ON A MISSION FROM ALLAH
Re: David Yerushalmi’s What Peaceful Islam?:
Mr. Yerushalmi’s discussion was highly readable. However, it would be better for him to drop the moniker of Islamic civilization for the word culture. He himself understands this since he often sets the word off in quotations.
In any culture both civilizing influences and the drive for barbarism coexist. When the former triumphs we can rightly claim that a culture is civilized. Within culture a manifestation of civilizing influences creates a kind of inertia that, hopefully, can outlast forces of barbarism. It is only in this that the effects of civilization flourish.
There is no overriding civilizing inertia in Islam, today. Our relations with Islam vary from day to day and week to week. It seems as if any insignificant action (insignificant to our Western way of thinking) may insight Muslims to unthinking violence, and then the entire project is called into question.
— Michael Presley
Abraham (Old Testament) was neither a Jew, Christian, nor Muslim. Yet all three religions trace their origins to Abraham. In this light, one can say that Abraham had three sons, Moses (Jews), Jesus (Christians) and Mohamed (Muslims). Each son claims that he is the true interpreter of the monotheism of Abraham.
If one reads the sacred texts, (Old Testament, New Testament and the Koran) the theologies they represent characterize their world view. The Jews and the Muslims have warrior theologies, and the Christians have a decidedly pacifist theology. In practice all three brothers are not reluctant to fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.
The Christians and the Muslims are duty bound to proselytize and spread the Word of their faith to the whole world. The Jews do not spread the “good news” of Moses, and they have been content to isolate themselves from the “dogs” of the world. By doing so, they have been (because of their limited number) surrounded and captured by their brothers of the “Book.” It is obvious that the Jews would rather be under Christian subjugation than Muslim authority.
Contrary to the ecumenical fuzzy-wuzziness of these times, the sons of Abraham do not like (in fact hate) each other. Muslim Imams in America hate Americans, its flags, institutions, and symbols. Yet they covet the opportunity to convert American infidels. The Muslim command from Allah is to convert all the peoples of the world to Islam. The Christians are commanded to spread the good news of the Gospel to every nook and cranny of the world. The Jews are content with their non-proselytizing containment.
What starkly stands out in comparing the three interpreters of the “Word,” is how backward Islam has been for the last two hundred years. They have invented nothing. They rely entirely on the inventions of the infidels. The irony being, that Islam’s self-styled religious superiority is entirely dependent on the science and technology developed by Jews and Christians (electricity, computers, cars, weapons, the “know-how” of how to do things). It was probably our CIA who taught Muslim mujahideen during the Afghan war with the USSR how to make IED’s. The suicide belts are probably made in China and the explosives come from France. What Islam cannot fathom is how Allah has let the inferior practitioners of the “Word” (Christians and Jews) be so inventive and materially successful. It isn’t fair.
Because of this inferiority complex (derived from their superiority complex), Islam has evolved into a religion of jealousy, fear, anger, frustration, tribal backwardness, and hate. Islam may be a religion of “peace and love,” but that peace and love is reserved for fellow Muslims, and definitely not for the Kufir (infidel). Intolerance is its foundation. They would slit the throats of Christians/Jews/Hindus/Shintos/Buddhists/Sikhs as soon as look at them. They have total disdain for their brothers (Christians and Jews). One only needs to read the history of Islam and slavery to understand how ingrained their hatred is towards other peoples and faiths of the world. The Buddhists did not fair well against the onslaught of Islam, neither did the Sikhs and Hindus. Until the whole world is converted to their way of living, Islam will not be at peace, or be a religion of peace.
Amen, amen, amen!
The pro-Moslem stance of the WSJ is one of the main reasons I gave it up three years ago after subscribing for over 15. Sadly, we may have to give up the Republican Party too if the neocons continue to hold power (Bush, Cheney, Rice, et al); they of the “religion of peace,” “Holy Koran,” “one of the world’s great religions,” etc., etc.
The author’s point of a hundred evil imams spouting death, rape and mayhem for every liberal Moslem professor talking taqqiya about “inner struggle jihad” is great.
This is must reading — send it out to all politicians.
