We first posted this on October 7, 2012.
We repeat it because at last an American leader has been moved by the plight of children in Syria to attack that hellhole with cruise missiles.
President Trump is coming in for much criticism for the action he took after seeing pictures of people, including children and babies, dying from being sprayed with poison gas. His attack on the airfield from which the gas was flown was to deter the Syrian dictator from ever again gassing the people he oppresses.
Many doubt that it was Assad who was responsible for the gassing. Some of our commenters on our Facebook page are depicting Assad as a heroic fighter against ISIS.
This will serve as a reminder to us all that there is no good side fighting in Syria – except, at least this once, President Trump.
Both [all] sides of the civil war in Syria torture children to death.
This is from Front Page, by Frank Crimi:
One of the more loathsome horrors of Syria’s civil war has been the deliberate targeting of Syrian children by both pro-government and rebel forces, barbarity which includes imprisonment, rape, torture, sexual abuse, murder, and use as human shields.
That gruesome reality has been chillingly documented in recently released reports by the United Nations [see that pig flying? – JB] and two British-based humanitarian groups working with Syrian refugees, War Child and Save the Children.
While children in war zones are normally caught in the crossfire between opposing forces, the purposeful targeting of young children, according to the July 2012 War Child report, make the Syrian conflict “disturbingly unique”.
Well, the War Child report is just plain wrong there. Palestinian terrorists have been purposely targeting Israeli children for decades – and killing their own (see our post The sacrifice of children to Allah, August 19, 2011). The Lord’s Army in Africa forces children to cook and eat their parents (see our post The Lord’s Army of child slave cannibals, June 14, 2011). We could make a long list. But the point is not whether what the Syrians are doing is unique, but that they are doing it.
They are –
… abducting children and imprisoning them in former schools which have been converted into specially designed torture centers.
There the children are –
… beaten, blindfolded, and subjected to stress positions, whipped with heavy electrical cables, and scarred by cigarette burns.
One of these victims was a 15-year-old boy named Khalid, tortured in his old school where his father had once been the principal, who said, “They hung me up from the ceiling by my wrists, with my feet off the ground. Then I was beaten. I was terrified.”
In some instances, captors would bind the children’s hands together so tightly that, according to one victim, “the veins in their wrists would start to bleed. I witnessed so many children dying from this torture”.
For some, the maltreatment inflicted was a form of “sexual torture,” sexual violence levied on both boys and girls, some as young as 12, which included “rape, penetration with objects, sexual groping, prolonged forced nudity, and electroshock and beatings to genitalia”. …
The type of sadistic punishment meted out to the children followed no formal protocol, but rather, according to a child sufferer who was subjected to electric shocks, “depended on what mood these men were in … They showed no sympathy, no mercy”.
This abject cruelty was pointedly expressed in the torture and death of a 6-year-old boy named Alaa, who was slated for torture because his father was an anti-government activist wanted by the Syrian regime. … Over the course of three days, the little boy was tortured, beaten and starved by his captors, with one 16-year-old witness to Alaa’s suffering saying, “I watched him die… He was terrified all the time. …”
They speak of the terror, but not of the pain. How can one not think of the pain? Of six year old children in pain. Think how they must have cried.
These children are housed like animals as well, inhumanely incarcerated in small, overcrowded rooms, often shared with decomposing bodies. Then, as they await their assigned date with their torturer, they are starved for days on end, with their only drinkable water available from the cell’s toilet. …
Children outside [these] deadly confines face equally lethal dangers, such as being used for target practice. …
One Syrian woman … witnessed two armed militia men betting on which of them could shoot an 8-year-old boy playing alone in a street. … The men shot the boy, but their shots didn’t kill him right away. As he lay bleeding, the boy’s mother tried to reach him but was kept back by the men, leaving the boy to die hours later alone in the street outside his home. …
While the Syrian government may treat a child’s life as worthless, it has discovered they possess some practical value … serving as human shields … placing them on the front of government tanks and armored personnel carriers as they advance into an opposition held area.
Pretty pointless really, as the opposition cares no more for children than the government does. Using children as shields can only work against people with moral principles and a conscience.
One Syrian man named Nabil witnessed such a barbarous and cowardly act when he [saw] two tanks entering his village with “children attached to them, tied up by their hands and feet, and by their torsos”, a sight which made Nabil feel so helpless that all he could do was cry.
Tanks “protected” by the bodies of living children – who will not deter the other side from shooting at the tank or blowing it up.
They must be very religious, the people who do such a thing.
Of course, none of this … comes as a complete shock given that pro-government forces had signaled their contempt for children early on in the Syrian uprising, disregard expressed in the form of regime snipers deliberately shooting children who were part of street protests.
In fact, so distasteful was the sight of child protesters to the Syrian regime that it would take its vengeance by attacking schools. In one village, pro-regime militia went to a grade school, picked 50 children at random, many of whom were as young as 6-years-old, and proceeded to tear out their fingernails….
While most of the acts of violent child assault and murder have been committed by Syrian security forces and pro-regime militias, such as the dreaded Shabiha militias, the hands of opposition forces are far from clean. … The Free Syrian Army (FSA) forcibly [recruited] children, some as young as 8-years-old, into their ranks. …
Syrian Christian children have been targeted, along with their families, by elements of the FSA and an assortment of armed Islamist and al-Qaeda-linked terror groups as part of a systematic cleansing of Syrian Christians.
Cleansing: derived from the iniquitous phrase “ethnic cleansing”, the word has become a euphemism for mass murder.
That cleansing includes the killing of whole families, the sacking of churches, and the forcible evacuation of Christians from towns and cities, such as the forced Christian exodus of nearly 50,000 people from Homs in which armed Islamists murdered more than 200 Christians, including entire families with young children. …
As Rob Williams, CEO of War Child, has said, “The Syrian conflict must now rank as one of the worst for the depth and scale of abuses against children,” adding that it “will scar Syria for generations”.
If Rob Williams means that a nation with too few children is “scarred”, he may be right. If he means that the parents of the murdered children will be “scarred” he must surely be right. But if he means that Syria’s reputation, as a people, will be scarred, we must say that we very much doubt it. Who will hold the torturing to death of children against the torturing killers? Christians? They forgive. Western opinion generally? There is no precedent to suggest it. So who will remember those children, and refuse to forgive?
Last week Bashar al-Assad attacked his own people and killed many of them with poison gas. President Trump ordered that two US ships patrolling the eastern Mediterranean fire cruise missiles to destroy the Syrian airfield from where the gas was carried and the aircraft that carried it.
We were delighted that he did. We cheered. The mass-murdering tyrant Assad and his allies and supporters, Russia and Iran, were being shown that the United States was no longer going to stand by while they committed such atrocities. We also applauded Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s announcement that Assad must go.
We invited our readers, both here on The Atheist Conservative website and on our Facebook page, to tell us what they thought about President Trump’s action.
Few agreed with us. Most said that Assad should be left in place because who knew what would follow his deposition. We argue that whatever followed, Syria could hardly experience worse than it has under Assad’s rule.
They argued that there was no firm evidence that Assad was responsible for the gassing. Some wanted him to be blamed and punished fairly, justly, as in an American court of law; not taking his past record into account; looking only at this particular atrocity and whether the evidence was strong enough for him to be found guilty of it.
Some declared that they had until now been Trump supporters, but his stroke against Assad had changed their view of him.
How many, we wonder, of those who voted Donald Trump into power now think he has done something so wrong that they regret their choice?
We cannot know. We do not trust the polls, and there is not going to be another presidential election in the near future to give the answer.
We can only point out that if we lose Trump, we lose the war. He is all we’ve got between us and the end of our civilization.
What war? How will it be the end of our civilization if we lose it?
Let’s look round the world and see what’s happening.
