Latest Analysis and Commentary

The National Cost of Legalized Cannabis?

February 20, 2020 at 4:00 am

As legalized marijuana becomes epidemic across the country, Gatestone Institute will be posing serious questions throughout the coming year regarding its potential impact on road and occupational safety; its effect on children and our country's overall health, the role of states to protect society from its potential abuse and what lessons can be applied from the tragedy of driving "under the influence".

UK Court: Sharia Marriages Not Valid Under English Law

by Soeren Kern  •  February 19, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • "We sought to inform the Court of Appeal that many minority women, especially Muslim women, are deceived or coerced by abusive husbands into only having a religious marriage, which deprives them of their financial rights when the marriage breaks down...." — Southall Black Sisters, an advocacy group for South Asian women, February 14, 2020.

  • In February 2018, an independent review of the application of Sharia law in England and Wales...recommended changes to the Marriage Act 1949 and the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 that would require Muslims to conduct civil marriages before or at the same time as the nikah ceremony. This would bring Islamic marriage in line with Christian and Jewish marriage in the eyes of British law.

  • "The Assembly is concerned that the rulings of the Sharia councils clearly discriminate against women in divorce and inheritance cases." — Council of Europe (COE), January 2019.

  • As of now, neither the British government nor the British Parliament has introduced legislation that would require Muslims to conduct civil marriages before or at the same time as the nikah ceremony...[but] The court's decision effectively reaffirms the principle that immigrants who settle in Britain must conform to British law, rather than the other way around.

The Court of Appeal, the second-highest court in England and Wales after the Supreme Court, has ruled that the Islamic marriage contract, known as nikah in Arabic, is not valid under English law. Pictured: The Royal Courts of Justice in London, seat of the Court of Appeal. (Image source: Anthony M/Wikimedia Commons)

The Court of Appeal, the second-highest court in England and Wales after the Supreme Court, has ruled that the Islamic marriage contract, known as nikah in Arabic, is not valid under English law.

The landmark ruling has far-reaching implications. On the one hand, the decision strikes a blow against efforts to enshrine this aspect of Sharia law into the British legal system. On the other hand, it leaves potentially thousands of Muslim women in Britain without legal recourse in the case of divorce.

The case involves an estranged couple, Nasreen Akhter and Mohammed Shabaz Khan, both of Pakistani heritage, who took part in a nikah ceremony officiated by an imam in front of 150 guests at a restaurant in London in December 1998.

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The Intolerance of the "Tolerant" Left: The End of Liberal Democracy?

by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff  •  February 19, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • "Germany is witnessing the gradual erosion of democracy and the rule of law, a process that began in 2015 [during the migrant crisis] and which has become even more visible since and has ended in putsch against democracy." — Vera Lengsfeld, political analyst, February 7, 2020.

  • "The vote is unforgivable and must be reversed." — German Chancellor Angela Merkel, regarding a duly elected German state premier.

  • "Why bother exercising the right to vote when the 'wrong' choice can be annulled by the media and the chancellor through propaganda and veto?... Do we stand for democracy or for elections until the results suit the ruler?" — Dushan Wegner, political commentator, February 7, 2020.

  • Josef Hueber explains in a commentary how in a pseudo-democracy, elections mean voting until the result is "correct"...

  • We are presently faced with yet more politically-based show trials: of the parliamentarian Geert Wilders in The Netherlands and of Matteo Salvini in Italy. It is up to the population and voters to decide whether liberal democracy is worth fighting for.

When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, she showed a disappointing lack of argumentative abilities. If tolerance is to mean anything, Pelosi and her fellow Democrats should have exhibited just that. Instead, she, as a role model, did the opposite by engaging in petty and irresponsible behavior. (Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

We recently witnessed two events that indicated the possible demise of liberal democracy. The implications should frighten supporters of democratic forms of government in which individual rights and freedoms are officially recognized and protected, and the exercise of political power is limited by the rule of law.

The growing intolerance of many "left-wing" groups is apparent in the uproar of the democratic election of the state premier of the German state of Thuringia as well as in the performance of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, publicly ripping up US President Donald J. Trump's State of the Union address. It was an official document that belongs not to her but to the public, and of which she was merely its custodian.

