Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

I have been struck by the many posts on Facebook and other places remembering the attacks of September 11, 2001. So I thought I would post a few thoughts as well.

It is interesting how no one in our media (and few in our current Administration) seems to want to recall that this attack was unprovoked, uncalled for and thoroughly against every law of war that there is. It is strange how most Americans seem to have forgotten that the same people who organized the attacks of September 11 were the same folks who attacked US military bases, who attacked US embassies, who attacked US warships and who had tried once before to destroy the World Trade Center. And that these people were utterly unmolested by the US government prior to September 11.

The attackers of the World Trade Center on September 11 were all Muslim. They were mainly from Saudi Arabia, but their countries of origins were largely irrelevant to their mission. No government officially backed, them though many - including Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and others - gave them refuge and supplied money and training facilities. The Muslim terrorists who carried out the September 11 attacks and their ilk (such as Hezbollah) were fired by the ideals of Muhammad - the failed businessman who despite being run out of Mecca somehow manged (due entirely to a fortunate marriage) to create the greatest force for bloodshed and suffering the world has ever seen. Muslim armies exploded out of Arabia in the mid-sixth century AD and proceeded to being a campaign of blood and terror that would cause half the world to end up in the chains of Islam - a religion that is nearly as harsh on its female adherents as it is to anyone who is not a member. Islam has a simple ideal - join or die. And once joined, you can never leave. Trying to convert is met by death in the Arab countries - by imprisonment and 'reeducation' in the supposedly moderate ones such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

For al Quaeda and its many sympathizers around the world, such as the regimes in Iraq, Iran and many of the powers that be in other Muslim states, there are no rules of war. They are essentially cowards - fighting behind the unwilling human shields of the captive populations and refusing to show their faces. They wear no uniform, carry no flag and answer to no defined command structure. This is the reason that the Geneva Conventions specifically deny terrorists and those who fight without following acceptable rules of war the benefits of their protections.

Let us never forget the evil that these attackers did and continue to try to do. When we tried to fight them with criminal courts and lawyers, the lawyers turned against us, like the traitress Lynne Stewart and the courts, lacking any understanding of military strategy, ended up using laws the United States never agreed to to force us to allow these men to use our own courts against us. Only when President George W. Bush, in one of the most courageous decisions a president has undertaken in recent years, unleashed the military against their sponsor states did their reign of terror slowly begin to be brought under control. As Americans, we should know these people better. We have fought them before and for similar reasons - have we already forgotten the Barbary Wars against the Muslim Pashas of North Africa?

And then too, let us not forget that these enemies of civilization follow the creed that has been trying to destroy the West since Muhammad led his first imperial jihad out of the Arabia in the mid-sixth century AD. The civilizations of North Africa - wiped from the face of the Earth. Spain conquered in 714, France barely saved by Charles Martel in 732. None of that was provoked either. The Crusades were a reaction to the Muslim wars of conquest, not an action. I wish more Americans realized that. The people who attacked us on 9/11 are the ideological heirs of Muhammad and his bloodthirsty wars of conquest that nearly conquered the entire world. Europe barely escaped this fate many times, most recently in the campaigns of 1680 before the gates of Vienna, when forces led by the military genius Prince Eugene of Savoy fought off a Muslim force led by the Ottoman Sultans. After first serving in the great defense of Vienna in 1683, he finally stopped the Muslim tide in its tracks with his victories at Belgrade and Petrovaradin in the mid-eighteenth century. That is less than three hundred years ago - no time at all in terms of history. Muslims spent nearly eight hundred years trying to bring down the Byzantine Empire before they finally succeeded in 1453. A mere three centuries is nothing.

