.’
In partnership with Microsoft, Bank of America also is testing a blockchain-based letter of credit.
Here’s how it works…
A bank gives a letter of credit to a third party that the bank’s customer is transacting with. If the bank’s customer isn’t able to pay the third party, the letter guarantees the bank will.
Microsoft and the bank documented the number of steps and time it takes to create a letter of credit. That may include handwritten notes, phone calls, faxes and sending papers around for signatures.
They discovered the process comprises 15 steps, takes an average of five days, including time to play phone or email tag and correct mistakes. And they found it can cost $2,500–15,000 in banks’ time and other resources to create.
Distilling those steps into a blockchain, the partners ran real-world trials. Those tests reduced the number of steps to four and the transaction time to 10 minutes.
JPMorgan has created a team to investigate blockchains’ potential, investing more than $2 billion. UBS says its London-based Crypto 2.0 team has sifted through at least 20 possible blockchain applications.
It is refining the most promising into commercial products. Barclays has speculated about digital currencies’ ability to reduce the amount of capital regulators require banks to keep on hand. Germany’s Bundesbank is testing a prototype of a blockchain-based stock-trading system.
The future of finance
The Swiss have taken the idea of digital banking even further…
The country’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority is laying the legal and regulatory groundwork for the creation of ‘cryptobanks.’
The measures reduce the capital requirements for these new banks. They also acknowledge that banks need wiggle room to adapt regulatory compliance to their varying business models.
(The Swiss canton of Zug has become known as Crypto Valley for its concentration of blockchain-related businesses. The government there has voted to begin accepting Bitcoin as payment for certain government services.)
At a conference in September 2015, the chairman of Switzerland’s central bank even mused about the possibility of central banks issuing electronic currencies.
But he doesn’t have to muse any more…
On 9 November 2016, the National Bank of Ukraine revealed its plan to issue electronic money in a blockchain structure no later than 2017’s fourth quarter. The Monetary Authority of Singapore is mulling a similar step.
But the private CoinsBank goes further. You can make deposits and withdrawals in the world’s major currencies at this entirely online financial house. You can conduct most banking functions in Bitcoin or by other digital means.
Some financial insiders are skeptical of CoinsBank’s ability to deliver — or even remain solvent. But many see this as proof of the financial industry’s future.
However, that future may be further away than enthusiasts predict. Banks are under pressure from regulators, low interest rates and technological disruptions. That makes them eager to adopt methods that cut costs.
But blockchains’ transparency and lack of centralised control challenges banks’ traditional culture of privacy and control.
Banks sharing a blockchain could peek at each other’s loans and other transactions.
A simple math mistake — an extra zero on the amount of a deposit or withdrawal, for example — could be fiendishly difficult to correct.
Also, most regulatory agencies haven’t seriously begun to match blockchains’ effects to the drastic changes needed in regulatory structures if the new technology is to work efficiently.
Hong Kong’s central bank also has voiced concerns about blockchains’ susceptibility to money-laundering schemes.
The road ahead is bumpy. But banks have no choice; they must travel it. Blockchains, analysts agree, are the future of finance.
Blockchains reach beyond banks
But blockchains are good for much more than logging payments. They can be used to validate the security of anything with value.
Gem, another blockchain entrant, has partnered with Capital One and health care giant Philips to smooth and speed payments for medical insurance claims.
With providers, insurance carriers and banks using different processing platforms, payouts can take weeks. Gem’s blockchain-based system creates a common platform among all involved. The shared system also assures each entity that the claim is valid and that previous steps in the process have been completed.
In another application, the US company Learning Machine has partnered with MIT’s Media Lab to create a blockchain that stores and verifies academic degrees and professional certifications.
The graduate can store diplomas and certificates electronically on a smartphone. Because the credentials have been stored on a widely distributed blockchain, any potential employer or client will know they’re genuine.
Credly and Digimaat offer similar services.
Last year, the US Department of Homeland Security gave a $199,000 grant to Factom, a company in Austin, Texas, to figure out ways to use blockchain designs to maintain the integrity of the internet of things.
