The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: April 2007

PBS airs “Islam for Dhimmis”

A spell of insomnia saw me up early Wednesday morning (April 25). I poured a glass of milk and tried to read Taine’s “Introduction to the History of English Literature.” But my mind was too restless to concentrate, so I switched on the television to see what anyone else up at so ungodly an hour would be watching, aside from Jay Leno, “infomercials,” or national news. I would settle for anything that would induce drowsiness.

Lo and behold, what did I encounter at 3:05 a.m. on Channel 15, the local Public Broadcasting System station out of Norfolk, but propaganda for Islam. I have not been able to learn the actual name of the program. Several calls to the station’s program director asking for its name have not been returned. In the newspaper TV listings, a block of hours from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. was marked simply “Varied Programs.” Not “various”? But, never mind.

However, if it is to have a name, it should be dubbed either “Islam for Real Dummies” or “Islam for Dhimmis.” Billed certainly as a “documentary,” it left out a great mass of very crucial documents, leaving one with the question in one’s mind: If Islam is such a mellow, benign creed, how could anyone hold a brief on it? It was such a solemn yet saccharine encomium it could just as well have been a promotion for the Rotary Club or the Knights of Columbus.

But, my tax dollars were at work, shilling for Mohammad.

This is the kind of “educational” film doubtless shown to gullible, impressionable, ignorant teenagers in high schools, in the same rank as films shown them about environmentalism, recycling, tolerance, sex, global warming, and “democracy.” Perhaps it is even shown in middle or grade schools, our Comprachico-trained public school authorities having a policy of brainwashing children as early as possible.

Now, I had not seen such a “puff piece” (thanks to Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Critic for that term) since Michael Moore’s last effort at disinformation and Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” so “Islam for Dhimmis” was a special experience. I will not recount everything that was in the film, but focus on some highlights.

One image sticks in my mind, that of a comely young Muslim woman, appropriately attired in an immaculately white hair-and-neck-hiding scarf, being interviewed about the Islamic notion of charity. “If you can’t give someone money, then Mohammad says you should reward him with a smile. Mohammad is such a wonderful role model!” She said it with her best Moonie smile, as well. That whole segment of the half-hour program was devoted to the Fourth Pillar of Islam, of giving alms to the poor as a matter of duty and as “purification” of one’s wealth. (I immediately thought of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, and the penance they haven chosen to perform with their wealth.)

Smile? No mention was made anywhere in the program of all the smiles hidden by the ski masks worn by the troops of Hezbollah or Hamas or by the murderers of Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl, or of any other “infidel” Westerner similarly subjected to such compassion.

Another image that sticks in my mind is the footage of Hajj pilgrims thronging by the tens of thousands around the Kaaba in Mecca, a veritable sea of wild-eyed manqués who hope to hike around the place seven times and press their lips to the Black Stone, and by kissing it, add their own sins to its likely unsanitary surface. No footage, however, was shown of the usual stampedes of the faithful that result in hundreds of them being crushed to death as surely as if the Black Stone fell on them from the sky, leaving behind mountains of empty sandals. So much for the Fifth Pillar of Islam.

The program’s take on the early history of Islam was interesting in that it was a model of how to gloss over historical facts. After Mohammad captured Mecca and died shortly thereafter, his followers spread the faith throughout the Middle East, Africa, and into parts of southern Europe – by the sword. In the program, however, this was not called “conquest” by force of arms and threat of annihilation. Islam’s history was presented in so slick a manner that an uncritical mind would have gone away thinking that it was a peaceful spread of the creed, involving no slaughters, mayhem, destruction, or the enslavement of whole populations.

It was left to the dhimmi mind to infer that the success of Allah’s gospel was the work of just hard-working imams and mullahs and Sufis preaching the Word in pagan lands, just like St. Patrick in Ireland. It implied that the conquerors respected the religions of the populations they subdued, and all was well. There was no mention of the fact that those populations the Islamists permitted to keep their religions, were obliged to pay jizya, protection money that was a sign of submission and dhimmitude, a condition of “coexistence” which meant little more than dhimmis getting the hell out of the way of any Muslim.

The narrator did not broach the subject that Islam could spread only because the final collapse of Greco-Roman civilization created a political/military vacuum that allowed Islam to sweep through the known world in the south and the Huns and Visigoths to sweep down from the north, probably because it was history that did not fit the thesis.

Another segment on “colonialism” was equally interesting. For some strange, unexplained reason, Islam declined in the 19th century, allowing Western powers to colonize great portions of the expiring semi-caliphate of Islam, overrunning North Africa, the Middle East, and as far away as Indonesia. There was a peculiar focus on British, French, and Dutch colonialism, complete with old footage of soldiers dispersing mobs of presumably Muslims with guns, bayonets and swords. In the late 19th century, according to the program, “resentment” over Islam’s decline and the power of the West grew. I am supposing that was the program producer’s way of cocking a snook at Britain, France and the Netherlands, which now have the most contentious, unassimilated Muslim populations.

That “resentment” covers a lot of territory not even hinted at in the program, including fatwahs, jihads, and anti-Semitism. “Resentment” was probably the softest term the program’s scriptwriter could come up with and have approved by his Islamic script consultants to stand in for “hatred,” that is, for hatred of the West for being the West and for being superior, as well.

