To secularists and avowed agnostics who work to expunge all religious language from governments, that idea is anathema. I doubt it makes many Christians or Jews happy, either. But the war on terror is as much about ideas and ideals as about security and strategy. If one side’s ideas are mayhem in service to transcendence and the other side is thinking about meetings and signed papers, then secular Western diplomacy is boxing with one glove.
Silencing the language of faith in public discourse and policy weakens the West’s ability to engage and defeat an enemy entirely motivated by relentless theology. By failing to speak in the same language, it has no weapons for victory, short of destroying whole cities.
Well she wanted to know what we thought. I think this is exactly right, since we don’t want to have to use the “Sherman” option. Faith is highly respected in the Islamic world as Christians as “People of the Book” should take advantage of this. I would think that our secular friends would not care how the war is one as long as it is, and any tactic that would decrease the need to kill should be plan A or at least plan B. I see no reason why it should generate the hate mail it apparently has.
Her blog is always a worthwhile read particularly if you are a Catholic like me although I must admit I did forget today was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As our Hispanic population has increased it has become a bigger Catholic feast here in the US and will continue to do so. The story is here.
The tragic fate of so many innocent victims in Mumbai deserves our pity. But what should live in special infamy was the ruthless execution of the Lubavitcher rabbi, Gavriel Hertzberg, and his lovely wife, Rivka, who was 5 months pregnant. These were two idealistic young people of obvious warmth and humanity, who sought only to serve. The rescue by their Indian nanny of their orphaned 2-year-old son, Moshe, crying and smeared with his parents’ blood, is already legendary. Was this zeroing in on the Chabad Jewish Center in Mumbai about Israel, or was it simply a gruesome eruption of the medieval tradition of anti-Semitism? Why have Muslim organizations, very quick to protest insulting cartoons, been mostly silent about the atrocities in Mumbai?
The slaughter of the Hertzbergs and other Jews at Chabad House should be a wake-up call to Western liberals who believe that jihadism can be defeated through reason and happy talk. Only other Muslims can launch the stringent internal reform necessary to stomp this barbaric extremism out. But the events in Mumbai confirmed my opinion about the looming problem of a nuclear Iran: While I oppose all American military operations and bases in the Mideast, I continue to believe that Israel, whose security is directly threatened, has every right to take preemptive military action against Iran.
Plus you’ve gotta love someone in the same column when she says this, quotes Invader Zim approvingly.
Here is a story you likely haven’t seen on the national news:
On Sept. 5, Robinson dropped his wife and two children off at the Burger King restaurant at 41st Street and Memorial Drive and was pulling into an auto dealership across the street for an oil change when his cell phone rang.
“My spouse told me there was a man inside with a gun, saying he was going to kill everybody,” said Robinson, an 11-year veteran of the highway patrol who is assigned to the Creek and Muskogee turnpikes.
The off duty officer managed to get in and subdue the armed man, a pretty piece of work but hardly national news right? I mean it wasn’t as if it was an attempted terror attack or something. Oh wait:
“It was one of those deals of being in the right place at the right time,” Robinson said. “I believe he would have loaded up that gun and gone to town because he was praying for Allah to help him carry out his mission.”
Gee, a person with a weapon praying to Allah getting ready to slaughter people in middle America. Must be those pesky Zoroastrians again.
“But tech guy” you say, “It was just a single guy in the midwest named Jerome that’s not an attempted Islamic attack. It’s not national news” Well lets see, a Muslim guy with a gun praying to Allah before preparing to complete his “mission”. I’d say it passes the walks like a duck test.
And believe me if it was a Catholic praying the Rosary or even Better a mormon with a Yes on Prop 8 sign it would have been at least the 3rd story on the news.
Via Gateway Pundit who notices stuff like this and knows a duck when he sees one.
He deals with the denial of Islam’s involvement first:
The veteran British TV anchor Jon Snow, on the other hand, opted for the more cryptic locution “practitioners.” “Practitioners” of what, exactly?
