VIENNA – We are in Vienna, the home of some of the world’s greatest economists.
We will come back to that in a minute.
First, it was here where Jan Sobieski, the elected king of Poland, beat back a Muslim attack on Europe.
In the summer of 1683, an army approached Vienna. It was the Ottoman Turks. Sobieski rushed to defend the city with about 25,000 men.
After leading a massive charge of Polish hussars, he won what is described as a “brilliant victory,” thus saving Europe from Islam.
Is Europe threatened again?
But wait… Where is the attacking army? Where is its artillery? Where are the invaders’ planes? Their ships?
Where are the thousands of troops who will rape and ravage?
In historical terms, the attacks so far are trivial. There is no serious army approaching. And even the few terrorists who have made the headlines seem like amateurs.
If there were really an army of committed, trained terrorists, there would be an explosion every day. Europe is a target-rich environment – with subways, restaurants, theatres, airports, buses, and trains. There is no way to protect all these targets from determined attacks.
Yet, most of the carnage has been perpetrated by people driven mad by job loss, wrecked marriages, suppressed homosexuality, and so forth.
Largely isolated and autonomous, Muslim fanatics can kill hundreds… maybe thousands… of people in the West. But there is no unified Islamic power capable of challenging the West’s elected governments or its “Parasitocracy.”
This is no fight to save Western civilization. Instead, the hapless terrorists and the terror fighters (politicians and the “security” industry) have joined forces against civil society; both gain power and wealth, while the rest of us lose it.
Here in Vienna, we walked past the home of Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises, talking to a couple of local economists.
The Sacher Hotel in Vienna
We noticed many women with head scarves, or their entire bodies covered up.
“There are lots of Muslims in Vienna,” we commented.
“Yes, we have many refugees… and many people who just live here because it is calm and safe.”
“Have there been any terrorist attacks?”
“No, why should there be? We are neutral, like Switzerland. We do not meddle in the Middle East. We have no business there. It’s very calm here. There is almost no crime at all, except pickpocketing tourists.
“It’s very safe. But Americans have a completely false impression of Austria. They’ve seen the movie The Sound of Music. They think the country is an alpine paradise full of handsome men and beautiful women who love freedom and music.
“But look around you. Do you see any mountains? The mountains are in the East of the country where almost no one lives. And that business about fleeing the Nazis? Not many Austrians fled.”
Hitler – an Austrian – wanted to unify all German speakers into a great empire.
His troops entered Austria in 1938 and met no resistance. Instead, crowds lined the streets to cheer.
Behind the troops was the Führer himself. Later, he reflected on the experience:
Certain foreign newspapers have said that we fell on Austria with brutal methods. I can only say: Even in death they cannot stop lying. I have in the course of my political struggle won much love from my people, but when I crossed the former frontier [into Austria] there met me such a stream of love as I have never experienced. Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators.
“It was an unhappy period in Austrian history,” concluded our host.
“At first, it must have seemed like a great adventure – joining with millions of other ‘Germans’ to make a better world. But it ended badly. And we learned something. We learned to mind our own business.”
BY CHRIS LOWE, EDITOR AT LARGE
Are stocks the new bonds?
In Europe, it certainly seems that way.
Today’s chart tracks the yield on the German 10-year government bond versus the yield on the MSCI Europe Index of stocks.
As you can see, the MSCI Europe now yields almost four percentage points more than the 10-year German Bund.
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Not everyone agrees with Bill’s take on the problem of radical Islamic terrorism in Europe.
“Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”
I forget who said that, but thanks for reminding us with Thursday’s Diary. Although I fear it will do no good. The problem of Muslim extremist terrorism seems intractable.
I confess that I have no solution. I’ve never read the Koran, but I have heard that there is a prophecy in it of a world war against Islam. Disturbingly, the Koran predicts that Islam will triumph. Considering the events of the past few years, the "world war against Islam" can be said to have come to pass.
I know… I know… The terrorists do not represent the true teachings of Islam, nor do they represent the feelings of true Muslims. That said, if the world’s governments double down in their fight against ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other assorted Islamic terrorists, who’s to say that the world’s 1.1 billion Muslims won’t throw in with the terrorists because of what they perceive as the “oppression” of their religion?
– Dale A.
Meanwhile, readers continue to chime in with thoughts about Bill’s stance on America’s crime-fighting techniques.
Well said about the racial and criminal problems in this country. I have great respect that Bill brought up this subject.
When will our politicians or our future president mention ways to fight crimes, and social problems in this country? The United States spends hundreds of billions of dollars on the military and fighting wars far away from home.
Instead I think our government should spend that money and time in fighting crimes and social problems in this country first. Our politicians have their priorities wrong.
– Henry C.
Oil and energy expert Dr. Kent Moors has uncovered what he’s calling “The Biggest Energy Play of the Decade”… and falling oil prices only make it more profitable. But he doesn’t expect the market conditions that created it will last much longer…
That’s why he’s encouraging everyone to watch his presentation before this profitable opportunity vanishes for another seven years.