George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section. It will
quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in
this rapid-fire world of ours. Of course, as in military
a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed
by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction. Charge that to
"the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or
campaign must maintain to be effective. But the mission will
be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick",
by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.
That's all I promise.
to return to the current Rapid Response list
THURSDAY through TUESDAY, August 26
through 31, 2010
Archbishop Chaput: a good man who
should be a Cardinal soon. GS
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Archbishop Chaput on Liberty and Mission
Events Suggest an Emerging, Systematic Discrimination
SPISSKE PODHRADIE, Slovakia, AUG. 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is the
text of an address Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado, gave
Tuesday in Slovakia. The address was titled "Living Within the Truth:
Religious Liberty and Catholic Mission in the New Order of the World."
Tertullian once famously said that the blood of martyrs is the seed of
the Church. History has proven that to be true. And Slovakia is the
perfect place for us to revisit his words today. Here, and throughout
Central and Eastern Europe, Catholics suffered through 50 years of Nazi
and Soviet murder regimes. So they know the real cost of Christian
witness from bitter experience -- and also, unfortunately, the cost of
cowardice, collaboration and self-delusion in the face of evil.
I want to begin by suggesting that many Catholics in the United States
and Western Europe today simply don't understand those costs. Nor do
they seem to care. As a result, many are indifferent to the process in
our countries that social scientists like to call "secularization" --
but which, in practice, involves repudiating the Christian roots and
soul of our civilization.
American Catholics have no experience of the systematic repression so
familiar to your Churches. It's true that anti-Catholic prejudice has
always played a role in American life. This bigotry came first from my
country's dominant Protestant culture, and now from its
"post-Christian" leadership classes. But this is quite different from
deliberate persecution. In general, Catholics have thrived in the
United States. The reason is simple. America has always had a broadly
Christian and religion-friendly moral foundation, and our public
institutions were established as non-sectarian, not anti-religious.
At the heart of the American experience is an instinctive "biblical
realism." From our Protestant inheritance we have always -- at least
until now -- understood two things at a deep level. First, sin is real,
and men and women can be corrupted by power and prosperity. Second, the
"city of God" is something very distinct from the "city of man." And we
are wary of ever confusing the two.
Alexis de Tocqueville, in his Democracy in America, wrote: "Despotism
can do without faith, but liberty cannot ... " Therefore, "What is to
be done with a people that is its own master, if it is not obedient to
America's founders were a diverse group of practicing Christians and
Enlightenment deists. But nearly all were friendly to religious faith.
They believed a free people cannot remain free without religious faith
and the virtues that it fosters. They sought to keep Church and state
separate and autonomous. But their motives were very different from the
revolutionary agenda in Europe. The American founders did not confuse
the state with civil society. They had no desire for a radically
secularized public life. They had no intent to lock religion away from
public affairs. On the contrary, they wanted to guarantee citizens the
freedom to live their faith publicly and vigorously, and to bring their
religious convictions to bear on the building of a just society.
Obviously, we need to remember that other big differences do exist
between the American and European experiences. Europe has suffered some
of the worst wars and violent regimes in human history. The United
States has not seen a war on its soil in 150 years. Americans have no
experience of bombed-out cities or social collapse, and little
experience of poverty, ideological politics or hunger. As a result, the
past has left many Europeans with a worldliness and a pessimism that
seem very different from the optimism that marks American society. But
these differences don't change the fact that our paths into the future
are now converging. Today, in an era of global interconnection, the
challenges that confront Catholics in America are much the same as in
Europe: We face an aggressively secular political vision and a
consumerist economic model that result -- in practice, if not in
explicit intent -- in a new kind of state-encouraged atheism.
To put it another way: The Enlightenment-derived worldview that gave
rise to the great murder ideologies of the last century remains very
much alive. Its language is softer, its intentions seem kinder, and its
face is friendlier. But its underlying impulse hasn't changed -- i.e.,
the dream of building a society apart from God; a world where men and
women might live wholly sufficient unto themselves, satisfying their
needs and desires through their own ingenuity.
This vision presumes a frankly "post-Christian" world ruled by
rationality, technology and good social engineering. Religion has a
place in this worldview, but only as an individual lifestyle accessory.
People are free to worship and believe whatever they want, so long as
they keep their beliefs to themselves and do not presume to intrude
their religious idiosyncrasies on the workings of government, the
economy, or culture.
