Tuesday night stuff (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesJust a few quick links I don’t want to leave on the table before I head down to my perpetual motion machine for the rest of the evening.

Earlier today, I bought a Mark Steyn gift certificate to help fund his legal battle against Michael Mann, a man who rejoices under the title of being a scientist, but is in fact a First Amendment terrorist. Not too long after that, I read Dennis Prager’s article about Bryan Stow. Living in the Bay Area, I had heard about Stow, a SF Giants fan beaten almost to death by some L.A. Dodger’s fans. In the intervening years, I hadn’t realized that his injuries were so devastating. I also didn’t know until today that the men who did this to him got off with prison sentences equal to a slap on the hand — sentences that made them smirk happily when handed down. Please consider donating to the Bryan Stow fund. I did, and only regret that I hadn’t done so sooner.

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When Victor Davis Hanson is good, he’s really, really good. He’s all that in his post about the Bizarro World of Barack Obama’s presidency, in which every manifest failure is presented to Americans as a glowing success. Lincoln famously said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” He was wrong. We live in a P.T. Barnum world, where there’s a sucker born every minute — and they’re all supporting Barack Obama and his administration.

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No link here, just an observation: I was speaking to my fairly apolitical sister about political correctness, education trends, national security, etc. I asked her, “Am I so exercised about this stuff because I’m an old fogey, like the old Yorkshire men famous for beginning each sentence by saying ‘When I were a lad,’ or has the world really gotten weird lately?” She answered, “It’s gotten really weird. The changes are fast and they are strange.”

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It’s not just that Andrew Malcolm wrote a good article about Barack Obama’s myriad foreign policy failures and the disdain in which this Nobel Prize winner is held around the world. It’s also the side by side photos of presidents Bush and Obama with the Dalai Lama. It makes me steam to think that, probably without exception, the Dalai Lama’s supporters voted for Obama. I’m not a fan of the Dalai Lama who, despite China’s constant depredations against his land, has announced that he’s a Marxist, meaning he’s dumb as a post, but I do admire his steadfast fight for his country’s independence (a fight he apparently carries out so that his country, too, can become a large socialist workers gulag). And yes, that was one of the longest sentences I’ve ever written, but I kept my clauses in nice order.

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If the name Margalit Fox is familiar to you, it’s because you pay attention to the bylines on New York Times obituaries. In my humble opinion, the New York Times obituary section is the only section in that paper worth reading — and what makes it worthwhile in significant part is Fox’s delightful writing. Knowing what a good writer she is, I didn’t think twice about picking up The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code when I saw that she was the author. My instincts were good. Fox brings to life the decades’ long (and eventually successful) effort to decipher the Linear B writing found at Knossos, home of the many King Minoses and the famous Minotaur. I’m halfway through the book, and am finding it difficult to put it down.

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If the Thomas Jefferson quotation at Doug Ross’s site is apocryphal, please don’t tell me. I want to believe it’s real. (No, I take that back. Intellectual honesty matters more than wishful thinking.)

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I’ve never managed to be that thrilled by Sen. Marco Rubio. I think with a bit of time at his back, he’ll be something wonderful, but right now he’s not quite all that — except that is, when it comes to ripping apart old Leftists and their sorry love affair with Cuba. That fire is the promise that he can become a great statesman, although he isn’t one yet.

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Speaking of statesmen, I’m beginning to put more and more faith in Scott Walker as a serious potential presidential candidate. If the worst that the Democrat attack dogs can come up with about him as that, back in college in the late 1980s, he announced in advance that he was running for student body president, rather than waiting until the official announcement day to do so, the media is going to have to work hard to discredit him. Add the lack of bad stuff to all the major good stuff in Wisconsin, and you’ve got Candidate Squeaky-Clean-and-Principled. Indeed, my only complaint about him will be the fact that he’s younger than I am. How in the world did it happen that I got to be older than the guys running for president? (Obama is only a month younger than I am, so that doesn’t count.)

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Islamists kill. That’s what they do. And they especially love killing children because, even for psychopaths, soft targets (baby-soft targets) are the best. Or maybe I mean “especially for psychopaths.” Regardless, even as these monsters continue to array themselves in ever greater numbers against the West, our administration announces that it’s going to shrink the Army back to its 1930 size. We saw, of course, how well that worked back in the day.

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This is what Obamacare is all about (from a son’s WSJ article about Obamacare’s death sentence for his mother):

[T]here is something deeply and incontestably perverse about a law that so distorts and undermines the free activity of individuals that they can no longer buy and sell the goods and services that keep them alive. ObamaCare made my mother’s old plan illegal, and it forced her to buy a new plan that would accelerate her disease and death.

[snip]

The “Affordable” Care Act is a brutal, Procrustean disaster. In principle, it violates the irreducible particularity of human life, and in practice it will cause many individuals to suffer and die. We can do better, and we must.

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Sultan Knish makes a point that is obvious only in retrospect, after having read his post: just as raw power isn’t concentrated in corporations’ hands but is, instead, concentrated in a centralized government’s hands, so too is wealth concentrated, not in corporations or amongst a wealthy few, but in a centralized, socialized or semi-socialized government’s pocket.

The utter depravity and nihilism of modern Islamic terrorism

The Watcher’s Council submissions this week are extraordinary, but this one rises head and shoulders above them all.  I don’t want it to be buried in the long list of articles that makes up the Watcher’s Council submissions.  This deserves to be read, read again, shared, analyzed, and otherwise trumpeted far and wide, because it is phenomenally important.  It is the most direct statement I’ve yet seen, not about the nature of Islam, but about the nature — the nihilism and depravity — of the violence committed in Islam’s name.  Moreover, it refuses to let the West pretend that the violent is anomalous, rather than being an intrinsic part of modern Islam.  In the same way, it is a scathing indictment of the moral cowardice and political correctness that renders the West incapable of acknowledging that modern Islam is very, very sick.  Its stark reality must be countered or it will destroy the world much more surely that Chicken Little fears about the earth warming.

Plucked from the Twittter feed

The lede says it all: “90% of Top Newspaper Headlines Censor Islam in Nairobi, Pakistan Attacks : Generic ‘terrorists’ and ‘militants’ appear in nine of 10 headlines.”  Doesn’t anybody read their Harry Potter anymore?  I’m quite sure it was the sensible, intelligent, brave Hermione who said that the refusal to name your enemy leaves you incapable of defending against him (or words to that effect).

Obama promised that, under Obamacare, health insurance premiums would drop by $2,500 for a family of four.  He was off by about $10,000.  In fact, premiums for a middle class family of four will increase by almost $7,500.  I do believe that all of us here saw that coming.  Insurance is no longer a question of statistical risk (i.e., the insurance company assesses the likelihood at any given time that it will have to pay out on a specific policy, and adjusts to price accordingly) but is simply wealth redistribution.  The moment the law mandated that people can wait to get insurance until they’re actually sick, it was all over.  The insurance companies are just conduits now, that funnel money from the middle class to the poor.

Obamacare wasn’t a principled (albeit stupid, communist) committed to improving America’s medical care.  Instead, it was a campaign slogan:

The most important red line of Barack Obama’s presidency was scrawled hastily in January 2007, a few weeks before he even announced he was running for president.

Soon-to-be-candidate Obama, then an Illinois senator, was thinking about turning down an invitation to speak at a big health care conference sponsored by the progressive group Families USA, when two aides, Robert Gibbs and Jon Favreau, hit on an idea that would make him appear more prepared and committed than he actually was at the moment.

Why not just announce his intention to pass universal health care by the end of his first term?

[snip]

“We needed something to say,” recalled one of the advisers involved in the discussion. “I can’t tell you how little thought was given to that thought other than it sounded good. So they just kind of hatched it on their own. It just happened. It wasn’t like a deep strategic conversation.”

And that, my children, is how Obamacare was born.

Glenn Reynolds takes a look at why Obama is pushing something that Americans have hated from the beginning and, now that they’re learning what’s in it, are hating even more.

Please consider this an Open Thread.

Sweden fiddles while Stockholm burns

When multiple people send me a link to the same story, it’s obvious that I must talk about it.  The story, which seems impossible to believe but is in fact true, concerns the Swede’s creative approach to dealing with those “youths” who are currently entering their sixth (or is it seventh) day of rioting in Stockholm.

Before I focus on the Swedes, I should say here that it seems downright cavalier for me to remind anyone that these “youths” are Muslims who refuse to assimilate.  After all, Sweden doesn’t want to talk about it, and those of us with a few non-PC brain cells left have figured it out anyway.

In this regard, the PC crowd has managed to turn Muslim “youths” into the Victorian equivalent of piano legs.  Victorians, horrified by the crude honesty of the word “leg,” are reputed to have referred to these piano appendages as “limbs” when they referred to them at all, and some are believed to have gone so far as to cover them with skirts.  Some realities are just too dreadful to contemplate.

As with those piano “limbs,” we know that Muslim rioters are there, but the reality is so devastating for delicate sensibilities that the fine minds on the PC side of the spectrum have concluded that we must refer to them as “youths,” if we have to refer to them at all.  They understand that those with dirty (or racist) minds will know what lurks beneath these gauzy, veiled allusions,  while the pure will be protected from ugly truths.

Now back to Sweden’s creative approach to these euphemistically named “youths”:  Swedish law enforcement is doing nothing at all.  Rather like the Londoners who just milled about aimlessly when the Woolwich murderers slaughtered and then butchered Drummer Lee Rigby, and then trolled the streets for attention and applause, the Swedish police are merely “monitoring” the riots:

But while the Stockholm riots keep spreading and intensifying, Swedish police have adopted a tactic of non-interference. ”Our ambition is really to do as little as possible,” Stockholm Chief of Police Mats Löfving explained to the Swedish newspaper Expressen on Tuesday.

”We go to the crime scenes, but when we get there we stand and wait,” elaborated Lars Byström, the media relations officer of the Stockholm Police Department. ”If we see a burning car, we let it burn if there is no risk of the fire spreading to other cars or buildings nearby. By doing so we minimize the risk of having rocks thrown at us.”

The Swedes seem to operate under the peculiar belief that Muslim rage will burn itself out.  In fact, Muslim rage may be the one thing that can refute those who rely upon the non-Prophet-approved laws of physics to claim that there is no such thing as “perpetual motion.”  We now know that there is definitely such a thing as “perpetual emotion,” with the laws of physics falling before the reality of Muslim rage.

