Al Qaeda’s Dream
For some folks, this from the top level of Al Qaeda will come as a shock, perhaps even a wake-up call. For readers of the PenPo, it should be nothing more than confirmation of obvious truth.
Two observations suggest themselves: first, the exact nature of the custodianship of those Pakistani nukes is not public knowledge. It is, in this newsletter’s view, probably one of the best accomplishments of the G. W. Bush administration, and may also be partly due to efforts of the Clinton administration. Second, if the USA does not have contingency plans to go into Pakistan and secure those weapons with whatever force necessary — yes, that could mean war with Pakistan, and that India would try to take advantage of the situation — then the world is in grave peril.
Finally, those on the left should ponder how the world’s Muslims would react if the USA and Israel were hit by multiple nuclear weapons. Some believe that Islam in general — including all those putative “moderate Muslims” — would would fail to take advantage of events. That is an extraordinarily ignorant and stupid view. If the USA is crippled and Israel is destroyed, all of Islam — not just the radical elements thereof — will move into the vacuum. The piecemeal eradication of the entire heritage of Western Civilization will begin. Today’s Islam-friendly leftists (such as George Galloway) around the world would proclaim that a New Order had indeed arrived, and would now have to be not only tolerated, but accommodated.
A Passionate Commitment To The Good Is Simply Lacking
Obama has been so slow, and so dismissive of the subject, that his recent denunciations of the repression in Iran ring hollow. This newsletter seriously doubts that he means what he is saying now. True defenders of Liberty who are public figures insist on commenting at once, and in the strongest terms, when circumstances like the Iranian outrage arise. The imperative is personal, deep, and utterly sincere. It cannot be denied. The decent people who have the bully pulpits are fully aware of their ethical responsibilities.
Of all people on earth, Obama should have weighed in first — and with outraged conviction. He did neither.
The opinion has been expressed that the USA must be very cautious in “supporting” the protesters in Tehran. The Hungarian example is cited: when the citizens of Budapest rose up against the Soviets, the USA unwisely pledged to support them — and made that pledge public. The protesters fought on, expecting US troops to invade and free Hungary. The Eisenhower administration’s pronouncement was sheer insanity laced with shocking cynicism. The freedom fighters were slaughtered, and the iron curtain remained in place.
The cruel events of 1956 are fresh in the mind of a PenPo staffer, who watched in horrified fascination as a US diplomatic blunder took its toll in the lives of heroes. To this day, the honor of the USA remains stained by that empty promise.
A moment’s thought — the scantiest consideration of the facts — should suffice to determine what Obama should have said, and what he should not have said.
Note first that to imply that damning the mullahs for their tyranny is somehow to pledge tangible support for the protesters is dishonest in the extreme.
Obama could have used the following text as a first draft for his remarks, and he should have delivered those remarks at the earliest possible opportunity:
Tragic events are unfolding in Iran. A tyranny is waging war on its citizens, and the demand for Liberty is once again violently denied. The lesson for the world is clear: Iran is a rogue nation, held in the iron grip of fanatics who deny fundamental human rights. Those who love Liberty can only pray for the safety of their brothers and sisters as they struggle to achieve freedom.
He could have gone on for a while, asking the world not to look the other way, telling the mullahs their cruelty would not be forgotten, asking for the UN to denounce the horror, reminding people across the globe that they must remain in ultimate control of their leaders. He could have scolded the daylights out of the primitives running Iran, all without promising to send in the 101st Airborne.
Instead, he said next to nothing. When he did speak, it was with no passion, no conviction, no compelling urgency. People are dying for principle, and he can’t be bothered.
This newsletter was outraged by his original silence, and said so; at the last minute, Obama, sensing that he was politically vulnerable, made a weak statement that lacked all evidence of a love of Liberty. His formulaic, overly diplomatic words were a huge disappointment. He did not so much scold as whine.