— Andreas Giannopoulos
Los Angeles, California
Excellent perspective from David Yerushalmi on Islam. Those who doubt Mr. Yerushalmi’s take on Islam should read anything by Bat Y’eor. Bernard Lewis doesn’t pull many punches either. Also, Google the term “al-Taqiyya.” A rough translation is “lying.” Muslims have long held the idea that lying to unbelievers in order to defend Islam, even from just looking bad, is a good thing. Dr. Fouad Ajami has written about it several times. A few alert journalists have caught Muslim leaders practicing al-taqiyya when they speak of peace in English, then turn around immediately and preach war to their Muslim friends in Arabic, but most journalists are just too ignorant to notice.
A very small group of people promote liberal values in Muslim countries, but they’re mostly intellectuals and neo-Marxists. They have failed to attract a following among the regular populace. Some example can be found at www.memri.org.
— Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
David Yerushalmi’s provocative piece makes many worthy points, but I would offer a slight revision to his statement that “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization.”
In the same sense that the term “civil war” is oxymoronic, so, too, is the idea of “Muslim civilization.” Mr. Yerushalmi’s point is understood, and I’m on the same page with him, but I would say rather that “Islam, a form of barbarism, is at war with civilization itself, starting with the Judeo-Christian world.”
My dictionary defines “civilization” firstly as:
“An advanced state of intellectual, cultural, and material development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences….”
If someone could tell me with a straight face that this definition describes Islam, I would personally go to my local trophy shop and commission an Oscar statuette. (Oops, sorry… I forgot the taboo on “likenesses.”)
A movement that seeks to revert mankind to the Dark Ages must first wipe out fourteen-hundred years of human achievement and the civilizations that spawned it. At this point in history, I would call Islam the anti-civilization, but still hope that its adherents may ultimately experience Enlightenment. That choice confronts them still.
The article “What Peaceful Islam?” by David Yerushalmi is gibberish. When I read the title I thought it might be interesting piece but he seems to be trying to show his intellectual skills rather then to explain his thinking.
— Joe Egan
Stockton, New Jersey
David Yerushalmi. Thank you. Your article warmed my heart. I am a 90-year-old lady and I dare to say that just because I am a 90-year-old lady. I have watched our country blunder successfully through many conflicts and I have judged that our reasons were mainly just and pure. I, too, believe the only way that our country will survive is that it puts to rout – by any and all means — this deceitful Islamic Race. Trying to understand them will be fruitless, they state their purpose quite plainly and it is one that I resent. Why should they enjoy the spoils that America contains. Why should Americans die or become witless slaves to them. I say an impolite “Pooie!” to all who do not agree with me. I hope our “friends” at that foolish paper listen to your reasoned approach. Thank you kindly, again.
Let’s assume Islamic Theology is as hostile to the West as Mr. Yerushalmi claims, and that the masses of Muslims are hostile as individuals.
Nevertheless from a strategic point of view, defining as a direct military enemy all 1.2 billion Muslims spread through 20 or so states where they are majority or large minority is seems impractical downright lunatic even for a great power such as the U.S. Do these disparate Muslims have the ability to perform attacks of sufficient intensity to provoke U.S. into a total war footing? What military strategy does Mr. Yerushalmi propose? What formal act of surrender will this highly diffuse Muslim civilization need to make, in order to end hostilities?
Compare this to the WWII axis powers. They were several states comprising a much smaller percentage of world’s population. So hostilities had really only two addresses: Berlin and Tokyo. Even so, popular support in U.S. and UK for total war took enormous provocations: invasion of Poland and Pearl Harbor respectively….
— Eliot Clingman
Feeling somewhat teenager-ish today. Could be because we had half a day at school due to snow, and the boys were wild?
But this 56-year-old high school teacher just wants to say: David Yerushalmi ROCKS. As does The American Spectator.
— Lucy T.
RECOVERING JOURNALISTS ANONYMOUS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Secretive and Smug:
Your editor is right to downplay Dana Milbank’s misspelling of his name. It is a tough one to spell, and I always refer to the byline to make sure I have it right in any correspondence.
But why should R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. waste his time with the Post‘s ombudsman?
