Jonah Goldberg recently made the point that this administration appears afraid to call anything or anyone “evil” (except maybe the Tea Party). I agree, and referenced this a couple of posts ago. He then made the point that George W Bush perhaps made the point too much talking about “evil doers” which became a joke about Scotch (Evil Dewars) with W’s eloquence. I would assert to Jonah, that W was wrong too.
The problem was not “evil doers”, it was an evil ideology. The reality is this Extremist Islam has no redeeming qualities, it IS evil. Yep, they provide a few social programs for some lucky followers, by that standard Stalin was just a bit misguided for intentionally starving to death a few million peasants who wouldn’t get with the program. These people behead the children of those who disagree. If that’s not evil we are literally wasting our time. Bring back the bombers.
The problem we face in the quagmire of the new no absolutes Western Morality is that if there are no absolutes there can be no evil. This is why the America left got so incensed with Reagan calling the Soviet Union the Evil Empire. I agree with D’Souza on this one, NO ONE believes in no absolutes. Just ask the squishy morality crowd about Westboro Baptist, Global Warming, or the Koch Brothers. They will exhibit a moral indignation that rivals Puritan Witch Hunters. For the record I agree with them on Westboro Baptist. But then the most likely follow up question is this. Why won’t they call an ideology that has declared war on Western civilization evil?
First, Let me get this of my chest. EVEN OBAMA doesn’t do everything wrong. While I’ve heard a few conservatives all be it weakly criticize Obama’s announcement of a campaign to halt the Ebola virus, it’s simply unmerited. While maybe you can criticize him for being late, there is nothing wrong with his priorities on this one. Much like Bushes policy on HIV in Africa EVERY AMERICAN should applaud this one.
I do have a couple of questions though, for those who don’t believe in American Exceptionalism, including perhaps the administration itself. How do you not see the Irony in this one? The reality is when there is a disease outbreak anywhere in the world, the first phone call is to the CDC, not the UN or EU. And no other nation in the world is capable of projecting this kind of manpower, technology, or resources to deal with something like this. The same is true of natural disasters around the globe.
My second question is where is China? Russia? the UK? Germany? France? and Japan? The reality is when you look at real non-military foreign aid including personal giving, no nation in the world rises up to these occasions the way the US does, or frankly appears to be capable of it. One of the Questions Mark Steyn ask in his book “After America” is what nation or power will fill that vacuum? I have yet to hear anyone with the world view that the US has been nothing but a force for wrong in the twentieth century, the Choamskys, Ayers, Rev. Wrights, Valerie Jarrets, or President Obama himself attempt to answer that question.
The President just went on TV to announce to the world that he was clueless, to quote one commentator, “Here’s how I feel about beheading, I be heading to the Golf course”.
In fairness to President Obama our approach to the war on terror has been wrong since the Clinton-Bush days. Here’s a few suggestions on where to start.
One, Identify the enemy. This is not a war on terror, calling it that is a bit like declaring war on Torpedo Bombers after Pearl Harbor, this is a war on Islamic fundamentalism. While I’m not ready to make the statement that all of the followers of Islam are extremists, the extremism in this religion is not compatible with civilization or common decency for that matter. This is not a problem with religious extremism, there were no Buddhist burning down embassies when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhist monuments in Afghanistan, Christians weren’t hunting down humanities professors when the “Piss Christ” went on display at the NY museum and the Jews didn’t take to the streets when Tehran held a Holacaust deniers conference. This behavior is unique to Islam in this century.
Two, Believe your values are better. If you honestly don’t believe that the values of the enlightenment, the values that ended the Slave trade in most of the world, and that brought democracy to the world are superior to the values that hang gays, REALLY treat women as property, refuse to give any minorities basic rights you don’t stand a chance in defeating those values. While I am more than willing to apologize when we in the West don’t met those values, I will not apologize for those values themselves. Cultures that recognize freedom of religion, the press, assembly, rights to self defense, freedom from undue government intrusion into our private lives are superior to those who don’t, period. Sadly, I’m not convinced our current President really believes this.
Three, Call EVIL what it is. If we refuse to believe that some values are truly evil or that evil even exists as a civilization we are doomed. If ten year old kids walking around holding the heads of other kids isn’t evil, than nothing is.