Now, at first hearing, this might sound like a reasonable way to
organize a modern society that includes a wide range of ethnic,
religious and cultural traditions, different philosophies of life and
approaches to living.
But we're immediately struck by two unpleasant details.
First, "freedom of worship" is not at all the same thing as "freedom of
religion." Religious freedom includes the right to preach, teach,
assemble, organize, and to engage society and its issues publicly, both
as individuals and joined together as communities of faith. This is the
classic understanding of a citizen's right to the "free exercise" of
his or her religion in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
It's also clearly implied in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. In contrast, freedom of worship is a much smaller and
more restrictive idea.
Second, how does the rhetoric of enlightened, secular tolerance square
with the actual experience of faithful Catholics in Europe and North
America in recent years?
In the United States, a nation that is still 80 percent Christian with
a high degree of religious practice, government agencies now
increasingly seek to dictate how Church ministries should operate, and
to force them into practices that would destroy their Catholic
identity. Efforts have been made to discourage or criminalize the
expression of certain Catholic beliefs as "hate speech." Our courts and
legislatures now routinely take actions that undermine marriage and
family life, and seek to scrub our public life of Christian symbolism
and signs of influence.
In Europe, we see similar trends, although marked by a more open
contempt for Christianity. Church leaders have been reviled in the
media and even in the courts for simply expressing Catholic teaching.
Some years ago, as many of you may recall, one of the leading Catholic
politicians of our generation, Rocco Buttiglione, was denied a
leadership post in the European Union because of his Catholic beliefs.
Earlier this summer we witnessed the kind of vindictive thuggery not
seen on this continent since the days of Nazi and Soviet police
methods: the Archbishop's palace in Brussels raided by agents; bishops
detained and interrogated for nine hours without due process; their
private computers, cell phones, and files seized. Even the graves of
the Church's dead were violated in the raid. For most Americans, this
sort of calculated, public humiliation of religious leaders would be an
outrage and an abuse of state power. And this is not because of the
virtues or the sins of the specific religious leaders involved, since
we all have a duty to obey just laws. Rather, it's an outrage because
the civil authority, by its harshness, shows contempt for the beliefs
and the believers whom the leaders represent.
My point is this: These are not the actions of governments that see the
Catholic Church as a valued partner in their plans for the 21st
century. Quite the opposite. These events suggest an emerging,
systematic discrimination against the Church that now seems inevitable.
Today's secularizers have learned from the past. They are more adroit
in their bigotry; more elegant in their public relations; more
intelligent in their work to exclude the Church and individual
believers from influencing the moral life of society. Over the next
several decades, Christianity will become a faith that can speak in the
public square less and less freely. A society where faith is prevented
from vigorous public expression is a society that has fashioned the
state into an idol. And when the state becomes an idol, men and women
become the sacrificial offering.
Cardinal Henri de Lubac once wrote that "It is not true that man cannot
organize the world without God. What is true, is that without God,
[man] can ultimately only organize it against man. Exclusive humanism
is inhuman humanism."
The West is now steadily moving in the direction of that new "inhuman
humanism." And if the Church is to respond faithfully, we need to draw
upon the lessons that your Churches learned under totalitarianism.
A Catholicism of resistance must be based on trust in Christ's words:
"The truth will make you free." This trust gave you insight into the
nature of totalitarian regimes. It helped you articulate new ways of
discipleship. Rereading the words of the Czech leader Václav
Havel to prepare for this talk, I was struck by the profound Christian
humanism of his idea of "living within the truth." Catholics today need
to see their discipleship and mission as precisely that: "living within
Living within the truth means living according to Jesus Christ and
God's Word in Sacred Scripture. It means proclaiming the truth of the
Christian Gospel, not only by our words but by our example. It means
living every day and every moment from the unshakeable conviction that
God lives, and that his love is the motive force of human history and
the engine of every authentic human life. It means believing that the
truths of the Creed are worth suffering and dying for.
Living within the truth also means telling the truth and calling things
by their right names. And that means exposing the lies by which some
men try to force others to live.
Two of the biggest lies in the world today are these: first, that
Christianity was of relatively minor importance in the development of
the West; and second, that Western values and institutions can be
sustained without a grounding in Christian moral principles.
