December 7, 2007
It’s supposed to be the war in Iraq that has been at the root cause of the latest round of Islamic fundamentalism. We’re told it is American foreign policy that has been the growing medium for Al Qaeda and we are told that Israel is the cause of the failures of Arab Muslim societies and cultures. We are actually going through the charade of a debate on whether or not we should take on the mad mullahs of the Iranian regime, as they develop a nuclear program. We sidestep the issue out of fear of an undesirable Islamic response.
The incongruity is spectacular. If Saddam Hussein had a nuclear program identical to that of Iran, the entire Iraq war debate would be moot. Nevertheless, here we are, pretending to go through a ‘debate’ of sorts, over how to handle the Iran situation- as if an Iran with an unfettered nuclear program is a realistic option. Does anyone really believe that a nuclear armed Iran would shut down production of nuclear materials and give up WMD’s, even if Israel were obliterated? Does anyone believe that a regime that amputates limbs, stones women to death and executes children, will ever find itself in accordance with the literati in the salons in Paris or on English polo fields? Does any one really believe that Iranian promises not to develop nuclear weapons are sincere? Buy their own admission, Iranian religious fatwas allow for and encourage the use of nuclear weapons against their enemies.
That would be the US and Israel, nations already publicly threatened by Iran.
The Danish cartoon incident caused greater outrage on the Muslim ‘street’ than did the invasion of Iraq. Those cartoons (distasteful as they were) proved one truth now beyond argument- that for many Muslim clerics and ‘leaders,’ Islam has now dispensed with debate and discussion in favor of violence as an immediate response. Violence is now an act or response of first resort. In carefully crafted manipulation and deceit, a 21st century ‘iron curtain,’ with all the darkness that implies, is descending upon the Muslim world.
This is no to imply that all Muslims are violent. Clearly, that is not the case. The vast majority of Muslims are not that much different than anyone else. They work, want the best for their families and would be more than happy to just blend in and participate in our society. Just as clearly, those who speak loudest for Islam and in the name of Islam, are violent. They are the face of Islam today.
Like most Germans in prewar Germany, most Muslims are peaceful. Like the Germans in the prewar period, many succumbed to the barrage of racial propaganda and hatred- but for the most part, they remained peaceful. None of that matters of course, because those who spoke for Germany were not peaceful and no amount of appeasement would change that. Notwithstanding Hitler’s pronouncements of, ‘All we want is this or that, and no more,’ the wiser amongst the Europeans knew differently. It was only the dreamers and fools that were surprised by the evil that was to come. We wrote in Speaking In Tongues And Other Political Realities, that
An enemy is someone with whom we, as individuals and as a community, have fundamental differences. An enemy has values and beliefs, that are very different than out own. An enemy wants to deprive us of our beliefs and values, because that enemy finds our beliefs repulsive or threatening to their own. Enemies will fight to the death, should they choose to engage us or we choose to engage them.
There are people who believe that enemies are opponents- that is, they can reasoned with and rationalized with and common ground can be had. Believing that an enemy can be an opponent is what led much of Europe to appease Hitler, in the beginning. Herr Hitler, it was believed, was after all a European. Surely he could be reasoned with. Surely he would respond to the rational idea that war was catastrophic.
There is one reality that must be dealt with. In dealing with the Islamists, we are not dealing with opponents- they do not share our values and morality. For an Islamist, violence and the threat of violence, plays a leading role in reacting to a provocation and in attempting to extract a desired response. The mere threat of violence unleashed, it is understood, is a blatant attempt to cow civilized society into submission. It worked for Genghis Khan and it is working for the Islamists. One only has to look at the violent responses to the publication of cartoons, to understand the implications.
In western culture and civilization, violence is the option of last resort. The United Nations was predicated on that premise (contrast that with the Arab League’s Khartoum Declaration, announced that only violence was to be used in dealing with Israel. No negotiation, no recognition, etc. To this day, Arab violence is the Sword of Damocles hanging over the Jewish state. That hatred is taught in schools and preached from the pulpit). In the Arab and Islamic world, hate and violence are part of every school curriculum.
Iraq was invaded because Saddam ignored international law for over a decade. He invaded two neighboring countries and butchered well over a million people (the final number has yet to be tallied). Had western sensibilities and repulsion to violence not been so great, it is safe to say that many of those million plus victims of Saddam would be alive today.