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Islamists' Response to Peace Plan

by Bassam Tawil  •  February 18, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • When Hizb-ut-Tahrir says that negotiations and a peace process with Israel are acts of treason, their words are pointed straight at Abbas and the PA leadership. When Hizb-ut-Tahrir says it wants Muslim armies to liberate all of Palestine, the organization is actually calling on Muslims to march on Israel, kill Jews and destroy the state.

  • While the ideology of Hizb-ut-Tahrir might sound inhospitable, it is shared by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and several other Palestinian terror groups -- particularly regarding the goal of eliminating Israel.

  • By continuing to incite their people against Israel and the US... Abbas... and other PA officials are driving more Palestinians into the open, welcoming arms of Hizb-ut-Tahrir as well as Iran's proxies, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. By allowing thousands of Islamists to call for the destruction of Israel on the streets of West Bank cities, PA leaders are digging their own graves: The same people they are inciting against Israel and the US will kill these leaders not only for being affiliated with Israelis and Americans but for being too "moderate."

  • Finally, by making, as they usually do, contradictory claims to their own people, they are losing, among the Palestinians, the little credibility they have left.

At an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo on February 1, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (center) declared that "there will be no relations with Israel and the US, including on security cooperation." (Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty Images)

The Palestinian Authority, after rejecting US President Donald Trump's recently unveiled plan for Mideast peace, "Peace to Prosperity," as a "conspiracy" against Palestinians, is now trying to persuade the Israeli public that it is "still" interested in achieving peace with Israel.

Earlier this month, PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he would cut all ties with Israel and the US, including security coordination, to protest the Trump plan, which he denounced as the "slap of the century."

"We are informing you," Abbas told Arab foreign ministers during an emergency meeting in Cairo, "that there will be no relations with Israel and the US, including on security cooperation."

Abbas has been making similar threats for the past three years -- probably the reason Palestinians have long stopped taking his threats seriously.

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Why Did President Trump Expand the Travel Ban?

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  February 18, 2020 at 4:30 am

  • General justifications for the travel ban include: poor vetting of travelers to the U.S. by the restricted countries; an unwillingness on the part of those countries to share personal data on would-be visitors to the U.S.; and the refusal to accept the return of their nationals if expelled by U.S. authorities.

  • Kyrgyzstan made the travel-ban list largely because of its lax passport issuance, which has caused a global glut of false Kyrgyzstani passports used by criminals and terrorists to enter Eurasian countries. Kyrgyzstan is also notable for its poor counter-terrorism efforts.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2018 that the U.S. president has the authority to issue such travel bans as part of his duty to protect American citizens. The ruling also determined that the first list of countries placed on the restricted visa program in 2017 did not constitute a "Muslim ban," as North Korea and Venezuela were also included.... Eritrea has more Christians than Muslims. Myanmar is almost entirely Buddhist.

  • Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, arguing for the administration, opined that it is only logical that any people applying for a visa to the U.S. be properly vetted.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2018 that the U.S. president has the authority to issue travel bans as part of his duty to protect American citizens. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf (right), arguing for the administration, opined that it is only logical that any people applying for a visa to the U.S. be properly vetted. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

There are general and specific justifications for U.S. President Donald Trump's January 31 order to add Nigeria, Tanzania, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Myanmar (Burma) to the list of seven other countries -- Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen -- subjected to a restriction on travel to the United States.

General justifications for the travel ban include: poor vetting of travelers to the U.S. by the restricted countries; an unwillingness on the part of those countries to share personal data on would-be visitors to the U.S.; and the refusal to accept the return of their nationals if expelled by U.S. authorities.

Although each of the additional six countries added to the list will be subjected to restricted travel – as of February 22 -- Sudan and Tanzania also will be ineligible to participate in the State Department's "green card lottery" program.

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Does Taking Cannabis Change Your Brain More than Drinking Alcohol Does?

February 18, 2020 at 4:00 am

(Image source: iStock)

Gatestone Institute to examine the impact of legalized marijuana in 2020. Details to follow...