This is from an article at Gatestone by Guy Millière, titled Geert Wilders and the Suicide of Europe:
For years, the Dutch mainstream media have spread hatred and defamation against [Geert] Wilders for trying to warn the Dutch people – and Europe – about what their future will be if they continue their current immigration policies; in exchange, last December, a panel of three judges found him guilty of “inciting discrimination”. Newspapers and politicians all over Europe unceasingly describe him as a dangerous man and a rightist firebrand. Sometimes they call him a “fascist”.
What did Geert Wilders ever do to deserve that? None of his remarks ever incriminated any person or group because of their race or ethnicity. To charge him, the Dutch justice system had excessively and abusively to interpret words he used during a rally in which he asked if the Dutch wanted “fewer Moroccans”. None of Wilders’s speeches incites violence against anyone; the violence that surrounds him is directed only at him. He defends human rights and democratic principles and he is a resolute enemy of all forms of anti-Semitism.
His only “crime” is to denounce the danger represented by the Islamization of the Netherlands and the rest of Europe and to claim that Islam represents a mortal threat to freedom. …
What is happening in the Netherlands is similar to what is happening in most European countries. In the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden, the number of no-go zones is rapidly growing. Islamic riots occur more and more often. Ethnic gangs are growing more violent. Ethnic cleansing is transforming neighborhoods. Jews are leaving for Israel or North America.The Muslim population is sharply increasing. Radical mosques are proliferating. Islamic organizations are everywhere.
Politicians who dare to speak the way Geert Wilders does are treated the way Geert Wilders is treated : scorned, marginalized, put on trial.
The vision of the world in Western Europe is now “hegemonic”. It is based on the idea that the Western world is guilty; that all cultures are equal, and that Islamic culture is “more equal” than Western culture because Islam was supposedly so long oppressed by the West. What adherents of this view, that the West is guilty, “forget” is that Islam long oppressed the West: Muslim armies conquered Persia, the Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa and the Middle East, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and the Balkans, and virtually all of Eastern Europe. The Muslim armies were a constant threat until the marauding Ottoman troops were finally turned away at the Gates of Vienna in 1683.
This European vision also includes the idea that all conflicts can be peacefully settled, that appeasement is almost always a solution, and that Europe has no enemies.
It also stands on the idea that an enlightened elite must have the power, because if Adolf Hitler came to power through democratic means eighty years ago, letting people freely decide their fate might lead to ill.
The dream seems to be of a utopian future where poverty will be overcome by welfare systems, and violence will be defeated by openness and love.
Repeat: Islamic terrorism “will be defeated by openness and love”.
It is this vision of the world that may have prompted Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel to open the doors to more than a million unvetted Muslim migrants, despite a migrant crime wave and an increasing number of rapes and sexual assaults. The only candidate likely to beat Angela Merkel in this year’s German elections is a socialist, Martin Schulz, a former European Parliament president.
In France, Marine Le Pen, the only candidate who speaks of Islam and immigration, will almost certainly be defeated by Emmanuel Macron, a former minister in the government of François Hollande — a man who see no evil anywhere.
It is this vision of the world that also seems to have led British Prime Minister Theresa May to say that the Islamic attack on March 22 in Westminster was “not an act of Islamic terrorism”.
This romanticized, utopian vision of the world also explains why in Europe, people such as Geert Wilders are seen as the incarnation of evil, but radical Islam is considered a marginal nuisance bearing no relation to the “religion of peace”. Meanwhile, Wilders is condemned to live under protection as if he were in jail, while those who want to slaughter him — and who threaten millions of people in Europe — walk around free.
Of all the countries in Europe where the indigenous Europeans have capitulated to Islam, the one most eager to submit to that supremacist totalitarian conqueror is Sweden. Recently a jihadi drove a truck into a crowd of Swedes, killing four.
What will the Swedes – what remains of them – do to save themselves from Islamic terrorism?
They will ban the use of vehicles in Swedish cities:
Virginia Hale reports at Breitbart:
Cars and other vehicles “have turned into deadly weapons”, and should be banished from cities to stop attacks like the one in Stockholm from happening in future, according to Aftonbladet editorialist Eva Franchell.
Crackdowns on immigration or extremist ideology are not the way forward when it comes to terror prevention, according to the veteran journalist, writing after Friday’s terror attack in Stockholm left four people dead.
Instead, it is cars — which she calls “effective murder machines” — that Franchell says “[which] must simply be removed from city centres and places where people gather, if people are to be protected in future”.
Vehicles are “easy to steal, and so nothing has been able to stop their advance”, writes Ms. Franchell.
“It just isn’t reasonable that a big truck can be driven right into one of Stockholm’s busiest streets on a Friday afternoon right before Easter.”
Noting how it is a popular destination for tourists, Franchell says the city centre must be a “safe environment” for visitors to enjoy. She described it as “remarkable” that it is possible to drive around the Swedish capital’s medieval old town.
Outlining her vision for a car-free Stockholm, she argues: “Most problems with regards to mobility and public transport can be solved, and deliveries to shops and restaurants could take place at times when people aren’t out on the streets.”
“Vehicles have been allowed to dominate our cities for decades and it’s the people who need space. It’s vital now that cars be regulated,” the piece concludes.
The idea of reducing the number of cars in Swedish cities was backed last month by Sweden’s environment minister, who argued that driving is a gender equality issue as well as a matter of shrinking the nation’s carbon emissions.
“Cars are driven largely by men so by giving a lot of space to cars; we’re giving a lot of space to men — at the expense of women,” Karolina Skog explained.
Cars are evil, and the need to get rid of them is a feminist issue. Two big important fights to be engaged there, with cars and sex inequality.
So are we and President Trump in a very small minority of Westerners who think that we should use all our strength to defeat Islam and its helpers and allies?
We don’t know. But there are voices raised on our side.
This is from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, by Yaakov Lappin:
The conflict in Syria has long ceased being a civil war, becoming instead a clash between coalitions and blocs that divide the entire Middle East.
The Iranian-led axis is the most dangerous and highly armed bloc fighting in Syria. Bashar al-Assad’s regime is not an independent actor, but rather, a component of this wider axis. In many respects, Assad is a junior member of the Iranian coalition set up to fight for him.
Russia joined the Iranian axis in 2015, acting for its own reasons as the pro-Assad coalition’s air force, helping to preserve the Syrian regime.
This coalition enabled the Assad regime to conduct mass murder and ethnic cleansing of Sunnis from Syria, while also using unconventional weapons against civilians in an effort to terrorize rebel organizations into submission.
Feeling confident by its growing control of Syria, Iran also uses its regional coalition to arm, finance, and deploy Shi’ite jihadist agents all over the Middle East, and to attack those who stand in the way of Iranian domination.
The Iranian-led axis has been able to spread violence, terrorism, and Islamic militancy without facing repercussions.
Until recently, the United States focused its attention exclusively on Sunni jihadist threats – ISIS and al-Qaida-affiliated groups. While these terrorists certainly need to be attacked, turning a blind eye to the activities of the more powerful radical Shi’ite coalition did nothing to stop the region’s destabilization. In this context, Assad’s numerous crimes against humanity went unanswered.
This helped embolden Assad to use chemical weapons. It also gave the Iranians confidence to magnify their meddling in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, and to target many other states. The end result is Iran’s enhanced ability to export its Khomeiniest Islamic fundamentalist doctrine.
That sent a troubling message to America’s regional allies, who, in the face of these threats, formed a de facto coalition of pragmatic Sunni states – a coalition that includes Israel.
On April 6, the U.S. sent a signal that something may have changed. A cruise missile attack on an Assad regime air base, in response to a savage chemical weapons massacre in Idlib, Syria, was, first and foremost, a moral response to an intolerable act of evil.
But the strike also carries a wider prospective message about Washington’s new willingness to enforce red lines against Assad and his Shi’ite allies.
Potentially, it is an indication that the U.S. is willing to use its military prowess beyond the objective of targeting ISIS, and that it recognizes that Sunni jihadists are not the only global security threat that warrants the use of military force.