Some say Obama is wary of getting tough with Iran’s lunatic president and the mullahs behind him because that would make it difficult for the USA to solve problems with diplomacy. Don’t make the mad dogs angry, in other words, or you won’t be able to put them on leashes. This is exactly the nonsense that got the USA into its current mess with North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and militant Islam: the projection of weakness. The world knows Obama is at the tail end of a tradition that began with Eisenhower not taking Berlin. When Ahmadinejad meets Obama, there will be no doubt as to who is calling upon whom.
Addendum — For a somewhat different view of events, see this commentary, which offers the US government specific suggestions for aiding regime change in Iran. It goes without saying that these words will be ignored by the White House.
The Coat Has The Same Color Background On Both The Inside And The Outside
This guy has a point. He’s correct to note that faith-based politics is dangerous, and almost always wrong on many issues. But his logic is tortured, as well; he argues that if the religious right were in power, “…America (he means the USA, not the New World) would be a slicker more dangerous version of Iran.” Wrong, and in spades: the Twelvers are hell on wheels, with no equal on the US right. You have to dive to the lowest levels of society where the KKK and other similar race-hate groups are, if you want to claim similarities between domestic extremists and the mullahs.
Consider that the domestic racists, horrid as they are, still don’t look as dangerously evil as those lunatic Muslims running Iran. What White Power group hopes the USA is blasted by nuclear bombs, because that catastrophe will bring an avenging ghost down from Heaven? At their worst, the USA’s homegrown bigots are murderers and morons, but they are not that crazy.
Then too, Schaeffer’s challenge to “Picture America if Sarah Palin was president….” naturally calls for a rational person to picture her as a governor, in which role her religious affiliation cannot be said to have warped her politics at all.
(Schaeffer’s challenge also calls desperately to be put into the subjunctive mood, but perhaps he is not familiar with that refinement. Would that it were not so.)
Religion is not a proper base for politics because it is fundamentally irrational. Its smug assumptions and aims tend to violate Enlightenment values. Accordingly, this newsletter feels no need to defend GOP crackpots, though they may be correct on specific issues. (For a contrasting view, see this stinging but oblivious critique of Schaeffer.) — This website is not responding as PenPo 93 goes out, but the URL almost certainly will be functional soon. Please accept this newsletter’s apology if that is not the case.
By all means read Schaeffer’s piece, and see what a former ringleader of the religious right has to say, now that he’s turned his coat. Then recall how Whittaker Chambers was reviled by the left for having been a leftist, having repented of the sin, and for turning in Soviet spy Alger Hiss. If he’s our turncoat, he’s great, and sinks your boat; if he’s your turncoat, he’s a Quisling and moral leper.
That’s the way partisans see it, but it’s more likely that once a nut, always a nut — no matter what the label. Nuts usually commit to irrational ideologies (political and/or religious) for irrational reasons. When a nut somehow manages to assume an ethically correct and rational posture, some folks might forget that he’s still a nut. Yes, Chambers told the truth, and Hiss did spy and lie, but you can’t read Chambers’s writings without wondering about him. Could he be considered wise, and not Quixotic? Probably not, in spite of his erudition.
Look closer, and you will see that Schaeffer has not given up his tendency to unwise hyperbole as a consequence of having seen the light. The Exaggeration Syndrome affects True Believers, whatever their specifics.
Just as he today embraces the “progressive” agenda, Schaeffer once embraced a similarly all-inclusive, omniscient and no more Utopian delusion. In spite of the switch, he’s still the same fellow, of course. He’s just swapped one fantasy for another, and he’s no less fervent.
Like many who can’t tolerate being puzzled by reality, Schaeffer must have ultimate answers that solve all problems. That’s a religious goal, not a political one, and he can’t grasp that point. He still believes that Utopia is a secular concept.
Meanwhile the rational folks, struggling with a complex world, find it harder to come to iron-clad conclusions about the vicissitudes of life. Thanks to their efforts, Western Civilization has evolved while the Muslim world has just changed. And because the myth of Utopia (Plato’s Republic, Augustine’s City of God, Marx, Mao, the Frankfurt School, Castro, Pol Pot and dozens of other scoundrels) has influenced our value system without ever destroying its core, the utility of both empiricism and individualism is appreciated (Hume, Mill, Locke, Bastiat, Bentham, Popper, Rothbard, Szasz).