It is common knowledge, for example, that journalists cannot distinguish between assault rifles and hunting rifles, birdshot and buckshot, terrorist and freedom fighter, conservative and fascist, cause and effect. Why would Mr. Tyrrell think that a journalist should know the difference between an editor and a publisher?
Just go straight to Dana Milbank to ask why he thinks conservatives are like-minded on government surveillance. Most conservatives I know have been sympathetic to the Barr position since the indiscriminate accumulation of raw FBI files by the androgynously-named Hillary Clinton.
— Dan Martin
The evasiveness of many (but, of course, not all) journalists comes as no surprise to me, having worked as one for a number of years. The very nature of newsgathering requires a certain level of deceit and treachery. One is trying to get information from people who, very often, do not wish to provide it. The fledgling reporter learns quickly the value of concealing one’s motives and point-of-view, the extent of one’s previous knowledge, and the uses to which the desired information is to be put, if one to succeed in piecing a story together. Slipperiness and paranoia are thus not character blemishes, but career survival skills that are not readily set aside as one climbs to ladder to editor, ombudsman, and beyond (present company excepted, naturally).
Needless to say, I am no longer a journalist.
— Peter J. Lyden, III
Rumson, New Jersey
Maybe the mainstream media needs the equivalent of a Trading Spouses. Of course, instead of swapping spouses we swap reporters. Maybe two weeks of Dana Milbank getting coffee and donuts for the staff of the American Spectator might broaden his horizons. Any brave volunteers to head over to the Washington Post?
— Don Herion
The explanation for the moderately strange personalities displayed by reporters might be explained in overall intelligence and logical thought development. Although many of the MSM op-ed stars matriculated from elite universities, the education received in journalism schools might thwart development of critical thinking processes.
If one’s critical thinking is poor either from lack of intelligence or inadequate training in logic, such an individual might not have the introspective capabilities or self-awareness that he or she has a plainly strange personality. In business environments where I have spent the past nearly thirty years, one must learn to behave in such a way as to garner financial reward and avoid financial punishment (demotions or termination).
Like you, I graduated from Indiana University. Even as a student, I recall walking by the beautiful Ernie Pyle hall with its ivy-covered limestone facade thinking that those students ought enjoy the nice digs while they can. At the tender age of 19 or 20, it was clear to me that the meager average salaries after graduation with a journalism degree would relegate these budding reporters to far less opulent-looking working environments.
A question follows: why spend so much money on an education only to earn a starting salary far below that of a UAW factory worker? Rush states that the reason is a misguided self-aggrandizement of a person who wishes to “make a difference.”
I believe that the a better answer is intellectually-oriented: it takes a dope or a clever person with no logical thinking capabilities to expend so much in resources for an education with an expectation of such a small financial return from that education expenditure.
Tom Sowell’s research showed that students studying to earn education degrees were disproportionately represented in the lower half of both freshman and graduating classes. Teaching offers a similar financial equation to journalism, e.g. graduation with a B.A., but entering a career which, on average, pays less than many factory workers. Effectively, the value garnered from the education is negative. At least a teacher might accept the lower pay in exchange for a shorter work-day and more vacation days. Last time I checked, many reporters work long hours.
In describing Dana Milbank’s reporting of your panel discussion, you reflected what appeared to be a poor display of clarity in reporting elemental facts. Perhaps he just could not see what was apparent owing to impaired thinking.
Hugh Hewitt recently has interviewed a number of MSM reporters and op-ed writers. Hugh’s listeners have heard him logically or factually destroy such MSM luminaries as Jonathan Alter and one of CNN’s biggies. In listening to the MSM luminaries, it was clear that none recognized that he had been irretrievably defeated. In reacting to Alter’s incomprehensible legal criticism of the government’s NSA eavesdropping, Hugh in exasperation finally admonished Alter to please read the legal sources regarding the related governmental authorities to conduct surveillance prior to writing on the subject. I walked away convinced that the Harvard-educated Alter is a dummy — well paid and nationally-known, but a dummy nevertheless.
And finally, if the “milk” that is journalism is rancid, then, the cream that rises to the top will be at least as rancid?