With every device connected to every other one through the internet, the potential for hackers and malware skyrockets.
Blockchains may be a new tool for cybersecurity.
Factom also has partnered with the Honduran government to create a blockchain to record and safeguard land titles in a part of the world where ownership records have a long history of being messy or falsified. The Republic of Georgia is working with the company Bitfury on a similar project.
Now with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Factom is setting out to apply blockchains to secure electronic medical records.
It’s not only about keeping snooping insurance companies from prying into your health history.
There’s also the problem that medical records in developing countries or remote regions aren’t always accessible and sometimes not updated quickly. Blockchains resolve those problems.
By keeping medical records in a blockchain, each vaccination or procedure can be entered on the spot through a tablet or smartphone. Medics traveling in rural areas can access the records via the same kinds of portable devices and be assured of records’ integrity.
Using the blockchain’s options, people could decide who may see their medical records. People could even have ready access to their own records, instead of wrangling with a doctor before getting a look.
Blockchains also can be buried in supply chains. A Swiss startup called Modum.io snagged a $25,000 prize in a Kickstart competition by combining its blockchain design with temperature sensors to verify that pharmaceuticals needing to stay cool have remained within their needed temperature range during transport.
Given the US turmoil surrounding the election of Donald Trump last November, blockchains also are drawing attention as a way to validate vote counts.
Fake news and claims of voter fraud, even unsupported, destroy the trust at the heart of democracy. Blockchains’ power to validate transactions may be an antidote.
The Follow My Vote project advocates a vote-by-blockchain approach and is marketing software that makes it possible.
Each vote would be a ‘transaction’ recorded as a block in the chain. Each voter would be given a unique access code that would let that voter follow the progress of his or her vote through the ballot box to the final vote tally. Votes would still remain secret unless a voter shared that unique access code.
Despite blockchains’ usual security features, hackers and malware may still be able to crack vote ‘blocks’ cast on conventional computers.
To keep those votes safe, Follow My Vote provides a special computer operating system for voting. The company will teach voters how to use it.
Banks won’t be the only users finding bumps along the blockchain trail.
First, blockchains’ possibilities are blossoming so quickly that the field already is desperately short of skilled coders and developers.
In addition, advocates point out that in these heady early days, enthusiasm for blockchains outstrips their usefulness. Not every project will benefit from blockchains; many will fail or be abandoned.
Another complication: Blockchain technology is ‘open source.’
That means anyone can create their own version of it. As a result, several designs are in use and often are incompatible with each other.
To set a standard, more than 30 major companies — including Hitachi, JP Morgan and Intel — have formed Hyperledger.
That project aims to settle on a general-purpose blockchain structure that can be used by any enterprise in any industry. IBM already has chipped in tens of thousands of lines of software code to the venture.
These companies, like so many others, invest in the effort because they foresee the benefits.
Blockchains will transform the way we exchange value in our digital, cyber-insecure future.
for The Daily Reckoning Australia
Time to confront local Islamists: this is war
Time to confront local Islamists, this is war By Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 29 May 2017
When the number of potential enemy combatants inside Britain is only 7000 men short of its army reserve, we must face the reality that the enemy is inside the gate.
Britain has been invaded. Whitehall has revealed that there are 23,000 suspected terrorists inside the UK. What it didn’t say is that the British army reserve has just 29,940 active personnel. The implications are clear, but no politician will admit them. When the number of enemies inside a nation nears the number of its active army reserve, the nation cannot hold. Britain and the Commonwealth states should be on a war footing. That means closing borders, strengthening treason laws and bolstering defence.
Islamists are engaged in total war against the West. The latest figures on jihadis in Britain prove their success in penetrating the heart of Western democracy without our knowledge. Intelligence agencies in Britain, the US and Australia appear to be concealing the immensity of the jihadist threat within. We must question why British intelligence did not reveal the staggering number of potential jihadis in the country before now. We can ill afford intelligence services that tell us half-truths and lies by omission that protect an enemy within committed to our destruction.
