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L'Ordre

L'Ordre

Is immigration good or bad?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

The government in a revolution is the despotism of liberty against tyranny.

Le gouvernement de la révolution est le despotisme de la liberté contre la tyrannie.

Robespierre


Conversations in the media about Donald Trump’s anti-immigration canards, the migrant crisis in Greece and Macedonia, and protest actions in Britain and Germany, have brought immigration and its opponents to increased attention.

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To begin, it must be accepted that immigrants belong to our shared human heritage and they are thus no different than anyone else, so they should not be demonized. One can argue quite effectively that citizenship should not be exclusive or should not exist at all as a concept in today’s porous political geography. However, state policies on immigration and the effects of immigration on people’s lives can be legitimately brought to attention and criticized.

Is immigration bad… for immigrants?

The trafficking of immigrants for exploitative employers who seek nothing less than to restore slavery in Europe and North America is a fact. Various arguments can be made from the state perspective that immigration can have a damaging effect on quality of life. Mostly, for immigrants themselves.

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Many immigrants move to Europe and North America searching for better wages and better quality of life. Each of them would prefer thus to have traveled here alone, and not be part of a great stampede of mankind away from the world’s impoverished peripheries to its unjustly wealthier centers. Those who remained likely have an even greater contempt for those who left, than each immigrant has for the next immigrant.

From a world-systems perspective, this is not only against the interests of the poor states losing skilled workers to wealthier states, but against the interests of individual migrants themselves. Some of the strongest criticisms of immigration in its present form ought to come from immigrants, and indeed they do. Immigrants who have made a life for themselves in Europe and North America have more reason to fear an influx of new immigrants than anyone else. Indeed, the extralegal patrols that were set up on the United States border with Mexico are largely manned by immigrants themselves, as are the government border stations on that border. Immigrants hold a strong fear of other immigrants, seeing them as a threat to their way of life who threaten to drive down the wages that were the reason they migrated in the first place.

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Immigrants who came to the west searching for work and better quality of life are desperately afraid that they will have to compete with a new influx of people who are willing to put up with slightly less pay and slightly less quality of life than they were. That is a fear that exists. It may be unfounded, and indeed the real solution to it is not to bar immigrants from entering the state in question, but for the state to more heavily regulate employers in order to crack down on exploitation, and for trade unions to consistently campaign for higher wages.

Emigration as a draining and impoverishing force in poor countries?

The more potent criticism of immigration is not regarding the interests of the host country, which profits enormously from the influx of skilled workers, and hence is not a criticism of immigration but of emigration – the loss of workers from poorer states. The flight of doctors and scientists from poor countries to rich countries leaves their own countries suffering a severe lack of quality medical care and innovation, and reduces them to asking for aid from other countries or the humiliation of relying on foreign volunteers from international NGOs (to no avail).

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One can either believe that poor states are poor because they are incompetently governed by juntas and totalitarian regimes, or we can study history, which reveals that such regimes only emerged in the first place to guard against colonialism. The solution to poverty in the world’s economic peripheries is not to neglect, abandon, sanction and condemn nations but to help them.

If poorer states only appealed for their most skilled workers to remain in those countries, and to help uplift these countries rather than leave them in the care of the United Nations and various NGOs, every such country would prosper and their people would feel no incentive to migrate to Europe and North America. While any policy that mixes the races and brings together disparate cultures results usually in a positive exchange, it is a tragedy that poor countries witness this exodus of people in the first place. One can only hope that ubiquitous industrialization and other technological progress will eventually improve life across the whole world and not only in Europe in North America.

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By Harry J. Bentham

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Countdown to NATO defeat and withdrawal in Afghanistan?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

… il n’est rien creu si fermement que ce qu’on sçait le moins, …

Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.

Michel de Montaigne


When Afghanistan was first invaded by US forces in 2001 and beyond, most voices in the west sided with this aggression. Using the national trauma caused by the 9/11 attacks to justify the invasion, the then Bush Jr. administration wanted to satisfy the popular cry for revenge.

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It is a sad fact today that the victims of the now NATO-led War in Afghanistan were neither al-Qaeda terrorists nor the Taliban, who are still strong, but the ordinary people of Afghanistan. Hindsight is a brilliant thing. Only with hindsight can we become aware of the folly of invading a country and terrorizing and intruding on several others such as Pakistan, merely to find and kill one man. And it took around ten years to accomplish only that, at a cost of only tens of thousands of civilians in the process. In hindsight, what NATO did in Afghanistan looks crueler and more absurd than even Israel’s vindictive attacks on Gaza. It was based on similar logic.