— David Stassel
Good to read your column and I must agree. For more than a year now I’ve had many discussions with the Public Editor of the Chicago Tribune: Don Wycliff. His responses were much the same as what you have received. Mr. Wycliff even did a column based on one of my criticisms of the Chicago Tribune. Google me or him and you’ll find it.
My criticism was that it seemed the Tribune puts good economic news in the business section (the least read section) and bad economic news on the front page of the front section. Well he tried to disprove my theory. Funny, though, just this week the main article on Trib was “new homes sales frosty.” Yet when home sales were up every month those articles always were in the business section and often times played down.
Also the day of and the day before the State of the Union speech the Trib had three front pages articles about the “bad economy” even though unemployment is at 4.7 percent. I recently e-mailed Mr. Wycliff (who is leaving Trib for Notre Dame) about these recent developments and never heard back from him or the publisher, Mr. David Hiller, whom I’ve also had some e-mail dealings with.
Also recently I inquired with a series of questions why the Tribune felt compelled to print more Abu Ghraib photos but has a policy against printing the Muhammed cartoons. Never heard back on that one either.
— John Dyslin
It is easier to address the spelling error than to acknowledge the truth. I cannot agree with you more. So happy that there are alternative sources where we can get the newsfacts. Wonderful online magazine.
— Reegje (Regina) Jaegermann
SELLING THE SCIENCE
Re: Michael Fumento’s Empirically Biased:
Mr. Fumento offered a very good article. He didn’t mention another contributor to the outrage he documents. The Scientific American has become little more than a house organ for left-wing political correctness. A tragedy by any estimate.
Once upon a time the term “science” was understood to be a disciplined pursuit of the truth about the physical world. “Advocacy Science” is one of those oxymorons that turns the stomach.
Could it be that the news media is so snookered because (a) it has its own agenda; (b) its reporters — or advocacy journalists, as the case may be, don’t have the education or experience to ask discerning questions; or (a) plus (b)?
— C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
Michael Fumento replies:
A plus B.
The screen of academia protects many scientists from hard critical review. This is exacerbated by the left tilt in higher education and the media.
I believe the majority of Americans have an intuitive ability to weed out agenda-driven stories of all types and apply appropriate cynicism. However, it is important to expose the nexus between agenda science and agenda journalism so that our intuitive powers are refreshed and sharp.
— Doug Santo
Actually, the bias in science reporting goes beyond scientific journals. You will find quite as much, if not more, in science publications pitched to a lay audience, such as Discovery and Scientific American. They too have articles a-plenty about so-called global warming, and sneering at religion (Christianity only, of course), and how a missile defense is just simply scientifically impossible. One of them even included a diatribe recently about the mean ol’ conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court.
— John Lockwood
Michael Fumento replies:
He’s right. The popular science journals are absolutely vicious, as when Scientific American ran FOUR (4) reviews of Bjorn Lomborg’s book, all by people it knew would slam it. Then they wouldn’t allow him to rebut them in the magazine so he rebutted him on his own website and Scientific American threatened to sue him if he didn’t take it down!
STRAIGHT PORT FACTS
Re: Daniel Ikenson’s Listing to Port:
I found myself generally comforted by Daniel Ikenson’s “Listing to Port” article in today’s TAS. One of the pitfalls of the blogosphere and newer media forms is that one can be whipsawed, stampeded and bedazzled by “instant experts” who too often have political motives in offering opinions which turn out to be intentionally under-informed. It sometimes takes weeks or even months before hard facts can be separated from politically generated speculations and a valid conclusion can be reached.
Witness such past media/congressional/B-list celebrity instant expertise on levee construction, disaster management, state voting laws, interrogation techniques, military strategy, Middle East diplomacy, Islamic theology, quail hunting protocols and national security. Each of these has been duly assigned its “Gate” suffix (as in Prison-gate, Katrina-gate) by the instant experts, but none has achieved the desired result of driving the Bush administration from office in shame. Why? Because the facts don’t support the desired premature conclusions.