The fatal weakness in Schaeffer’s ideology is that at the base of both political extremism and religion lies faith, which might be partially defined as an assertion that one has knowledge of absolute or ultimate truth. For the rational, the claim of a revelation of ultimate truth is a fundamental error, and no, that position is not self-contradictory (it’s not like saying, “I know that I can know nothing,” in other words). The process of discovering conditional truths is empirical. Those who set discovery aside and conjure up a vision of Utopia go astray.
Having left the political arm of fundamentalist Christianity, Schaeffer has not managed to leave his basic orientation behind. As a born-again “progressive,” he still relies on faith to bolster his political beliefs.
That resort to irrationality makes Schaeffer anything but progressive, in the sense that the word means modern. He has a ways to go to catch up to the significance of the time. Ours is a post-Marxist age that demonstrates the abject failure of collectivism, a fact that can be denied only with an act of blind faith. To be a collectivist today is to believe in spite of the evidence.
A weblogger says if this is passed, it will be the biggest tax in US history. “Which is why the Dems are so intent on it. Climate has zip to do with it. They want your money.” Another says the Dem national agenda is as follows:
1. Pay off supporters (done, in part, via the “Stimulus”)
2. Raise middle-class taxes big-time via “Climate” excuse for tax on energy
3. Socialize medicine
4. Amnesty for all illegals
5. Tax the “rich” so they stop feeling so independent
6. Nationalize K-12 education
Feisty bunch, those “wingnuts.”
This newsletter suspects it’s not so much a matter of money as a sense of social justice. Remember, Obama wants to raise capital gains taxes because he believes it’s unfair for investors to make good returns — or any returns at all. “Fairness” to him means punitive restrictions that undercut capitalism and level society, making people more equal under a repressive doctrine of “economic democracy.” This is class warfare, pure and simple, and it’s about as Marxist as you can get.
The purpose, therefore, of this insane energy tax is to destroy the hated bourgeoisie, the middle class. For over a century, Marxists of all stripes have despised the “brownshoe” center of the economic spectrum, and Obama is no exception. It is in this social level that racism, chauvinism and patriotism are strongest (or so the story goes), and those values must be eradicated if Mankind is to evolve to achieve the dictatorship of the proletariat…and then ease into Utopia, the end of history. (Islam has a similar goal in the triumph of the universal caliphate, which also ends history.)
Madness. Madness deemed attractive by people like Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, Frank, Schumer and the many others who glimpse a future without opposition from a relatively well-off, and therefore independent and uncontrollable, middle class. Putting virtually everyone on the dole — turning solid, productive citizens into dependent creatures of the state — hands power to the bicoastal elite.
The ultimate result will not be the fanciful Utopia of Marxist orthodoxy, but a very ordinary tyranny. Permanent poverty will allow the governing class to maintain its grip on society. If you wonder what the Democrats would deliver if they are allowed to carry on, think of Cuba.
A Meditation On Ethnicity And Markets, Part III
Asian Indians In Fiji And Belize
In sharp contrast to the situation of the Chinese in Tahiti, Asian Indians (I’ll just refer to “Indians” from now on) have been in the majority in Fiji in the past (1994). The current mix of ethnic groups in Fiji is probably about 57% ethnic Fijian, 37% Indian, and 4% other groups (yes, Indians have been departing). The Indians arrived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, imported by the British as laborers for agriculture. From that point on, everything has gone to hell in a handbasket.
The history of Fiji indicates clearly that the cultural clash between the locals and Indians was profound from the beginning. Today things are worse. Major factors in the lack of amity involve the natural segregation of Indians as farm workers, the fierce desire of Fijians not to sell land to Indians, the inability of the newcomers to acculturate (which was absolutely not their fault entirely), religious differences (the Indians are mostly Hindus, with Muslims the second-largest group, while many Fijians are Christians of one variety or another), and the perception of the Fijians that they were being swamped by aliens. As a result, the governance of the islands has always been skewed to favor indigenous persons.