Four, refuse to compromise those basic values. When Muslims take to the street to protest a you-tube video or an editorial cartoon tell them to get over themselves. Give them a copy of the Bill of Rights tell them to read the first amendment and if they don’t like it, show them the damn door. There is NO PLACE in our society to compromise our freedoms to tyranny . If you want to be a citizen in a country that has a diverse populace and basic human rights you have to realize you have no right not to be offended. And to our leaders, quit with the damn apologies, the Crusades were so twelfth century. President Obama was lying when he said after Benghazi “we don’t denigrate religion”. Our culture makes fun of everything, his own Secretary of State attended a play denigrating Mormonism that same week. We’ll know we’ve arrived when we can attend a “Book of Quran” on Broadway without having hundreds of people die across the globe in protest and our mealy mouthed leaders apologizing for it.
Five, Promote those values. Wether it’s at the UN, in trade associations, providing support to moderate based reformed movements in the region, or behind the scenes in NGO’s. We need to promote basic civil rights in society and basic freedom for all minorities in the Islamic world. And we should also limit the promotion of Islam in the West. We could start by not allowing governments that don’t respect freedom of religion to fund religious endeavors in our countries. And it’s time for the Press in the West to begin to expose these extremists the way they cover a Westboro Baptist. I’m not for limiting their freedoms in the West, only making it clear what these ideologies promote.
And for the societies that go to extremes in tyranny we need to make it clear that participating in the benefits of civilization requires being civilized. Pariahs, should be treated like Pariahs, countries like Iran should have no higher standing in the world than S Africa did during the height of Apartheid, they are just as evil.
Six, Use military when needed. And when you do use it, use them for what they are good at, killing people and blowing up things, I’m not proposing invasions, because quite frankly I’m not convinced the West has the resources or the stomach for the colonizing that would be needed to really change the Islamic regimes in the region. But what I am saying is keep them under the gun. NEVER take the threat of military use off the table when dealing with terrorists, they should fear it. And when military action is needed announce it after the fact. The “Red Lines” should already be in place, and when they cross them, let the military do it’s thing, not hampered by ridiculous rules of engagement and let the other side pick of the pieces.
Seven, Develop our energy resources. I strongly believe in protecting the environment. Obviously, we shouldn’t be fracking in sensitive environmental areas like the Mason track in MI or building a pebble mine in the Bristol Bay region of AK. BUT, build the damn Keystone pipeline already, develop our natural gas and oil resources here. Drill for Oil in ANWAR already. The Peak Oil crowd was full of it, there is enough energy in N America to provide the worlds energy needs for decades. And that money going into the economies of the US and Canada is far better for the world than it going to the Mullahs or Putin. Serious countries have serious energy policies. And the imaginary threat of global warming pales in comparison to the real threat of the Islamists.
Eight, eliminate the Department of Homeland security. While it’s true we need a “clearing house” to share information between agencies, we didn’t need to create a whole new federal bureaucracy complete with SWAT teams with the resources we already had in place. What we do need is serious border security, ISIS can use the southern border too, with a serious look at our visa and immigration policies as they relate to the Middle East.
Nine, Concentrate on good human intelligence verses over reliance on electronic surveillance. Sadly counter terrorism these days looks more like the electronic keystone cops than Jack Bauer. We track the emails of some farmer in MO while we don’t notice the Tsuniev brothers visits to Chechnya, we arrive with a three car SWAT team to check vin numbers on an individually imported Land Rover while we ignore a Major in the US Army who lectures fellow doctors on the value of Jihad. We don’t need the NSA tracking the calls and communications of every American, good law enforcement narrows down the suspect list first. And the suspect list shouldn’t treat some middle American old lady teaching Sunday school at the Baptist church the same way it treats an Iman from Pakistan. That is an absurd waste of resources, not to mention it’s fucking idiotic.
And finally, call it what it is. Major Hassan who had on his business cards “Soldier of Allah” did not do a “senseless act of workplace violence” at Ft Hood. He attacked Western Civilization in the name of Islamic extremism. And the soldiers who gave up their lives and lived with him every day were afraid to report his Jihadhism because they might end up getting stuck with sensitivity training. The citizens of Rotherdam in the UK are dealing with the systematic and serial victimization of over 1400 children by Pakistani Muslims for the same reason. You can’t fight a war by surrendering to evil, and the evil of Hassan and those Pakistani Muslim pedophiles has the same source, it must be defeated, not accommodated.