Who could possibly have foreseen that if women and gays were allowed to join the armed forces, there would be cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape? What an amazing development!
This is from a Washington Post report:
Military sexual assault isn’t new. In February 2004, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld ordered a 90-day review of sexual assaults after allegations of crimes committed against female soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait. … The Pentagon’s own report last week estimated the number of military women and men victimized was up by 35 percent over the past two years. … While 70 percent of women and 83 percent of men said they “would feel free to report sexual assault without fear of reprisals to a large extent,” only 44 percent of those women who reported assaults were satisfied with their commanders’ handling of their cases; 33 percent said they were dissatisfied. In fact, only 3,374 reports of sexual assault were filed in fiscal 2012, last week’s report said, while the Pentagon survey said some 26,000 troops told the survey they had experienced “unwanted sexual contact.” Women who had been sexually harassed said that more than half of the offenders were military co-workers, 28 percent were military personnel and 27 percent were “in their military chain of command.” …
Apparently not enough is being done by the military itself to prosecute and punish sexual offenders, so now Congress may try to deal with the problem more effectively with legislation.
That will put a stop to the shenanigans, wouldn’t you say?
Who gives a damn for the brave dead of Benghazi?
Neal Boortz wrote this yesterday, being realistic, but also bitter:
Here we go. The House Oversight Committee hearings on Benghazi begin today, and do you know what we’re going to learn? We’re going to learn that 0bama and Hillary Clinton were informed almost immediately that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was being waged by Islamic jihadists connected to al Qaeda. Then we’re going to learn that 0bama and Hillary immediately went into protective mode … protecting 0bama’s reelection efforts and Hillary’s chances for 2016.
His spelling of the President’s name with a small “o” as “obama” – so insistently that even when the “o” comes at the begining of a sentence it remains in the lower case – suggests that it might become a common noun, as occasionally happens with a name when its owner is identified with a particular idea or invention (eg. “orwellian”, “a clerihew”, “a crapper”.) What might “an obama” be? Perhaps it might come to be said that when a nation “commits an obama” they give an enemy in their midst supreme power over them.
0bama had a narrative to protect. His diplomatic efforts in the Middle East had brought about a new era of cooperation and peace, right? Al Qaeda was on the run and all but decimated, right?
About (former) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton he is kinder than perhaps he need be. We think she is guilty not only of incompetence but actual malfeasance; that she was in on the rotten plans the President had for the Arab states and liked them as much as he did. We strongly suspect it was her idea to hire terrorists to protect the US mission in Benghazi (the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, affiliated with al-Qaeda), and that she it was who wanted to avoid any appearance of US counter-force against any Arab force, and so had rescue teams that could have saved the mission and the men ordered to stand down.
Neal Boortz writes:
Hillary? She had incompetence to cover up. Almost immediately she came to understand that this consulate had requested additional security and protection, and that her chain of command had said no. Now she had four dead Americans, including one dead Ambassador to deal with. The 3:00 am phone call came, and her phone was turned off.
There was one current and one future presidency to be saved here, so a narrative had to be developed and presented to the American people that would clear 0bama and Hillary of any culpability. So not only did they come up with this phony YouTube video lie, they actually used the police power of the Executive branch of government to take an American citizen, an unknown video producer from California, and jam him in jail on spurious (at best) charges in order to support their phony and entirely contrived YouTube video narrative.
Now, as the hearings begin, we have luminaries such as Senator Lindsey Graham, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and my friend Mike Huckabee all predicting, to one degree or another, dreadful times ahead for 0bama. The predictions range from a Watergate-style scandal to outright impeachment.
And we have been happy to hear them.
But we should brace ourselves for disappointment:
Forget it. Ain’t going to happen. You’re dreaming.
But why, when their guilt – at the very least as callous swine and outrageous liars – has been proved?
Only a minority of Americans give a flying widget about any 0bama cover-up of the Benghazi matter. They are more likely to buy into White House Spokesman Jay Carney’s “That was a long time ago” narrative, or Hillary’s “What difference does it make” rant than they are to actually care about a deliberate, lying cover-up of the reasons behind the death of four Americans.
Which, if true, is a very sad verdict on most Americans.
Watergate? Gimme a big league break here. There’s a HUGE difference between 0bama’s problems with Benghazi and Nixon’s Watergate mess.
What is so different?
When the Watergate scandal broke we had a New York and D.C. press corps with a burning desire to destroy Richard Nixon. With 0bama and the Benghazi scandal we have the very same press corps ready to do anything it can reasonably expect to get away with to protect their God-like hero and preserve his presidency.
“But people died in Benghazi!” you say? And you think that’s enough to stop the 0bama hero-worship among the Fourth Estate?
But what about the American people? Really? Think about that for a few moments. Now … you’re not telling me that the same people who put this colossal failure back into the White House for four more years is going to get worked up over Benghazi, are you?
Ah! – now we feel the cold clutch of despair on the political section of our heart!
Let me tell you what the American people are concerned with right now – and we’re talking about those who aren’t gunched up with 24/7 discussions about college football recruiting and gay NBA players. In a nutshell (and thank goodness for the few exceptions we DO have) the majority of the American people are more worried right now about acquiring and keeping their monthly checks from the government than they are about 0bama’s lies or foreign policy failures. They think a Benghazi is a small yappy dog. …
Benghazi 0bama’s Watergate? For that to happen you need concerned citizens who actually care and a media that will do it’s job objectively. Both ingredients are in short supply.
It’s going to be a great show, to be sure. But in the end it adds up to nothing.