Muslim rage is a perpetual fire that has burned untamed for more than 1,500 years.  The closest analogy is probably to those burning mountains of tires one reads about periodically.  They, by the mere act of burning, release ever more fuel to stoke their own perpetual flames.

However, even as the Muslim rage caravans passes by, once the dogs of war stop barking, life go on.  In Sweden, while the rioters get a pass, law-abiding Swedes are still in the line of fire.  The Swedish equivalent of “lovely Rita, meter maid” is undeterred by snow, sleet, rain, dark of night, or riot in the streets.  Car owners who were unlucky enough to see their cars go up in flames are getting one more grain of salt rubbed into their still smoldering wounds:

Photo by Fria Tider of Swedish meter maid at work

Swedish parking laws, however, continue to be rigidly enforced despite the increasingly chaotic situation. Early Wednesday, while documenting the destruction after a night of rioting in the Stockholm suburb of Alby, a reporter from Fria Tider observed a parking enforcement officer writing a ticket for a burnt-out Ford.

When questioned, the officer explained that the ticket was issued because the vehicle lacked a tag showing its time of arrival. The fact that the vehicle had been effectively destroyed – its windshield smashed and the interior heavily damaged by fire – was irrelevant according to the meter maid, who asked Fria Tider’s photographer to destroy the photos he had taken.

Everyone who sent me an email telling me about this story alluded in some way or another to Nero, who was widely reputed to have set Rome on fire so that he could rebuild it as a city worthy of his magnificence, and then to have serenaded himself with the fiddle as the city burned around him.  While that story is almost certainly untrue (the city probably burned because it had a lot of wood, a lot of refuse, and a lot of open flames, and Nero couldn’t have “fiddled” because fiddles didn’t exist), Sweden’s feckless behavior is a reality.

Nero is a cute analogy, but not a useful one.  I find Sydney Smith’s tale of Dame Partington’s battle with the Atlantic a little more on point, except that Sweden, rather than doing battle against the jihadist storm gathering against her, is issuing citations against those who aren’t wearing proper swim attire:

In the midst of this sublime and terrible storm [at Sidmouth], Dame Partington, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and pattens, trundling her mop, squeezing out the sea-water, and vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused; Mrs. Partington’s spirit was up. But I need not tell you that the contest was unequal; the Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs. Partington.

At the end of the day, Sweden (and the rest of Europe) lacking Dame Partington’s fighting spirit, will be inundated more quickly even than she was, and will discover that the real problem was never the missing swimsuits.

One more thing.  On the subject of “youths”:

 

Islam — the ultimate umbrella organization for violent malcontents

Turban Bomb

As was to be expected (and all of you predicted), the media is rushing to indict . . . America for having failed to give two Chechen immigrant brothers the love they needed.  Because of this, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 years old, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 old, became disaffected losers longing to kill.  Or, as their uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Maryland, told reporters: “This has nothing to do with Chechnya.” Instead the Bomb Brothers were “losers — not being able to settle themselves [in America] and thereby just hating everyone who did.”

There’s your narrative:  this was just like Columbine all over again.  Islam was merely a religious bagatelle attached to two young men who would have been ticking time bombs regardless.  And most importantly as far as the Left is concerned, there’s no indication that these boys acted under al Qaeda’s guidance.  They were truly Americanized in that they were self-starters, arriving at terrorism due to their own disaffection and diligence.

To which I say, who cares about al Qaeda?  al Qaeda does not have to be involved in every attack before the bombing can be labeled as bona fide Islamic terrorism.  al Qaeda is just one head of the hydra.  It’s not the beast itself.

The problem is Islam — by which I don’t mean the garden-variety faith that millions of people practice as a party of their ordinary, non-hate-filled lives.  That’s a housebroken version of Islam, and I highly approve of it.

No, the problem is the very core of Islam — its Jihad element — which is a magnet for disaffected people.  The chicken and egg debate (i.e., which came first, Islam or disaffection?) is irrelevant.  The only thing relevant is that Islam comes last, right before the bomb explodes.  Whether Islam breeds terrorists or just provides an attractive justification for malevolent people doesn’t matter.  There it is, sitting like a big ticking egg, just waiting to go BOOM!

chicken_or_egg

I’ve quoted my cousin, the former prison minister (Christian), dozens of times here, but I think it’s important to say again what he once wrote in an email to me:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly [sic] remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

The core of Islam, which is built around Mohammad’s demands that his followers go forth and kill, both creates and attracts killers.  Until we address and de-fang Islam, there will always be “disaffected,” “lone wolves,” who just “coincidentally” have as their last words “Allahu Akhbar.”

The Mayan Apocalypse and the end of the world . . . as we know it

Mayan Apocalypse

According to the much sneered at, and much feared, Mayan Apocalypse, tomorrow marks the end of the world.  I’m inclined to believe this is true.  I don’t, however, expect the earth to explode into a giant ball of cosmic dust or some plague rivaling the Black Death.  What I do see, however, is change on a massive scale, greater even than that which occurred when the Soviet Union collapsed.

The changes we’ll see began four years ago and will now accelerate.  They relate directly to Barack Obama and the three defining characteristics of his presidency:  fiscal irresponsibility, weak world leadership, and a realignment of American interests in Europe and the Middle East.

Going out of business

On the economic front, what we can expect in the future is continued American decline, with Americans expecting and accepting a constantly lower standard of living.  The Progressives have us on the road to regression:  little houses; little, unsafe cars; empty store fronts; increased homelessness; product shortages; and, of course, the social unrest the inevitably follows upon economic instability or decline.  In other words, the end of the American world as we know it.

Chinese military

Around the world, Russia, although declining in population and plagued internally by corruption and want, will do what it always does when things are bad:  attack.  It will continue to flex its muscles by making mischief.  It doesn’t care if it goes down, provided that America’s might precedes it.

China, for all its woes (unbalanced population growth, corruption, killer pollution, etc.) will continue its quest to be the world military power.  The world should fear this.  America used its dominant military power to spread individual freedom as much as possible; China’s power will be more imperialist in nature.

The EU, which was touted just a decade ago as the wave of the future, will collapse.  European states will begin feuding with each other over resources.  While that might feel like “same old, same old,” since Europeans have feuded for thousands of years, this go round will be different:  each state will have within it a Fifth Column that unites to bring all of Europe down and re-shape it into a new model.

And now, a brief, but important digression:

Karl Marx

One of the things Marx believed was that the great worker’s revolution he foresaw would transcend national borders.  Remember the slogan “Workers of the world, unite”?  Marx was certain that, within the industrialized nations, the workers would abandon national fealty and join with each other against their capitalist overlords.

Had Marx been correct, World War I would have been the worker’s moment.  Even as the great powers declared war against each other, the workers ought to have laid down their arms and embraced each other across the battle field.  This didn’t happen.  German, English, and French workers put nationalism ahead of everything.

The workers’ revolution Marx expected to sweep the industrial world happened instead in backwards, agrarian Russia.  Stalin then had to retrofit the supposedly “inevitable” industrial revolution by starving his independent peasant class to death, but that’s another story….

And now, back to the point of this post:

Muslim women London

While Marx was wrong about the 19th and early-20th century workers’ allegiance to their nation versus their allegiance, he was correct to envision a group that has loyalty to its unique identity separate from the nations in which its members reside.  This group, of course, is Muslims.

Over the past few decades, all of the European nations have invited tens of thousands of Muslims into their borders.  These Muslims have refused to integrate, living, instead, in segregated enclaves that have often become laws unto themselves.  Within these enclosed communities, the Imam’s preach jihad:  the violent overthrow of all world governments, followed by a Sharia world.

When the European pact disintegrates, the powers that be will discover that, even as Germany feuds with France over resources, the Muslims within both those nations form an allegiance that sees them turn against their host countries.  The result will be ugly and there won’t be a strong America to stop it.

Obama's bitch is Egyptian dictator

And then there are Barack Obama’s profound alignment shifts.  Both by inclination and calculation, Obama has decided that the old world order, the one that’s been in place pretty much since the end of WWII, isn’t correct.  America shouldn’t be palling around with Western nations, which he believes are responsible for Third World oppression.  Instead, Obama looks to the Muslim world as the wave of the future.  He cultivates increasingly Islamist Turkey; encourages the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise in Egypt; is assiduously neutral towards Iran, to the point of cooperation with its nuclear aspirations; and has cold-shouldered and isolated westernized, democratic Israel.

This is a volte face of staggering proportions and implications.  America has now become a prop for the worst kind of dictatorships.  Moreover, these are the dictatorships that will fund the Muslim Fifth Column in Europe.  Now that Obama has more flexibility, he will accelerate this trend.

Obama’s desire to nominate Chuck Hagel as the Secretary of Defense, although that seems to have stalled for now, perfectly reflects Obama’s New World Order, one that sees a weak America mistreating Israel and cozying up to Muslim dictatorships.

All of which leads me to say that the Mayan Apocalypse is on our doorstep.  We just didn’t have the wit or foresight to imagine what it would look like.

End of the world

When are we going to admit that there is a war going on between us and radical Islam?

I’m guessing that a majority of Americans (a slim majority, but still a majority) know that America entered WWII because the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  What few stop to consider is why we ended up fighting, not only the Japanese who had just bombed us, but the Germans as well, since they, after all, had not yet done anything to us.  The answer to that unasked question is that, for reasons known only to a megalomaniac, a few days after the Pearl Harbor attack, Hitler declared war on the United States.  The United States took up the challenge with gusto.  Within months, America had become a war machine, cranking out ships, tanks, guns, airplanes, and trained troops.  If Hitler hadn’t acted, Germany might have won the war.  England, after all, was on the ropes by the time America came in to help out.

It’s a little chilling to think that, were we to replay December 1941 with Obama in the White House, America would simply have ignored Germany’s declaration of war.  We would have heard that we have no quarrel with the Germans, who are a peaceful people, except of course for a handful of madmen.  We would have been told that, if these madmen killed our citizens, we would bring the actual killers to justice, but that we had no quarrel with the nations or ideology that gave birth to those killers and that are hard at work to raise an army of madmen.

