From Gatestone Institute <[email protected]>
Subject A Hinge Moment of History
Date September 19, 2021 9:15 AM
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In this mailing:
* Mark Steyn: A Hinge Moment of History
* Amir Taheri: War on Terror: Not a Bad Record

** A Hinge Moment of History ([link removed])

by Mark Steyn • September 19, 2021 at 5:00 am
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* I have lived in countries that have real domestic terrorism movements.... No country blessed enough not to have a domestic terrorism movement should be inventing one.
* We are living in a blizzard of lies.
* [W]e are more dependent on a handful of woke billionaires to tell us what reality is. They are far more open than ever that they get to determine what are the agreed facts. Google made an explicit announcement about this recently. They said that sometimes they would put warnings on things that are factually accurate because, even though they are true, they do not think it is in society's interest for people to be seeing it.
* [N]ow you will be banned or deleted or blocked or silenced simply for disagreeing with the official version of events. For example, the Great Barrington declaration, which was written by three of the most prominent epidemiologists in the world from Harvard, Oxford, and I think it was Stanford. That was basically deleted from YouTube, banned from Facebook, simply because it contradicted the WHO, CDC official version of events.
* It is just groupthink enforced by a cabal of woke billionaires, who have more power than anyone else on the planet.
* The other thing that emerged during this year very quickly is that we are at a hinge moment of history. We were told a generation or two back that, by doing trade with China, China would become more like us. Instead, on issues such as free speech, we are becoming more like China.
* American companies are afraid of offending China. American officials are afraid of offending China. We are adopting Chinese norms on issues such as free speech and basic disagreements with the government of China.
* We're living in the early stages of a future that is the direct consequence of poor public policy over the last couple of generations. We are not even aware of that....
* Right now, we are witnessing a non‑stop continuous transfer of power to a country that is serious about using that power. This is China's moment. Take it as someone who grew up, in large part, in a great power in decline. There's no real explicit handover day. People, in hindsight, expect to pinpoint the day that the baton was passed.... My great worry is that actually, the transfer to China has already happened. The baton has already been passed. We just haven't formally acknowledged that yet.
* I'll say it straight out loud. I do not think that Joe Biden "won the election." I don't think it is a question of "widespread fraud." I think the way the system works with the Electoral College, you only need actually to spread fraud in six key cities in six key states.
* I would like some of these genius jurists, including [US Supreme Court Chief Justice] Mr. Roberts and his colleagues, to then give us a figure on what is the acceptable level of fraud in American elections. Denmark, in its history, has never actually had a plausible accusation of any kind of electoral fraud. As we know, in the United States, in cities like Philadelphia, this is a tradition that has long roots and goes back 150 years.
* If you have no basic election integrity, essentially, all the other issues are irrelevant.
* Big Tech has essentially wrecked the internet.
* Now Facebook is working with state power. The first place these Big Tech guys learned to do this was with China.... I'm in favor of breaking these companies up as soon as we can.
* Standard Oil was broken up because of its control over the oil business. Facebook and Google and Apple have far more control over their business than Standard Oil did 110 years ago. The difference is that their business is knowledge and the access to knowledge, which is more important even than oil.
* At some point, if we're not prepared to stand up... My whole thing, in all the years, is that Western civilization is sliding off a cliff and most citizens of most Western nations are not even aware of it.
* There is a moral component that we are overlooking. We live in an insane world where moral narcissism attaches to whether or not you rampage around some statue of a Confederate general who died 150 years ago. The fact that you're rampaging around the Confederate general while wearing shoes made by child labor somehow does not impact on your moral virtue at all.
* We are the civilization that built the modern world. If you do not like us, we can go back to what it was 500 years ago. Basically, the world functions because of the world we built.
* I take Iran seriously. Not so much because of the Iranians, but because of the promises and the expectations in places like Sudan that Iranian nuclear technology will basically be shared with some of the most lethal basket-case states on Earth. Iran is in some sense like Russia and China. These are all, in a certain sense, great civilizations that have become perversions of themselves in a relatively short time.
* What we ought to be trying to do is connect the Iranian people with their great glorious past, which actually is a platform on which you can build a future.

Mark Steyn. (Image source: Mark Blevis/Flickr)

It was certainly the weirdest year. It began with a supremely weird decision by the entire world, except China and Sweden, to tank the global economy.

No one has ever done that before. The only major economic power to grow last year was China whose GDP is up by, I think, about 2.5 percent compared to declines everywhere else, including some actually catastrophic ones, such as 11% in the UK.

This decision to tank the entire global economy is something that strengthened China, the creator of the virus, and the exporter of the virus, and weakened any opposition to China -- and that is how they began.

This first year of the new weirdness ended with the United States government pretending that its principal threat is a domestic terrorism movement that does not exist.

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** War on Terror: Not a Bad Record ([link removed])

by Amir Taheri • September 19, 2021 at 4:00 am
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* According to the Global Index of Terrorism, more than 57% of terrorism in the first 15 years of the Global War on Terror happened in four countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. In Syria, since 2011, most of the deaths in that category were the work of state terrorism.
* Most of the active terror groups are located in what is known as ungoverned territories. These include Syria, part of Iraq beyond the control of Baghdad, the Sahel region, parts of Horn of Africa and parts of Yemen.
* The last terror attacks by Hezbollah in Western Europe and the seizing of Western hostages took place in the 1980s. Even occasional action taken against Israel comes at the behest of Tehran in the form of state-sponsored terrorism.
* The crushing defeats suffered by Islamist parties, most recently in Morocco, indicate the end of an era in which reference to faith could justify the worst postures.

Has the war on international terrorism been lost? Have the US and its allies dropped out of the war on terror that they declared two decades ago? These are some of the questions raised by commentators across the globe last week as the US marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Pictured: Newspapers announcing the killing of al Qaeda terrorist chief Osama bin Laden at a newsstand outside the World Trade Center site May 2, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Has the war on international terrorism been lost? Have the US and its allies dropped out of the war on terror that they declared two decades ago? These are some of the questions raised by commentators across the globe last week as the US marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Many commentators answered both questions in the affirmative.

Yes, they said, terror groups are still operating in no fewer than 20 countries, while start-up terror outfits have been able to carry out attacks in a number of Western countries, including the United States. At the same time, the US has reduced its footprint in a number of countries that continue to shelter terrorist groups.

In some cases, the "yes" answer came from professional America-bashers who miss no opportunity to portray the "Great Satan" either as an earth-devouring monster or a wet mouse looking for shelter from a hailstorm of unpopularity.

A closer look, however, may offer a different picture.

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