Statements by senior Trump administration officials indicate that a shift has occurred. “What you have in Syria is a very destructive cycle of violence perpetuated by ISIS, obviously, but also by this regime and their Iranian and Russian sponsors,” National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster told Fox News Sunday.
Russia must choose between its alignment with Assad, Iran, and Hizballah, and working with the United States, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday. The firm comment was made hours before he touched down in Moscow for talks.
According to U.S. officials, the April 6 missile attack destroyed 20 percent of Assad’s fighter jets. It represents the first time that Washington has taken military action against a member of the Iranian-led coalition.
The strike could evolve into a “dialogue of deterrence” that the U.S. initiates against dangerous actors. These radical actors all have “return addresses”, and are likely to prove responsive to cost-benefit considerations, despite their extreme ideology. They may think twice before considering further development and usage of unconventional weapons.
Washington is now able to exercise muscular diplomacy – the only kind that is effective in the Middle East – and inform all members of the Iran’s pro-Assad coalition that the deployment of unconventional weapons will not be tolerated. It can also begin to rally and strengthen the pro-American coalition of states in the Middle East, who seek to keep a lid on both ISIS and Iran.
With American officials indicating that they are “ready to do more” in Syria if necessary, signs suggest that the strike represents the start of a policy of deterrence, and leaving open future options for drawing additional red lines.
In theory, should Washington decide that Iran’s transfer of weapons and extremist Shi’ite military forces to other lands has reached unacceptable levels, or that Iran’s missile development program has gone far enough, it could call on Tehran to cease these activities. This call would carry substantially more weight following last week’s missile attack on the Syrian airbase.
The U.S. is in a better position to inform Assad and his allies that there is a limit to how far they can go in pursuing their murderous ambitions.
While the objective of creating a renewed American deterrent posture is vital, it should not be confused with plans for wider military intervention in the seemingly endless Syrian conflict.
There is little reason to believe that conventional weapons use against Syrian civilians is going to stop any time soon, or that the enormous tragedy suffered by the Syrian people is about to end.
And there is certainly no indication that the U.S. is planning to initiate large-scale military involvement in this failed state.
Hence, the missile strike should be seen for what it is: an attempt to boost American deterrence, which can then be leveraged to restrain radical actors that have, until now, been operating completely unchecked.
That is a message that will likely be heard loud and clear not only in Damascus, but also in Tehran, which has not given up its long-term ambition of building nuclear weapons.
North Korea, which helped build Syria’s plutonium nuclear plant (destroyed in 2007 in a reported Israeli air strike), and which maintains close links with Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, can be expected to take note as well.
If a policy of strategic deterrence follows the strike, it could have an impact on a coalition that is not just keeping Assad’s regime alive, but spreading its radical influence in many other areas.
In Syria, the Iranian Republican Guards Corps (IRGC) oversees ground operations across many battlefields to prop up Bashar al-Assad. Iran has gathered and armed tens of thousands of Shi’ite militia members from across the region into Syria, and manages a local force composed of 100,000 members. They fight alongside the Syrian Arab Army against Sunni rebel organizations, thereby increasing and entrenching Iranian influence.
The IRGC and its elite Quds Force are also helping to fill Hizballah’s weapons depots in Lebanon, with a vast array of surface-to-surface projectiles that are all pointed at Israel, often using Syria as an arms trafficking transit zone. Syria acts as a bridge that grants Iran access to Lebanon, and allows it to threaten both Israel and Jordan.
Jordan, an important U.S. ally, is deeply concerned by Iran’s actions in Syria, as evidenced by recent comments made by King Abdullah, who told the Washington Post that “there is an attempt to forge a geographic link between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah/Lebanon.” IRGC forces are stationed within a mere 45 miles from Jordan’s border, he warned, adding that any hostile forces approaching the Hashemite Kingdom “are not going to be tolerated”.
Hizballah, a Lebanese-based Iranian Shi’ite proxy, evolved into a powerful army by sending 7,000 to 9,000 of its own highly trained members into Syria’s ground war. It helped rescue the Assad regime from collapse, and took part in battles stretching from Aleppo to the Qalamoun Mountains northeast of Damascus.
Last year, the Arab League and the Sunni countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council all declared Hizballah to be a terrorist entity.
Just as Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias have poured into Syria, the same has happened in Iraq, where 100,000 fighters supported by Tehran fight alongside the Iraqi government forces against ISIS. The IRGC’s network extends to Yemen’s Houthi Ansar Allah forces, who receive Iranian assistance. Ansar Allah, a heavily armed Shi’ite military force, fires ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia on a regular basis.
The IRGC and Hizballah have been linked to a recent large-scale terrorist plot in Bahrain.
If the message addressed in the cruise missile strike is followed up with a strategy of deterrence, addressed to Ayatollah Khamenei as much as it was addressed to Assad, the U.S. could begin projecting to the world that it recognizes the threat posed by Shi’ite jihadists as much as it takes seriously the threat from their fundamentalist Sunni equivalents.
Washington’s campaign to pressure Russia to distance itself from its Middle Eastern allies could play an important part of this message.
It will take more than pressure. It will take war. If we want to save ourselves, we need all the cruise missiles we can make, and probably all the nukes too.
But if the West has no stomach for war, then it will perish in a state of “openness and love”, congratulating itself on its virtue: its fairness, its peacefulness, its generosity, its tolerance, its refusal to be racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, or sexist. A great moral victory. And then – no more fairness, peacefulness, generosity, tolerance. No women driving cars. Just Islam.
“It is not our business what happens in Syria,” some of our commenters have written on these pages and on our Facebook page. “We are not the policeman of the world.” “Let them kill each other.”
Many of our regular readers are libertarians. The big fault in the thinking of American libertarians is their preference for isolationism. As if what happens in the rest of the world has no effect on America.
But not all the commenters who want President Trump to do nothing about the gassing of civilians in Syria are libertarians. A few are conservatives who are well aware of the danger in isolationism, but who do not see Assad himself as a significant threat to any but his own people.
While Barack Obama stood back from interfering in Syria, refused to be the policeman of the world, and let Assad kill half a million of his own people, Russia crept up to become the dominant power in the Middle East. And not only by adopting Assad as its pet dictator on the Mediterranean, but far more dangerously by becoming Iran’s best friend – a position Barack Obama coveted. He begged for it, he groveled for it, he paid for it, but while the reigning mullahs accepted everything he gave them, they continued to treat him with the contempt he all too well deserved.
Under Russia’s protection, Iran has projected its destructive power into Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon – from where it is mounting a growing threat to Israel.
The anti-America axis formed by Russia, Iran, and Iran’s nuclear partner North Korea, needs to be broken up. Sending the Russians home from Syria would be a good start.
We quote from an article at the National Interest by Matthew RJ Brodsky:
Last week the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said that when it comes to Syria, “Our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out.” That expression of U.S. policy came the same day that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson intimated that Assad’s future would “be decided by the Syrian people”.
The Syrian people have tried to do precisely that since March 2011, but they were met by the regime’s snipers, tanks, aircraft, barrel bombs, chemical weapons, torture, mass graves and war crimes. Leaving Assad’s fate to the people matches the language espoused by Damascus, Tehran and Moscow, meaning Assad isn’t going anywhere. …
Secretary Tillerson had said, “Russia and Iran will bear moral responsibility,” but later added that he knew Assad was behind the attack. However, in the words of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, “There is not a fundamental option of regime change.”
Unfortunately, the lesson is that this is what happens when the U.S. telegraphs that vicious dictators who use chemical weapons against their own people can remain in power. It sends a message to North Korea and Iran, one that will not be lost on Hezbollah in any upcoming conflict with Israel.