As our administration and media talked, Hitler would have tightened his grip on Europe; fought a single front war against the Soviet Union; killed all the Jews, Gypsies, mentally disabled, and homosexuals in Europe; and then enslaved all Slavs and Communists (never mind that Naziism was a variation of socialism itself).   At the end of the day, our government would have said that we’re scarcely in a position to criticize the Nazis, since America was once a slave country itself.  Congress would then have announced economic sanctions, but the Executive office would have failed to enforce them.

But we don’t need a hyp0thetical December 1941 to imagine what our current administration would do.  We can watch it in real-time today.  There is a saying that “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt” — and it’s funny that you should mention Egypt right now.  As if 9/11/01 and 9/11/02 weren’t strong enough declarations of war, Islamist clerics are actively calling all Egyptians to wage war against the west, starting with kidnapping:

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has urged Egyptians to restart their revolution to press for Islamic law and called on Muslims to kidnap Westerners, the SITE Intelligence Group said Friday.

In a video released on jihadist forums and translated by the US monitoring service, Zawahiri also lashed out at President Barack Obama, calling him a liar and demanding he admit defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan and North Africa.

Criticizing the new Egyptian government — led by a president drawn from the Muslim Brotherhood — as corrupt, he said a battle is being waged in Egypt between a secular minority and Muslims seeking implementation of Shariah law.

I’ll admit that this is a challenging war because we are fighting, not a single nation, but a geographically diffuse ideology, but it is still war.  After all, what do you call it when a vast and recognizable group of individuals announces that it intends to kill and enslave your people, and then uses arms to carry out that promise?

We should be addressing this war on all fronts:  militarily, economically, and ideologically.  Instead, we are pretending it’s not happening.  To give credit where it’s due, George W. Bush figured out the military part and, with Iran, the economic part.  His problem, though, was that, as leader of a pluralist country, but he couldn’t bring himself to break through political correctness to admit that we are at war with a huge ideological foe.  After all, many Americans who are good, decent people share the same label (i.e., “Muslim”) as that foe. We confuse linguistic nuances with substance.

A problem of nomenclature, though, should not be allowed to obscure the fact that we have an active, resolute, powerful, and devious enemy.  We therefore do not fight that foe by excusing it.  Instead, we fight it by using every breath of free speech to challenge it in every way possible — debate, media, leaflets dropped from airplanes, and whatever else could work.

Obama has been the ultimate Islamist apologist.  He has only half-heartedly imposed sanctions against Iran, given a blank check to the Palestinians (who are a front in this Islamist jihad), weakened Israel (which is an ally in this existential battle), demoralized troops and energized enemies in Afghanistan by setting a certain pull-out date, and undermined a nascent democracy in Iraq by pulling out all troops without leaving a provisional force.  As for what just happened in Benghazi, that’s a chapter in itself, one that includes institutional cowardice and politicizing, lying, cover-ups and, with the imprisonment of a video maker, the destruction of our First Amendment.

Not only is Obama not much of a leader, he’s totally unsuited to military leadership.  You have to love your country to lead your military.  Obama doesn’t.  You have to believe in your country’s values to lead your military.  Obama doesn’t.  You have to courage to lead your military.  Obama doesn’t.  At every level, in every way, Obama fails as a military leader.  Let’s fire him from the job before it’s too late and we find ourselves defeated in the war we continue to pretend doesn’t exist.

The news out of England *UPDATED*

A few stories from England’s Daily Mail, all showing that the country is not in the best of health.  Each of these stories highlights, not the horrible things individuals can do, because those crimes transcend national boundaries, but the way in which England has rendered itself unable to react in any way to the insults occurring within its borders.

1.  An Eritrean national who helped plot an attempted jihad-inspired mass murder in England is not only free after serving just half his sentence, but the Brits cannot deport him for fear of violating his human rights.  Interestingly, concern about human rights didn’t seem to impinge on his activities when he helped the would-be bombers.

2.  Somehow England’s best, brightest and Leftest minds were unable to figure out that open immigration would depress wages.  This is what years of Leftist higher education will do to you — make you stupid.

3.  As a child, I remember reading that Soviet hospitals had something in common with medieval hospitals:  if your relatives weren’t there to take care of you, you died.  Turns out that you don’t have to be in a hardcore Communist nation or a medieval time warp for that to open.  Just go to England.  Soft socialism will do exactly the same bad job for you.

4.  Human rights don’t stop with Jihadists.  True blue axe-murdering Brits get their day in the sun too, as was the case with an axe murder with three notches on his blade who was nevertheless allowed out of prison to attend a course in chopping down trees.  Once an axe lover, always an axe lover, I guess.

UPDATE:  Sadie just sent me the worst article of all, one explaining better than anything else could, how Britain has arrived at this state:

From the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz to Meg, the good witch from the Meg and Mog children’s books, witches have always dressed in black.

But their traditional attire has now come in for criticism from equality experts who claim it could send a negative message to toddlers in nursery and lead to racism.

Instead, teachers should censor the toy box and replace the pointy black hat with a pink one, while dressing fairies, generally resplendent in pale pastels, in darker shades.

Another staple of the classroom – white paper – has also been questioned by Anne O’Connor, an early years consultant who advises local authorities on equality and diversity.

Children should be provided with paper other than white to drawn on and paints and crayons should come in “the full range of flesh tones”, reflecting the diversity of the human race, according to the former teacher.

Read the rest here.

And one more from Sadie:  police ban cafe owner from displaying Christian literature (including the Bible) and images, as they are an offense to public order.  The next thing, presumably, will be a raid on Buckingham Palace.  I’ve heard there’s an old woman living there who actually claims to be the head of a Christian church in England.  (I feel a satirical post coming on, if I can just keep my comic mojo going.)

Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Middle East

Israel as the next Saudia Arabia?

 

According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, Israel’s unusually large and high-quality shale oil reserves may yield as much oil as all of Saudi Arabia’s proven oil reserves.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703806304576242420737584278.html

 

These discoveries are in addition to of Israel’s recently diclosed gas reserves, also anticipated to be vaste.

 

There are few countries in the world as reality-based as Israel, because Israel has no other choice. It must be reality based in order to survive. This convinces me that Israel will waste  no time in developing these deposits, not only for self-sufficiency but also to gain leverage with the international community. Imagine the political consequences,, if you would, if Europe no longer had to depend upon the Middle East for its oil.

 

Oh, I wish I could say the same about our own country, rich beyond imagination in oil, gas and coal reserves. In our own country, a far-too-comfortable bourgeoisie entertains unicorn visions of Shangri La-like utopias, unspoiled by any energy development other than windmills and solar panels manufactured in China. The price of these idle visions is steep, as measured by lost jobs, investment capital, trade balances and tax revenues, not to mention military missions to fund our energy needs and keep world energy supplies safe. The self-satisfied American bourgeois elites sleep well, oblivious to the environmental, economic and social disasters inflicted upon our own country and others to satisfy our presumptions of environmental virtue. Not even a record recession (depression?) and all its accompanying miseries is enough to shake our self-satisfied masses from their ut-opium dreams.

 

The bottom-line is that most of the bad international news that we read about today, from Iraq to Libya, Iran, North Africa, Sudan, Nigeria and world jihadism in general, has to do with the quest for affordable energy. Take away oil as an issue by crashing its price on world markets through oversupply, and most of these issues cited above simply fade away, along with the revenues transfered to countries that use them to fund activities inimical to our prosperity and civilization. Crash the price of fuel, jihadism dies. Crash the price of fuel, the world’s poor and unemployed benefit. Israel gets it, we don’t.

 

North America enjoys the world’s largest deposits of oil, gas and coal. Europe has recently discovered immense gas deposits that should more-than meet its internal needs. It’s time for our civilization to wake up: we should be developing our own energy resources as a crack pace, if for nothing else than to avoid a world disaster. War and poverty also have environmental consequences.

 

It is (I hope) not futile to resist the Islamic Borg

One of the things the Leftist multiculturalists refuse to acknowledge is that Islam does not assimilate.  Individual practitioners of the faith may, periodically and superficially, espouse the culture in which they live, but the fact remains that Islam, by its nature, is the Borg.

Borg-like, the Islam collective’s motto is “Resistance is futile.  You will be assimilated.”  The Borg/Islam collective does not recognize the possibility that it might be the entity that assimilates.  As with the fictional Borg populating Star Trek : The Next Generation, when the Islamists move in on a territory, they move in to conquer and for no other reason.

I mention this pop culture analogy here, because one of Singapore’s past leaders, Lee Kuan Yew, in an interview to promote his new book, spoke about Islam’s failure to assimilate, and he made a statement that is, I think, full comparable to Churchill’s speech about the Iron Curtain dividing Europe:

In the book, Mr Lee, when asked to assess the progress of multiracialism in Singapore, said: “I have to speak candidly to be of value, but I do not wish to offend the Muslim community.

“I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came, and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration – friends, intermarriages and so on, Indians with Chinese, Chinese with Indians – than Muslims. That’s the result of the surge from the Arab states.”

He added: “I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam.”

He also said: “I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate.”

Mr lee then went on to speak of how his own generation of politicians who worked with him had integrated well, including sitting down and eating together. He said: “But now, you go to schools with Malay and Chinese, there’s a halal and non-halal segment and so too, the universities. And they tend to sit separately so as not to be contaminated. All that becomes a social divide.”

He added that the result was a “veil” across peoples. Asked what Muslims in Singapore needed to do to integrate, he replied: “Be less strict on Islamic observances and say ‘Okay, I’ll eat with you.’”  (Emphasis mine.)

Certainly if there’s one image that epitomizes Islam, it’s the veiled face, whether the veil hides women from all civic interactions or masks the men on Western streets who commit violence with impunity as they hide their faces from the authorities.

Yew, who is no longer a power broker, has the luxury of age and retirement to speak of this veil.  It’s interesting, however, that Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has suddenly decided to speak up as well about the Borg in Britain’s midst:

In an attack on Britain’s previous government, Cameron said authorities there had been too hesitant to intervene when some sectors of society espoused abhorrent views.

“We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values,” Cameron said. “We have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.”

Cameron said a culture of tolerance had allowed both Islamic extremists, and far-right extremists, to build support for their causes. “We’ve been too cautious, frankly even fearful, to stand up to them,” he said.