… instead of doing its job, defined by the UN as keeping southern Lebanon free of Hizbollah, and preventing that huge terrorist organization from re-arming.
The hobby lessons are paid for in large part by US tax payers.
This is from PJ Media, by Claudia Rosett – the most reliable authority on all things UN:
The news is full of reports that Israeli air strikes have targeted Iranian-supplied missiles in Syria, which Israeli officials believe were intended for Hezbollah — Iran’s satellite terrorist organization in Lebanon. Midway through a New York Times story on this development comes a reminder that:
“Hezbollah is now believed to have more missiles and fighters than it had before its 2006 battle with Israel, when Hezbollah missiles forced a third of Israel’s population into shelters and hit as far south as Haifa.”
“More missiles” may be putting it modestly. In 2011, Israeli authorities said that Hezbollah had rearmed to the extent of amassing more than three times the weapons it had prior to the 2006 war. Supplementing their allegations with detailed maps, Israeli officials charged that Hezbollah had created a network across southern Lebanon of almost 1,000 rocket and missile facilities, including 550 bunkers and 100 weapons storage units.
All of which raises the question of what’s going on with the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, known as UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon). UNIFIL was beefed up, at significant cost, after the 2006 war, with the professed aim of ensuring that Hezbollah would not rearm. As spelled out in 2006 in UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which was supposed to secure peace, UNIFIL’s mandate included helping Lebanon’s armed forces ensure that southern Lebanon, bordering on Israel, would be — to quote from the UNIFIL web site — “an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL deployed in the area.” …
Obviously … that mandate for ensuring an area free of Hezbollah munitions has not worked out. …
UNIFIL remains in southern Lebanon, on an annual budget now totaling almost $550 million (more than 27% of that funded by U.S. taxpayers), with more than 11,000 peacekeeping troops. …
“So,” Claudia Rosett asks rhetorically, “what is UNIFIL doing?” And she tells us:
Well, they are embodying diversity, with troops from 38 countries. They have put out a 2013 calendar featuring “Women of UNIFIL.” And according to UNIFIL’s web site, they have been providing quite an array of services to the local community:
“UNIFIL contingents provide free medical, dental, veterinary and such other assistance to the local population.” Beyond that. they have been providing training programs for the locals, “in such fields as computers, languages, bread making, knitting, yoga, taekwondo and so on.”
So, while UNIFIL has proved unable to stop Hezbollah from amplifying its previous military facilities into a warren of hundreds of bunkers stuffed with thousand of rockets and missiles, UNIFIL has been toiling away to provide everything from computer instruction to free medical care to yoga, knitting, and taekwondo lessons to the local population that hosts these Hezbollah weapons facilities. Should we really call this peacekeeping? Sounds more like free services for Hezbollah.
The UN must be destroyed.
What is Israel doing about the massive arming of Hezbollah?
The following paragraph is a digest of quotations from this article, and was first posted on our TAC Facebook page:
[Yesterday, May 5, 2013] Israel conducted a second round of strikes in three days on advanced weapons including Iranian F-110 weapons bound for Hizballah in transit at Damascus international airport. Syrian TV reported only an attack on the Jamraya military research center just north of Damascus. This was the same facility which Israeli planes attacked in January. Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said that the strike on Syria overnight represented a “declaration of war” by Israel. Russian and Iranian media earlier predicted full-scale Middle East hostilities involving Israel erupting in the coming hours, in the wake of Israel’s renewed strikes against Iranian missiles bound for Hizballah and other targets around Damascus. Russian sources reported rumors that President Bashar Assad was on the point of declaring war on Israel. Russia Today claimed that an Israeli rocket strike caused heavy Syrian casualties – according to rumors, at least 300 members of the Syrian Army’s 501st Unit dead and hundreds filling four Damascus hospitals. If this is confirmed, then the unit which operates the chemical weapon facility at the Barzeh district north of Damascus at the foot of Mt. Qassioun was hit. Israel’s security cabinet holds emergency session.
President Obama is considering supporting the Syrian rebels with “lethal aid”. We think that, far from this being a “reversal of policy”, he has been intending to do so ever since the rebellion started. And not only intending to do it, but actually doing it, by surreptitiously transferring arms to them from Libya – and that that is the secret, or part of the secret, the Benghazi cover-up is all about.
The rebels in Syria are not democrats. They are an alliance of jihadi groups intending to impose sharia law on Syria. Obama and his minions will help them into power.
The killing of Osama bin Laden, the drone attacks on al-Qaeda leaders, the detaining of jihadis in Gitmo, the apparent approval by the administration of Muslim terrorist trials inside the US, are all so much wool pulled over the eyes of the American public.
But we can no more fail to see that Obama wants to assist Islam with its jihad – its war of global conquest – than we can fail to see the sun. He must deeply believe it would be good for America to become an Islam-dominated nation. (And good for the world to be ruled by a caliphate.) He is aiding the Muslim Brotherhood overtly in its power grab in Egypt, preventing any effective action against Iran becoming a nuclear power, hugely increasing the granting of visas and green cards to Muslim immigrants into the US, and he has made the United States government itself an instrument of jihad, allowing the penetration of government departments, including the secret services, by personnel connected with militant Islamic organizations, and - worst of all – by weakening and destroying the capacity of the United States to counter the jihad.
Here is Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Military Affairs Fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, describing how this radically transformative action has been accomplished.
The classicist Donald Kagan has given his last lecture at Yale, leaving it now in the hands of the pirates of education – the Left.
