BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Europe

Listen to the London Center ‘Grand Strategy Podcast’ on National Security and Foreign Affairs

Believing firmly that there is a lack of rich audio content on national security and foreign affairs, London Center for Policy Research President Herb London and I decided to launch the “London Center Grand Strategy Podcast.”

Each biweekly podcast features vigorous discussion on vital issues of American national interest, covering critical events around the globe with an eye towards threats and opportunities, and a grounding in history and political philosophy.

In our latest episode, Episode 3, which you can find at top of this post, we discuss the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor, what Kim Jong-un really means by “denuclearization,” comprehensive efforts to counter China, the importance of information warfare, the expulsion of Russian agents from the West and much more.

If you like what you hear, please consider subscribing on iTunes (you can also subscribe at Google Play and Stitcher or grab the RSS at Libsyn).

If you really like what you hear, please give us a five-star rating and kindly write us a review.

Our first two episodes are below:

No Worries, the Would-Be French Train Terrorist’s Mosque Wasn’t Radical…Women Can Pray There

In the wake of the courageous takedown of a would-be (likely) jihadist on a Paris-bound train by three Americans, the New York Times published a piece on the Spanish mosque to which Ayoub El Khazzani belonged.

I think the following excerpt speaks for itself:

But while the authorities point to the mosque as a crucial part of Mr. Khazzani’s transformation from onetime petty hashish dealer to someone suspected of being a radical, Mr. Mohamed Ahmed said the preaching here was not to blame.

“Women are also allowed to pray here,” he said, “which certainly wouldn’t happen if this was a radical place.”

Methinks that Mr. Mohamed Ahmed is lacking in self-awareness.

Ahmed’s defense of Khazzani is perhaps even better:

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The Upside of European Demographic Decline? Beautiful Villages for Sale.

From the Christian Science Monitor comes a story that one suspects will be manifesting itself across other parts of secular progressive Europe: Entire emptied Spanish enclaves for sale.

You probably know the backstory:

All of Europe is rapidly aging, as women choose to have fewer children, or none at all, and immigration – despite the shrill news about a flood of migrants into Europe – has failed to reach the corners of the Continent where populations are the oldest.

Demography is quick becoming the key policy challenge of Europe’s leaders, as countries scramble to figure out how to keep labor systems running and pensions paid.

But it is also having a profound impact on the physical landscape of Europe, from maternity wards and schools closing their doors, to churches being turned into art venues and leisure centers.

What is fascinating is the way in which Spaniards in the Galicia region are seeking to cope with the new demographic normal:

Here in this corner of the Iberian Peninsula, the business of selling abandoned villages has even become something of a policy tool. One mayor is trying to give away an abandoned village in his district for free, so long as “buyers” promise to restore it and add back value – ideally drawing young people while they do so.

If Galicia cannot turn back its demographic trends, says Xoaquin Fernandez Leiceaga, a former lawmaker and professor of economics at the University of Santiago de Compostela, parts of it could quickly turn into wildland.

“Already villages of Galicia are being overrun by weeds and bushes,” he says.

Sounds a lot like parts of modern-day Detroit.

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