Before I talk about these two falsehoods, we should pause a moment to
think about the meaning of history.
History is not simply about learning facts. History is a form of
memory, and memory is a foundation stone of self-identity. Facts are
useless without a context of meaning. The unique genius and meaning of
Western civilization cannot be understood without the 20 centuries of
Christian context in which they developed. A people who do not know
their history, do not know themselves. They are a people doomed to
repeat the mistakes of their past because they cannot see what the
present -- which always flowers out of the past -- requires of them.
People who forget who they are can be much more easily manipulated.
This was dramatized famously in Orwell's image of the "memory hole" in
his novel 1984. Today, the history of the Church and the legacy of
Western Christianity are being pushed down the memory hole. This is the
first lie that we need to face.
Downplaying the West's Christian past is sometimes done with the best
intentions, from a desire to promote peaceful co-existence in a
pluralistic society. But more frequently it's done to marginalize
Christians and to neutralize the Church's public witness.
The Church needs to name and fight this lie. To be a European or an
American is to be heir to a profound Christian synthesis of Greek
philosophy and art, Roman law, and biblical truth. This synthesis gave
rise to the Christian humanism that undergirds all of Western
On this point, we might remember the German Lutheran scholar and
pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He wrote these words in the months leading
up to his arrest by the Gestapo in 1943: "The unity of the West is not
an idea but a historical reality, of which the sole foundation is
Our societies in the West are Christian by birth, and their survival
depends on the endurance of Christian values. Our core principles and
political institutions are based, in large measure, on the morality of
the Gospel and the Christian vision of man and government. We are
talking here not only about Christian theology or religious ideas. We
are talking about the moorings of our societies -- representative
government and the separation of powers; freedom of religion and
conscience; and most importantly, the dignity of the human person.
This truth about the essential unity of the West has a corollary, as
Bonhoeffer also observed: Take away Christ and you remove the only
reliable foundation for our values, institutions and way of life.
That means we cannot dispense with our history out of some superficial
concern over offending our non-Christian neighbors. Notwithstanding the
chatter of the "new atheists" there is no risk that Christianity will
ever be forced upon people anywhere in the West. The only "confessional
states" in the world today are those ruled by Islamist or atheist
dictatorships -- regimes that have rejected the Christian West's belief
in individual rights and the balance of powers.
I would argue that the defense of Western ideals is the only protection
that we and our neighbors have against a descent into new forms of
repression -- whether it might be at the hands of extremist Islam or
But indifference to our Christian past contributes to indifference
about defending our values and institutions in the present. And this
brings me to the second big lie by which we live today -- the lie that
there is no unchanging truth.
Relativism is now the civil religion and public philosophy of the West.
Again, the arguments made for this viewpoint can seem persuasive. Given
the pluralism of the modern world, it might seem to make sense that
society should want to affirm that no one individual or group has a
monopoly on truth; that what one person considers to be good and
desirable another may not; and that all cultures and religions should
be respected as equally valid.
In practice, however, we see that without a belief in fixed moral
principles and transcendent truths, our political institutions and
language become instruments in the service of a new barbarism. In the
name of tolerance we come to tolerate the cruelest intolerance; respect
for other cultures comes to dictate disparagement of our own; the
teaching of "live and let live" justifies the strong living at the
expense of the weak.
This diagnosis helps us understand one of the foundational injustices
in the West today -- the crime of abortion.
I realize that the abortion license is a matter of current law in
almost every nation in the West. In some cases, this license reflects
the will of the majority and is enforced through legal and democratic
means. And I'm aware that many people, even in the Church, find it
strange that we Catholics in America still make the sanctity of unborn
life so central to our public witness.
Let me tell you why I believe abortion is the crucial issue of our age.
First, because abortion, too, is about living within the truth. The
right to life is the foundation of every other human right. If that
right is not inviolate, then no right can be guaranteed.
Or to put it more bluntly: Homicide is homicide, no matter how small
Here's another truth that many persons in the Church have not yet fully
reckoned: The defense of newborn and preborn life has been a central
element of Catholic identity since the Apostolic Age.
I'll say that again: From the earliest days of the Church, to be
Catholic has meant refusing in any way to participate in the crime of
abortion -- either by seeking an abortion, performing one, or making
this crime possible through actions or inactions in the political or
judicial realm. More than that, being Catholic has meant crying out
against all that offends the sanctity and dignity of life as it has
been revealed by Jesus Christ.