Spain: European Court Approves Summary Deportations of Illegal Migrants

by Soeren Kern  •  February 17, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • The Strasbourg-based court — which has jurisdiction over 47 European countries, and whose rulings are binding on all 27 member states of the European Union — ruled that in order for migrants to benefit from certain human rights protections, such as access to lawyers, interpreters and the right to remain in Europe, they must first enter European territory in a legal, as opposed to an illegal, manner.

  • The ruling is being viewed as a major victory for those who believe that sovereign nation states have the right to decide who is and is not allowed to enter their territory.

  • "The ECHR's ruling determines that a nation state has the right to defend its borders. When someone is dedicated to violating those borders, the nation state has the right to return that person to their place of origin as quickly as possible." — Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, spokesman for the Vox Party, February 13, 2020.

  • It remains unclear if the ECHR's ruling will have a deterrent effect. Migrants, often using extreme violence, are increasingly using the tactic of mass attacks against the border fences in Ceuta and Melilla in an effort to overwhelm border police.

Migrants, often using extreme violence, are increasingly using the tactic of mass attacks against Spain's border fences in Ceuta and Melilla in an effort to overwhelm border police. During the past 18 months, thousands of migrants equipped with gloves, spike shoes and makeshift hooks have attempted to scale the fences. Pictured: The border fence between Morocco and Ceuta, a Spanish exclave in North Africa. (Photo by Jorge Guerrero/AFP via Getty Images)

In a landmark decision that will have potentially seismic implications for immigration policy in Europe, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Spain acted lawfully when it summarily deported two migrants who illegally tried to enter Spanish territory.

The Strasbourg-based court — which has jurisdiction over 47 European countries, and whose rulings are binding on all 27 member states of the European Union — ruled that in order for migrants to benefit from certain human rights protections, such as access to lawyers, interpreters and the right to remain in Europe, they must first enter European territory in a legal, as opposed to an illegal, manner.

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"They Came to Kill Him": The Persecution of Christians - November 2019

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  February 16, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • "He was a 15-year-old adolescent. He was so deeply asleep in his bed that he didn't hear any of the noise around him. They thrust the blade of the axe so deeply into his skull, to the point we had to use a hammer to get it out of his head." Many Christians have been displaced by these ongoing attacks and live in "extreme misery," added another local: "This is beyond persecution. It is a dramatic situation, plunging thousands of families into a deplorable humanitarian crisis." — Rebecca, a witness, Barnabas Fund, November 15, 2019, Cameroon.

  • A group of Muslims beat, robbed, and threatened to kill a Christian evangelist if he did not convert to Islam.... [T]he Muslims indicated that they had physical pains and injuries. Fløttum offered to pray for them, they accepted, and he complied. They said they felt better and urged him to go with them and pray for another of their friends who was also suffering from a foot injury.... "They were very nice and I couldn't believe they would deceive me," he later said. They took him to a backyard, pushed him down a cellar staircase, and began to beat and kick him in the face...."While they kept me there, they threatened me and said they would kill me if I did not convert to Islam....I was scared and actually thought they were going to kill me because they said they had a knife and didn't want witnesses." — Idag.no, November 28, 2019, Norway.

  • "...although the Egyptian government has made some modest progress toward legalizing informal churches around the country and improving public discourse about Coptic rights, it has taken few steps toward systematically improving religious freedom conditions for vulnerable Christian populations, particularly in rural areas." — United States Commission on Interreligious Freedom (USCIRF), Annual Report 2019, Egypt.

Turkey's Council of State recently approved converting Istanbul's historic Chora Church, currently a museum, into a mosque. Chora Church's uniquely old and surprisingly intact artwork was first made in 1315 — more than a century before the Turkish invasion and conquest of Constantinople in 1453. (Image source: Gryffindor/Wikimedia Commons)

The Slaughter of Christians

Syria: On November 11, Islamic gunmen opened fire on a vehicle known to be carrying Christian leaders. Two Armenian priests, Father Abrahim Petoyan and Father Hovsep Petoyan, a father and son, were killed and a deacon was seriously wounded. ISIS claimed responsibility. The Armenians had been going to inspect repairs on an Armenian Catholic church that had earlier been damaged in Deir ez-Zor. "We continue to feel the presence of ISIS," responded the Armenian Catholic Archbishop Boutros Marayati of Aleppo, adding that Deir ez-Zor "is a very important town for us, because it is there that many of our martyrs were killed as they fled the Turkish genocide of 1915. Today there are no Armenian Catholics left there. Undoubtedly, the Turks don't want us to return, because our presence would be a reminder of the Armenian genocide."