Hard to say. And getting harder. Tom Gross produced a jaw-dropping round-up of Bombay media coverage: The discovery that, for the first time in an Indian terrorist atrocity, Jews had been attacked, tortured, and killed produced from the New York Times a serene befuddlement: “It is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene.”
Hmm. Greater Bombay forms one of the world’s five biggest cities. It has a population of nearly 20 million. But only one Jewish center, located in a building that gives no external clue as to the bounty waiting therein. An “accidental hostage scene” that one of the “practitioners” just happened to stumble upon? “I must be the luckiest jihadist in town. What are the odds?”
The rhetorical circles that those in denial are in would tie any person in a knot. He then skews the Muslims are feeling vulnerable” meme:
Last week, a Canadian critic reprimanded me for failing to understand that Muslims feel “vulnerable.” Au contraire, they project tremendous cultural confidence, as well they might:
They’re the world’s fastest-growing population. A prominent British Muslim announced the other day that, when the United Kingdom becomes a Muslim state, non-Muslims will be required to wear insignia identifying them as infidels. If he’s feeling “vulnerable,” he’s doing a terrific job of covering it up.
We are told that the “vast majority” of the 1.6-1.8 billion Muslims (in Deepak Chopra’s estimate) are “moderate.” Maybe so, but they’re also quiet. And, as the AIDs activists used to say, “Silence=Acceptance.”
Deepak Chopra earns a Nelson almost every time he opens his mouth. Islam is not feeling vulnerable its feeling powerful. he concludes echoing Tom Freeman who came much later to the conclusion Stein reached years ago:
I wrote in my book, America Alone, that “reforming” Islam is something only Muslims can do. But they show very little sign of being interested in doing it, and the rest of us are inclined to accept that. Spread a rumor that a Koran got flushed down the can at Gitmo, and there’ll be rioting throughout the Muslim world. Publish some dull cartoons in a minor Danish newspaper, and there’ll be protests around the planet. But slaughter the young pregnant wife of a rabbi in Bombay in the name of Allah, and that’s just business as usual. And, if it is somehow “understandable” that for the first time in history it’s no longer safe for a Jew to live in India, then we are greasing the skids for a very slippery slope. Muslims, the AP headline informs us, “worry about image.” Not enough
It is understandable in two ways that Muslims are not anxious to speak out. They are even more afraid of getting not only their throats cut but their relatives then the others. Even if they don’t It’s basically tribal, like a Mafia family and even if one doesn’t risk death in a face society you don’t go against the tribe.
There is also the feeling of power, as one of Sicilian decent I see it in people eyes on occasion when my nationality comes up. Don’t forget this moment:
The combination of liberal cultural guilt and raw fear is a source of strength.
In the end it comes to this, Militant Islam is going to have to be either stopped, submitted to or changed from within.
The current president and our military have made a good effort at the first particularly going on offense, but it will take time, effort and treasure.
As far as submitting goes laws in the west have already headed in that direction even to the point where Sharia law is gaining in England and Canada. I hate to say it but frankly I suspect that those who cry loudest at the “Oppression” of the current administration would find a reason and excuse to submit if Sharia comes to call.
As far as change goes it can either be from within or imposed. There are men and woman with a whole hell of a lot more courage than me such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Nonie Darwish and Walid Shoebat trying to make the case at the risk of their lives but unless the avg Muslim supports them they can’t do it alone. It still remains to be seen if they are the William Lloyd Garrisons of their times.
We cannot change the hearts and minds of those people in the south but we can make war so terrible and make them so sick of war that generations will pass before they would again appeal to it.
And least anyone thinks I am calling for that sort of thing a 2nd quote of Sherman bears repeating as well:
I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting — its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers … it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated … that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation. May 1865
It is going to be totally up to us as westerners and the Muslim people everywhere how this will end.
I can’t believe I spent over an hour writing this on a weekend but then again I unfortunately have a bit of free time.
On Feb. 6, 2006, three Pakistanis died in Peshawar and Lahore during violent street protests against Danish cartoons that had satirized the Prophet Muhammad. More such mass protests followed weeks later. When Pakistanis and other Muslims are willing to take to the streets, even suffer death, to protest an insulting cartoon published in Denmark, is it fair to ask: Who in the Muslim world, who in Pakistan, is ready to take to the streets to protest the mass murders of real people, not cartoon characters, right next door in Mumbai?
