The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: March 2011

Obama’s “Humanitarian” War-Fighting Philosophy

Humanitarians are famously but deceptively indiscriminate in their generosity and with the dispensing of largesse, whether the latter comes from their own wealth or from extorted taxpayer revenue. As long as the object of their charity is “in need” or “needy,” it matters not to the humanitarian. His measure of “need” is both the “virtue” of poverty, and a poverty of virtue.

President Barack Obama on Monday evening, March 28, 2011, demonstrated, in his speech on why he ordered military operations against Libya, that he is a humanitarian of the lowest order. He is willing to be completely selfless at the expense of this country’s blood and treasure to “save the Libyan people” and prevent the images of “mass graves” appearing before him on his teleprompter. That is, he is a vessel of humanitarian instincts brimming to overflow with a selflessness eager and willing to sacrifice things that are not his to sacrifice. Humanitarians are, at root, nihilists, destroyers of values in pursuit of “saving” non-values. Obama competes with swine in that he will eat anything as long as it is “in need” requires “sacrifice,” that altruist touchstone of moral purity. Here are pertinent excerpts from his address:

Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That’s what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.

What interests, what values are at stake? No answer. What responsibility? No answer.

For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant -– Muammar Qaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world –- including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents.

Yes, Gaddafi is a tyrant, but then so are the rulers of China, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf sheikdoms, Tunisia, the Sudan, et al., and too likely Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood consolidates its power. And it is interesting that Obama omitted mention of Lockerbie and Pan Am Flight 103, for which Gaddafi was the button-pusher.

In the face of the world’s condemnation, Qaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed.

As other commentators have noted, this kind of thing has gone on in the Middle East for decades. So? Neither Gaddafi nor any of those other tyrants have been overthrown or dislodged by the West.

Why the selectivity? Are not Assad of Syria and Ahmadinejad of Iran also tyrants? Shall we mention Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who oversaw the persecution, murders, rapes, tortures, and diaspora of white farmers and businessmen in a decades-long campaign to “socialize” the country? I have never heard a neoconservative advocate sending in a Special Forces team to put a bullet in the dictator’s skull, if only to remove that pestilence from the lives of that impoverished country’s starving black citizens. (Obama would never approve of such a one-stroke action. It might upset Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan.)

We knew that if we wanted — if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world…It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973.

So, if a tyrant massacres his own people, and we, the moral maximizers and robots of the categorical imperative who have nothing to gain, do nothing, we share the guilt? This is one of the most obscene pronouncements to escape Obama’s mouth, but is fully consistent with his altruist generosity.

In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies -– nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey –- all of whom have fought by our sides for decades. And it includes Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have chosen to meet their responsibilities to defend the Libyan people.

Aside from the ragtag army of Libyan “rebels,” Obama is boasting of a ragtag coalition of nations who are also governed by the Kantian imperative to act, even though none of them know what for or even have a plan. It should be pointed out that NATO would not exist but for American arms, and that the Arab League is fundamentally anti-American. One is surprised that Obama did not include Hamas and Hezbollah as our “allies” in the effort to remove Gaddafi to “save” the Libyan people.

That’s not to say that our work is complete. In addition to our NATO responsibilities, we will work with the international community to provide assistance to the people of Libya, who need food for the hungry and medical care for the wounded. We will safeguard the more than $33 billion that was frozen from the Qaddafi regime so that it’s available to rebuild Libya. After all, the money doesn’t belong to Qaddafi or to us — it belongs to the Libyan people. And we’ll make sure they receive it.

We have no responsibility to provide the Libyan people with anything, least of all help in overthrowing their tyrant. And about that $33 billion in Libyan assets: It does not belong to the Libyan people; it belongs to us because it represents wealth extorted from the West, especially from the U.S. in the form of oil prices on oil produced from expropriated oil wells and fields. That $33 billion should be applied to Obama’s rising government debt, and be returned to American taxpayers by declaring an income tax holiday for the next three years.

Two of the best critiques to date of Obama’s Libyan intervention are Richard Salsman’s March 23rd Forbes article, “Libya Exposes Obama as Our Latest Neocon President,” which presents the moral case against Obama, and Daniel Greenfield’s March 29th “The Known Unknowns of Libya” on Sultan Knish, which spotlights the utter recklessness of Obama’s irrational, illogical, and perilous actions regarding Libya.

As Salsman points out, Obama’s decision to bomb Libya so that “people may be saved” and for no other ostensible reason is evil. This is aside from the equally grave charge that his actions are impeachable, for he acted on whim, bypassing the necessity of asking Congress for a declaration of war and thumbing his nose at the American electorate. As Salsman writes, Obama is moved by an altruism and selflessness that require this country to invest its energies and lives in “spreading democracy” in the best Woodrow Wilsonian and Roosevetlian tradition to populations whose concept of justice and politics is fraught with beheadings, sanctioned rapes, Sharia law, and bowing to a gussied-up and sacred meteorite in Mecca. That is, to populations still in thrall to superstition and of an arrested medievalist mentality.

Finally, Salsman echoes my own contention that Obama is following the neoconservative foreign policy of being the policeman of the world in conformance with the Kantian maxim to act as though one’s selfless action should be the ultimate and universal moral maxim, to “do the right thing” regardless of reason, cost, and consequence – but especially if one stands to gain no value from the action.

Obama — amid loud applause from neoconservative cheerleaders at The Weekly Standard, from excuse-making “anti-war” leftists at The New Republic, and with the seeming approval of 70% of the American people — defends his invasion and occupation of Libya on the grounds that it is not truly a “war” but instead a “humanitarian” mission. By that he means U.S. lives and wealth are to be sacrificed in order to prevent a savage political regime from harming or killing its own citizens, even if they are “rebels” of equal or greater savagery. This is not “humanitarian” or moral in the least; it’s an evil act, resting on an evil premise (that sacrifice is “noble”) and an obscene abuse of American lives and liberties, with not a single selfish gain to be had in return.

As proof of the heinous agenda of the neoconservatives, The Weekly Standard patted Obama on the back. William Kristol, editor, wrote an effusive welcome to Obama to the ranks of the disinterested and self-sacrificing advocates of the tonic of a “moral adventure.” His relief is unbecoming.

I knew pretty early on during Monday’s speech that President Obama had rejoined — or joined — the historical American foreign policy mainstream….The president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn’t shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests. Furthermore, the president seems to understand we have to win in Libya. I think we will.

As Daniel Greenfield points out, Obama’s action was not merely ill-considered or ill-advised. It was completely and consciously blind and indifferent to whatever intelligence reports may have been dropped on the Oval Office desk, unread – in fact, necessarily hostile – to the fact that the United States has no self-interest in intervening in what is essentially a civil war between a dictator and a ragtag army of wannabe dictators and America-hating jihadists. Who are the “rebels,” and why is Obama worried about their genocide? Are they the descendents of the Armenians who were massacred by the Muslim Turks early in WWI? Are they Christians, or atheists, or Jews, or Scientologists weary of “forty years” of Gaddafi’s oppression and clinically-defined lunacy but are now “rebelling” and risking being herded into concentration camps for extermination?

A week after launching it, the administration still can’t get its own story straight as to why we’re fighting it at all. According to Obama, he went in because he refused to wait for images of mass graves. Other things he refused to wait for were basic intelligence, stated objectives and congressional approval. It took us ten years to decide to remove Saddam, it didn’t even take Obama ten days.

Was there any indication that there would be the implied genocide that comes with mass graves? Hardly. On Feb 22nd, Libyan diplomats began claiming in broken English that Gaddafi was committing ‘genocide’. Since they had trouble with the language, it’s an open question if they even knew what genocide was. And since Libya is an Arab-Muslim country and the civil war is fought between Arab Muslims, who exactly would Gaddafi be committing genocide against? The Tuaregs are the closest thing Libya has to a minority– and they’re fighting on his side. If there’s a possible genocide here, it would be of the Tuareg people by the rebels if they win.

Yes, they are fellow Muslims hankering after a chance to impose their own notion of proper Islamic governance on Libya, and who are no less barbaric than Gaddafi.

But if Obama was too afraid that there might someday emerge pictures of mass graves, why then did he oppose the removal of Saddam Hussein? Mass graves in Iraq are not hypothetical. And photos of them are available. Yet Obama who campaigned on his opposition to a war in which there were mass graves and in which every option had been exhausted after a decade– now leaps into a war to avoid the possibility that he might ever have to look at photos of mass graves.

This isn’t about Obama being too queasy to look at mass graves. If that were the case we would be invading North Korea, Sudan and the cartel run parts of Mexico. Gaddafi is not doing anything that half the Middle East isn’t doing, and unlike our close ally Turkey, he’s doing it without employing chemical weapons. We aren’t in Libya because it’s an extraordinary human rights situation, but because our decision making process has become a thorough and complete mess.