Perhaps the biggest “Gate” of all is the Bush Lied-Gate which involves the presence (or not) of weapons of mass destruction in Saddam’s Iraq before the U.S. invasion. As time marches on, the evidence is mounting that Saddam DID posses such weapons and intended to use them or induce someone else to use them. The widely ignored Saddam tapes and charges by ex-Iraqi military insiders that such weapons were spirited out of Iraq just in time strongly suggest that the Bush Lied mantra is untrue, unfounded and unfair. When the facts become known and those weapons are found or surrendered, the lefty instant experts will have some serious crow to choke on.
— Deane Fish
Altamont, New York
OK, Dan. Sure it’s gag-inducing to watch Democrats in Congress try to pretend they give a rat’s patootie about national security. They never have before, and no one with his eye on the ball believes them now.
The Democrats in Congress hamming it up about ports are the same folks who hyperventilate at the mere thought of Norm Mineta giving a nanosecond more attention to young Middle-Eastern males boarding an airliner than he gives to my sainted, widowed mother. And they have the vapors at the thought of W and the boys listening in on the conversations of people who not only say they want to kill us, but have done so in the thousands. These patriots-come-lately are hypocritical opportunists and poltroons and ought to be hanged. But this is the only point you have, and it’s hardly news.
Your notion that a country whose citizens get their news and entertainment from Al Jazeera, who contributed two of the 9-11 bombers, and who before 9-11 recognized the Taliban, should be intimately involved in any way in the operations of American ports is mind-bending. Your suggestion that this counterintuitive (to put it mildly) decision should not be questioned just because some government bureaucrats and corporate types on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CONFUSION) have convinced W that these are pretty good guys to do business with, is insulting.
I don’t for a second doubt that W is a patriot of the first water and absolutely puts America’s security first. I believe there will be a place in heaven for him some day. But considering the fact that this administration is still trying to protect the homeland by strip-searching middle-aged, female bankers at American airports while at the same time pretty much ignoring our borders, it’s not a stretch to say that this administration’s intellectual resources are, well, not infallible.
W is indeed doing his best. But in America we are citizens, not subjects, and thus aren’t obliged to conclude that the President’s best is always the right thing to do. I’m far from convinced in the present instance. (I guess it could have been worse — W could have turned our ports over to Norm Mineta.) The idea that people you do business with won’t attack you, or can’t be infiltrated by those who wish to attack you, is anti-historical (you could look this up). Doing business is good, but it’s not an inoculation against harm.
And let’s get to this business of the “moderate Arab,” the definition of which seems to be similar to that of “moderate Democrat,” which, as anyone paying attention knows, is a guy who doesn’t wear a Mao shirt on the House or Senate floor and whose ADA rating is one point lower than Ted Kennedy’s. Have otherwise sensible folks on the Right been inhaling second-hand vapors from off the multi-cultural swamp so long that they can no longer tell the difference between the Brits and some thrown-together Arab country that hasn’t been here for long and may not be here much longer?
It was absolutely knee-buckling to hear W challenge anyone to tell him why the UAE offers any more security challenges than the Brits (see above re intellectual resources). What’s the difference? he seemed to be asking.
Well, no difference W, except that the Brits have been reliable friends and allies since before the Battle of Britain, have a long shared history with us, and have fought and bled along side of us in order to turn back the most serious threats the world has seen. And the UAE is a “country” that’s still in warranty, with an unknown future and a population an unknown percentage of which wishes to destroy us. That’s all the difference I can think of W.
Considering all this Dan, I’d say you have it ass-backwards when you say the burden of proof should be on the folks who question entwining such as the UAE into our vital infrastructure. This Arab lot might run ports till the camels come home with nary a security worry. But from where I sit, letting folks from the area of the world where some of the most vicious enemies we’ve ever faced make their home get close to anything security-sensitive in America is a horrible idea. The burden of proof is entirely on those promoting it. And they haven’t come within a desert mile of meeting that burden.
— Larry Thornberry
There are “legitimate reasons to question the administration’s efforts at protecting the homeland.” One only has to look as far as our porous borders and the administration’s near complete lack of response to what has be come a huge problem, and obviously one related protecting the country. In pandering to the Hispanic vote, Bush has ignored a proven area (thank you, Michelle Malkin) of weakness in our national security.
Ironically, Schumer hasn’t been heard from on this topic, as the political fallout from taking a stand might effect what he really cares about — maintaining office.