From 1904, voting has been conducted along ethnic lines, with the rules shifting over time. The concept of one man, one vote has never been welcome or operative in Fiji. Rather the makeup of the senate and house of representatives has always been mandated (by a series of often controversial constitutions) to permit ethnic Fijians to make all the laws, and even block the passage of bills approved by the majority of senators and representatives. Representative democracy does not have a home in Fiji.
The last thirty-five years of Fiji’s history have been difficult for everyone, with four coups, violence, military dictatorship and Fiji’s expulsion from the very important Pacific Island Forum. Australia and New Zealand have been quite upset with the Fijians for many years. Domestically, corruption is a huge problem that Fiji seems to have no way of solving. As a consequence of discrimination, skilled workers and many others who are of Indian extraction have been leaving Fiji for greener pastures for three decades or more. Of course those who can most afford to leave, professionals and what we would call middle class Indians, are quick to depart. That emigration has reduced the prosperity of the nation substantially. Meanwhile, Chinese are arriving in Fiji and remaining illegally, and organized crime — presumably those parasitical, hard-to-kill triads — is becoming a serious problem.
Fijians, fearful for many years that the Indians would overwhelm the islands and dominate the locals, have found themselves hoist on their own petard. A firm political monopoly has proved unhelpful, and Fijians cannot sustain democracy. Their complaints that Indians control the businesses of the nation are not accurate — Indians do dominate retail sales (where their visibility is very high), but do not have a presence in banking, insurance and the tourist industry. The only other major sector of the economy is the growing of sugar cane.
The current problems facing Fiji seem to have begun in earnest in 1987, with two military coups that were advertised as Fijians protecting their interests. Then in the late 1990s, numerous long-term leases of agricultural land (virtually no Indians own land) expired. The people who lived on and worked the land were evicted en masse by the bitter Fijians. With literally no recourse, some of the suddenly homeless Indians left Fiji, while many others crowded into the urban slums and expanded them.
Then the final blow was struck. It was symbolic, but it terrified many Fijians. In 1999, for the first time in that nation’s history, the office of prime minister was held by an ethnic Indian. (For the record, and for the benefit of idealistic, missionary democrats everywhere, this wasnot a symbol or personification of tolerance, progress or hope. Life is not that easy.)
Panic seized much of the native community, while some saw this as an opportunity to seize power and possibly even raid the treasury. Naturally a coup resulted in 2000. And again the plotters proclaimed their desire to save Fiji from the Indians.
We need not pore over the details that led up to the present military rule of the country, as they are not only irrelevant to my theme, but complex and controversial. The important facts are that Fiji is not doing well at all, the Indians who can leave continue to do so, and there seems no prospect of restoring a democratic system soon.
As you have seen, the Indians did absolutely nothing malicious, yet their mere presence set off a cascade of events that would ruin Fiji politically, cripple its economy, and burden the tiny nation with terrible handicaps. The proximate cause of the tragedy was the Fijians’ virulent fear of the Indians.
One might ask how this small country could possibly thrive, once the British had imported those thousands of field hands and their families. Could there have been a way to avoid the fear, discrimination and almost hopeless political collapse that resulted from the British blunder? I doubt it. Once those aliens in their thousands landed, the die was cast.
I shall have more thoughts on this disaster in the conclusion of this series. For now let me turn to another instance of Indian emigration/immigration.
1972, Uganda: the insane dictator of the country, Idi Amin, expels some eighty thousand Indians and seizes their property. In so doing, he deals the economy of his terrorized nation a disastrous blow.
Well, that’s Uganda’s problem, and I expect the folks there are still struggling with the setback, even if they think it did not retard their nation’s development. My topic is Belize, the former British Honduras, where some of those unwanted Indians wound up.
