Saturday, October 03, 2015

Oliver Stone: “Who owns reality? Who owns our history? He who makes it up so that most everyone believes it; That person wins”

Am I the only one in America who’s tired of Hollywood enshrining lies in our collective history through the use of propagandistic movies?
asks Benny Huang a few weeks before the release of Robert Redford’s latest film, “Truth”.
Too many of us learn about history through cinema, a pitfall we should all try to avoid. We shouldn’t confuse movies for depictions of actual historical events. Besides the fact that they’re meant to entertain, most of them are also made by loony leftists.

In that regard, “Truth” reminds me of another cinematic abortion released five years ago called “Fair Game,” which supposedly told the story of Joe Wilson and his CIA officer wife Valerie Plame. Its depiction of events was so far removed from reality that it can only be called fiction.

When the Washington Post asked Joe Wilson about the film’s veracity, he said something very telling its defense—“For people who have short memories or don’t read, this is the only way they will remember the period.” How’s that for honesty? I think what he’s saying is that even though “Fair Game” may not align with the historical record, in time it will become the historical record. People who just didn’t pay much attention to the story, or were born after the fact, will conjure up images of “Fair Game” when they think of Plamegate.

And they will think that they saw events as they really happened. What a terrible disservice.

 … No film has used subterfuge to influence public opinion about an historical event quite like Oliver Stone’s 1991 blockbuster “JFK.” It supposedly tells the true story of District Attorney Jim Garrison of New Orleans, the only man ever to charge anyone for President Kennedy’s murder. As it turns out, the man he put on trial, businessman Clay Shaw, also happened to be innocent. The case Garrison’s office assembled against him was a textbook example of reckless prosecution. After a lengthy trial, the jury deliberated for just 54 minutes before returning a verdict of not guilty.

But that’s not how Stone tells the story. In Stone’s film, Garrison is the hero. His investigation meets stiff resistance from the federal government, presumably because Kennedy’s killers are still very much in power. The assassination is a conspiracy of epic proportions, involving top military brass, defense contractors, the CIA, FBI, Dallas Police, Vice President LBJ, anti-Castro Cubans, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and even the President’s own Secret Service. Lee Oswald not only didn’t act alone, he didn’t act at all. Just a patsy. Oswald was conveniently “sheep-dipped” to look like an unstable Marxist then placed in proximity to the murder so the real killers could make a clean get-away.

The Chicago Tribune editorialized, “The danger is that Stone’s film and the pseudo-history it so effectively portrays will become the popularly accepted version.” Very true, and there’s no doubt that Stone intended to make his film an historical reference that would guide public memory of the assassination. Released with the film was a companion book sent to thirteen thousand teachers across the country. To think that any teacher would present the film to her class as truth! But I’m sure some did and do.

Stone offered an insight into his thinking in an introduction he wrote for a book by Fletcher Prouty, the archetypal crackpot and basis for the mysterious Mr. X character portrayed in “JFK.” Wrote Stone: “Who owns reality? Who owns our history? He who makes it up so that most everyone believes it. That person wins.”

Friday, October 02, 2015

Jyllands Posten Interviews Mark Steyn

In the wake of his passage in Copenhagen to make a speech marking the 10th anniversary of the Mohammed cartoons, Mark Steyn writes that  
Jyllands-Posten, the original publishers of the Mohammed cartoons ten years ago, has a big interview with me in today's paper. Niels Lillelund is somewhat of a cryptic interrogator: Usually when you shoot the breeze with someone from a newspaper or magazine, you can sort of tell how on board they are with your general line. But the poker-faced Mr Lillelund plays his cards close to his chest. So, for our Danish readers, enjoy!
»Vi magter ikke at forsvare os, for vi har glemt hvorfor ...«
Europas fremtid: »Hvis man er moralsk ansvarlig, så gør man verden til et bedre sted. Man flytter ikke bare problemer fra de kollapsede lande og hertil. Det er ikke en løsning,« siger forfatter og kommentator Mark Steyn. Han ser mørkt på Europas situation og betragter sig selv om en gammeldags, mere ærlig kolonialist.
Which I think translates to something like:
'We aren't defending ourselves, because we've forgotten why...'
The future of Europe: 'If one is truly "morally responsible" [for the "Syrian" "refugees"], you have to make the world better, not just move the problems from the collapsed countries to your own. That's not a solution, "said author and commentator Mark Steyn. He looks darkly on Europe's situation and see himself as an old-fashioned, more honest colonialist.
As often with print interviews, I don't recall saying it quite that way originally - I always describe myself as an imperialist rather than a "colonialist". But Mr Lillelund asks interesting questions, and I try to provide interesting answers.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

What if the Refugees Were Blonde and Blue-Eyed Swedes?