Despite the wishes of some in the West, Bashar al-Assad is not a solution for Syria, nor should he be a solution for the United States. The overwhelmingly compelling moral reasons for such a decision are manifest at this point. Going beyond humanitarian considerations, the fabric of Syrian society is irreparably torn. [A] social compact provided the modicum of legitimacy necessary for the thirty-year reign of Bashar’s father until his death in 2000. Without it, Bashar lacks the legitimacy to rule anything beyond his own family or the Kalbiyya tribe from which he hails. Indeed, having turned on the Sunni population who represent 75 percent of the country, Bashar now stands as a great magnet to which jihadists of all stripes are attracted, and that pull will continue as long as he is in power.
There’s also the problem of strength — a necessary trait in Middle East leaders. Bashar doesn’t have the military capability to regain, hold and consolidate control over Syria even if such an outcome were desirable. …
Assad, who is currently conscripting old men and underage women to serve in his military, is wholly reliant on outside powers with interests directly opposed to those of the United States. In early 2013, the first critical moment came when Assad risked losing what was left of his power but Iran and Hezbollah intervened, bolstering the regime. The respite they provided proved to be temporary and their resources inadequate to the ultimate resolution of the conflict. Assad was once again on the ropes by September 2015, but was revived by Russia’s entry into the conflict. Even their considerable military assistance wasn’t enough to win decisively.
The fact that Assad and his backers have resorted to the repeated use of chemical weapons and the continuous targeting of hospitals and schools demonstrates the weakness of their combined conventional military strength.
Simply put, to advocate for Bashar to remain in power is to acquiesce in Russian president Vladimir Putin’s role as Syria’s kingmaker. [Putin’s] purpose in Syria is to keep Assad in power, provide security for [Russia’s] Iranian client and increase the Russian threat to NATO’s southern flank by upgrading and expanding its Mediterranean base in Tartus, making its presence a permanent feature in the Middle East.
Working to boost Assad also means strengthening Iran in their long pursued and nearly completed task of creating a Shia land corridor from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea, running through Iraq and Syria. … [This] will greatly add to [Iran’s] corrosive power before the key provisions of the nuclear deal fall away, greatly enhancing [its] position in the coming years. …
Sending Bashar al-Assad a military message that there are certain levels of barbarity that the world will not tolerate is a beginning. But ultimately, [Assad] needs to pay the price for his actions in a manner that will resonate loudest among the rogue regimes of the world that would consider the use of weapons of mass destruction. That will mean ensuring that the ruling Assad dynasty comes to an end in Syria.
Or America can run down its defenses, spend more on social security, open its borders, abolish its police forces, hide its flag, concentrate on learning new pronouns to cover as many sexual preferences as can be thought up in the safe play-rooms of the universities and the smelly streets of San Francisco and endlessly debate what bathrooms each pronoun can use, cover the land with bird-mincing windmills to provide a little energy now and then, fund the growing movement to humiliate white men, turn the public schools into madrassas, elect some corrupt narcissistic commie, preferably female, to lead the country, appoint judges who will rule according to their feelings, and die.
Last night the US Department of Defense put out this statement through Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis:
At the direction of the president, U.S. forces conducted a cruise missile strike against a Syrian Air Force airfield today at about 8:40 p.m. EDT (4:40 a.m., April 7, in Syria). The strike targeted Shayrat Airfield in Homs governorate, and were in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack April 4 in Khan Sheikhoun, which killed and injured hundreds of innocent Syrian people, including women and children.
The strike was conducted using Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) launched from the destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. A total of 59 TLAMs targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars. As always, the U.S. took extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties and to comply with the Law of Armed Conflict. Every precaution was taken to execute this strike with minimal risk to personnel at the airfield.
The strike was a proportional response to Assad’s heinous act. Shayrat Airfield was used to store chemical weapons and Syrian air forces. The U.S. intelligence community assesses that aircraft from Shayrat conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4. The strike was intended to deter the regime from using chemical weapons again.
Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line. U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.
We are assessing the results of the strike. Initial indications are that this strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian Government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons against innocent people will not be tolerated.
We applaud President Trump for keeping his word that he would act after the gassing of civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, and for acting decisively and effectively.
The strike sends a message to Russia, Iran, and North Korea that this president does what he says he will do, and he is willing to use the military might of the US against aggressors.
But questions arise:
The libertarian view is that the US should not have struck Syria because the US itself was not attacked. Is there merit in this view?
It needs to be asked: if Bashar Assad is deposed – as Secretary of State Tillerson has indicated is now a policy aim of the Trump administration- what will come after him? Is there anyone ready to succeed Assad who will govern the country any better?
Will chaos and violence prevail in Syria after Assad has gone, as it has in Libya ever since the death of its dictator Colonel Muammar Qaddafi?
Could any country possibly be in a worse, a more unstable, a more chaotic state, than Syria is now and has been for years?
Will Assad’s going make it easier for ISIS to take over the whole country?
If ISIS did that, would President Trump – with the necessary approval of Congress – declare war on Syria?
What will happen to the Christians in Syria who have been protected by Assad if he goes? ISIS policy is to convert or enslave or destroy them.
We invite readers’ answers to these questions, or any others which this dramatic turn in world affairs gives rise to.
A Muslim woman of Palestinian descent, Linda Sarsour, was one of the chief organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, January 21, 2017.
Along with Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian woman and convicted terrorist, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, helped organize “A Day Without a Woman” demonstrations on March 8, 2017.
Both demonstrations purported to be for “women’s rights”, though they were more discernibly protests against the Republican administration under President Trump and against the Republican Party. Their mobilization is an aspect of the fierce opposition that the American and international Socialist Left is conducting against the popular choice of capitalism, individualism, and the nation-state – recently proved by voters in the US and Britain.
Principles that the feminist movement claims to stand for are: equality with men, freedom of way-of-life choices, freedom from legal and cultural restraints particular to women, sexual freedom and absolute personal control over their own bodies.
Here are those ideas as (presumably) expressed by feminists:
- Working to increase equality: Feminist thought links ideas to action, insisting we should push for change toward gender equality and not just talk about it.
- Expanding human choice: Feminists believe that both men and women should have the freedom to develop their human interests and talents, even if those interests and talents conflict with the status quo. For example, if a woman wants to be a mechanic, she should have the right and opportunity to do so.
- Eliminating gender stratification: Feminists oppose laws and cultural norms that limit income, educational and job opportunities for women.
- Ending sexual violence & promoting sexual freedom: Feminists feel that women should have control over their sexuality and reproduction.
Feminism in fact has long since ceased to be a movement for women’s social and political equality with men, and become a sub-group of the international Left. But those principles are widely and generally considered fair and acceptable, so we will for the moment rate feminism according to its best aspirations. Above all feminism is conceived of as a women’s liberation movement.
Now, to come to the point, Linda Sarsour, feminist, urges the adoption of sharia law.
Here, briefly, is how sharia law applies to women*:
• A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
• A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
• Girls’ clitoris should be cut (Muhammad‘s words, Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
• A woman can have 1 husband, who can have up to 4 wives.
• A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
• A man can unilaterally divorce his wife; a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
• A divorced wife loses custody of all children over 6 years of age or when they exceed it.
• Testimonies of four male [eye-]witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
• A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
• A woman’s testimony in court, allowed in property cases, carries ½ the weight of a man’s.
• A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
• A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
• A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
Linda Sarsour apparently sees no incompatibility – glaringly obvious though it is – between the principles of feminism and the tenets of sharia. (Have any feminists noticed it? It doesn’t seem so.)
She does, however, say that it is impossible for a woman who supports Israel to be a feminist.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
Prominent Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, a leader in the feminist movement, said in an interview published Monday that Zionists cannot be feminists. …
It just doesn’t make any sense for someone to say, “Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement? There can’t be in feminism. You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. There’s just no way around it.”
In fact, Palestinian women in Israel have equal rights with all other citizens – the same rights citizens have in all the Western liberal democracies. They do not have these rights in Islamic countries.
The actual disabilities of women under sharia law, and in Muslim custom and culture generally, are far greater and more oppressive even than the letter of sharia law demands. It is no exaggeration to say that the status of a woman in traditional Islam is that of a slave.