Interestingly, not once was the role of oil brought up during the program. The footage of the 1930’s and 1940’s suddenly depicted Arab emirs and princes debouching from airplanes and taking part in international conferences, with no explanation of how or why tribal chieftains could suddenly do these things. No mention was made of all the expropriated, Western developed oil fields in the Mideast that Western governments neglected to defend for their owners (and whose owners capitulated and “cooperated” with the expropriations to form such bastard entities as ARAMCO). All those skinny Bedouin emirs and princes grew very fat; look at the members of the House of Saud today.

In explaining the character and content of Islam, the narrator said that Islam recognizes only one God (Allah), and that Mohammad is his prophet. He did not go on to point out one major implication of that belief, to wit, that if Mohammad is not any other creed’s prophet, then it is a false creed and consequently a legitimate target for repression and ultimate elimination by Islam. This theological Catch-22 is blatantly obvious, yet it is astounding that it is not grasped by most who comment on Islam (including Pope Benedict). It is a central tenet of Islam; remove it, or demote Mohammad to just one of a gaggle of Muslim prophets, and Islam would implode as a religious/political ideology.

(Similarly, Jesus Christ was not the only religious “savior” of his time to be crucified by the Romans; imagine the consequences throughout Christianity if that icon were shattered, as well. How many candidates for the role of “son of God” were there originally? Did the authors of the Bible draw up a short list, or hold an “American Idol” style talent contest to judge who was the most pacific?)

This, neither the Islamic “extremists” nor the “moderates” will or can allow to happen. No one but an unbeliever or an apostate would propose the idea, because doing so would immediately earn him a fatwah or death sentence. (Call it the Muslim “Wanted: Dead or Alive” bulletin board.). Re Salman Rushdie, Wafa Sultan, Oriana Fallaci, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Steve Emerson, and others. The roll call of those with the intellectual honesty and courage to excoriate Islam grows daily, but it is not given much press.

Also mentioned by the narrator with great deference in this segment was the fact that neither humans nor animals are permitted representation in Islamic art. This, he and some imam explained, is to discourage icons and to encourage the perception of Allah and Mohammad as “abstractions.” The narrator spoke dozens of words about the beauty of Islamic architecture and the grace of Islamic calligraphy, but did not once allude to the Danish cartoons and the uproar by thousands of “tolerant” and “compassionate” Muslims calling for the cartoonists’ deaths.

In all the program, no breath of suggestion was made about: the bestial strictures of Sharia law, honor killings, fatwahs on apostates and defamers of Islam, beheadings, the regular slaughter of infidels, the jihad against the West, 9/11, the London, Madrid and Bali bombings – all that and more credited to Islam, about Islam, in Islam’s name.

The end credits were not surprising. The half-hour program was made possible by “The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia,” “The Government of Kuwait,” and “The Islamic Center,” and was produced by Delphi Productions. The credits rolled down so quickly I may have missed a few other sponsor names.

I do not know if “Islam for Dhimmis” was ever aired during prime time and if this was just a rerun to fill a dead time slot in the wee hours. If my queries to WHRO Channel 15 are ever answered, I will report what is told me. It would be interesting, however, to learn who funded the production of this instance of catholic cosmetology and vetted the final cut. Probably the usual suspects, here and abroad.

It would be pointless to protest the use of my tax dollars to advance a religious doctrine by a government-funded entity such as PBS, especially a doctrine so antithetical to the principles of freedom on which this country was founded. The high Pooh-Bahs of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, like their counterparts in the BBC, would dismiss such a protest with scorn. PBS broadcasts so many programs that are antithetical that it would be churlish to upbraid it over this program alone. As have the private broadcasters – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, etc. – it has bought into the collectivist/altruist ideological axis without the least sign of discrimination or fastidiousness, without the least regard for its totalitarian potential. All that is protected by the sacred cow of “public service.”

Given the ongoing Islamist jihad against the West, the airing of “Islam for Dhimmis” is an unforgivable public “disservice,” and for that offense alone, PBS should be defunded and abolished.

Cambridge University Adopts a Prayer Rug

In February this year, the general and guest editors of a Cambridge University newspaper, Clareification, were disciplined by the school’s authorities for having published one of the Danish cartoons in a satire on religion, and were required to publish an apology to Muslim students.

Worse, the student/guest editor was “interviewed” by the local police for having putatively committed a “hate crime” (as defined under Section 5 of the Public Order Act), otherwise deemed, in hyperbolic British nomenclature, as an act of “harassment, alarm or distress.” It was Muslim students who were said to be “harassed, alarmed and distressed” by the cartoon, not the general and guest editors. (FrontPage Magazine, April 18)

The apology was extorted from the student on pain of not only being expelled from Cambridge, but of possible arrest and imprisonment by the authorities for the alleged “crime.” The student has had to go into hiding, à la Salman Rushdie.