Some European allies have criticized Britain for harboring hardline Islamic clerics and failing to clamp down on mosques that promote a perverted view of Islam.

Several terrorists involved in attacks or attempted plots in the U.S., Sweden, Denmark and Norway over the last two years have had links to Britain, or British-based clerics.

“If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it’s time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past,” Cameron said. “Instead of ignoring this extremist ideology, we – as governments and societies – have got to confront it, in all its forms.”

I am delighted to see people with bully pulpits begin to speak, although I don’t expect to hear anything intelligent on the subject from the world’s premier bully pulpit until January 2013 (assuming all goes well in the November 2012 elections).  As it is, my only hope now is that the Islamic/Borg invaders haven’t already reached to a tipping point from which there is no return.

Hat tip:  American Thinker

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

And Mussolini made the trains run on time….

When I read that the Obama administration is good with having the Muslim Brotherhood on board in Egypt, because it’s really not such a bad organization, I keep thinking of 1930′s rationalizations about Mussolini:  He made the trains run on time.  Surely our standards of decency are higher than that?

Uh, no.  I guess not.

UPDATEYet another example of the “Mussolini was efficient” attitude.

Left again allies itself with radical Islam

My husband has, for years, castigated me for refusing to listening to Cat Stevens’ music.  He makes two points, the first of which is valid, the second of which is not.  First, he says, the music predates Stevens’ conversion.  If I hear it on the radio, Stevens isn’t getting any royalties anyway, so there’s no harm, no foul.

This is true.  But I still hate to hear Stevens because he irritates me so much.  And why does he irritate me?  Well, that gets to the second reason my husband scolds me, and as to that reason, my husband is wrong:  “You don’t like him just because he’s a Muslim.”  No, buddy.  I don’t like him because he’s a jihadist who advocates the murder of those who disagree with Islam.

My twenty-year old mini-dispute with my husband (and it really is mini, because how often does Cat Stevens come up in daily life?) has suddenly taken on a bit more resonance for me, as my husband’s favorite comic du0 — Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert — happily and proudly hosted this jihadist at their rally to “restore sanity.”  I know I’m picky, but I don’t consider it sane for Americans, especially Jewish Americans, to cavort with jihadists.  I’m clearly out of step, though, with this “super hip” American zeitgeist.

If you want to know more, lots more, check out Ed Driscoll, who always has good stuff.

Sit back and watch as America enters “The Twilight Zone”

In the early television era, one of the most innovative and imaginative shows around was Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone.  Certain episodes were so compelling that they entered the popular imagination, and are familiar to anyone over 30.  One of the most brilliant episodes, shown in 1961, was It’s a Good Life, based upon a Jerome Bixby short story.  I’ll let Rod Serling himself explain the episode’s premise:

‘Tonight’s story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction.

This, as you may recognize, is a map of the United States, and there’s a little town there called Peaksville. On a given morning not too long ago, the rest of the world disappeared and Peaksville was left all alone. Its inhabitants were never sure whether the world was destroyed and only Peaksville left untouched or whether the village had somehow been taken away. They were, on the other hand, sure of one thing: the cause. A monster had arrived in the village. Just by using his mind, he took away the automobiles, the electricity, the machines – because they displeased him – and he moved an entire community back into the dark ages – just by using his mind.

Now I’d like to introduce you to some of the people in Peaksville, Ohio. This is Mr. Fremont. It’s in his farmhouse that the monster resides. This is Mrs. Fremont. And this is Aunt Amy, who probably had more control over the monster in the beginning than almost anyone. But one day she forgot. She began to sing aloud. Now, the monster doesn’t like singing, so his mind snapped at her, turned her into the smiling, vacant thing you’re looking at now. She sings no more. And you’ll note that the people in Peaksville, Ohio, have to smile. They have to think happy thoughts and say happy things because once displeased, the monster can wish them into a cornfield or change them into a grotesque, walking horror. This particular monster can read minds, you see. He knows every thought, he can feel every emotion.

Oh yes, I did forget something, didn’t I? I forgot to introduce you to the monster. This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He’s six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you’d better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge. This is the Twilight Zone.’

The episode walks viewers through the horrors little Anthony inflicts on the town’s residents if they think negative thoughts or engage in behaviors that irk him.  By show’s end, when one of the town’s citizens, having imbibed enough to have some dutch courage, calls Anthony both a monster and a murderer, Anthony turns him into a jack-in-the-box.  Not content with that act of personal destruction, Anthony also causes snow to fall, destroying crops and ensuring the town’s demise.

Even as their destruction stares them in the face, the town’s residents still try to placate the monster in their midst, with the last scripted words spoken being “…but it’s a real good thing you did. A real good thing. And tomorrow….tomorrow’s gonna be a… real good day!”

Rod Serling, of course, provides the perfect coda to Anthony’s reign of terror (emphasis mine):

‘No comment here, no comment at all. We only wanted to introduce you to one of our very special citizens, little Anthony Fremont, age 6, who lives in a village called Peaksville in a place that used to be Ohio. And if by some strange chance you should run across him, you had best think only good thoughts. Anything less than that is handled at your own risk, because if you do meet Anthony you can be sure of one thing: you have entered the Twilight Zone.

The show’s first audience was composed in part of the World War II generation, and entirely of the Cold War generation.  These were people who had seen first hand totalitarian regimes that demanded their citizens’ total obedience.

To enforce that obedience, the spy network for each of these totalitarian governments measured people’s allegiance by closely examining their behavior.  The wrong word, a mis-timed blink or twitch, an unfortunate handshake in the street, and ordinary people would suddenly find themselves in the gulag or the gas chamber.  The regimes surely regretted that they lacked Anthony’s mind reading skills, but with a frightened population, spies in every family, and draconian punishments for even the slightest deviation from total devotion, they were surprisingly effective at creating a Stepford citizenry that, even as the world crumbled, repeated that every government initiative was “a real good thing.”

For decades, Americans assumed that “it can’t happen here.”  American strength and American freedom would inevitably overwhelm any efforts to turn the thought police lose on the American public.  But of course, it has happened here, although not with the bloodshed and torture that characterizes most totalitarian regimes.  Instead, through the medium of political correctness, which preys on Americans’ innate desire to be a good and decent people, we are constantly pushed into “correct” modes of thought.  Deviate from that line of thinking and you will find yourself publicly pilloried as an “-ist” (e.g., racist or sexist), or a “phobe” (e.g., Islamophobe), appellations that have become the ultimate insult that can be visited upon any good American.

Have you given any hint that you think unfettered illegal immigration is deleterious to America’s economy and the security of her citizens?  You’re a racist.

Have you muttered that it’s wrong to destroy collegiate men’s sports programs so that there is numerical parity with women’s sports programs, even though the latter are historically less likely to desire such programs?  You’re a sexist pig.

Have you mentioned that it’s more than coincidence that the common denominator in the vast majority of terrorism attacks around the world is the perpetrator’s devotion to Islam?  You’re a racist Islamophobe.

Did you perhaps contribute a few dollars to the campaign to maintain traditional marriage in America?  You’re a homophobe.

Have you criticized Barack Obama’s policies?  You’re a racist.

Have you criticized Michelle Obama’s arms?  You’re a racist and a sexist.

And so it goes, from matters major to minor:  any deviation from the politically correct norm is subject to withering, soul-destroying insults.  It’s not a physical gulag, but an emotional one.

What’s sad is that, as with Al Gore’s famous boiling frog, we’ve slowly acclimated to this creeping deprivation of the quintessentially American liberty of freedom of speech.  We’ve therefore willingly tried to conform our thoughts to the “right” way of thinking, so that it’s always a “real good day” in America — at least as “good” is defined by the race-obsessed, sex-obsessed, statists among us.

Bad as all this is, I think the worst is yet to come.  Right now, average Americans are censoring their speech, but they’re still thinking the thoughts.  Polls and votes show that people don’t like illegal (as opposed to legal) immigration; that they recognize that Islam is a breeding ground for terrorism (although not all Muslims are terrorists); that traditional marriage is an institution that should be carefully considered before being thoughtlessly overthrown; and that Barack Obama’s policies are disastrous, at home and abroad.  We’re cowed, but our brains our still active.

The New York City bombing attempt may change all that.  Although initial reports were conflicting a couple of things are now perfectly clear about that bombing attempt:  (1) the target was Viacom and (2) the perpetrator was a Muslim (Shahzad Faisal, according to a recent bip on my iPhone).

Viacom, of course, is the parent company of Comedy Central — and Comedy Central is the company that thought better of airing a South Park episode that poked fun at the Islamic obsession, not just with observing its own blackout of Mohamed’s image, but with forcing everyone else in the world to abide by that same religious mandate.  (As an aside, this obsession, while it has a long history in Islam, has never been universally observed.  There are significant numbers of Islam representations of Mohamed.  The current screaming mania is as much a manifestation of jihad as it is of a genuine religious impulse amongst the Islamists.)

So what we have here is a company that self-censored, but still ended up on the receiving end of a bomb.  Viacom’s dhimmi behavior was inadequate to placate the Islamic radicals.  Unlike past totalitarian regimes, which accepted conforming behavior as adequate to deflect the thought police, the new Islamic regime wants to ensure that we don’t even have the thoughts anymore.  Just like little Anthony, Islamists want to make sure that, when it comes to their faith and their prophet, we “had best think only good thoughts.” Entertaining the possibility of any other ideas relative to Islam is likely to be deadly.

In another era, of course, an era that hasn’t been bleached of strength by the PC police, by identity politics, and by increasing statism (and, therefore, decreasing individualism), Americans would have given the Islamists the one-fingered salute they deserve.  Historically, when America, with its size, strength and freedoms, stood up to tyranny, America won.  But we no longer can boast those virtues.

Sure we’re big, but we’re not a strong melting pot.  Instead, we’re a fractious “salad bowl” (the politically correct metaphor for an identity riven nation).

Yes, we’re strong, but we’re weakening all the time, as we give away our energy independence, our economic power, and our weapons.

And lastly, we’re increasingly less free as we willingly hand our lives and our thoughts over to the statists.  As the good people of New Orleans demonstrated in Hurricane Katrina’s wake, when you consign yourself entirely to government care, your ability to care for yourself (and the courage such care requires) rapidly atrophies.