The evidence can be found in the earliest documents of Church history.
In our day -- when the sanctity of life is threatened not only by
abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, but also by embryonic research
and eugenic temptations to eliminate the weak, the disabled and the
infirm elderly -- this aspect of Catholic identity becomes even more
vital to our discipleship.
My point in mentioning abortion is this: Its widespread acceptance in
the West shows us that without a grounding in God or a higher truth,
our democratic institutions can very easily become weapons against our
own human dignity.
Our most cherished values cannot be defended by reason alone, or simply
for their own sake. They have no self-sustaining or "internal"
There is no inherently logical or utilitarian reason why society should
respect the rights of the human person. There is even less reason for
recognizing the rights of those whose lives impose burdens on others,
as is the case with the child in the womb, the terminally ill, or the
physically or mentally disabled.
If human rights do not come from God, then they devolve to the
arbitrary conventions of men and women. The state exists to defend the
rights of man and to promote his flourishing. The state can never be
the source of those rights. When the state arrogates to itself that
power, even a democracy can become totalitarian.
What is legalized abortion but a form of intimate violence that clothes
itself in democracy? The will to power of the strong is given the force
of law to kill the weak.
That is where we are heading in the West today. And we've been there
before. Slovaks and many other Central and Eastern Europeans have lived
I suggested earlier that the Church's religious liberty is under
assault today in ways not seen since the Nazi and Communist eras. I
believe we are now in the position to better understand why.
Writing in the 1960s, Richard Weaver, an American scholar and social
philosopher, said: "I am absolutely convinced that relativism must
eventually lead to a regime of force."
He was right. There is a kind of "inner logic" that leads relativism to
This explains the paradox of how Western societies can preach tolerance
and diversity while aggressively undermining and penalizing Catholic
life. The dogma of tolerance cannot tolerate the Church's belief that
some ideas and behaviors should not be tolerated because they
dehumanize us. The dogma that all truths are relative cannot allow the
thought that some truths might not be.
The Catholic beliefs that most deeply irritate the orthodoxies of the
West are those concerning abortion, sexuality and the marriage of man
and woman. This is no accident. These Christian beliefs express the
truth about human fertility, meaning and destiny.
These truths are subversive in a world that would have us believe that
God is not necessary and that human life has no inherent nature or
purpose. Thus the Church must be punished because, despite all the sins
and weaknesses of her people, she is still the bride of Jesus Christ;
still a source of beauty, meaning and hope that refuses to die -- and
still the most compelling and dangerous heretic of the world's new
Let me sum up what I've been saying.
My first point is this: Ideas have consequences. And bad ideas have bad
consequences. Today we are living in a world that is under the sway of
some very destructive ideas, the worst being that men and women can
live as if God does not matter and as if the Son of God never walked
this earth. As a result of these bad ideas, the Church's freedom to
exercise her mission is under attack. We need to understand why that
is, and we need to do something about it.
My second point is simply this: We can no longer afford to treat the
debate over secularization -- which really means cauterizing
Christianity out of our cultural memory -- as if it's a problem for
Church professionals. The emergence of a "new Europe" and a "next
America" rooted in something other than the real facts of our
Christian-shaped history will have damaging consequences for every
We need not and should not abandon the hard work of honest dialogue.
Far from it. The Church always needs to seek friendships, areas of
agreement, and ways to make positive, reasoned arguments in the public
square. But it's foolish to expect gratitude or even respect from our
governing and cultural leadership classes today. Naïve imprudence
is not an evangelical virtue.
The temptation in every age of the Church is to try to get along with
Caesar. And it's very true: Scripture tells us to respect and pray for
our leaders. We need to have a healthy love for the countries we call
home. But we can never render unto Caesar what belongs to God. We need
to obey God first; the obligations of political authority always come
second. We cannot collaborate with evil without gradually becoming evil
ourselves. This is one of the most vividly harsh lessons of the 20th
century. And it's a lesson that I hope we have learned.
That brings me to my third and final point today: We live in a time
when the Church is called to be a believing community of resistance. We
need to call things by their true names. We need to fight the evils we
see. And most importantly, we must not delude ourselves into thinking
that by going along with the voices of secularism and
de-Christianization we can somehow mitigate or change things. Only the
Truth can set men free. We need to be apostles of Jesus Christ and the
Truth he incarnates.
