Assuming your tolerance for President Obama lecturing you on the evils of Donald Trump and the NRA is as big as mine, this has been a very depressing week for you. It’s truly baffling that a terrorist attack by a Jihadi loser on a gay bar in Orlando within hours got turned into a vehicle to lambast conservatives and push gun control, but such are the crazy times in which we now live. If you were wondering whether it was you who’s going nuts here or the entire world around you, rest assured it’s the latter.

There are a couple of obvious points to be made, of the kind that many of us instinctively know to be true but that are nevertheless suppressed by the avalanche of political correctness being dumped all over us by the media and political establishments. Propaganda and intimidation can be very powerful tools.

First, lost in all the outrage over greedy Wall Street bankers and racist Republican fear mongers selling scary looking military-grade weapons to five-year-old kids in the streets without a permit, is the fact that something very similar to the Orlando shooting occurred just seven months ago in Paris, that infamous Second Amendment bastion of Europe. A hundred and thirty people died in coordinated attacks in and around that city, the vast majority of them by bullets. Back then our social media feeds were flooded with vacuous hashtags and profile pictures in support of the victims, by the way, a fate which we were thankfully spared in the wake of Orlando for some reason. Either we’re all getting immune to the terror or people just care less about knuckle-dragging Americans than they did about those French victims, but we do have the distinct advantage of not having to see that pathetic clown play John Lennon’s “Imagine” on his piano this time around.

But I digress. With strict gun laws in place in almost every European nation, where did the Paris attackers get their weapons? Well, from the Balkan region, which is connected to Western Europe through a series of borders the protection of which is virtually non-existent, as the current influx of millions of “refugees” from Africa and the Middle East into Europe is painfully illustrating. Time Magazine explained it to you after the attacks, in an article that looks like it was written by somebody who’s never been within five miles of a gun. As the authors wrote, the November 13 attacks weren’t the only ones in 2015. The French also had the Charlie Hebdo massacre back in January, and foiled attacks in April and August of the same year. “Assault weapons” were used or about to be used in all of them.

And then we’ve had plenty of mass murder by other means as well. In recent years, bombs went off in Boston and Brussels, to name just a few examples. Just the other day, another adherent to the religion of peace knifed a police officer and his girlfriend to death in France. And a few years back in the Netherlands, a lunatic without any obvious motive got real creative and drove his car into a crowd at high speed right in front of the Dutch royal family, killing himself and seven innocent bystanders (though no royals).

We can go on and on, but it should be pretty obvious to any observer that we could repeal the Second Amendment tomorrow, have all guns in the United States confiscated by the end of the year, and still see atrocities like this happening in 2017, regardless of the perp’s motive. If you think Kalashnikovs can’t be found in Latin America and our border with Mexico is secure enough to keep them out of the U.S. anyway, you might be in for a nasty surprise. This kind of mass murder unfortunately seems to be a dark but inevitable part of Western societies these days, for reasons that have nothing to do with guns or the Second Amendment. The only result of stricter gun control would be to leave completely harmless citizens yet more vulnerable to it.

If gun control or the lack thereof doesn’t seem to have any effect on whether these attacks happen or not, a common denominator in all too many of them seems to be a certain religion whose name starts with an “I” and ends on “slam”. Your Commander in Chief and his allies, though, seem to be more scared of white supremacist groups, Christians and conservatives (one and the same in their twisted view) in our country than of Islamic radicalism. And so, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper won the hearts and minds of angry liberals all over America by interviewing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in the wake of the Orlando attack and accusing her in her face of being a hypocrite who fought gay marriage one day and stood by the Orlando victims the next. Clearly disinterested in his journalistic duty of finding and exposing the facts about the shooting, Cooper prefers to spend his time trashing the 69% of Floridians who voted to define marriage as a union between a man and woman in that state’s constitution.

This inability to name the elephant in the room is beyond baffling. If you thought the Islamic extremists got their inspiration from Ted Cruz and Antonin Scalia, there are some gays in Iran and Saudi Arabia who’ve got news for you—if they’ll live to tell their story, that is. In any case, it’s entirely possible to principally oppose same-sex marriage and at the same time be appalled by the slaughter of fifty gays at the hand of a religious lunatic, though you wouldn’t learn this from watching the liberal ayatollahs over at CNN.

Struggling with the term “radical Islam”, Obama pondered: “What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?” He then continued: “Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away.” Well, neither does trashing innocent citizens, the NRA and Donald Trump within just hours of a horrendous act of Islamic terrorism. In general it helps to have a clear definition of the enemy you’re fighting and a solid view of the things that motivate him. Hint: the writings of Barry Goldwater aren’t among them.