If the student must go into hiding, isn’t that an acknowledgement of – and concession to – the role of and sanction of physical force in the “belief system” by not only those who might want to kill or harm the victim, but by the university authorities and the British government? What would be required of the “harassed, alarmed, and distressed” Muslims to leave this individual’s life untouched by their “anger”?

Asim Mumtaz, president of Cambridge’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, said that he was “satisfied with the way the college [Clare College at Cambridge] had dealt with the situation.” He said: “Religion teaches us that God is merciful and forgives, and we should forgive others as well, so long as this student realized the impact of their (sic) actions and that this was wrong. This student has a full life ahead of him and if he had been thrown out of the university that would have had a huge impact.”

What are the implied alternatives in Mumtaz’s statement? Assassination, Theo van Gogh style – unless the student “groveled” before his potential murderers with an apology, or a life on the run, or even imprisonment. What kind of “full life” has this student to look forward to now, or any student who dares speak his mind about Islam or any other creed? What “impact” will the cowardly resolution of this crisis have on this student’s willingness in the future to exercise his freedom of speech or stand by his convictions?

Mercy and forgiveness are doled out only to the submissive – that’s the Koranic way to let live or let die.

It is an error to think that the submission of Cambridge University to potential Muslim violence and its sanctification of alleged “hurt feelings” is a measure of Muslim power and influence. Evil by itself is impotent.

Instead, it is a measure of the abandonment of reason and objective values that gives the Muslims the appearance of power and influence to suppress freedom of speech. Any compromise between good and evil – or between reason and mysticism, or between the principle of freedom of speech and censorship – always will result in a victory for evil, mysticism, or censorship.

Ayn Rand made several crucial observations on the subject of compromise.

“Contrary to the fanatical belief of its advocates, compromise [on basic principles] does not satisfy, but dissatisfies everybody; it does not lead to general fulfillment, but to general frustration; those who try to be all things to all men, end up by not being anything to anyone. And more: the partial victory of an unjust claim, encourages the claimant to try further; the partial defeat of a just claim, discourages and paralyzes the victim.” (“The Cashing-In: The Student ‘Rebellion’” – Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, p. 255, 1966)

A principle by its nature is what it is, a recognized truth requiring consistent action. Failure to act on it when it conflicts with its antipode can only result, by default, in the establishment of the antipode as an ingredient of policy. If a principle, especially a rational one, is not defended and upheld in such a conflict, then it may as well not be recognized, and the appeasers and compromisers responsible for defending and upholding it must concede to that principle’s enemies: “We are open to any pressure, to any threats of violence, to any brazen thuggery in the name of….” In this instance, it is in the name of “diversity.”

Ostensibly, Cambridge acted from the “principle” of diversity, of trying to be all things to all men. In reality, it was a pragmatic, veiled capitulation to fear of the mob – more noisy Danish cartoon protests – that required the sacrifice of a lone individual to the mob’s emotions.

“Diversity,” as it is promulgated throughout Western culture, is the mantra of subjectivism, whim worshipping, and non-absolutes. In this instance, the violation of the policy of “diversity” can best be expressed from the Muslim standpoint: “You have mocked my icon, my particular ghost, and made him the subject of levity. My icon is sacred, and you must be punished. Never mind that he was a pedophilic, murderous, tyrannical bastard – the Koran and Hadith confirm these facts about him – Mohammed is my prophet and I will feel unworthy of his favor and of Allah’s blessings unless I take umbrage to slanderous insults to or slurs on their persons.”

“A Clare College spokesman said: ‘Because of the gravity of the situation and the diversity of views expressed about the best way to handle it,’” the College settled for “’a course of restorative justice and reconciliation.’” Which meant the guest editor’s apology and his mandated browbeating by “senior representatives of Cambridge’s religious communities.”

A noted outspoken foe of Islamism remarked: “Note that ‘diversity of views’ does NOT include the right to criticize Islam.”

The Clare College statement said that a “note of apology was distributed to all college members. The college is now arranging a meeting for next term to discuss the problem of maintaining free speech while avoiding offence….”

The “problem” will prove to be insuperable. Freedom of speech and de facto censorship cannot be reconciled.

Rand stated three rules that govern the issue of compromise. Two of them are:

“In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins”; and “When opposite basic principles are clearly and openly defined, it works to the advantage of the rational side; when they are not clearly defined, but are hidden or evaded, it works to the advantage of the irrational side.” (“The Anatomy of Compromise,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, p. 145, 1966)

In the Cambridge instance, it is the Muslims – the irrational group – who have won (again). The Cambridge authorities could be accused of collaborating with the Muslims to abridge freedom of speech. And, because the concept of “diversity” is not clearly defined, but hides and evades – or abandons – the idea of freedom of speech, it worked to the advantage of the Muslim students.

This makes it possible for Muslims to consider “diversity” a one-way street, or a policy from which they demand, and are granted, exemption.

Under a headline not wholly coincidental with the Cambridge cave-in or submission to Islam, “Universities ‘targeted’ by Islamic extremists,” the Daily Telegraph(London) on April 17 reported that Prof. Anthony Glees, of the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies at Brunel University in Britain, warned a conference of university security officers that Islamic “extremists” have targeted British universities as recruiting grounds for terrorists. “We must accept this problem is widespread and underestimated,” said Glees. “Unless decisive action against campus extremism is taken, the security situation in the UK can only deteriorate.”