Islamists are engaged in total war against free world people. In the 21st century, total war is commonly conducted by non-state actors that aim to destroy legitimate states by any means necessary. The chief enemy of the modern West is a coalition of non-state actors whose militant front is Islamic jihad. Its combatants aim to overthrow liberal democracies by subverting the central organs of the state and replacing the governing principles of free society with sharia. However, Western leaders are conducting the war against 21st century jihad with a 20th century mindset. They focus on foreign wars and militant acts while the enemy subverts our nations from within.
The best Western leaders protect our borders, the worst appease or collaborate with the enemy, but few openly state the alpha and omega of the jihadis’ total war: a global empire under Islam that requires the death of the West.
Following the Manchester bombing, the British government finally told the truth about what decades of multiculturalism have produced in Britain: 23,000 terrorists. The Times reported that the initial figure of 3000 jihadists was a function of MI5 operational limits, not reality. The intelligence agency can keep eyes on about 3000 individuals at any one time, so it creates a priority classification list with categories such as active and residual risk. But the three major jihadist attacks on Britain in recent years were conducted by men who had been investigated and subsequently removed from the active terror watch list. These residual jihadis number about 20,000.
The revelation that there is a potential jihadist army inside Britain about 7000 personnel short of Britain’s army reserve raises the question of war. But Britons must surely question also why the state withheld such critical information during the Brexit debate when issues of national security, border and immigration policy determined the outcome. The concealment of such information begs the question of how many other intelligence services are concealing the true state of the jihadist threat within the West.
ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis’s recent denial of the relationship between the refugee intake and terrorism does not inspire confidence. In response to Pauline Hanson’s question about it, he responded that there is no evidence of such a link. Perhaps Senator Hanson should revive her “please explain” on these names: Man Haron Monis, Farhad Jabour and Mohammad Ali Baryalei, as well as the dozens of asylum-seekers who have received adverse security assessments from ASIO.
It is not the first time that Lewis has seemed more critical of those who defend the West than our jihadi foes. In 2015 he allegedly told some MPs who spoke out about the link between Islam and terrorism that their comments could threaten national security.
Minimising the link between porous borders, refugee programs and the development of jihad as a Western phenomenon is a common Islamist tactic. In the information age, intelligence services would be better to admit the threat of jihad while repeating the obvious truth that not all Muslims are jihadis.
I warned in 2015 that the West would win the battle against Islamic State but lose the war against Islamism unless Western leaders recognised jihad as a substantive ideology. Jihad is an ideology first and last. Its militant expression is Islamic terrorism whose primary purpose is not to instil terror but to destabilise and exhaust the protective capacity of legitimate governments. In that sense, jihad is akin to militant socialism. The end of revolutionary socialism is the communist state. The end of revolutionary jihad is the Islamic state.
The comprehensive ideology of jihad is set out in Management of Savagery, the Islamic State playbook reportedly written by former al-Qa’ida official Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim. In it, Hakim clarifies that gradual, subversive jihad is a total war strategy. He states that jihadis are: “Progressing until it is possible to expand and attack the enemies in order to repel them, plunder their money, and place them in a constant state of apprehension and (make them) desire reconciliation.”
The Coalition has done much to counter what I would call hard jihad, namely the advocacy, financing and enactment of Islamic terrorism. But few Western governments have tackled soft jihad: the teaching, preparation and promotion of jihadist ideology including gradual subversion of the state, liberal institutions and the fundamental values of Western society. To counter jihadists’ total war against the West, the government should consider the powers created to protect Australia’s freedom during the total wars of the 20th century.
The piecemeal approach employed by the West in response to jihad is born of a reluctance to face reality. The laws of peacetime can no longer accommodate the jihadist menace within Western states. When the number of potential enemy combatants inside Britain is only 7000 men short of its army reserve, we must face the reality that the enemy is inside the gate. It is time to state the four words the West hoped never to utter again: we are at war.
