What a nation of plunderers we have become!
Malala Yousafzai can’t speak for herself, and it remains to be seen whether she ever will again. For the crime of going to school — and blogging about it — she was shot in the head by a Taliban assassin while in her school bus.
Yousafzai, now 14, knew the risk she was taking when at the age of 11 and under a pen name (“Gul Makai”) she began posting an online diary which then appeared on the BBC’s website under the banner “Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl.” This followed the Taliban’s 2007 overrunning of the Swat Valley where she lives, including the destruction of hundreds of schools for girls.
On Monday, Malala was flown to England for care, perhaps as much to protect her from another near-certain assassination attempt as to get better medical treatment than is available in Pakistan.
Malala’s closest friend, Shazia Ramzan, was also shot by the Taliban assassin. Fortunately, her wounds, in her shoulder and hand, were not life-threatening. Shazia is giving voice to the millions of girls like herself and Malala, taking on a similarly brave mantle. In a weekend interview with the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, Shazia said “[Malala] will recover and we will go back to school and study together again.”
I intend no hyperbole by suggesting that this sort of bravery is rarely seen anywhere, at any time. It is of the same character as our Founding Fathers who signed a Declaration of Independence which concluded “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” They did this knowing that they were likely — as they were taking on the mightiest military power ever known — to lose the first two, along with the lives of those they loved most.
Preserving their honor in pursuit of their noble goals was of paramount importance to those brave men. Their success in keeping not only their honor but their lives is one of the most remarkable David versus Goliath stories in history.
Although the rest of today’s story is not yet written, much the same can be said of Malala and Shazia who — utterly more defenseless than the Americans were in 1776, and aware of the truly brutal nature of their oppressors — have proven their willingness to risk their lives to make a statement about what is effectively an American principle: All people are created equal.
The courage of these girls, and now of the many Pakistanis publicly supporting them, in their efforts to ensure true fundamental freedom, stands in stark contrast to today’s American liberal and feminist activists.
I was struck by the pettiness, the sense of entitlement, of whiney liberals when, on the same day that I read the interview with Shazia, I saw an ad released by the Obama campaign complaining that Mitt Romney opposes federal funding of Planned Parenthood and that he threatens “access to birth control.” The female narrator says, “He’ll cut it off…he’ll cut us off.” (I can’t help but wonder if there’s a subtle John Wayne Bobbitt image intended in the first half of that statement; the anger of the narrator seems positively Lorena-like.)
Similarly, Democrat activist Cecile Richards, in her role as the president of Planned Parenthood’s political operation, said at the Democratic National Convention that Republicans “want to end access to birth control.” Obviously, this claim is false; indeed it is essentially impossible. Yet Sandra Fluke — also invited to the DNC — along with Richards is making a living on it. And Barack Obama is trying to keep his job with it.
This subject has been covered enough that we don’t need to relitigate it here. Suffice it to say that what these leftists want — and what they have largely gotten through Obamacare — is not “access” to these things, but government funding for them which is to say that they want taxpayers to pay for their “reproductive services” whether that means medical tests, contraceptives, or abortions.
As someone who is pro-choice, I say this: What they want is not liberty. It is not equality. It is not justice. It is what Frédéric Bastiat in his seminal work, The Law, called “legalized plunder.” If you will permit an extended quote:
Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.
But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.
Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor [RGK: no pun intended as we discuss maternity] is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it….
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online