This is not a neocon or leftist complaint about Obama’s hypocrisy and inconsistency and not really knowing what he was talking about, or caring to know. Someone called the Libyan turmoil a “revolution,” and that was enough for him. Guys with guns started shooting back at other guys with guns. It is light shed on Obama’s irrationality and freewheeling but nonetheless selective humanitarianism. Hypocrisy and inconsistency are the least serious failings of Obama’s policies. The most serious charge against him is his expressed wish to prostrate this country before the parasitical and questionable needs of countries whose “virtue” of poverty and misery is their sole claim on us.

Under the guise of “humanitarianism,” Obama is determined to drain the last drop of America’s exceptionalism, of its uniqueness, of its independence, of its pride as a free nation. In George Washington’s farewell address in 1796, he warned against “interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, [or to] entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice.” He went on to say:

Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combination and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Substitute “Europe” with the Middle East, and his advice is no less germane or vital. One of the causes “foreign to our concerns” is the Islamic jihad against us, and a “humanitarian” campaign to help “needy” Arab-Muslims – provided they wish to establish their own tyrannies under the equally salubrious ruse of “democracy” – will only see our defeat, bankruptcy, and subjugation.

A noted philosopher, Ayn Rand, once offered this rule-of-thumb for those faced with incomprehensible irrationality: “Don’t bother to examine a folly. Ask only what it accomplishes.”

And what else is Obama accomplishing but the steady and inevitable destruction of this country?

It is time that Americans grasp that every action Barack Obama has taken since moving into the White House has been an episode of a war waged against this country, from ObamaCare to “green energy” to his appetite for government debt. His Libyan adventure is simply another demonstration of his war-fighting philosophy. This is not hard to grasp or concede. Obama’s actions speak louder than his words. Examine the evidence.

Between Caesar, God and Allah

A friend asked why Islam could not separate mosque from state as Christianity, after centuries of turmoil, war, and persecution, was able to separate church from state, and consequently become less of a peril to our freedoms. The first thing to come to mind in the way of a device to illustrate why Islam cannot emulate Christianity was the answer Christ is attributed to have given, in Mark and Luke in the Bible, to Jews about why they should or should not pay Rome’s taxes:

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.

Or words to that effect. The wording varies in Mark and Luke and in different editions of the Bible. And interpretations of his words also vary. The most credible one was that his answer was an attempt to avoid being arrested by Roman authorities for incitement to sedition against Rome. If true, his words were in the best tradition of dissimulating political rhetoric.

But, taking his answer at face value, and without wading into a multitude of facets, absurdities, and fallacies in the Christian faith that are germane to the issue, that one statement alone should suffice to illustrate why it is impossible for Islam to be “reformed” to the point that Sharia or Islamic law would be neutralized as a political force and pose no threat to freedom. The plain answer is that there is no equivalent dictum to be found in the Koran, Hadith, or Sunnah. Also, Sharia is so integral to the fabric of Islam, that without it, Islam would be little more than another bizarre cult, and not the ideological nemesis it is.

While both faiths denigrate life on earth as a mere transient form of existence on the way to an ethereal existence in one or another “Paradise” (unless one is destined to go to hell), Christianity historically cut some slack for living on earth. That is, the slightly higher regard for actual existence worked its way over the centuries into the development of political thought. Christianity, while it preached selflessness and living for others, however stressed the ironic importance of a selfish concern for the salvation of one’s own soul. The climax of this development occurred in the United States and in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.

During the Dark and Medieval Ages and throughout the Renaissance, church and state in Europe were in constant conflict. Local European rulers claimed the right to appoint bishops and to skim church revenues, while the Catholic Church contested or denied them the privileges. The conflict between Henry II and Thomas Becket was over the Crown’s temporal authority over Church personnel. England’s Henry VIII, in pursuit of an heir to his throne, challenged the Church over his marriage, and started his own church. While the Catholic Church’s political powers were inexorably waning in the face of moral and intellectual challenges to its doctrines, the Church still wielded enough influence to instigate riots against and persecutions of Protestants and Jews. Catholic doctrine guided and advised kings and princes in the formulation of their policies. Catholic cardinals occupied positions of power in the various European courts.

But one key to understanding the strife and rivalry is that they were centered on who would benefit from life on earth, not on who would go to heaven or hell. The Thirty Years’ War devastated Europe not over theological disputes over the Eucharist or the validity of the Trinity. It was about earthly political power. “Caesar” claimed the right to tax and rule over the Church’s congregation in this or that nation; the Church claimed the exclusive right to tax and rule over its faithful. Caesar claimed a cut of what was God’s; God’s representatives wanted it all for themselves in the name of God. It was about hard currency and the material comfort and ease of the governing principals and the assurance of political power of the warring parties.

Ultimately, religion was treated as a matter of personal choice or conscience or belief, protected from the diktats of the state and a bigoted majority. This is not possible in Islam. Islam claims all, or nothing, the “nothing” being the individual who does not submit to and acknowledge Allah as the “One” and Mohammad as his prophet. Islam’s religious elements are inextricably merged with its political elements. Islamic scholars emphasize this. Islam Online begins with:

First of all, it is to be noted that Islam, being Allah’s final message to humanity, is a comprehensive system dealing with all spheres of life; it is a state and a religion, or government and a nation; it is a morality and power, or mercy and justice; it is a culture and a law or knowledge and jurisprudence; it is material and wealth, or gain and prosperity; it is Jihad and a call, or army and a cause and finally, it is true belief and worship.

There is nothing there or elsewhere on the site about a division of Caesar’s and God’s due. The one quoted Islamic scholar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has his own site, and notes:

Secularism may be accepted in a Christian society but it can never enjoy a general acceptance in an Islamic society. Christianity is devoid of a shari`ah or a comprehensive system of life to which its adherents should be committed. The New Testament itself divides life into two parts: one for God, or religion, the other for Caesar, or the state: “Render unto Caesar things which belong to Caesar, and render unto God things which belong to God” (Matthew 22:21). As such, a Christian could accept secularism without any qualms of conscience. Furthermore, Westerners, especially Christians, have good reasons to prefer a secular regime to a religious one. Their experience with “religious regimes” – as they knew them – meant the rule of the clergy, the despotic authority of the Church, and the resulting decrees of excommunication and the deeds of forgiveness, i.e. letters of indulgence.

By secularism al-Qaradawi implies man-made laws as opposed to Islamic-inspired ones. Allah, per the Koran, views man-made laws as an “abomination.” Why? Because they are not his. No other reason is given. Just put up and shut up. It is almost humorous that al-Qaradawi notes that Christian Westerners prefer a separation of church and state because of their experiences with being ruled by the clergy and the despotic authority of the Church, conveniently omitting mention of rule by imams and mullahs and the despotic authority of a caliphate. Further, there is no such thing as “excommunication” from Islam; you cannot leave Islam without inviting a death fatwa, just as one cannot leave the Mafia without expecting to be fitted for cement shoes to “sleep with the fishes.”

There is a fanciful Socratic exchange between “Caesar” and an emissary of Islam, Abu Sufyan. Keep in mind that when Mohammad was spreading the “word” by the sword on the Arabian peninsula, the last Imperial Roman “Caesar” had died centuries before, and that one of the last “Holy” Roman Emperors, Constantine XI, died in 1453. It is uncertain which “Caesar” the tongue-in-cheek authors of the Koran meant the person to be.

Caesar: “Then I asked you what he ordered you to do and you replied that he ordered you to offer prayers, give alms, observe piety and chastity, honor your promises and not to commit breach of trust. You have admitted that he has never been dishonest, deceitful and unfaithful. This is how the Prophets of God behave. They are not dishonest, deceitful and unfaithful. In the light of these enquiries I am certain that he is the Prophet of God”.

This was an example of how an enemy becomes helpless and humble before a sublime personality and cannot muster up his courage to tamper with the realities.

The last sentence neatly sums up the current Western approach to dealing with Islam.

Neoconservatives also pose a peril. There has been a concerted effort over the last few years by the religious element of the neoconservatives to meld the founding of the U.S. with a religious doctrine, one that is intended to oppose the Islamic one. Their argument is that since all of the Founders and Framers were Christians of one stripe or another, and because God is referred to in the Declaration of Independence (“Nature’s God” and “Divine Providence”), ergo, the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation and its laws are based on Christian doctrine.

That is as ludicrous a charge as claiming that because many scientists believe in God and the Ten Commandments and regularly attend church or synagogue, vaccines, drugs, technological innovations, and the Internet are all founded on religious principles. Quite the contrary. Mention of God was, at the time, a fairly common practice in all nations in the texts of their official documents. And the God of the Founders was the “watchmaker” brand, a deity who created the universe, then retired from all human affairs. And, we have this evidence to the contrary enunciated in Article 11 of the Treaty between the U.S. and the Barbary States in 1796-97:

ARTICLE 11. As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

As religious neoconservatives cherry-pick historical documents to “prove” the religious foundation of America, this is one cherry they leave on the tree. It is irrelevant that Washington reportedly prayed at Valley Forge or that Jefferson regarded Christ as the wisest philosopher. In all other matters, it was not mysticism, superstition, and blind faith that dominated their thinking or guided their actions, but reason.

In summary, Caesar, God and Allah all are contenders for your life, wealth, and happiness. Men who value their lives, however, should ask the question: By whose leave?