So what does this mean for us as individual disciples? Let me offer a
few suggestions by way of a conclusion.
My first suggestion comes again from the great witness against the
paganism of the Third Reich, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "The renewal of the
Western world lies solely in the divine renewal of the Church, which
leads her to the fellowship of the risen and living Jesus Christ."
The world urgently needs a re-awakening of the Church in our actions
and in our public and private witness. The world needs each of us to
come to a deeper experience of our Risen Lord in the company of our
fellow believers. The renewal of the West depends overwhelmingly on our
faithfulness to Jesus Christ and his Church.
We need to really believe what we say we believe. Then we need to prove
it by the witness of our lives. We need to be so convinced of the
truths of the Creed that we are on fire to live by these truths, to
love by these truths, and to defend these truths, even to the point of
our own discomfort and suffering.
We are ambassadors of the living God to a world that is on the verge of
forgetting him. Our work is to make God real; to be the face of his
love; to propose once more to the men and women of our day, the
dialogue of salvation.
The lesson of the 20th century is that there is no cheap grace. This
God whom we believe in, this God who loved the world so much that he
sent his only Son to suffer and die for it, demands that we live the
same bold, sacrificial pattern of life shown to us by Jesus Christ.
The form of the Church, and the form of every Christian life, is the
form of the cross. Our lives must become a liturgy, a self-offering
that embodies the love of God and the renewal of the world.
The great Slovak martyrs of the past knew this. And they kept this
truth alive when the bitter weight of hatred and totalitarianism
pressed upon your people. I'm thinking especially right now of your
heroic bishops, Blessed Vasil Hopko and Pavel Gojdic, and the heroic
sister, Blessed Zdenka Schelingová.
We need to keep this beautiful mandate of Sister Zdenka close to our
"My sacrifice, my holy Mass, begins in daily life. From the altar of
the Lord I go to the altar of my work. I must be able to continue the
sacrifice of the altar in every situation. It is Christ whom we must
proclaim through our lives, to him we offer the sacrifice of our own
Let us preach Jesus Christ with all the energy of our lives. And let us
support each other -- whatever the cost -- so that when we make our
accounting to the Lord, we will be numbered among the faithful and
courageous, and not the cowardly or the evasive, or those who
compromised until there was nothing left of their convictions; or those
who were silent when they should have spoken the right word at the
right time. Thank you. And God bless all of you.
SATURDAY through WEDNESDAY, August
21 through 25, 2010
These people surely don't accept
responsibility for the terrorist and inhumane cancer in their
midst. And that responsibility has not been adequately
articulated to and demanded of them...except by me. GS
Ex-Bush official: Muslim-Americans
deserting the GOP
By Brett Michael Dykes
In the same regard that African-American writer Toni Morrison labeled
Bill Clinton as "America's first black president," could a case be made
for George W. Bush being America's first Muslim-American president?
At least one former member of his administration thinks so, and he
believes that prominent Republicans voicing opposition to the "Ground
Zero mosque" is undoing all of the work done by the former president
and conservative activists such as Grover Norquist in securing the
party's support among Muslims and Arab-Americans in general.
In an op-ed for Foreign Policy, former Bush official Suhail Khan says
that the anti-Muslim flames being stoked by the likes of Sarah Palin
and Newt Gingrich — already being used as a recruitment tool by
jihadists overseas — have alienated Muslims in America in ways that
rival or surpass the Islamophobia that arose in some corners
immediately after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
Muslim Americans are, by and large, both socially and economically
conservative. Sixty-one percent of them would ban abortion except to
save the life of the mother; 84 percent support school choice. Muslims
overwhelmingly support traditional marriage. More than a quarter — over
twice the national average —are self-employed small-business owners,
and most support reducing taxes and the abolition of the estate tax. By
all rights they should be Republicans — and not long ago they were.
American Muslims voted two to one for George H.W. Bush in 1992. While
they went for Bill Clinton by the same margin in 1996, they were
brought back into the Republican fold in 2000 by George W. Bush. ... He
won more than 70 percent of the Muslim vote, including 46,200 ballots
in Florida alone, prompting longtime conservative activist Grover
Norquist — one of the few prominent movement figures to caution against
the current wave of mosque demagoguery — to proclaim in the American
Spectator that "Bush was elected President of the United States of
America because of the Muslim vote."
