US President Donald Trump has suggested that some Muslims should be executed with bullets dipped in pig’s blood, hours after a deadly terror attack in Barcelona, Spain.
“Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught,” Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon. “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”
Trump’s tweet referenced a dubious story about US Army General John Pershing’s handling of Muslim prisoners during the Moro Rebellion (1899–1913) in the Philippines. The rebellion was an armed conflict between Muslims and the United States military.
During the 2016 election campaign, Trump frequently told a tale of how Pershing had Moro Muslim prisoners in the Philippines executed with bullets soaked in pig’s blood to quell rebellion against American rule.
Speaking at a rally in Charleston February last year, Trump said General Pershing “took 50 bullets and he dipped them in pig’s blood.”
“And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem,” he said.
According to some historians, Trump’s tale is false. They have concluded it would have been “out of character” for Pershing.
But some other historians have suggested that American troops did use pigs or pig’s blood to intimidate Muslims during the Philippine conflict in the early 20th century.
“So yes, there were deliberate efforts to offend Muslim Filipinos’ religious sensibilities,” Christopher Capozzola, a history professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told TIME last year.
“And yes, there was large-scale violence against their communities. But I know of no event like the one that Mr. Trump describes,” he stated.
Muslim advocacy groups have challenged Trump to debate a representative from the American-Muslim community “on the issues” he has “raised about Islam and Muslims.”
Earlier in the day, Trump condemned the attack in Barcelona. At least 13 people were killed and 80 were injured after a van plowed into a crowd in the Spanish city.
Sweden is violating a United Nations human-rights treaty in its attempt to deport a prominent Iranian actress who revealed her conversion from Islam to Christianity after arriving in the European nation, according to a charity that defends persecuted Christians worldwide.
Aideen Strandsson would face punishment and prison, possibly even rape and death, if returned to the mullah-led Islamic nation, argues the U.K.-based Barnabas Fund.
The group cites the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention, which states “a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom.”
In Strandsson’s case, the international Christian ministry said, she undoubtedly would face prison – at a minimum – for her conversion to Christianity.
“In fact, Iranian prisons are a particularly dangerous environment for any woman,” the organization said.
“Rape has been widely used against female prisoners since the 1979 Islamic revolution on the pretext that women offenders must not be allowed to remain virgins, as this could result in them being admitted to paradise. Added to this, as both an apostate from Islam and a nationally known actress who has appeared in films and on TV, Miss Strandsson is likely to be viewed as a significant embarrassment to the Iranian government. As such, her life will be in serious danger,” the Barnabas Fund said.
The organization said the actress had a conversion experience after watching a video in Iran of a woman being stoned to death.
“I decided at that moment I don’t want to be a Muslim anymore,” she said.
Strandsson said that shortly after that, she had a dramatic spiritual encounter.
“I had a dream about Jesus. He was sitting near me and he took my hand,” she said.
But she, like many others in Iran, kept her faith quiet, allowing word of it to come out only after she safely was in Sweden.
At that point, in 2014, she asked for a public baptism.
“I want to have a baptism in public because I want to say I am not afraid anymore I am free, I am Christian. I want everyone to know about that,” she explained, according to Barnabas.
Now, however, Swedish officials “have told Aideen that becoming a Christian was ‘her decision’ and now it’s ‘her problem’ and not theirs.”
“At her asylum hearing, a Swedish migration official even told her it would not be as bad for her in Iran as she is expecting because it would only be six months in prison,” Barnabas said.
The U.N. convention disallows sending a refugee back to a nation where “they face serious threats to their life or freedom.”
The planned deportation is part of Sweden’s attempt to tamp down the backlash to its admission of huge numbers of migrants from Muslim nations.
“In a worrying new trend, which may affect Christians in other European countries which have recently allowed in large numbers of migrants, decisions on asylum appear to be influenced not just by human rights but also by government targets, with little or no recognition of the specific persecution faced by Christian minorities in countries such as Iran,” Barnabas Fund said.
A lawyer working on her case, Gabriel Donner, told Barnabas Fund the government officials “do not care” about injuries they may create.
“They have promised the public in Sweden that they will deport more people than before and so they have to fill the quota.”
Donner said many Swedish officials are so ignorant of religion and Christianity they assume it’s simply a lifestyle choice.
“A convert says, ‘I converted because of the love I received from Jesus Christ,’ and they almost mockingly ask the convert, ‘What do you mean by love?’ They don’t understand the message in the Bible. It’s just completely alien to them,” he said.
Donner estimated there are 8,000 asylum-seekers now hiding in Sweden to avoid deportation.
Riot policemen form a barrier in front of the Greek Parliament in central Syntagma Square during clashes in Athens, Greece, 15 July 2015. Photo by Yannis Behraki/Reuters – image edited by W. Investigator
Democracy, by nature, is a contest between clashing political desires. That is why the public square matters so much
by Saul Frampton is a senior lecturer in English, linguistics and cultural studies at the University of Westminster in London. His latest book is When I Am Playing With My Cat, How Do I Know She Is Not Playing With Me? (2011).