The Symbiosis Between Islam and Multiculturalism

We begin with a brief description of the origins of multiculturalism by Lewis Loffin, in his article, “The Nazi Roots of Multiculturalism,” about the deleterious effects of multiculturalism. He wrote:

The origin of multiculturalism (a secular/leftist belief system) lies with two Nazis, Martin Heidegger and Paul de Man. National Socialism is also another leftist belief system. Their philosophy became the basis of Deconstructionism, an irrational belief system that rejects facts for feelings. The French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930 – 2004) introduced the term, but he was influenced by Heidegger.

Mark Steyn, an irrepressible critic and opponent of Islam and champion of the West, noted during a panel discussion:

“You can’t be ‘multicultural’ in Saudi Arabia.”

He might have added: nor in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Somalia, the Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, Gaza, the West Bank, and Turkey.

What did he mean? He meant that Islam is a head-to-toe political/theological totalitarian ideology that commands universal submission and uniformity in all that it surveys, from one’s diet and personal relationships to one’s political views.

Slowly the peril is sinking into the heads of policymakers and some politicians. German Chancellor Angela Merkel broke ranks last year and declared that multiculturalism was a failure. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s David Cameron soon after said, “Me, too.”

Islam, however, is not a child of multiculturalism. It predates Heidegger and multiculturalism by 1,400 years. It is a monster sanctioned by multiculturalism, a nightmarish phenomenon coaxed back to life and into our lives from a chamber of historical horrors, on a par with the reputation of Vlad the Impaler, who, ironically, resisted Ottoman expansionist policies in the 15th century albeit with a barbarity that matched the Turks’ own and 20th and 21st century jihadist depredations. Without the “conditioning” of men’s minds to uncritically accept multiculturalism in the broader culture – in schools, in business, in art, in language, in advertising – Islam, for one, would never have had a chance to become the formidable enemy it has become.

Multiculturalism is the progenitor of political correctness in speech, policy, and action. Political correctness is Orwellian goodthink. Standard English is badthink, if not plain thoughtcrime.

Janet Levy, in her forceful article on the steady course of Western dhimmitude, noted that the phenomenon of self-censorship began, not on 9/11, but as a consequence of the violent reaction to the publication of the Danish Mohammed cartoons in 2005:

Cartoongate ushered in a new standard of behavior that has had a chilling effect on free speech and expression when it comes to all things Muslim. The aftermath of the Mohammed cartoons incident established Muslims as a uniquely protected group to be effectively shielded from all critique and ridicule. Noteworthy is that this new Muslims-only standard mirrors the Islamic doctrine of Shariah that confers superior legal and political status for Muslims in parallel with a subservient status — dhimmitude — for non-Muslims. Today, the West all too easily and habitually gives up freedom of speech by avoiding even the merest shadow of negativity when it comes to Muslims and, thus, imposing on itself dhimmitude and enabling our sworn enemies.

I would differ with Janet Levy only on the point that the inaugural stage of American dhimmitude began with President George W. Bush proclaiming that Islam was a religion of “peace” hijacked by “extremists.”

Although freedom of speech was in a tenuous state before 9/11 (e.g., the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law), the orchestrated and violent reaction to the Danish cartoons virtually guaranteed its demise. It has since existed in a kind of post-traumatic stupor of denial. Not criticizing Muslims or Islam serves as the garlic or crucifix intended to ward off the specter of violent recriminations from Islamists. It is a species of Pavlovian conditioning. If a Muslim commits a horrific crime, the first thing modern journalists and critics and policymakers do is not attempt to identify the culprit or his motive, but to evade the task and point fingers in other directions.

Major Nidal Hassan perhaps had a glass of sour orange juice that morning, so he opened fire on American soldiers at Ft. Hood. A Muslim woman had a bad hair day, so she blew herself up in a bus full of Israeli schoolchildren. A mere marital disagreement between “moderate” Muslim Muzzammil Hassan and his wife Aasiya resulted inexplicably in his beheading her. Sure, the MSM will concede, all these instances of violence were gruesome. But they had nothing to do with Islam. And if they did, what business is it of ignorant Westerners? That would be imposing our moral standards on Muslims.

In regards to Islam, multiculturalism fosters a kind of Star Trek–inspired “Prime Directive”: Thou shalt not criticize, look askance at, or mock Islam or Muslims, no matter how primitive, brutal, savage, or backward they may demonstrate themselves to be. Nor even think of interfering with the religious practices or of examining its Mafia-style legal system.

It would be easier to comprehend the phenomenon of the West’s retreat from its once-cherished freedom of speech – in this instance, the freedom to criticize, ridicule, and even condemn Islam and that “silent majority” of Muslims here in the West or abroad who sanction by their muteness terrorism and the jihad – if one understood that the phenomenon is a consequence of the wider and more fundamental corrosive philosophy: multiculturalism.

Multiculturalism has spawned such fashionable but insidious notions as “cultural diversity” and “cultural relativism” which merge into a bewildering kaleidoscope of trivialities, the great and the exceptional rendered equal to the base and the mediocre. “Enshrine mediocrity,” noted one of Ayn Rand’s most pernicious villains, “and the shrines are razed.” Multiculturalism is asserting that the Mexican Hat Dance or a Peruvian folk tune is just as enthralling a piece of music as a Beethoven symphony or the finale of Antonia Salieri’s Axur, re d’Ormus. Or that anything by The Grateful Dead is just as significant as any Rachmaninoff piano concerto. Comparisons that encourage value measurements are discouraged and deemed “elitist” or “judgmental.”

“Cultural relativism” exploits subjectivism or indiscriminate whim-worshipping. Multiculturalism is the haven of those who do not wish their values to be questioned or judged. Multiculturalism says that you don’t have to aspire to be the best you can be, or even look for the best in anything; being best is optional. The stigma of mediocrity is unfair, hurtful, and insensitive, and ought to be abolished.

One could even argue that Islam owes its advances in the West to a multiculturalist interpretation and application of a particular verse in the Bible, from Matthew 7:1: “Judge not, lest you be judged.”

On the whole, and as a consequence, multiculturalism permits the mental excrement of contemporary “artists” and writers to contribute to the raw sewage that is modern culture.

Multiculturalism is the great leveler of values and of the means to measure or gauge them. It is a conscious negation of values, claiming that no culture is superior to another, that no value could be superior to another. In the steady corrosion of actual values in the West, over a period of time, ever since the philosophy was first introduced decades ago, multiculturalism must logically default to the lowest common denominator of cultures. In this instance, it is Islam. That is the inevitable end of multiculturalism. Faced with the threat of Islam – an ideology insulated from criticism – multiculturalists must retreat and keep their minds and mouths shut. It is a monster they defended and touted and claimed as an ally in the name of “tolerance” and “religious freedom.”

Multiculturalism behaves like a Komodo dragon that bites its prey, lets it wander off, and waits until it succumbs to its poisonous saliva and dies. Then it sniffs out the putrefying corpse to feed on it. Islam has been emulating the Komodo dragon’s methods for decades now.

Islam is not “multicultural.” It is totalitarian and brooks no rivalry, competition or disagreement. Come the global caliphate, the first Westerners to be beheaded, censored, or enslaved will be multiculturalists. Then Islam’s putative “reformers.” Then the rest of us.

It is only logical that such a systematic negation would culminate at the lowest common denominator, Islam, itself a system for destroying values. It is an omnibus system of nihilism that mirrors the nature of multiculturalism. And naturally, Islam claims to be superior to all other cultures and creeds, because it requires no thought, no values apart from ready-made ones, unalterable and mandatory. All Islam offers the individual is the “joy” of selflessness and the security of obedience, neither of which asks of the individual any degree of evaluation or intellectual independence. It offers the quietude of living death.

As Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish observed, Islamists and even off-the-rack Muslims are well aware of the inferiority of their ideology – and, by implication, of themselves by choice – and of Islam’s inherent impotence to destroy its cultural and moral superiors without the sanction of the victim. Discussing the stupendous white elephants the Saudis and other embedded medievalists in the Gulf are building with their extorted petrodollars in “The Towers of Barbarism” (see my April 2008 column on the same subject), Greenfield writes:

It is the combination of an inferiority complex and a hatred for non-Muslims, that same combination which causes the left and some on the far-right to urge us to feel ashamed of how badly we must be treating Muslims, for them to feel that way.

He makes a key connection between Muslims’ awareness of their inferiority and their compulsion to prove their superiority by means of nihilistic policies:

Where Western skyscrapers were the natural product of expanding economic and technological frontiers, Muslim skyscrapers are desperate attempts to buy superiority. A product of the same need to be superior to the infidels, that caused Islamic law to ban synagogues and churches from being taller than mosques. And now that they have the money, Muslim rulers are determined to build bigger buildings than the Empire State Building or the Sears Tower, or the World Trade Center, which they destroyed.

But the power comes, not from Islam, but from the philosophy that sanctions its existence by exhorting men to deny its nihilistic nature in the name of tolerance, diversity, and non-judgmentalism.