- Media’s choice is between truth and propaganda By Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 22 May 2017
- New Zealand is bringing in apartheid by stealth By Dr Muriel Newman, NZCPR Weekly, 7 May 2017
- Forget talk of clouds and cuckoos, Australia is in strife By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 25 April 2017
- Is It Time to Break Up Google By Jonathan Taplin, 23 April
- When Government Evil Triumphs, Freedom Falls By John Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute, 5 April 2017
- People aren’t rejecting truth, they’re rejecting the values of the elites By Frank Furedi, Spiked Review, 3 April 2017
- Forget the candles, values are on the line By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 29 March 2017
- David Rockefeller Was Obsessed With Eugenics and Globalism From the Corbett Report, 23 March 2017
- The Collapse of Trust in the West Paul Craig Roberts, 21 March 2017
- Open Letter to the Brave People of Greece By Peter Koenig, 16 March 2017
- The collapse of Western civilization 2013 speech by President Putin, repeated, 13 March 2017
- Washington’s Benevolent Mask Is Disintegrating Paul Craig Roberts, 8 March 2017
- The world has gone mad By Vern Gowdie on the Gold Coast, 4 March 2017
- How do you solve a problem like sharia By Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The Australian, 19 February 2017
- Background to the China and Taiwan situation Bruce Jacobs, The Australian, 27 January 2017
- President Trump, la-la land still doesn’t get the big disrupter By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 22 January 2017
- What would happen if Donald Trump became Australian Prime Minister By Robert Gottliebsen, The Australian, 20 January 2017
- Three Factions of the CIA that Control the World By the Anonymous Patriots, The Millennium Report Exclusive, 17 January 2017
- The Islamization Of Britain In 2016 By Soeren Kern, The Gatestone Institute, 11 January 2017
- Russia-bashing, the world’s most dangerous blame game By Tim Black, Spiked Online, 7 January 2017
- President Putin’s Response To Obama’s New Sanctions By Stephen Lendman, 31 December 2016
- The remarkable consistency of experts’ views, getting it wrong By Nick Cater, The Australian, 27 December 2016
- democracy-trumps-the-victim-generation By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 23 November 2016
- we-the-people-against-tyranny-seven-principles-for-free-government By John Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute, 9 November 2016
- cp-editorial-031116 Kiwis hold key for prosperity, by Julian Tomlinson, Cairns Post, 3 October 2016
- free-market-not-state-capitalism-holds-the-key-to-growth By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 2 November 2016
- president-putin-speech-valdai-asks-us-to-stop-provoking-russia President Putin’s speech at Valdai, 29 October 2016
- russia-bashing-is-making-the-west-blind By Tim Black, Spiked Online, 29 October
- what-is-at-stake-in-the-us-election Paul Craig Roberts, 27 October 2016
- the-hypocrisy-of-saudi-arabia-on-un-human-rights-council By Leah Schulz, Middle East Eye, 26 October 2016
- the-suicide-of-the-west By Merv Bendle, Quadrant Online, 18 October 2016
- the-neo-marxist-dictatorship-of-man%c2%acu%c2%acfactured-minorities By Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 17 October 2016
- a-pretext-is-needed-a-false-flag-may-be-imminent-to-drag-u-s-into-war Mac Slavo warns, “The scenario is plenty likely.” 15 October 2016
- obesity-is-a-personal-responsibility-not-a-disease By Gary Johns, The Australian, 5 October 2016
- new-zealand-government-is-planning-apartheid By Dr Muriel Newman, NZCPR Weekly, 30 September 2016
- british-parliament-confirms-libya-war-was-based-on-lies By Anthony Freda, 27 September 2016
- syrian-president-al-assads-interview-given-to-associated-press-video-and-translation 22 September, 2016
- nobel-peace-committee-wants-obama-to-return-peace-prize Victor Mikhin, State of the Nation, 20 September 2016
