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Theater of Fear

They did not foresee…  the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant

Aldous Huxley

We all like good Theater.  Something terrible happens to an innocent victim (or victims), the good guys scurry around trying to find out how and why the tragedy occurred, use all their resources to make sure the evildoers get punished, and it doesn’t happen again.  The audience comes away feeling that despite mishaps, the world is on the right trajectory, a safe place to be.

Take the theatrical aftermath of the recent bike path terror attack in New York City.  Or the van driving down a pedestrian mall in Barcelona.  Or the bomb outside the Ariana Grande concert in England.  Or any of the countless attacks in recent years, some resulting in some minor injuries, other killing dozens.

Closing the barn doors

In the Theater of Fear, a regular script is followed.  First, thoughts and prayers to the victims.  Then outrage, saying that the victims’ city/nation/civilization won’t be intimidated. Then the investigations, where government and police vow to get to the bottom of things.  The authorities take some action to make sure the same attack can’t be replicated.  Like closing the barn doors after the cows have died.

 In “Brave New World” non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation.

Aldous Huxley

Soon there’s a football game, or a celebrity does something scandalous and everything is under control (or at least forgotten) till the next act of the Theater of Fear.  Hopefully it will take place far away.  And the whole cycle is repeated.

What do the thoughts and prayers accomplish? They comfort the spectators, those not touched by the tragedy.  The outrage?  It masks people’s feeling of vulnerability.  Investigation?  It gives the population a sense that the terrorists are being dealt with.

Given enough time and resources, the investigators will be able to determine whether the terrorist yelling a fourteen hundred year battle cry was acting on behalf of some religious ideology.  They will probably decide that he was acting on his own, not part of some nefarious plot to take over the world.

re-defining liberty

It’s all Theater of fear, a diversion.  It doesn’t matter whether a terrorist is part of a tightly controlled organization, or acting on his own.  Sowing havoc doesn’t require great coordination, complex weapons or financing.  We know what the terrorists’ motives are.  We know what population they come from.  We know how to stop them.

But that requires abandoning the theatrics, the grand pronouncements of prayer, outrage and inquiry.  It means doing what we already know has to be done, even though it goes against the grain of what our advanced society is supposed to stand for.  The alternative is to succumb to the forces of evil, that have placed this drama, this horror upon us.  The Theater of Fear is for real.

Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time… somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those would manipulate and control it.

Aldous Huxley

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Of Course You Realize This Means War!

Sympathy for the Devil Victims

This means war - Bugs BunnyAfter the Islamic terror attack in Nice, politicians around the world expressed their sympathy with the people of France, sending warm thoughts and prayers.  Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada said “Our sympathy is with the victims.” Leung Chun-ying of Hong Kong expressed his “deepest sympathies” with the French people.  Hillary Clinton’s “thoughts and prayers” were with the families of the killed and injured.  Julie Bishop, the Foreign Minister of Australia’s “thoughts and sympathies” were with the victims and their families.”

In the meantime, security services were investigating the massacre, trying to figure out the motive and connections of a killer yelling “allah achbar.”  Same thing in Orlando, in Paris, and at many terror attacks.  Why did they do it, asked the investigators.  Were the terrorists acting alone?  Does this mean war?   Can’t be!

Let me save the investigators some time and money.  In each case the killer(s) did it for the cause of Allah.  They weren’t acting alone.  They were part of a network of 1.6 billion Muslims, whose religion demands that they subdue and dominate the world.  Even though the Orlando shooter and the Nice truck driver may have planned and carried out their killing by themselves, they were motivated by the entity known as “Islam.”

It’s a fragmented outfit, with members killing each other more than they attack outsiders.  Some of its adherents are the most vile, violent people on earth, but there are also sects such as the Sufi and Ahmadiyya who oppose any aggressive activities. Nonetheless, there have been close to thirteen hundred Islamic attacks so far in 2016, leaving twelve thousand dead, and fourteen thousand injured (with most of the victims being members of opposing Muslim sects).

crueltiesofalger00crokuoft_0007

This Means War

Islam’s record of violence is not a modern phenomenon, nor is the barbarity of ISIS.  Historians estimate that eighty million people died in the Islamic conquest of the Indian sub-continent.  Over a hundred and ten million black Africans were killed as a consequence of the Muslim slave trade.  Islam was not spread throughout the world by peaceful missionaries, convincing disbelievers of the beauty of their faith.  This means war.

There used to be resistance.  Much of India was under the thumb of Islam for over eight hundred years, but the population held on to its own beliefs, often under great duress.  When Islam conquered much of the Middle East, destroying Christian holy places, the Church, the European monarchs decided this means war, and the Crusades were organized to take them back.  They failed.  Islam moved on to conquer large swaths of Europe.  At the siege of Vienna in 1683, it appeared ready to over-run the continent.

“…throughout the camp that every man who has infidel prisoners was to put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death. 100,000 infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasir-ud-din Umar, a counselor and a man of learning, who, in all his life had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his captives“.