The military mastermind Mohammed Omar, leader of the Taliban, was one of the main targets of the “world’s only superpower” for more than ten years. Eventually, he died. Of natural causes. There are some who even claim that Osama bin Laden also died of natural causes years before 2011, and that the raid on bin Laden’s compound (which there is essentially no evidence even happened) was a work of badly constructed fiction from the Pentagon and CNN. It is already a fact that all the conspicuously poor-quality videos of bin Laden (the multi-millionaire’s camera supposedly deteriorated to the resolution of a potato from 2001 onward) were fabricated by the Pentagon. It is not outrageous to conclude that America’s greatest victory in the “War on Terror” never happened.

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The United States and its NATO allies have no strategy in Afghanistan. As Sun Tzu said, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. No matter how marvelously the SAS and the US’s own SEAL teams performed in combat missions in Afghanistan (and they deserve a lot of credit as military men), the War in Afghanistan wasn’t aligned with any tenable political goals. Even the goal of defending the incumbent regime in Afghanistan is likely to be something that NATO will regret, once its forces leave and Kabul falls under the influence of savvy regional powers like Iran and Pakistan.

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Iraq offers a fascinating preview of what is almost certain to happen with NATO withdraws from Afghanistan. In Iraq, the US was bogged down fighting an insurgency. Only by eventually allying with its enemies the Kurds and the Shiites, did the US manage to “win” in Afghanistan. Or, as American statesmen do all too often, they decided that the only way to “win” the conflict was to lose and make it look like a victory by lying to the media.

NATO is doing the same thing in Afghanistan today. While using slogans like “Return to Hope”, NATO is lying to the world and to the media to portray its defeat as a victory. When NATO has departed Afghanistan, the only message from the Afghan government will be, “good riddance”. Any administration that wants to preserve itself against the Taliban onslaught will only do so by washing its hands of any connection to the US-led military occupation that terrorized and destroyed so many lives. This was the case in Iraq, where Nouri al-Maliki, once seen as an American puppet ruler, ultimately made public his alliance with the Iranians and gave the Americans a good kick as they departed the country in shame.

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Media go from supporting a regime to condemning it, and disgracing all the US troops who died for it

The US media and politicians may have justified the sacrifice of thousands of soldiers to prop up the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, but sacrifice actually means very little to such national parasites. They are just as likely to begin justifying the sacrifice of even more soldiers in order to undermine the regimes they just spent decades propping up, if their ill-conceived political schemes require them to do so.

Idiotic strategy with no tenable political goal produces this madness. On the media front, CNN is a prime example of it. For years, CNN portrayed the US mission in Iraq as a success and justified the military actions taken in the country. In little more than a few years after the US soldiers left, CNN began criticizing the administration of Nouri al-Maliki and even eventually produced propaganda for ISIS, by posing with maps of a divided Iraq and portraying Iraq as a country that should be ethnically divided to include a so-called “Sunni” landlocked region. I doubt that it would be governed by any moderate forces or have any desire to coexist with adjacent Kurdish and Shiite enclaves, some of which would be completely encircled.

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The types of anchors on US television shows, such as Christiane Amanpour, are as idiotic and irresponsible as the rulers they adore. Almost everything they predict turns out to be wrong, such as the division of Iraq or the so-called imminent fall of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, who has somehow still not been ousted by an apparent “Arab Spring” revolution against him, despite it going on for years upon years with no end in sight.

What we have at the Pentagon and in NATO, as with all their propaganda networks, is a Goliath that has no order and no purpose, stomping around the world on a crusade and against god-knows-what. These generals and propaganda ministers are blown around by public opinion about the danger posed by terrorists one minute, paranoid delusions about Vladimir Putin the next, and they will just as easily ignore the polls as soon as they disagree with them.

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The US and NATO can offer no possible incentive to the Taliban that will convince them to negotiate an end to violence. The US and NATO waged a war of violence and they lost a war of violence. No negotiations will save them now or soften the impact of the castration of their misguided armed forces in Afghanistan.

Wars cannot be waged in the interest of democracy or civil rights as NATO propaganda claims, because democratic processes cannot determine whether a war is a just war. Furthermore, once a war has started, it has its own ways of ignoring or outright stomping on democracy in order to resolve itself. All politics, democratic or not, go out the window once tension turns into war. The world does not need to be lectured by generals about “democracy”.

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By Harry J. Bentham

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Putin the peacemaker?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Mon siège est fait.

My siege is finished.

René-Aubert Vertot


The vilification of Vladimir Putin in the media makes us blind to the good he does.

Unlike the US, which supports failed rebel groups in Syria who are killing one another, the Russian government wants a peaceful resolution of the Syrian Conflict. The hysterically anti-Russian media avoids mentioning this and instead focuses all mention of Russia on anti-Russian sanctions and Russia’s stake in the Ukrainian Civil War. A war that, unlike the US who support only weak and failed actors when interfering in conflicts around the world, Russia has the advantage in.