Of course you know that Belize is on the Atlantic coast of Central America (no, not the Caribbean coast, as I learned the other day, for the Caribbean is a sea in the Atlantic ocean), tucked in next to Guatemala and rubbing its northwest corner against Mexico. When I was there quite a few years ago, I visited Belize City, not the capital of Belmopan. My interest was in the financial sector, and at the time, the former capital of Belize City was about twenty years along in its recovery from a disastrous hurricane. To this day I don’t know why the capital was moved but the people weren’t. After all, what matters — the statues and courthouse and legislative buildings, which are always built like Egyptian pyramids, or the population?
My memories of Belize City cluster around two concepts: first, it looked to me like one terrific fire trap, and second, wow, were ordinary consumer goods expensive!
Everything was made of wood. Well, some concrete buildings were to be seen, but not as many as I had expected, for I was coming from Costa Rica, where concrete and stone prevail. As they do in most “developing” nations. And the shops — good grief, how could they justify prices like that? A very few years later I was to be in Tahiti, and the narrow aisles in the jam-packed stores there reminded me of Belize’s retail outlets.
Eventually it dawned on me: the overwhelming majority of the shopkeepers were Indians. While I was pondering the cost of shipping from such major harbors as New Orleans (not far away at all) and Vera Cruz (closer still), I went into a small business and chatted up a lady who was happy to tell me a bit about her city. (I should add that she was not Indian, but, like the vast majority of the folks in town, of African descent.)
At one point, I mentioned the construction project that just had been completed across the street. It was a multi-story concrete building, good for shops and restaurants. I wondered how much it cost, and she told me! Later I fussed over the figure for a while, and guessed that it was anywhere from twenty to forty percent too high. (How I came to that conclusion, I don’t recall.)
Well, between talking to the nice lady and to bankers, and peering at the price of fans and socks and soap and guessing the cost of construction, I managed to have a forgettable meal or five and get out of the country before my three-day visa expired.
Putting it all together, I added my memory of some political posters I saw in town. One in particular was bitter and graphic. All right; now what could I conclude after such a brief tour of part of the city?
First, that the Indians had somehow pushed out merchants who occupied those buildings before the new arrivals showed up. Amin threw his fit in 1972, the hurricane was in 1961, and I think I was in Belize about 1984. Roughly. So the Indians, arriving in 1972 or maybe 1973, did not take advantage of hurricane damage to get prime shop locations.
Second, the shops were too expensive, especially for a nation that does not have a lot of rich folks or a huge middle class. Shipping stuff from New Orleans would not drive prices up that much.
Third, the price I paid for a hotel room was just about what I had expected it would be, so the tourist industry was not overcharging. And I knew that competition on the coast and the islands off the coast for the tourists’ dollars was fierce, which would tend to militate against price-gouging. I assumed. No, what I had seen was a case of locals exploiting their neighbors, not cheating the tourists.
Fourth, Belize had political problems. Some of the parts of town did not look good, and the future was cloudy, in my opinion. I did not know what the issues were, but this was clearly a nation trying to advance in spite of a degree of isolation — you don’t just drive into Mexico from Belize! — and I found myself worrying about the locals. Later, in Costa Rica, I spoke with a lawyer who told me that for financial transactions, Belize was “too politically unstable” and The Caymans would be better. I was not surprised at the time, but I’m pleased today to have heard nothing horrible from Belize.
Fifth, I recalled that Belize, being a card-carrying member of the British Commonwealth, could not turn aside immigrants from other Commonwealth nations. People from Uganda, for example.
I’d like to go back to Belize and see how things have changed, and what the prices are like. But I’d bet there are no bargains in those shops….
Then I’d like to find some locals who would level with me, and have a nice long talk about how things are going.
Next time: an informal analysis of the examples we have seen is in order, and I’ll try to find some parallels and distinctions that may make sense. I’d like to suggest some solutions to a few problems, and make a start at suggesting a strategy to reduce fear, conflict and political mayhem when ethnic groups collide and compete. No, I can’t fix anything. My colleagues at this newsletter constantly hammer on the notion that there is no Utopia, and that believing in one is silly. I agree. Still…it would be nice if we could address some of these culture-vs-culture difficulties rationally, wouldn’t it?