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Ouyar Hassan Invited to the Polls... Again

by Amir Taheri  •  February 16, 2020 at 4:00 am

  • For four decades, Ouyar Hassan has put up with an ochlocracy disguised as a theocracy. Wearing an Anatolian smile, he has seen Iran become the only country in the world, perhaps with the exception of Zimbabwe, poorer than it was 40 years ago. He has seen Iran top the list of infamy in the word for the number of political prisoners and executions. He has witnessed the establishment of widespread corruption not as an aberration but as a way of life. For four decades, Ouyar Hassan has turned up at polling stations to cast his vote in fake elections for an ersatz parliament and an actor playing President of the Republic.

  • For the first time since the mullahs seized power, almost all political groups associated with them from the beginning... have publicly called for a boycott of the polls. Even some of the so-called "moderate-reformists", better known for their sheer opportunism than their moral courage, are calling for a boycott of the fake elections.

  • As usual, the authorities could try to manipulate the results in a number of ways such as refusing to register many would-be voters, pre-filling polling boxes and inflating the number of ballots cast in the provinces. Nevertheless, a massive boycott would be hard to camouflage. Such a massive refusal to play extras in a sinister masquerade would show that Ouyar Hassan is no longer prepared to let "those better than us" walk all over him.

Once again, Iran's kleptocrat ruling elite is now trying to organize a general election to burnish its so-called "Islamic democracy". As usual, the authorities could try to manipulate the results in a number of ways such as refusing to register many would-be voters, pre-filling polling boxes and inflating the number of ballots cast in the provinces. Pictured: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani casts his ballot for the presidential elections in Tehran on May 19, 2017. (Photo credit should read Majid Azad/AFP via Getty Images)

Since the 19th century, caricature has been used to highlight in a humorous mode the key features of famous persons or even a whole nation. In the latter case, some well-known examples include Uncle Sam, with his top-hat and carefully trimmed Van Dyke, representing the United States. England is represented by John Bull with his bowler hat, belly and rosy cheeks. French are made fun of with Gaston Dupont, wearing a beret, and with a baguette under his arm and a Gauloise in his mouth, who doesn't know whether his name should end with a D or a T neither of which are pronounced in any case. For its part, Iran is represented by Ouyar Hassan wearing a felt cap, long shirt and baggy trousers.

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The Terrorists Migrating into Europe

by Judith Bergman  •  February 15, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • "Most migrant terrorists involved in thwarted or completed attacks were purposefully deployed to the migration flows by an organized terrorist group to conduct or support attacks in destination countries." — Todd Bensman, "What Terrorist Migration Over European Borders Can Teach About American Border Security", Center for Immigration Studies.

  • Bensman's report indirectly proves that the three EU countries -- Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic -- which refused to take in any of the migrants that came during the migrant crisis, citing security concerns, were right.

  • The leadership of the European Union, however, initiated legal proceedings at the Court of Justice of the European Union against the three countries over the issue.... A ruling on the issue by the Court is expected early next year.

  • In response to the Advocate General, Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller, said that "ensuring security for our citizens is the most important goal of the government's policies. Our actions were dictated by the interests of Polish citizens and the need for protection against uncontrolled migration". — Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller, Reuters, October 31, 2019.