- camerons-botched-libya-intervention-blamed-for-rise-of-isis The Times, 15 September 2016
- the-disturbing-signs-of-global-conflict-continue-to-gather-pace By Graham Vanbergen, via Stratgic-Culture.org, Zerohedge, 11 September 2016
- interview-with-russian-president-putin Interview by John Micklethwait. Bloomberg Business week, September 8, 2016
- the-tide-is-turning-the-official-story-is-now-the-conspiracy-theory By Paul Craig Roberts, 8 September 2016
- Several physicists suggest our Universe is a giant simulation By Phillip Ball, BBC Earth, 5 September 2016
- The monumental stupidity of the failed war on drugs By Mike Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, from Zerohedge, 25 August 2016
- The Genocide of a Land By Paul Craig Roberts, 23 August 2016
- Prohibition – it should be banned By Lizzie Marvelly, NZ Herald, 20 August 2016
- Globalization on Its Head From Mauldin Economics’ newsletter, 8 August 2016
- A Stark Warning About the Coming Revolution From Inner Circle, 28 July 2016
- Why Sajid Tarar thinks Donald Trump is the leader Muslims need By Michele Manelis of news.com.au
- There’s a revolution happening all over the world By Julian Tomlinson, the Cairns Post, 7 July 2016
- Australia, disruption ahead as voters reject political contortions The Australian editorial, 4 July 2016
- Gorka’s plan to defeat ISIS By Dr Sebastion Gorka, 27 June 2016
- Shut down the sheiks who incite violence by Muslims By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 18 June 2016
- Making rational instead of political decisions By Bjorn Lomborg, The Australian, 17 June 2016
- New conservatism of Western progressives is killing humour By Bill Leak, The Australian, 11 June 2016
- Anti-establishment Trump a voice for the West’s silent majority By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 8 June 2016
- Predicting the Efficacy of a Coming Revolution By Jeff Thomas, Casey Research, International Man, 7 June 2016
- The impact of immigration on Auckland NZ housing and infrastructure By John Rofe, 26 May 2016
- Why Islam needs a reformation By Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The Wall Street Journal, 21 March
- Russia’s Palmyra concert reveals what the West lacks By Tim Black, editor of spiked review, 14 May 2016
- Leftists erode our social fabric By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 29 April 2016
- Union power in NZ and Australia is ruinous By Dr Muriel Newman, NZCPR, 29 April
- Black hole revelation may upset understanding of the universe By Oliver Moody, The Times, 25 April 2016
- Where Is Australia’s John Galt By Merv Bendle, Quadrant Online, 15 April 2016
- Muslim integration ‘I should have known better’ By Raheem Kassem, Breitbart, 12 April 2016
- The West’s Slow-Motion Lobotomy By Merv Bendle, Quadrant Online, 3 April 2016
- Australian watchdogs asleep at the wheel By Hedley Thomas, The Australian, 13 April
- The Enemy is standard Islam, not ‘radical’ Islam By Peter Smith, Quadrant Online, 28 March 2016
- ISIS is faithful To Islam By Patrick Buchanan, Zerohedge, 26 March 2016
- Apartheid by stealth, in New Zealand of all places By Dr Muriel Newman, NZCPR Weekly, 25 March 2016
- Federal election 2016, Voters doubly disillusioned By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 23 March 2015
- North Korean Strategy, the rationale for appearing irrational By George Friedman, Mar 21, 2016
- Same-sex marriage imposition By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 16 March
- Putin And The Press, The Demonology School Of Journalism By James Petras, Eurasia Review, 14 March 2016
- Emperor Xi Jinping must offer hope, rather than personality cult By Jasmine Yin, The Australian, 9 March 2016
- Beijing and the South China Sea By Alistair Pope, Quadrant Online, 7 March 2016
- Could there be an Australian Donald Trump? By Robert Gottliebsen, The Australian, 3 March 2016
- Ukraine Collapse Is Now Imminent From Zerohedge, 31 February 2016
- The New Mind Control By John Mauldin, 26 February 2016