That war hasn’t ended.  Only the resistance has wound down.  Large swaths of territory in France, Belgium, Sweden, and Germany, are “no-go” zones, no longer under control of their respective governments.  In other areas with significant Muslim populations, crime rates are soaring, as new-comers feel no obligation to respect the laws of the land.  Women and Jews are especially vulnerable targets.  The uber-wealthy pushing to increase immigration have walls around their compounds to protect themselves.  For the rest, the sense of security enjoyed by Europe, and even America, has dissipated.

The severed heads were tied up in rugs like bundles of grain and placed on the heads of the captives…Then the heads were stuck upon lances and taken to the gate of the chief minister for payment.

The severed heads were tied up in rugs like bundles of grain and placed on the heads of the captives…Then the heads were stuck upon lances and taken to the gate of the chief minister for payment.

An Invasion of Values

It’s not an invasion by an army.  It’s rather a set of values that has marched through the Gates of Vienna, this time unopposed by any armies, uncontested by a society that feels values are relative, there is no truth, and that the bad guy is the civilization that has brought untold progress and prosperity to much of the world.  Post modernism, moral relativism, keeps them from understanding what is happening, from realizing that this means war.

Is the fight over?  Is Western civilization about to crumble, to be overtaken by a misogynist, murderous intolerant ideology? Yes, if Western civilization refuses to recognize that it’s at war, a very old war.  Yes, if Western civilization refuses to resist the attackers.

One can only hope that as Islam presses its attacks, in places such as Paris, Cologne, Sweden, San Bernadino, Fort Hood, Orlando, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, it will be impossible to deny that we are under attack.  Sure, many officials deny that the terrorism has anything to do with an Islamic war on the West. It’s isolated incidents, criminals, mentally disturbed loners.  If there’s no army, no organization or terror network the officials can point to, there is nothing they are able to see.  Hopefully, these officials will be voted out of office by people who don’t have walls, don’t have armed security to protect the lives of their loved ones.  People who see the repeated attacks on their way of life, and understand that this means war.

Jerusalem-synagogue-attack-Palestinian-poster-e1416301820882

Is Islam so different from the other two Abrahamic religions?  Judea was once a warlike, marauding state, fighting in God’s name.  That was well over two thousand years ago.  Christianity has a bloody history, especially in its record with South American natives.  Though intertwined, the monarch and the Christian faith were distinct entities. And the bloody violence ended hundreds of years ago.  Of the Abrahamic religions, only Islam is in a state of perpetual war.  Maybe they’ll evolve out of it, as did the others.  But can we afford to wait?

Map of Islamic expansion

Map of Islamic expansion

Here’s a suggested strategy for Western civilization:

  • Identify the enemy: when a terrorist shouts “allah achbar,” believe that he’s doing it for the cause of Allah.
  • Identify immediately  all acts of terrorism, rather than conceal or minimize them, whether in the US, Europe, and especially Israel (which has been the canary in the mine-shaft).
  • Close all schools and mosques in the West which are funded by Saudi Arabia. The current wave of Islamic aggression has its roots in Saudi Arabia’s ultra-conservative Wahabi movement
  • Demand that the Saudi government, and especially Saudi clerics clearly and vehemently denounce and issue fatwas forbidding acts of terror against non-Muslims.
  • Expropriate, or if necessary confiscate all critical infrastructure or entities owned by radical Islamic nations or individuals.
  • Shut down Islamic propaganda organizations in the West, such as Al Jazeera, and CAIR, and the Nation of Islam.
  • Deport any non-citizen who endorses terror against the West.
  • Establish that support of terror is treason, with all the consequences that incurs.
  • Governments must pacify their no-go zones, establishing government authority and control.
  • Enact strict controls over all immigrants, including refugees entering the country. In wartime, it is not discrimination to keep out potential enemy forces.
  • Teach the real history of Islam in schools and universities; its death count over the centuries, its role in creating the African slave trade, its taking of European slaves.  Teach that America’s first war was against marauding North African Arabs.  Explain the role of women, the fate of homosexuals, the intolerance towards non-believers.
  • Fight an all-out war against terror organizations on their home turf, whether Iraq, Afghanistan or Qatar.
  • Above all, have the will to defeat a ruthless enemy that has been coming for you for fifteen hundred years.

I look forward to the day when the imams, the muftis, sheikhs, princes and presidents loudly denounce all terrorism, when they encourage their followers to live peacefully with other peoples.  When they say to the infidels “our way is not your way, but you are free to live as you wish.”  Many, many Muslims already feel this way, but are being drowned out by the Jihadists. Unless they speak louder, this means war.

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“So this is how liberty dies

…with thunderous applause”

I’m a sci-fi enthusiast. I love The Time Machine, the many volumes of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, Asimov’s Robot and Foundation series, and more. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen Star Trek (TV and film), and Star Wars.  When my kids were young, I ran Star Trek role-playing games at my synagogue. We had the toys, the costumes, the books, the video tapes, and then the DVDs. I gave religious talks based on sci-fi themes. I was a serious enthusiast. The scene in Star Wars- Revenge of the Sith, where Padme observes “this is how liberty dies…” is to my mind a critical political observation.