These are extracts from an article titled “Democracy May Have Had Its Day” by Matthew Kaminski in the Wall Street Journal:
Universities, he proposed, are failing students and hurting American democracy. …
On campus, he said, “I find a kind of cultural void, an ignorance of the past, a sense of rootlessness and aimlessness.”
Rare are “faculty with atypical views,” he charged. “Still rarer is an informed understanding of the traditions and institutions of our Western civilization and of our country and an appreciation of their special qualities and values.” He counseled schools to adopt “a common core of studies” in the history, literature and philosophy “of our culture.” By “our” he means Western.
This might once have been called incitement. In 1990, as dean of Yale College, Mr. Kagan argued for the centrality of the study of Western civilization in an “infamous” (his phrase) address to incoming freshmen. A storm followed. He was called a racist — or as the campus daily more politely editorialized, a peddler of “European cultural arrogance.”
Oh for some European cultural arrogance!
Not so now. Mr. Kagan received a long standing ovation from students and alumni in the packed auditorium. Heading into retirement, he has been feted as a beloved and popular teacher and Yale icon. The PC wars of the 1990s feel dated. Maybe, as one undergrad told me after the lecture, “the pendulum has started to swing back” toward traditional values in education.
Has it? Is political correctness outdated? Or becoming outdated? Isn’t that too good to be true?
Mr. Kagan offers another explanation [to the author of the article, in an interview]….
Actually, he’s Dr. Kagan. Or Professor Kagan (since we don’t do as the Germans do and string the titles together to make “Professor Dr.”). But for all we know Donald Kagan prefers the Mr.
“You can’t have a fight,” he says … “because you don’t have two sides. The other side won.”
He means across academia, but that is also true in his case. Mr. Kagan resigned the deanship in April 1992, lobbing a parting bomb at the faculty that bucked his administration. His plans to create a special Western Civilization course at Yale — funded with a $20 million gift from philanthropist and Yale alum Lee Bass, who was inspired by the 1990 lecture — blew up three years later amid a political backlash. “I still cry when I think about it,” says Mr. Kagan.
As he looks at his Yale colleagues today, he says, “you can’t find members of the faculty who have different opinions.” I point at him. “Not anymore!” he says and laughs. …
Democracy, wrote Mr. Kagan in “Pericles of Athens” (1991), is “one of the rarest, most delicate and fragile flowers in the jungle of human experience.” It relies on “free, autonomous and self-reliant” citizens and “extraordinary leadership” to flourish, even survive. These kinds of citizens aren’t born—they need to be educated. …
“Meaningful freedom means that you have choices to make,” Mr. Kagan says. “At the university, there must be intellectual variety. If you don’t have that, it’s not only that you are deprived of knowing some of the things you might know. It’s that you are deprived of testing the things that you do know or do think you know or believe in, so that your knowledge is superficial.”
As dean, Mr. Kagan championed hard sciences, rigorous hiring standards for faculty, and the protection of free speech. Those who see liberal education in crisis return to those ideas. “Crisis suggests it might recover,” Mr. Kagan shoots back. “Maybe it’s had its day. Democracy may have had its day. Concerns about the decline of liberty in our whole polity is what threatens all of the aspects of it, including democracy.”
Taking a grim view of the Periclean era in Athens, Plato and Aristotle believed that democracy inevitably led to tyranny. The Founding Fathers took on their criticism and strove to balance liberty with equality under the law. Mr. Kagan, who grew up a Truman Democrat, says that when he was young the U.S. needed to redress an imbalance by emphasizing equality. The elite universities after the war opened to minorities and women, not to mention Brooklyn College grads like himself—then “it was all about merit,” he says.
The 1960s brought a shift and marked his own political awakening. Teaching at Cornell, Mr. Kagan watched armed black students occupy a university building in 1969. The administration caved to their demands without asking them to give up their rifles and bandoliers. He joined Allan Bloom and other colleagues in protest. In the fall of that year, he moved to Yale. Bloom ended up at the University of Chicago and in 1987 published “The Closing of the American Mind,” his best-selling attack on the shortcomings of higher education.
In the decades since, faculties have gained “extraordinary authority” over universities, Mr. Kagan says. The changes in the universities were mirrored in the society at large. “The tendency in this century and in the previous century at least has been toward equality of result and every other kind of equality that could be claimed without much regard for liberty,” he says. “Right now the menace is certainly to liberty.”
Yes, and it is impossible to have equality of result and liberty at the same time. In other words, it is impossible to have socialism and liberty. One or the other is the choice.
His lifelong passion is Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War — the epic clash between those former allies, militaristic Sparta and democratic Athens … As Thucydides wrote, people go to war out of “honor, fear and interest.” War, he also said, “is a violent teacher.” Another enduring lesson from him, says Mr. Kagan, is “that you can expect people, whatever they may be, to seek to maximize their power” — then a slight pause — “unless they’re Europeans and have checked their brains at the door, so mortified are they, understandably, by what happened to them in the 20th century. They can’t be taken seriously.”
We would say “morbid” rather than “mortified” because of what they did to themselves in the 20th century. It’s a long slow suicide, but few Europeans heard in the public arena seem to realize it.
These days the burden of seriousness among free states falls on America, a fickle and unusual power. The Romans had no qualms about quashing their enemies, big or small. While the U.S. won two global conflicts and imposed and protected the current global order, the recent record shows failed or inconclusive engagements in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
Some would argue that free societies are too soft to fight brutal wars too long. Mr. Kagan offers culture and political leadership as an explanation. “We’re a certain kind of culture which makes it hard for us to behave rationally when the rational thing is to be tough,” he says. “We can do it when we’re scared to death and there seem to be no alternatives. When it’s time to nail down something, we very often sneak away.”
