The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: April 2006

Beyond ‘The Twilight Zone’

With profuse apologies to the late Rod Serling, I don’t believe he could ever have conceived a more bizarrely macabre and surreal script than the one we see acted out every day in the “real” world. If he had, his producers might have accused him of being on drugs, while his sponsors and advertisers would probably have balked at paying for the broadcasting of such a disturbingly depressing story.

Let’s review the script.

Four and a half years ago, the United States was attacked by agents of a totalitarian enemy dedicated to destroying it. To date, the United States has not retaliated against that enemy, but, at great expense of blood and treasure, has sought to plant the dubious seeds of democracy. When “democracy” blossomed in Iraq, its citizens promptly elected a nascent theocracy. Instead of annihilating the enemy, the U.S. has campaigned to convert it to Western notions of peace and plenitude. The enemy is Islam, whose theocratic-political foundation requires submission or conquest in order to establish as much of a global caliphate as feasible. Short of that, Islam would be satisfied with just breaking America’s back and wiping the Mideast clean of all Jews.

In the meantime, President Ahmadinejad of Iran, accompanied by all the hoopla of a Busby Berkeley musical, announced his country’s entry into the family of nuclear nations, and continues to rant against the U.S. and Israel in the grand old style of Adolf Hitler, except in Farsi, and with no tie. His wardrobe is apparently off the rack of a Tehran thrift shop, he sports more facial hair than did Adolf, and evokes the image of a sneering bum. The creature regularly barks to a cringing world its marching orders. Only in fantasy could such a creature rise to become a nemesis. In the real world, he is a nemesis by default.

Another tyrant, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, found in a rat hole, should have been executed shortly after his capture, but is now grandstanding in a “Judge Judy”- style trial paid for by American taxpayers.

At home, the combined overt, covert, and incremental Islamic jihad in America may collide head-on against the very Catholic migration into the country of countless Mexicans who are as ignorant of and indifferent to American political principles as the average gringo high school student, politician, President or executive of CAIR. One must wonder how Islamists plan to convert them to the Koran, when their La Raza-class spokesmen encourage them to retain their Mexican identity, remain loyal to the country they abandoned, and profess “Chicano culture” to be superior to any other, including Islamic culture.

Well, not necessarily “superior,” as “separate.” Islam has produced no Nobel Prize winners in any field, while Mexico boasts of a few third-rate, steam-of-consciousness novelists and some communist muralists. If Mexico has any symphony orchestras or art galleries that don’t promote the myths of Maya or Aztlan, they are emulations of Western ideas. On the whole, the “Latino” version of ethnicity is similar to the Islamists’ preference for an insular identity that refuses to recognize an “infidel” or “European” Constitution. If friction ever occurs between the two “cultures,” which for the moment are allies for “open borders” and for availing themselves of the American welfare state, the sparks will fly. Individualism is not encouraged in either “culture.”

In Washington, President Bush fetes a totalitarian dictator, President Hu Jantao of Red China, and expresses “embarrassment” and “anger” when a protestor interrupts Hu’s speech by calling for religious freedom in China. Bush also stumbled when he referred to Mainland China as “The Republic of China” (forgetting the “People’s”), the formal name of Taiwan. And to top that, during a joint press conference with Hu, he betrayed Taiwan by asserting that he is opposed to Taiwanese independence, and hopes that the Mainland and Taiwan can be reunited peacefully, never mind the armada Beijing is assembling against Taiwan.

Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft and master of the mea culpa, betrayed freedom of speech by assuring President Hu at a luncheon — doubtless screened to prevent the attendance of any embarrassing protestors — that it was his belief “that industry and government around the world should work even more closely to protect the privacy and security of Internet users, and promote the exchange of ideas, while respecting legitimate government considerations.”

Which ideas should be “exchanged,’ or how the privacy and security of Internet users can be protected when the thought police are in charge, elude the non-intellectual, pragmatic Mr. Gates. “Legitimate government considerations” is a euphemism for the censorship of ideas Beijing does not wish its dhimmi to consider or exchange. Nor do Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo scruple to facilitate censorship at the behest of China’s totalitarians. Industries and governments that work “closely” to implement official policies constitute fascism. But this fundamental truism is over Mr. Gates’s head.