So I’m trying to understand why I’m not in a hurry to see The Force Awakens, the new Star Wars movie. It’s not because I’m getting old. It’s not because I’m afraid that Disney ruined the franchise, or that the Jedi have turned into Bambi. I trust the Director, J.J. Abrams. He makes good films. Nor am I concerned that The Force Awakens will only have a short run in theaters.

The reviews are great. My children and grandchildren loved it. The merchandising is ubiquitous. But I don’t care.

This is how liberty dies

In Aldous Huxley’s 1932 dystopian sci-fi novel Brave New World, the public is distracted from important issues by non-stop drugs and sex. In 1958, Huxley revisited Brave New World, examining contemporary western culture and finding that his dystopia had been realized. He concluded, to his dismay, that

what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies — the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant… non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature… are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation.

How liberty dies- Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev

The Force Awakens is a distraction of the most fascinating nature. A new threat arises, thirty years after the fall of the evil Galactic Empire. We had a terrestrial equivalent to the Galactic Empire, and its end was sealed thirty years ago, with the appointment of the reformer Mikhail Gorbachev as leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The USSR was a utopian nightmare, whose goal was to spread its own brand of socialism across the entire world. Gorbachev dismantled its brutal system of central control, freeing the economy and allowing the people, and ultimately its subject nations the freedom to make their own decisions. Socialist oppression is for most of the world a bitter memory, its tens of millions of victims long buried. The few holdout states such as Cuba, North Korea, China and Vietnam are more concerned with nationalist issues than global ideological conquest.

We don’t have a new threat. We have the resurgence of a very old one. But it is just as dangerous as the unrealized Communist hegemony, and oh so much more depraved. While the Communist leaders had the ability to start World War III, they knew enough to back off, when actually facing it. Destruction of the planet was not an acceptable outcome.

How liberty dies Caliph of the Islamic State

The Caliph of the Islamic State

Islamic militants look forward to the apocalypse, the end of the world, to usher in an Islamic utopia. From Indonesia to England they have attacked tourists, schoolchildren, concert-goers, shoppers, transit users— anybody at the target location. There is no concern of avoiding collateral damage, when the intent is to wreak terror in a population you want to subdue.

Darth-Vader_6bda9114

The Caliph’s moral superior

Except in Israel, most western citizens will not be personally touched by terror. After all, there is a statistically higher chance of choking to death. Governments and media pundits respond to terror attacks by saying that terrorists don’t represent Muslims; I believe them. American political leaders claim that the Islamic State, ISIS, is not Islamic , and so there’s no need to worry about Islam’s growing reach, about increasing the Muslim population in the Europe and North America.

The leader of ISIS, its Caliph, has a PhD in Islamic Studies, and probably knows more than President Obama about what is and what isn’t “Islamic.” Nonetheless, many Americans, Canadians and Europeans will accept Obama’s assurances that ISIS is contained.  There’s nothing to worry about, even as the number and scale of terrorist attacks escalates. People can pay attention to their foes on the football field, or  the big screen. But this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause. The unreal, the irrelevant distracts people from the actual threats in their neighborhoods, in their cities, countries, on their planet. They pay attention to the menace in a galaxy far, far away.

How liberty dies Yazidi children

Yazidi children on the ground

So I don’t care about the new Star Wars movie, at least not enough to rush out to see it. There is more important, more gripping drama taking place in my own galaxy, on my own planet; it deserves my attention. And it’s not something where I am a passive viewer, unable to affect the outcome. I can write letters to the editor, I can express myself on Facebook. I can donate to organizations such as CYCI— The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq. I can support the politicians who recognize the seriousness of the threat, and have a strategy to deal with it. With Star Wars- The Force Awakens, all I can do is decide how much money to spend on tickets and merchandise.

This is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause and deafening ignorance.

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Paris: A Fool’s Paradise Is a Wise Man’s Hell

A Fool’s Paradise Is a Wise Man’s Hell

Thomas Fuller

The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have seen incredible progress in science, technology, art, philosophy, morality, and more. Not only that, but we can

Senegalese farmers learning how to install the Tipa irrigation kit

access all that knowledge and wisdom from a device we carry around in our pockets. We have even transcended modernity according to many progressive thinkers, and moved into the “post-modern” era. There is no need for a religious messiah; we have carried ourselves into paradise, albeit a fool’s paradise. Truly these are enlightened times; the realization of humanity’s universal values.

These enlightened values are a force in themselves. John Kerry, the American Secretary of State reacted to Russia’s invasion of the Crimea by telling Russia “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.” The times, according to Kerry, dictate behavior. In a similar fashion, the new Prime Minister of Canada, when asked why a fifty percent female cabinet was important to him said, “Because it’s 2015.” President Obama, reacting to the Islamic terror attacks in Paris stated that “this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

It seems those values aren’t so universal.