Many have claimed that Christianity is a greater force of evil that Islam and there are certainly many episodes of terror and brutality in the kingdoms that call themselves Christian. Nor have the Church's leaders always shown to advantage. But I cannot find any similar campaign to conquer the world as that carried out by Muslim armies for nearly a thousand years. Christianity has never tried to take by military force any of the traditional Muslim homelands in Arabia - I do not count Israel as that is a special case and is not a traditional Muslim homeland in any case. Christianity is also not a religion that mixes politics with its preaching. Although many political leaders have wrapped themselves in the Church, at no time has any Pope or other religious leader sent Christian armies out to conquer the world by force of arms for Christiantiy as Muslim leaders have done for centuries. And Christianity is aided by the fact that it has traditionally been a bottom up religion. many of its most influential leaders are not men of great power, but rather poor or ignobly born men. Islam, incontrast, is a religion run by the elites. Chirstianity is not, though it has gone through phases where the elites have tried.

As to the argument of imperialism, the West has been practicing imperialism for a far shorter time than has Islam. Islam has been exporting blood and war since roughly 550 AD. The West began to practice such in the 1500s, and mass imperialism did not become popular in Europe until the 1800s. Quite a difference. Nor did European imperialism involve forcible religious conversion in most cases - again utterly unlike Islam. In fact, under TE Lawrence, British imperial forces actually aided Muslims against other Muslims - the forces of Ottoman Turkey And the US itself has fought alongside Muslims many times - including defending Bosnians from other Christians. But to the wild-eyed Muslims, this matters not at all.

I put all this to paper to remind America that the attacks of September 11 did not occur in a vacuum. Are all Muslims bloodthirsty monsters? Of course not. But Islam itself has a streak of imperialist violence we would do well to remember . And we also would do well to remember that this is the same religion that calls non-Muslims inferiors and requires submission by such to Muslims. This attack is part of a long story of war and conquest. It was not begun by Christians, but if our children are to survive to see a world where they can freely worship and speak in public, we may need to finish it. In that vein I call upon all Americans to think well about the events eight years ago. While we argue about 'torture' and 'Abu Ghraib', Muslims are sharpening their spears and waiting for their next chance. They think that they can win and if we don't start defending our culture a bit more strongly, they may well prove to be right. The lessons of September 11 are that we must never relax - we are fighting a war and it is a war that we can only win by shouting the virtues of our civilization as opposed to the barbarian monsters we face.

So on this eight anniversary of the bloody and unprovoked attacks on the World Trade Center that took over three thousand innocent lives, I ask that you remember 9/11. Never forget!

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Bush and Reagan Speeches to Schoolchildren

There has been a lot of angst about President Obama's upcoming speech to school children. Spokesman Robert Gibbs made the point that both President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush also made addresses to schoolchildren. Just for reference, here is a link to the text of President George H.W. Bush's 1991 speech to schoolchildren.
The Bush speech can be found at The Bush Library online resources hosted by Texas A&M University.

For a transcript of Reagan's 1988 address, I have unearthed a link from the University of Texas: Reagan Address to School Children, November 14, 1988

Once Obama's transcript is posted it will be interesting to compare them. Both Reagan and Bush's were innnocuous, though Reagan did make the case for low taxes, and less governmetn spending. However, neither Reagan nor Bush tried to push the children in any particular direction as the Soviets, the Chinese and the imperial Japnese models certainly do. We shall see if Obama can rise to that level of statemanship - to date he is both more partisan and less willing to reach across the aisle to the opposition than either Ronald Reagan or either of the Bushes ever were.

Hat tip to Allahpundit over at Hot Air.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Beck, Letterman and Censorship

It appears that Fox News host Glenn Beck has gotten himself into some trouble of late. According to the New York Daily News, he referred to President Barack Obama as racist:
The combustable Beck ignited a firestorm when, during a Tuesday morning appearance on FNC's freewheeling "Fox and Friends," he said the President's reaction to the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest situation in Cambridge, Mass., suggested a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."

To his credit, "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade — who recently had to apologize for comments he made about racial issues — immediately responded, saying that most of the faces people see of the Obama administration are white, such as spokesman Robert Gibbs or chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

"I'm not saying he doesn't like white people. I'm saying he has a problem," Beck responded. "This guy is, I believe, a racist."

