How to win the war (1) 2

The President told the truth (uncharacteristically) when he conceded, some days after a terrorist tried to blow up a plane over Detroit, that America is at war.

But he did not tell the whole truth when he said who the enemy is. He named al-Qaeda, but that’s like naming one battalion in a conventional engagement. There are many battalions on the enemy’s side in this fight: Hizbullah, Hamas, the Taliban, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and many more.

It is absolutely necessary to say plainly who the enemy is.

To call it ‘terror’ was always a misnomer. Terror is an emotion. Even the more accurately referential ‘terrorism’ would not be right. Terrorism is a method, a tactic, a means, not a movement or a cause.

What else has been tried?

‘Extremists’ and ‘extremism’ ?  Wide of the mark.

‘Islamism’ ? Nearer. But wait – ‘Islamism’ does not exist. There is no ‘Islamist Manifesto’. There is no tradition of ‘Islamism’.  Can it even be defined?  It is an invention of Western pundits who want to avoid offending what is charitably called ‘the vast majority of peace-loving Muslims’.

For years now American politicians have been pretending not to see it, refusing to speak it, but they know very well the name of the enemy. And it brings them up against a peculiar difficulty, because it is the name of a religion, and freedom of religion is a foundation stone of the Union. The United States of America is a conscientiously tolerant nation. Within its boundaries, no religion may be prohibited.

Or is that not entirely true? Would religions that require human sacrifice be tolerated? They still exist in Africa and India. Immigrants have brought them to Europe. A couple of years ago the remains of a child was found in the Thames and  investigators found that he had been ritually sacrificed by an African religious sect.

It may be argued that such tribal cults of ritual magic cannot deserve the same respect as a moral religion that has well over a billion followers worldwide, as is the case with Islam.

And Islam is the name of the enemy. In must be said however shocking it feels to say it: The name of the enemy is Islam.

It certainly has over a billion followers, but is it a moral religion? ‘An immoral religion’ would describe it more accurately.

In view of the difficulty Western civilization has in declaring a religion to be inimical, even when it has declared itself to be so, it’s better to think of Islam as an ideology – which it is. All religions are ideologies, even if all ideologies are not religions.

Islam is the religio-political ideology of an illiterate warlord of the dark ages.

It is a totalitarian ideology.

It is a collectivist ideology, and like all collectivist ideologies, it claims to be the unique repository and disseminator of truth, and demands unquestioning submission to its authority.

It is centered on a dual power, a divinity and a particular man inseparably bound to each other. The man, as the sole conduit of divine truth, dictated a book and a body of sayings that established a code of conduct and set of laws. These can never be altered and must be taken literally. They ordain that to kill and be killed for their deity is the highest duty of the faithful. They declare that females are inferior to males, and imply that females exist solely to serve the physical needs and appetites of males.

It is universalist. It assumes the obligation to bring all mankind into its community, or umma. It holds that everyone is born a member of the umma but many fail to realize this and are drawn away to false beliefs and practices. It is the duty of all the faithful to recover the lost members. It will use persuasion, offering to welcome ‘reverts’, but those who cling obstinately to their false beliefs must be forced to capitulate or die. It is therefore unremittingly at war with the rest of humanity. Peace will only come, it teaches, when the whole world is Muslim. In the meantime Islam will allow certain other religions to continue if they are not overtly polytheistic and if their devotees accept social abasement and legal discrimination, and pay tribute to their Muslim overlords.

That is the nature of the enemy. It has always been in a state of war against the rest of us by the compulsion of its beliefs. From time to time since its inception in the 7th century, it has risen and hurled itself in furious battle against the ramparts of our culture. For the last half-century or so it has been in active conflict with the West in general and the United States of America in particular. From its own point of view it is continuing the war it has always waged to subdue the world in accordance with the will of its god and prophet.

This is the war being waged against us now. We have no choice but to fight it.

The name of the enemy is Islam, and once it is identified the next thing to do is devise ways to vanquish it.

How then? If another country is your country’s enemy, you can invade it, or wait for it to invade you and defend yourself from its attack, or you can do both at the same time.

American armed forces are engaged with this enemy in two of the countries where he predominates and in which he plots against us. We may win those battles, but if we do we’ll not have won the war. Victories on geographical battlefields will not vanquish this enemy. Psychological warfare will achieve much more.