Muslims make up over twenty percent of the earth’s population. While we can assume that most don’t support violence on the scale of the Paris attacks, if we look around at the world’s Muslim-controlled regions, we can see that they operate with different values than the ones adhered to by Secretary Kerry, Prime Minister Trudeau, or President Obama.

They made gallows just high enough for the feet to nearly touch the ground ... and they burned the Indians alive.'

‘They made gallows just high enough for the feet to nearly touch the ground … and they burned the Indians alive.’

But it would be wrong to assume that the problem is simply Islam. Christianity, followed by Islam, developed the concept of the religious enemy (in contradistinction to the political enemy). All non-believers are sub-humans, and bereft of rights. In early Spanish South America, for example there was a

…common practice of snatching [native] children from their mother’s arms and throwing them to be devoured alive by dogs, or smashing them against the rocks and throwing them to die in the mountains. The usual way to kill native leaders was in groups of thirteen, in honor of Jesus and the twelve apostles!”

The rape, torture and mutilation of native women by the Spaniards differed little from ISIS’ contemporary treatment of Yazidi and Christians. This contrasts with the Biblical rules of war for dealing with captive women, where such women were given a month to mourn for their captivity, and could not be sold or enslaved. And even the idea of

'A man bought me and took me to Tal Afar: when we arrived I was forced into marriage. That night he tied my hands and legs and he blindfolded me. Then he raped me. He hit me with a whip.'

‘A man bought me and took me to Tal Afar: when we arrived I was forced into marriage… he tied my hands and legs and he blindfolded me. Then he raped me. He hit me with a whip.’

capturing a woman was considered evil. It seems that a set of morals accepted over three thousand years ago is more enlightened than the values of a large part of humanity today.

Morality is not linear and progressive, especially if we are charting the behavior of mankind. It is a jagged line, soaring to phenomenal heights and astonishing depravity. We cannot expect the passage of time to elevate people’s behavior. There are no universal values that we all share, whether in the realm of political autonomy or the human right to life. It’s a fool’s paradise to think otherwise. Ask Vladimir Putin about the Crimea. Ask ISIS about the rights of captives. Ask a Muslim imam for an paris destructionunqualified condemnation of the Paris terror attacks. To use “universal values,” the “twenty first century” or the year being 2015 to formulate strategy is to walk from a fool’s paradise straight into the hell of Paris, Madrid, New York, Washington, or Buenos Aires… A wise man understands we are already there.

 

 

 

Your comments are welcome

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A Call To Arms

Shattered by Esti Mayer

Shattered
by Esti Mayer

Pick up your guns, strap on your helmet and report for duty. The bad guys are coming, and we have to mobilize. There have been skirmishes in many places, as varied as Ottawa, St. Jean, Chattanooga, Fort Hood, London, Paris, Västerås (Sweden) and others.  Lord only knows where’s next, and He isn’t saying.

Don’t have a gun? No problem. There’s the vast logistics and support network needed by an army at war. A call to arms doesn’t mean you have to personally fire a weapon.

surrender

surrender

You have no time for logistics? Can’t take off time from work? So what are you going to do to help for the Yazidi, Kurdish, or Assyrian

victims of ISIS?.   Are you concerned about the Syrians? Do you want them, or North African refugees in your country? Should you be concerned about the anti-science suppression of GMOs, which make proper nutrition available to the world’s poorest people? What about the campaign to delegitimize the only western democracy in the Middle East?

Call to arms- bomb us

A Call to Bomb

There are so many more issues: religious or environmental fanaticism, political correctness, sexual correctness, corporate greed, union greed. The list goes on and on. Can you really say you have no time to answer a call to arms? Many people consider themselves apolitical. Either they don’t care, or think one person can’t make a difference. They’re wrong. If you pay any taxes, politics affect your life. If you don’t grow your own food, politics affects you. Unless you’re a hermit, completely off the grid, politics affect you, whether it’s the stability of your job, the cost of your electricity, or the cost of your food. Even if you’re completely off the grid and nuclear war breaks out, politics affects you.

An Electoral Call to Arms

Voting makes a difference. Look at the economic decline of the U.S.A. under the current administration. Look at its loss of influence, its loss of respect. President Obama’s reset of relations, his red lines drawn in disappearing ink have given tyrants a free hand to flex their muscles, to threaten their weaker neighbors in the Ukraine, the Middle East, or the South China Sea. His quest for peace, for ending war, has made the world a much more dangerous place. On the home front, his election should have put paid to the issue of American racism. But race relations have deteriorated to levels unseen since the 1960’s as some unscrupulous people issue their own call to arms. What would have happened if Mitt Romney had won the election? John McCain? Any answer would be sheer speculation, but we can say for certain that different policies would have brought different results. The people who voted for Obama changed their country, changed their world.