Linda Sarsour will not be contradicted by the mainstream media or Democrats because she is seen by the Left as a Palestinian and therefore a victim.
Rasmea Odeh will be excused by the media and Democrats for bombing and murdering, because her victims were Israeli Jews.
The opposition that the American and international Socialist Left is conducting is most successful in the universities, where its activists use brutal physical violence against their perceived enemies, while simultaneously claiming to be intimidated victims needing protection from the speaking of ideas they don’t want to hear. The nearest representatives of their perceived enemies are fellow Jewish students – nearest and so most easily bullied and assaulted. They are picked on as the vulnerable part of the otherwise tough Big Enemy, whose names are: President Trump; the Republican Party; the Constitution; America; the nation-state; individual freedom; Western civilization.
*This summary is from a Christian source. It was the most succinct we could find for our purposes in this article, and we did consult other sources to confirm its accuracy.
The persecution of Christians by Muslims in the Middle East is not news. It is a continuous state of affairs, as much to be expected as unpleasant news is anywhere. It could even be said to be normal.
Among the few journalists who do not ignore it is Raymond Ibrahim. He reports on it frequently.
He recently wrote, at Canada Free Press, about a wave of attacks on Christians in Egypt:
Yet another murderous wave is taking Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority by storm, leading to yet another exodus from their homes.
Last week in al-Arish, Sinai, Islamic State affiliates killed a 65-year-old Christian man by shooting him in the head; they then abducted and tortured his 45-year-old son, before burning him alive and dumping his charred remains near a schoolyard.
The worshipers of “Allah the Merciful” gouged out his eyes, according to witnesses.
Perhaps because of its sensationalist nature — burning a human alive — this story was reported by some Western media. Yet the atrocities hardly begin or end there. Below is a list of Christians murdered in al-Arish in recent days and weeks:
- January 30: A 35-year-old Christian was in his small shop working with his wife and young son when three masked men walked in, opened fire on him, instantly killing the Copt. The murderers then sat around his table, eating chips and drinking soda, while the body lay in a pool of blood before the terrified wife and child.
- February 13: A 57-year-old Christian laborer was shot and killed as he tried to fight off masked men trying to kidnap his young son from off a crowded street in broad daylight. After murdering the father, they seized his young son and took him to an unknown location (where, per precedent, he is likely being tortured, possibly already killed, if a hefty ransom was not already paid).
- February 16: A 45-year-old Christian schoolteacher was moonlighting at his shoe shop with his wife, when masked men walked in the crowded shop and shot him dead.
- February 17: A 40-year-old medical doctor was killed by masked men who, after forcing him to stop his car, opened fire and killed him. He too leaves a widow and two children.
… This recent uptick in Christian persecution is believed to be in response to a video earlier released by the Islamic State in Sinai. In it, masked militants promise more attacks on the “worshipers of the cross”, a reference to the Copts of Egypt, whom they also referred to as their “favorite prey” and the “infidels who are empowering the West against Muslim nations”.
As a result of the recent slayings and threats of more to come, at least 300 Christians living in al-Arish have fled their homes, with nothing but their clothes on their backs and their children in their hands. Most have congregated in a Coptic church compound in neighboring Ismailia by the Suez Canal. …
Now here is a short list of measures NOT being taken to help Christian victims of religious persecution by Muslims:
The Pope is speaking out often, loud, and clear against the states that order, promote, sanction, allow, or tolerate the capture, rape, murder, enslavement and displacement of Christians.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is doing the same, and vigorously pressing the British government to demand that the governments of Islamic states put an end to this practice under threat of stopping financial aid. (Only 1% of Egypt’s aid comes from Britain, but the top recipients of British tax-payers’ money include the Islamic states of Pakistan, Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh. Nigeria is the country where Boko Haram – an affiliate of ISIS – has been burning, raping, abducting and mass-slaughtering Christians for years. We have posted often about Boko Haram. In particular, see here.)
The Evangelical Christians of America are pressing the US government to do likewise. (US aid to Egypt = $1.5 billion.)
The United Nations is passing resolutions against it, both in the General Assembly and the Security Council, and taking action to prevent and punish it wherever it is occurring.
Here’s a little more about what the Pope is doing in regard to this matter.
Robert Spencer writes at Jihad Watch:
AP reported … that Pope Francis “embraced the grand imam [Ahmed al-Tayeb] of Al-Azhar, the prestigious Sunni Muslim center of learning, reopening an important channel for Catholic-Muslim dialogue after a five-year lull and at a time of increased Islamic extremist attacks on Christians.” …
Muslims have massacred, exiled, forcibly converted or subjugated hundreds of thousands of Christians in Iraq and Syria. Have these “improved ties” [between the Vatican and the grand imam] saved even one Christian from suffering at the hands of Muslims? No, they haven’t. All they do is make the “dialogue” participants feel good about themselves, while the Middle Eastern Christians continue to suffer. In fact, the “dialogue” has actually harmed Middle Eastern Christians, by inducing Western Christian leaders to enforce silence about the persecution, for fear of offending their so-easily-offended Muslim “dialogue” partners.
Has the Pope welcomed any of the persecuted Christians to the Vatican? Or is that honor reserved only for this man, who will allow for “dialogue” only when his Christian “dialogue” partners maintain a respectful silence about Muslim massacres of Christians?
The Pope has not welcomed Christian refugees. He invited a pair of Syrian Christian refugee siblings to move to Rome, but changed his mind, disinvited them, and welcomed three Muslim families instead.
Steve Gern, an American in Iraq, presents a compelling argument for banning Middle Eastern “refugees” – Muslim would-be immigrants – from coming to the United States.
February 6, 2016. WE ARE LEAVING THIS POST AS IT IS, WITH A WITHDRAWN VIDEO THAT NO ONE CAN NOW SEE, TO DEMONSTRATE HOW FREE SPEECH IS BEING CURTAILED TO PROTECT ISLAM FROM TRUTHFUL CRITICISM.
THE ONLY SPEECH IN THE VIDEO THAT COULD BE CALLED “HATE SPEECH”, IS THE REPORTED DECLARATION BY MUSLIMS IN IRAQ THAT AN AMERICAN IS AT RISK OF BEING MURDERED THERE, BY IRAQIS, AT ANY MOMENT – FOR NO REASON BUT THAT HE IS AN AMERICAN AND AN “INFIDEL”.
Later news from Conservative Tribune, February 7, 2016:
Former Marine sergeant who was working as a security contractor in Iraq has been evacuated from the country after a video he made endorsing Donald Trump’s temporary immigration freeze went viral, garnering 43 million views.
Steven Gern’s video, which was posted on Facebook last week, has garnered over 289,000 likes in addition to its immense number of views. In it, Gern talked about asking locals in Iraq what would happen if he walked into town unprotected as an American.
They said he “absolutely would not be welcome.” When he asked what would happen to him, they said that he would be tortured and killed within an hour. The point of it is … this is the local populace who would do this. This isn’t ISIS, this isn’t Al Qaeda, this isn’t the PMU, this isn’t a militia from the Iranians, or anything like that. This is the local populace that would do this.
“So, my question to them was pretty simple after that: If you would do this to me, in your country, why would I let you into my country? Because all this means to me is that, if you have the opportunity to take the life of an American, you would do it.
“So, maybe there’s something you all need to think about back there,” he told his viewers. “If this is the way some of these cultures feel, if this is the way that these countries feel about Americans, why would you be so naive as to believe that if they came into the US, they would do anything any different than what they do right here in their own country?”
About Steve Gern:
Trump seems determined to fight radical Islamic terrorism, the greatest threat to the dignity and freedom of women all around the world. That already shows his commitment to liberty – especially liberty for women. Radical Islamic ideology is a universal threat. Wherever it is weakened or defeated, this helps liberate victims in other parts of the world, as well.
To so many persecuted peoples in the Middle East, Trump’s presidency represents hope for a positive change.