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Due to the failure to remove Bashar al-Assad’s government from power in Syria, the US has switched its objective to trying to divide Syria up into governed and ungoverned spaces that will simply deny Assad power over at least some of his country. Whether thousands of people are beheaded by extremists in those territories does not bother the US government, which is still driven by its grudge against Assad and its desire to feel a sense of redemption for wasted billions of dollars on “rebel” groups by at least reducing Assad’s power a little.

The Russians want no division of Syria and have even more reasons to thwart whatever the Americans want, especially now that the US is in an unofficially declared “new Cold War” with Russia with the anti-Russia sanctions. The Russian government’s desire for a political resolution of the Syrian crisis, rather than America’s non-solution of dividing the country among terrorist groups and separatist enclaves at war with themselves and surrounding countries, is driven by Russia’s genuine interest in preventing the spread of terrorism to Eurasia. We are blinded to the good work done by the Russian government to end the crisis in Syria, without it even being covered in our media, because the goose-stepping alliance of television channels and governments wants only to portray Putin as a villain.

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Russia helped to dismantle Assad’s chemical weapons, and was a key partner in the nuclear deal with Iran. Deeds that embarrassed the vindictive US government, which wanted to instead bomb Assad (based on scant evidence as it was with Libya and Iraq before), and was one of the core reasons for Obama’s fallout with Putin.

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From an analysis authored by Mike Whitney:

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Russian President Vladimir Putin takes the threat of terrorism very seriously, which is why he has been working around-the-clock to engage leaders from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran, the Kurds and Syrian opposition groups in negotiations to put an end to the fighting and reestablish security in Syria.  It’s worth noting that there’s been an effective blackout of these crucial negotiations in the western media, mainly because they make Putin look like a peacemaker who is respected among other world leaders and who is making every effort to stop the spread of terrorism. Obviously, that doesn’t jibe with the media’s portrayal of Putin as the new Hitler, so they’ve simply omitted the meetings from their coverage.

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People who think Russia is a threat to international security should remember that the sole common denominator in all conflict zones that threaten international security is the involvement of the US government and its crusade for “regime change” against all backward regimes except its own. The world need not be reminded that America is led by a corrupt mafia-state that kills its own people and spies on even more, including its own so-called allies. It is the US government, in its asinine belief that it is “exceptional” and deserves ultimately to rule the world, that labors to justify war and condemn all other powers but its own. The US would have you believe that other regimes deserve to be overthrown, when in fact the only regime crying out to be overthrown today is the American police state.

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The US should stop imitating the war criminal and sore loser McCain, cheering for war and blaming its victims for its atrocities, before the chickenshits come home to roost in the White House.


By Harry J. Bentham

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Do moderate Islamic politics have a future in Europe?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

J’ai un but, une tâche, disons le mot, une passion. Le métier d’écrire en est une violente et presque indestructible.

I have an object, a task, let me say the word, a passion. The profession of writing is a violent and almost indestructible one.

George Sand


When I wrote my dissertation on “Islamist terrorism” for my degree, the central thesis of that piece was that the democratic deficit and sense of political isolation that affects Muslims in European countries contributes to outbursts of what we call “homegrown extremism” among the Islamic youth in Europe.

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Logo of the Justice and Development Party of Libya

The overwhelming, conspicuous number of European fighters in the ranks of the Islamic State (IS, ISIL or ISIS) today plagues many people’s minds and reinforces the need to reconsider the key national security question I once chose to base my university thesis on. How could these youthful men and women turn away from Western democracy to support a barbaric terrorist group? To many, the only solution is to call them traitors, withdraw their citizenship, and call for their deaths in Coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. An approach that I can only call ham-fisted and futile.

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To me, the evidence only suggests that there is a constant stream of alienated Muslim youth that feels drawn to the extremists’ promise of an Islamic polity – a promise that fills a deep spiritual vacuum these people must have felt. What they wanted is not an altogether illegitimate idea. Unlike Christianity, which preaches salvation only through faith, Islam is inexorably linked to political activism and sees such activism as a necessary part of a righteous lifestyle. It also carries with it its own idea of law and governance. In this sense, Islam can be acknowledged as a political ideology in its own right without adding “ism” to the end of it (the vast number of Muslims in Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere will explain that Islam is indeed their political ideology as well as their religious persuasion). Islamism may be a misnomer altogether, because Islam has consistently been a model of state throughout history even before the advent of this new term. This same fact also serves as evidence to many that Islam is inextricably linked to “terrorists”, given that all ideologies have their militant fringe and Islam cannot be an exception.