- Multiculturalism has proven divisive, not coalescent, so let’s ditch it By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 24 February 2016
- China is moving towards one-man rule By Michael Sheridan, The Times, 22 February
- The disenfranchised find their voices, led by Trump By Merv Bendle, Quadrant Online, 19 February 2016
- Loathing of the political elite By Nic Cater, The Australian, 16 February 2016
- Real-time language translaters coming soon By James Dean, The Australian, 8 February 2016
- Blockchain, and how it will change everything By James Eyers, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 February 2016
- Zeka, another apocalyptic narrative du jour By Tom Slater, Spiked Online, 6 February
- Neo-puritans strive to find offence — anywhere By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 3 February 2016
- Donald Trump’s policies, as opposed to media hype – Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 29 January
- Social agendas are sure to wreck the military By Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 29 January 2016
- War on cash, Governments and Banks want complete control From Zerohedge, 25 January 2016
- CEOs are the next corruption target By Robert Gottliebsen, The Australian, 22 January
- Why is the NZ government planning to bring in apartheid By Dr Muriel Newman, 21 January 2016 –
- Political Correctness exposes the West By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 20 January
- The new Kafkaesque Europe By Brendan O’Neill, Editor, Spiked Online, 16 January
- The US role in ISIS and Mosul From Zerohedge, 14 January 2015
- When faith takes up arms, silence is no option By Henry Ergas, The Australian, 11 January 2016
- Understanding Iran v Saudi Arabia and the exhaustion of politics By Brendan O’Neill, Editor, Spiked Online, 9 January 2016
- Understanding North Korea and its nuclear tests From Associated Press, 7 January
- Australian unions, “louts, thugs, bullies, thieves, perjurers etc.” protected by the Labor party By Henry Ergas, The Australian, 6 January 2015
- Islamic State v Islam Article by Tom Harley, The Australian, 30 December 2015, a counter view by ‘Andrew’ and a full response by Andrew Bolt, Herald-Sun
- 2015, the year of speaking twaddle By Professor Judith Sloan, The Australian, 29 December 2015
- Islamist extremism is the ideology that must be defeated From The Australian, 22 November 2205
- Paris, IS and the resurrection of old Europe By George Friedman, from Mauldin Economics, Outside the Box, 19 November 23015
- Hard left student authoritarian demands From Zerohedge
- Salus populi suprema lex esto, said the Romans By Henry Ergas, The Australian, 16 November 2015
- For liberals, doomsday is the religion of choice Brett Stephens, Wall Street Journal, 9 November 201
- Yet another last chance to save the planet Rodney Hide, NZ Herald, 8 November
- THE CLIMATE WARS, and the damage to science By Matt Ridley, GWPF, 6 November
- THE DANGERS OF JUNK SCIENCE By Dr Muriel Newman, NZCPR, 30 October 2015
- Challenging Chinese coercion The Australian editorial, 29 October, 2015
- Misjudging Putin’s Russia By Marin Katusa, Zerohedge
- Stultifying academic groupthink Editorial, The Australian, 23 October 2015
- Rape, Islam and the deafening silence By Christie Davies, Quadrant Online, 20 October 2015
- Surgeons’ culture of concealment By Hedley Thomas, The Australian, 17 October 2015
- Media distortions and lies By Bjorn Lomborg, The Australian, 13 October 2015
- Big lies as the UN suppresses truth with ideology By Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, 5 October 2015
- Syria, another failure by the US-led alliance By Tom Switzer, The Australian, 1 October
- President Putin address to the UN General Assembly, 280915
- Learn the lessons from Iraq, Libya and other fiascos By Tara McCormack, Spiked Online, 26 September 2015
- A failure in our democratic system The Australian editorial, 24 September 2015
- A Marxist clothed in white papal robes By Susan Warner, 23 September 2015
- Modern politics are too polarised. By Nick Cater, The Australian, 22 September 2015