Russia, our alleged ally against terrorism, continues to provide Iran with nuclear technology and assistance so that Iran may better terrorize the West, and scolds the U.S. for even contemplating sanctions against Iran. Saudi Arabia, another alleged ally, is raking in the revenue from soaring crude prices, even though it has assured President Bush that it will help “stabilize” the market. The Saudis have just signed a trade pact with Red China that includes supplying the Mainland with oil, and in addition expressed an interest in investing in the creation of a Mainland petrochemical plant.

Iran is also courting China, Iraq and India. But our staunch ally Saudi Arabia, which is likely the sugar daddy of CAIR, its U.S. branches, as well as affiliated Muslim activist organizations — all of them stealthily probing for holes where Sharia law can be established, and busy opposing freedom of speech — very probably is a partner in a secret entente cordiale with Iran, having put aside for the time being their differences in Koranic interpretation in order to squeeze the West, particularly the U.S., into submission.

Thanks to environmentalism, the U.S. is at the mercy of a polyphony of other noisily hostile oil-producing nations besides Saudi Arabia and Iran: Venezuela, Nigeria, and the U.A.E. Not to mention the whining spokesmen of the protected manatees of the Gulf of Mexico, the whales of California, and the wolves and moose of Alaska.

In the names of “sensitivity” and multiculturalism, the press and news media are not interested in championing freedom of speech, except perhaps the freedom to report the fading of that freedom and the irrelevancy of the First Amendment. Universities, colleges, high schools and middle schools are largely in the hands of pedagogues who not only indoctrinate American children with collectivist ideas, but dumb them down, as well. Businesses and industries spend fortunes on lobbyists and corrupt Washington politicians to stem the flow of regulations and controls, all to no avail, for they are the first to shout that they are in the market as a “public service.”

So, there is the script. Or part of it. The West is laboring under a under siege of its own making, for, as others have noted, it lacks not the means to vanquish its enemies, but the will and confidence in its own value. It has painted itself into a corner of inaction and impotency by relativistic self-doubt and the discarding of reason and the absolutes reason would commit it to.

All in all, it is a grim and discouraging show we are watching, the consequences of the collapse of philosophy, specifically the abandonment of reason.

Beat that, Rod Serling.

A Miscellany of Sacred Cows

At the risk of offending Hindus and provoking further violent demonstrations against the freedom of speech, let us dwell for a moment on a few “sacred cows.” In Western civilization, the term “sacred cow” disparages not only a person or thing unreasonably protected from criticism, but the Hindu belief that nasty-smelling, lice-ridden, parasitical, mooching bovines are holy creatures imbued with the privilege of deference because of their alleged association with a deity.

In the April 13th online English language edition of Pravda was an interesting article on the latest instance of the mental gymnastics that European Union officials are willing to demonstrate in their willingness to placate the hostiles, barbarians, and the Borg in their midst. It is to create a whole new herd of sacred cows, represented by a dictionary consisting of an “unemotional vocabulary used in conversations about radicalization.” Read Islam. Defying the Aristotelian concept that A cannot be A and non-A at the same time, “Islamic terrorism” will now be called “terrorism which violently appeals to Islam,” and “Islamic fundamentalism” will be “fundamentalism based on a false interpretation of Islam.” Other proposed terms also dance around the fact that Islam means to conquer and exact submission by legal persecution, intimidation and force.

One cannot fail to see the pointlessness of the new wording. Aside from the fact that it is rooted in cowardice, it lacks economy in its homage to “sensitivity.” But, Islam is Islam. Perhaps one could think of it as the difference between a waltz and a minuet.

On to other “sacred cows.” Our host, Nick Provenzo, chastised Americans in his “Form 1040 and ‘rational ignorance” posting. He justifiably identified the fundamental culprit behind the byzantine Internal Revenue Code and the American penchant for submitting to it: altruism. But as I read it, two questions occurred to me: What is wrong with Mexico that so many people want to leave it? And, what is so attractive about the U.S. that so many Mexicans wish to come here? Why not to Venezuela, or Brazil, or Chile, all Latin countries in which Mexicans would surely feel more at home? And, they are also tax and regulation burdened welfare states. One has yet to hear a Congressman, Senator, or news anchor address these questions.