In Canada, the choice of leader also makes a difference. Tom Mulcair, the Leader of the Official Opposition (and leading in some opinion polls) is very clear: he

a call to arms down

A Call to Down Arms

doesn’t want Canada fighting ISIS overseas. Does he want to wait till ISIS is conducting more than skirmishes on our shores? Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau mocked the Prime Minister’s combative policies, accusing him and his supporters of ““trying to whip out [their] CF-18s and show how big they are.”” He advocated Canada giving victims of ISIS rapes, torture and beheading advice on how to stay warm in winter.

So given ISIS’ track record, given its ambitions, given its skirmishes in North America, does it make a difference who is elected Prime Minister? Who is the President of the United States? To be apolitical in the face of such horror is to say you don’t care. That makes you an enabler.

For most Americans and Canadians, no matter how passionate they feel about a political issue, there is little they can do. We live in a representative democracy where we select the government that will make choices on our behalf- whether to go to war or appease, fight climate change or fight poverty, battle oppressors or constructively engage them, drop bombs against ISIS, or drop blankets on their victims.

There are Canadians and Americans picking up weapons (be they real or metaphorical) in the fight against ISIS, in the fight against fanatics that threaten our way of life, that threaten our safety and livelihood.  The call to arms they have answered is one that all of us must heed.

Voting Call to Arms

Weapon of Choice

It’s election time in Canada, and election time is approaching in the U.S.A. Therein lies the opportunity; therein lies a call to arms. It’s when we tell our leaders what direction to we want our country to turn towards. The choices are very stark.  Pick up your gun by working in support of the people who will best protect our interests, best protect our way of life. Campaign for the candidate who has learned the lessons of history: peace doesn’t come from appeasement. It comes from strength.

 

Your comments are welcome
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Any Fool Can Know

Disarming the troops

Disarming the troops

At about 11:00 a.m. on July 17th 2015, a gunman attacked a storefront Naval Recruiting Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, firing aggressively into its window. No one shot back, because Bill Clinton had long ago disarmed U.S. soldiers on military bases. As any fool can know, as the only one armed, the gunman had the situation under control.

He then drove to a Naval Reserve Center seven miles away, where he murdered four Marines, before being killed by authorities. By 1:30 p.m., Chattanooga police said “The active shooter situation is over.” A dangerous situation was now under control.

By 2:00 p.m. President Obama had been briefed by his national security team. Half an hour later the Tennessee Governor made an announcement that people serving their country had lost their lives, and by 3:10 the incident was described at a news conference as an “act of domestic terrorism” (a statement later retracted).

By 4:00 the shooter was identified as Kuwaiti-born. Few media outlets were willing to reveal though, that he was the son of a Palestinian. Although Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez had traveled to Jordan and perhaps Yemen recently, counter-terrorism “experts” wondered why he had attacked the military facilities in the U.S.  A CNN news analyst wondered if he was Muslim.

It was time to investigate. The FBI announced it had no idea of the suspect’s motivation. Vice-President Biden promised that the United States would get to the bottom of the shootings. President Obama was a little ahead of him, declaring that it was a ‘lone gunman,’ and vowing a full investigation. The President’s words assured the American people that the government had the earlier chaos under control.

Any Fool Can Know. The Point Is to Understand

The Point Is to Understand

The gunman’s home was raided. A bomb squad truck, a military truck carrying armed men rolled into the area of the shooting. Police closed off streets, turned away people wanting to reach their homes. It quickly became clear that Abdulazeez blogged about Islam, argued with his schoolmates about Islam, and showed signs of becoming increasingly devout.

Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
Albert Einstein

Any fool can know that Mohammed is a Muslim name, can understand why a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian would shoot up a U.S. military facility. Any fool can know that unarmed soldiers can’t defend themselves against someone with an assault weapon.  If you won’t see the pattern of the Fort Hood “workplace violence,” the shooting of an unarmed soldier at the Canadian Parliament, soldiers being run over in Quebec, and the Chattanooga rampage, then any investigation, no matter how thorough, will not prevent further attacks, further chaos. The point is to understand.

Converted to terrorism

Converted to terrorism, and proud

President Obama’s investigation is not aimed at avoiding future attacks against U.S. military installations, or even against civilians. We know how to do that:

  • Arm American soldiers in the U.S.
  • Stop the influx of refugees.
  • Allow police and security forces to conduct ethnic profiling.

These measures won’t stop all assaults, but will certainly reduce their frequency and effectiveness. The fenced-off streets, the hundreds of federal agents, the massive resources being invested are a clear demonstration that the government has everything under control. This was an isolated incident, and they will soon get to the bottom of it. We will find out for example, if indeed Abdulazeez was a ‘lone wolf’ or part of an organized network.

ISIS has put out calls for Muslims in America to attack soldiers. Does it matter if such attackers are in direct communication with ISIS before following their instructions? According to such people, they aren’t even responding to a human call to violence, but rather the voice of God, as expressed by their prophet in their holy book. They respond with their prayers, with their guns and machetes. That, to the devout, is direct communication.