— William H. Stewart
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch’s Anglican Shame:
I am an American Episcopalian who has read the article written by Colebatch about what happened at the General Synod of the Church of England. First and foremost, there are a few inaccuracies contained in the article. One of them is the fact that there is no such thing as a British Anglican General Synod. The body that produced the resolution was the General Synod of the Church of England, which has power over only the Anglican Church contained in England and nowhere else. And there is no highest governing body that controls the communion. The Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the individual meetings between Primates (the heads of the different Anglican churches around the world), do not have governing power, and when the Archbishop of Canterbury says something, we listen, but individual churches do not have to follow along.
Another inaccuracy is the statement that the General Synod resolved to disinvest in all companies that profit from illegal occupation. The content of the resolution, if you read it carefully does not say this. Rather it says that it will heed the call of the church in Jerusalem to disinvest and to investigate before not investing in those particular companies. (If you wish to view the resolution link to this site and scroll down to see it).
The next inaccuracy is the statement that the Archbishop of Canterbury somehow flipped his position about the resolution in his apology to the British Chief Rabbi. He did not apologize about the resolution itself, rather he regretted how the resolution was perceived. (The statement released about the about the resolution plus the full text of the letter sent by the Archbishop of Canterbury can be seen at this site.
It seems to me that this particular writer drew many statements out of context to produce an article in the literary tradition of Jayson Blair and the New York Times. I understand that this is a blog article, and as such does not have editorial oversight, which it sadly needs. The writer of the article should at least get his facts straight before publishing something about which he does not completely understand.
— Mark Stuart Shaw
Hal G.P. Colebatch replies:
The writer of this letter misrepresents the article. I referred to “The British Anglican General Synod” in order to explain to non-British readers who we were talking about, and this leaves the body’s identity in no doubt. The other two points the writer raises are of no substance.
GEEZERS, MOUNT UP
Re: Jed Babbin’s Have We Lost in Iraq?:
I was declared 4-F after graduating high school in 1965: blind in one eye due to an automobile accident in December 1964 after taking my maternal grandmother home. Details if you are interested.
I have always regretted my inability to serve my country in the Armed Services, particularly the Marine Corps in which my father served during WWII and Korea.
At age 58, 6 ‘0″, and 170 lbs. I am still fit. We live longer and stay healthier. The German Shepherd and his walks each day help that. I shoot targets with a Ruger Single Six .22 at 25 yards, a 10/22 Ruger at 50 yards and a 12 gauge O/U on Sporting Clays. I have also shot the Garand M-1, AR-15 and various calibers of Colt, Beretta, Sig and other pistols. In short, I’m not bad, I’m not a sharpshooter.
Here is my question. There are many of us out here of the over 50 set who have a shooting ability, are fit, have the cojones to defend the rear areas, and have the skills to manage the computers, mess halls, motor pools, you name it of the modern military.
Why are we not being asked for our service? The women were in WWII! I hear advertisements all of the time for the Peace Corps, no age limit there. Is it just that the volunteer military has in this day and age after 9/11 forgotten the countries history?
The point, sir, is that many would join to relieve the younger for the front lines and at the same time want to take their place.
— Jim Woodward
Jed Babbin replies:
Have gun, will travel. If they ever organize a geezer brigade, I’m right there with you. I shoot fairly often (12 gauge for clays and skeet), hunt occasionally, and have been trained with pistol, rifle, and — ah — other stuff. It’s a great idea, especially for the border patrol. They need augmentation, and we should be it.
THEY’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE
Re: Doug Powers’s Demographers Playing With Blocs:
“Angry White Democrats.” We’ve always had some angry black ones so that is nothing new and the Democrats can still, but gratefully to a lesser degree, count on their vote as a group, but given the MSM’s current approach to polling and creation of news I believe the important block of voters this year is “Angry White Democrats.” It will give the angry people and the press a reason to saturate us with their moral superiority, remember Bob Dole, “Where’s the outrage?” Well, this time THEY will understand it. It should be fun to watch.
— Roger Ross
Let’s see more of Doug Powers’ work. Very funny.
— Helen C. Barnes