I recently received an amusing “letter” to the White House urging President Bush to persuade Mexican President Vicente Fox to grant Americans similar privileges and opportunities in Mexico as Mexicans enjoy in the U.S.: free medical services, the observance of the 4th of July, English-speaking teachers, police and bureaucrats, passport-less access to Mexico, class credit for American kids if they skip school (which would teach American history and culture) to demonstrate against Mexico, and other benefits.

If such a proposal were seriously considered, the outcry against American imperialism, racism, and other sins of commission would be immediate and loud. America is a “have” country, and Mexico a “have not,” so it is America’s moral duty to subsidize its own disintegration. So say La Raza and other nationalist “Latino” organizations, which hope to keep most Mexicans, legal or illegal, as clueless and semi-literate as American kids attending our public schools. Homogeneity and assimilation in the dominant or “host” culture is no more on their agenda than it is on the Islamist. Islamist groups joined Latinos in the recent demonstrations over the immigration uproar. They are allies now, but what will happen when they no longer agree to “divvy up” the U.S.?

But, Mr. Provenzo’s comments also caused me to observe that a government that penalizes its citizens for not paying “their fair share” of taxes to pay off a growing debt that can never be paid, and, in fact, mandates the voluntary reporting of all income, whether in profits, salaries, wages, or even tips or gratuities, under penalty of prison and/or financial ruin, is not going to protect their freedom of speech.

Congress has not passed a law that compels citizens to file income tax returns, but rather has danced around that issue by arming the IRS with enforcement powers, powers that are not much different from those of the KGB or other political police apparatuses. If the government does not respect a citizen’s right to his property, the issue of his freedom of speech must appear to any politician or bureaucrat as a niggling matter not worth exploring. Taxes are a sacred cow.

Or perhaps the subject is a powder keg.

After all, if the government championed the right of journalists and cartoonists to caricature Mohammed, it must necessarily and logically move to championing the right to one’s property. The communication of a disparaging cartoon must employ the vehicle of property. But, to the government — local, state, or federal — private property is not sacrosanct. The right is not “inviolable.” And so one can understand why the government would not want “to go there.” To protect one right, one must eventually acknowledge other rights and act to protect them. To paraphrase Mr. Provenzo, Objectivism skewers that dichotomy rather quickly.

When reading any editorial, or listening to any politician such as the Treasury Secretary on the subject of taxes, one always reads or hears the phrase “your taxes,” not “our taxes.” Even H&R Block and Hewitt repeat it often, and apparently it has sunk into the psyche of the average productive American. The one phrase implies a moral obligation, the other an imposition. What a trick of semantics! The onus of responsibility, not to mention culpability, is put on the payer, not on the extortionist.

Let America Roar

“I hope I shall never see the day when the forces of right are deprived of the right of force.” So commented Winston Churchill on the West’s obsession with disarmament in the 1920’s. Were he alive today, would he express the same hope about the West’s right to defend itself?

The policy of disarmament rests on two premises: one, that a reduction in a nation’s military capabilities will result in a commensurate reduction of the chances of war. If one nation does not “feel” threatened by another’s military forces, it will not be encouraged to arm itself. Destructive war will be avoided.

The second premise of disarmament is that one nation’s increase in armament will only encourage other nations to increase their own, thus increasing the probability of war.

Both premises were founded on a “multiculturalist” evasion of the fact that governments that respect their own citizens’ individual rights will respect the rights of the citizens of other nations, and not formulate policies of conquest; and that totalitarian regimes are inherently belligerent, violating not only their own citizens’ rights but those of the citizens of other nations. Britain, France, and the United States treated Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy as their legitimate equals. The Washington Conference (1921-22), the Pact of Locarno (1925), the Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928), and the granddaddy of all peace treaties, the Munich Agreement (1938), were all based on a policy of not presuming to judge the political systems of other nations.