From Gatestone, by Uzay Bulut:
On January 21, some women’s rights groups organized “Women’s Marches” in many cities across the Unites States and around the world. The rallies largely targeted recently-inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump.
There were many speakers and participants. One, the actress Ashley Judd, read a poem in Washington D.C. that asked why “tampons are taxed when Viagra and Rogaine are not”.
As Ms. Judd talked about her devastating tragedy, thousands of Yazidi children and women were being forced into sexual slavery in Iraq and Syria at the hands of Islamic State (ISIS), and [made] available for purchase at sex-slave markets.
See our post, Who are/were the Yezidis, here. (The name can be transliterated as either “Yezidi” or “Yazidi”.)
ISIS attacked the Yazidi homeland of Shingal in Iraq on August 3, 2014; more than 9,000 Yazidis were killed, kidnapped, or sexually enslaved. Yazidis are a historically persecuted religious minority in the Middle East.
The Islamic State has institutionalized a culture of rape and sex-slavery. ISIS is waging a literal war against women. It has even published a “price list” of Yazidi and Christian girls – as young as one to nine years of age.
Picture via The Religion of Peace, where it is captioned:
The plight of Yazidi sex slaves and migrant rape victims was
overlooked by the recent “Women’s March” on Washington
– an ironic protest against Trump, partly for his views on
Sharia (which supports slavery) and Muslim migration.
Middle East scholar Raymond Ibrahim wrote about one Yazidi girl enslaved when she was 15 years old and endured months of captivity before she managed to escape:
I remember a man who looked at least 40 years old coming and taking a ten-year-old girl. When she resisted him, he beat her severely, using stones, and would have opened fire on her if she had not gone with him. Everything against her will. They used to come and buy the girls without a price, I mean, they used to tell us Yazidi girls, you are sabiya [spoils of war, sex slaves], you are kuffar [infidels], you are to be sold without a price,” meaning they had no base value. Some Yazidi girls were sold for a few packs of cigarettes. Every day I died 100 times over. Not just once. Every hour I died, every hour. … From the beating, from the misery, from the torture.
Mirza Ismail, founder and chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International, said in his speech at the U.S. Congress:
According to many escaped women and girls to whom I spoke in Northern Iraq, the abducted Yazidis, mostly women and children, number over 7,000. Some of those women and girls have had to watch 7-, 8-, and 9-year-old children bleed to death before their eyes, after being raped by ISIS militia multiple times a day. ISIS militias have burned many Yezidi girls alive for refusing to convert and marry ISIS men. Why? Because we are not Muslims …
In December 2015, reports disclosed that ISIS was selling Yazidi women and children in the southeastern city of Gaziantep (or Antep), Turkey. Gaziantep has come to be known for the widespread Islamic State activities in the city.
Turkey, it needs to be mentioned, is a member of NATO.
However, this and many other threats did not stop women’s rights defenders in Gaziantep from protesting the Turkish government’s inaction in the face of IS activities.
An activist from the group “Gaziantep Democratic Women’s Platform”, Fatma Keskintimur, read a statement to the press, which said in part:
That the jihadi gangs fighting in Syria has received the biggest support from Turkey and that the cell houses they use… [are] known by everybody. Given what kind of a danger this situation creates for those who live in Antep, the uneasiness of people is intensifying every day.
Even under these conditions, women’s rights defenders in Turkey — particularly Kurds — kept struggling and protesting the government.
Last year, for example, the “Yazidi Women’s Assembly” commemorated August 3rd as “the day of international action against massacres against women and genocide”. Members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) organized protests in many cities across Turkey to condemn the Yazidi genocide and show solidarity with the victims.
Safak Ozanlı, a former MP from the HDP, said that ISIS still held 3,000 Yazidi women as sex slaves:
ISIS sees women in Shingal and Kobane as war booty. The women who remain alive are sold to Arab sheikhs. We – as women – will stand united against ISIS and all dictators.
Members of the Alevi religious minority also supported the protest in Mersin. Zeynep Kaya Cavus, a leading Alevi activist, said that the Yazidi women are “kidnapped and enslaved as war booty and exposed to systematic sexual assaults and this is genocide against women”.
There are a few Americans, too, who are doing their best to help Yazidis, such as Amy L. Beam, a human rights activist who has been living with and advocating for Yazidis full time since 2014. Her book The Last Yezidi Genocide, is to be published shortly, and she is the executive director of “Amy, Azadi and Jiyan” (AAJ — “Friend, Freedom, and Life”), a humanitarian organization in Iraqi Kurdistan.
From which this is quoted:
Thousands of Yezidis have a long list of dead or missing family members under ISIS control in Iraq or Syria. Their psychology is very bad as they see very little international help on the one-year anniversary of the attack. Yazidi girls and women with their children … are subjected to repeated beatings and rape by ISIS fighters who each was given one girl as a war trophy. …
“One wishes that the women activists in the U.S. would raise their voices against the genocidal attacks on Yazidi women and children. But they have not. Women’s rights groups in the U.S. have not supported the women in Iraq and Syria who really are oppressed, kidnapped, and raped,” Beam told Gatestone.
Some of the participants of the women’s march in Washington claim that Trump will “take away their rights” – an accusation that many women who suffer under Islamist governments or organizations would find laughable. They are worried about being able to get an abortion … But it is not ayatollahs that have come to power in the U.S. Moreover, Trump seems determined to fight radical Islamic terrorism, the greatest threat to the dignity and freedom of women all around the world. That already shows his commitment to liberty – especially liberty for women.
Radical Islamic ideology is a universal threat. Wherever it is weakened or defeated, this helps liberate victims in other parts of the world, as well.
To so many persecuted peoples in the Middle East, Trump’s presidency represents hope for a positive change.
On November 7, the Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International issued a public statement titled “Yezidis look forward to a Trump presidency to help them wipe out ISIS”.
A Yazidi woman in Iraq has recently named her newborn baby boy “Trump”.
The Women’s March … violated the core principle of human rights: “The worst first”.
Sadly, many of the organizers and participants of the march chose to stand by and ignore women being tortured and exterminated by Islamic terrorists, and in other parts of the world, not being able to receive an education or even leave the house without the permission of a male.
If only these women felt as motivated to protest about the enslavement, rape and torture of Yazidi women and children, as about the cost of tampons.
Acting like self-serving, delusional fanatics, whose sheer hatred of an elected president blinds their eyes to the real problems of the world, does not help anyone. There have been just as many people who might have hated other presidents.
Let us with our actions remind women in the Middle East that we take their plight to heart.
No feminist will ever do that. They are narrow-minded self-pitying persons who defend Islamic practices and sharia law when they are asked why they don’t speak up for the appalling treatment most Muslim women endure. They apparently don’t have the imagination, the character, the heart, or the intellect to take notice of what Islam is doing to Yezidi and Christian women.
American women are the most privileged group of people who have ever existed. Yet hundreds of thousands of them marched, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, to protest their fate! They invent complaints. They pretend they are victims.
They are despicable.
We continue commentary on the article we discussed yesterday in our post How to defeat Islam (immediately below):
In his well reasoned article recommending that Iran be treated as an enemy of the US – and the world – and utterly defeated, John David Lewis argues:
Given that we should win, how then must our government confront Islamic Totalitarianism? Let us call again upon the defeat of Japan in 1945 as a valid, and vital, historical precedent. …
The basic similarities between the two conflicts begin with the ideas that motivated the attacks. The Japanese were motivated by a politicized religious ideology — Shintoism — that posited an all-powerful deity, indoctrinated their children, infected every aspect of their culture, and drove them to suicidal military actions that killed millions.
Islamic jihad is motivated by just such a “politicized religious ideology”. It too posits an “all-powerful deity” in whose name Islam “indoctrinates its children” with its aggressive, supremacist, totalitarian ideology that “infects every aspect” of Muslim culture, and “drives them to suicidal military actions”.