Cambridge is one of the universities Glees identified as infiltrated by an allegedly disbanded “extremist” group, al-Muhajiroun, in addition to Oxford, the London School of Economics, and the Imperial College. Prof. Glees stated that a rabble-rousing imam who preaches the Islamic conquest of Britain and death to infidels, and who was founder of al-Muhajiroun, contradicts the official government line that the group has been disbanded and claims it has a presence on several university campuses.

But, is it Islamic “extremism” that is widespread and underestimated, or is it the policy of “diversity” that poses the greatest danger, not only in Britain, but in the U.S., as well? Note the “extremism” which Cambridge took action against at the behest of its Muslim students: a student exercising his freedom of speech.

“Diversity” is an indiscriminate policy that treats as untouchable and exempt from criticism or rational scrutiny – and satirical cartoons are a form of criticism – any unsubstantiated belief or assertion. But since the nature of man requires rational, absolute evaluations and values in order for him to function and survive, a policy of “diversity” or of non-judgmental neutrality concerning those beliefs or assertions allows those with the most vocal assertions to fill the vacuum created by the abandonment of value judgments.

The Cambridge University authorities, like their diversity-bound, non-judgmental brethren elsewhere, refuse to condemn Islamic “radicalism” because it is too closely tied to Islam itself. Willingly or not, they must eschew any claim to neutrality and yield to the strongest, most vociferous pressure group.

A policy of “diversity” can only engender injustice, a pall of fear, and self-induced blindness. Ultimately, such a policy will impose the irrational by extortion or the point of a gun.

It would be unfair to single out a British university for adopting a prayer rug. When was the last time one heard of an American university or college newspaper offending Muslims? One could argue that fear-fueled political correctness and the prospect of official retribution for flouting it has moved Americans further along the path of moral decrepitude.

Muslim Milquetoasts to the Rescue?

Early on the morning of April 12th, a Norwegian-Somalian “moderate” Muslim woman was attacked in downtown Oslo by a group of seven or eight “extremist” Muslims for publicly criticizing imams who advocated female circumcision. As she was beaten unconscious, her assailants shouted “Allah-o-Akbar and recited the Koran.” (FrontPage Magazine, April 15)

The question to ask is: Is this why we do not see much in the way of “moderate” Muslims opposing “extremist” Muslims, or jihadists, or Muslims who advocate the subjugation of the West to Islam? Is it merely a fear of violent retribution for rewriting the Koran or criticizing Islam’s more barbarous practices?

On April 1st, The New York Times reported that the six imams removed from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis last November 20th because other passengers were alarmed by their praying and chanting before boarding the plane are suing both the airline and the passengers whose complaints were documented. The passengers claimed that the imams praised Saddam Hussein, cursed the U.S., and when on the plane, asked for seat belt extenders.

A New York Muslim lawyer, Omar Mohammedi, is representing the imams, and claims that his clients were not praising Hussein, nor cursing the U.S., and that their regular seat belts did not fit. (Which poses a not irrelevant question: Where these imams so obese that they needed “extenders,” and if so, why did the imams stow them under their seats?)

Of course, the lawyer can deny that the imams said anything that might have caused alarm in the other passengers. And, of course, a seat belt extender can be used as a weapon to throttle another person or gash his face with the metal end of it. This apparently does not concern the lawyer; he wants the passengers punished for exhibiting “prejudice” and the airline punished for acting on that “prejudice.”

As a point of justice, “moderate,” milquetoast Muslims deserve all the “prejudicial” flack they get. They have the option – call it volition – of repudiating the creed and discovering reason and individualism. They can neither swear to uphold the Constitution nor advocate a separation of church and state without violating central tenets of Islam, which are as irreconcilable with the idea of secular government as are Christian ones.

While the attack on the Norwegian-Somalian woman is regrettable, the incident simply underscores the problem with the creed; removing one facet of an irrational dogma will not address the fact that the creed sanctions such violence, and always will, until it is thoroughly and mercilessly debunked.

Presumably, the “flying” imams are “moderate” Muslims who just want to be left alone to behave bizarrely in public, and not be unfairly associated with the 9/11 hijackers who also prayed and chanted before driving planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and into a Pennsylvania field, shouting “Allah is great!”

On one hand, the U.S. has been targeted by jihadists of the violent and “civil liberties” suasions. On the other, the Christian religious right is gaining more and more power and influence in the U.S., and is allying itself with the environmentalists. It seems that the last vestiges of the Age of Reason and Enlightenment have been abandoned. Whether or not the West, and especially the U.S., will survive this triple onslaught, remains to be seen.

What will not help are articles such as Daniel Pipes’ recent article in the New York Sun (April 17), “Bolstering Moderate Muslims,” in which he reports and more or less endorses a RAND Corporation study, “Building Moderate Muslim Networks.”

Before discussing the report and the goals of the individuals cited in it, Pipes writes:

“Moderate Muslims do exist. But, of course, they constitute a very small movement when compared to the Islamist onslaught. This means that the American government and other powerful institutions should give priority to locating, meeting with, funding, forwarding, empowering, and celebrating those brave Muslims who, at personal risk, stand up and confront the totalitarians.”