Shall we try to figure out what the refugee story is all about?

Specifically, if it has anything to do with Europeans', or Westerners' racism?

In that perspective, let us imagine that the refugees are not Syrians but Swedes — blonde, blue-eyed souls with fellow European and Christian roots.

Wouldn't that prove that the animosity towards the mainly Arab and/or Muslim refugees is all about racism?

Be honest, dude: Wouldn't I be eager to help if the refugees turned out to be of fellow Scandinavian stock?

The answer is as follows:




What if the world were shocked by the photo of a drowned Swedish child on a beach in the Mediterranean?

How would I react then?  Wouldn't I feel empathy for the Swedish child? And for his family?

Here is my first reaction. My reaction would be anger, followed by the question, "Why didn't he simply cross the border?" Why didn't the family first come to Denmark, a neighboring country, aren't we neighbors of theirs good enough for them (for those sonzabitches)?! What's that dead kid doing down in the Mediterranean?

Well, here is where it gets interesting: it turns out that in this imaginary scenario, the governments of Denmark, Norway, and Finland have barred their countries entry for the Swedish refugees.

Reverting to reality, the Syrian refugees have been denied entrance to their brother countries (and the Devil take the Umma). Indeed, the five wealthiest Gulf Nations have so far refused to take a single Syrian refugee. Why? Because Gulf nations argue that accepting large numbers of Syrian refugees is a serious threat to the safety of [their] citizens because terrorists could hide themselves among civilians (shookhran to Glenn Reynolds).

Let us ask the obsessed racebaiters this: is it racist to listen to Arab people?

Or perhaps it is racist to listen to Arabs when smarter-than-thou, more-compassionate-than-thou, more-humanistic-than-thou Western leftists have more soothing (or self-serving) things to tell you?

The second issue is linked to the first.

If the refugee problem is due to an earthquake or to a tsunami that has hit some part of the Swedish seaside, then the best solution, the ideal solution is to bring food, and medicine, and other aid to the region in question — exactly like what happened in the real-life case of an Asian tsunami 11 years ago — or, barring that, take in refugees across the border (not a half continent or more away).

In that case, I know the refugees (including the pretty Swedish lasses) will not particularly want to stay and that (not that I have anything in particular against them — especially the pretty Swedish lasses) they will want eventually, at one point or another, to go home.

But what if the refugee problem is due to tyranny and to war — civil war?

Imagine that under Daniel Westling's soft demeanor, the man has turned out to be a tyrant (petty or otherwise), one who has overthrown the Swedish king and the king's daughter, his (Prince Daniel's) own wife. King Carl 16. Gustav and Crown Princess Victoria have been unceremoniously thrown into a dark dungeon with the rest of their family and self-proclaimed King Daniel has sicced disloyal elements of the Swedish army on the people. Arrests and murders galore ensue.

In that case, taking in refugees may certainly be one solution, but wouldn't the best response, the ideal response, be something else? Wouldn't it be the overthrow of the tyrant Daniel?

The best thing here would be the Swedes overthrowing King Daniel themselves, isn't that correct? But next to that, wouldn't the ideal solution be foreign military aid and intervention to bring that about, with or without foreign troops?

(But even here, another question arises: are our hypothetical Swedish refugees simple victims, or are they — in line with what the gulf states are claiming about the real-life Syrian refugees — maybe extremists aching for a monarchy under Prince Carl Philip (Victoria's little brother) or hard-line Lutherans wanting a Protestant "Caliphate"?)
But there is a historical example here — one that keeps getting memes on the internet and articles in the press as methods to shame people into being fully accepting of the refugees.