An educational rescript of 1890 — an Imperial decree, and one of the most influential documents in Japanese history — built this “mytho-religious ideology” into the classroom, making worship of the Emperor and duty to the State into the primary goals of education. Japanese people memorized its tenets, and were inculcated with what one Japanese scholar called “socialization for death’. A Japanese civilian remarked how, when she heard that the Emperor was going to address his people — an unprecedented event — the words she had memorized as a child rose in her mind: “Should any emergency arise, offer yourself courageously to the State.” Such ideas, deeply internalized and mandated by law, motivated suicide bombers — kamikaze — to throw themselves fanatically against superior U.S. forces, and gave them hope for a final battle over weak-willed Americans. This kamikaze fire was extinguished by the crushing American offensive of 1945.
The key to extinguishing this fire, I submit — the sine qua non required to end the spiral of indoctrination, jihad, and suicidal attacks on the West — is to do what was done against Japan: to break the political power of the state religion. State Islam — Totalitarian Islam — rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated.
He describes how this was done in the case of Japan:
Waves of bombers obliterate dozens of enemy cities. His food is choked off, his military is decimated, his industry is bombarded, his ships are sunk, his harbors are mined — his people are psychologically shattered. In a single night, a hundred thousand civilians die in a firestorm in his capital. Americans drop leaflets telling the enemy population which cities could be next. …
When they face starvation, we remind them that their miseries are their own fault. We charge them for many of the costs of the occupation. Not one dime of aid arrives until they demonstrate their complete surrender, in word and in action, including their repudiation of the militaristic ideology that motivated their attacks.
We agree with him that “State Islam — Totalitarian Islam — rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated”. And we agree that war on Iran, the utter defeat of the Iranian Islamic theocracy, would go a long way to achieving that end.
But there is an important difference between Japan then and Iran now.
He makes it clear that the Japanese people were heart and mind, unquestioningly, with the Emperor; with his government and his military in wanting to make war on America and the world.
In the case of Iran, however, it is apparent that the people are not in agreement with the tyrants who rule them. It is not their will that war – ultimately nuclear war – should be waged on America and the world.
The Iranian people rose in rebellion against the regime in 2009. The uprising was called “the green revolution”. [Nothing to do with environmentalism.] Much regret has been expressed that President Obama did not help the protestors. Had he helped them, the reasoning goes, the regime might have been toppled.
But Obama did not want regime change. He wanted to make friends with the Ayatollahs. Why remains a matter of conjecture. The explanation given by his administration was that negotiating a “deal” with the Iranian government would stop the development of Iranian nuclear bombs. But that is belied by the terms of the “deal” itself, which allows Iran to become a nuclear armed power in little more than ten years after the date of the agreement.
To want regime change is to want to save the Iranians from their oppression.
To want regime change is to want the defeat of the Ayatollahs – but not of Islam.
And Lewis’s whole point is that the defeat of Iran would effect crushing defeat on Islam as a whole. It would prove that Islamic state totalitarianism would not be tolerated. It would be a severe deterrent to jihad.
In which state is Islam most solidly linked with political power, dedicated to the violent spread of Islamic rule, and infused with hatred of America? What state is founded on these ideas, and their practice, as a matter of principle? There is a clear answer, which is known, admittedly or not, by almost everyone today. The political centerpiece of Islamic Totalitarianism today — the state in which Islam is most militantly welded to political power and contempt for America and the West — the world leader in the violent spread of Islam — is Iran. …
The road to the defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism begins in Tehran. America, acting alone and with overwhelming force, must destroy the Iranian Islamic State now. It must do so openly, and indeed spectacularly, for the entire world to see, for this is the only way to demonstrate the spectacular failure and incompetence of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a whole.
So by his well-reasoned argument, war on Iran – not regime change – is essential. War and total defeat.
And the methods he advocates – the methods used on Japan, now capable of being much more quickly applied, including the deployment of nuclear weapons before Iran has them to retaliate with – could achieve the objective.
But unlike the Japanese in the Second World War, the Iranian people are not deserving of retribution. So war cannot be waged on Iran as it was waged on Japan.
The bombing would need to be targeted on nuclear facilities. And Obama stopped Israel doing just that in 2014 with threats of forcefully intercepting Israeli bombers. He would have ordered Israeli planes to be shot down before they could reach their target, according to credible reports (which were neither officially confirmed or denied by the US or Israel).
Lewis makes a strong case that the devastation of Japan, the starvation of the people, the use of nuclear bombs was morally justified, and so too would be the devastation of Iran.
Only after we understand that we should defeat these enemies, can we ask how. This point is vital, for the question of moral rightness is logically and psychologically prior to any question of strategy or tactics. If we do not understand that we should defeat them — if we think that we are as bad as they are, or that they have legitimate grievances that justify their attacks, or that we have created a situation that morally demands that we compensate them — then our lack of moral self-confidence will undercut our motivation to fight. But the facts do not warrant such a conclusion. We are morally right and the Islamic Totalitarians are evil — not merely in their methods, but, more fundamentally, in their values and goals. We have a moral responsibility to defeat them …
But would it be morally right to kill millions of Iranians whose “values and goals” are not those of their government? If not, then only something less than total war would be morally justified.
Iran’s nuclear facilities are now deeper underground and so much harder to destroy. Still, they must be destroyed. Iran must be kept from becoming a nuclear power. May President Trump find a way to achieve that end!
The destruction of Islam will be even harder.
Waves of bombers obliterate dozens of enemy cities. His food is choked off, his military is decimated, his industry is bombarded, his ships are sunk, his harbors are mined — his people are psychologically shattered. In a single night, a hundred thousand civilians die in a firestorm in his capital. Americans drop leaflets telling the enemy population which cities could be next. …
One of our generals announces his personal goal: to “kill the bastards”. … A force of overpowering magnitude amasses on the enemy’s borders, as thousands of American bombers pulverize his cities. …
We call upon the enemy to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative is prompt and utter destruction.
[Finally] atomic bombs are dropped on [the enemy’s] cities. He surrenders, thus acknowledging the reality of his defeat and making a political decision to cease fighting. …
We tell them, pointedly and publicly, that they are defeated, and that we have no obligations to them. When they face starvation, we remind them that their miseries are their own fault. We charge them for many of the costs of the occupation. Not one dime of aid arrives until they demonstrate their complete surrender, in word and in action, including their repudiation of the militaristic ideology that motivated their attacks.
That’s how America responded to Japan when it attacked Pearl Harbor.
The quotation comes from an article by John David Lewis, adapted by the author from a lecture he presented at an Ayn Rand Institute’s conference on October 21, 2006, published January 2017 by The Objective Standard.
The author urges that Islam, the “militaristic, religious-political ideology that values war as a demonstration of loyalty to a deity, demands obedience to its spokesmen, and imposes its edicts over millions of people” – and that attacked America on 9/11/2001 – be responded to in the same way, the specific Islamic country to be counter-attacked being Iran.
Here is more from the article:
Ayn Rand, in her essay on the nature of government, observed a vital relationship between man’s right to life and his right to self-defense:
The necessary consequence of man’s right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. All the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.
If some “pacifist” society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it.
These words ring especially true in the war against Islamic Totalitarianism. The consequence of our failure to respond forthrightly to these attacks has been precisely to encourage and reward this movement. We have granted it a safe haven, allowed it to claim victory through continued existence, appealed to its apologists who spread anti-American venom, and emboldened those who wish to take up the fight against us. The solution is to renounce altruistic appeasement and pragmatic compromise, to recognize our own value, and to defend our lives by right. We must defeat these enemies, and we can.