Todd Bensman, a senior national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, describes in a new report the extent to which terrorists disguised as migrants have entered the European Union to commit terrorist attacks. (Image source: Elekes Andor/Wikimedia Commons)

A new report, "What Terrorist Migration Over European Borders Can Teach About American Border Security", by Todd Bensman, a senior national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, describes the extent to which terrorists disguised as migrants have entered the European Union to commit terrorist attacks. Although the study was written primarily for an American audience to prevent the same mistakes from being made on US borders, the study is extremely relevant for the European public -- especially as Germany recently warned of a repeat migration crisis, similar to the one that occurred in 2015. According to Bensman:

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Italy: Salvini Facing Show Trial for "Kidnapping" Migrants

by Soeren Kern  •  February 14, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • In September, Sicilian prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro said that the kidnapping accusations against Salvini were "groundless" and recommended that he be acquitted of all charges. The Court of Ministers, however, overruled Zuccaro, who is now, paradoxically, required to proceed with prosecuting Salvini, even though he has already found him to be innocent.

  • The charges against Salvini appear to be part of a political vendetta against him as well as his opposition to mass migration. Case in point: Although the decision to prevent those onboard the Gregoretti from disembarking in July 2019 was made by Salvini in close coordination with senior members of the Italian government, only Salvini is facing prosecution.

  • "No contrary position was taken by the Prime Minister Conte.... This makes the hypothesis of individual action by Minister Salvini completely improbable." — Senator Erika Stefani, Lega Party, presenting documents showing that other ministers were deeply involved in discussions over the Gregoretti.

  • "If I have to go to court, I will explain to the judges that defending the borders of my country and protecting citizens was my duty and, serenely, I will go to that courtroom to represent millions of Italians, because I simply did what they asked me to do: to control who enters and who leaves Italy." — Former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini in a tweet, February 12, 2020.

  • Like Trump, Salvini's legal troubles are fuelling his approval ratings.... Surveys indicate that if Italy held elections now, Lega would win a majority together with its conservative allies.

The Italian Senate has voted to strip former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of parliamentary immunity so that he can face kidnapping charges for refusing to allow migrants to disembark from a ship at a port in Sicily. This is in spite of Sicilian prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro saying in September that the kidnapping accusations against Salvini were "groundless" and recommended that he be acquitted of all charges. Pictured: Salvini (center) at a rally in Policoro, on August 10, 2019. (Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

The Italian Senate has voted to strip former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of parliamentary immunity so that he can face kidnapping charges for refusing to allow migrants to disembark from a ship at a port in Sicily.

If Salvini, who leads the anti-mass-migration party, Lega (League), is found guilty, he faces a ban on holding political office and up to 15 years in prison. He has said that he acted in Italy's national interest and that the charges against him are politically motivated, aimed at silencing criticism of the country's open-door migration policy.

Under Italian law, ministers enjoy immunity for actions taken while in office — unless the Senate votes to lift that protection. On February 12, the Italian Senate voted 152-76 in favor of lifting Salvini's immunity, after a parliamentary committee on January 21 recommended the action.

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Iran, Not Saudi Arabia, Is to Blame for Yemen's Humanitarian Crisis

by Con Coughlin  •  February 13, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • Now, with the humanitarian crisis reaching a critical juncture with an estimated 80% of Yemen's 24 million population in need of assistance, aid organisations are finally waking up to the central role the Iranian-backed Houthis have played in creating the disaster.

  • As humanitarian officials prepare to meet in Brussels this week -- Thursday -- to discuss the Yemeni aid crisis, the main topic of discussion will be what has been described as the unprecedented and unacceptable obstruction tactics being employed by the Houthis that are preventing vital aid supplies from reaching the country's starving population.

  • In their latest bid to seize control of the aid distribution, the Houthis have recently imposed a 2 percent levy on all the international aid agencies operating in the country, prompting one aid worker to claim that the Houthis could be using the aid money to finance the war.

  • Whatever the outcome, no one will be in any doubt that it is the Iranian-backed Houthis, and not the Saudi-led coalition, who are primarily responsible for creating Yemen's disastrous humanitarian crisis.

As Yemen's humanitarian crisis reaches a critical juncture, with an estimated 80% of the country's 24 million people in need of assistance, aid organisations are finally waking up to the central role the Iranian-backed Houthis have played in creating the disaster. Pictured: Displaced persons fill water containers at a makeshift camp in a village in Hajjah province, Yemen, on May 9, 2019. (Photo by Essa Ahmed/AFP via Getty Images)

In the five years since Yemen was plunged into its bitter civil war, it has invariably been the Saudi-led coalition, which enjoys the support of the US, Britain and France, that has been blamed for causing what is widely regarded as the world's greatest humanitarian disaster.