Put simply:  we don’t have the moral or physical strength any more, as a citizenry, to take a stand against threats to our fundamental freedoms.  TV shows will be ever more bland and careful.  Newspapers, echoing the BBC, may well start proactively appending “pbuh” to stories the reference Mohamed.  And ordinary citizens, increasingly cowed by accusations of “isms” (e.g., racism) and phobias (e.g., Islamophobia), will not only keep their mouths shut, but will also keep their thoughts pure.

Welcome to the new American Twilight Zone.

If you read only one thing this weekend — read Mark Steyn on Fort Hood and Multiculturalism

In a field rich with excellent conservative writers, I always think Mark Steyn is the best.  The joyful days, though, are the days when he outdoes even himself.  In this week’s column about the fluffy multiculturalism that reared its head both before and after Hasan’s deadly terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Steyn outdoes himself.  Here are a few excerpts, but you have to read the whole thing to get the flavor:

The truth is we’re not prepared to draw a line even after he’s gone ahead and committed mass murder. “What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy,” said Gen. George Casey, the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff, “but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.” A “greater tragedy” than 14 dead and dozens of wounded? Translating from the original brain-addled multicult-speak, the Army chief of staff is saying that the same fatuous prostration before marshmallow illusions that led to the “tragedy” must remain in place. If it leads to occasional mass murder, well, hopefully it can be held to what cynical British civil servants used to call, during the Northern Irish “Troubles,” “an acceptable level of violence.” Fourteen dead is evidently acceptable. A hundred and forty? Fourteen hundred? I guess we’ll find out.

[snip]

The brain-addled “diversity” of General Casey will get some of us killed, and keep all of us cowed. In the days since the killings, the news reports have seemed increasingly like a satirical novel the author’s not quite deft enough to pull off, with bizarre new Catch 22s multiplying like the windmills of your mind: If you’re openly in favor of pouring boiling oil down the throats of infidels, then the Pentagon will put down your e-mails to foreign jihadists as mere confirmation of your long established “research interests.” If you’re psychotic, the Army will make you a psychiatrist for fear of provoking you. If you gun down a bunch of people, within an hour the FBI will state clearly that we can all relax, there’s no terrorism angle, because, in our over-credentialized society, it doesn’t count unless you’re found to be carrying Permit #57982BQ3a from the relevant State Board of Jihadist Licensing.

A prescient “news” show about the desperate search for answers after a bombing

I don’t think the media has ever before been so blatant in its desire to divorce an evil act from its ideological origins, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen that game played out.  More than two years ago, a short lived comedy show on Fox used the occasion of an abortive bombing in London to examine the media’s perpetual confusion about motive:

I’d just like to add a couple more thoughts about whether the shooter was insane, since insanity is a free pass on the Left.  After all, in a therapeutic world, nothing is normal.  Everybody is a bundle of pathologies, some of which are worse — and therefore more excusable — than others.  In that view, of course Hasan was insane, because only insane people kill.  This is a comfortable tautology that removes all responsibility from the actor.  It also brings to mind a joke Jay Nordlinger retells in today’s Impromptus:

Two liberals are walking down the road and they come to a person in the ditch. He has been beaten, and lies moaning, broken, bleeding. One liberal says to the other, “Quick, we have to find the people who did this: They need help.”

I also keep thinking of the 19th Century definition of insanity — the M’Naughton defense — which focused on the actor’s ability to distinguish right from wrong, and reality from absolute fantasy.  It wasn’t a perfect measure by any means, but it tended to hew more closely to a normal person’s sense of what insanity is.  You’re insane if you think the person next to you is a giant beetle and try to squash him; you’re not insane if you’re an adult in thrall to a homicidal ideology subscribed to by a substantial portion of the world’s population, and you decide to slaughter as many of your fellow soldiers as possible in order to advance that ideology.

Hat tip:  Sadie

He shouted Allahu Akbar *UPDATED*

An eyewitness heard those words — Allahu Akbar — come out of the killer’s mouth.  Private Joe Foster, though, is still ready to do his job, as he did at the time of the shooting, and that despite a bullet strike on his femur.

UPDATE:  You must — MUST — check out Mudville Gazette to see the way in which CNN twisted Private Foster’s words.  It’s shocking.

What you lose about Islamic terrorism when you read only the headlines

My liberal friend is a headline reader.  That’s why we had a ridiculous conversation in which he wondered about the Fort Hood shooter’s motives.  To the reader who scans, headlines that say “motives a mystery” trump even those articles that add, under the headline, little facts such as Muslim death cries (“Allahu Akbar!”), radical mosques, jihadist internet postings and FBI scrutiny.

I thought of this when a scan of my local paper led me to yet another completely misleading headline today: “Filipino militants behead captive schoolteacher.” The incurious reader, with the MTV or CNN approach to news gathering, is left with the impression that there’s some sort of civil war in the Phillipines, with some of those nasty Filipino’s acting out.  The slightly more inquisitive reader will discover that Al Qaeda lies at the heart of this brutal murder:

Suspected al-Qaida-linked militants in the southern Philippines beheaded a schoolteacher after kidnapping him last month, officials said Monday.

The severed head of Gabriel Canizares, 36, was left in a bag at a gas station on Jolo Island, three weeks after suspected Abu Sayyaf militants stopped a passenger minibus and dragged him away in front of his colleagues, said regional military commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino.

The militants, notorious for bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings, were reportedly demanding a ransom of 2 million pesos ($42,000) for his release.

What’s fascinating is that the word “Islam” never appears in the article, while the word “Muslim” appears only in what seems to be an irrelevant aside, in the very last paragraph, about student populations in the region:

He said his department was at a loss how to ensure security for public schoolteachers in high-risk areas and feared that the kidnappings would discourage others from teaching underprivileged youths in Muslim areas.

I’ll readily concede that you’d have to have lived under a rock for a long, long time not to appreciate that organizations such as Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah (described in the same article as a “Southeast Asian terrorist group”) are Muslim in nature.  Nevertheless, the AP’s deliberately unwillingness to acknowledge that Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah aren’t just coincidentally Muslim, but have as their central tenet the violent advance of their Muslim faith, goes beyond a writer’s desire to avoid larding prose with the obvious.  Instead, the news service is manifestly trying to unlink the groups from religion in the public mind.  To this end, the report carefully carefully gives out the groups’ names, while describing them as “militants” or “terrorists,” the genesis of whose terror or militancy clearly has no known cause.

This obfuscatory, almost fraudulent writing* matters, as we know, because of the media’s frantic effort to de-couple the murderous Hasan of Fort Hood** from his faith.  Jeffrey Goldberg, whose tenure at the Atlantic is going to get shorter and shorter as he keeps stating honest truths,*** has this to say on that subject:

A consensus seems to have formed here at The Atlantic that the Ft. Hood massacre means not very much at all. Megan McArdle writes that “there is absolutely no political lesson to be learned from this.” James Fallows says: “The shootings never mean anything. Forty years later, what did the Charles Whitman massacre ‘mean’? A decade later, do we ‘know’ anything about Columbine?”  And the Atlantic Wire has already investigated the motivation for the shooting, and released its preliminary findings. Of Nidal Malik Hasan, the Wire states: “A 39-year-old Army psychiatrist, he appears to have not been motivated by his Muslim religion, his Palestinian heritage (he is American by nationality), or any related political causes.”

It seems, though, that when an American military officer who is a practicing Muslim allegedly shoots forty of his fellow soldiers who are about to deploy to the two wars the United States is currently fighting in Muslim countries, some broader meaning might, over time, be discerned, especially if the officer did, in fact, yell “Allahu Akbar” while murdering his fellow soldiers, as some soldiers say he did. This is the second time this year American soldiers on American soil have been gunned down by a Muslim who was reportedly unhappy with America’s wars in the Middle East (the first took place in Arkansas, to modest levels of notice). And, of course, this would not be the first instance of an American Muslim soldier killing fellow soldiers over his disagreements with American foreign policy; in 2003, Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar killed two officers and wounded fourteen others when he rolled a grenade into a tent in a homicidal protest against American policy.

Please do read the rest of Goldberg’s thoughtful, intelligent and intellectually honest post.   Then think about everything else you’ve read.  And then wonder if the Fort Hood massacre will be the breaking point for the American people, because it will stand as the moment when they can no longer stomach the cognitive dissonance of a media that so assiduously avoids the hard facts playing out in real time before our eyes.

______________________________

*And it is fraud, as a matter of law, the the speaker deliberately fails to disclose material facts in order to deceive.

**I promised a military friend I wouldn’t use his rank and name together, since he doesn’t deserve that honor.

*** I see Goldberg pulling a John Stossel and seeking a more salubrious and intellectually honest work environment.

Islam had everything to do with Fort Hood

Insane people reflect the obsessions of their times.  In the old days, insane people heard messages from the Devil.  In the post-nuclear age, they were in contact with Martians.  And nowadays, if their Muslim, Islam gives the impetus to their urges.  Indeed, Islam is an all-purpose blank check for bad behavior.  As my cousin, the prison chaplain, says:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

Math was never my strong point at school, but I managed to grasp the concept of a Venn Diagram.   The beauty of a Venn Diagram is that it’s a nice visual for the common denominators that may bind together otherwise disparate facts or events.  On the Venn Diagram of massacres on American soil, one of the largest areas of overlap is Islam.  The fact that these attacks aren’t necessarily generated at Al Qaeda headquarters is irrelevant.  Indeed, the absence of Al Qaeda involvement is helpful, because police work probably finds it easier to catch groups than lone individuals.

Nevertheless, the President and the media are very busy assuring ordinary Americans that Islam had absolutely nothing to do with Hasan’s murderous rampage at Fort Hood.  Some examples:

  • President Obama says “don’t jump to conclusions.”  On the one hand, he’s correct.  On the other hand, (a) he didn’t take his own advice when it came to Henry Louis Gates and “stupid cops” (although maybe he learned his lesson then); and (b) it’s very clear that he wants to steer Americans away permanently from even thinking that Islam is connected to death.
  • The BBC says “Shooting Raises Fears For Muslims In US Army.”  Mark Steyn has the perfect riposte to this headline:  it is “the grossest bad taste to default every single time within minutes to the position that what’s of most interest about an actual atrocity with real victims is that it may provoke an entirely hypothetical atrocity with entirely hypothetical victims.”
  • Chris Matthews expresses confusion at the way religion is even mentioned in connection with Hasan’s rampage (and the hell with him invoking Allah’s name at the height of his killing spree).
  • NPR says “the motive behind the shootings was not immediately clear.”
  • The New York Times suggests that this arm chair jockey, who just sat back and listened, snapped from the stress of war.  Yeah.  Right.