The massive Federal investigation that is getting under way is a sham, a pretense that the government has Muslim anti-American violence under control. It’s a way of avoiding action while pretending to take responsibility.

What Any Fool Can Know:

If we want to secure the country

If we want to secure the country

Most people knew what happened in Chattanooga shortly after the gunfire ended. The investigation, whether by Federal agents or fearful journalists is to ensure that people don’t have to face, don’t have to understand what any fool can know: the difficult decisions that must be made. The battle waged by ISIS in the mind of its soldiers, is the continuation of a war that began with the rise of Islam fourteen hundred years ago. If we want to secure the country, indeed the world against Jihad, we don’t really need to investigate. As distasteful as it might be, we have to understand: it’s time to fight back.

 

 

addendum:

The FBI has declared that there is no indication the Chattanooga shooter was inspired or directed by the Islamic State.

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Peaceful Times Are Over

The Dark Ages Have Arrived

It’s been peaceful here in North America.  There hasn’t been a war in the United States since the end of the Civil War a

Really?

Really?

hundred and fifty years ago.  There hasn’t been a war in Canada since we kicked America’s ass in the War of 1812.  We’re not used to; we can’t understand the concept of our streets and cities becoming battlefields.  Some demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri think that their police force is worse than ISIS.  It’s hard to wrap your head around mass slaughter, rape and beheadings.  It’s hard to understand what evil is.

The old North American wars were relatively mild.  The fighting took place on battlefields, and the victims were mostly soldiers.  Some cities were devastated, farms destroyed.  We burned the White House in 1812, an event that made it into the

When we weren't allies

When we weren’t allies

American national anthem.

The wars we’ve fought since then have more or less followed the same format: soldier against soldier.  They’ve adhered more or less to the Hague Convention of 1899, the Geneva Convention, both designed to limit the barbarity of war, and the suffering on non-combatants.

The peaceful time is over

The peaceful time is over.  We’re under attack by an enemy that doesn’t care about civilian casualties.  It doesn’t even distinguish between combatants and non-combatants.  According to their code of war (the Koran), if you’re not one of them, then you’re an enemy who has to be destroyed, or at least subjugated.  In many instances, our foes don’t have armies, so there are no soldiers to identify and destroy.  A man driving an ordinary car through the streets of Jerusalem is their fighter, his vehicle his weapon as he drives into a crowd and kills a three-month-old baby.  A man driving an ordinary car in a shopping center parking lot in Saint-Jean, Quebec is their fighter, as he deliberately mows down two soldiers walking together.

Freedom go to hell

Freedom go to hell

So who do we fight against?  Ordinary Muslims, who just want to go about their lives as citizens?  How do we tell them from the Muslims who are participating in the glory of war against the infidels?  Do we expel all of them; lock them up behind barbed wire?  That’s inconceivable.  It doesn’t fit our enlightened civilization.

Maybe we can just ban them from driving.  But the terrorists have a habit of developing new strategies every time we learn to deal with the old ones.  If they don’t use cars, they’ll use bicycles.  If they don’t use knives, they’ll use box-cutters.  And again, such discrimination doesn’t fit our enlightened civilization.

We have to protect ourselves

But we have to protect ourselves.  The best way, to my mind, is to keep Canadians from wanting to be terrorists.  It’s not an original idea.  The RCMP worked with the family and Imam of the Saint-Jean terrorist, to steer him away from his radical agenda.  Their strategy failed; I have a better one.

The news media is full of stories of ISIS victories.  They brazenly behead people.  They machine gun victims lying in the dirt.  They boast about selling captive women as slaves.  They’ve taken control of huge swaths of Iraq, laying waste to years of blood and sacrifice by the mighty Americans.  The world speaks their name with fear.  Even Al Qaeda, which brought down the World Trade Center, seems passé.  People like winners, and ISIS seems to be winning.  Losers like Michael Zehaf Bibeau and Martin (Ahmad) Couture-Rouleau are enamored, and want to be on the winning side.

Let’s show ISIS as the losers they really are

Let’s show ISIS as the losers they really are.  Let’s carry the war back to their shores, and give them a real fight.  They may be strong raping women, murdering children and having sex with goats and donkeys.  How strong are ISIS terrorists when fighting real soldiers, intent on their defeat?  Will ISIS cower proudly as Western air power bombs it back to the Stone Age?  If we allow the development of North American oil and gas resources, we won’t have to give them enough money afterwards to climb back past the Bronze Age.

War isn’t peaceful, and we don’t like it.  But it’s here.  They attacked us, and they’re going to keep attacking until we either submit, or crush them. If we’re not choosing appeasement or surrender, then the choice is whether we crush them here or there.  I prefer there.

Both Prime Minister Harper and President Obama have starved their respective armed forces.  While the U.S. government is quickly running out of money, Prime Minister Harper’s advisors have been wondering what to do with the large anticipated federal budget surplus.  The attacks in Saint Jean and Ottawa have answered that question.