I am no friend of Donald Trump’s. Being a conservative who values virtues like humility and monogamy, I think Trump fails on those personal fronts while at the same time being another liberal who flaps out whatever pops up in his head on too many subjects and has cozied up to the Clintons a few too many times in the past. So there you have it. At the same time, however, it cannot be denied that The Donald has struck a cord with many voters and ended up where he ended up precisely because of his stance on immigration. The same thing has been happening all over Europe. Mass immigration is the defining issue of our time, it’s fundamentally altering our societies, and politicians of established parties have no answers whatsoever to the problem that are satisfactory to a majority of voters.

In case you thought you had been sucked into some parallel universe in which you were the only one who thought Trump made sense when he called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, it turns out that fifty percent of American voters agree with you, including as much as 34% of Democrats. But these people’s voices are drowned in the cacophony of manufactured outrage on the left, and/or they’re being shamed into silence.

Nevertheless, if there was a provision in the Constitution that says Congress shall pass no laws abridging the immigration of non-citizens from Muslim countries, we must have all missed it. No foreigner has a constitutional right to enter our country; We as a nation get to determine who is eligible and who is not. We have no moral or legal obligation to allow anybody to enter, let alone seek residence here. With Europe currently being swamped by millions of people, the vast majority of whom aren’t even from Syria or any war zone but sheer fortune seekers from all over the map, it should be clear by now that this is not a hypothetical issue. The point is not that we blame these people for wanting to better their lives, nor that there’s a terrorist hiding in every Muslim. But their numbers are so vast and overwhelming that their presence will change our countries for good if we don’t put a stop to the flow soon. And yes, within the vast ranks of refugees inevitably another Omar Mateen will slip through the net. Indeed, German authorities are warning us of exactly that scenario.

“In my study of communist societies,” the venerable Theodore Dalrymple once wrote, “I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity.” I think we’ve now reached this point in the West as well. All this Orwellian newspeak by the American left about the NRA and “assault weapons”, and its silence on Islam, are as humiliating as they are infuriating to millions and millions of people.

Keeping that in mind, is it really that hard to imagine why Trump has such an appeal among so many voters? If the principle holds true that one must be on to something if the left weeps and wails about it, this week has been a very instructive case study. And it means that Donald Trump is probably right.

Europe As the New Israel

I’ve got to thank the Islamic crazies for one thing: This time I woke up with the news, whereas last time around I went to bed with it, so at least I’m spared the morning hangover from too many glasses of scotch today. But that’s the only silver lining I can think of at the moment.

After the savage attacks in Paris I declared myself mildly optimistic “that the horrific events in Paris tonight will finally tip the scales of public opinion and have some political consequences across the Old Continent.” But then I witnessed the aftermath, the debates on television, internet and social media, and occasionally started feeling an odd desire to reach for the whiskey bottle at 10 AM instead of PM. After all, if politics is downstream from culture, and our culture has become so meek, so decadent, so masochist, why fool ourselves that a few immigration-restrictionist politicians are going to make a real difference here?

And, as I wrote before, the real opportunity to fix this mess came when we still had the opportunity to prevent it. Whoever came up with the thought that importing millions of Muslims into Europe would be a good idea sure deserves the Nobel Prize for Folly and Deceit. But then, these new Europeans made for cheap labor and lots of new votes for the people running our countries at the time, so who cares about a few knuckle-dragging whites being blown to pieces every now and then?

So my statement that Europe is turning into another Israel is becoming reality pretty quickly if the Jihadis keep up their current pace. All we’re waiting for now is for some left-wing professor to cook up a theory of how the Europeans really stole their land from the Neanderthals and never had a claim on it to begin with. The invaders and their Western enablers can stage an economic boycott or two, and the flotillas are already rolling in as we speak.

The sad thing is that the good people of Israel are at least willing to fight for their country. The European elites are just now finally — if unwillingly — starting to figure out what everybody with a tiny bit of common sense has known since at least 9/11: that we have a real problem on our hands with large minorities concentrated in crappy neighborhoods who have no desire to adapt to their new homelands, socially, economically, or culturally.