The tale of not of Swedish, but of Danish refugees during World War II — when a great number of them came from German-occupied Denmark, streaming into neutral Sweden. (The memes also — as in FaceBook post above — tell of 1.5 million Swedes who emigrated to the United States in the 19th century.)

But the Danish refugees — who did not number in the tens of thousands, or in the millions, far from it — were settled in camps. Not concentration camps, like the Germans' death camps, of course, but refugee camps, which, you may be surprised to know, is something entirely common and entirely acceptable.

You cannot have hundreds, or thousands, of citizens simply loosened into a community. And particularly when there are fighters among them. Today, we know that the Second World War's resistance fighters were good guys, but how sure could one be of that during the war? Plus, aren't there always bad apples in a barrel? In any case, even if they are good guys, a host nation will want to have armed men and women under some sort of control.

More to the point, and even when the warrior element is discounted, they will even want to have unarmed men and women under control. You can't simply have new bakers and shoemakers and so on suddenly integrate themselves into a community, with pre-existing bakers and shoemakers and so on. So refugee camps are quite a normal response to any refugee situation.

Moreover, the solution to the Danish refugee problem was not to bring relief to the Danes in Denmark; it was not to allow Danish refugees to settle in Sweden. The solution was to get rid of the occupying force — so that the refugees could go back; the solution was to overthrow the Nazi government of Adolf Hitler.

If the Danes could not do that, the solution would have to carried out by external forces, forces led by men like Roosevelt, and by men like Churchill.

But see, many of you are not going to like where this conversation is going…

Indeed. Here we are getting to the man who has been the most hated man, the most despised man, most ridiculed man in recent memory.

Needless to say, you know who I am speaking of.

No, t'is not Vladimir Putin. T'is not an Iranian ayatollah. T'is not Assad. T'is not Fidel (or Raúl) Castro. T'is not Saddam Hussein.

Of course we are talking about George W Bush.

Remember the 2000s? Remember when we were pretending that "a rather unremarkable brush war" (Iraq) was the worst thing ever (thanks to Ed Driscroll). (And we still do.)

Remember 2008? Remember when we would finally — thank God! — get rid of the stupid cowboy?

We were all so glad to get rid of Dubya in favor of a man of peace, a man who promised to end wars, a man who earned the Nobel Peace Prize just for winning the election.

Finally, a visionary of unlimited intelligence who noticed that all the foreign policies of previous presidents was so much saber-rattling.

Finally, a man who realized that by simply talking to foreign autocrats, one could bring peace for our time.

Congratulations, people!

Congratulations, Europeans!

You got the U.S. president you were pining for!

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate "ended" the war in Iraq in 2011, and Iraq hasn't had (or has hardly) suffered any violence since then.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate (and Hillary Clinton) hit the reset button with Russia in 2009, and Vladimir Putin hasn't bothered anyone (or has hardly bothered anyone) since then.

During the Bush years, every bad thing that occurred, domestically or internationally, I was told repeatedly (with a grim face, dark eyes, gnashing teeth, and sputtering rage), was "on Bush's watch".

Now that one Barack Obama is in the White House, there is never any sputtering rage accompanied with the "it's on Obama's watch" line. 

Nobody has noticed!

Millions of refugees heading to Europe are on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.

Russian and Iranian troops flowing into Syria (and, more generally, into the Middle East) is happening on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.

Vladimir Putin's invasion of Crimea happened on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.

Russian planes, ships, and subs buzzing the borders of NATO member countries are happening on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.

Iran unleashed, with a $150 billion bonus, is on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.

(Is it any wonder that the Washington Posts' Fred Hiatt says that This may be the most surprising of President Obama’s foreign-policy legacies: not just that he presided over a humanitarian and cultural disaster of epochal proportions, but that he soothed the American people into feeling no responsibility for the tragedy.)

Congratulations, people!

Congratulations, Europeans!

The post-war era of peace that you praised so much, 70 years old now (coupled with obligatory rabid anti-Americanism throughout), is likely coming to an end — a very bloody end.

Thanks to the pacifist visionary you have been pining for.