Leaving aside the question of whether the U.S. government should be fund and “empower” such groups – which it most emphatically should not – what does he think the Bush administration has been doing for the last five years, but seeking out “moderate” Muslims at White House dinners to celebrate Muslim holidays and in other unlikely places?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice won’t meet directly with the shunned and murderous Muslim Brotherhood, but she will delegate that task to other American diplomats. (The World Tribune, April 12). Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, exhibits no fear by meeting with President Assad of Syria, an enabler of Iraqi “insurgents” who regularly slaughter American troops. One cannot make a fundamental distinction between these acts of appeasement.

I am no more interested in bolstering “moderate” Muslims than I am in encouraging “moderate” Christians or “moderate” environmentalists or “moderate” advocates of global warming. Islam and Christianity are certifiable creeds based on the notion of the unprovable, on the exempt-from-reason, on the irrational, on the belief of the existence of omnipotent, omniscient ghosts to whom one must account for one’s actions. Both wish to exercise political power over all Americans. Environmentalism and “global warmism” are also fast becoming creeds, also founded on the rejection of reason, the instituting of irrationalism as a policy norm, and man hatred.

The authors of the RAND report, writes Pipes, “grapple intelligently with the innovative issue of helping moderate Muslims to grow and prosper.

“They start with the argument that ‘structural reasons play a large part’ in the rise of radical and dogmatic interpretation of Islam in recent years. One of those reasons is that over the last three decades, the Saudi government has generously funded the export of the Wahhabi version of Islam. Saudi efforts have promoted ‘the growth of religious extremism throughout the Muslim world,’ permitting the Islamists to develop powerful intellectual, political, and other networks.”

Excuse me, but is the issue of which version of Islam is more “radical” or “dogmatic” relevant here? What religious creed is not “dogmatic” and “radical” in its fundamental tenets? All imams and mullahs are but Islamic Jerry Fallwells or Pat Robertsons, the one set wanting to be the messenger of Allah and the scourge of infidels, unbelievers and apostates, the other set starring “kinder, gentler” promoters of Allah, complete with good manners and winning, reassuring smiles.

The RAND study authors “review American efforts to fight Islamism and find these lacking, especially with regard to strengthening moderates. Washington, they write, ‘does not have a consistent view on who the moderates are, where the opportunities for building networks among them lie, and how best to build the networks.”

Networks? They mean ad hoc associations of “secularists, liberal Muslims, moderate traditionalists, and some Sufis.”

“…The study proposes de-emphasizing the Middle East, and particularly the Arab world.” It “urges Western governments to focus on Muslims in Southeast Asia, the Balkans, and in the Western diaspora, and to help make their ideas available in Arabic.”

Pipes concludes,

“Although ‘Building Moderate Muslim Networks’ is not the final word on the subject, it marks a major step toward the systematic reconfiguration of Washington’s policy for combating Islamism.”

This is news to me. I was not aware, given the paucity of evidence over the last five years, that Washington was combating Islamism. And instead of proposing that “moderate” Muslims establish of network of talking heads, why doesn’t the RAND Corporation take the Bush administration to task for, to name another instance of pragmatist lunacy, seeking to sell the Saudis “up to $10 billion in weapons, including new advanced platforms such as the F-15 and F-16. The negotiations,” reports Geostrategy, “have been stuck over the Saudi refusal to accept any restrictions on the use of the U.S. weapons.”

“Several U.S. newspapers said Israel has objected to the U.S. weapons sale to Riyadh. The Boston Globe and the New York Times said Israel has expressed concern that Saudi weapons would erode the qualitative edge of the Jewish state against its Arab neighbors.”

Geostrategy went on to report that the U.S. “has moved to supply the PAC-3 missile defense system to Saudi Arabia,” and that in 2006, “the administration approved about $10 billion in Saudi arms requests from the U.S….which included main battle tanks, combat vehicles, upgrades and aircraft systems.”

Against whom is all this armament intended – paid for, by the way, by U.S. taxpayers through their gasoline prices? Israel? Iran? Or the U.S. itself? The Saudis are supporting the Sunni “militants” in Iraq, but then so is Iran, in addition to Iraqi Shiites. Remember that it is Saudi Arabia that is openly supporting the “extremist” Wahhabist movement in the U.S. through CAIR and other “moderate” Islamic organizations. Remember also that Saudi Arabia is an enemy of Israel. But, in the White House’s view, Saudi Arabia is a “moderate” Arab state and an ally.

“We are committed to Israel’s security,” said Sean McCormack in the Geostrategy article. “We are also committed to our historical relationships, good, strong relationships with other states in the region, including Saudi Arabia.”

You can’t have it both ways. In this instance, you can’t ensure Israel’s security by giving its enemies the means to destroy it. Or do McCormack and his colleagues in the State Department wish that Israel would just go away and stop posing such moral dilemmas? Or do they even see it as a moral dilemma?