Obama remains vulnerable to criticism for his past and present associations with some individuals (Wright, Ayers) and organizations (ACORN in particular). The question is how close, durable and significant each involvement has been. Wright is shooting his fool mouth off from time to time, while Ayers is saying little about anything and nothing at all about anything Obama-related. ACORN, on the other hand, is trying to wriggle off the hook by changing its name and threatening former employees who have been telling all.
The debate on socialized medicine is a lot more complex than Obama is willing to admit. Unfortunately it will probably be decided by people who believe we have a choice between free medical care and having to pay for it. For intelligent responses to the president’s ideas and claims, see this website, but be warned: there is a lot to go through. You might want to try this link, which is found on the above web page.
One of the problems with capitalism and free markets is that corporations do have a tendency to go for the cash rather than behave decently. Siemens and Nokia are a current example of unethical corporate greed. A boycott by consumers worldwide would be a good idea. The bastards need to be taught a lesson.
Obama defends his tardy and gentle words taking Iran to task for killing its protesting citizens. Persons unfamiliar with the facts would be likely to believe the president’s sincere-sounding but deceitful denials.
“Progressives” should skip this as too upsetting. — This newsletter has already noted (see Nr. 45) the parallel between Nazi propaganda and Obamania. It continues to grate. Manipulating and exploiting children, no less…of all the sheer, insensitive nerve…it’s abuse.
Hey, like, Iran is just like the USA, except maybe a bit more, er, rude. I mean, like, Florida, and hanging chads, and Al Gore won really. Downtown Tehran today? Just like Kent State, unh, like, thirty-something years ago, wasn’t it? Well, you know. Same thing.
You have to give Barney Frank credit: he has cojones the size of basketballs. Certainly no one with the slightest remnant of fear of ridicule would ever do what Frank has just done. Don’t take the PenPo’s word for it — here is the stunningly stupid story. The interesting thing is, Frank will probably be re-elected….
This is genuinely depressing: the Democrats, in willful ignorance of the truth, are about to ram through some very unwise legislation that is without scientific basis. This is an irresponsible and damaging action taken by people who are behaving like fools. They are trying to solve a problem that does not exist, and the result of this folly can only harm the nation. — Recent report here; it’s too early to know what it means.
Californians: read this.
More cracks in the anthropogenic global warming hoax are visible here. But…it is as if the folks who have put their faith in Al Gore and AGW alarmism are not reading any of the information linked to in this newsletter. The facts are overwhelming, yet so many people still believe in the fable that legislation, as noted above, is being passed to deal with it. It’s a nightmare. Well, watch for this: the July 1 appearance in the USA of Heaven and Earth by Ian Plimer.
From The Archive
The following commentary on Iran is not quite four years old. How much has changed in those years, and was The Terrapin Gazette correct in its interpretation of events? Read this entry published on the third of November, 2005, and see.
Here, Yet Again, Is A More Complete Account Of The Facts Than Your Newspaper’s Editor Wants You To Read
A few days ago, the president of Iran told the world that Israel must be wiped off the map. It made the front pages around the world. We were surprised.
Arabs and Iranians (Iranians are not Arabs) say things like this all the time. They say even crazier things. Khomeni (remember him? Twenty or so years ago we called him “Ayatollah Assahola”) could produce twenty shades of purple prose in ten seconds. Iranians are good at theatrical hyperbole.
Everybody knows this. So what, we wonder, was so newsworthy about another repetition of this musty old call for the destruction of Israel? It’s not new, it’s not surprising, it’s not different…it’s very Old Hat.
We are much more interested in what you did NOT read in your paper.
Before we get to that, a little background is essential.