- Oxfam’s real agenda – destroy Australian coal industry By Henry Thomas, Quadrant Online, 14 September 2015
- Sweden’s ugly immigration problems By Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail, 14 Sept
- The Human Cost Of Socialism In Power By Richard Ebeling, 12 September 2015
- Another explanation of the 911 tragedy By Paul Craig Roberts, 12 September
- Syria, should USA and Russia join forces to defeat ISIS From the Times of Oman, 9 September 2015
- A sea of frothing, sweary, often pompous, intolerance By Tim Black, Spiked Online, 29 August 2015
- Labor promises will lead us to become another Greece By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 24 August 2015
- The Empire of Offence laying free speech to waste By Brendan O’Neill, The Australian, 22 August
- Same-sex marriage and the new Dark Age By Brendan O’Neill, The Australian, 19 August 2015
- Academia’s PC police By Nick Cater, The Australian, 18 August 2015
- Shadow Boxing with Keynesianism By Peter Smith, Quadrant Online, 16 August 2015
- Obama’s road to disaster By Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 8 August 2015
- Australia’s supposed Aboriginal ‘stolen generation’ By Dallas Scott, 5 August
- What next for the EU? By John Mauldin, 26 July 2015
- Obama’s blunder gives us a nuclear Iran By Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 16 July
- Has Germany just killed the golden goose By Raul Ilargi Meijer, 14 July 2015
- History lesson, why democracy has always failed in the past By Patrick Buchanan, 13 July 2015
- The EU’s contempt for democracy By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked 11 July 2015
- Greece, Take Back Your Democracy With Your Head Held High Address by UKIP’s Nigel Farage, 9 July 2015
- We need a better model for democracy By Greg Rudd, The Australian, 7 July 2015
- Why Greeks should embrace a future a Euro exit By Tim Black, Spiked Online, 4 July
- Xi’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Is Key to China’s Prospects By George Magnus, 2 July
- Papal prescription for flawed economic order The Australian editorial, June 27, 2015
- Nature Rebounds, Jesse Ausubel, 2015 Jesse H. Ausubel 2015
- Interview with President Putin Via interviewer Charlie Rose, 24 June
- The Pope joins the EU in a sad world of make-believe By Christopher Booker, The Telegraph, 23 June
- The Climate Wars’ Damage to Science By Matt Ridley, Quadrant Online, 20 June 2015
- Yet another papal failure By Julia Hartley-Brewer, The Telegraph UK, 19 June
- Britain’s Royal Society abandons science, now a lobby group From Breitbart, 17 June
- China’s mocks G7, a gathering of debtors, disastrous confrontation From Zerohedge, 16 June
- “The US is destroying Europe” From Zerohedge, 11 June
- Deradicalisation of radical Muslims is not a viable option By Clive Kessler, The Australian, 30 May
- “War is just a racket”, General Butler, 1933 By Paul Craig Roberts, Zerohedge, 25 May
- The fury of the elites By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked, 16 May 2015ay 2015
- Australian universities’ shift to green left ideology By Nic Cater, The Australian, 12 May 2015
- Establishing a nanny state in NZ By Sir Bob Jones, 12 May 2015
- University shame By Henry Ergas, The Australian, 11 May 2015
- Which is worse, Islamist terror or the Cold War The Australian Editorial, 29 April 2015
- Democracy in decay By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 22 April 2015
- Deep green parlour-pink anti-development government By Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 16 April 2015
- Is inequality a bad thing By Pater Tenebrarum, 13 April 2015
- Understanding China By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 9 April 2015
- Heretical thoughts about science and society By Freeman Dyson, 8 July 2007
- The Squirrel and The Grasshopper An old story updated, 7 April 2015
- Obama’s Iranian nuke deal a dismal outcome By Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 6 April 2015
- Latte–belt luvvies put Greens in power By Nic Cater, The Daily Telegraph. 1 April 2015