Around the Internet, this comment seems to have outraged a number of people, to the point where there is a Facebook poll asking if Beck should be fired. Funny how the same people calling for beck to be fired for suggesting that Obama is racist were silent when late-night host Dave Letterman suggested that baseball player Alex Rodriguez had sex with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's 14-year old daughter. As reported by the Hollywood Grind,
On Tuesday’s show, David Letterman joked in his opening monologue that the Alaska Governor Sarah Palin visited Yankee Stadium, sitting in "far, far right field" with Rudy Giuliani. "They had a wonderful time," he continued. "The toughest part of her visit was keeping Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter." Letterman also said that Alex Rodriquez knocked up Palin’s daughter at the game, except the daughter at the game was not 18 year-old Bristol Palin, it was Palin’s 14 year-old daughter.

Neither Beck's nor Letterman's comments are useful additions to political discourse in this country, and both are despicable. However, I disagreed with the campaign to ask CBS to fire Letterman and I also disagree with the campaign to have Fox fire Beck. What both these campaigns are trying to accomplish is pure censorship, albeit in the name of decency. I ask those calling for him to be fired - do you agree with censorship? Because that is what you are proposing. By all means show your disapproval and refute his statements. But to try to get him fired for speech with which you disagree is censorship, which is anathema to me. Censorship makes totalitarian governments like Cuba and Communist China possible.

As far as Beck and Letterman and all the other commentators making extreme statements - and yes, this definitely includes the many on the Left who used Nazi terminology to refer to former President Bush for the last eight years - should they face some sort of discipline? Maybe, but that is up to their employers. As far as we consumers, we can choose not to watch their shows. But we should never risk employing the whip of censorship. The power of censorship, once granted to a government authority, can never be revoked and can easily be employed against any subject. Censorship is the weapon most desired by totalitarian governments, and we should be exceedingly wary in its use here. Censorship in a war zone to protect troops? Absolutely. Censorship for two brainless commentators? Both needless and dangerous. The First Amendment was written for a reason and that reason has everything to do with political speech.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Media - Then and Now

Once upon a time, the American media was an organization that for all its faults, understood that American interests were more valuable than the interests of our enemies. Allow me to share with you a moment from World War II.

The San Francisco Examiner newspaper in 1944 wrote an editorial suggesting that the Marines were operating under incompetent leadership because they were in a bloody and desperate battle for the island known as Iwo Jima. The Examiner strongly suggested that perhaps the Army, under the leadership of the media's favorite general, Douglas MacArthur, could do a far better job. This provoked the San Francisco Chronicle - a that time a paper with some sympathy for American fighting men - to respond as follows:

To slur the United States Marines in one type of operation, however, to draw odious comparisons between theirs and the type of operations conducted by General MacArthur, is to raise a sinister fantasy. To hint that the Marines die fast and move slowly on Iwo Jima because Marine and Naval leadership in that assault is incompetent is an attempt at a damnable swindle of the American people.

The Chronicle does not propose to engage in controversy over the relative merits of our fighting forces in he various theaters of war. But neither does the Chronicle propose to remain mute when United States Marines or any force on the world battle line, is butchered at home to make a Roman holiday.

It is a pity that the media of today, and several of our supposed leaders - yes, John Murtha, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, I mean you - cannot give our armed forces the respect that once was considered their due. It is a greater pity that when elements of our so-called intelligentsia do relapse into cheap attacks on the men and women of our Armed Forces that the Press cannot bring themselves to defend those who have given them the privilege of writing so negatively about that same military. I follow the line proposed by the San Francisco Chronicle before it decided that playing the role of Democratic Party propaganda organ as preferable to reporting news. I wish that more of our so-called elites did as well.

The Chronicle quote was taken from page 169 of Richard F. Newcomb's 1965 book "Iwo Jima", published by Signet.