(Update: Thanks for the instalink, Sarah Hoyt)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The MSM is "an industry that gives itself awards back and forth for courage and bravery—far more than soldiers and firemen do!": Mark Steyn's Speech in Copenhagen (Video)

Among the orations at Copenhagen's 10th anniversary commemoration of the Mohammed cartoons was the 50-minute speech of Mark Steyn (YouTube video).

A couple of quick excerpts:
• on the "courage" of the media: 19:35
• on meeting President Bush in the Oval Office: 14:41
(Dubya's memorable line gets just as much applause when repeated at 33:31)

Mark Steyn remembers Saturday September 26:
we were a merry band, all things considered, at Christiansborg Castle. I thank my friend Katrine Winkel Holm, of the Danish Free Press Society, and her delightful sister, Marie Krarup, defense spokeslady for the Danish People's Party, for arranging to host us behind the fortress-like walls of Parliament - so nobody could bust in and shoot us, as they did at a similar free-speech event in February. I was heartened to meet fellow free-speechers who had traveled from Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Britain and even Canada. My fellow panelists included Henryk Broder, author of The Last Days of Europe; Vebjørn Selbekk, whom the quislings of Norway's government treated disgracefully for publishing the cartoons; and Douglas Murray, who's already written up the event in The Spectator:
My main message for the audience was to keep in mind that freedom has never been particularly popular. Most people prefer their security and comforts to freedom and although history shows that although everyone benefits from being free, it has always been a small minority who actually pursue and protect the cause. I suppose one has to wrestle whatever comfort one can from that. It was a terrible thing to see the security now needed in Denmark, as elsewhere, for people who are simply asserting their right to write and draw what they want, even – shock horror – things that might be mildly critical of the founder of one religion. That a journalist or historian should need bodyguards in 21st century in an indictment on our continent. But still, surveying the room on Saturday I think we've got enough people. A few Danes, a few Swedes and Norwegians. A few Americans and a couple of Brits might be all that is needed. Perhaps by the 15th anniversary things will be better.
Perhaps. On Europe's present course, though, the security we'll need in 2020 doesn't bear thinking about. But I'll be there.

~A transcript of Vebjørn Selbekk's powerful speech can be found here:
We had interviewed leading Norwegian cartoonists. One of them was Finn Graaf. He is maybe the hardest hitting cartoonist in the history of the Norwegian press. One of his specialities is drawing Israeli prime ministers as Holocaust camp guards. He has done that with almost every Israeli prime minister since Menachem Begin in the late Seventies.
But Mister Graff told us that he would never draw the prophet Mohammad. Not because he had more respect towards the Muslim faith than other religions or ideologies. No, he bluntly put it this way in the interview:
'I have to draw the line somewhere. I do not want to get my throat cut. Therefore I will refrain from drawing Muhammad.'
One-way "hard-hitting" isn't really hard-hitting at all, is it? As I said ten years ago, it's the easiest thing in the world to be tediously provocative with those who refuse to be provoked.
The other speeches can be found at Free Press TV (tak til )

Related: Wild Seadogs of the Øresund
(tack sä mycket till Instapundit).
More on Mark Steyn from the files of No Pasarán

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mark Steyn in Copenhagen: "Fight the hate speech fairies, and fight their islamic Enforcers!"

The Free Speech Society's Asger Bonnevie has a (Danish-language) report on The Danish Muhammed Crisis in Retrospect, the 10th anniversary commemoration in Christiansborg castle of Flemming Rose's publication of the Mohammed cartoons.

Translated from Danish:
Make use of the freedom of expression and insist on living as free people. That was the rallying cry as the Free Speech Society gathered around four free speech activists on the occasion of the Muhammad drawings' 10th anniversary.

On the list of speakers were Henryk Broder, Vebjørn Selbekk, Douglas Murray, and Mark Steyn.

The hall had been booked by Marie Krarup [MP of the Danish People's Party], and the speeches were all conducted in English. The sun was high in the sky, and the Landstings Hall was full. 
”Record the state of affairs, so we can remember them”
Henryk Broder, the German journalist and author Hurra, wir kapitulieren! [Hooray, We're Surrendering!] was first to speak. Broder is pessimistic about progress in Europe since the cartoon crisis. 

In the EU system, he sees parallels to the Soviet Union's last days and urges that we witness to what happens in those years, so people in the future will have a record. In conclusion, he called for avoiding complacency in the face of anti-democratic forces.