- Political correctness stifles vital debate By Nic Cater, The Australian, 24 March 2015
- Australian politics heading towards Greece By Henry Ergas, The Australian, 23 Mar
- The political system is broken By Paul Kelly, The Australian, 19 Mar
- Australia, the prejudice of the Left By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 17 March
- The liberal elite versus the hoi polloi By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked, 16 March 2015
- The massive EMP threat By F. Michael Maloof, 13 Mar 2015
- Australia is slipping downhill By Rowan Callick, The Australian, 12 Mar 2015
- United Nations – hypocrisy, twisted priorities and ineffectiveness By Chris Kenny, The Australian, 10 Mar 2015
- Bellicose NATO, Berlin stunned From Zerohedge, 9 Mar 2015
- London property boom build on dirty money By Jim Armitage, Independent, 6 Mar
- Battlefield of ideas is where fanatics will fall By Janet Albrechtsen, Australian, 4 Mar
- What ISIS Really Wants By Dr Muriel Newman, NZCPR, 26 Feb 2015
- No end to Age of paternalism By Nick Cater, The Australian, 24 Feb 2015
- The bigotry of the elite By Brendan O’Neill, Editor of spiked. 21 Feb 2015
- The US’s suicidal strategy on Ukraine By Chris Martenson, 19 Feb 2015
- The US’s suicidal strategy on Ukraine By Chris Martenson, 19 Feb 2015
- We, the people, are the threat to fiscal reform By Janet Albrechtsen, 18 Feb 2015
- Message to Indonesia, the meaning of Sovereignty By Greg Craven, 17 Feb 2015
- Cagey about condemning the Islamic State By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked. 14 Feb 2015
- Ukraine Proxy Wars From Zerohedge, 13 Feb 2015
- 42 ADMITTED false flag attacks By WashingtonsBlog, 12 Feb 2015
- Obama administration supports Muslim terrorists By Jerome Corsi, 11 Feb 2015
- Obama’s plan to regulate the internet sounds Orwellian By Chriss Street, 10 Feb 2015
- Obama Yawns at Evil By Mark Steyn. 7 Feb 2015
- Scientists losing credibility By Jo Nova, 5 Feb 2015
- The Chinese economy, dangers ahead By Craig Stephen, Market Watch, 4 Feb 2015
- UN plans New World Order via climate change From United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe, Tuesday 03 Feb 2015
- The end of the American dream By Michael Snyder, from Zerohedge, 1 Feb 2015
- The only thing necessary for evil to triumph By Paul Rosenberg, Jan 30, 2015
- Ron Paul, failures of the Fed and fiat currencies By Ron Paul , 29 Jan 2015.
- British Greens are even nuttier than ours By Hal GP Colebatch, The Australian, 28 Jan.
- Understanding the Greek mess By Greg Canavan, The Daily Reckoning, 27 Jan 2015
- How President Woodrow Wilson ruined the Western World – By David Stockman, Contra Corner blog, 26 January 2015
- Shock Waves from Zurich … By Henry Ergas, The Australian, 19 January 2015.
- The Digital Arms Race….By Jacob Appelbaum et al, Spiegel Online, 18 Jan 2015.
- The party’s (nearly) over By Vern Gowdie, the Daily Reckoning, 16 Jan 2015.
- My predictions for 2015…By Ron Paul, Ron Paul Institute. 14 Jan 2015.
- Restore the right to offend……By Brendan O’Neill, The Australian, 10 January 2015.
- An evolutionary disaster in Africa……By Kevin Myers, Irish Sunday Times, 11 Jan 2015.
- Je Suis Charlie …. By Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The Australian, 10 January 2015.
- The Left’s Unholy Alliance with Islam. By Frank Pledge, Quadrant Online, 8 January 2015.
- With Nero in the (US) house we should be worried By Maurice Newman, The Australian, 7 Jan 2014.
- Russia’s startling proposal – EU invited to join EEU…….From Zerohedge, 5 January 2015.
- Predicting a bear or bull market for 2015 ….By Vern Gowdie, Daily Reckoning, 5 January 2015.
- The EU’s Keynesian fallacies ….By Patrick Barron via Mises Canada, 4 January 2015.
- And now for the good news from 2014….By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked. 3 Jan 2015.
- Beware red tape.…. By John Lloyd, The Australian, 2 January 2015.
- Australia’s anti-military …A reader’s comment in Quadrant Online. 1 January 2015.