Muslims have every right to be offended at cartoons they find repulsive and outrageous. Nevertheless, they do not have the right to claim violence as a legitimate response to that offense. They claim to stand for higher ideals, even as Islamic newspapers and media portray other faith in the most obscene and obnoxious ways.
When a Christian of Jew responds to a provocation with violence, we all understand that to be an aberration. Nowadays, when we see radical Muslims reacting violently in the streets, we see that as expected behavior. When we hear that the leaders of Hamas have threatened the cartoonist with beheading, we aren’t surprised. When here there are fatwas calling for the death of those cartoonists, we give those threats more than a bit of credibility. The Japanese translator of Salman Rushdie’s book was murdered. All that in turn, tars the average Muslim, because in the Judeo-Christian ethic, violence is tolerated (and even mandated) for self defense only. That’s it. There is no other reason to kill or threaten another human being.
If violence were an acceptable response to blasphemy or religious insults, the US would have bombed the anti religious Soviet Union to smithereens. If violence were an acceptable response to blasphemy or religious insults, bigotry and hatred, then Israel would have been well within her rights to blow the Arab world into oblivion.
That in turn highlights another reason why present day Iran, under the tyranny of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s heirs must be precluded from developing and having nuclear weapons. As long as violence and the threat of violence remains an acceptable part of today’s Islam, that cannot be allowed to happen.
To be clear- violence is not a part of the average Muslim believer’s experience. The reality is that the religion has morphed into something very dangerous- and another reality is that the vast majority of believers have remained silent, and that silence is the true desecration of Islam- not the publication of a few cartoons.
When the Israelis build a fence to protect themselves from suicide bombers and those who choose to celebrate such events, it can be referred to as an ‘Apartheid’ barrier. It is a barrier built to keep the institutionalized hate and violence that define apartheid, out of their society. Like the Israelis, all of western culture rejects the apartheid of radical Islamists. Israeli and western apartheid is a reaction to events foisted upon them. It has never been about a particular ideology, bigotry or hate.
Radical Islam, left unchallenged, is the perfect petri dish from which a plague no less dangerous than the Black Death or smallpox will emerge. The world is a living organism, and at some point, when under attack, organisms fight back.
Unimpeded violence will never be assimilated into the organism that is human society and culture. That kind of society died out a long time ago and will not return. Humankind has come to far to accept barbaric and Neanderthal, jungle like behavior as part of our reality. Progress, not regress, is the yardstick. Societies, cultures and religions are judged on what they build and create, not by what they destroy.
December 7, 2007
Dr Sanity, in The Good Little Propagandists, speaks of Iraq and the political ‘facts on the ground’:
Some day in the future after events have unfolded; and after all intended and unintended consequences have played themselves out; the spineless traitors and apologists of the left, who have done nothing to advance the cause of freedom and democracy in Iraq–or in the world, for that matter- and instead have actively and enthusiastically supported the enemy’s psychological operations and become their propaganda outlets, will be finally subjected to evaluation by history; and their true psychological motivations will not be in doubt.
Because, however events turn out in Iraq- for good or ill, and there is certainly no guarantee that what is right and good always overcome- the underlying motivations of the left (and all those who proclaim themselves to be the champions of the little guy, and yet for some reason always end up defending the Ahmadenijads and Saddams of the world; always enabling the Hitlers and Bin Ladens) are perfectly clear to anyone who will look.
Her assertions are outrageous, troubling and of course, they are true. We will not and cannot be the force that will install democracy in Iraq. That is up to the Iraqis. They will choose to do so, or they will cower in the face of the terror. Even if our efforts fail this time, democracy will eventually take hold in no small measure because of our efforts now. America and the coalition will have proved they will stand up for democracy and even more importantly, as time as shown time, given a choice, people will choose the freedoms democracy has to offer over any other kind of government.
In fact, Dr Sanity points out how we have redefined our values. Effort is no longer of any merit. It is achieving the desired outcome- and nothing less- that has become the goal. In fact, to the left, nothing must ever be allowed to chance because moving the goal line is just about the only way the left can define failure.