Time and time again we have been told that only a minute minority of Muslims support terrorism. Yet last week it turned out that everybody and their mother in Molenbeek, one of those fine Brussels neighborhoods, knew Salah Abdeslam had been hiding in their midst for months, but not one of them deemed it their patriotic duty to notify the authorities of this fact. This is the guy who masterminded the Paris terrorist attacks which killed 130 people, in case you forgot, but presumably he was fighting the oppression and poverty of those poor souls in Molenbeek and other such ghettos, with just their Nike sneakers, iPhones and fat welfare checks to keep them alive. Only in Europe do the natives subsidize those whose sole aim it is to break down their hosts’ civilization.

Since, as the terrorists like to say, we need to be lucky all the time while they need to be lucky just once, it stands to reason that attacks like today’s are going to occur throughout Europe on a regular basis. We can’t fix it, just suppress it, like weeds in our backyard. The only question at this point is whether the Europeans will get so angry they will take up arms themselves and start organizing reprisals. The first signs of such a development have already materialized in the form of the occasional vandalism at mosques, and of course Anders Breivik, the lunatic from Norway who in the summer of 2011 set off a bomb next to a government building in downtown Oslo and then went on to shoot up a gathering of the Norwegian labor party’s youth chapter, killing 77 in total.

Whether or not these spasms will ever erupt in a full-scale civil war, the lights will go out in Europe regardless. Political freedoms will be reigned in in an effort to keep people safe and defuse tensions between ethnic groups, and economic stagnation across the continent will be the norm going forward. And unlike the Israelis, the Europeans brought it upon themselves.

So Now What?

Pray for Paris

As the French were licking their wounds, the question in the title above was posed to me on social media by a dear friend of old, who expressed his fear that the French might invoke NATO’s Article 5 and that, consequently, he might himself be drafted into the Dutch military, like the good old days before the 1990s.

I suppose it’s not an altogether loopy idea, the professional Dutch armed forces now practically being incapable of repelling an army of girl scouts (no offense to the latter, I hasten to add). But then I’m guessing that, democratically speaking, the military draft is the exact opposite of welfare: Once you’ve taken it away, you’ll be tarred, feathered and voted out of office before bringing it back.

It remains to be seen whether the Dutch, French and German crowds presently flooding our Facebook and Twitter feeds with vacuous hashtags and images in support of the Parisian victims are ready to return home from their ‘holiday from history’ and put their own lives on the line in defense of their respective countries. Permit me to remind you that, when the time came after the Charlie Hebdo attacks back in January for Western newspapers to reprint every Mohammed cartoon ever drawn, #JeNeSuisPasCharlie turned out to be the more accurate state of affairs. ‘Support’ and ‘solidarity’ are a safer proposition from behind a keyboard or a smartphone than on the front lines.

But regardless, the question lingers: Now what? The keen reader may have detected a whiff of fatalism in my previous blog. Our best shot at fixing this problem came before allowing millions and millions of Muslims into Western Europe as guest workers and, when all is said and done with this present ‘refugee’ crisis, millions more to flood the continent without invitation. I’m hardly the first one to point out that Western Europe will basically turn into another Israel.  You’ll all go on, do your day-to-day things and live in relative wealth, but with a resigned acceptance that the occasional terrorist attack in Amsterdam, London, Paris or Berlin has become the new normal. The best we can hope for is that it won’t turn into an all-out civil war like we saw on the Balkans after Yugoslavia fell apart.

That said, there are a few things that should be done if we’re ever going to make a serious attempt at gaining control of this mess. For one, every European country should immediately start controlling its own borders like every self-respecting nation would. Already people are popping up left and right telling us it’s not going to make a difference. “There are so many dirt roads crossing our border in remote areas,” I saw written somewhere, “that putting up border controls will only hurt us when we go on vacation but not stop the bad guys from coming in.” Here the true priorities of the Europeans come to the surface: Don’t. Touch. My. Vacation! You’d almost hope these pajama boys started saying the same thing about gun control — “only hurts the law-abiding citizens, you know, not the bad guys” — but I’m not holding my breath.

But I digress. Nobody is suggesting that we seal our borders hermetically, but common-sense border controls would make it infinitely more difficult for the bad guys to travel from Syria all the way to Germany through Turkey, Greece, several Balkan states, Hungary and Austria — and, for that matter, for our bad guys to make the same trip in the opposite direction. And while we’re at it, let’s dispatch a multi-national Navy mission to the Mediterranean in order to patrol its waters and give any rubber boat filled with refugees an express return ticket back to Africa.

As for those home-grown radicals heeding ISIS’ call to come and fight in Syria, allow me to quote the venerable Mark Steyn, who always puts these things with more wit and clarity than yours truly:

[R]ather than confiscating passports and preventing these guys from leaving to fight for ISIS, I think we should wait till they get there to cancel their passports: If they prefer to be citizens of Headhackistan, so be it. But, if they attempt to return to Canada (or America, Britain, Australia, Europe), they should be charged with treason.