On every issue and by every measure, Muslim Americans should vote
firmly with the GOP. But they won't until the party finds leadership
willing to stop playing to the worst instincts of its minority of
Interestingly, former President Bush has not weighed in on the mosque
fray, despite the fact that the imam heading up the proposed community
center in downtown Manhattan once toured the Middle East on behalf of
the Bush White House to spread the word about religious tolerance in
WEDNESDAY through FRIDAY, August
18 through 20, 2010
Folks, this is not something to have
to wake up to...but it is something about which we have to wake up -
and NOW. I'm going to review this piece with the local Muslim
cleric in Groton and elsewhere. More to come. GS
Subject: Brigitte Gabriel 'For the sake
of our children and our country...'
She gave this speech at Duke University also.
EVERY AMERICAN NEEDS TO READ THIS!
Editor's Note: Below are selected excerpts from Brigitte Gabriel's
speech delivered at the Intelligence Summit in Washington DC
We gather here today to share information and knowledge. Intelligence
is not merely cold hard data about numerical strength or armament or
disposition of military forces. The most important element of
intelligence has to be understanding the mindset and intention of the
enemy. The West has been wallowing in a state of ignorance and denial
for thirty years as Muslim extremist perpetrated evil against innocent
victims in the name of Allah.
I was ten years old when my home exploded around me, burying me under
the rubble and leaving me to drink my blood to survive, as the
perpetrators shouted, 'Allah Akbar!' My only crime was that I was a
Christian living in a Christian town. At 10 years old, I learned the
meaning of the word 'infidel.'
I had a crash course in survival. Not in the Girl Scouts, but in a bomb
shelter where I lived for seven years in pitch darkness, freezing cold,
drinking stale water and eating grass to live. At the age of 13, I
dressed in my burial clothes going to bed at night, waiting to be
slaughtered. By the age of 20, I had buried most of my friends--killed
by Muslims. We were not Americans living in New York , or Britons in
London . We were Arab Christians living in Lebanon .
As a victim of Islamic terror, I was amazed when I saw Americans waking
up on September 12, 2001, and asking themselves 'Why do they hate us?'
The psychoanalyst experts were coming up with all sort of excuses as to
what did we do to offend the Muslim World. But if America and the West
were paying attention to the Middle East they would not have had to ask
the question. Simply put, they hate us because we are defined in their
eyes by one simple word: 'infidels.'
Under the banner of Islam 'la, ilaha illa Allah, muhammad
rasoulu Allah,' (None is god except Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of
Allah) they murdered Jewish children in Israel, massacred Christians in
Lebanon, killed Copts in Egypt, Assyrians in Syria, Hindus in India,
and expelled almost 900,000 Jews from Muslim lands. We Middle Eastern
infidels paid the price then. Now infidels worldwide are paying the
price for indifference and shortsightedness.
Tolerating evil is a crime. Appeasing murderers doesn't buy protection.
It earns one disrespect and loathing in the enemy's eyes. Yet apathy is
the weapon by which the West is committing suicide. Political
correctness forms the shackles around our ankles, by which Islamist's
are leading us to our demise.
America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they
stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam. You hear about Cahaba and
Salafi Islam as the only extreme form of Islam. All the other Muslims,
supposedly, are wonderful moderates. Closer to the truth are the
pictures of the irrational eruption of violence in reaction to the
cartoons of Mohammed printed by a Danish newspaper. From burning
embassies, to calls to butcher those who mock Islam, to warnings that
the West be prepared for another holocaust, those pictures have given
us a glimpse into the real face of the enemy. News pictures and video
of these events represent a canvas of hate decorated by different
nationalities who share one common ideology of hate, bigotry and
intolerance derived from one source: authentic Islam. An Islam that is
awakening from centuries of slumber to re-ignite its wrath against the
infidel and dominate the world. An Islam which has declared 'Intifada'
on the West.
America and the West can no longer afford to lay in their lazy state of
overweight ignorance. The consequences of this mental disease are
starting to attack the body, and if they don't take the necessary steps
now to control it, death will be knocking soon. If you want to
understand the nature of the enemy we face, visualize a tapestry of
snakes. They slither and they hiss, and they would eat each other
alive, but they will unite in a hideous mass to achieve their common
goal of imposing Islam on the world.