The fall of Mycenaean power, the intervening Dark Ages, and the dawn of a new civilisation during the ‘Greek miracle’ of the Archaic period is one of the most fascinating stories in ancient history. After the collapse of the Mycenaean palace system around 1100 BCE, Greece experienced centuries of economic and social desolation. Mycenae, Pylos and Thebes were abandoned and burned to the ground. A dwindling population was attacked by invaders from the north and from the sea. What remained of Bronze Age culture was according to one historian ‘very little’, and ‘that little then dwindled away to almost nothing’. Writing at the end of the period, the 8th-century poet Hesiod described the degeneration of the human race, from glittering Bronze Age heroes, down to his own violent ‘Age of Iron’. He looked into the near future and saw children born grey, families at war with themselves, and society self-destructing. He concluded miserably: ‘I wish that I … had either died sooner or been born later.’
But it was at this moment that a new vision of society began to emerge. As the classical scholar Gilbert Murray put it in 1907 : ‘There is a far-off island of knowledge, or apparent knowledge; then darkness; then the beginnings of continuous history.’ The archaic period (800-480 BCE) represents the start of this history, when ‘darkness gives way to dawn’, according to the archaeologist J N Coldstream. And at its heart is the birthplace of the Western intellectual and political tradition: the polis or Greek city-state.
A polis was a self-governing city or town and its surrounding territory. In terms of size, it wasn’t necessarily big: Aristotle suggested that in the ideal polis all its citizens (ie, men) could be assembled by the voice of a single herald. Plato gave an ideal citizenry of 5,040. Some poleis were smaller, but few were much larger. A typical city-state such as Plataea in Boeotia had a total population of fewer than 10,000. But from its modest beginnings, the idea of the polis soon spread. At the highpoint of Greek civilisation (c400 BCE), around 1,000 had migrated across the shores of the Mediterranean – as Plato put it: ‘like frogs around a pond’.
Given these geographic variations, many chose to define the polis anthropologically. ‘Not well-built walls, nor canals and dockyards make the polis: but men do,’ said Alcaeus of Lesbos. In Thucydides, the Athenian general Nikias states that: ‘It is men that make the polis, not walls or ships.’ Aristotle defined man as politikon zoon, a political animal: he ‘whose nature is to live in a polis’. At its heart was a conception of government for the people, by the people: of normative rules and collective decision-making. For the writers and philosophers of 5th-century Athens, this culminated in an ability to step back, not only from politics but from life itself, and subject it to something like objective scrutiny.
But the reasons for the success of the Greek city-state still remain unclear. Did it result from an expanding population or the group-think of the armoured hoplite phalanx? Were improvements in trade crucial, or was it the rise of sophisticated urban elites? Was it maintained by abstract ideals of democracy (demokratia), freedom (eleutheria) and free speech (parrhesia)? Or was the rise of the polis the astonishing aftereffect of the simple act of drawing a line?…
Casting an eye across the limpid surface of the Mediterranean this August from the beaches of Monaco, St. Tropez, or Antibes in the south of France, there is a noticeable dearth of the massive, multimillion-dollar yachts which are usually such a feature of high summer in le Midi, as natives call the south of France.
As Nancy Heslin, a Canadian-born reporter who covers the region, told The Daily Beast, “I was in Monaco the other day going to a meeting, and I was half-looking for a great yacht to snap for Instagram. But it is really noticeable that they are not as plentiful as previous years. Nice Matin and Monaco Matin always used to have front page photos saying which big yacht was here, but they haven’t been able to do that so much this year.”
While the ongoing presence of €10 cups of coffee and €1000 bottles of Champagne might serve to reassure the casual observer that the region is still as attractive to the sun-loving super-rich as it ever was, appearances can be deceptive.
Talk to locals involved in the multibillion-euro yachting sector—and in the south of France that’s nearly everyone, in some trickle-down shape or form, as yachting is by some measures the biggest earner in the region after hotels and wine—and you detect a sinking feeling.
Their discomfort is due to the fact that, despite the opulent optics, beneath the azure waters, trouble is brewing.
More and more yachting money is draining away from Monaco and the south of France—and washing up in other European countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey.
The core reason for the superyacht exodus is financial; France has tightened up on previously lax tax regulations for the captains and crew members of yachts who officially reside in France, and often have families on the mainland, but traditionally have evaded all tax by claiming they were earning their salary offshore.
The country has also taken a hard line on imposing 20 percent VAT on yacht fuel sales, which often used to be dodged. Given that a typical fill can be around €100,000, it is understandable that many captains are simply sailing around the corner to less pernickety jurisdictions.
Revenue at the iconic marina in Saint-Tropez has, according to a worried letter sent to President Emmanuel Macron by three of the Riviera’s most prominent politicians (Renaud Muselier, the president of the Riviera region, Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice, and Hubert Falco, the mayor of Toulon) fallen by 30 percent since the beginning of the year, while Toulon, a less glamorous destination, has suffered a 40 percent decline.
“The gravity of the economic situation of the yachting sector in the Provence-Alps-Riviera region makes it necessary for us to appeal for your direct intervention,” they said in the open letter to Macron released to the media.