Some would argue that free societies are too soft to fight brutal wars too long. Mr. Kagan offers culture and political leadership as an explanation. “We’re a certain kind of culture which makes it hard for us to behave rationally when the rational thing is to be tough,” he says. “We can do it when we’re scared to death and there seem to be no alternatives. When it’s time to nail down something, we very often sneak away.”
The protection and distance offered by two oceans gives America the idea — or delusion — of being able to stay out of the world’s problems.
Libertarians, please note.
Mr. Kagan also wonders about possible “geocultural” shifts at play. A hundred years ago, most people worked the land for themselves. Today they work for a paycheck, usually in an office. “Fundamentally we are dependent on people who pay our salaries,” says Mr. Kagan. “In the liberal era, in our lifetime, we have come more to expect it is the job of the government to provide for the needs that we can’t provide. Everything is negotiable. Everything is subject to talk.” Maybe that has weakened the American will.
Also don’t forget, says Mr. Kagan, “unsubtle Christianity” and its strong strain of pacifism. “Who else has a religion filled with the notion ‘turn the other cheek’?” he asks. … “If you’re gonna turn the other cheek, go home. Give up the ball.”
In 2000, Mr. Kagan and his younger son, Frederick, a military historian and analyst, published “While America Sleeps.” The book argued for the reversal of the Clinton Cold War peace dividend to meet unforeseen but inevitable threats to come. The timing was uncanny. A year later, 9/11 forced the Pentagon to rearm.
With the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the U.S. is slashing defense again. “We do it every time,” Mr. Kagan says. “Failing to understand the most elementary childish fact, which is: If you don’t want trouble with somebody else, be sure he has something to be afraid of.” …
His 1995 book, “On the Origins of War,” made a moral and strategic case to exert as much effort and money to safeguard peace as to win a war.
Thucydides identified man’s potential for folly and greatness. Mr. Kagan these days tends toward the darker view. He sees threats coming from Iran and in Asia, yet no leadership serious about taking them up. The public is too ignorant or irresponsible to care. “When you allow yourself to think of it, you don’t know whether you are going to laugh or cry,” he says.
The Kagan thesis is bleak but not fatalistic. The fight to shape free citizens in schools, through the media and in the public square goes on. “There is no hope for anything if you don’t have a population that buys into a strong and free society,” he says. “That can only be taught. It doesn’t come in nature.”
So does Donald Kagan have hope that “the pendulum is swinging back”? Towards variety of ideas and traditional standards in higher education? Towards liberty and an understanding of the value of liberty? Towards strong democracy?
If so, we wish we could share that hope, but see nothing to encourage it. He has switched off his light at Yale. Is there another?
We need to engage the argument raised by Mark Tapson in a review article titled Christianity, Islam, Atheism. It is also the title of a book he is reviewing. We have not read the book, and we trust him to be giving a fair representation of what the author says in it. We examine the ideas as Mark Tapson presents them to us:
Now that the Boston bombers have turned out, contrary to the fervent hope of the left, to be not Tea Partiers but Muslims, the media are spinning the terrorists’ motive away from jihad and shrugging, helplessly mystified, about the “senseless” attacks. And so our willful blindness about Islam continues. Nearly a dozen years after the 9/11 attacks, too many Americans still cling to militant denial about the clear and present danger of an Islamic fundamentalism surging against an anemic Western culture. What will it take to educate them? And once awakened, what steps can we take to reverse the tide?
The vicious Boston attack makes these questions and William “Kirk” Kilpatrick’s new book Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West all the more timely. [The book is] intended not only as a wake-up call to the West about Islam, but also as a practical guide, especially for Christians, to push back against its spread and to countering Islam’s Western apologists.
Christianity, Islam, and Atheism opens with a section titled “The Islamic Threat,” in which Kilpatrick describes the rise of supremacist Islam and our correspondingly tepid defense of Western values.
It is true that supremacist Islam is rising, and that the West is defending its values only tepidly.
Our collapse in the face of Islam, he says, is due in large part to our abandonment of Christianity, which has led to “a population vacuum and a spiritual vacuum” that Islam has rushed to fill.
None of that is true. The West has not yet “collapsed in the face of Islam”, it has just ceded too much ground. By “population vacuum” we suppose he means the shrinking populations of the European countries, which are importing population (the wrong – Muslim – population) to compensate for a shortage of workers, but whose socialist economies cannot provide enough jobs for the immigrants once they’re there.
As for “a spiritual vacuum”, it exists only in the eyes of these Christians who notice that once-Christian Europe has become largely non-religious. Europeans who still want to believe in a skylord have not shown a new fascination with Allah; most of them have stuck to Jesus or the Trinity.
It seems that a lot of prisoners convert to Islam. Some say that’s because they get better food and other privileges that the European authorities have been intimidated into conceding to Muslims. It may be, of course, that the cruel and blood-thirsty god Allah* exerts an irresistible pull on villainous men, but it’s a bit of a stretch to call that “filling a spiritual vacuum”.
“A secular society… can’t fight a spiritual war,” Kilpatrick writes. Contrary to the multiculturalist fantasy dominant in the West today, “cultures aren’t the same because religions aren’t the same. Some religions are more rational, more compassionate, more forgiving, and more peaceful than others.” …
That depends on what historical era you are looking at. Today most Christian sects are usually peaceful. But that hasn’t always been the case, and may not be the case in the future.