To concretize the corrosive process, note the tenacious opposition to nuclear power or offshore oil drilling by environmentalists and their ilk, who ultimately envision a savage rubbing two sticks together to make a fire as the preferred state of man (in order to “save the planet”). That is their unstated goal, to reduce man to dependence on the whims of nature. Islam, by the same token, reduces man to dependence on the whims of an unprovable and frankly psychotic deity, and demands that all men submit to that vision, so that no individual is superior or better than any other and so beyond Islam’s control.

In that terrible scenario, only Muslims will be equal to each other in the egalitarian sense. All those who do not submit, must be enslaved or eliminated. Nothing may rise above the ideological minarets of Islam – not minds, not ideas – because anything above or apart from them would be a threat, a reproach, and a repudiation of Islam. Under the iron heel of totalitarianism, the symbiosis between multiculturalism and Islam would perish.

The assertion that the inferior is superior by virtue of being inferior is the brazen premise shared by secular egalitarianism and Islam. Egalitarianism is just another manifestation of multiculturalism.

So, when one sees Muslims demonstrating against the Danish cartoons or an infidel’s critical slip of the tongue and calling for retribution and death, one is witnessing manqués boasting of their unacknowledged but demonstrable inferiority. Theirs is a poignantly felt state of existence that cannot be confessed; it can be expressed only in ugly rage masquerading as victimhood. These are the creatures set free by the multiculturalists, “liberated” from reason, from independence, from pride, from self-esteem, from free will, from volition. From Western civilization.

Muslims are not the only collectivists who have been “liberated” from the responsibilities of individualism and the non-negotiable demands of reason. But they are the most dangerous in terms of their being passive or active vessels of a totalitarian ideology that will destroy by exploiting the corruption instigated by multiculturalists, or by continuing naked violence whose cause the multiculturalists do not wish to examine, because that would be “judgmental.”

Postscript: To briefly expand on the idea of Muslims knowing of their own inferiority, that they are superior by virtue of their inferiority – they claim superiority because their inferiority, in conformance with altruism, requires others to defer to their wishes, to make exceptions for them, and to exempt them from the normal suasions of moral measurement and treatment. They are the lowly, the base, and the degraded; ergo, in accordance with altruist ethics, they are special and their need for deference and exception-making is an automatic claim on others – according to the others’ moral code.

This is in line with the whole altruist/collectivist philosophy that governs our culture. Of course, one should not ascribe to Islamists any kind of genius for exploiting that philosophy. It is merely their feral species of insight that makes it possible.

The Self-Defenseless West

Two oddly varying March 8th versions of the same commentary, “Caliphate, Jihad, Sharia: Now What?” by Raymond Ibrahim, associate director of the Middle East Forum, appear on the Middle East Forum (MEF) and the Hudson-New York sites. In both he begins by quoting a Columbia University professor from a 2008 debate, “Clash of Civilizations.” The professor answered an “assertion that Islamists seek to resurrect the caliphate, and, according to the doctrine of offensive jihad, wage war – when and wherever expedient – to bring the world under Islamic rule.”

“Suppose you prove beyond any shadow of doubt that Islam is constitutionally [inherently] violent, where do you go from there?” (Brackets mine)

Ibrahim proceeds to describe a caliphate in two different ways. In the Hudson-New York version, he writes:

A caliphate represents a permanent, ideological enemy, not a temporal enemy that can be bought or pacified through diplomacy or concessions — economic or otherwise.

In the MEF version, however, he writes:

A jihad-waging, Sharia-enforcing caliphate represents a permanent, existentialist enemy—not a temporal foe that can be bought or pacified through diplomacy or concessions.

Note the difference. The term ideological is used as synonymous with existentialist. One might wonder why Ibrahim treats ideology as existential, except perhaps because it is a system of thought that exists and which has a measurable potency or influence. But ideologies, or ideas, do not exist independently of their progenitors, advocates, or exponents. Ideologies or ideas cannot act on their own; they must have “temporal” actors or men who carry them out. Islam is an “enemy” only in the person of jihadists who perform actions of both the physical and stealth kinds.

The jihad against the West is indeed temporal in nature, to either physically subjugate it, or destroy it.

Ibrahim then notes in the Hudson version what the establishment of a multinational caliphate would mean to the West.

The very existence of a caliphate would usher a state of constant hostility: Both historically and doctrinally, the caliphate is obligated to wage jihad, at least annually, to bring the “disbelieving” world under Islamic dominion and enforce Sharia law. Most of what is today called the “Muslim world”—from Morocco to Pakistan—was conquered, bit by bit, by a caliphate begun in Arabia in 632.

And in the MEF version:

Consider the caliphate: its very existence would usher in a state of constant hostility. Both historically and doctrinally, the caliphate’s function is to wage jihad, whenever and wherever possible, to bring the infidel world under Islamic dominion and enforce Sharia. In fact, most of what is today called the “Muslim world”—from Morocco to Pakistan—was conquered, bit by bit, by a caliphate that began in Arabia in 632.

In truth, the West did face an enemy that waged constant warfare against it: the Soviet Union. So, there is a precedent for what the West now faces in the form of a totalitarian ideology albeit which Ibrahim later in the MEF version describes as one dressed in “religious garb.” He speculates on what the West is or is not prepared to do about a caliphate. In his Hudson version, he asks:

Yet, as Western people begin to understand what is at stake, what exactly are their governments prepared to do about it — now, before the caliphate becomes a reality? Would the West be willing to launch a preemptive offensive — politically, legally, educationally, and, if necessary, militarily — if these were the only solutions to the establishment of a jihad-waging, Sharia-enforcing caliphate? Would it go on the offensive without waiting until its enemies were strong so that by the time one realized what was happening it would be too late, or would political correctness and pacifist inertia allow the Islamists to have their way?

And in the MEF version:

In this context, what, exactly, is the Western world prepared to do about it—now, before the caliphate becomes a reality? Would it be willing to launch a preemptive offensive—politically, legally, educationally, and, if necessary, militarily—to prevent its resurrection? Could the West ever go on the offensive, openly and confidently—now, when it has the upper-hand—to incapacitate its enemies?

It is noteworthy that Ibrahim substitutes political correctness and pacifist inertia with openly and confidently when he changes the thrust of his rhetorical question in the MEF version. It is also noteworthy that he leaves the military option until last. In the MEF version, he asserts that the West still has the “upper-hand.” On the contrary, that hand is palsied. The West’s “openness” and “confidence” have been disabled, if not completely amputated, by political correctness and pacifist inertia, not to mention by multiculturalism and unprincipled pragmatism of a succession of administrations.

And, openness and confidence about what? That the West is superior? That it is secular in nature, not religious? That the Mideast depends on its survival on the West? That there is no such thing as “Islamic” culture or an “Islamic civilization”? Was the Mafia crime empire, which stretched from Sicily to Chicago, with its warped code of ethics and use of force, fear, and murder, a “civilization”?

Ibrahim notes in the Hudson version:

The West, alarmingly, does not have a political history or language to justify an offensive against an ideological foe.

And in the MEF version:

The fact is, the West does not have the political paradigms or language to justify an offensive against an ideological foe in religious garb.

Actually, in the context of dealing with Islam, it does have such a “language” and a “political history” or “political paradigm,” ranging from the Barbary Wars of the early 19th century to the battles of Omdurman and Umm Diwaykarat in 1898-99, in all instances acting with military force against Islamist depredations and expansionist designs, and with the knowledge, implicit or explicit, that Islam was inherently hostile to Western values and dedicated to removing them from human existence.

In the Hudson version, he notes:

Worse, as Arab governments come crashing down, the Obama administration has made it clear that it is willing to engage the Islamists and permit the Muslim Brotherhood to participate in elections, even before institutions of democracy — such as rule of law, an independent judiciary, and above all, free speech and a free press — have developed.

On the MEF version, he writes:

Indeed, the Obama administration has already made it clear that it is willing to engage the Brotherhood, differentiating them from “radicals” like al-Quaeda—even as the Brotherhood’s motto is “Allah is our objective, the prophet is our leader, the Koran is our law, jihad is our way, dying in the way of Allah our highest hope.” Likewise, a theocratic, eschatologically-driven Iran is on its way to possessing nuclear weapons—all while the international community stands by.

It is unclear in Ibrahim’s article whether he is underscoring his own rhetorical question-begging and inability to provide answers, or the Columbia professor’s. But overall, Raymond Ibrahim’s articles reveal serious and fatal indecision about what action should be taken against regimes that conduct warfare against the West, and in particular against the U.S., with the aim of subjugating it and imposing the Islamic ideology.

The West had the language and the resolve. And an important element in that resolve was that no Western nation was a top-to-bottom welfare state, was not “multicultural,” did not deprecate or suborn the things its citizens valued, such as individual rights, freedom from state interference in their personal lives and actions, and the rule of objective law. The West in the 19th century was riding on the mere momentum of an Aristotelian philosophy. But the rise of welfare states and the inculcation of statism undercut and finally arrested that momentum, and dissolved those things over decades of philosophical and moral bankruptcy. The United States reached a point where it elected a president who is actively anti-freedom, anti-reason, and unabashedly pro-statist, willing to apologize to the world for the U.S.’s greatness and working to see it diminished if not destroyed.