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The militant fringe grows when there is a democratic deficit and the sense of isolation felt by many young Muslims in a society from a political process from a state that discriminates against them and scapegoats them as enemies will make them easy prey for jihadist recruiters. The jihadists know their recruitment base feels alienated and isolated, and they know just how to tap into this sentiment and exploit it to brainwash troubled and often oppressed people.

Moderate Islamic parties in Europe as an alternative to ISIL?

If we don’t want Western Muslims to be forced to choose between a ham-fisted, aggressive state dominated by Christians and Jews on a so-called “war on terror” on the one hand, and a violent Takfiri group on the other, there must be a third alternative. It would look something like the party currently ruling Turkey, which is already accepted as a Western power despite its overwhelming Muslim population and the dominance of Islamic culture and sensibilities in Turkey.

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Formation of social conservative Islamic parties has been consistent with the advance of democracy in some specific cases in the Middle East (and Europe if we include Turkey), overcoming decades of authoritarian rule – even if the parties in question have their own authoritarian streak as we see in Erdogan’s Turkey. In Iran, the Shah was overthrown and his regime replaced by an Islamic one that eventually won widespread popular approval according to polls and referendums held in the country. The Muslim Brotherhood had its faults, but it was legitimately elected by the Egyptian people, and it did not consist of terrorists who wanted to attack the West. The Ennadha Movement was likewise one of the main democratic choices of the Tunisian people and served perfectly fine in government. The already mentioned AKP (Justice and Development Party) in Turkey has a similar socially conservative position and is considered Islamist by some. It makes no secret of recognizing and supporting moderate Islamic parties including the Muslim Brotherhood around the world and its counterpart in Libya – also called the Justice and Development Party – which is openly Islamist. On the whole, the so-called Arab Spring was a series of moderate Islamic uprisings in the Middle East, although now the fighting has become less about democracy and more about replacing Bashar al-Assad with irredeemable bandits such as ISIL in Syria and Iraq – an event that would plague the lives of millions and end the lives of even more.

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Separation of church and state?

The tendency to create religion-based political parties may be considered unconstitutional in the US but it is not in the EU. Here, it is perfectly legal and constitutionally acceptable to create Christian or Islamic democratic parties without being banned. This includes in the UK, where we still have an “established” religion being Anglicanism in England and a “national” religion of Scotland being the Church of Scotland. In Germany, Christian democrat ideology is immensely popular, possibly due to it being the ideology of the July 20 plotters who are seen by Germans as the main role models for patriotic German loyalty without the associations of Nazism.

In the UK it is considered somewhat taboo to create a political party with overtly religious goals, although the Conservative Party leadership has expressly described Britain as being a “Christian” nation: a claim that is false according to official statistics. Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the UK. If the existing trend continues in the coming decades, the Church of England and the Church of Scotland will eventually be irrelevant and stripped of their status – as may His (or Her) Majesty. Something that few would protest if indeed Islam continued on its course to become the dominant religion in Great Britain.

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As the population of Europe becomes more attuned to Islamic values due to migration and Islam gets more popular among the youth – something that is undeniable already – the support base for the creation of an Islamic party in the UK is viable already and any launch of such a party (with enough funds from wealthy Turkish, Iranian or Arab donors) would be a success. Because most of the youth of Britain is already Muslim, it is not an exaggeration to predict that the elected Parliament in the UK and other EU countries will overwhelmingly be Muslim within a single generation. A well-organized Islamic democrat party could secure possibly a massive 3%-4% percent (over half a million) of the vote in an election in the UK already if the party existed today, but if the Muslim population continues to rise, within a generation securing 20%-30% in an election could mean the democratic rule of an Islamic party in the UK (which doesn’t require an electoral majority to form a majority government). The person who will be Britain’s Prime Minister in the 2050s is probably a Muslim child alive today.

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Rather than throwing a tantrum about this “Islamization”, as right-wing pundits would call it, it is more prudent to prepare for it or actively embrace inevitable change. The British Monarch is required to maintain an archaic oath to uphold the doctrine of the Church of England, although this is only hot air because she does nothing to crack down the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of Scotland.

It does not speak well of the future that we have members of institutions today, including soldiers, who openly bragged that their mission in life was to bomb and kill as many Muslims as possible, while the people of Europe are overwhelmingly turning to Islam. While some doomsayers have warned of a civil war being inevitable because of such trajectories shown in statistics, I prefer to be calmer about the future. Muslims need not turn to extremism to protest an unjust regime that targets them, anymore than secularists or nationalists need to turn to far-right extremist parties. Muslims should focus on the real “jihad” their religion tells them to pursue, which consists of preaching and familiarizing non-adherents with Islamic thought and morality.

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Whatever Europe’s future, we can rest assured that it survived one mass-conversion to a Middle Eastern religion, so there is no reason to think a second would be any sort of doomsday event.


By Harry J. Bentham

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