As for Christianity being more compassionate, sure it is in theory but again has not always been in practice. And whether compassion is as desirable a value as Christianity insists it is, remains philosophically open to question.
The same can be said of forgiveness. In our view forgiveness is not a very good idea. First, it makes no difference to what has been done. Second, and more important, it is contrary to justice.
As for some religions being more rational than others, all religions depend on faith, not reason. It is impossible to argue that one irrationality is superior to another.
Kilpatrick notes that Christians today have lost all cultural confidence and are suffering a “crisis of masculinity,” thanks to the feminizing influences of multiculturalism and feminism. He devotes significant space to encouraging Christians to, well, grow a pair, to put it indelicately, in order to confront Islam, the “most hypermasculine religion in history”:
“On the one hand, you have a growing population of Muslim believers brimming with masculine self-confidence and assertiveness about their faith, and on the other hand, you have a dwindling population of Christians who are long on nurturance and sensitivity but short on manpower. Who seems more likely to prevail?”
We take his point. We would be happy to see well armed muscular Christian men marching to war – literally, not figuratively – against Islam.
Kilpatrick devotes a chapter to “The Comparison” between Islam and Christianity, in which he points out that Christians who buy into the concept of interfaith unity with Muslims would do well to look more closely at our irreconcilable differences instead of our limited common ground; he demonstrates, for example, that the imitation of Christ and the imitation of Muhammad lead a believer in radically different directions.
Again, not always. Leaving aside the question of whether Christians killing other Christians and non-Christians believed they were acting as their Christ would have acted in the same circumstances, there were centuries during which multitudes of Christians “imitated Christ” by rejecting this world and deliberately seeking hideous martyrdoms. Some still do. As Muslims do.
In “The Culture War and the Terror War” section, Kilpatrick notes that Christianity is on the losing side of the many fronts of our own culture war, and this doesn’t bode well for the West’s clash with a resurgent Islam. An obsession with the shallow, ephemeral distractions of pop culture isn’t helping to shore up our cultural foundations. “Our survival,” he writes, “hinges not on generating a succession of momentary sensations, but on finding narratives that tell us who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going”:
“Our ability to resist aggression – whether cultural or military – depends on the conviction that we have something worth defending: something that ought to be preserved not only for our own sake but also for the sake of those who attack us.”
Yes. But that something doesn’t have to be the irrational beliefs and moral sentimentalities of Christianity. It could, for instance, be one’s country. And for Americans that could mean the high values that America was founded to embody, above all individual freedom under the law.
In the section “Islam’s Enablers,” Kilpatrick addresses the multiculturalists, secularists, atheists, and Christian apologists for Islam whose intellectual influences have contributed to the moral decline and Islamization of the West. In a chapter with the great title “Multiculturalists: Why Johnny Can’t Read the Writing on the Wall,” Kilpatrick comments on the indoctrinating impact of multicultural educators and their whitewashing of Islam and denigration of our own culture:
“[O]ur students would have been better served if they had spent less time studying the Battle of Wounded Knee and more time studying the Battle of Lepanto, less time understanding the beauty of diversity and more time understanding the misery of dhimmitude.”
We wholly agree with this statement. We too see multiculturalism as as an evil. We see Christian apologists for Islam as fools. But how are secularists and atheists – as such – contributing to the moral decline of the West? Mark Tapson does not tell us, and we wonder if the book does.
Finally, in “The Cold War with Islam,” Kilpatrick is pessimistic of our desire to win the hearts and minds of “moderate Muslims.” He examines at length just what that label actually means, and then notes that such a strategy isn’t an especially helpful one:
The promotion of the moderate myth is counterproductive because it misleads the West into thinking that its problem is only with a small slice of Islam and because it strengthens the hand of traditional Islam, which is the source of radicalism, not the solution to it.
Again,we secularists-and-atheists agree.
Then comes this:
What are his recommendations for mounting a defense of our values against the aggressive spread of Islamic ones?
Reviving the commitment to our own Judeo-Christian values for starters, and then, “instead of a constant yielding to Islamic sensitivities, it may be time for some containment. Sharia… should not be allowed to spread through Western societies.” He touches on immigration, noting that it’s a problematic issue but suggesting that it’s reasonable to question the motives and agendas of immigrant groups. The message we must send? “Islam will not prevail. The West will not yield. You must accommodate to our values and way of life if you choose to live among us.”
As for going on the offensive, “instead of making excuses for Islam… we should be devoting our energies to exposing its hollowness,” relentlessly sowing the seeds of doubt among Muslims and encouraging them to abandon the faith.
In all of which we heartily concur except “reviving the commitment to our own Judeo-Christian values”. To which we will return.
Finally, there is this:
Taking that to the next level, Kilpatrick urges Christians to undertake the daunting task of mounting a widespread evangelizing of Muslims, luring them to Christianity with the liberating message of the Gospel. He concedes that this is a long-term strategy and we have no time to lose, but “both Islam and the left stand on very shaky ideological ground… Christians should take courage from knowing that in this war of ideas, all the best ideas are on their side.”
Yes, Islam and the left do stand on very shaky ideological ground. But so does Christianity. Its theology to start with is so super-absurd that it’s a wonder the early Christians managed to sell such a bill of goods even to ignorant slaves and women in the declining years of the Roman Empire.
But what are the moral-philosophical ideas of Christianity? Let’s look at a few of them, the ones that contemporary Christians commonly say they hold.