Highest ranking Muslim officer in the IDF

Highest ranking Muslim officer in the IDF

If Canadians and Americans see a military that is motivated to win, led by commanders who believe in the fight, then the good guys (us) will look like the winners.  People of all faiths will be motivated to participate.  If the Israel Defense Forces can have Muslims commanders, Canada and the U.S. can do better than having its Muslim citizens running over or shooting soldiers.

I quoted George Washington in a previous post:  “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”  Let’s drop our old assumptions, and preserve the peace.  All-out war against terrorists is the best way to chase away the darkness, to bring back the peaceful times before they fade into a distant memory.

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A Conversation About War

An annotated conversation about war, adapted from Facebook:

(click on links for annotations)
Man of peace

Man of peace

Alice: We are bombing over Syria!  Right now.  We are bombing.  Oh, my heart hurts.

Russ: Hate

Alice: The thing is this … there are children.  Women.  Men who want only to provide for their little families.  There are doggies and kitties, goats maybe.  Lives.  Their lives are gone forever.  People terrorized, people grieving, people forever lost.  There is no good that comes from war.  No noble thing at all.

Russ: War, what is it good for…absolutely nothing

Deborah:  And Russia is next.

Alice: Deb, sadly, you may be right.

Nathan: Yes, let’s let ISIS sell pre-pubescent girls into sexual slavery (after giving them clitorectomies), slaughter entire villages, chase them

Man of peace

Man of peace

up a mountain to starve, have sex with the goats (captured on video), whip kitties to death with a stick, starve dogs and then light them on fire when they’re too weak to move.  Yes, war is good for nothing.  Let’s just let ISIS do whatever they want.  They’re promising to behead random Americans, and there’s evidence they’ve come across the border from Mexico.  Why fight against them in Syria, when we can do it here?

Russ: Nathan, I will be right behind you following your advance

What Would God have Americans Do?

Alice: Nathan, what you describe is certain horror.  It’s hard to read your words.  Still, I wonder … What does the Torah say about war and the responsibility to kill people in a far off land who do horrific things to their people?  What would God have Americans do, according to the Torah?  Remember, you’re teaching a neophyte about the nature of God.

Phyllis: I hate it too but ISIS has to be stopped.

Karen: But violence brings forth more violence.  We live in a scary world.

Nathan: Not responding to violence gives it license to grow.

Man of peace

Man of peace

Leslie: Can’t believe it!  Worked 2 years ago with a little girl whose family escaped Syria.  Can you imagine?  I can’t.  She had the sweetest smile…

 

Please note: videos of ISIS torture of cats, dogs, and humans of all ages are ubiquitous, and have not been included to illustrate; rather, we have included a video of Hamas terrorists pleasuring goats.  Although disgusting, it’s more tolerable to watch.  The torture videos, if you are inclined to see them, can easily be accessed through web searches.
 

You are welcome to continue the conversation in the comments

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Are You A Man or a Mouse?

SmartMouse

A More Human Mouse

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently spliced the human gene associated with language into the brains of a mouse.  While the rodents didn’t say anything about the experiment, they were better able to find chocolate in a maze then regular mice.  This is perhaps another example of science mimicking science fiction.  In H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau an evil doctor attempts to humanize wild animals through surgery and psychological conditioning.  The animals rebel, overturning the pseudo society that the doctor tried to create.  The MIT mice are docile so far, lacking the drama of Dr. Moreau, or Planet of The Apes.

The joining of human and animal isn’t shocking for many aboriginal Americans; for them the animals see themselves as human,

Wari girl and friend

Wari girl and friend

just with a different form.  For example the Wari’ of Brazil know a jaguar kills its prey with tooth and claw, and eats it raw.  But for the jaguar, or rather, from the jaguar’s point of view, he kills his prey with arrows like the Wari’ do; he takes the prey home, gives it to his wife and tells her to cook it.  While jaguars look like cats to the Wari’, in the eyes of the jaguar humans look like pigs, like prey.

It’s not good to be a pig or a mouse when a jaguar is hunting.

A Mouse is Always Prey

jackal

more honorable than ISIS

There’s of course another group of people, over thirty thousand strong by current estimates, who simply erase the boundaries between human and animal behavior.  The members of ISIS, while retaining human form, are more like predatory scavengers.  According to Franz Kafka,  jackals are disgusted by Arabs.  Certainly, the jaguar bringing a meal home to his wife is more noble than the humans who chain a little girl to a fence.  Even a jackal is above that.

The blending of species through grafting of human genes into mice has the potential to advance our understanding of memory, cognitive flexibility, and the evolution of the brain.  The blending of species by the predatory behavior of ISIS scavengers has the potential to reverse centuries of human social, intellectual and moral development.  The Island of Doctor Moreau is a happy children’s tale by comparison.

under arrest

Syrian girl and foe

ISIS thus challenges the civilized world to respond: does it meekly acquiesce to the rape and enslavement of women, the torture and beheading of children?  Or does it act boldly to eradicate such savage, inhuman beings?  Will Western civilization behave as a man or a mouse?  It’s dangerous to be a mouse when jaguars, jackals, or ISIS supporters are on the prowl.