“Networking” will solve all our problems. Link up all the tepid, “moderate,” ghost-worshipping Muslims in networks to combat an enemy dedicated to destroying the West in the name of a ghost.

If you believe that idea will stop the Islamic onslaught on the West, then you will believe that salmon thrive in Martian rivers and flowers bloom on Venus.

Where do reason, individual rights, freedom and the security of this country come into play in this network? The authors apparently never heard of such ideas.

Chertoff the ‘Crime Czar’

The strongest evidence that the U.S. is not only losing the “war on terror,” but will be struck again with perhaps greater force, is the siege mentality of those charged with protecting the nation. Instead of destroying the states that sponsor terrorism, the U.S. is conducting the “war” as though the enemy was some kind of super-Mafia gang whose members had to be detected and deterred. All we need do, goes the thinking, is identify the bad guys and keep them from entering the country. It elects to fight enemies dedicated to destroying this country with the methods suitable to Eliot Ness in his pursuit of bootleggers.

The Daily Telegraph (London) on April 4th offered an insight to this mentality in an interview in Washington of Michael Chertoff, Director (or Secretary) of Homeland Security, “Briton ‘could stage another September 11’,” pending his visit to Britain for talks with John Reid, the Home Secretary.

“We need to build layers of protection,” said Chertoff in the interview, “and I don’t think we totally want to rely upon the fact that a foreign government is going to know that one of their citizens is suspicious and is going to be coming here.”

“Layers of protection”? Is the U.S. to be turned into “Fortress America”? At what price? And with what consequences?

Chertoff told the interviewer, Toby Harnden, in an unintended but revealing admission of his ignorance of the nature of Islam and Islamic jihad:

“Our Muslim population is better educated and economically better off than the average American. So, from a standpoint of mobility in society, it’s a successful immigrant population. To some degree, the whole country is a country of immigrants, and therefore there’s no sense that we have insiders or outsiders. In some countries (Europe), you had an influx of people that came in as a colonial legacy and may have always have felt, to some extent, that they were viewed as second-class citizens, and they’ve tended to impact and be kind of clustered in some areas.”

It is arguable whether or not “our” Muslim population is better educated and economically better off” than Britain’s or any other European country’s. Most of the 9/11 hijackers came from the educated elites of their countries – most prominently from Saudi Arabia – and the Madrid and 7/7 London Tube bombers were university students or graduates.

Post-colonial era “resentments” have little or nothing to do with Islamic jihad. Most Islamic suicide bombers and advocates of an Islamic conquest of the West are generations removed from the colonial era of the early 20th century, and as ignorant of that period as are most non-Islamic individuals. That history is irrelevant to them. Chertoff, an alleged expert on terrorism, ought to know better than to utter such a transparent misconception.

Further, being an “insider” or an “outsider” in any Western country has nothing to do with whether or not one subscribes to an ideology that sanctions mass murder and destruction. How many American Muslims work under the guise of “civil liberties” to convert this country from a secular one to an Islamic one?

Chertoff wishes Britain and Europe to let the U.S. know who is flying into the country from abroad, and to treat all visitors to the U.S. as potential criminals, complete with fingerprinting and the transmission of everyone’s personal histories before flights depart from European airports. That will somehow will prevent the enemy from committing acts of terrorism and keep the country safe.

“We can do a good job with the known terrorists,” said Chertoff, “if we have their name (sic), or if we’ve previously arrested them and have their fingerprint on file.”

This is a crime-deterring mentality, not one committed to defeating the enemy or even acknowledging that it is recruited, funded and directed by states that sponsor terrorism. That is, Chertoff can determine that certain money is coming from Iran, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia, but like his chief’s, his mind blanks out those facts and refocuses on the recipients of that money, the “bad guys.” (Orwell called this brand of mental gymnastics “doublethink.”) Chertoff’s policies perfectly complement President Bush’s approach to national security, which is to defeat “bad guys” who have “hijacked” a religion by fighting fruitless police actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not an ideology.

That ideology is intimately linked to a “great religion,” and to attack the ideology would be to implicate the religion and slander its adherents. That is a politically correct prohibition. God forbids it, and so does Allah.

Neither Bush nor Chertoff (not to mention much of this country’s political leadership) will allow himself to think of the enemy in terms of states or ideologies. That would be too intellectual, too taxing of their skewed epistemologies and their eclectic notions of cause and effect, and too politically risky.

If one proposed to either of them that instead of turning the U.S. into a police state, in which ordinary, productive citizens must undergo government scrutiny and submit to frisks and searches in the name of national security, the U.S. blast Iran and Syria, and turn the Kaaba in Mecca into a smoking hole of glass and likewise Mohammad’s tomb in Medina, one would be answered with either blinks of incomprehension or of horror.

More of the Harnden interview of Chertoff can be found on Harnden’s blog. In it, Chertoff remarked on the fact that 9/11 has not been repeated in five years:

“The ideological enemy here has one particular advantage over Western society – they have very, very long memories. They still get worked up over stuff that happened seven or eight hundred years ago. That persistence is the one thing we have to be mindful of, because if we as a society in the West lose interest or become impatient or allow wishful thinking to overcome reality, that is when we will drop our guard, and that is when they will strike again.”