To love all mankind? Impossible. An encouragement to hypocrisy.
Forgiving wrongdoing? Unjust. Kindness to the guilty is cruelty to the righteous.
Loving the sinner while hating the sin? A refusal to hold individuals responsible for their actions.
Acting humble? Self-abasement is an act of pride, not humility. Pride is not bad, but dissimulation is.
Teaching Christian theology and mythology as “the Truth”? Not only wrong but self-defeating, as doctrines were never even settled, disputes over them being the cause of wars and persecution throughout Christian history.
Omitted from the discussion in the review article is the fact that multitudes of Christians are also devout leftists. While it is true that the left is coddling and kow-towing to Islam, it is also true that Christian churches are teaching Marxism, often under the name of “liberation theology”.
To speak of a “Judeo-Christian” tradition is to ignore the hideous fact that Christendom has been actively persecuting the Jews from the time its gospels were written. What is meant is that Christianity, after some initial hesitation, accepted part of the Jewish moral code. But citing a “Judeo-Christian tradition” ignores the fact that Christianity was a revolt against Judaism, and owes more to Greek mysticism and cosmogony, Greek other-worldliness, and Greek religious rites – the unrespectable side of classical culture – than it does to Judaism. It also ignores the thousand years of darkness that Christianity brought down on Europe. Europe owed its greatness not to a “Judeo-Christian” tradition, but to the classical enlightenment Christianity eclipsed, and its eventual rebirth.
We too would like the West to be true to the values and practices of its highly evolved civilization, which we would name not as compassion, forgiveness, charity, love, but as freedom, democratically elected government, law and order, tolerance, reason, the pursuit of science, and an endless striving to make human existence happy, long, informed, exploratory, and innovative.
Its passed time that those old bug-a-boo superstitions, shrouded in the cobwebs of the ages, were swept away.
Enough of Jehovah, the sometimes over-vengeful, sometimes just, tribal-chief type of tyrant.
He was dropped by the Christians, though they might pretend that he somehow weakened and mutated into their God the Father or dissolved into the whole of their mystical Greek-style Triune Godhead. As God the Father he’s been so inconspicuous as to be best pictured dozing if not comatose these last two thousand years. Enough of him.
Jesus the Christ, whether as plump European baby, or as golden-curled Caucasian male model in a full-length white nightgown, or as a tortured body executed for sedition by the Romans on a wooden cross, or as well-nourished judge seated on a stump with a cloud for a footstool condemning multitudes to Hell, has nothing of interest to offer enquiring minds. Enough of him.
As for Allah with his side-kick Muhammad – the savage bully and his mouthpiece – he could be dispelled with more certainty and speed if the West would give up religion, and all respect for religion as such.
The downfall of the gods began quite some time ago and is overdue. (No nod to Nazism-inspiring Wagner should be inferred.) They – the gods – should all have disappeared in the Enlightenment. But they’ve been allowed to hang about far too long. Away with them.
Let the West defend itself with confidence in its intellectual, secular-moral, economic, and military superiority; with guns, drones, Specter bombers, and nuclear war capability; with science, technology, intelligence, and the Constitution of the United States; and always above all with unrelenting critical analysis of all ideas.
* Quotation from the linked source: “There are 493 passages that either endorse violence or talk about the hatred of Allah for the infidels, meaning all non-Muslims. The Quran is a book mainly concerned with how Muslims are to think and act towards those outside of Islam; that is, either kill them or force them to live as second-class citizens and pay [special punitive] taxes (Jizya).” It explicitly commands Muslims to “kill the infidel” (eg. Koran 9:5). It prescribes atrocious punishments for such “crimes” as adultery, homosexuality and apostasy. It is a manual of instruction in barbaric aggression.
Seventeen months ago, on September 30, 2011, we posted an article on how Islam was winning its jihad against the non-Islamic world.
Here’s part of it:
Islam’s terrorist tactic is proving hugely powerful and has gained victories that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. It has cowed all the governments of western Europe, and innumerable authorities at all levels in the US. Islam is advancing day by day. Its terrorism is not practiced continually in all target countries, but the threat of it, and the memories of what has been done and could be done again at any moment, are always there. Because authorities are afraid, Islam creeps on.
Day by day, in Western countries into which Muslims migrate in ever-growing numbers, Islam gains its concessions, its privileges: here a mosque; there a partition of a public swimming pool for Muslim women; here a prayer room in a government building; there the removal from a public library of famous children’s books with pictures of pigs in them; here (in Britain for instance) the allowing of sharia courts and the upholding of their rulings by the state; there entitlements tamely paid to multiple Muslim wives by a welfare state with laws against polygamy; and here and here and here the establishment of faculties of Islamic studies, or even whole colleges, with immense grants of money from the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia. Chunks of history, such as the Holocaust, are omitted from school courses because they might offend Muslim students – let truth be damned. Defense contracting companies in the US fall under the ownership of Muslims, who divert a part of the profits – and what defense secrets? – to the Muslim Brotherhood. In places of hot battle, Iraq is plagued with terrorist attacks day after day; and in Afghanistan the Taliban is undefeated and undefeatable, and ready to re-assume its despotic rule when the coalition soldiers have departed. In Libya an al-Qaeda leader has seized a position of power. And all the while, the mullahs of Iran are preparing to attack the West with nuclear weapons.