Throughout the conflict the main focus of coverage in most of the Western media has been on the role played by the Saudi military in intensifying the conflict, with Riyadh taking the lion's share of the blame for the estimated 100,000 Yemenis that have died.

The Saudis, it is true, have not always covered themselves in glory in the way they have conducted the military campaign, with frequent reports of Saudi warplanes attacking civilian targets.

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Qassem Soleimani: Iran's Latest 'King of Martyrs'?

by Denis MacEoin  •  February 13, 2020 at 4:30 am

  • Esmail Ghaani, Soleimani's successor as head of the Quds Force, has promised: "to continue martyr Soleimani's path with the same force and the only compensation for us would be us would be to remove America from the region."

  • So much terrorism has come from Tehran.... as distant as Latin America.

  • One might also ask why has the United Nations never held Iran accountable for these violations?

  • One might also ask if the time has finally come for the UN's largest donors -- read the US -- to rethink their generosity? Why not, as Ambassador John R. Bolton long ago recommended: "that we should pay for what we want and insist that we get for what we pay for."

Esmail Ghaani, Qassem Soleimani's successor as head of Iran's Quds Force, has promised: "to continue martyr Soleimani's path with the same force and the only compensation for us would be us would be to remove America from the region." (Image source: Tasnim News [CC by 4.0])

When news broke on the morning of January 3 that Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian general who for many years had headed the Quds Force, the powerful extraterritorial operations arm of the regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), had been assassinated -- along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, head of the Iraqi Ketaib Hezbollah militia -- in a US drone strike at Baghdad airport, pundits across the globe burst into print, some to condemn, others to praise his killing.

Neither side seems to want an all-out war. On October 7, 2019, US President Donald J. Trump tweeted:

"... it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN."

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Is Today's Cannabis the Same as at Woodstock or Is It Now More Dangerous?

February 13, 2020 at 4:00 am

(Image source: iStock)

Gatestone Institute to examine the impact of legalized marijuana in 2020. Details to follow...

Coronavirus: Death of Dr. Li Wenliang Rocks China

by Gordon G. Chang  •  February 12, 2020 at 5:00 am

  • [T]he disease ravaging the country could be, as is now said, China's "Chernobyl," the cover up of a disaster eventually leading to the downfall of the regime.

  • Many analysts expect Beijing to stimulate the economy, but stimulus works only if there is underlying economic activity. With much of the economy shut down, there is not much to stimulate. A dead economy is an existential crisis for a regime whose primary basis of legitimacy is the continual delivery of prosperity.

  • The boldness of recent demands shows that, due to the outbreak, the Chinese people are starting to lose their fear of Xi and the Communist Party. Rudd and Chinese propagandists are saying the Party will weather this crisis, but when people are no longer afraid, anything can happen.

  • "If they do not give us an explanation, we will not give up," said Lu Shuyun, the mother of Dr. Li Wenliang, demanding to know why Wuhan police harassed him while he was trying to save patients.

  • In this contest, bet on the mother. After all, she has about 1.4 billion angry people on her side.

Dr. Li Wenliang, who died from the coronavirus on February 7, had been reprimanded by the Chinese government, with seven other doctors, for warning of the outbreak in December. He was accused of "spreading false rumors" and "disrupting social order" and, for his brave efforts, was briefly detained and interrogated. Pictured: A vigil to mourn Wenliang on February 7 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

On hearing the news that Dr. Li Wenliang had died from the coronavirus on February 7, people in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, under strict quarantine, opened their windows and cried. Others took to the streets to blow whistles for the whistleblower. Grief and anger, expressed from China's streets and balconies and social media platforms, has reached almost unprecedented levels in recent days.

Li, reprimanded with seven other doctors for warning of the outbreak in December, was accused of "spreading false rumors" and "disrupting social order" and, for his brave efforts, was briefly detained, interrogated, and forced to sign an "admonishment notice." Li undoubtedly contracted the virus treating patients at Wuhan Central Hospital.

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