Good question, its been asked on the right for years and ignored, lets see if that changes when asked by a columnist of the New York Times?
Oh and if you are too young to understand the title of this post read this.
ERIC POSNER: “Obama supporters should probably root for Bush to issue pardons. Bush might be just ornery enough to refuse.”
Here is the long version of my answer:
Two interesting things on this thread.
First seems the absolute assumption that that “torture” took place and was sanctioned by the White House. Apparently everybody here has seen Clear and Present Danger enough to know it is an absolute fact.
I have a young friend who I’ve known for most of his life. He was stationed at Gitmo and he said there was plenty of abuse going on, but it was of the guards by the prisoners who knew that the guards had to take it. The loose use of the word torture is particularly offensive when we’ve within the last week seen actual examples of it from our foes that carry no ambiguity, but seem to provoke less outrage among our intellectual class.
If is certainly possible that laws were broken and both those arguing for pardons and those arguing for prosecution have strong credible arguments in their favor. Laws are like muscles if not used they rot but personally I’m not inclined to go after people who successfully protected my family from attacks such as we’ve seen in India this week.
All of this being said here is the overriding consideration why, in my opinion the president-elect will not move on this issue regardless of what the current administration does. Frankly it’s rather crass.
You can take this to the bank: Any successful attack on American soil during an Obama administration is going to be wholly owned by not only that administration but the Democratic party.
It won’t matter how diligent or responsible the administration has been. It won’t matter that they acted in good faith which any fair minded person must assume. It won’t matter if like Hornblower in Hornblower during the Crisis members of the current administration and people who understand how hard it is to be right every time rush to their defense. The public will remember who succeeded in protecting the country and who failed particularly if a major population center is successfully hit.
Any kind of trials will be drawn out affairs and would likely be still going on during a successful attack. How much worse will it be for those who failed to protect the country if those who succeeded in protecting the nation are on trial during their failure? Would they risk it? Would they even consider it? Considering the history of the president elect who has a history of avoiding risk I think not. If his attacks on the current administration were mere rhetoric then he will never take the risk. If they were not I don’t know if he would have the moral courage to proceed and even if he did would people below him with less courage urge him against the risk?.
I just can’t see it, but it is moot because I think the current president will offer those pardons. He has already proved his willingness to take the slings and arrows of those who he has protected. I think he is comfortable enough in his skin to take one final hit for his country and for those loyal to him. The fanatical haters will just be louder but it would it would save the incoming administration from an additional burden. It would also keep national secrets from coming out at any trials. I think the current president has the guts to do it, but it will be a close thing since there is just enough of a that smirk in him to want to watch those who follow him stew in it.
Back in the days when I was blogging for HiWired I tried to show a bit of restraint when talking about the acts of some people.
However one of the great advantages of a personal blog is the lack of said necessity, so lets say some things bluntly:
The people involved in the attacks in India are barbarians.
Those in Islam who support and finance such attacks are barbarians.
Those who excuse such attacks as justified are idiots and/or supporters of barbarians.
Those who try to equate our troops to the killers in India and those terrorists who target civilians in Iraq are either complete dupes of barbarians at best or at worst allies of murders are barbarians.
If someone tries to make such a comparison to you as a reasonable argument or attempts to justify and defend the attackers but will happily condemn President Bush as the greatest murderer since Hitler then; they are not serious people (although they will think themselves so), ignorant about history (though they will think themselves not) and disinterested in the lives of others (although they will say otherwise) and their opinions should be either ignored or Nelsoned like so:
This will likely enrage them more then any bloodshed.
If your value system justifies such attacks and actions then you need a new value system.
If your culture justifies such attacks then it is inferior and you need a new one too.
You have a perfect right to any of the above beliefs if you want to hold them, it doesn’t make you any less of an idiot.
If you don’t like my characterization of any of these things then let me paraphrase Truman and say, “Stop supporting barbarians and murders and I will stop characterizing your beliefs like that”.