The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Takimag

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The mass drowning of eight or nine hundred—nobody knows precisely—illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean last Sunday triggered a lot of commentary about these boat people, most of it stupid. Here are some of the grosser stupidities. They’re just seeking a better life. Who isn’t? I guess there are some Lotus eaters among us who are... Read More
Soon after Barack Obama’s November 20th amnesty announcement, I was having an e-discussion about it with a friend, a legal scholar. The precise topic of the discussion was the Los Angeles Times op-ed on citizenship by Peter Schuck, a different legal scholar. Prof. Schuck mentions “birthright citizenship.” Should the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens be... Read More
A vote for Fortress America.
So how are you doing at keeping up with events in MENA (the Middle East and North Africa)? Can the new Iraqi government get some kind of military act together? Will the Kurds hold on to Kobani, that Syrian city under siege by ISIS? Will the big guys in the neighborhood—Iran, Israel, Turkey, the Saudis—get... Read More
Hong Kong, in long historical perspective.
History is full of strange folds, wrinkles, and repetitions. Consider for example the following true story. There was once a great empire of the despotic-bureaucratic sort. It had enjoyed centuries of glory; but at last came corruption, political paralysis, foreign incursions, and fragmentation. As the empire entered its long decline, a much smaller nation of... Read More
If there is hope for England, it lies with the separatists.
An opinion journalist is expected to take a stand on newsy issues, even ones he doesn’t much care about. This is especially so when the issue relates to the British Isles and the journalist podcasts with a British accent; to be precise in my particular case, a mid-20th-century educated-lower-lower-middle-class East Midlands accent. So, all right,... Read More
… to politics in a postindustrial society.
Wednesday this week marks the 25th anniversary of the Chinese army’s retaking Tiananmen Square from anti-regime protestors, an event known to Chinese by the date as “6/4.” The first thing to be said about this is that if, like me, you welcome summer by reading a good thick middlebrow novel, here’s just the thing. Not... Read More
Gerry Adams helps police with their inquiries.
One summer’s day 32 years ago, during a spell of employment at the U.K. offices of Marathon Oil Corp. in London’s Marylebone Road, I was taking lunch at a nondescript greasy spoon near those offices when from the near distance there came an almighty THUD. Startled, I looked across at the proprietor of the place,... Read More
You remember Caligula. John Hurt played him with creepy malignity in the old BBC production of I, Claudius. Caligula was the third emperor of Rome on a strict count (which doesn’t include Julius Caesar), the fourth of the Twelve Caesars written up by the historian Suetonius. At age 24 Caligula succeeded his great-uncle Tiberius, the... Read More
And can China get along fine without it?
So where are we with this democracy business? Last time I brought it up I left you with Robert A. Heinlein’s time traveler: It’s not clear that American democracy, as it has developed to the present, really is so wonderful. One of our big political parties somehow manages to market itself as the party of... Read More
I was slow on the uptake in understanding Chinese communism’s awfulness. I’d been a lefty in my student days without knowing anything much about China. Toward the end of those days, female Chinese author Han Suyin published A Crippled Tree, an account of her parents’ lives in early 20th-century China written from a standpoint of... Read More
It's a world-wide phenomenon.
The war between the sexes is fought on many fronts, some of them very far away. There’s a report from one of those fronts in the January 2013 issue of The China Journal. The writer is Katherine A. Mason, billed as “Lecturer in Health and Societies in the Department of History and Sociology of Science... Read More
Voting for the next generation.
OK, so I did vote after all, my lofty apathy indifference of three weeks ago notwithstanding. It was my son that sent me off to the polling booth. Danny Derbyshire has for years had his heart set on joining the Army. A high-school senior, he encountered a recruiter back in September, and the recruiter reeled... Read More
A detailed report in The New York Times tells about a hearing taking place in the Russian Parliament emphasizing alleged American human-rights violations. Among the featured abuses are the American practices of waterboarding suspected terrorists, historical abuse of minorities, and the mistreatment of Russian orphans or abandoned children adopted by American parents. It seems that... Read More
Who will own the 21st century?