They stated that refueling a 42-meter yacht in Italy (instead of France) “gives a saving of nearly €21,000 a week because of the difference in tax.”
Sales by the four largest marine fuel vendors has fallen by 50 percent this summer, the letter said, adding that French “yachties”—an inexperienced 19-year-old deckhand makes around €2,000 per month and a good Captain can command €300,000—were being laid off in droves, as, due to the new tax rules, national insurance, health and other compulsory contributions which boat owners pay for crew members have increased from 15 to 55 percent of their wages.
The letter stated that “the additional cost of maintaining a seven-person crew in France is €300,000 (£268,000) a year.”
Nicholas Edmiston, the founder of the eponymous luxury yacht brokerage Edmiston, told The Daily Beast, “Just a week ago we had a yacht on charter that had to refuel in France instead of Italy because of a delay, and it cost an extra €40,000 in VAT
“Of course the people who own these yachts can probably afford to pay more, but they prefer not to.
“But the real issue now is that the French want to collect tax from crew. A lot of crew living on boats all over the world have wives and family living ashore, in France, benefiting from the largesse of the French state in terms of education and welfare and even benefits…
Europe is full of ‘Last men’ (and perhaps women, I suppose we are now forced to say, given the incessant demand for political correctness).
Why is this so and who will come to dwell in these territories we have hitherto called — home?
We are not talking about some imaginary seven kingdoms, as in the legendary but fictional television series, Game of Thrones, either. The point of contention is about a real place, with real peoples, and real nations that have existed for centuries on end, perhaps thousands of years—called Europa.
Trends in immigration suggest what can only be termed, a self-imposed European death wish.
Look at any demographic map, preferably an interactive one.
Of the 7.5 billion people presently on this earth, the vast majority, mostly in the Southern hemisphere, and who are generally poor and backward, are trying to get to the Northern hemisphere, where there are greater opportunities and overly generous welfare states. In recent polls 7 out 10 people from these lands say, given the chance, they want to flee their plight.
The last decade has seen more refugees, migrants and economic immigrants than at any point in human history: tens, if not hundreds of millions. They are dying in transit, drowning on the Mediterranean Sea and suffocating in the back of trucks, as was the case, yet again in Texas this past week.
Human trafficking is big business. The International Organization for Migration estimates that more than 1,000,000 migrants arrived in Europe by sea in each of the last three years, and tens if not hundreds of thousands more, by land.
The numbers are astounding and only increasing. Some 5,000 new migrants arrive on the shores of Italy alone every day.
The U.S. estimates it is now populated by millions of illegal and undocumented immigrants. In fact, about one-fourth of the 42.4 million foreign-born people living in the United States today are illegal immigrants – this amounts to roughly 10.5 million, according to an objective study by the Center for Immigration Studies.
Geostrategists cannot comprehend billions (yes, potentially billions) of people moving from South to North. They can’t comprehend the risk or the total effects of this — a world without borders. Yet it is something that globalist political leaders and flat worlders actually seek and actively endorse.
Europe will change. This will happen… is happening, in our lifetimes, with globalist elites endorsing it as benign or even laudatory. The ‘anywhere’ crowd with no attachment to place, custom or religion, favor such open borders.
The ‘somewhere’ folks who still have some degree of loyalty to national identity, tradition and religion do not share the same attitude. As the global elites get their way we witness the end of Europe and the emergence of the Last man.
And who is this Last man?
The Last man (in German, der letzte Mensch), is a description used by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra to describe men tired of life, who take no risks, and seek only comfort and idle security.
They exist without purpose or direction. Their lives are pacifist and comfortable. There is no longer any distinction between strength and weakness, excellence and mediocrity. Social conflict and challenges are defined out of existence. Everyone lives equally and in a “superficial” harmony of no consequence. There is no originality or flourishing social trends or ideas, merely fashions. There is no innovation or creativity. Individuality and thinking are suppressed.
According to Nietzsche, the Last man is the goal that modern society and western European civilization have set for themselves. Those writers who have sought to warn about this have failed to date.
Nietzsche warned that the society of the Last man could be too barren and decadent to support the growth of healthy human life or great individuals. The Last man is only possible by mankind having bred an apathetic person who is unable to dream, who are unwilling to take risks, and simply earn their meager living and try to keep warm.
Even having children or concern for future generations is too much of a challenge and inconvenience. Leadership is nothing more than a greater degree of things and creature comfort. They are willing to make any temporary compromise so as to maintain their ease.
The Last man, Nietzsche predicted, would be our response to the problem of nihilism.
Is Europe today ever closer to what Nietzsche described? Has European decadence and anomie, adrift from its original moorings and spirituality, and more and more awash in a sea of unassimilated and perhaps unassimilable immigrants, with yet more on the way, brought us to this state?
Others have described the onslaught of Islamist immigrants who come to the west to exploit its wealth and flee the scourge of poverty and war of the places they have vacated. They bring with them cultures of hate and the practice of terror as they find no way to immanentize their eschaton and instead end up hating the very new places they inhabit and the way of life that has sustained it for centuries…