As skilled as Iranians are at tossing overheated, goofy rhetoric around, they are better at subsidizing mass murderers. For many years, Israel has been accusing not Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan or even Iraq and Syria of being behind the constant violence in Israel’s back yard, but Iran. They have traced arms shipments, cash and terrorists to Tehran. A few years ago, they knocked down some walls, pinned Arafat in an upstairs room, and carried away the entire archive of the PLO. Then they went through it and catalogued it. Proof beyond dispute was found: the primary support of terrorism in “Palestine” was Iran.
Arafat and his stooges insisted that the documents the Israelis were showing the world were forgeries. Then, in a hilarious tacit admission of world-class stupidity, they said the papers were theirs, and they demanded their return.
Today Iran is the Islamofascist military power to reckon with. Almost paradoxically, it is also one of two Muslim nations that have long shown the greatest promise, as far as the objectives of the West are concerned. The other is Iraq.
What we mean by this is that both Iraq and Iran have always contained within their borders ethnic and political and religious elements that have the potential to create a pluralist, peaceful and modern state.
The USA is trying to form a federal government in Iraq. In spite of a lot of hand-wringing and whining from critics whose motives actually spring from domestic US politics, the effort is progressing better than the news media are willing to report.
Iran not only should be free of its Islamofascist government, it could be. And if it were, there is no reason to predict it would collapse or revert to its current rogue status. Iran has real potential.
Consider that Germany in 1929 deserved a decent government, and might have had one. Instead Hitler gained power in an undisputed, fair democratic election; later he consolidated and extended that power by taking dictatorial steps, and democracy was no longer an option for the Germans. But there were millions of Germans who would have thrived in a free and federal German republic, if not for the Nazi party. Obviously the USA should have invaded, killed all the Nazis, and left the future to the Germans.
A similar situation obtains today in Iran. The people in power are among the most evil and violent tyrants in history. If the USA could kill them all, Iranians all over the world would breathe a sigh of relief and try to build a decent nation.
Some would say this is because there are literally millions of what are called “moderate Muslims” in Iran. There is a grain of truth in that, but unfortunately there is a fundamental difference between “moderate Muslims” and ordinary Germans. That is Islam itself.
To be German is not to have any particular politics or religion. To be Muslim, however, is to believe in a religious, social and legal system that has precisely defined goals. That imperialist, tyrannical system remains a threat to Liberty, even when it appears to be in the hands of “moderates.”
We remind you that a number of low-profile, law-abiding Muslim immigrants from Pakistan have relocated in Great Britain, reared children, and then watched in horror as their offspring became terrorists — in some cases, suicidal murderers. The problem is not poor social services, the example of soccer hooligans, discrimination against Asians, or the British class-based society. It is Islam. Absent the Koran, those young men would have been tolerable citizens, even if lazy, unemployed and a bit loutish at times.
In a recent (24 July) issue, The Terrapin Gazette dealt with the question of “the moderate Muslim.” Here are quotes from number fifty-three:
Islam thrives on isolation, and hates and fears Liberty. To the extent that it can be forced to deal with other groups, it will decline in power. This will not result in fundamental changes in Islam — the religion will remain the same — but the numbers of its lukewarm, skeptical adherents will increase, and the siren songs of assassins, murderers and thugs will lose some relevance in many people’s lives.
This is what most people mean when they mention “moderate Muslims.” The reference is not to anyone who explicitly argues for a watered-down interpretation of the simple statements in the Koran (virtually no such Muslims exist, and those that do have scant influence), but to nominal Muslims who find Islam more or less philosophically and religiously irrelevant, even as it remains a social necessity. They will not debate issues of whether the Koran is correct, because to do so invites one’s murder. Instead they ignore the mullahs’ preachments and pretend to be ordinary Koran-believing Muslims. They do not convert to other faiths — that would be unthinkable — but they become less convinced, less concerned, less involved. They are invisible dropouts. One might call them hypocrites, or, in view of the penalties for being a Muslim apostate, just practical folks who keep their heads down.
Whatever they are, they are not “moderate.” They are more bystanders than participants; true moderates would argue for their views and actively dispute extremists.