Which nation will own the 21st century? The leading candidates are the USA and China. Few people would admit any others into the competition, but I’d be a tad more careful. History takes some odd turns. Who in the year 612 AD would have prophesied that the 7th century would belong to the Arabs? To... Read More
In his recent syndicated column “A U.N. for the good guys,” Jonah Goldberg evokes the mindset of seventeenth-century puritanism. This is entirely understandable. Much of what the American left teaches, including its neoconservative element, resembles American Calvinism—albeit in a warmed-over form. In Puritan New England, Congregationalists—the only authorized communicants—were deeply troubled that unredeemed polluted their... Read More
Dial 1 for Russian? I don't think so.
The thing you notice, walking around central Moscow, is the Russians — I mean, the near-total absence of non-Russians. There is, of course, a tourist element. Appearance is not much to go by here; but I can recognize — not necessarily understand, but recognize — most of the world's major languages by ear, and Chinese... Read More
Macbeth knew what would be coming to him once his domestic enemies had the upper hand. He decided to go down fighting. The Roman dictator Sejanus was not given that opportunity. Sejanus had taken power in Rome when Tiberius, the official emperor, decided that playing with his tiddlers in Capri was more fun than ruling.... Read More
9/11: a date between 9/10 and 9/12
"What will you do to commemorate 9/11? The 'I Will' campaign has thrown out the question and people from around the country, including a few celebrities, have answered." That's from the news website The Inquisitr [sic]. I'm pretty sure I don't count as a celebrity to anyone but my dog. With the tenth anniversary of... Read More
Not so much a Wirtschaftswunder as a Staatskunstswunder.
You think the 2012 Republican field is lackluster? Check out these party animals. The "party" in that last sentence is of course the Chinese Communist Party. The gents in the picture are the Standing Committee (changwu weiyuanhui, lit. "everyday affairs committee") of the Central Politburo (zhongyang zhengzhiju, lit. "central political bureau") of the CCP. They... Read More
Do you know anything about Yemen? No, me neither. Hang on, let me do a little checking at the CIA World Factbook. Here we go. Size: a tad bigger than Spain. Mostly desert, only 2.9 percent arable land. Population: 24 million plus, squinched in between Taiwan and North Korea in the world rankings. Total fertility... Read More
Terrorism and self-determination.
Sometimes you write a column just so you can for ever after refer people to it. "Oh, that subject/point/complaint/theory/argument? I tackled/countered/responded to/exploded/demolished that back in July '11 — here's the link." Well, this is one of those. Back in — heaven help me! — 1999 I wrote a column for the Weekly Standard about Uighurs.... Read More
Mention of Libya always makes me think of Joe Orton, I'm sorry to say. Does anyone remember Joe Orton? Well, the people maintaining that website clearly do, though mainly it seems as a "gay icon," a thing Orton would have hated. He was actually a British playwright briefly famous in the mid-1960s. He died at... Read More
Last week was the 70th anniversary of the Café de Paris bombing. This was during the London Blitz of 1940-41. By March of the latter year most Londoners had learned to take shelter underground when the air-raid sirens went off. Among the capital's young moneyed swells and débutantes, however, there was an element who were... Read More
The world beyond our shores seems to be entering a zone of instability. Five years from now we may be looking back nostalgically at the decades 1980-2010 as an age of blessed tranquility when unsightly but skillful autocrats like Mubarak (Egypt), Gaddafi (Libya), Ben Ali (Tunisia), Saleh (Yemen), and the monarchs of the Gulf kept... Read More
The new Internet?
This week's state visit of Hu Jintao, China's "president" — I would prefer to say "head apparatchik," since "president" implies an elected position, which is not the case — has fired off another round of China-up? / China-down? speculation in the press. In the present climate of American national foreboding, the speculation comes paired with... Read More
The May 31st kerfuffle over Israel's interception of ships headed to Gaza brought forth some predictable reactions from the paleo-Right: Pat Buchanan, Stephen Walt, Ron Paul, and many others. Of this crop, Steve Sailer took the most defensible position — one that at least did not wilfully distort reality, or demand that Israel practice a... Read More
Atatürk got it right.