Just to offset this type of quisling behavior, let me offer to you a long list of articles that call murder in the name of Allah — whether the killer is alone or in a group, rational or irrational, American or non-American — by its true name:  Jihad.

Mark Steyn:   “What happened to those men and women at Fort Hood had a horrible symbolism: Members of the best trained, best equipped fighting force on the planet gunned down by a guy who said a few goofy things no one took seriously. And that’s the problem: America has the best troops and fiercest firepower, but no strategy for throttling the ideology that drives the enemy — in Afghanistan and in Texas.”

Rusty Shackleford:  “Hasan was a devout Muslim who, prior to his transfer to the Texas base, attended a conservative mosque on a daily basis and was known by associates to occasionally rant about U.S. involvement in the War on Terror. Press accounts also claim that Hasan had at one time been the subject of an FBI investigation because of an internet posting bearing his name which justified suicide bombings.  [Para.] No one should be shocked that Hasan would turn to murder and terror. The only thing shocking about Hasan’s actions is the amount of carnage.”

Jennifer Rubin:  “Listen, ignoring reality and feigning indifference to the views and behavior of Major Hasan is how we wound up with 13 dead and 30 wounded, right? Perhaps we should be candid for once. The American people can figure this one out — and those who continue to play dumb will earn only their contempt.”

Roger Simon:  “The immediate reaction of the mainstream media on learning of the activities of Nidal Malik Hasan was to say that he was crazy. And no doubt that was true. Anyone with a passing knowledge of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM IV), could probably place Major Hasan comfortably in several categories.  [para.] Of course, the same could be said of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Usama bin Laden and various other mass murderers of recent history. Nevertheless, the attempt was to explain away Hasan’s actions as pathological and thus avoid dealing with, or even – to the degree possible – mentioning the ideology to which his neuroses adhere (hint: it begins with an “I”).  [para.] This strategy is a form of what is popularly known as political correctness, which I submit is also a pathology and a quite virulent one – in this case, arguably the cause of death of the thirteen men and women murdered at Fort Hood.”

J.R. Salzman:  “[Y]ou don’t get PTSD from sitting on your ass around Walter Reed. Not only is it not possible to “catch” secondhand PTSD, but it is not that kind of a place. I would know, I was a patient there for nine months. The place is simply not that stressful or chaotic. When I was there my PTSD got better, not worse.”

Leon de Winter:  “There is only one term that adequately describes the massacre at Fort Hood: a terrorist attack. The media tries to avoid this term, but the more that is known about the killer, the more it becomes clear that this premeditated and deadly attack on unarmed soldiers and civilians was driven by his belief that Islam should rule the world.”

Robert Spencer:  “Major Hasan’s motive was perfectly clear — but it was one that the forces of political correctness and the Islamic advocacy groups in the United States have been working for years to obscure. So it is that now that another major jihad terror attack has taken place on American soil, authorities and the mainstream media are at a loss to explain why it happened – and the abundant evidence that it was a jihad attack is ignored.”

Michael Ledeen:   “I’m all for waiting until all the evidence is in from Texas before reaching any conclusions, but that should apply to everyone.  Notably to the FBI, which seems to have developed a conditioned reflex that requires the Bureau to announce, within seconds of any act of murder, ‘there is no evidence of terrorism.’  Which, in this case, is ridiculous, since it was precisely that.  [para] All of which brings us back to one of the nastiest problems we face:  the indoctrination of Americans in this country.  If you look beneath the surface of these plots and murders, you will often find that the actual or would-be killers have attended radical mosques.  They don’t come to jihad by sitting quietly at home and reading the Koran.  They hear sermons, they are guided in the paths of terror, and they choose to become terrorists.  And in this country, those radical sermons and that incitement is traditionally treated as ‘protected speech.’  It’s protected by the First Amendment, and its guarantee of freedom of religion.”

Jamie Glazov:  “The murders by Malik Nadal Hasan at Ft. Hood, TX are not a ‘lone wolf incident’ as being described by most media organizations. Hasan had been taught the ideology that is being advocated by hundreds of Islamic scholars and Imams in the U.S. We as a country can continue to deny there are numerous Islamic leaders and their supporting organizations such as CAIR, ISNA, MSA, and MANA, to name a few, who advocate killing innocent men, women, and children whom they allege ‘oppress Islam.’”

Victor Davis Hanson carefully looks at the number of Islamists who have plotted or carried out attacks against civilians (and Ft. Hood’s soldiers were, within their home base, tantamount to civilians), and politely destroys the argument that it’s just coincidence that so many mass murderers, and attempted mass murderers, in the past decade have been Muslim.

David Horowitz:   “The Ft. Hood killings are the chickens of the left coming home to roost. Already the chief political correspondent of The Nation has decried even mention of the fact that the jihadist killer Hasan is a Palestinian Muslim. According to The Nation this  is ‘Islamophobia.’ This fatuous attempt to protect America’s enemies carries on The Nation’s 60-year tradition as the leading fifth column collaborator with America’s enemies — defender of the Rosenbergs, defender of Hiss, defender of their boss Stalin, defender of Mao, defender of Castro and now defender of Islamic terrorists. But The Nation is only the tip of an iceberg. The fifth column formed out of the unholy alliance between radical Islam and the American left is now entrenched in the White House and throughout our government. And in matters like the Muslim jihadist Major Hasan our military is its captive.”

Phyllis Chesler:  “Sudden Jihad Syndrome, (it’s not all that “sudden” by the way), Personal Jihad Syndrome, call it what you will—these terrible acts should not be psychiatrically diagnosed and excused. In Islamist culture what Major Hasan did is a glorious act, a desired act; it is not the act of someone who is considered psychiatrically deranged. At the risk of being called a racist, allow me to suggest that we must connect the dots before it is too late. Islam now=jihad=hate propaganda=9/11=the tragedy at Ft. Hood.  [Para.]  That means Islam now, and its followers of all colors and ethnicities, is at war with the entire world, is dreaming of a Caliphate to be achieved through violent jihad. I doubt that Major Hasan is a Sufi Muslim.”

Bruce Bawer:  “Could there be a more bitter contrast? At Fort Hood, so many courageous GIs, all of them prepared to risk their lives fighting the Islamic jihadist enemy in defense of our freedom, several of them now dead. And, on our TV screens, so many apparently craven journalists, public officials, psychiatrists, and (alas) even military brass — all but a few of whom seemed unwilling to do anything more than hint obliquely at the truth that obviously lies at the root of this monstrous act.”

John Weidner (who is kind enough to link to me):  “Pacifism, or rather nihilism disguised as fake-pacifism, is one of the sicknesses of our time. No matter how many times it’s proved wrong, a large portion of the populace will continue to believe that looking and being weak will make them safer and will prevent violence and war. But pacifism causes war.  [Para.] Whoever gave the orders that American soldiers should not carry their sidearms or other weapons on our military bases murdered those soldiers who died at Ft Hood. Charlene was an Army brat, and she says that personnel carried their weapons on the base when she was young. Somebody (the phrase “death panel” springs to mind) disarmed the very men and women who are sworn to protect us using violent force when necessary. INSANE! SICK!”

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Why is this religion different from all other religions?

I want to recommend two interesting things to read as a prelude to my core post.  The first read comes from a reliably good source:  Rusty Shackleford.  Over at The Jawa Report, he looks at the banality that exists side by side with the evil that is North Carolina’s recently arrested home grown jihadists.  It makes for chilling read.

The second good read, again about Islam, comes, most surprisingly, from a normally terrible source on the subject:  The New York Times.  There, in today’s book review pages, you will find an honest and admiring review of Christopher Caldwell’s carefully researched Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, about the Islamisization of Europe. I hope the paper’s editors read their own book reviews. They might learn something from this one, especially when it comes to the dangers of stifling discourse through a rancid combination of politically correct thought and fear of Muslims.

As to both of these, I’d like to make a larger point.  During Passover, Jews ask the question “Why is this night different from all other nights?”  At this juncture in history, it’s very important to ask a similar question:  “Why is this religion different from all other religions?”

Why, when religious Jewish women cover their heads, do I shrug and say, “Well, that’s their religion,” while when more and more Muslim women show up with heads covered, I get a frisson of fear?  The answer is not that I’m a philo-Semite or an Islamaphobe (although both statements are probably true).  Instead, it lies in the fact that the Jews do not have as their goal a world in which all women are forced to wear head coverings.  Even if Jews reached critical mass in America, they would not do what is done in countries in which Muslims have reached critical mass:  throw acid in the faces of or rape or murder women who don’t conform to their religious dress codes.

Why, when Hispanics sneak into this country illegally am I merely upset about their breaking the law and sucking up resources, while even legal Muslim immigrants frighten me?  The answer is not that I have an unreasoning fear of Muslims, while I’m willing to give Hispanics a pass.  There’s nothing unreasoning in my fear of an immigrant group that does not desire to assimilate into American society but wants, instead, to destroy it.  Nor is there anything unreasoning in my fear of an immigrant group that, when it achieves critical mass, engages in religiously driven violence against the others in the society. Nor are either of those fears fantasies.  The point of my reference to the Caldwell books is that those fears, which are still abstract in America, are fact in Europe.

Why, when certain immigrants cling to their unique cultures, do I think it’s charming or irrelevant, but when Muslims cling to their unique cultures it frightens me?  Could it be because Muslim doctors refuse to wash their hands, either because women aren’t supposed to show their arms or because none of them are supposed to touch (although I’m sure Mohammed meant “imbibe”) alcohol — a problem becoming increasingly chronic in the British health care system?  Or could it be because Muslim grocery store clerks, rather than getting a more religiously appropriate job, sue that they won’t have to handle ham, which is an American cultural staple?  Or could it be because Muslim culture is deeply misoygynistic, something that reveals itself in honor killings all over the globe — not to mention a desire to make women, all women, not just Muslim women, wear tents.  I’m sure you have examples in stored in your own memory banks so I won’t go on.  The point is that this is a religion that, once it enteres a country, wants things done it’s own way.  Rather than seeking to benefit from the host country’s good qualities, it seeks to destroy those things and subordinate everything to Islam.