One could possibly date the phenomenon to WWI and the rise of Progressivism early in the 20th century, and the steadfast implementation of policies of pragmatism and appeasement. The roots of that phenomenon can be traced clear back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when Immanuel Kant and his successors launched an attack on Aristotelian thought, that is, on reason. The West will remain helpless and impotent “in the face of an ideological foe dressed in religious garb” unless it adopts an ideology that will identify that foe and strip it of that garb for all to see.

That is not going to happen when our policymakers refuse to identify Islam as the foe, but instead claim that Islam is fundamentally “peaceful” and that it was “hijacked” by “extremists.” One never heard FDR claim that Nazism and Shintoism were “hijacked” by “extremists” or say that these ideologies were somehow “radicalized.” Even left-wing FDR had a quantum of intellectual honesty that has put all of his successors to shame, including Eisenhower and Reagan.

It is the West’s policies that have put it in the perilous position it is now in. I see no solution to the problem except a revolution in political thought and policy in this country. It is either that, or recognizing very quickly that only long-overdue retaliatory force will begin to solve the problem, such as eliminating states that sponsor terrorism before they eliminate us, of acknowledging that Islam is indeed an enemy in the persons of its subscribers. The same policy should apply to extinguishing Somali piracy, even at the risk of the lives of the captives of the pirates. Lancing that particular boil would be a good start.

Without an honesty and confidence founded on reason and rational values, and faced with the prospect of another “evil empire” in the form of a caliphate, the only direction the West can go is down to its own destruction. The confusion and hesitancy on the part of “experts” like Raymond Ibrahim are not encouraging.

Mosques vs. Churches vs. Freedom

One thing I have observed about the swelling opposition to big government, Obamacare (and to President Barack Obama himself), the transparently venal and corruptible nature of Congress, and Islam is that many of those “anti’s” are religious, specifically Christian. Islam especially is opposed and feared, chiefly and ironically on religious grounds. It is almost as though Christians considered Islam a rival creed that is wedding-crashing, taking over the festivities, and demanding the right of prima nocta with the bride.

The literature that recounts the evils of the political/theological ideology of Islam is vast, growing, and informative. Unfortunately much of it is wrongly premised and written by individuals of a religious bent who have yet to check their premises. They really have no reason to cast the first stone at Islam, when the stones thrown at them share a striking similarity to the stones they hurl back.

While the persecution of Christians and other religious sects in Islamic countries by Muslims and Islamic governments is indefensible and certainly is evidence that “toleration” of others’ religious beliefs is impossible in any state under Islamic sway, the obsession of Western Christians with the phenomena has a peculiar character that colors their opposition to Islam.

The two main Christian arguments of this opposition are: the Judeo-Christian God is the only true God, Jesus Christ was his prophet (and also our Savior and one-third of the Trinity), because the Bible tells us so; and that Islam is false and hypocritical.

The Islamic rebuttal is equally hubristic: There is the only one true God and his name is Allah, and Mohammad was his prophet; and that all other religions are false, because Allah says so, it is written in the Koran.

On the surface, watching these two faiths in combat is, in a sense, hilarious and worthy of satire. But the serious side is that the more zealous Christian opponents of Islam are in fact no better than their Islamic doppelgangers. They, too, wish to establish a theocracy centered on the Ten Commandments and enforced with all the extra-Constitutional powers they envy the Democrats and welfare statists for having abrogated to impose regulations and controls in our personal and economic lives. Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck, and Patrick Buchanan are among the more notorious and vocal exponents of the religious opposition to Islam. The fundamentalist Christian agenda is no less nefarious than is the Islamic one.

Oh, yes, they assure us, they’re all for capitalism and free expression and individual rights – up to the point where the Golden Rule applies, and when the imperatives that we are our brothers’ keepers and that it is better to give than to receive should kick in. Which is the point where Progressivism and statism begin, historically and in fact. Religious conservatives have not grasped – or choose not to grasp – the fact that our current welfare state is frankly based on the secularized applications of the Christian virtues of self-sacrifice and selflessness that they profess and propound.

The chief reason why Christians are not effective opponents of Islam is that Christianity is just another form of mysticism. Christians dare not charge Islam with concocting a folderol of byzantine nonsense, or with basing its political practices on a theological premise, or that Islam is an illusion, because down deep the Judeo-Christian system is a mirror image of that same folderol and illusion.

Christians notably do not question the existence of Allah, for the same reason they do not question the existence of God. The names are irrelevant. While Islam has no image of Allah (none is permitted of him or of Mohammad), Christianity has the standard profile of an old man in a long white beard, clad in a nightgown, and wearing floppy sandals, clomping around the universe like a night-watchman, in his mysterious ways causing an earthquake one minute and a supernova the next, all the while keeping an eye on billions of people to check if they have been naughty or nice; or he is sitting on a blinding golden throne surrounded by a choir of angels and the adoring and revoltingly fawning pure of heart.

One cannot imagine that the physiology of Allah differs much from God’s, except that he would probably be fierce-looking, armed with a scimitar, and about as friendly as a rabid Doberman. Deists, on the other hand, contend that God has no recognizable form, but rather that he is like the fabled immaterial “ether” some scientists once claimed enveloped everything in the universe but were never able to detect or prove existed.

Occasionally it is instructive to cross swords with a Christian opponent of Islam. As will be seen below, religion is a dead horse I stopped beating in my teens. On rare occasions I bother to engage in such fencing simply to hone my own argumentation skills, and because the religious right needs to be faced down, contradicted, rebutted, and, if necessary, humiliated.

Raymond Ibrahim is associate director of The Middle East Forum, author of The Al Quaeda Reader, and has written and lectured extensively on “radical” Islam. An article by him appeared on March 3rd concurrently on Pajamas Media and the MEF site, “Mosques Flourish in America; Churches Perish in Muslim World.” It is educational in that he documents how Christian churches and Christians in the Middle East are regularly attacked. His chief subject in this article is the overall hostile policy of Mideast governments towards Christians and their churches. He usually suggests that “radical” Islamists are the culprits, not average off-the-rack Muslims.

Readers here know that I make no distinction between Islam and “radical” Islam, just as I make no distinction between a car and an automobile. Or, to put a finer point on it, between a Jaguar and a Toyota. Both are “cars” and can kill you if you step in their way. So it is with Islam. Islam can no more be reformed and salvaged than can Nazism or Communism or Socialism.

What follows is an exchange I had with a “JJ” on the Pajamas Media site. “JJ” is a Christian who regards Islam as an abomination. Well, Allah said that any other creed is an abomination. This is tantamount to two juveniles sticking their tongues out at each other. Ibrahim apparently has elected not to contribute to the discussion. I would not have pursued the issue after posting my first comment that it is pointless to charge Islam and Muslims with mere hypocrisy, except that “JJ” chose to align my atheism with that of Stalin’s, Mao’s Pol Pot’s, and Hitler’s. That insinuated affiliation raised my dander. You may read Ibrahim’s article for the truth of his argument that Islam is hypocritical, but also to catch the sense that hypocrisy is the far lesser offense.

Ibrahim, like many knowledgeable and articulate anti-Islamist scholars and commenters, is basically asking of Islam: Why can’t it reciprocate in terms of religious tolerance? But his intimate knowledge of the Koran and of Islam fails him. His premise is that off-the-rack Muslims are somehow more tolerant and to be tolerated than are “radical” Islamists. It is not as though he were contending that A can also be non-A at the same time. It is though he were saying that if only Muslims would take just a part of A and discard the rest, then all would be fine and there would be peace and harmony in the world.

I have corrected the typos and misspellings in “JJ’s” and my own rebuttals. My original posts follow in italics.

Writing here as an atheist and so very likely a member of a minority of readers, I agree with Mr. Ibrahim that it is quite and curiously hypocritical of Muslims, particularly those in the Middle East, to call for “tolerance” and “equality” and to pose as “revolutionaries” (re Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, etc.) yet then attack and murder Christians and burn down their churches. The issue is a straw man. Why belabor the point when it is conceded that Islam preaches and encourages intolerance, subjugation, and at the very least second-class status of non-Muslims?

Why dwell on Islam’s obvious double standards when it is admitted that Islam is a totalitarian political/religious ideology? Islam is a primitive, tribalist religion which frankly I place in the same belief system category as Freemasonry and Druidism, to name but a few surviving examples of mysticism, with the difference being that Islam is a virulent, aggressive, and wholly anti-mind system that demands unquestioning obedience and undiscriminating credulity.

So, what else should one expect? There is no difference between Islam and “radical” Islam. Islam isn’t even “radical.” It is nihilist in nature. It is an enemy and destroyer of Western values. It is not a morality for living happily on earth, free from religious and state interference in one’s life.

I was struck by Mr. Ibrahim’s omission of the fact that before Christian Egypt was conquered by “radical” Islamists, Egypt was the beneficiary of the world of Rome and Greece and was largely pagan. At the time, Christians were the “jihadists,” demanding submission by all to Christian doctrines. The vacillating and compromising policies of Imperial Rome granted these terrorists political legitimacy and carte blanche to wage “holy war” against Jews and pagans.

