THE SATURDAY ESSAY: Let’s hope the death of an Ambassador leads to the death of denial.

Western ignorance of the Arab mind, and denial of Islamist goals, must come to an end

“US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Steven is thought to have been killed in an attack on the US Embassy Compound in Benghazi”.

That was an early newswire flash on September 11th this year. It is bald, calm and professional – and thus gives no real hint at all of how Chris Steven died.

After the initial shock of the event, I began to half-distractedly piece together some disturbing elements of the attack. A Washington contact told me that the Compound troops had been issued – as a sign of the new rapport between the US and the Muslim Brotherhood – with blank ammunition. The diplomat’s mind is both oddly cynical and gullible at the same time, but my source was clear about the fact that Steven’s minders were overwhelmed by “a screaming mob” while moving him out to a safe house. Whether his bodyguards were armed or not, I don’t know: but I’m told the Ambassador could’ve been adequately defended within the compound had the State Department not quite consciously put his life at risk with a futile gesture.

Another bizarre thing seems the almost total MSM silence about the date of the attack: September 11th. The assumption seemed to have been that this was pure coincidence given that (as one FCO official told me last week) “this was a reaction to the anti-Islam film”. In short, it wasn’t planned.

US President Barack Obama concurred in this view when he spoke to the media. He accepted that the outrage had been milked by terrorist cells, still insisting however that the riots were the response to a clear insult aimed at the Prophet.

But a diplomat in Paris with a long history of dealings in Arabist affairs disagrees.

“We are quite clear here that the entire action was coordinated, ” he told me last week, “The film had been around for months apparently. The Shi’ite organisers needed an an excuse to make a point, and this was it. I am sure that the average, ignorant fundamentalist was genuinely angry about the film, but it is nonsense to suggest that this was spontaneous. It was concerted, and it was a spectacular propaganda coup from almost every angle.”

Up until yesterday morning, I felt this was a story whose main potential lay in the Obama White House and its controlling penchant for censorship. A New York contact agreed, and had been supplying me with odd tidbits about preparations in the Romney Camp to blow the lid off why Chris Steven had died: ‘Obama soft on Islam and leaving Americans to die’ would be dynamite in the Presidential election campaign.

But as so often with the GOP candidate, his staff seemed to be fumbling the opportunity. I was about to drop the project in favour of a developing Westminster story when an email (from someone of whom I’m aware as an occasional Slog threader, but have never used as a source) arrived at

It concerned the death of Chris Stephen. And it attached a photograph taken during the last minutes of Ambassador Steven’s life. I’ve had the validity of it checked out: the source remains a mystery, but the content is not photoshopped in any way, and the individual featured is – I’m 99% certain – Chris Steven.

The shot isn’t any kind of ‘scoop’: it has been doing the internet rounds for some days now, and is being used pretty overtly by the US Superpatriot tendency to suggest that the American Ambassador’s death was both cruel and depraved. That said, there are some things in the photo that would appall anyone considering themselves civilised.

Because I’m not in the business of hate-blogging, and because the pc cadres would say I was if I showed it – Catch 22 – I have no intention of reproducing the image here on the site. But if rubber-necking someone else’s death-throes does it for you, then I’m more than happy to send it to anyone who writes to me at the above mail address.

I must, however, tell you what I find repulsive in the photograph. And then I must share with you a frank and pc-free opinion about its ramifications.

Dragging Chris Steven along by his armpits in the shot is some psycho with a mobile phone in his mouth, recording Mr Steven’s terror in extreme close-up. Clearly visible on the assailant’s teeshirt is a Manchester United logo in the official away-strip colours. Ambassador Steven is barely conscious: his shirt has been pulled almost entirely off, and he’s obviously already been beaten half to death. You can’t see any further faces in this tableau, just several hands also eager to grab this symbol of their hatred and mania.

One thing is for certain as you regard the image: this man is not going to be allowed to have a dignified death. Even the Nazis – when purging the SA in 1934, for example – shot people against a wall in some kind of military attempt at rough ‘justice’. But Christopher Steven died horribly, brutally, and at the hands of a cowardly mob hell-bent on mindless vengeance.

It is alleged by some media in the US that Christopher Steven was multiply sodomised before his death. There is no suggestion at all of that in the picture, but ritual humilation (by the supposed removal of masculine anal virginity) is not uncommon in Arab thinking: as TE Lawrence found out to his cost in 1916. However, it remains a potentially inflammatory rumour, and – in the absence of any more grotesque evidence – should remain just that. Perhaps Mr Psycho’s phone video could establish the truth one way or another.


Now let me tell you what truly disturbs me about this picture. I’ve seen it many times before.

Not this specific one, obviously. I mean, I’ve seen this sort of thing a hundred times over the last half-century of Arab turbulence in the context of the West’s mania for energy security. From Iraqi leader Colonel Kassem’s body in a pool of blood in 1963, via Sadam Hussein’s utterly undiginified execution (while being taunted) at the hands of his jailers in the newly ‘democratic’ Iraq of 2006, right the way through to Muammar Gadaffi being dragged through the streets of his regime’s last redoubt Sirte.

