Saturday 18 September 2021

Where we are now

'There is a major disconnect between the West’s assumption that totalitarian nations are sloughs of poverty and deprivation, and the narratives of abundance and innovation that regale us daily in Western media and in advertising...... Our totalitarian drift is mostly well hidden, veiled by improvements in leisure, entertainment, and living standards; concealed behind rhetorical niceties and commitments to ill-defined aims such as inclusivity, tolerance, and open-mindedness.'
C. Jay Engel, Chronicles magazine this week.

'Based on WHO guidance, citing Chinese journal articles, doctors around the world began putting patients on ventilators en masse, killing thousands before a grassroots campaign stopped the practice. Based on the WHO’s guidance on COVID-19 testing, again citing Chinese journal articles, labs used, and continue to use, PCR cycle thresholds from 37 to 40, and sometimes as high as 45. At these cycle threshold levels, approximately 85% to 90% of cases are false positives, as confirmed by The New York Times.

'The WHO’s PCR guidance was paired with new international ICD-10 codes for COVID deaths to make COVID-19 quite possibly the deadliest accounting fraud of all time. According to this coding guidance, if a decedent had either tested positive or been in contact with anyone who had, within several weeks prior to their death, then the death should be classified as a COVID-19 death. The result was a terrifying number of supposed “COVID-19 deaths” that bore little relation to the number of “excess deaths” in a given year, even in states and countries that employed few lockdown measures. This absurd number of “COVID-19 deaths” has been used to rationalize any manner of devastation caused by governments’ response to COVID-19—from bankruptcies and mental health crises to deaths from lockdowns themselves.

Michael P Senger, Tablet magazine (the Jewish one not the Catholic one), September 17

'From Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan, the pattern of American officials showering questionable political allies abroad with armfuls of cash is a long-established practice. However, the idea that this is the reason the “missions” fail in such places is just a continuation of the original propaganda lines that get us into these messes. It’s a way of saying the subject populations are to blame for undermining our noble efforts, when the missions themselves are often preposterous and, moreover, the lion’s share of the looting is usually done by our own marauding contracting community.

...The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) some years ago identified “$15.5 billion of waste, fraud, and abuse… in our published reports and closed investigations between SIGAR’s inception in 2008 and December 31, 2017,” and added an additional $3.4 billion in a subsequent review. All told, “SIGAR reviewed approximately $63 billion and concluded that a total of approximately $19 billion or 30 percent of the amount reviewed was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse.”'
Matt Taibbi, August 19

'China and Russia have no choice but to step in [in Central Asia]. If they do not excise the jihadist cancer today, it might metastasize into something uncontrollable.

'…Southeast and South Asian Muslims will number 2 billion by the end of the century, nearly double the population of East Asia. Projections of this sort never are accurate, but the relative magnitudes make the point: The populations susceptible to jihadist influence are enormous and growing.

'…Imperial adventurism is not the motivation for the new Sino-Russian effort in Central Asia. Their overriding concern is internal security.

'That concern is heightened by Chinese suspicion that the US will use jihadist elements to destabilize the Chinese state, especially through its porous western and southern borders.' 

David Goldman, writing under the pen name Spengler in the Asia Times, September 6

He says the Taliban's victory is the first jihadi victory against the West since the annihilation of the British expeditionary force (bar one survivor) in Afghanistan in 1842. David Pratten reminds me that when Jihadis killed Gordon and his men in Khartoum in 1884, two days before the British forces arrived to relieve them, Gordon was employed by the Khedive of Egypt and acting in defiance of orders from London. Is David Goldman right to worry that Afghanistan will act as a rallying point for Russian or Chinese jihadis? Belloc said it is impossible to convert Muslims, but judging from my eight days in Uzbekistan and my visits to Albania, Communists seem to have made those countries pretty irreligious and not natural places for jihadis.


  1. "Jihadis killed Gordon and his men in Khartoum in 1884 two days before the British forces arrived to relieve them"

    At Khartoum, Gordon was employed in the service of the Khedive of Egypt not the British Government and the forces he commanded were those of the Khedive:

    Reading the above article, I was surprised and delighted to learn that:

    "In October 1871, he was appointed British representative on the international commission to maintain the navigation of the mouth of the River Danube, with headquarters at Galatz. Gordon was bored with the work of the Danube commission, and spent as much time as possible exploring the Romanian countryside whose beauty enchanted Gordon when he was not making visits to Bucharest to meet up with his old friend Romolo Gessi who was living there at the time."

    1. Yes he was employed by the Khedive. I had forgotten he was in Romania if I even knew it. He was in a fascinating town I spent two days in in Ethiopia.,%20Sylvia.pdf

    2. In Jerusalem there is a garden where he thought Golgotha was. Protestants often prefer it to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

    3. Yes you are right - I suspected I was wrong when I wrote what I did and shall correct it. It was so long ago that I read Eminent Victorians. More than 40 years ago!

  2. There aren’t many truly totalitarian societies left nowadays. The most obvious one is probably North Korea. Although Western political correctness and hypocrisy get on my nerves, I would not exchange them for the lot of most North Koreans.