This historical fact was admirably dramatized in Alejandro Amenabar’s “Agora,” which climaxes with the savage murder by Christians of Hypatia, a pagan philosopher and scientist, because she would not submit to Christianity and recant her beliefs and accept the role as a second-class citizen. Her murder was provoked by “St.” Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, and is evocative of the recent attack on Lara Logan in Tahrir Square, Cairo, [and for the same bestial reasons, and a hatred of the good for being the good].

Hypocrisy and double standards are not the primary failings of Islam. They are wholly secondary to the evil of the anti-life creed itself.

“JJ” replied:

While your opposition to Islam is appreciated, your atheism isn’t. The wholesale abandonment of Christianity in the West by people like you is undermining (in fact it has already corroded) Western Civilization. Much as, if not more than, Islam.

JJ: Because you have made it a personal issue (“people like me”), allow me to ask you this: What difference is there between Muslims demanding that Christians substitute a Christian God with an Islamic one, and Christians being certain Muslims are worshiping the wrong deity? After all, Muslims are just as certain of the existence of their deity as you are of yours, and any down to the wire dispute between you and a Muslim would be a matter of fisticuffs. The outcome of which, of course, wouldn’t prove or disprove the existence of either deity. A Muslim bows five times a day to a rock (probably a meteorite); you perhaps make the sign of the cross in front of a crucifix. Those actions, however, are supposed to be not only confessions of faith, but proof of the existence of a deity. Or should one ask if there is any difference between Allah the unknowable (only through blind faith) and God the unknowable (only through blind faith)?

And I differ with your assertion that there is a “wholesale abandonment of Christianity in the West.” Mosques may be springing up all over the country, but they have a ways to go before catching up with the number of churches of every imaginable denomination (synagogues coming in a close second). In the small town I live in, there are at least thirty churches, mostly Protestant, with a handful of Catholic ones. There might be a mosque here, but it isn’t advertising itself. If there is one, it has likely set up shop in an abandoned bagel store.

Western civilization rests on a fealty to reason, and not to faith. When reason is abandoned, and the evidence of one’s senses is disparaged and shunted aside and replaced with policies of “diversity” or “sensitivity,” then the West winds up with, say, the intractable problem of the Somali pirates (all Muslim, or Muslim-born), and how best to deal with those initiators of force. It also finds its fundamental institutions, such as individual rights and freedom of speech, under increasing attack by Islamic jihadists who are confident that the upholders of Western values are paper tigers.

You also insinuate that atheism is “corroding” Western civilization. I’m not aware of atheists flying planeloads of helpless passengers into churches, or plotting to dynamite St. Peter’s in Rome and hoping for massive collateral casualties among its throngs of visitors. What I am aware of, however, are various Christian sects firebombing abortion clinics, murdering doctors, asserting that our entire legal system is based on the Ten Commandments, and indoctrinating children in schools that America wasn’t founded on secular philosophy, but on religious faith. On the matter of corrosion, it is a fealty to reason that is being corroded by blind faith, and there is an exponential relationship between the decline of reason in the West and the resurgence of any species of faith. Else how account for the cancerous inroads of Islam in the West (aside from the invidious effects of secular statism, the welfare state, and multiculturalism) and the helplessness of Christians to combat them?

“JJ’s” reply:

Thank you for your comments. I’m happy to respond to some of them – it would be next to impossible to do so on all of them in much detail, within such limited forum.
At the outset, let me state I don’t belong to any organized religion, I consider myself a 21st century theist, although I was brought up a Christian, and I deeply appreciate the contributions Christianity has made to Western Civilization, America, my family and myself (in spite of its minor failures over the past two millennia – when compared with its spectacular successes – and its shortcomings in dogma, when compared with its undeniable strengths of offering vision real hope and deep purpose in life.) This issue is theological, and not being a theologian myself, I wouldn’t venture into it.

Atheism is the outcome of Darwinism and Marxism, not the product of reason, the Renaissance or the Enlightenment all three the products of (religious) Classical Greece, Christianity and the Protestant Ethic within the Spirit of Capitalism (Max Weber). Classical Greece, Christianity and Capitalism are the pillars of Western Civilization. Take one away, and Western Civ collapses, as it has in front of our eyes. A small point in regards to reason and theism: Einstein, the early Hawking (not the today’s senile one) and Godel are impeccable sources for that link.

Islam is a bad copy of the Old and New Testament, a fake religion a violent cult, a brutal socio-economic movement put together by an irrational psychotic murderer pedophile thief pseudo-prophet and nothing more nothing less.

Atheism has been the ideology of tyrants from Lenin and the other soviet communist leaders, to Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and the rest. Now, before you jump to conclusions, I would like to clarify that I don’t blame all followers and fellow travelers of atheism (people like yourself) to be necessarily evil communists or Nazis. Most likely they aren’t; but this doesn’t take away from the monkey on their back, atheism.

I could delve more on all these issues, but I won’t. Hopefully you get the main gist of my key points.

I replied:

JJ: First, I was raised in a Catholic household, and attended a parochial school for eight years. I was a confirmed atheist by the age of 15, never having heard of Marx or Darwin. My disbelief in a deity was founded on two impregnable premises: the metaphysical impossibility of one, and the moral objection to an unseen power having power over my existence. The first aspect was based on my growing knowledge of history and of the universe and existence, and the absurdity that one omniscient, omnipotent deity was responsible for it all. The second was based on the contradictory nature of God: his was both omnipotent and omniscient, attributes he shares with Islam’s Allah.

If he was omniscient, or all-knowing of everything that was, is and is to be, then he cannot be omnipotent, able to change what was, is and is to be. He would have had to know that he was going to be whimsical in the future, and cause earthquakes and plagues and know what countless billions of individuals would and would not do; but that all-knowingness lets the wind out of his being able to change anything at whim. He already knew that he was going to indulge a whim. So, where’s the omnipotence?
Further on the moral objection: the role of predestination clashes with the Christian notion of free will. If one is “programmed” by God to be good, evil, or just mediocre, what role does “free will” play in the Christian scheme of things? This is double-talk, the Christian version of taqiyya.

And when one points this out to especially Christians, they invariably reply that reason cannot be applied to God’s existence or actions. Reason, they say, is the handmaiden of faith, and must defer to belief. That pitiful fall-back Christians share with Muslims. I had worked this out by the age of 15 (sans Muslims, who weren’t making headlines in the late 1950’s).

Contretemps: Atheism is an outcome of reason, of enquiry into the nature of existence. That most atheists historically have not conceived of a morality to replace the altruism and self-sacrifice of Christianity, Islam, and other creeds is no reason to assert that atheism is a product of totalitarian ideologies. Most atheists I know just haven’t finished that journey. They usually become welfare-statists and collectivists. Atheism predates Darwinism and Marxism. Darwinism is a legitimate “spin-off” of enquiries into the nature of existence; Marxism substitutes God with a Hegelian notion of the masses and predestination and some mystical inevitability of the triumph of communism.

Capitalism is a consequence of reason applied to the nature of man and his political relationship with other men, that he must be free to act for his own gain and happiness. It is indeed a pillar of civilization. Again, it has not been morally validated, except by philosopher Ayn Rand.

You say that “Atheism has been the ideology of tyrants from Lenin and the other Soviet communist leaders, to Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and the rest.” This is not strictly true. These tyrants merely replaced God with a deity of their own: society, the people, the race, and committed mass murder and made war in the name of the people, the race, and society. That they did not believe in the existence of the Judeo-Christian God is irrelevant. They established their own religions, more “materialistic” than the prevalent ones. That the dictators you cite have given atheism a “bad name” is hardly a valid reason for denigrating atheists in general. One could no more rationally cast a pall of evil over science, medicine, and technology because these evil men all used those realms of human enquiry and action to commit their crimes.

You rush to assure me that you “don’t blame all followers and fellow travelers of atheism (people like you) to be necessarily evil communists or Nazis. Most likely they aren’t; but this doesn’t take away from the monkey on their back, atheism.” Atheism has never been a monkey on my back, but rather an integral factor in my intellectual and moral growth. It liberated me from dogma and blind belief, which I disliked and had suspicions of even in my pre-atheistic childhood. It helped to require me to demand evidence and proofs behind anyone’s assertions.

On a final note, I have always found the gods of Classical Greece and Ancient Rome at least far more credible – their forms and actions were invariably based on man’s, not on some invisible, unknowable deity’s – and if not more edifying, then at least more entertaining.

“JJ” responded:

I assume that your response to “Mike” is in effect a misplaced response to my reply? If so, let me make just a few additional points, with your indulgence.

Godel (the great logician of the two “incompleteness” theorems in logic) in his last and unpublished theorem on “a God-like structure” provides the most eloquent, convincing and rigorous proof to date for the necessity to invoke God in reason. Otherwise, fundamental notions in logic are reduced to contradictory statements. Such contradictions are ubiquitous in Darwinism and Marxism, and if you wish I could point out a few.