Which means that Americans must live in a state of perpetual crisis, and never hope to stop worrying about Islamic terrorists because their government will not deal properly and permanently with that ideological enemy. The molecularization of Mecca and Medina alone would disprove Islam, leaving Islamists and their self-sacrificing soldiers without a ship to sail, and the rank-and-file “moderate” Muslims the task of discovering, among other things, freedom and individualism.

Michael Chertoff looked nicer and more approachable with a goatee and moustache, when he was an assistant U.S Attorney General and a judge on the Third Circuit U.S Court of Appeals. The goatee and moustache are gone now, and his face is one that one would not want to open one’s door to in broad daylight, never mind encounter in a dark alley. One can only speculate that the removal of his facial hair was a calculated ploy to look frightening.

Chertoff’s career in law is checkered, if not shady. He is the archetype, amoral “careerist” who can rise in political appointments as federal powers expand. He was comfortable as an assistant U.S. Attorney General during the Clinton administration (and may have turned a blind eye on the Vince Foster cover-up and the Whitewater scandal) and is equally comfortable under the Bush administration. Today, he is viewed as a neo-conservative. Under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani he prosecuted with equal vigor the Mafia and Arthur Anderson, the accounting firm, leading to its collapse during the Enron episode. As Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, he was in charge of FEMA when hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

As head of Operation Green Quest, created in October 2001 by Bush to run down Islamic money-laundering activities, Chertoff contributed to the enfeebling of the country’s intelligence gathering capabilities by exacerbating existing agency rivalries. And, he was one of the chief drafters of Title III of the Patriot Act, which forces most Americans to account to the federal government for their financial dealings.

And, there is talk that he may replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales if the latter is forced to resign as a result of his role the U.S. attorney general firings, about which Gonzales apparently lied.

A very frightening prospect, indeed. As Attorney General, Chertoff would view all Americans as potential “bad guys” until they could prove their innocence. He would feel very comfortable with that “crime fighting” approach, as well.

The Fatal Art of Turning the Other Cheek

In my last commentary, “The Spreading Desert Sands of Islam,” I discussed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1898 novel A Desert Drama: Being the Tragedy of the Korosko, and concluded with:

“Doyle’s Colonel Cochrane was worried that the Mahdists might reach the shores of the Mediterranean and swallow Egypt. Over a century later, their desert sands have spread as far north as Germany and Norway, not only in Europe’s legal systems, but in men’s minds, as well.”

I should have included Britain, as well. And the U.S.

What can account for the difference in Western policies concerning Islam between the 19th century and the present? Is there some integral relationship between a blind toleration of Islamic fundamentalism and the West’s own drift toward statism and totalitarianism? Even in the 19th century, which was governed, as Ayn Rand observed, by an “Aristotelian spirit,” the moral sanction men repaired to was Christianity and a derivative form of secular moral altruism that spawned the elements of statism. This was evident in Doyle’s novel; it is a phenomenon that occurs in most 19th century literature.

I also referred in my “Desert Sands” commentary to the West’s polices of vacillation, conciliation and accommodation when dealing with Islamists and virtually every other brand of totalitarianism, including Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Kim Il Jong’s North Korea, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran.

Iran has seized fifteen British sailors and marines. What has been Prime Minister Tony Blair’s response to it other than a faint baring of teeth? In a recent TV interview, he stated that he doesn’t understand why Iran keeps doing these things, because such actions are only making Iran unpopular. The only “justice” he can think of in the way of an ultimatum or retaliatory response is to apply economic sanctions against Iran – with the approval of the U.N. and the European Union, of course. That, and “quiet,” behind-the-scenes “diplomacy” or compromise to “tone down the rhetoric.”

God forbid that he propose unilateral action, such as ordering the British Navy in the Gulf to defend itself and remove a few Iranian ships or other military targets by way of persuasion.

God forbids? Or “world opinion”? With Blair’s urging, Britain has progressively surrendered its sovereignty to the bureaucrats and parasites of the European Union, which explains Blair’s tepid and arguably impotent “anger.”

Ahmadinejad has called “arrogant” Britain’s refusal to “apologize” for the alleged violation of Iran’s waters. He knows, however, that it is the arrogance of a cream puff and a “has been” paper lion.

What has been the U.S.’s response to the piracy and hostage-taking? A “show of force” in the Persian Gulf, close to where the Britons were taken, wasting thousands of gallons of aviation fuel in planes from two aircraft carriers. That really impressed the Iranians. Yesterday, President Bush waved his rubber sword in the air, called the Iranian piracy “inexcusable,” and insisted that Iran free the Britons. “Snake Eyes” Ahmadinejad must have laughed and remarked to his fellow thugs, “Yeah, right! Hey, guys! Look at me! I’m unpopular! I’m sad! Gee!! I’m so scared!”

Excuse me, Mr. Bush, but you excused Iran five years ago by not taking direct military action against that one member of the “Axis of Evil.” Can you blame the tyrant for taking leave to commit more depredations? The Britons did “nothing wrong”? But it’s your word against Ahmadinejad’s about what is “right” or “wrong.”