True, there have not been any more planes flown into buildings in America, but smaller plots of destruction and mass murder are constantly being laid. True, some of them are foiled, but some are attempted (such as an underwear bomb in a plane over Detroit) and some carried out (such as the massacre at Fort Hood), and the motive behind all of them remains: jihad, the holy war of Islam, perpetually waged one way and another for the conquest of the world by successive generations of Muslims, and coming closer to success now than ever before in history.
Not a word needs to be changed.
This is from Investor’s Business Daily, by Andrew Malcom:
In the satellite photo above on a typical night, note the bustling glow of South Korea and the power-less dark North.
Obama administration officials … rushed to play down their own recent announcements of defensive U.S. military movements in response to threats and provocations from the hermit kingdom of North Korea. …
As with Iran, President Obama has chosen a diplomatic path of international sanctions to discourage the weapons program. As with Iran, they haven’t worked. So, as with Iran, Obama has chosen to apply more of them.
This winter the North set off another underground nuclear test. Then, in recent weeks its officials grew increasingly bombastic, threatening South Korea, shutting down joint economic projects and talking of imminent war with the United States. …
Reports from intelligence posts, so sophisticated they can eavesdrop on conversations between individual troop commanders, were leaked to the media, telling of ominous military movements in the North.
This is familiar behavior for Pyongyang, which regularly ramps up tensions for domestic political reasons and to be mollified by shipments of food and fuel oil and loosening of currency and trade restrictions.
It’s also possible, given the youth and inexperience of the new exalted great leader, Kim Jung-un, that the bombast reflects an internal power struggle. Few senior officials – even their first wives – get to retire in North Korea. They get dead, like Kim’s grandmother when she’d served her purpose.
North Korea is a nation of about 25 million diminutive people, a result of long-term malnutrition to support one of the world’s larger armies. A single modest bag of rice can cost a month’s salary. Brutal concentration camps house an estimated 150,000 political prisoners and release no survivors. …
The most immediate threat from North Korea … is not yet to the American mainland. It’s to South Korea (the capital of Seoul is barely 30 miles from the North). And it’s to Japan, where the U.S. maintains considerable forces, and Guam, home to major Pacific B-52 and nuclear submarine bases.
Just days ago Pentagon officials touted the build-up as involving B-52 “training mission” flyovers of the South, the deployment of anti-missile naval assets to the area and Guam, F-22 stealth Raptor flights and long-range “Hey, watch this” missions of B-2 bombers capable of carrying standard or nuclear weapons. The displays and maneuvers were meant to “reiterate the U.S. commitment to the security of our allies and partners,” spokesmen said.
Voice from a sensible American: “Well done and well said! The iron will of Barack Obama on display. The only superpower on earth warning the potty little tyranny in North Korea to pipe down or else.”
Voice from the Obama administration: “Who said that? Why are you calling us a superpower? Don’t you know it riles all the countries of the Third World? Hurts their feelings? Suggests they are inferior? If we don’t treat them with respect they may come to hate us. Do you want to take that risk? Shut up!”
Now Obama officials appear to be caving to the North’s threats and bluffs.
“We’re trying to turn the volume down,” an unidentified [shivering] one told CNN.
“We are absolutely trying to ratchet back the rhetoric,” another worried official told the cable channel.
“We became part of the cycle [of belligerent talk and gestures]. We allowed that to happen.”
“Oh, we are covered with shame! Are our faces red! We are soooo sorry, Kim Jung-un! Please forgive us? Here – here are some shiploads of food for you and your henchmen. Here’s some oil. And a heap of money. And more apologies.”
All delivered with a smiley face.
Three days ago The Blaze reported:
Amid mounting tensions with North Korea, the Pentagon has delayed an intercontinental ballistic missile test that had been planned for next week at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California …
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel decided to put off the long-planned Minuteman 3 test … because of concerns the launch could be misinterpreted and exacerbate the Korean crisis.
Margaret Thatcher died today.
Prime Minister David Cameron says, correctly, that she not only led Britain, she saved Britain.
Simon Richards, Director of The Freedom Association, writes to Jillian Becker, Council member of the TFA and editor -in-chief of The Atheist Conservative (as to all the other TFA Council members):
Margaret Thatcher: Freedom Fighter
So, the news that I and millions of other admirers of the greatest British Prime Minister since Churchill had long dreaded has finally come to pass. Let there be no mistake about it, Margaret Thatcher was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.
Faced with a Britain in a parlous state, where defeatism and demoralisation held sway, Margaret Thatcher grabbed the nation by the scruff of its neck and gave it back its self-belief. Decades of socialism and growing state control had undermined not only this country’s economy, but its belief that it had a future. Margaret Thatcher, championing the values that had made Britain great, transformed this country and gave it back its self belief.
After years of surrender to the over-mighty trades union barons, she stood up to them, on behalf of the silent majority, and defeated even [militant trade union leader] ‘King’ Arthur Scargill himself.
When that murdering, drunken tyrant Galtieri invaded the Falkland Islands, she fought to regain what was rightfully ours, restoring pride in Britain and her magnificent soldiers, sailors and airmen.
Margaret Thatcher championed ‘freedom under the law’, realising that a successful society must be based on respect for the individual and for the family. An early collection of her speeches, “Let Our Children Grow Tall”, said it all about her determination to restore independence of mind and self-respect, and grow tall is what a whole generation did. Many, though they benefited from her revival of the British economy and her extension of ownership to countless millions, will never see fit to thank the great Prime Minister who made their own successes possible. That is for them and their conscience.