Consider this for an act of psychological warfare: At the heart of the haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are enjoined to make at least once in their lives, is the holy Kaaba, a huge cube of a building covered with black silk in the middle of a mosque. Although it existed before Muhammad was born, it is Islam’s holiest site. All Muslims everywhere turn towards it every time they pray. It shelters the Black Stone, a piece of a meteorite that Islam dates ‘from the time of Adam and Eve’. If the Kaaba were bombed and the Black Stone pulverized, just think how demoralizing that would be for the enemy.

And how else can we defeat a foe who is not only spread over many countries but is also here in our midst, thriving and increasing dangerously amongst us, and striking at us unpredictably and at random?

(More to follow.)

Do not believe them 6

We may all know it, but it needs to be repeated from time to time: The great political divide is between those who favor collectivism and those who favor individual freedom.

Collectivism on a national scale is necessarily statism. Human nature being what it is – instinctively self-preserving and self-advancing – such collectivism requires compulsion, or, to use a softer word, organization: the organization of an entire nation. (At least the nation: the ultimate collectivist dream is the global collective, the organization of the whole world.) And only a government, which is to say the state, has the power to do it.

A collectivized nation is not simply one that is under the rule of a common law. To the contrary, a society in which the citizens consent to be subject equally to the abstract authority of law (a constitution, or a body of laws made by representatives answerable to their electors), is a free society.

A collectivized nation is under the rule of human organizers who exert control of the people according to their own will. It is the opposite of a free society. Such a state is, in the true meaning of the word, a tyranny.

It may be a benign tyranny; its rulers, serially or in concert, could be (in laughable theory) persons of admirable uprightness, possessed of the utmost goodwill and kindly intentions, moved by the highest ideals, inspired by the loftiest visions of human happiness, but it is nevertheless a tyranny.

And besides, what sort of person can believe he knows what’s best for everyone else? How can he be a good sort? Wouldn’t such a man (or woman – there have been tyrannous queens) have to be an insufferably arrogant know-it-all? Or the sort who doesn’t really give a damn about the effects of his orders on others just so long as he has his own way? And is there likely to be a person who really can know enough to be the best arbiter of everyone else’s fate? Or can be trusted to set the best possible direction for millions of lives? And is it conceivable that one direction can be best for everyone?

Collectivists include Socialists, Communists, Nazis, Fascists, global government idealists, the Greens, and in sum the ideologists of any form of totalitarianism, including Islam.

There are two types of collectivist states and movements:

Non-egalitarian: such as Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Salazar’s Portugal, Islam.

This type, except for Islam, has too few devotees at present to constitute an ideological threat. (Islam is an active enemy of freedom, but not only because it is collectivist, so we won’t discuss it any further here.)

Egalitarian: such as Soviet Russia, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba, Greens.

A collectivist state of the egalitarian type controls the distribution of material goods, of course. If goods are to be equally distributed, there has to be an agency doing the distributing, and that agency can only be the state. Having the monopoly of force, the state alone has the power to redistribute all property; to seize what is yours and bestow it on someone else. Maybe you worked long and hard for it, but nevertheless the state ordains that someone else who didn’t work for it has at least as much right to it as you have, in fact more. That’s the immorality of redistribution. It is called ‘social justice’. Equality of this sort is incompatible with liberty.

Millions pursue these egalitarian ideals, as ‘socialists’, ‘liberals’, ‘progressives’, or ‘greens’, despite their colossal failure wherever they’ve been tried in practice.

The attraction of an egalitarian collectivist system lies in its apparent guarantee of security. It offers you an alternative to a lonely struggle for survival. It will, theoretically, provide you with food, shelter, schooling, healing. And on top of all that, it will give you a sense of (communal) purpose, and a lifting of responsibility to make life-directing decisions for yourself. If you just do what you’re told, work where you are directed to work, live where you are allowed to live, eat what is made available to you, repeat the lessons you are taught, you will survive. And furthermore you‘ll have nothing to reproach yourself with; you can bear a lightness of moral being, certain that you are no higher or lower than anybody else, having neither to envy others nor to be annoyingly envied by them.

Paradise? For those who think it may be, there is bad news. The whole utopian structure is built on a fallacy. The idea that you will be more secure in the arms of the state than you are if left to your own devices is an illusion. What the state provides the state can withhold. If the state gives you a job, it can deny you a job. The same with housing, education, medicine. You are dependent on it, and if it fails you or punishes you by withdrawing its patronage, you will have no recourse. Your choice is to live as a slave obedient to the state, or perish.