On the statist, totalitarian nature of Germany, Italy and Japan, the Allies remained silent. The diplomacy of peace was of paramount importance.

How is the policy of disarmament (or “arms control”) related to the policy of self-censorship, or of censorship itself? They are first cousins. Multiculturalism, political correctness, and a groundless “respect” for the beliefs of Muslims are disarming the West. If no one offends, “blasphemes,” or “defames” Mohammed or Islam, then a potentially violent conflict between Western values and their adherents and Muslims in the West and abroad will be avoided. And a key element in the success of such a policy is to disarm the advocates of freedom of speech. Peace, it is thought, can be bought at the price of government-enforced or government-sanctioned silence.

Churchill was ignored and criticized when he repeatedly warned his own and other Western governments of the dangers of “treating” with totalitarian Nazi Germany. He warned that appeasing it would not in the end purchase them peace, except perhaps the “peace” of eventual attack and possible conquest by Germany. But Churchill was a child of the nineteenth century, a more rational era than either the twentieth or the twenty-first. Political figures of his stature are nowhere in evidence today.

We are in a similar circumstance today. Our State Department implicitly condemned the Danish cartoons of Mohammed, saying that our government shared “the offense that Muslims have taken at these images.” To date, our government has made no move to protect American publications and other venues of freedom of speech over the issue of Mohammed and Islam. In order to avoid a clash between First Amendment advocates and Muslims, whose spokesman hope someday to replace the Constitution with Sharia law, it has found it necessary, not to impose outright censorship, but to abandon Americans to the barbarities and legal machinations of domestic jihadists of the mind.

Leaving aside for the moment the issue that, in terms of taxation, regulation, and education, our government is a premier violator of the Constitution as it was originally conceived as a protector of individual rights, it has a legitimate monopoly on the use of force. It has refused to employ it in defense of its own citizens. This way, it is thought, “peace” can be purchased and contentions avoided, and the world can move on to a Platonic plateau of mutual amity. Advocates of the freedom of speech need only shut up; what would it cost them? In the name of peace, their rights can be sacrificed.

A government that does not respect the rights of its citizens will not defend either those rights or its citizens, not even from what, in this instance, amounts to the beachhead of a foreign invasion.

Moreover, an unfettered, bold, and fearless exercise of the freedom of speech in regards to Islam and Mohammed would conflict with our government’s current policy of appeasement of Islam. Like the architects of the aforementioned disarmament treaties, our policymakers refuse to make any distinctions between Western governments and Mideast tyrannies, between Western values and medieval ones. After all, how can “peace” be attained with theocracies and dictatorships when men back home are denouncing or criticizing those same theocracies and dictatorships?

“Peace” is the first priority of President Bush’s foreign policy. His and Condeleezza Rice’s ears would turn selectively deaf if they heard Patrick Henry’s words in 1775, on the eve of war with Britain: “Gentlemen may cry peace, peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun!”

The war began on September 11, 2001, with the attack on America. It has entered a new phase, with the enemy’s attack on men’s minds, on their right to speak out and defend themselves, on our own soil, in our courts, in our universities, in our press.

Most Western publications and the news media chose not to reprint the Danish cartoons or identify the issue at stake; most hid behind the apron of “sensitivity” to Muslim beliefs. A handful of publications saw the peril and chose to act. Those courageous enough to reprint the cartoons are being targeted for retaliation, with either death threats or legal action.

This new phase can be symbolized by the suits against a Canadian publication, The Western Standard, by Muslims for having reprinted the Danish cartoons, and by a suit against the Jyllands-Posten, the first newspaper to publish the cartoons, by a syndicate of clerics in Denmark for “defamation” and “injury” by the cartoons and their accompanying text. These are small publications with financial war chests that could not match Saudi Arabia’s, Iran’s, or CAIR’s. (And you may be sure that most of these suits and actions are being planned and orchestrated by strategists in the Middle East).

It is doubtful that any major American and Western newspaper will volunteer to help defray the legal costs of the suits. It could be interpreted as an “anti-Muslim” action, as well, and serve as an excuse for Muslim spokesmen to charge them with “discrimination,” or “racism,” or “hatred,” and to organize demonstrations to threaten, intimidate, and publicize purported “persecution.”

