Monthly Archives: April 2014

UKIP’s Real Problem Is Its Emptiness

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on April 28, 2014

It takes more than a grin and a pint to run a country

With a poll showing the U.K. Independence Party leading the pack heading into the European Elections next month, much attention has been turned on them. This is the culmination of a surge in publicity and—if the polls are correct—support. This extra attention has not gone exactly swimmingly. Continue reading

Russia Escalates Its Campaign To Conquer Eastern Ukraine—And The West Does Nothing

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on April 27, 2014

Just consider today’s news. The OSCE monitors sent to Ukraine, who were kidnapped on Friday in the Donetsk Oblast or Province by the putschist authorities who have taken over the provincial parliament building, have appeared in public. The German commander, Col. Axel Schneider, was forced to give a statement saying that the OSCE monitors were “guests” of the “mayor” of Slavyansk (a town in Donetsk Province), Vyacheslav Ponomaryov. Meanwhile, these “pro-Russian protesters,” as the BBC inexplicably referred to the clearly-well-trained and -equipped masked forces, seized the State television station in Donetsk. Combined with the seizure of the parliament, this is the standard definition of a coup d’état. Continue reading

The Nature of the Enemy: Russia’s Postmodern Dictatorship

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on April 26, 2014

Vladimir Putin (right) always seems to be in the presence of the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church.

When looking at the Russian regime—not just the government alone but its propaganda apparatus, the economic barons who hold so much power, the criminal underworld with which it is so well acquainted, and the platoon of Western apologists, paid and no—it has to be said that it is a very protean creature.

Continue reading

The Tragedy of Tony Blair

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on April 24, 2014

Tony Blair at Bloomberg on April 23

There’s a case to be made that Tony Blair is the most important figure in the development of the concept of “humanitarian intervention” since the end of the Cold War. When adumbrating his doctrine at the Chicago Economics Club in April 1999, Blair made very clear that this was no wild-eyed utopianism. Continue reading

Film Review: My Brother The Islamist (2011)

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on April 21, 2014

Rich Leech

Rich Leech

Following Robb Leech, whose step-brother, Rich, has been converted to Islam, the film shows the path of the “white,” middle-class (in the British sense), apparently-irreligious Westerner who succumbs to the call of faith. T Continue reading

Easter, Russia, and the Jews

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on April 20, 2014

Postcard of 1905 Odessa Pogrom

Postcard of 1905 Odessa Pogrom

It’s all very topical for Easter Sunday with Tsarist aggression in the East back in the news—albeit updated with KGB tactics (though even there the basics were passed on by the Okhrana)—and the Jews are one of the main areas of the media war. Since Vladimir Putin’s “deniable” forces annexed the Crimea, they have moved on to stirring up trouble in the east of Ukraine proper: storming regional parliament buildings, orchestrating violent clashes between Ukraine’s security forces and “separatists,” one of whom forgot to take off his Russian Air Force t-shirt; that kind of thing. Continue reading

Who Are The Khawarij?

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on April 17, 2014

2016-11-10-is-closing-in-on-palmyra-p10

Since the Syrian rebellion went to war with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in January, there has been a parallel campaign of political warfare by the rebels and al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, Jabhat an-Nusra, to delegitimize ISIS. This has often taken the form of referring to ISIS as Kharijites or the Khawarij.

This Khawarij are an ancient sect who broke from the Rashidun (Rightly-Guided) Caliphate in the name of righteous revolt in 658, and continued their campaign against the caliphate—by then in the hands of the Umayyads—for a century and more. Regarded as perhaps the first terrorists in Islamdom (by another definition it would be the Nizaris, a.k.a. “The Assassins”), the connotations of the Khawarij label are extremism and deviance, particularly a tendency to excommunicate (make takfir against) Muslims not only for sins that do not merit excommunication, but simply for reasons of political exclusivism. Continue reading