Indeed “free will” and “purpose” are essential components of Life. Atheistic science asserts statements such as “the Universe was created by random fluctuations preceding the Big Bang, it has no purpose, there is no free will, and ‘unknown’ factors and ‘random’ events were behind the creation of Life.” Well, all these are of course arbitrary, capricious and unprovable statements, let alone indefinable and unobservable: for example, science can’t define ‘randomness’ or ‘unknown’ as it can’t deal (empirically or theoretically) with questions such as “what was before these ‘random fluctuations’ and the Big Bang, and why or how did they take place”?

To reject God because you want ‘empirical evidence’ and ‘reason’ and then turn around and accept ‘scientific statements’ based precisely on lack of evidence and reason seems to me quite preposterous.

As for Islam, I already elaborated on it; please, don’t refer to it as a ‘religion’ it isn’t; and ‘Allah’ is a bad imitation/copy of the Judeo-Christian God, a phony notion actually. If you read the stupid way the Koran copied the book of Genesis (where it is stated that ‘Allah created the universe from nothing’) you will understand that Islam is a failed attempt to create a ‘religion sounding document’ to gain credibility.

There isn’t much here to rebut. God also created everything from nothing, and in six days, so why “JJ” faults Allah for the same legerdemain, I cannot fathom. (“He stole my act”?) Yes, the Koran is very likely a knock-off of Genesis, with a whole new cast of characters, including a pedophilic brigand and warlord touted as a voice-hearing prophet and ultimate role model for killers, rapists, and sundry other criminals.

The Old Testament, largely a narration, is as harrowing a series of slaughters, indiscriminate begettings, tribal conquests, raids on rival tribes’ herds and women, and truculent conversions as is the Koran, which is largely a series of diktats and commandments. The Godel “JJ” mentions was a mathematician who, to judge by his biography, reminds me of Dr. Robert “pure research” Stadler in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The rest of what “JJ” has to say is just eclectic gibberish.

No persuasion is possible to a person determined to cling to an endless chess board of rationalizations. One could make a career of check-mating every assertion made by “JJ” and his ilk. There is no profit in it once one has observed that the mind of a Christian zealot is as closed as any Muslim’s to reason, logic, and evidence. Such minds are impenetrable, Teflon-coated vessels of intrinsicism, subjectivism and other epistemological disorders.

Somali Piracy: Another Islamic War Front

On February 22nd, four Americans were executed by Somali pirates as a U.S. warship bore down on the yacht they had hijacked. The U.S. government and the military are not saying much about why the pirates killed the Americans, but it just might have something to do with the fact that the two retired couples were on a private missionary voyage around the world to distribute Bibles in Third World villages and spread Christianity. All Somali pirates are Muslims. Very likely, even after having command of the yacht for three days and in the midst of negotiations for the hostages’ release, it had something to do with the Bibles the pirates found on board the yacht.

On Tuesday, Somali pirates shot and killed four American hostages. A single hostage intentionally killed by these pirates had been almost unheard of; four dead was unprecedented….

Exactly what happened Tuesday is still murky. Pirates in the Arabian Sea had hijacked a sailboat skippered by a retired couple from California, and when the American Navy closed in, the pirates got twitchy. Navy Seals rushed aboard but it was too late. It’s still not clear why the pirates would want to kill the hostages when their business model, which has raked in more than $100 million in the past few years, is based on ransoming captives alive.

But I suspect that if the pirates had instead found cartons of Playboy Magazine on the yacht, the Americans would have suffered the same fate. It would demonstrate the grip Islam has even on criminal Muslims.

It is unlikely that the pirates expected to collect much of a ransom from the murdered Americans. It is likely that they were holding the U.S. government hostage, by demanding it pay the pirates the ransom instead. Two of the pirates were aboard the warship “negotiating” when pirates on the yacht fired at the warship, and then gunfire on the yacht itself was heard.

The big money is in hijacking commercial vessels, such as super-tankers and super-cargo ships, and holding them and their crews hostage until ransoms are paid. Because of the murders, however, I believe the Somali pirates have adopted a new tactic: kidnap smaller private vessels whose owners are unlikely to be able to pay million dollar ransoms, and hold the captured nationals on them hostage until their governments pay up.

The pirates have sent an unmistakable message to the U.S. and other Western governments: they mean business. Does the U.S. mean business? Is it willing to pay millions in “tribute” to Islamic pirates (a.k.a. Islamic jizya) as Americans were not willing to pay Napoleon to stop raiding American vessels?

The hijacking of a private Danish yacht several days ago suggests this new strategy. The promise to execute the Danes, a mother, father, their three teenaged children, and two other adults if a rescue attempt is made, suggests this new tactic, as well.

Most hostages captured in the pirate-infested waters off East Africa are professional sailors. Pirates rarely capture families and children, but a 3-year-old boy was aboard a French yacht seized in 2009. His father was killed in the rescue operation by French navy commandos. Two pirates were killed and four French citizens were freed, including the child.

The Danish family was captured along with two adult crew members, also Danes, when their sailboat was seized by pirates Thursday, the Danish government said.

Mohamed [a spokesman for the pirates] said that any attack against the pirates would result in the deaths of the hostages, and he referred to the killings last week of four American hostages captured by pirates on their yacht.

Jihad Watch reports on the natural and logical connection between Islamic jihadists and the pirates, who, being Muslims waging war on the West, act as a kind of guerilla contingent. But this is not officially acknowledged. The West dare not convict or indict Islam, lest Islamists cry foul. But Somali Jihadists are now demanding their cut of any ransoms paid, and the cut is strictly by the book – the Koran.

“And know that whatever ye take as spoils of war, lo! a fifth thereof is for Allah, and for the messenger and for the kinsman (who hath need) and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if ye believe in Allah and that which We revealed unto Our slave on the Day of Discrimination, the day when the two armies met. And Allah is Able to do all things.” — Qur’an 8:41

The West, however, is not able to do anything. Its hands are tied by a fear of offending Muslims by naming the moral culprit. It refuses to acknowledge that the pirates are proxy allies of the jihadists. It prefers to treat the pirates as mere criminals.

The piracy “crisis” off the Somali coast can be solved easily and quickly – the West certainly has the means to do so – but with some regrettable risks and consequences. The situation, after all, is of the West’s own making. Western governments have dithered and bitten its nails for years over what to do, not only because the pirates still hold ships and hostages, but because the pirates are Muslims.

That is what is stopping any concerted action – such as blasting every pirate ship and every pirate port and safe havens to atoms, and shooting to kill on sight any pirate with no chance of “trial” in any Western nation. When pirates were captured in the West ages ago, they were summarily tried and hanged.

“But,” one might object, “they’ll just execute the hostages or they’ll be killed during an attack. That isn’t very humane. It’s better to just dither and negotiate. To attack the pirates would be barbarous, especially because they aren’t as well-armed as we are. What would the world think?”

It is not bad enough that “Just War” theory reigns supreme in our military. It apparently reigns supreme when dealing with gangs of pirates.

During World War Ii, when the Allies decided to bomb German and Japanese cities to accelerate the surrender of the Nazis and the Japanese and to bring the war closer to an end, doubtless strategists knew that some “innocent” German and Japanese civilians would be killed as well as those who actively or complicitly supported and sanctioned the Nazi and Imperialist regimes. When American bombers attacked Japanese cities, they also did so knowing that American POW’s were being used as slave labor in those cities, and that they, too, might be killed.

This is also a risk the West must take with the pirates’ hostages if it is ever going to erase the pirate jihadists off the map. The moral conundrum is possible only because the West has refused to acknowledge the nature and identity of its enemy: Islam. The piracy “problem” is a direct consequence of especially the U.S.’s “war on terror.” It is a direct consequence of not eliminating states that sponsor terrorism.

What is the alternative? Allowing the hostages to remain in captivity until they rot away, or are killed because no ransom was collected or likely to be collected, and perpetuating the commissions of crime on the high seas. Is not acting decisively against the pirates a more humane policy? Is allowing the hostage sailors to remain hostages, still living at the whim of killers, who are now resorting to torturing the hostages, a more humane policy? No.

I am sure that Western governments have every Somali pirate port and village pinpointed. It should simply give a single warning, broadcast to the pirates, that all hostages are to be released, unharmed, immediately, and all hijacked vessels abandoned by the pirates. If all we got in reply were threats to kill the hostages, or actual executions, or if they reply with a wish to “negotiate,” Western naval vessels should simply commence erasing the ports, the villages, and every pirate vessel afloat; the “mother ships” especially should be sunk as well, and no attempt made to rescue survivors. Let the sharks claim them. No mercy should be shown to any pirate. The Somali pirates show none for Westerners or anyone they take hostage. Remember the four Americans executed by them just a few weeks ago?

Would this action violate the sovereignty of Somalia? No. There is no such country as Somalia. It is a region of anarchy with no true government, and one to which the U.S, incredibly, is paying to simply exist, with no power to punish the pirates.

Somalia’s central government collapsed more than 20 years ago, and now its landscape includes droughts, warlords, fighters allied to Al Qaeda, and malnutrition, suffering and death on a scale unseen just about anywhere else.