The only real security lies always in your own ability to act for yourself (and your immediate dependents). It may not be easy, yet most who try succeed. The more freely you can act for yourself, the safer you are. The state’s only legitimate role is to safeguard you while you pursue your self-chosen aims, by protecting your country from external enemies with military strength, and you personally by enforcing the law.

The state is forever an incipient threat to freedom. It tends to accumulate power and encroach gradually on the freedom of the citizens. It needs to be kept from becoming too powerful. How to limit the power of government is the chief problem for representative democracies.

The state will take more power to itself in times of national crisis, such as war or severe economic recession. It can – and governments often do – invent crises as an excuse to take more power. They are doing so now. One of the most potent excuses that representative governments are seizing on to expand way beyond acceptable limits is ‘climate change’ with its ‘threats to the environment’.

It is in the name of an apparently overriding necessity – nothing less than the preservation of our planet – that governments are busy trying to organize populations into collective compliance with their will. All populations. The salvation of Earth is only possible, the environmentalists say, if their remedies are applied uniformly to the entire planet. Never has there been such a gift of an excuse for collectivists in power to organize the rest of us. We must all, they insist, henceforth live, work, play, travel, dress, eat, and house ourselves as they tell us to if we are to survive.

DO NOT BELIEVE THEM.

Post Script: Green is the new Red (as in Communist Red). The Communist Van Jones, briefly appointed as Green Jobs Adviser to President Obama, made no secret of why he liked the job. He said that the green economy would start off as ‘a small subset’ of a complete revolution, away from ‘grey capitalism’ toward redistribution of all the wealth. ‘We are going to push it and push it and push it and push it until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society.’

Jillian Becker   September 2009

Threat to the West unifies 0

As an expansionist Russia flexes its muscles, Hezbollah has strengthened its position with an important ally. Debka:

A Hezbollah mission, which arrived in Moscow Tuesday, Oct. 28, was taken around Russian state of the art anti-tank missile factories, including KBP in the town of Tula southwest of Moscow, DEBKAfile’s exclusive military sources report. The Lebanese visitors were treated to a live fire demonstration of various types of missile. They then ordered 3,000 missiles of different types and returned home Saturday, Nov. 1. (full report here)

Debka also reports that Tehran is footing the bill. These new Russian weapons, combined with Syria’s ground-to-air missiles, means Israel will find the balance of military power dangerously altered. Hezbollah also used Chinese C-130 anti-ship missiles to great effect during the 2006 war. Russia and China have been the most terrifying obstacles to the UN security council’s attempt to deal with Iran.

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Sunday, November 2, 2008

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A point of no return 0

 Mark Steyn, fun to read and right as always, comments in part:

McCain vs. Obama is not the choice many of us would have liked in an ideal world. But then it’s not an "ideal world," and the belief that it can be made so is one of the things that separates those who think Obama will "heal the planet" and those of us who support McCainfaute de mieux. I agree with Thomas Sowell that an Obama-Pelosi supermajority will mark what he calls "a point of no return."

It would not be, as some naysayers scoff, "Jimmy Carter’s second term," but something far more transformative. The new president would front the fourth great wave of liberal annexation – the first being FDR’s New Deal, the second LBJ’s Great Society, and the third the incremental but remorseless cultural advance when Reagan conservatives began winning victories at the ballot box and liberals turned their attention to the other levers of the society, from grade school up. The terrorist educator William Ayers, Obama’s patron in Chicago, is an exemplar of that most-recent model: 40 years ago, he was in favor of blowing up public buildings; then he figured out it was easier to get inside and undermine them from within.

All three liberal waves have transformed American expectations of the state. The spirit of the age is: Ask not what your country can do for you, demand it. Why can’t the government sort out my health care? Why can’t they pick up my mortgage?

In his first inaugural address, Calvin Coolidge said: "I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people." That’s true in a more profound sense than he could have foreseen. In Europe, lavish social-democratic government has transformed citizens into eternal wards of the Nanny State: the bureaucracy’s assumption of every adult responsibility has severed Continentals from the most basic survival impulse, to the point where unaffordable entitlements on shriveled birth rates have put a question mark over some of the oldest nation states on Earth. A vote for an Obama-Pelosi-Barney Frank-ACORN supermajority is a vote for a Europeanized domestic policy that is, as the eco-types like to say, "unsustainable."