Thinking about it, to call Islam just a religion is almost a misnomer.  Islam is a way of life and politics that transcends mere worship.  When Islam takes over, every facet of life is subject to its dictates.  One is either a slave to Allah, or a slave to Allah’s worshippers.  Islam does not accept pluralism.  Things that are quaint or bizarre in other religions are deeply threatening when the religion is Islam.

Keep yourself educated.  Hate-filled rhetoric is counterproductive.  But fact-filled rhetoric is something one hopes will help innoculate us against the deadly scourge of an Islamic takeover — because Islam is not a religion like any other.

Mark Steyn on calling an ideology by its true name *UPDATED*

It’s no surprise that I’m not the only one thinking about the nature of the war waging around us.  Mark Steyn is thinking about it too, but he’s added the other layer to the problem, which is the West’s willful refusal to acknowledge the enemy.  Thus, after briefly discussing the way the press, imitating the medieval scholars with their spirited debates about angels and pins, reports endlessly about how many terrorists there were, and how many rafts they took, and how many bullets they fired, and how many victims they left in their wake, Steyn turns to the problem with this obsession with resolving the details:

[W]e’re in danger of missing the forest for the trees. The forest is the ideology. It’s the ideology that determines whether you can find enough young hotshot guys in the neighborhood willing to strap on a suicide belt or (rather more promising as a long-term career) at least grab an AK-47 and shoot up a hotel lobby. Or, if active terrorists are a bit thin on the ground, whether you can count at least on some degree of broader support on the ground. You’re sitting in some distant foreign capital but you’re of a mind to pull off a Mumbai-style operation in, say, Amsterdam or Manchester or Toronto. Where would you start? Easy. You know the radical mosques, and the other ideological front organizations. You’ve already made landfall.

[snip]

Many of us, including the incoming Obama administration, look at this as a law-enforcement matter. Mumbai is a crime scene, so let’s surround the perimeter with yellow police tape, send in the forensics squad, and then wait for the D.A. to file charges.

There was a photograph that appeared in many of the British papers, taken by a Reuters man and captioned by the news agency as follows: “A suspected gunman walks outside the premises of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus railway station.” The photo of the “suspected gunman” showed a man holding a gun. We don’t know much about him – he might be Muslim or Episcopalian, he might be an impoverished uneducated victim of Western colonialist economic oppression or a former vice-president of Lehman Brothers embarking on an exciting midlife career change – but one thing we ought to be able to say for certain is that a man pointing a gun is not a “suspected gunman” but a gunman. “This kind of silly political correctness infects reporters and news services worldwide,” wrote John Hinderaker of Powerline. “They think they’re being scrupulous – the man hasn’t been convicted of being a gunman yet! – when, in fact, they’re just being foolish. But the irrational conviction that nothing can be known unless it has been determined by a court and jury isn’t just silly, it’s dangerous.”

Put these same reporters and administration officials in the enclosed fantasy world that is Harry Potter, and they’ll readily admit that the Ministry of Magic has been making a mistake in pretending that Voldemort doesn’t exist, right down to its insistence that his name be silenced forever (“He who must not be named.”)  Somehow, though, in an excess of PC-empathy, they seem to feel that precisely that failed fictional strategy ought to be applied in the real world, since Death Eaters have feelings too.

UPDATEMelanie Phillips makes the same point.

And I’d like to add here a reminder of the way in which the Islamist Death Eaters do battle:  they tortured their Jewish victims so horribly that even doctors inured to death could not bear to contemplate what had been done to those people.  Our American/European press, again in deference to Death Eater feelings, is not reporting that information to the American people, but it needs to be known.

In all past wars, normative behavior was for ones own side exaggerated the bad qualities of the enemy in an effort to stir up popular feelings.  For example, the famous story in WWI England was about German soldiers bayoneting babies, something that likely never happened.  (Of course, by WWII, when Germany soldiers were bayoneting everybody and everything, the cynicism that grew out of WWI propaganda meant that, as the Germans were warming up to big-time genocide, the public often refused to belief accurate stories about their conduct.)

This must be the only war in the history of the war in which the government and, especially, the media arm assiduously work to assure us that we are bad and they, the torturers, the killers, are good.  With every one of these Islamist Death Eater atrocities, it’s Bizarro World all over again.

UPDATE IIRobert Avrech has the best post about the Islamist Death Eaters’ focus on Jews which, in its essence, boils down to this:  they went Jew hunting, not because of Israel, but because Jewish genocide is a core tenet of the Islamist’s religious doctrine.  It’s not a by-product.  It’s not a deviation.  It’s not a misinterpretation.  It’s the breath of their religion.

By the way, I’m repeatedly using the phrase Death Eaters in the hope that liberals who fully accept the Harry Potter world might be convinced that those same principles actually apply here.  I’ve long held that, no matter J.K. Rowling’s politics (and I’ve since learned she’s a Labor supporter), in the purity of her imagined world, she fully understands that nature of terrorism and the way in which one needs to win.

Endless war *UPDATED*

(It will give you a sense of just how busy my weekend was that it took me two days to do this one post!)

A very popular bumper sticker in Marin since 2003 is one that has the phrase “Endless War” in blue type, with the “less” then crossed out with a red line, and the word “this” interlineated above it.  To anti-war liberals, it is both a descriptive and an imperative, in one neat little bumpersticker.  How clever.  (Although I do wonder if they these same liberals are going to scrape these tidy little messages off their bumpers now that Obama has inherited Afghanistan and Iraq and begins to figure out that disengagement isn’t that easy — but that’s a thought for another post.)

What I want to blow about here is the true endless war in which we’re engaged.  That war is the defensive war against Islam.  I should probably define “we” before I begin.  “We” is not America or, as we were reminded in India, the “West.”  “We” is anyone and any thing and any place that is not Islamic.

We need to remember that, although we keep laying down our arms, Islam never does.  From the moment of its inception, it’s been in a state of perpetual warfare against the “other” — and that’s because its founder, Mohammad, mandated that same perpetual warfare as an intrinsic part of each Muslim’s obligation.  It’s not a byproduct of the religion; it is the religion.

This religious imperative means that Islam did not spread rapidly at the time of its inception because it carried such a wonderful doctrinal message that everyone in surrounding territories instantly jumped on the Muslim bandwagon.  Instead, it spread rapidly because the Islamists, fired by fervor and greed (since it’s not theft to take and rape from non-Muslims), put North Africa and today’s Middle East to the sword.

“Convert or die” may not be a phrase rich with religious conviction, but it’s going to carry a lot of weight with a lot of people.  When you then back-up that forced conversion with a promise that any lapse will also be punishable by death — well, I can guarantee you that, in a single generation, you’re going to see a lot of new Muslims.

History shows us that, whenever Islam obtains critical mass, it goes on the offensive.  Although PC-ers love to point to the Crusades as an early example of evil Western imperialism, their historic ignorance allows them to forget that, in fact, it was a defensive war aimed at recovering formerly Christian territories from Muslim encroachment.

Likewise, although I am loath to celebrate Ferdinand and Isabella, given both that they fought with exceptional cruelty and that they swept the Jews up into their net (a bad Crusader habit too), the fact is that their internal Crusades were also aimed at recovering land that the North African Muslims had earlier conquered.  We can romanticize those Muslims as much as we like — they did indeed have a rich, beautiful, intellectual culture — but the historic reality remains that they were still part of a continuum of conquest that originated with Mohammad.

The same century that saw Spain recover formerly Christian territories from Muslim invaders also saw the savage Ottoman attack against the ancient Byzantine kingdom in Constantinople.  When that kingdom city fell, so fell the last true outpost of the Christian Roman Empire.

In 1453, Constantinople became Istanbul, beginning the long and powerful reign of the Ottoman Turks — a reign that only began to weaken more than 300 years later at the Gates of Vienna at the end of 1683.  That date’s not a typo, by the way.  Few people remember, if they ever knew (and that includes Europeans too) that Islam was relentlessly pressing on Europe as little as 400 years ago.  That’s a length of time that, although far away in terms of years, is relatively close in terms of the modern European culture we enjoy.  The world then was trembling on the brink of the Englightenment that still underpins our perception of man’s relationship to man, God and government.

The defeat of the Ottoman Empire marked the beginning of a dormant period in Muslim expansionism.  I use the word dormant deliberately because of it’s connotation with volcanoes.  Before the modern scientific era, people were unable to distinguish a dormant volcano, one merely resting but with the potential to blow, from an extinct one that has truly ended its functional life.

In the same way, many in the West assumed that, after 1683, Islam was a regional religion, with little potential impact on the West.  If not extinct, it was as near as made no difference.  History, however, should have warned us that Islam does not go extinct; it goes dormant, awaiting the critical mass of human lava, which is a sufficiently numerical and powerful jihadist element.  And then, as does the dormant volcano, Islam explodes, pressing violently against anything in its path.

What’s different this time in the endless Islamic war against the “other” is that the flat earth such liberals as Thomas Friedman love to tout means that geographic proximity is no longer a limiting factor in Muslim conquest.  From the Muslim point of view, the entire world is pressing against its borders and, with Iran’s potential nuclear weapons, and its own human bombs in search of virginized martyrdom, that world is ready to blow.

In other words, the endless war isn’t in Iraq.  It’s in each of our backyards.  We’re all living on the volcano’s edge.

UPDATEHere is scholarly back-up supporting my unscholarly contention that a core element of Islam is to wage perpetual war against unbelievers.

Your British tax dollars at work

I can’t add anything to this that you haven’t already thought of yourselves:

A solicitor who specialises in representing terror suspects and tells them not to cooperate with police was paid almost £1 million in legal aid last year.

Muddassar Arani’s firm represented Abu Hamza, dirty bomb plotter Dhirin Barot and three of the 21/7 bombers in recent years.