I have three things to say about this, and predictably they will annoy the knee-jerk Left , Right, and Left again respectively. So I must be getting pretty close to the truth here.

First, the Arabs in the Middle East are not like us. Their culture is, like the past, a foreign country where most Westerners have never been. It is Hobbesian, deriving as it does from the harsh dictates of life in the desert: vicious, vengeful, unforgiving, hugely misogynist, strict and proud. No deviation is allowed. In the mindset of Arabia, the leadership doesn’t practice political correctness, it demands cultural rigidity. It executes thousands, hacks off limbs, cuts out tongues, censors all media, stones women who commit adultery, and – above all – despises the West.

The Arabs despise us for two reasons: because we keep on interfering in their affairs, preaching to them about democracy, and organising covert operations on their territory; and because we are seen as weak, decadent, effeminate, inglorious and generally untrustworthy. Until more influential people in the foreign offices and State departments of our culture study the Arab (male) mind, take an objective view of history, and wake up to the harsh reality outside their fluffy world of fanciful pc, then the violence will continue…and radical Islam will make more gains in terms of both converts and political takeovers.

Second, I think somebody – and very soon, before we’re all blown up – needs to cut the American commerce-to-geopolitics axis of delusion down to size. Many historians, for example, now accept that Kassem was removed because he told the Americans where to stick it as he embarked on a series of reforms in the 1962/3 period. We know the Americans got rid of Saddam, because we all had a ringside seat for Dubya’s Shokkanorr Festival. We know they propped up the Shah for decades in Iran. And we can trace how, since Autumn 2011, they have used their financial transmission clout to destroy the Iranian currency’s value. Their latest ploy is to back the Sunni schism of Islam in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular, as “less extremist” than the Shi-ites who dominate in Iran…and who back Bashar Assad’s minority Alawhite regime in Syria. Before the year is out – probably – Assad to will be dragged along a thoroughfare somewhere for the mediaeval execution performance. That too will be down to the Americans. In 2010 they took out the washed-up and half-dead Al Q’eida guru Osama Bin Laden on Pakistan’s sovereign territory – without consultation.

From Hillary Clinton’s point of view, US foreign policy has thus been a massive success: Saddam, Bin Laden, and Gadaffi are history, Assad is on the way out, and Ahmadinnejhad’s empty rhetoric has pushed him away from the centre of power in Tehran. From the extremist Arab viewpoint however, things look diametrically different: from Lahore to Benghazi, Islamists are in power, and fundamentalist recruits are being attracted in ever growing numbers. Want to know why? Because It’s very easy to demonise the US: the US elite is pretty damn demonic, and displays this side of its nature non-stop.

Further, Islamists have been able to show their (largely thick chav) following that Obama may look and sound different to George W Bush, but he’s just the same old same old messenger from Satan really: gutless, devious, pulling the strings – and ready to dump on any Arab regime unwilling to play things The American Way.

The truth is that, when it comes to US  influence in the Middle East, the overwhelming proportion of Arabs have got the measure of American agents, can see them coming – and know they are hopelessly wedded to oil as a form of industrial energy plus citizen propulsion. They will use the Clinton Plan – and then spit in her face once the time is right.

Third and finally, Europeans (and here I mean the culture, not the directionless political entity run from Berlin-am-Brussels) need to divest themselves of denial about the true nature of Arab culture and fundamentalist Islam. While the two things are, much of the time, mutually exclusive – real Islam has acted as a sensible social brake on the worst elements of the Arab nature – in the Middle East they are increasingly interdependent.

I say again: we cannot negotiate with these people, and we cannot patronise them any more. Apparent acceptance of negotiation and nefarious strategy are ploys, nothing more. When a half-baked twerp like David Cameron shouts the odds in favour of Recep Erdogan one minute – and then bombs Benghazi the next – the Libyan victors and Islamist Turkish elite will make purring sounds. But they both follow a religious creed dedicated to the destruction of Christian culture: and along that road, there are no U-turns – only occasional delays before moving the tank divisions forward once more.

The only State likely to be a reliable ally for Britain in the Middle East is Israel. There are simple reasons for this: a sizeable proportion of Israelis originated in Europe and America, they have a decent democracy and the Rule of Law, they don’t behead their leaders and then roger them up the backside in public, they’re highly intelligent, very industrious – and the obvious link between the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. They feel this too, and are forging ahead with Greek and Cypriot alliances.

Islamists would like Israel wiped from the surface of the planet, and Israeli Jews either sent somewhere else, or slaughtered in their own backyard. The location of The Promised Land was a mistake from the moment it was envisaged, and grossly unfair to the Palestinians. But the idea propogated by Islamism (and its ragbag of fellow-travellers) that Israel’s existence is the thin end of a global Zionist wedge is deranged.

The barabarians are close to a complete takeover of Islam now. The very antithesis of ecumenical belief, they are trouble wherever they spread this vile spray of anti-Infidel bigotry. Get real: this problem is our generation’s Nazism. It isn’t going to go away. Christopher Steven paid with his life for the illusions of Clintonite grandeur. The rest of us should learn from that, and honour the ordeal of this likeable man.