The current constitution of the People's Republic of China, adopted in December 1982, tells us that: "The People's Republic of China is a unitary multi-national state." That is pretty darn close to the dictionary definition of an empire: "an extended territory usu. comprising a group of nations, states, or peoples under the control or domination... Read More
Contrary to the impression that may have come from my discussion of Ilana Mercer's comments about the American Old Right and the European nationalist Right on the question of Israel and Hamas, there are in fact rightist groups in Western Europe which stand emphatically with the Palestinians in Gaza. A breakaway faction of the Front... Read More
My friend Ilana Mercer has just posted a provocative essay on VDARE, which I would like to respond to. Ilana asks the timely question why the European Right has produced outspoken defenders of the Israeli government in its confrontation with Hamas, while in the U.S. by contrast the paleos have usually sided with the Palestinians.... Read More
Having already received several frantic notes about Taki’s comments concerning Israel’s campaign against armed Hamas members and other targets in the Gaza region, perhaps I should go public before these mounting inquiries get out of hand. In the case of Taki’s sworn enemy Larry Auster, there may be nothing that I could possibly say to... Read More
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Stephen J. Sniegoski’s The Transparent Cabal would be the book of the year in a less manipulated society than our own. I suggest as much in my introduction; and former Congressman Paul Findley, who wrote the foreword, lavishes equally high praise on this monument to diligence. Almost as interesting as the book’s content are certain... Read More
Perhaps I’m missing something big in the “movement conservative’ accounts about what we should be doing to the Russians for their invasion of Georgia. But so far all I’ve encountered is more of the usual neocon blather. For informational purposes: this military action took place after the Georgians had tried to keep their pro-Russian province... Read More
Once again I feel impelled to respond to my critics, and particularly to those who criticize me as a “Zionist,” and as someone who worships at the altar of America the “superpower,” and endorses “unconstitutional wars,” being carried out against the will of the American people. If my respondent means by “Zionist” that I have... Read More
Having read Patrick Foy’s comments about Israel in his “Sack of Annapolis,”and having just spent the better part of a month living in the Holy Land, I feel compelled to respond to his wholesale criticism of the Israelis. Foy’s critical judgment that it would be unjust for the Israelis to hold more territory, even without... Read More
Reconsidering Immediate Withdrawal
From Justin’s reply to my last blog and from the comments that followed, I gather that my concern about a hasty American withdrawal from Iraq is not widely shared by my fellow-paleos. And some of the critical comments leveled at my argument do contain fragments of truth, e.g., that the troops now stationed in Iraq... Read More
A demonstration against the “Islamicization of Europe” scheduled to take place in Brussels on September 11, 2007 and put together by the umbrella organization Pax Europa has been prohibited by the socialist mayor Freddy Thielemans. The intended demonstration, which was supposed to march by the headquarters of the European Union, has been declared to be... Read More
A young friend of mine, Chris Preble of CATO Institute, recently recounted to me an incident in which Republican controversialist Ann Coulter made a statement on FOX (where else?) that Chris found “particularly disgusting.” When asked whether the U.S. should launch an attack on Iran, Ann, true to bad form, responded “Think how much fun... Read More
Critics of the Iraq War weren't really "anti-Semites"
Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. This explains why so many of those who leapt on the bandwagon, or led the parade, that marched American soldiers off to war in Iraq are now disclaiming paternity, or screaming for blood tests. (No matter that many of these same folks are priming the pumps... Read More
China crisis in the living-room.
At the height of the 1956 Suez crisis, the wife of the British Prime Minister is supposed to have remarked: "It seems as though the Suez Canal is flowing through my living-room." I know how she felt. This past couple of days, the South China Sea has been lapping against my favorite armchair. My wife,... Read More
Category Classics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
While other top brass played press agents for the administration’s war, William Odom told the truth about...
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?