The United States and other Western powers are pouring millions of dollars into Somalia’s transitional government, an appointed body with little legitimacy on the ground, in the hope, perhaps vain, that it can rebuild the world’s most failed state and create an economy based on something like fishing or livestock. Young men then might be able to earn a living doing something other than sticking up ships.

The Times aptly describes the kind of country Somalia is:

Piracy Inc. is a sprawling operation on land, too. It offers work to tens of thousands of Somalis — middle-managers, translators, bookkeepers, mechanics, gunsmiths, guards, boat builders, women who sell tea to pirates, others who sell them goats. In one of the poorest lands on earth, piracy isn’t just a business; it’s a lifeline.

It is time the West extinguished that bandits’ economy and severed the lifeline, but enacted no Marshall Plan to help Somalia back to its economic and political feet. Victims do not owe their subdued victimizers anything.

Remember that the Somali pirates are Muslims and that they are obeying the commands of the Koran. During WWII, the Allies did not stay their hand because they could point to some “benign” passages in Mein Kampf. The Somali coast is as much a war front as Western Europe was during WWII. But the West must first acknowledge that Islam has declared war on the West, and that the Islamic jihadists have declared war on it and make no distinction between military and civilian targets. Or were the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the London subway, and the Madrid train station, and the Bali resort, et al., all figments of our imagination?

The Somali pirates hold between 600 and 800 hostages, and still have under their guns between 50 and 80 vessels of various sizes, some of which they have converted into “mother ships” that can range far beyond Somali’s coast to launch “swift boats” to attack private vessels and commercial shipping. The sea lanes between the Gulf of Aden and in the Arabian Sea have become “seize lanes.”

The West has the air power, the firepower and the navies in place to accomplish the end of Somali piracy. All it needs are the will and the moral certainty to get on with it.

And while we are on the subject of thievery and extortion, one must ask: Is there any difference between Somali piracy and, say, Saudi, Libyan, or Venezuelan extortion of Western wealth in oil in the Western oil fields developed by Western companies? Somalis are not the only pirates. The entire membership of OPEC is a club of pirates, extortionists, and thieves – of Western wealth.

At the very least, a military strike against the Somali pirates would send a clear message to Islamist jihadists everywhere: This particular reign of terror is over. One should wholeheartedly agree with William R. Hawkins when he stresses that it is the pirates, like any criminal who initiates force, who should be mindful of the risks, chiefly that they may forfeit their lives if retaliatory force is employed.

It is a strategic mistake to appease aggressors. It is the pirates who must be put at risk, and learn the harsh lesson that their raids will only result in their own destruction.

And punitive attacks against pirates should not mean “nation building” or any prolonged involvement in the country. Indeed, any deep intervention in a place as wild as Somalia is to be avoided. The mission would simply be to teach the brigands that “crime” doesn’t pay with an application of armed might beyond anything they can imagine or endure.

It the West cannot or will not deal with so lesser a threat as pirates, then it is doomed to extinction, and the Islamists will have won.

Court Endorses “Thought Crime”

Even though George Orwell was a “democratic socialist” – or even a communist – his accurate prescience regarding the growth of totalitarianism, what it required to acquire and maintain power, and what it would do to men makes him unique among all other leftist writers who also wrote dystopian novels. His writing style, which stressed clarity and intellectual honesty in any kind of writing (his essays on this subject are marvelous), redeems him.

It is not for nothing that when the Obama administration proposes taking over the Internet, or when courts uphold the idea of “hate speech” or endorses the regulation of speech in schools and businesses and even in government itself, no one thinks it is Aldous “Huxleyian” or Thomas “Hobbesian.” It is immediately dubbed “Orwellian.” In terms of totalitarian methods and ends, Orwell literally wrote the book.

So when I first read of U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler’s recent ruling on Obamacare, in which she states, among other things, that “mental activity” can be treated as “commerce,” even if that activity does not lead to observable, demonstrable action, and that no distinction can be made between the actions of one’s mind and physical actions, I immediately recalled a statement in Orwell’s novel Nineteen-Eighty Four:

Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death.*

Judge Kessler, a Clinton appointee, has thus, whether she knows it or not, endorsed the notion of thought crime, or “crimethink.” The “thought crime” she is endorsing, which is not choosing to buy government-mandated health insurance after private consideration (or none at all), will not entail anything as severe as execution by the state. Instead, it would entail a hefty penalty (a special “tax”) on the recalcitrant, or even prison. Of course, paying the fine and/or serving time in prison may lead to one’s death, or at least to one’s reduced financial circumstances, but that is beside the point.

The details of the invidious fraud that is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are not the subject here. The particulars and mechanics of that scam have been written about extensively in other venues. What concerns us here is the attack on the mind, on the means of man’s survival.

Kessler’s ruling has been excoriated, mocked, and shredded by The Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator, Fox, and other leading news outlets. Five plaintiffs brought action against Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Timothy F. Geithner of the United States Department of the Treasury. They argued that the individual or compulsory mandate of Obamacare would cause them financial hardship, that it was beyond the power of Congress to enact or unconstitutional, and that it reduced God to second-fiddle in terms of the deity guaranteeing their health and well-being.

The paragraph that invited the well-deserved fusillade appears on page 45 of the 64-page ruling:

As previous Commerce Clause cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether the latter falls within Congress’s power. See Thomas More Law Ctr., 720 F.Supp.2d at 893 (describing the “activity/inactivity distinction” as an issue of first impression). However, this Court finds the distinction, which Plaintiffs rely on heavily, to be of little significance…It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not ‘acting,’ especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice. Making a choice is an affirmative action on, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.

Words, to Kessler, mean nothing. They are merely “pure semantics” whose meanings will be what those with guns and laws mean them to be.

Avik Roy in Forbes shines a heat-intensive arc light on Kessler’s ruling:

The idea that you can pass an unconstitutional law to remedy a problem created by a prior act of Congress makes no sense. The more straightforward remedy is to repeal the old law, or fully fund it. If a dumb federal law drove New York’s newspapers into bankruptcy, would it be okay for the government to force you to subscribe to the New York Post?

Indeed, according to Judge Kessler, if Congress passed a law requiring restaurants and hotels to provide their services free of charge, it would then be okay for Congress to pass a second law forcing individuals to eat out and stay in hotels.

Whether or not “forgoing” health insurance can be defined as “not acting” or as a form of “acting” is irrelevant. Thinking about whether or not to purchase it is indeed “mental activity”; it may move one to purchase it, or it may stay one’s hand. Not buying it, according to Kessler’s illogic, comes under the aegis of the Commerce Clause in the Constitution. But what business has the government to begin assuming that one has or has not “thought” about it, and more, that it may, on the most specious and nearly laughable illogic, regulate this “mental activity”– indeed, punish it for not conforming to the individual mandate and just obey? That is, for not acting blindly?

The only way to avoid or escape punishment for nonfeasance – that is, a failure to do one’s duty and buy health insurance and help to spread the risk around and fulfill one’s office as a loyal, responsible citizen – is to literally not think, and purchase it. Snuck into this decision is the phenomenon of thought control. Why think about the issue at all? There are no other non-punishable options possible to a conscious mind. Thinking about it will just lead to sorrow. Congress and the government may “regulate” your thinking to the extent that you do not think, that is, if you engage in no “mental activity.” Heads you lose, tails you lose — your freedom.

Fox News summed up Kessler’s brainstorm this way:

The judge is saying this: “Anytime you make a choice not to act you are ‘acting.’”…Are you thinking about blogging about this subject now too? DANGER! YOU COULD BE REGULATED AND TAXED STOP!

And in not acting, you are acting, and therefore your non-action/ action may be regulated, and, if necessary, punished. In Kessler’s anti-Aristotelian universe, A may be non-A at the same time.

Let us concretize this illogic: After paying income taxes, sales taxes, all sorts of government fees and excises, you are able to set aside some money which you put into a savings account, or the money market, or an insurance policy, or some other rewarding venue. That is, you choose not to spend it. You are not acting to spend your money. You invest it and forget it. Your money earns interest. But, the interest you managed to earn by the end of the next year by not acting – is taxed.

In this instance, you choose not to spend money on a health insurance policy you don’t want or need and save money. The money not spent will be taxed. The IRS beat Kessler to the punch decades ago in the real realm of tangible wealth. Kessler has moved into the realm of the mind.

That is Kessler’s non-action/action in action. She is now proposing that this horrific scheme be applied to one’s mind in the realm of socialized medicine. This is not only an assault on epistemology and reason. It is a denial of metaphysics. Kessler is the last person in the world to accuse anyone of “pretending” to ignore reality.

A Congressionally “regulated” mind under the Commerce Clause is one that simply agrees with anything an advocate of Obamacare says about it. On the other side of Kessler’s coin are the three slogans of Orwell’s totalitarian state: War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is Slavery.

To which Judge Gladys Kessler has added another: Meaning is Meaningless. Never mind what the Framers “meant.”

*Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty Four: Text, Sources, Criticism. Ed. by Irving Howe. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1963), p. 20.

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