I would add to this that, if we know in advance they’re leaving, somebody should have a little chat with them before departure and present them with the facts as laid out by Mr. Steyn above.

And while they’re at it, make it clear to these fools that the time of ‘smart bombs’ for Syria is over. Better run for your life when you hear those jets come flying in, because they’re not going to hold back when you and your AK-47 are hiding behind a 70-year-old lady inside a mosque in downtown Aleppo. The smart warfare and restrictive rules of engagement have done nothing but to prolong the conflict, to the detriment of innocent civilians, while at the same time deceiving us into believing that it’s possible to distinguish the terrorists from the civilian population. It’s time for some dumb bombs instead. And when the dust settles, we should make it clear to the handful survivors that we’ll come back with a vengeance if they ever so much as point a toy gun at a citizen of a Western country again.

There you have it. It ain’t pretty, but we’re at war. Not that it’s very likely that the European countries will do any of the things outlined above, because ultimately they lack the stomach for a fight. If I were my Dutch friend, I’d be more worried about being torn to pieces by the Mujahedeen Suicide Brigade in Amsterdam than about having to go over to the Middle East for some good ol’ symmetrical warfare for God and country. No doubt the ‘experts’ on public television will tell you that the chance of the former ever happening is only one in a bazillion and way lower than being killed in a car accident. Even so, the chance of Europe ever growing some balls and sticking up for itself is still only a fraction of that.

We Have Ourselves To Blame

Paris attacks

As I sit here safely on my living room sofa following the horrifying developments in Paris from far away, on TV, the internet and social media, I’ll confess I’m as much in shock about these terrorist attacks as the next guy. I feel for the French, who saw (as it stands) over 150 of their sons, brothers, sisters, friends, whatever, mowed down or blown up by Islamic crazies tonight. The gravity and importance of the events need not be stressed here.

But then I hear Bret Baier pronounce on Fox News that this is “the end of the world as we know it”, while at the same time two Dutch friends send me text messages, independently of each other, in which they stress that these attacks will sure be ammunition for Dutch anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders.

While I don’t necessarily disagree with the second sentiment, I wonder if Mr. Wilders is the problem here. No doubt the pundits in the media will start pondering the ‘root causes’ of these events, which after all are starting to pop up left and right now in the yuppie capitals of Europe.  And there’s psychological comfort in sticking it to the likes of Mr. Wilders. After 9/11, the post-historic Dutch and French and German pajama boys could stick it to the Yanks’ meddling in Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan in prior decades. After the attacks in Madrid, they could stick it to the Spanish troops in Iraq at the time (and not coincidentally, the conservative government in Madrid lost the general elections three days later).

Then later that same year, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam in broad daylight by a jihadi, but, as many on the left alleged at the time, he had it coming anyway. I won’t even begin to mention the massacre at Charlie Hebdo HQ earlier this year, also in Paris.

But to whom are we going to stick it now we basically have Mumbai-style coordinated terrorist attacks executed not in some third-world basket case halfway around the world but in the heart of Paris? “Should have never meddled in Syria!”, I hear you cry.

We can argue about the merits of Western intervention in that god-forsaken country another day, but let’s face it: We are quickly running out of excuses here. If there’s one silver lining around this awful mess: I’m mildly positive that the horrific events in Paris tonight will finally tip the scales of public opinion and have some political consequences across the Old Continent (though I’m not holding my breath).

So here’s my take, Europeans: You’ve been screwed by your politicians for decades and decades, and you have yourselves to blame for it.

“We all get the leaders we deserve,” the old saying goes. You voted for the ‘center-left’ party first, and when that didn’t work out, you voted for the ‘center-right’ party instead. Then, four years later, you’d veer ‘center-left’ again. Sometimes you voted for the one and got the other as a bonus, like those German ‘Grand Coalitions’ between social democrats and Christian democrats.

In the Netherlands you had, in addition to these two political flavors, liberal democrats, more liberal democrats, hardcore socialists, a green party and some small Christian parties. You floated freely from one to the other, for years, decades. If one let you down, you moved on to the next. All in all, you were mildly satisfied. You made money, either by working or being on the government dole. The economy wasn’t too shabby for the most part, and you were able to indulge in the petty decadences of modern life.

And every election you were rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It didn’t matter who you voted for, since the politicians were playing their game between the 40-yard lines.