Last week, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a so-called ally and special hand-holder of President Bush’s, opened the Arab Summit in Riyadh by calling the American presence in Iraq an “illegitimate foreign occupation.”

The White House’s response? In another instance of a surrender of sovereignty, this time America’s, a timidly worded disagreement that cited the approval of the U.N. Security Council. Perhaps even worse, with the administration’s knowledge, great gobs of Saudi Arabian oil money are being funneled to a multitude of subversive, Wahhabist or Islamic organizations in the U.S., ranging in fields such as “civil rights” (CAIR) to educational textbooks that explain to helpless, indoctrinated American schoolchildren the blessings of Islam.

These actions – or non-actions – are evidence of turning the other cheek, a solely Christian virtue that goes far to account for the present state of the world.

Robert Mayhew underscored this point in his article, “The Rise and Fall of Greek Justice: Homer to the Sermon on the Mount” (The Objective Standard, spring 2007). In point seven in his explication of Christian morality, “Accept Divine Judgment,” he notes in regard to Christian justice:

“The willingness to apply divine justice does not make Christians better or more admirable; it makes them much more dangerous.”

The Christian virtue of turning the other cheek – of not resisting evil but refusing to judge certain men and their actions as evil – in especially our foreign policy over the last half century, has created a passel of parasitical, hostile states that can exist only by grace of semi-free Western nations, especially by grace of American non-judgmental pragmatism. Ayn Rand noted this in her notes for Atlas Shrugged:

“This is just like totalitarian economies that can exist only on the energy stolen from the free economies, who thus create their own Frankenstein monsters.” (The Journals of Ayn Rand, p. 453)

Frankenstein monsters such as Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Iran, Putin’s Russia (and before that the Soviet Union), Castro’s Cuba, Hugh Chavez’s Venezuela, Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, the Sudan, and many, many more parasite states – including Iraq. Are these states in themselves dangerous, or is it the premises of Western leaders?

For example, is Islam a corrosive that possesses an indefinable but ineluctable power to suborn and ultimately destroy Western values, turning them and men’s minds into wind-blown sand? Why does New Testament Christianity seem to be no match against an apparently virulent Islam? (Has a Moslem ever turned the other cheek?) What is the difference between the moral certitude of Christianity and that of Islamic fundamentalists? Should we blame the nihilistic subjectivism of pragmatism and multiculturalism, which inculcates in men a fear of defending themselves or their values?

In her Journals, Rand observed:

“The reason why people who start out with many virtues and a few flaws grow progressively worse, with the flaws winning, is the fact that an evil cannot remain stationary; it must either be eliminated or it will grow (like “a few” controls in a free economy). The question I ask myself here is: but what, then, happens to the virtues, which I consider indestructible (in the sense that a truth, once perceived, cannot be eliminated and replaced by an error)? (pp. 625-626)

Grasping the truism that flaws in a man’s moral character – a character largely governed by reason – will win out if not checked and eliminated, one can say the same about a culture, as well. Christianity, or its partner, secular altruism, if unchecked and eliminated as an operative moral code, is bound to enfeeble the West in its conflict with Islamic jihad.

Rand stated in her Journals that unchallenged and uncorrected flaws are the result of either errors of knowledge, or a refusal to acknowledge a fact. In the second instance, a man “has closed the door to knowledge, therefore closed it to correction, and therefore his error (and his evil) will grow worse and worse.” (p. 626)

Both Bush and Blair have refused to acknowledge the irrational nature of Iran, of Iraq, of Saudi Arabia – of virtually everything that imperils Western civilization, because they refuse to acknowledge the irrationality of their own policies. They have closed their minds to correction. Witness Bush’s willingness to “stay the course” in Iraq, as though loyalty to an irrational, fruitless policy will somehow transform a quagmire into victory. This is how they jeopardize the existence of the West and allow Frankenstein monsters to exist, and be sustained, and set the terms of our existence.

It is not Ahmadinejad and Putin and Mugabe who are dangerous. It is the premise of Western leaders that the best morality is to be non-judgmental, to “love” (or tolerate as a difference in opinion or culture) totalitarians and sanction every brand of irrationality, including religious doctrines, and to surrender pro-life values in exchange for non- or anti-life values, such as “peace at any price,” or environmentalism, or wealth -consuming foreign aid.

Arthur Conan Doyle, in his later years, after becoming famous for creating his evidence-gathering, reason-governed Sherlock Holmes, became an overt mystic, believing in spiritualism. He was an agnostic on the question of the existence of God (reason is impotent to answer the question of His existence, there is no “evidence” of it one way or another). That agnosticism logically allowed him to believe in the existence of a “lesser” realm of wandering souls of the dead who could communicate with the living.

The West has followed and continues to follow the same course, of abandoning reason in favor of the “spiritualism” of non-judgmental pragmatism/altruism. Reason is not an automatic governor of or check on one’s actions. It requires conscious application in every action of one’s life, including foreign policy. The West has systematically abandoned reason for over a century. We have political leaders whose minds are closed to correction, who refuse to acknowledge the disastrous facts of their policies.

The perilously bizarre results are plain to see to everyone but those who are comfortable with being blind.

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