Only after we understand that we should defeat these enemies, can we ask how. This point is vital, for the question of moral rightness is logically and psychologically prior to any question of strategy or tactics. If we do not understand that we should defeat them — if we think that we are as bad as they are, or that they have legitimate grievances that justify their attacks, or that we have created a situation that morally demands that we compensate them — then our lack of moral self-confidence will undercut our motivation to fight. But the facts do not warrant such a conclusion. We are morally right and the Islamic Totalitarians are evil — not merely in their methods, but, more fundamentally, in their values and goals. We have a moral responsibility to defeat them — if we want to live. We can and must approach this war with the moral self-confidence of those fighting for civilization itself … because that is precisely what is at stake. …
[T]he sine qua non required to end the spiral of indoctrination, jihad, and suicidal attacks on the West — is to do what was done against Japan: to break the political power of the state religion. State Islam — Totalitarian Islam —rule by Islamic Law — must be obliterated.
A vital point about politics and government must be remembered here. Government holds a legal monopoly on the use of force in a geographic area. Governments do not make suggestions — they pass and enforce laws. They must do this in order to protect our freedom to think and speak — but within proper limits, defined by the principle of individual rights and codified in a constitution that is the nation’s fundamental law. The purpose of a proper government is to protect the rights of its citizens — each citizen’s freedom to think and act on his own judgment — by using retaliatory force as necessary against criminals and foreign invaders.
A government that turns its force against its own citizens, especially to impose an ideological doctrine on them, subordinates the rights of individuals to the demands of the State. This is statism — the elevation of the State over the individual, and the inversion of the very purpose of government. Statism is the greatest killer in history — dwarfing all attacks by criminals — precisely because it is motivated by some form of mystical political ideology. Because statists claim an authority that is above the rights of man — whether the Fuehrer’s master race, the communists’ dialectic, or the theocrat’s God — they do not recognize the principle of individual rights or the self-ownership of men on earth; rather, they claim the right to rule men, and to kill with impunity anyone who disobeys the ideology or regime. …
[T]here is no recognition of individual rights, no legitimate constitution, and thus no freedom, under religious law in any form.
The all-encompassing, totalitarian nature of Islamic Law — its claims to divine origin, its commitment to uphold “Allah’s” will, and its ultimate goal of making everyone on earth submit to it — leaves no room for individual rights or freedom. This code is barbaric and tribal, frozen in time for over a thousand years, not open to rational scrutiny but only to unquestioned obedience … To impose this primitive code by force is to inject religion into every aspect of human thought and action — which is the ultimate goal of Islamic Totalitarianism.
To begin to enshrine the inviolability of individual rights as the central principle of government, clerics of all kinds must be stripped of political power. There can be no freedom of thought and speech if those with claims to mystically derived ideas can enforce them coercively. Only by breaking the link between state power and religious belief can the state become a protector of each person’s right to worship or not worship as he wishes; only complete separation of religion and government can enable the government to serve its proper function: to protect each person’s right to think, speak, and act as he chooses. …
Individual religious belief is to be left alone … [but] Totalitarian Islam, an ideology that merges state power with religious belief, must go.
But proponents of Islamic Totalitarianism have political power, to some extent, in dozens of nations. Should we attack them all, immediately? No. We need to aim for the political, economic, and ideological center of this movement — the core that embodies its naked essence and that fuels it worldwide. This does not mean finding the particular people who organized the 9/11 attacks. The question is: In which state is Islam most solidly linked with political power, dedicated to the violent spread of Islamic rule, and infused with hatred of America? What state is founded on these ideas, and their practice, as a matter of principle? There is a clear answer, which is known, admittedly or not, by almost everyone today. The political centerpiece of Islamic Totalitarianism today — the state in which Islam is most militantly welded to political power and contempt for America and the West — the world leader in the violent spread of Islam — is Iran. …
The conclusion is inescapable. The road to the defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism begins in Tehran. America, acting alone and with overwhelming force, must destroy the Iranian Islamic State now. It must do so openly, and indeed spectacularly, for the entire world to see, for this is the only way to demonstrate the spectacular failure and incompetence of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a whole. …
We must not seek legitimacy for the removal of the Iranian Islamic State beyond the principle of our right to defend ourselves. To pretend that something more than this principle is needed would be to deny the sufficiency of the principle. To base our reasons on the alleged good of others, especially on any alleged benefits to the people of the Middle East, would be to accept a position of moral dhimmitude: the moral subordination of our right to life and self-defense to an allegedly higher principle. …
To remove this cancerous Islamic State loudly and forthrightly will have immediate benefits. We would avenge the thousands of American terror victims since the 1960s. We would reverse the pitiful image we projected when Iranians stormed our embassy in 1979, and when we fled from Mogadishu and from Lebanon — actions that the Islamic Totalitarians claimed as evidence of our weakness. We could even reverse a tremendous injustice by un-nationalizing the oil companies in Iran — stolen from their owners in 1951 — and placing them back into private hands, under government protection. … The pipeline of money into Islamic jihad would be cut.
Most importantly, by ousting the regime in Iran, we would send a clear message to the world: Political Islam is finished. Weaker states and groups would cringe in terror — as they did briefly after 9/11 — and would literally retreat into holes in the ground. Anti-totalitarian forces across the world would be emboldened by the sight of a real defense of life and liberty. Allies we never knew existed would raise their heads with confidence and join the cause of freedom. The land of the free — rejuvenated as the home of the brave — would rejoice as the nation of the secure. …
The Muslim world must be made to understand that any government that provides economic support to jihadists will be summarily destroyed. … Only the clear threat that “you will be next” can break the entangled network of Islamic economic support for jihad that masquerades as “economic development’. There can be no more playing games with Saudi apologists who speak smooth English and describe their work as “charity.” … Such “charity” means raising money to spread the ideas, and tactics, of Totalitarian Islam. It must end. …
America needs a Commander-in-Chief today who can understand and state this simple truth: In war, there is no “right” to free speech on behalf of an enemy. The string of obviously false, contrived, and manipulated “news” by the supporters of jihad — the staging of civilians crying when a home is destroyed, and the throwing about of children’s dolls when a terrorist’s safe house is wrecked — are all part of the enemy’s war effort. In war, the psychological disarmament of the enemy, including the inculcation of terror through vicious propaganda, is part of the fight. American unwillingness to quash such propaganda is seen, by our enemies, not as respect for freedom of speech, but rather as a lack of will and as evidence of weakness. In the present situation, Americans must forcibly prohibit the dissemination of militaristic ideology and propaganda anywhere it rises. To make the point clear, Al-Jazeera — the fountainhead of Muslim taqiyya, or deception — must be shut down. …
This is not a clash between civilizations; it is a clash between civilization and barbarism. Until civilized people assert themselves with a depth of moral confidence exceeding that projected by those who submit to the “will of Allah”, America will remain permanently on the defensive, in a state of moral dhimmitude, and the war will continue to its logical conclusion: a mushroom cloud over America. …
In relative terms, the physical forces facing America and her allies in 1941 were far more formidable than those we face today, and America then was far weaker militarily. In our own day, the technological and industrial superiority of the U.S. over the Middle East is staggering. Islamic warriors can shoot an AK-47, but they cannot build one; all of the arms possessed by Islamic countries come from outside those countries. They are pathetically weak; the American army ended the regime of Saddam Hussein in three weeks, after Iran could not beat him in eight years. Our overwhelming material advantage, however, will be of no help if we lack the will to drop a bomb — or if we use our forces to strengthen our enemies. As it was for Germany and Japan in the 1930s, so it is today: The power of the Islamic Totalitarians grows every day that we wait. The strategic balance will shift — the Islamic Totalitarians will have the capacity as well as the will to bring about the nuclear Armageddon that they so deeply crave — if Iran acquires nuclear bombs. It is not a kindness to wait, knowing that our response will have to be even more lethal after a mushroom cloud rises over American soil. To wait, in light of that knowledge, is irrational — criminally irrational.
We recommend the reading of the whole thing. The author has not revised his article to take account of President Obama’s submission to Iran – his surreptitiously forcing the American tax-payer to pay tribute to that evil regime, and his assisting it to become a nuclear power. These circumstances, into which the worst president in American history has put his country, make the action against Iran which Mr. Lewis recommends all the more urgently necessary.
[Hat-tip to our very valuable commenter, liz, for telling us about the article]