So you saw the influx of Arabs, Turks and others in your continent, and you noticed the problem got close to home when some started to lose their jobs to immigrants in the 70s and 80s, but for the most part they were losers like the guy next door making six Deutschmarks an hour flipping burgers at the nearby McDonald’s. At the same time, the Algerian grocer’s olives and feta cheese were to die for, even if he was a ten-minute bike ride away from your gentrified redstone neighborhood. Moreover, as your leaders stated all this time, we needed these guys to do the working if you wanted to keep receiving your welfare checks into old age, and over time they’d become as Western as the average gay yuppie liberal in Amsterdam anyway.

Except that it quickly became obvious to the keen observer that they wouldn’t. It’s the typical fallacy of the ‘end-of-history’ types in Europe (and elsewhere) after the Cold War: Inevitably we’d all come to see the light. From goat herders on the Afghan plains to the communist apparatchiks in Beijing, we’d all latch on to the democracy train like the crowds in Poland and East Germany in 1989. Especially those residing among us. Tonight’s events were the final nail in that theory’s coffin. As Samuel Huntington told us: “We define ourselves by what we are not.” As it turns out, many of the Muslims in Europe did not define themselves as Europeans.

When Europeans eventually figured it out, they voted the liberal democrats into office, and then the Christian democrats and social democrats and democrat liberals. But it didn’t matter, because, at heart, all of these parties had bought into the usual romantic immigration claptrap that’s so prevalent among Western elites.

“[The attacker] didn’t have a beard,” noticed one eye witness in the Paris concert hall tonight on Fox News in typical fashion. “He was like a random guy, holding a Kalashnikov.” Well, here’s your problem in a nutshell. If by “random guy” you mean the redefined meaning of “Frenchman”, then yes, this Kalashnikov-wielding savage is pretty random indeed. Even if his skin color looks a little off from your average Pierre and Jacques, I’ve no doubt he could pass for a Frenchman at first glance. But at the same time it can no longer be denied that behind the moderate Western faces often something less Western is hiding. If research shows that practically half of the Muslims in Western Europe are more or less fundamentalists who believe Jews are evil and the West has set out to destroy Islam, it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to assume that a few of them might take their hate to the next level one of these days.

Here’s where the half-witted liberal will interject: “But the vast majority are peace-loving, westernized people, and it’s only a minute minority who reach for the Kalashnikovs!” Well, they’re not, and it doesn’t matter. It’s true that one swallow does not a summer make, but it takes only three of them to kill off a hundred defenseless death metal fans inside a concert hall. Two months ago the Dutch counter-terrorism agency NCTV reported that, to date, 210 Dutch jihadis traveled to Syria in order to participate in armed battle over there. Thirty-eight of them have “probably” been killed, and 35 have returned since. These are just the people the intelligence services in the Netherlands have on their radar, mind you. Do you really think another Paris-style terrorist attack elsewhere in Western Europe wouldn’t be possible?

The most enraging part is that we have ourselves to blame for this mess. Islam isn’t the problem; we are. No self-respecting nation can accept that its borders are being overrun by hordes of immigrants or refugees or whatever the linguistic mode du jour is. The starry-eyed globalization crowds will tell you it’s all inevitable. You can’t fence off your borders anymore in this day and age, you see? Well, there was nothing inevitable about the immigration waves into Europe in the 70s and 80s. They were, for the most part, the result of deliberate policies by politicians – in cahoots with big business, of course – to keep wages down and get immigrants to do the jobs that the welfare-addicted Europeans refused to do. These immigrants weren’t stampeding our gates; they were invited over by our leaders. And all the while, you were sleeping.

The current refugee crisis in Europe would never have occurred if its actors wouldn’t be fully aware that Western European countries are too gullible and guilt-ridden to put up a fight against them. Do you think the Chinese or Saudis would be collectively weeping over a photo of a little boy’s body lying on a beach?

The world as we know it didn’t end tonight, contrary to Mr. Baier’s observation. It ended fifty years ago, slowly and without a bang. Today’s events in Paris were just an affirmation of the former, yet sadly for all those killed and wounded, they did come with a bang.

Hello world!

Welcome to the Free Dutchman’s blog!

The Free Dutchman writes about politics, culture and philosophy, hoping to contribute to the defense of liberty throughout the West.  People that have influenced me include Plato, Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville, Leo Strauss, John Derbyshire, Theodore Dalrymple, Mark Steyn and numerous other authors, as well as politicians such as Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Hope to post something shortly.  Enjoy!