When the lies of denying WMD’s were exposed, then it was the celebrated lies of Joe Wilson that were given credence. When the dire predictions of no one turning out to vote in Iraqi election proved to be false, then a new lie had to be invented- that the majority of Iraqis want us out- now. The list goes on and on. If we were to leave now, of course, we would be blamed for the ensuing blood bath. In fact, many on the left don’t care about Iraqis any more than they care about FGM- 100 million women and counting. The difference is that protesting about Iraq will get them on the front page or TV. For the most on the left, there is no upside in giving a damn about Darfur- unless we go in and take unilateral action to save lives, actions that would send the left over the edge. So what if a few hundred thousand more die, right? Saving the Darfurese can only bring new life into the BusHitler crowd, and that’s what is important. As far as FGM is concerened, well, Sex in the City and The Vagina Monologues ‘speaks’ to American women more than FGM ever will.
All the while, the left hopes for higher and higher body counts in Iraq so that they might have fodder for a silly symbolic demonstration (there was much joy among many on the left when Americans casualties closed in on the 1,776. Both DU and Kos readers could barely contain themselves at the time). Whenever needed, a demonstration of bare breasted women is sure to take attention away from an ideologically corrupt agenda. The stupidity is breathtaking.
The left doesn’t want to acknowledge a truth: Only democracy in Iraq (and elsewhere) will eradicate terror. There is no other way to stop terror. The left didn’t care about the hundreds of thousands of innocent terror victims of their heroes, Castro or Che. There is no reason to believe they care about innocent victims of terror in Iraq now. That is why the left so willingly embraces the Palestinians and Palestinian terror. As long as the Palestinians reject real democracy and embrace terror, bigotry and hatred, they are worthy of all the adoration the left can muster. The left could never embrace a Palestinian cause that espouses, democracy, equality and religious freedom for all. The decades long approval of the Palestinian cause is proof of that. The fact remains that democracies, for the most part, do not go to war with each other. Democracy, introduced into the Middle East, will eventually prove that corollary.
Many on the the left hate democracy and freedom because democracy and freedom are predicated on personal responsibility- ideas they find repulsive. Democracy, by definition, means self restraint and respect for others. Democracy means the will of the majority must be respected, even when that will doesn’t comport with the feelings of some. Democracy means self discipline.
There has been no more powerful force than the free exchange in the marketplace of thoughts and ideas. Virtually all wars have been predicated on the reality that one side or the other would deprive their own citizens of freedom. Hitler, Saddam, Stalin, Mao, Castro and countless others bear testimony to that truth. The unvarnished truth is that racism, bigotry and religious hatred are eliminated momentarily at the ballot box and more permanently with the establishment and evolutions of a free market society.
Wars occur when leaders are not accountable to their citizens for those freedoms.
The left is supporting the idea that we leave Iraq now in favor of the next Pol Pot.
The left could choose to do their part. While they decry any religious expression here, they remain strangely silent on the hate emanating from religious authorities elsewhere.
Few on the left will care about what will become the lot of the Iraqis. They didn’t care before as Saddam was butchering hundreds of thousands. They didn’t care as when Saddam’s rape rooms were working at full capacity. Clearly, there is no reason to believe they will care about the Iraqis in the future. No doubt they will be celebrating the ‘defeat’ to America. They do not realize they America will not lose anything- our freedoms are assured. The loss they will celebrate is the loss of freedom- and of a future- for so many denied, for so many decades. It is this hypocrisy of many on the left that still causes the revulsion, to this day, of people who lived under communist regimes. The idea of a free exchange of thoughts and ideas is anathema to the left- unless those exchanges and opinions concur with their own.
In the end, freedom will transform the Middle East as it did Eastern Europe. Nothing great is easy, and establishing democracy in Iraq is a challenge. We have also said, democracy is built on the blood of patriots. Like Lafayette and Kosciusko that came to the aid of the patriots that built our country, we are coming to the aid of the Iraqi patriots that are paying for their freedom every day, in blood.
When that freedom comes, the left will be nowhere to be found. They will abandon the Middle East in the same way they left Eastern Europe. Arabs, like Eastern Europeans, will choose freedom, if given the chance.
The left will be elsewhere, fermenting hate and supporting murderous tyrants.
Plus ca change, plus ca reste la meme.
Portions of this post have been previously published.