This is the ugly face of the enemy we are fighting. We are fighting a
powerful ideology that is capable of altering basic human instincts. An
ideology that can turn a mother into a launching pad of death. A
perfect example is a recently elected Hamas official in the Palestinian
Territorieswho raves in heavenly joy about sending her three sons to
death and offering the ones who are still alive for the cause. It is an
ideology that is capable of offering highly educated individuals such
as doctors and lawyers far more joy in attaining death than any respect
and stature life in society is ever capable of giving them.
The United States has been a prime target for radical Islamic hatred
and terror. Every Friday, mosques in the Middle East ring with shrill
prayers and monotonous chants calling death, destruction and damnation
down on America and its people. The radical Islamist deeds have been as
vile as their words. Since the Iran hostage crisis, more than three
thousand Americans have died in a terror campaign almost unprecedented
in its calculated cruelty along with thousands of other citizens
worldwide. Even the Nazis did not turn their own children into human
bombs, and then rejoice at their deaths as well the deaths of their
victims. This intentional, indiscriminate and wholesale murder of
innocent American citizens is justified and glorified in the name of
America cannot effectively defend itself in this war unless and until
the American people understand the nature of the enemy that we face.
Even after 9/11 there are those who say that we must engage our
terrorist enemies, that we must address their grievances. Their
grievance is our freedom of religion. Their grievance is our freedom of
speech. Their grievance is our democratic process where the rule of law
comes from the voices of many not that of just one prophet. It is the
respect we instill in our children towards all religions. It is the
equality we grant each other as human beings sharing a planet and
striving to make the world a better place for all humanity. Their
grievance is the kindness and respect a man shows a woman, the justice
we practice as equals under the law, and the mercy we grant our enemy.
Their grievance cannot be answered by an apology for who or what we
Our mediocre attitude of not confronting Islamic forces of bigotry and
hatred wherever they raised their ugly head in the last 30 years, has
empowered and strengthened our enemy to launch a full scale attack on
the very freedoms we cherish in their effort to impose their values and
way of life on our civilization.
If we don't wake up and challenge our Muslim community to take action
against the terrorists within it, if we don't believe in ourselves as
Americans and in the standards we should hold every patriotic American
to, we are going to pay a price for our delusion. For the sake of our
children and our country, we must wake up and take action. In the face
of a torrent of hateful invective and terrorist murder, America 's
learning curve since the Iran hostage crisis is so shallow that it is
almost flat. The longer we lay supine, the more difficult it will be to
This is all coming true. A non-patriot pro-Muslim is President of this
great country. How can this happen?? APATHY, that's how!!!
Brigitte Gabriel is an expert on the Middle East conflict and lectures
nationally and internationally on the subject. She's the former news
anchor of World News for Middle East television and the founder of
TUESDAY, August 17, 2010
REGARDING THE PROPOSED MOSQUE ON THE
SITE OF GROUND ZERO:
See the article by Charles Krauthammer entitled "Building Sacrilege At Ground Zero"
(in The Day - www.theday.com - Saturday, August 14, pA7).
My sentiments, exactly. And if good Muslims want to change their
current status in the eyes of many fellow Americans...RID YOUR OWN
HOUSE OF THE CANCER IN YOUR MIDST!
MONDAY, August 16, 2010
Wait! This is not a movie review by a former
movie lover who in the recent 20 years sees one new movie every three
or four months and who walks out of a third of them within 1/2
But this movie has "redeeming social value", especially if we realize
that it's subtitle should be "ODE TO
NARCISSUS". As such, it has merit for understanding what
ails the youngest two current generations around us today.
I decided to see the movie because of the acting ability of Julia
Roberts (not a M. Streep, mind you...but good). I stayed for the
full rendering despite an early sense of unease and a definite later
sense of unease in my Glutei Maximi. Beautiful visuals; some fine
acting, although not uniform. But the story...more precisely
enough story for three movies...soon brought to mind Cher's pointed
comment to Nicholas Cage when he was obsessing over his lost hand, and
punctuated with a smart slap to the face: "GET OVER IT!".