Maggie, as so many knew her, was, for me, the very definition of courage – the embodiment of Britannia. I shall never forget seeing her, a small, surprisingly frail figure, outside 10 Downing Street on 4 May 1979 – Prime Minister for the first time. That frail figure stood up to the IRA, the PLO, the Soviet Empire, the EU and anybody else who threatened the freedom and democracy she cherished. She made me – and millions of others proud, once again, to be British.
On behalf of The Freedom Association, which upholds that ‘Freedom under the law’ which she championed, I give thanks for the magnificent life of a true fighter for freedom. She will always remain an inspiration to those of us who value individual freedom and the independence of the United Kingdom.
Just so. We at The Atheist Conservative do not “give thanks” for her life, but we are grateful to her for all she did, not just for Britain – which was much – but for the world. Above all, she and President Ronald Reagan won the war against the evil empire of the Soviet Union.
The New York Times in its report of Lady Thatcher’s death, refers to …
…the principles known as Thatcherism — the belief that economic freedom and individual liberty are interdependent, that personal responsibility and hard work are the only ways to national prosperity, and that the free-market democracies must stand firm against aggression.
And this is also from the NYT – which one must remember is hostile to “Thatcherism” but gets this right:
At home, Lady Thatcher’s political successes were decisive. She broke the power of the labor unions and forced the Labour Party to abandon its commitment to nationalized industry, redefine the role of the welfare state and accept the importance of the free market. In October 1980, 17 months into her first term, Prime Minister Thatcher faced disaster. More businesses were failing and more people were out of work than at any time since the Great Depression. Racial and class tensions smoldered so ominously that even close advisers worried that her push to stanch inflation, sell off nationalized industry and deregulate the economy was … courting chaos.
No such disaster, but the contrary happened:
Her policies revitalized British business, spurred industrial growth and swelled the middle class.
And this is from the Telegraph:
Lady Thatcher was the only British prime minister to leave behind a set of ideas about the role of the state which other leaders and nations strove to copy and apply … monetarism, privatisation, deregulation, small government, lower taxes and free trade …
Alas, the victories she won were not to last. The war goes on. We have to fight the same battles all over again, with the same set of ideas, on the the same principles.
Post Script: Jillian Becker in her book “L: A Novel History” considers what might have happened to Britain if Margaret Thatcher had not succeeded in quelling the race riots, defeating trade union militancy, and returning Britain to a free market economy.
Diana West, writing a column in the form of an open letter to General David Petraeus, suggests that he should be “testifying before the American people” about “national scandals” which, she accuses him, “you have so far successfully left in your dust”.
The scandals she means are:
Lying to the House Intelligence Committee about Benghazi twice; causing death and dismemberment of U.S. forces by directing them to walk the IED-packed roads of Afghanistan as part of a counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy to win Afghans’ trust; and your see-no-Islam COIN strategy itself.
And she asks him to -
Take that apparently bulletproof reputation of yours and use it to seek clemency for the so-called Leavenworth 10.
The Leavenworth 10? She explains:
This tag refers to a group of American soldiers now serving long prison terms mainly at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for crimes committed on your COIN battlefield in Iraq, and also Afghanistan. Across time and space, from desks in orderly offices peering into ghastly battlefields, obsessed military prosecutors have been able to see murder and even premeditated murder in the eyes of these soldiers who were blinded by the densest fog of war.
Since it was you who ordered these young men into the hostile urban combat zones in Iraq to win hearts and minds, since it was you who set them up, unable to tell friend from foe, to earn trust and confidence amid hostile outposts in Afghanistan, it should now be you who leads them out of their living hells. Long after the U.S. government has released tens of thousands of insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan — including Hezbollah mastermind Musa Daqduq, for example — it is time for you, the leading general in these wars, to declare that these young Americans, these American prisoners of COIN, have been punished enough.
She goes on to cite some of the Leavenworth 10 in particular – what they’re accused of, the draconian punishments they’ve been sentenced to endure:
I refer, for example, to 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, the elite Army Ranger whose last-ditch interrogation of an al-Qaida terrorist ended when, as forensic evidence indicates, he killed the detainee he was questioning in self-defense. Michael has served roughly four years behind bars, but that’s only a dent in his 15-year sentence.
There is Pvt. Corey Clagett, the most junior and the only imprisoned member of an Army squad implicated in following direct orders to shoot captured Iraqi insurgents in Operation Iron Triangle. Corey was sentenced to 18 years; cruelly and unusually, he has already spent nearly seven years in solitary confinement.
There is Sgt. Evan Vela, the first-tour Army sniper whose commander ordered him to kill a captured Iraqi struggling to blow the squad’s cover behind enemy lines. He was sentenced to 10 years.
There is also Sgt. Derrick Miller, an Army National Guard veteran of Afghanistan, who, during a harsh interrogation, killed in self-defense an Afghan who had penetrated his squad’s defensive perimeter. He received life in prison, with the possibility of parole in 10 years.
There are more such men whose names you should know — Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins (sentenced to 11 years), Army Master Sgt. John Hatley (sentenced to 40 years) — whose tragic stories should in truth keep you awake at night …
All of these young Americans marched into the crosshairs of COIN, the place where your hearts and minds strategy blew up, the place where living among, loving, respecting and bribing Iraqis and Afghans according to COIN’s see-no-Islam tenets became life-or-death propositions. These men managed to stay alive. According to COIN, that’s their main offense.
She asks him to plea for clemency for them.
As he hopes for forgiveness for himself, he should – we agree – want it for these men who are – yes – the victims of his misguided, even absurd policy, best summed up as a redirection of the American military in chaotic Iraq and savage Afganistan to act as an army of social workers rather than as warriors.