More to the point, the only reason why Belgium has gotten away this long with being Belgium and Sweden Sweden and Germany Germany is because America’s America. The soft comfortable cocoon in which Western Europe has dozed this past half-century is girded by cold hard American power. What happens when the last serious Western nation votes for the same soothing beguiling siren song as its enervated allies?

"People of the world," Sen. Obama declared sonorously at his self-worship service in Germany, "look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one."

No, sorry. History proved no such thing. In the Cold War, the world did not stand as one. One half of Europe was a prison, and in the other half far too many people – the Barack Obamas of the day – were happy to go along with that division in perpetuity.

And the wall came down not because "the world stood as one," but because a few courageous people stood against the conventional wisdom of the day. Had Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan been like Helmut Schmidt and Francois Mitterrand and Pierre Trudeau and Jimmy Carter, the Soviet empire (notwithstanding its own incompetence) would have survived, and the wall would still be standing. Sen. Obama’s feeble passivity will get you a big round of applause precisely because it’s the easy option: Do nothing but hold hands and sing the easy-listening anthems of one-worldism, and the planet will heal.

To govern is to choose. And sometimes the choices are tough ones. When has Barack Obama chosen to take a stand? When he got along to get along with the Chicago machine? When he sat for 20 years in the pews of an ugly neo-segregationist race-baiting grievance-monger? When he voted to deny the surviving "fetuses" of botched abortions medical treatment? When in his short time in national politics he racked up the most liberal – i.e., the most doctrinaire, the most orthodox, the most reflex – voting record in the Senate? Or when, on those many occasions the questions got complex and required a choice, he dodged it and voted merely "present"?

The world rarely stands as one. You can, as Reagan and Thatcher did, stand up. Or, like Obama voting "present," you can stand down.

Nobody denies that, in promoting himself from "community organizer" to the world’s president-designate in nothing flat, he has shown an amazing and impressively ruthless single-mindedness. But the path of personal glory has been, in terms of policy and philosophy, the path of least resistance.

Peggy Noonan thinks a President Obama will be like the dog who chases the car and finally catches it: Now what? I think Obama will be content to be King Barack the Benign, Spreader of Wealth and Healer of Planets. His rise is, in many ways, testament to the persistence of the monarchical urge even in a two-century old republic. So the "Now what?" questions will be answered by others, beginning with the liberal supermajority in Congress. And as he has done all his life he will take the path of least resistance. An Obama administration will pitch America toward EU domestic policy and U.N. foreign policy.

Thomas Sowell is right: It would be a "point of no return," the most explicit repudiation of the animating principles of America. For a vigilant republic of limited government and self-reliant citizens, it would be a Declaration of Dependence.

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 25, 2008

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A deeply religious act of war 1

 This from Power Line, by Debra Burlingame, sister of the pilot Charles F Burlingame, whose hijacked plane was crashed into the Pentagon: 

There is a disturbing phenomenon creeping into the public debate about all things 9/11. Increasingly, Sept. 11 is compared to hurricanes, bridge collapses and other mechanical disasters or criminal acts that result in loss of life, with "body count" being the primary factor that keeps it in the top spot of "worst in the nation’s history."

Misremembering is as dangerous as forgetting. If we must know one thing, it is that the Sept. 11 attacks were neither a natural disaster, nor the unfortunate result of human error. 9/11 wasn’t the catastrophic equivalent of a 3,000-car pileup.

The attacks were not a random act of violence or insanity. They were a deliberate and brutal act of war committed by religious fanatics engaged in Islamic jihad against the United States, all non-Muslim people and any Muslim who wishes to live in a secular society. Worse, the people who perpetrated the attacks have explicitly told us that they are not done.

Sept. 11 is a date that comes and goes once a year, but "9/11" is with us every day. The body count keeps rising – Bali, Riyadh, Istanbul, Madrid, Beslan, London, Amman.

We now clearly know that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was part of the holy war against America. When we previously dismissed this as a random attack by crazy men and declared ourselves lucky that "only six lives were lost," we effectively disarmed ourselves. Eight years later, six became 3,000. While the comparison to other "tragedies" may help us cope with what has befallen us, we must resist being glib and intellectually careless.