In truth, it is the invisible dropouts who make up a very large percentage of the population that is often called by the trite, stupid term, “the Arab street.” Why, one might ask, has “the Arab street” not “exploded” as so many smug Western commentators insisted it would? Because it is composed of a number of different populations, and many of those folks prefer to gossip rather than riot, speculate rather than plot, and watch rather than risk death and injury. The invisible dropouts have some common sense. Every tyranny has such people. They know how to be unrecognizable faces in a crowd, and when to move on.
These invisible dropouts who are mistakenly called “moderate Muslims” are created by contact with a world that assumes a degree of toleration and fair play that is utterly alien to Muslim teaching. Obviously, the more we can increase contact between practical people who have been born into Muslim societies and the real world, the better. Globalization, in other words, is an imperative.
We conclude that if there is to be peace in the Muslim world, it will be because there are many people who prefer to keep their heads down and ignore calls for the destruction of Israel. We also conclude that as long as Islam exists, the potential for a resurgence of terrorism and mass murder is an obvious reality.
What hope, then, for Iraq? That the Iraqis will see the advantages of doing business with the rest of the world (and we note that recently, Iraq made more money selling its oil to the world than it ever has in its entire history). Business. That’s the idea. If it reduces Iraqi poverty dramatically — as it could — and gives the Iraqis a vision of a much brighter future, Islam may lose its power to seduce the loons.
The same can be said for Iran, IF the mullahs can be removed and decent Iranians can take control of the country. If that does not happen, a truly cataclysmic catastrophe is a distinct probability.
We base this warning on the news that your newspaper editor did not allow you to see. Here it is. From this weblog we have these excerpts from the speech of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad speaking at the “World Without Zionism” conference where he spoke of wiping “Israel off the map.” Ahmadinejad:
We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance [i.e. the West] and the Islamic world, and this war has been going on for hundreds of years. …
The issue of this [World without Zionism] conference is very valuable. In this very grave war, many people are trying to scatter grains of desperation and hopelessness regarding the struggle between the Islamic world and the front of the infidels …
Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism? But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved…
Now quoting from the “Regime Change Iran” weblog:
So how would the Iranian regime achieve this?
You only need to listen to Ahmadinejad’s chief strategic guru Hassan Abbassi, for the answer. Abbassi is the architect of the so-called “war preparation plan” currently under way in Iran. This is the same Hassan Abbassi who said:
We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization… we must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles. There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them.
Abbasi believes that when President Bush says that no option is off the table he is only playing chicken. According to respected Iranian analyst, Amir Taheri, Abbassi has said:
The Americans are not ready to send a million men (to defeat the Islamic Republic),” Abbasi said. “Even economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic will fail thanks to opposition from the Western public opinion and the refusal of most countries to implement (them). …
Quoting from “Regime Change Iran” weblog:
But it is not only the US that Abbasi wants to take on and humiliate. He has described Britain as “the mother of all evils”. In his lecture he claimed that the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and the Gulf states were all “children of the same mother: the British Empire.” As for France and Germany, they are “countries in terminal decline”, according to Abbasi.
“Once we have defeated the Anglo-Saxons the rest will run for cover,” he told his audience.
So it appears that in the short term, the regime is hoping to start a limited war with the USA that it believes it can survive, since they don’t believe that the West has the will nor (sic) the means to occupy Iran at this time. This will buy them time for their longer term strategic plans for the world. Why is no(one) taking these threats seriously?
The vast majority of the people of Iran do not share his views and long for real democracy in Iran. How long will we wait to support the people of Iran in their struggle to free themselves from these dangerous mad men?
That concludes our quotes.
There you have it. Iran’s lunatic government calls for the destruction not only of Israel, but of every Western nation and of Western Civilization itself. And for some reason, the gatekeepers, those self-appointed censors who decide what you shall read and what you shall not, want you to believe that Israel is the only target.
Can you imagine why?
Maybe some day soon we’ll share our thoughts with you. But for now, we ask you to ponder the question.
The full text of the Iranian loon’s speech in English eludes us, but we found what appears to be virtually all of it here.