 

Your comments are welcome
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ISIS Is Right

ISIS is a pathologically brutal organization trying to make the world a better place.  Who can disagree with making the world a better place?  You may not agree with their definition of “a better place,” but can you really say their hearts are evil?  A restored Caliphate is an ancient Muslim dream, and these hardworking, dedicated psychopaths stand a good chance of making their dream come true.

Achieving a Better Christian World

The Second Vatican Council, 1965

The Second Vatican Council, 1965

Other religions have their own dreams or goals.  Christianity, as a general principle, posits that one must accept Jesus in order to be saved, or go to heaven.  But how do Christians expect to achieve this better world when they say things like this:

This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

This declaration might come as a surprise to victims of the Inquisition or Crusades, or to the many indigenous people converted at sword point to Christianity.  When Pope Benedict apologized for the cruelty, he nonetheless upheld the view that the conversions were beneficial to the converted.  Although he frowned on organized efforts to bring Jews to Catholicism, he still claimed “…that Jews “still stand within the faithful covenant of God,” and that “they will in the end be together with us in Christ.” If you believe something is vital and true, shouldn’t you have the cojones to stand up for it, rather than waiting for your god to make it to happen?

Conflicting Strategies

Judaism proclaims both the active and passive models:

One conception, a visionary anticipation of Divine upheaval, projects an abrupt apocalypse, bringing instant glory to Israel’s faithful and destruction upon her enemies.  The existing political;-military-religious order is radically transformed.  Extraordinary transmutations of nature accompany the termination and supersession of the historical process.

The other conception posits a compelling human drama, in which the national energies of the people are harnessed, on their own initiative, to a resourceful redemptive process, pursuing the restoration of Jewish sovereignty and a collective return to Jewish spirituality; a dynamic activation of historic forces toward an evolving realization of the national goal.

According to the first approach the messianic era, the better world, will arrive through a suspension of history.  It will take divine intervention, rather than human effort.  Man must therefore devote his energy towards appeasing the fickle, but just deity, convincing God that the piety of his co-religionists merit redemption. ISIS believes in individual piety, but it doesn’t like the idea of sitting around, waiting for god to make things happen.  They’re helping him out.

Get Off Your Rear Ends

Baal and Mot

Canaanite astrology

So too, it’s time for Jews and Christians to get off their rear ends and make things happen.  First thing, keep ISIS, Hamas, and their ilk from murdering your co-religionists.  The IDF is doing a good job of this in Israel, but world efforts to protect endangered Christian communities in Africa, the Middle East and Fertile Crescent have been tepid, at best. Increased attention to God by Christians and Jews is good.  The ancient Rabbis ascribed the fall of the first Temple in Jerusalem to idol worship, which is not good. But it’s not as simple as it seems.  The medieval commentator Maimonides explained that the first Temple fell because the people relied on Canaanite astrology.  Since the course of events were determined by the stars, there was no need to be militarily prepared for the Babylonian onslaught. Fatalism based on astrology leads to passivity.  Fatalism based on religious piety also leads to passivity.

Isis is Right

That’s why ISIS is right: they’re pious (in their own perverted sense), but they’re actively pursuing their better pillcamworld.  Judaism has to follow their example.  Maimonides asserted that the messianic era will emerge as the result of people pursuing justice and virtue.  Messianism shouldn’t be treated as a gift we’re awaiting, but rather as an opportunity to be pursued.

Not through coercion, but through the application of the principles of Torah study, such as kindness and justice.  The latter imply the reduction of human suffering, whether through advanced technology, social or individual altruism.  It would imply new dimensions of aesthetic creativity and human expression.

The Jewish messianic era is premised on Jewish sovereignty.  To deny the religious significance of the Modern StateElinor Joseph of Israel is outright heresy.  To explain Israel’s survival in the midst of hundreds of millions of foes without reference to God’s will is stupidity.  To deny the holiness of serving in the Israel Defense Forces is self-serving rationalization.  The many Muslims, Christians and secular Jews who pick up a gun to defend Israel have reached a higher state than those who refuse life outside their yeshivas.  The great sage Rabbi Akiva (1st c. CE) declared Bar Kochba as the messiah, based not on his religiosity, but on his physical strength and military prowess.

Yes, Judaism must pursue its better world as doggedly as ISIS and Hamas pursue theirs.  Not through forced conversion, physical strength, beheadings, rape and mass murder, but through science and art, technology and innovation.  Through respect for the individual, consideration for the poor and disadvantaged.  Through an army that is at once powerful and sensitive.

Jewish spirituality is properly expressed through its application in the material world.  And it’s in the material world that the “better world” of the messianic era must be pursued.  Both Jews and Christians must be more tenacious than ISIS in pursuing their values.

 Strategy for overcoming ISIS tenacity:

Your comments are always welcome.