She has raked in £3.5 million in taxpayer-funded support to help defend extremist suspects in recent years, according to new figures.

In the seven years documented in figures released under the Freedom of Information Act payments from the Legal Services Commission have almost quadrupled.

In one month alone – May last year – the firm billed almost £400,000 for legal services.

The 44-year-old mum of two once boasted in a magazine that those accused of terrorism come to her first.

Read the rest here.

Why you shouldn’t cut off your nose to spite your face

I’ve been finding very disturbing the intense hostility that conservatives direct against John McCain. So much so that I wrote a very long rant on the subject, which American Thinker was kind enough to publish and which I reprint below:

Perhaps because I’m a neocon, and not a dyed-in-the-wool, native-born conservative, I look at John McCain, with all his flaws, and still think that he’s a pretty darn good candidate for our time. More importantly, I think that Obama is a very dangerous candidate precisely because of the time in which we live. I therefore find disturbing the number of conservative purists who insist that they’re going to teach John McCain — and everyone else, dammit! — a lesson, either by sitting out the election or by throwing their vote away on a third party candidate. This is a kind of political game that may be fun to play in uninteresting eras, but I think it’s suicidal given the pivotal existential issues we now face.

It’s easy to target John McCain’s flaws. Most recently, he’s managed to buy into the whole green machine just as it’s becoming clear that the greenies probably rushed their fences, and leapt into hysteria well in advance of their facts. Still, whether because you view the world through green colored glasses, or because you really hate funding totalitarian governments that are hostile to America, there is a lot to be said for exploring energy alternatives. McCain’s free market approach should help that effort. Also, by the time he becomes President, there should be a sufficient aggregation of rationally based information about the climate to allow McCain a graceful retreat from a foolish campaign promise.

McCain also seems to be unresponsive to the feeling ordinary Americans have that illegal immigration is a big problem. This feeling arises, not because we’re all xenophobic nutcases, but because we recognize a few fundamental truths: (a) American law starts at American borders, and it is deeply destructive to society’s fabric to have an immigrant’s first act in this country be an illegal one; (b) a country’s fundamental sovereign right is the ability to control its own borders; (c) unchecked immigration provides a perfect pathway, not merely for the field worker, but for the bomb-maker; and (d) immigrants who come here should be committed to this country and its values, and shouldn’t just by moseying over to grab some illegal bucks to send to the folks back home.

Nevertheless, while illegal immigrants are irritating, they’re not an existential threat that can bring America to its knees within the next four years. They are a problem, but not an imminent one.

McCain may also never be absolved of the sin he committed with the McCain-Feingold Act, a legislative bit of bungling that has George Soros singing daily Hosannas. However, that’s done. There is no doubt that it reflects badly on McCain’s judgment, but I think it’s a sin that needs to be ignored, if not forgiven, in light of the person facing McCain on the other side of the ballot box.

You see, from my point of view, this election isn’t really about John McCain at all. It’s about Barack Obama. Of course, it shouldn’t be about Barack Obama. During a time of war and economic insecurity, one of the two presidential candidates should not be a man who has no life history, beyond a remarkable ability at self-aggrandizement, and no legislative history, despite a few years paddling about in the Illinois State Legislature and three years (count ‘em, three) doing absolutely nothing in the United States Senate.

That Obama is a man of no accomplishments or experience, though, doesn’t mean that he hasn’t managed to acquire some bad friends and bad ideas. The friends are easy to identify: Comrade . . . I mean Rev. Wright; Michelle “the Termagant” Obama; the explosive Ayers and Dohrn duo; Samantha “Hillary is a Monster” Power; Robert “Hamas” Malley; Zbigniew “the Jews are out to get me” Brzezinski; etc. Over the years, he’s sought out, paid homage to, and been advised by a chilling collection of people who dislike America and are ready to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who talks the Marxist talk and walks the Marxist walk.

Obama’s ideas are as unnerving as his friends. To my mind, the Jihad that Islamists have declared against us is the fundamental issue of our time. Thanks to the nature of modern asymmetrical warfare, the fact that these Jihadists number in the tens of thousands, rather than the millions, and that they’re often free operators, not formal armies, does nothing to lessen the serious threat they pose to American freedoms. We’ve seen with our own eyes the fact that, using our own instruments of civilization, 19 determined men can kill almost 3,000 people in a matter of hours.

Nor was 9/11 an aberration, committed by the only 19 Islamic zealots on planet Earth. Whether they’re using the hard sell of bloody deaths, or the soft sell of co-opting a nation’s institutions and preying on its well-meant deference to other cultures and its own self-loathing, the Jihadists have a clearly defined goal — an Islamic world – and they’re very committed to effectuating that goal. And while it’s true that, of the world’s one billion Muslims, most are not Jihadists, the fanatic minority can still constitute a critical mass when the passive majority either cheers on the proposed revolution from the sidelines or does nothing at all. As Norman Podhoretz has already explained, this is World War IV.

I understand this. You understand this. McCain understands this. Obama, however, does not understand this. He envisions cozy chit-chats with Ahmadinejad and loving hand-holding with Hamas. There’s every indication that, given his world view, he’ll take Clinton’s “Ah feel your pain” approach one step further, and engage in a self-abasing “I — or, rather, America — caused your pain.” That approach failed when Carter tried it, and it’s only going to fare worse the second time around.

Obama is also bound and determined to withdraw instantly from Iraq, even though the momentum has shifted completely to the American side. Even though another famous Illinois politician spoke scathingly of General McClellan for “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” at Appomattox, Obama has not learned from that painful lesson. He is adamant that he will repeat McClellan’s errors and enshrine the snatching method as national policy. Every five year old understands that you don’t leave the fight when it’s going your way; Obama, however, does not. That is scary in and of itself.

There is one thing, though, that Obama understands with perfect clarity: the role of Supreme Court judges. He knows that they should apply compassion and empathy, without the restrictive hindrance of the outdated United States Constitution. I’m not making this up. He’s said so: “I want people on the bench who have enough empathy, enough feeling, for what ordinary people are going through.”

As someone unfortunate enough to litigate in a jurisdiction filled to overflowing with these empathic judicial actors, I can tell you that this approach is disastrous. First, it’s unfair within the confines of a single case when the judge can ignore the law and, instead, decide a case based on the color of his underpants on any given day. Second, and more importantly, judicial activism (for that is what Obama describes) also destroys the stability necessary for a safe, strong society. It becomes impossible for people and entities to make reasoned calculations about future behavior, since they cannot rely on cases or statutes as guides. They simply have to hope that, if things go wrong, the judge before whom they appear likes them better than he likes the other guy. This is no way to run a courtroom, let alone a country.

What should concern all of us is the power a President Obama will have to effect an almost permanent change on the Supreme Court, one that will last far beyond his presidency. Those with gambling instincts point to the fact that, if anyone leaves the Court during an Obama presidency, it will be the existing liberal justices. In other words, they say, Obama, by replacing the departing liberal justices with equally liberal incoming justices, will simply be maintaining the status quo. I’m not so sanguine.

Although I preface the thought with a “God forbid,” it is possible that conservative justices might leave the Court too, whether through death, illness, incapacity, or personal choice. If that’s the case, Obama, backed by a compliant Democratic Congress, will be able to appoint anyone he pleases to the Court. With a solid activist majority, you can bet that, in your lifetime (as well as your children’s and grandchildren’s lifetimes), the Supreme Court will become the second Legislative branch, with the sole difference being that it will be completely unhindered by having to woo or be answerable to any pesky voters back home.

It’s these last two points — the War and the judiciary — that make me feel very strongly that we have to accept John McCain as president, warts and all. While he is far from perfect, he is rock solid on the two issues that can’t just be massaged away in four years. He will continue to wage war, both on the field and in the realm of ideas, against the Jihadists, and he will appoint conservative Supreme Court justices.

He is, therefore, a much better bet than the scenario in which the gamblers among us have placed their faith; namely, a replay of 1976 and 1980. These risk-takers believe that, as happened before, we’ll elect a horrible, horrible ultra-liberal President who will expose to the world how hollow Democratic ideologies really are. Then, after a mere four years, a sadder but wiser American public will elect the next Ronald Reagan who will magically make everything right again.

I have my doubts. First, I think there’s a great deal of conservative hubris in believing that we can just wish for and get the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan. Not only was he a pretty unique man, he’d been kicking around the political arena for decades. Do you look out in that same arena right now and see anyone remotely like him who will be ready to serve and acceptable to the American public in the next four years? Second, Reagan came in facing two primary problems: a stagnant Cold War and a moribund economy. Both of these situations were remediable. Reenergizing a stagnant war game America the dominant position; and rejiggering a damaged, but fundamentally strong economy was difficult, but do-able.

Here, however, we have two situations that are not so easily repaired should Obama bungle them (as I confidently expect he will). We are not fighting a Cold War, we are fighting a hot war. To walk away now inevitably places the momentum in the hands of our enemies, enemies who have done what the Soviets never did: entered our borders and killed our people in the thousands. Further, unlike the Soviets who had replaced their revolution with a cold, calculating political machine, one that could yield to rational self-interest, we now find ourselves facing fanatics in the blind grip of an ideology completely antithetical to any rational negotiation. To lose the high ground now – and we certainly have that high ground in Iraq – may mean to lose it forever. Even the best case scenario would only echo the changes between the late 1930s and early 1940s, when the Allies, having lost the high ground, were eventually able to win it back at the cost of more than twenty million lives.

Likewise, the Supreme Court situation, if Obama is able to switch the balance from strict constructionist to activist, cannot magically be remedied. Even Reagan was unable to make that change. It’s been thirty-five years, and American is still riven by Roe v. Wade, the most famous activist decision of them all (and that is true whether you are pro-Choice or pro-Life). One can only imagine how many decades of damage an activist Obama Supreme Court can do.

It is very tempting to those who care deeply about their country and their politics to “punish” an ostensibly conservative politician who has, too often and too visibly, wandered from the fold. Sometimes, however, teaching someone a lesson can be infinitely more painful for the punisher than for the punishee. That’s what I fear will happen now, if conservative voters decide that McCain has failed to pass the purity test and then gamble that Obama can’t really be that bad. I’m here to tell you that Obama can be that bad, and that we owe it to ourselves and our fellow citizens to keep him out of office.