Americans have been effectively disarmed in the face of a barbarian invasion. In another commentary I referred to Islam and its followers as “The Borg.” Wherever in the West Muslims have established colonies, it was not with the intention of assimilating into the Western culture and adopting Western values (which they could do only by repudiating Islam). Whether individual Muslims advocate or sanction it or not, the goal of Islam is to assimilate, by force, by deception, by dissimulation, the West into a grand caliphate. Islam does not tolerate divided loyalties.

On the other hand, “offended” Muslims may exercise their freedom of speech in this country without fear of restriction or constraint, claiming to be “victims” of alleged “Islamophobia.” The parallel to this policy was Hitler’s rearmament of Germany, based on his claim that Germany was a “victim” of the Versailles Treaty and of the punishing sanctions imposed on it after World War I. He claimed Germany’s “right” not only to rearm, but eventually to “reclaim” territories wrested from Germany by the terms of Versailles. However, they could be reclaimed only by force and flouting all previous treaties. The Allies found themselves helpless to do anything to stop him. They had disarmed themselves, morally and literally.

Hitler lied to the Allies every time he occupied more of Europe. He was a master of dissimulation only by default of the Allies, because they wanted to believe him and thus avoid a confrontation and possible war.

Islamists wish to “reclaim” the West they lost centuries ago to the rising tide of freedom. When Islamist diplomats speak of “peace,” it is of the quietus of submission and conquest. Our policymakers do not want to believe it.

The Allies’ disarmament programs, together with their pragmatic, non-judgmental policies and a wish to avoid war, only encouraged Hitler to make more territorial demands — which by 1941 included most of Europe — not to mention Mussolini’s attempt to reconquer Africa, and Japan’s invasion of China.

Today, the abandonment of the principle of the freedom of speech has only encouraged Islam to make its own “territorial” demands, and to expand the scope of its influence and power in Western nations.

In the United States, in Britain, and in European countries, Muslims who attain those countries’ citizenships are bound by their creed to lie when they swear allegiance to those countries’ political, cultural and social values. In Muslim culture, this is known as “taqiyya,” or the art of dissimulation.

A Muslim who applies for and attains U.S. citizenship must either lie when he takes the oath of citizenship (which includes a pledge to support and defend the Constitution), or commit apostasy, whose penalty is death. Mohammed sanctioned “taqiyya”; therefore, it must be employed, obeyed, and exploited.

Serge Trifkovic, a former BBC commentator and U.S. News & World Report reporter, and the author of “The Sword of the Prophet,” remarked in a recent Front Page Magazine interview: “The Sharia, to a Muslim, is not an addition to the ‘secular’ legal code with which it coexists with the Constitution and laws of the United States…It is the only true code, the only basis of obligation. To be legitimate, all political power therefore must rest exclusively with those who enjoy Allah’s authority on the basis of his revealed will. America is illegitimate.” It will acquire “legitimacy” only when it is governed by a satrapy appointed by Riyadh or Tehran.

Muslim children born in the U.S., of course, do not need to take the oath of citizenship, and are not expected to lie. They are automatically citizens, but raised in Muslim culture to be hostile to their own country. They are a homegrown, potential fifth column reared to grant automatic, unthinking allegiance to their creed. It happened in Britain and France. It is happening here, too. Many of the Muslim students at New York University who demonstrated against the cartoons on March 29th, and Muslim students at other schools across the country, are American citizens.

They have been empowered by their schools, and emboldened by the silence of our political leadership and our press, while other Americans have been deprived of the “right of force,” that is, of the protection of their own government of the right to speak out against an irrational philosophy and its followers’ actions.

Churchill chose to speak out, and “roared” against tyranny great and small. Objectivists should be the Churchills of our day, for we are the sole consistent advocates of reason, rights, and freedom. Only reason can save the West, and we must have the unrestricted, unobstructed right to apply it to any issue, including religion, any time, anywhere, whether in the press, on university campuses, over the airwaves, or in public.

Let us roar, before we, too, are permanently disarmed and silenced.

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