Our fellow human beings were not "lost" in 1993 or on 9/11. They were torn to pieces. We must not give the enemy any quarter. We must confront the reality of their acts.

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, September 11, 2008

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Obama’s idiotic idea in a time of crisis 1

 From Little Green Footballs – as usual, bang on the nail:

An astoundingly bone-headed statement from Barack Obama today, as he calls for the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Georgia.

Memo to the Obama campaign: Russia has veto power in the United Nations Security Council.

Oops!

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, August 11, 2008

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Obama’s inadequacy 0

 Obama will never be ready to be president. He is not the man for the job. 

Power Line shares and substantiates this opinion:

McCain has strongly and unequivocally come out in support of our ally Georgia, while placing the onus for the war squarely where it belongs, on Russia. In this, he has aligned himself with our most loyal European allies. Obama, on the other hand, issued the sort of vapid statement that would ingratiate him with the State Department while not requiring any distraction from his Hawaii vacation. An interesting point, by the way: McCain is supposed to be the old guy, but Obama is the one who needs a vacation.

Here is the latest from the McCain campaign:

This afternoon I spoke, for the second time since the crisis began, with Georgian President Saakashvili. It is clear the situation is dire. Russian aggression against Georgia continues, with attacks occurring far beyond the Georgian region of South Ossetia. As casualties continue to mount, the international community must do all it can to avert further escalations. Tensions and hostilities between Georgians and Ossetians are in no way justification for Russian troops crossing an internationally recognized border. I again call on the Government of Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia.

Given this threat to Euro-Atlantic security, I am pleased to see the United States, the European Union, and NATO acting together by sending a delegation to the region, in an effort to broker a cease fire. This is an important first step.

The United Nations has been prevented from taking any meaningful action by Russian objections. In view of this, I welcome the statements of democratic nations defending the sovereignty of Georgia and condemning Russian actions.

I strongly support the declaration issued by the Presidents of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and their commitment that ‘aggression against a small country in Europe will not be passed over in silence or with meaningless statements equating the victims with the victimizers.

 

I doubt that the Europeans were thinking of Obama when they wrote this, but who knows? Maybe they had seen this "meaningless statement equating the victims with the victimizers" from the Obama campaign:

It’s both sides’ fault — both have been somewhat provocative with each other.

McCain’s statement continues:

I share their regret that NATO’s decision to withhold from Georgia a Membership Action Plan may have been viewed as a green light for aggression in the region. As they propose, a new international peacekeeping force should be created, in light of – as they observe – the ‘obvious bankruptcy of Russian "peacekeeping operations" in its immediate neighborhood.’ In addition, Finnish Foreign Minister Stubb, the Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has said there can be no return to the status quo in South Ossetia and that Russia cannot serve as a mediator in the South Ossetian conflict. Each of these leaders represents a country that has undergone what Georgia is now experiencing.

That last is a key point, but one that is no doubt lost on Obama and his advisers. It is often said that Obama is not ready to be President, but I don’t think this is exactly right. It seems pretty obvious that Obama, given his temperament, his self-regard, his blithe ignorance of history and of the material conditions of life on this planet, will never be ready to be President. He is not unready: he is unsuited for, and inadequate to, the office.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Sunday, August 10, 2008

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War-War 0

Western interference in Yugoslavia in order to ‘protect’ Kosovo was always a bad idea.

It was unjustified in that no Western interests were involved; it was bad as a precedent;  bad in its immediate results, spreading war throughout the region; and it continues to be bad in its longer-term effects.

This is from an article in the Telegraph today:

Two key events well beyond Georgia’s borders have triggered Russia’s fury. The first was Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February and the new country’s subsequent recognition by many Western states. This brought a public warning from Moscow that Kosovo’s move to independence could set a precedent for Georgia’s two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The second was Nato’s pledge at the Bucharest summit in April that membership of the Atlantic Alliance for both Georgia and Ukraine was not a matter of "if" but "when", although in deference to Russian objections, no timetable for entry was granted. This provoked Vladimir Putin, then still Russia’s president, to promise more support for Georgia’s breakaway regions.

Now Russia has invaded Georgia. Russia is at fault, as John McCain made instantly clear. Barack Obama put out a statement implying moral equivalence between the invading Great Power and the small independency.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 8, 2008

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