Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Well, the liberals aren't losing their touch at racial scaremongering. Bill Clinton whipped up the Rainbow/PUSH crowd pretty well. I had to laugh at this quote:

"He gave insight to things that we overlook," said Ryan Fields, 20, a Morehouse College student from the Beverly neighborhood. "It's like the Trojan horse. The [enemy] warriors are coming out at night, and that could mean slavery, if we allow it."

And I thought the secret GOP plans for reinstituting slavery were well hidden ...

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

A great column by Orson Scott Card in The Ornery American. He's right that conservatives have let the left get away with trying to steal the 2000 Presidential election in Florida and then falsely accuse Republicans of doing so. It's a disgrace that more people don't speak out about this.

Something else that Card wrote, though, is much more troubling to me:

If the behavior of the Palestinians as a people and of the Israelis as a people were taken to be the standard by which we judge the goodness of their religion, then we would have to conclude that Judaism is a religion of great nobility and self-control, and Islam a religion of ...

Well, I won't say it, because then that quote would be taken out of context and used against me. Besides, it isn't true. There are just as many good Muslims as there are good Jews, and both religions have teachings that would lead to honor and decency and self-restraint, if followed.

But how can we judge religions except by how they are commonly interpreted by those who profess to believe them? Just about everybody, starting with President Bush and going down from there, has gone out of their way to stress that "Islam is really a peaceful religion ... blah, blah, blah." This is simply not true, however, unless one is prepared to proclaim the illegitimacy of the imams and mullahs of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Indonesia, etc.

Who gets to decide what Islam really teaches? I submit to you that the followers of a religion get to decide what it teaches and what it stands for, not politicians and journalists who wish to bury their heads in the sand for the sake of political correctness.

And what do Muslims believe their religion stands for? One only needs to look at the telethons in Saudi Arabia, the government support from Syria, Iraq, Iran, and others to know that a majority of the Muslims of the world support killing innocent Israeli children.

Why did polls show after 9-11 that most Muslims in the Middle East believed that Jews had secretly blown up the Twin Towers to blame Muslims for it? Why did the vast majority of the world's Muslims support the evil, murderous dictator of Iraq in his fight against the one nation in the world that symbolizes equality and freedom? Why is it that women have almost no rights to basic human dignity in Muslim countries and are subject to "honor" killings?

We decry the terrorism of "Muslim extremists," yet I think that Franklin Graham has a point and hits closer to the truth. Islam as it is practiced in many places of the world is a religion of intolerance and violence.

Imagine that you are a Muslim, living near Jerusalem in the 12th century. Imagine you are told: "Christianity is really a very peaceful religion. These Crusaders are extremists and don't represent what Christianity is all about. They are just a few fanatics out of touch with mainstream Christianity." If you were to believe that, you would soon be dead, in all likelihood, because Christianity was a violent and intolerant religion as commonly practiced during the Middle Ages. Your smart neighbors, on the other hand, might choose to protect themselves and their families.

So when are we going to quit pretending and start dealing with the real world that we live in? Until the mullahs and imams change, Islam will continue to be a religion that, as it is currently practiced in many parts of the world, foments violence against Jews and Christians. Until this fact is addressed, I fear all the roadmaps and invasions in the world will ultimately fail to stop the violence.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

George Will has a new column pointing out that the failure to find nuclear weapons is indeed a problem.

To govern is to choose, almost always on the basis of very imperfect information. But pre-emption presupposes the ability to know things -- to know about threats with a degree of certainty not requisite for decisions less momentous than those for waging war.

I think that puts it about right. It's no use pointing out that, under the UN resolution, it was Saddam's job to prove that he didn't have WMD.

The real issue is the credibility of the American government. We said that Saddam possessed WMD and he represented an immediate threat to use them against us or to give them to those who would.

While Will notes that Saddam did have WMD in the past and those who accuse Bush of lying are obviously wrong, he is right that our long-term foreign policy effectiveness will be damaged without the discovery of real WMD.

Will also seems to dismiss the idea that the war is justified without the weapons. Here, he is wrong. It is clear that Saddam was a threat to us and to our ally Israel, and it is clear that his intent toward us was hostile. Morover, it is clear that the humanitarian grounds do indeed justify the war.

Will asks why we don't invade Burma, but asking that question misses the point. It is clear that an invasion of Burma would be justified, even though the humanitarian abuses should not cause us to invade. It is not the obligation of the United States to right every wrong in the world, but doing so is always morally justified.

The Holocaust was not the cause of our entering WWII, but fighting the Axis powers would surely have been justified without Pearl Harbor. Ending slavery was not the cause of the Union's decision to fight the states that seceeded to form the Confederacy, but it surely has been the primary historical justification. The childrens' prisons and mass graves in Iraq may not have been the cause of our invasion, but they certainly justify it. There is no question that history will ultimately look favorably on President Bush's actions with respect to Iraq.

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