”Is freedom defended by political arguments, or religious arguments?”
Vebjørn Selbekk is editor of the Norwegian newspaper Dagen [The Day]. In the name of free speech, he reprinted the 12 cartoons from Jyllands-Posten in 2006.

Selbekk had already noticed the trends, but he refused to give terrorists a veto over editorial content. Shortly there after, he was under police protection, living at a secret address.

The Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet, or AP) stabbed him in the back, and he was made a scapegoat. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere spoke of "extremists on both sides," as if the opposing parties were on an equal footing. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg went a step further, suggesting there was even a "joint responsibility" for the embassy attacks.

What drives Selbekk is indignation that people should be afraid to express their opinions. Extremists hate our values ​​and our freedoms, and all will have to deal with this threat.

This is done by not putting restraints on one's utterances — using as much free speech as you like. If people do not do that, assessed Vebjørn Selbekk, then the extremists win. Lately Selbekk has received an award for his efforts. On August 31, 2015, he received the Fritt Ord Honors Prize for his principled defense of free speech.

”When the history of this era will be written, the name of Denmark will be talked about with enormous pride!”
The next speaker was Douglas Murray. He is an English author, journalist, and commentator. He led the think tank Centre for Social Cohesion from 2007-2011 and is now director of the Henry Jackson Society.

His opening remarks with a topical example. The police had approached a London gallery and removed one of the works. The work represented a potential risk, according to the police, and there was uncertainty whether the bill for extra police manpower would possibly be forwarded to the artist or to the gallery owner. Murray was furious at this and refuses to place trust in a police force that acts as art critics.

Murray believes that the ruling class has internalized the fatwa against the Muhammad cartoons. This must be the lesson of the past decade. A majority of the press and a majority of artists, in his opinion, are cowards.

He accused European politicians to only deal with secondary issues, i.e., with the symptoms of the real problem: whether Islam is a religion of peace or not.

Freedom of speech is not only a right, thinks Murray, it is a necessity. We need to hear dissident voices and opposing views, because only if we can hear them, can we take well-informed decisions and avoid mistakes.

Douglas Murray finished by paying tribute to Denmark's example.

“'If it is not the crusades, it is the cartoons'”
The final speaker was the Canadian-American writer and commentator Mark Steyn.

Steyn began with a variation on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Emperor's New Clothes. In Steyn's version, the "multi culti emperor" turned out not to be wearing clothes either. what differed from the original is that no one would listen to the boy, and nor was he thanked. We have perverted Hans Christian Andersen, said Steyn, and in the 22st century the boy is punished.

Back then, Mark Steyn paid a visit to the White House, where he asked George W. Bush about his assessment of the Muslim reaction to the Danish cartoons. The president slightly shook his head:
If it is not the crusades, it is the cartoons. They are always angry about something.
This anecdote was rewarded in the Landsting Hall with applause.

Steyn excoriated the international press for bending to the Islamists' wishes regarding the prohibition of images. Instead of a rational response to violence and threats, one that Steyn felt would lead to the reprinting of the cartoons on all the world's newspapers' front pages, we stand in a situation where CNN pixielates the Muhammad cartoons.

This is particularly shameful in view of the fact of how the media is otherwise loving to go around presenting one award for journalistic courage after another.

Steyn argued that the problem is Western society's lack of confidence. We no longer believe in ourselves and our fundamental values. We are willing to sacrifice them. The aim of terrorism is to hijack the debate and to terrorize us into refraining from certain subjects. And to great success.

Steyn's conclusion was a call to continue to live as free people. Use the freedom of expression and share the risk, so no matter how many people the terrorists kill, they can not succeed in their enterprise.
Fight the hate speech fairies, and their islamic Enforcers. We are free!

• More on Steyn's oration: Bush Remarks Lead to Applause During Steyn's Copenhagen Speech on the 10th Anniversary of the Danish Mohammed Cartoons

UPDATE: The MSM is "an industry that gives itself awards back and forth for courage and bravery—far more than soldiers and firemen do!": Mark Steyn's Speech in Copenhagen (Video)

• More on Mark Steyn from the files of No Pasarán