Instead, Julia's character (reportedly a real person) first asks God
belatedly for help...and then goes on an international quest for what a
wise Italian Mamma calls "pasta e SALSICCIA". Is that what God
At heart, the wound was relatively superficial and partly
self-imposed. The treatment, as in the days of old with
tonsillectomy, was Ice Cream. And the prognosis for "Julia" is
decidedly guarded, having learned nothing from the experience...in
keeping with a true narcissist.
Pleasant, and the movie theater was nice and cool. But for life
SUNDAY, August 15, 2010
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS CURRENTLY IN A
SCHIZOPHRENIC BATTLE WITH ITSELF.
Does it want to be a dinosaur or a rhino? In either case it will
be irrelevant to the vast majority of American voters who today are
seeking restoration of political balance to a body politic that has
veered sharply to the left domestically and to an extra-American...even anti-American...posture in our
dealings with other nations.
WITNESS THE FACT THAT RECENT NATIONAL POLLS GIVE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
ONLY A 20% APPROVAL RATING.
To offer voters a real choice in the next two Federal elections, I
suggest the following positions - platform planks - to be embraced by a
newly united and pragmatic Republican Party.
In keeping with the broken third
tablet of Commandments dropped in "...Mad,Mad World", I'll end
- Absolute unity on the issue of
Abortion: the killing of a human being from the instant of
conception. At the very least, champion the restoration of this
issue to the individual States.
- An economic policy that stresses
balanced budgets, major reduction in the national debt by reducing
entitlements and promoting self-reliance, responsible spending
and saving by individuals, real reduction in the size of Federal
government, rational oversight over the business world - including
especially international corporations, total revision of the Tax
Code resulting in a substantial reduction in taxation for the vast
majority of Americans, and a more responsible and responsive reform of
Health Care delivery, representing over 1/6 of our national
- Emphasis on America as a
religious nation, a tolerant nation, and not an atheistic or fully
secular nation. We in this country are guaranteed "Freedom of
Religion", not freedom from
- Full support of the U.S.
Constitution as written, with its intentional built-in ambiguities as
clarified by our Supreme Court...including the 14th Amendment, which
some prominent Republicans are now foolishly attacking.
- Recognize Homosexuality, based
on now - established Science, as largely a biologic deviation from
"normal" - and not a Biblical "intrinsic evil" or a life-style choice.
- Nevertheless, protect "Marriage"
(vs civil unions") as a foundation-stone of our society...established
for the propagation and protection of our progeny.
- Support a rational approach to
the "drug culture" that treats addicts and severely punishes pushers.
- Admit that many if not most of
the now famous "12 million illegal immigrants" have been actually
invited and drawn into this country by greedy and illegal business
interests and by a U.S. government that has failed to implement
immigration laws on the statute books for many years. Demand full
control of our national borders while offering a means of enabling
these illegal immigrants to earn a legitimate place in our society.
- Be true warriors in the "culture
wars" currently endangering civil society, without the unnecessary
"fire and brimstone". We don't have to be Fundamentalist and
"re-born" Christians to know right from wrong and the elements of a
- On the international scene,
champion America First, testing all relationships with other nations in
accordance with our self-interest...enlightened and generous, but
always promoting our national self-interest. In that regard,
champion our "special relationship" with Great Britain, historical,
earned and on-going. In this context, evaluate de novo each of our military
commitments throughout the world in keeping with that rule.
Will the Republican Party embrace these honorable and practical
positions? Not much time is left to refurbish its image.
For in November 2010 and November 2012, Democrats can't win...but Republicans
can surely lose it.
SATURDAY, August 14, 2010
BEAUTIFUL...and true. Therein lies the second lesson of running
for public office. The first is Timing.
The nobility of Rob Simmons
By Keith C.
Burris, Journal Inquirer
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:08 PM EDT
have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the
So wrote St. Paul to his friend, Timothy.
And so might Rob Simmons say today. The soldier, ex-state legislator,
and ex-congressman, who lost the Republican U.S. Senate nomination
yesterday to Linda McMahon, fought the good fight.
There are many interesting sidebars to yesterday’s election, in which
the big stories were Dan Malloy’s victory for experience and
seriousness in politics, and McMahon’s ability to purchase a U.S.
One sidebar is the success of public financing. Malloy was able to
compete, using public funds, against a far-better-financed opponent.
So was Mike Fedele, who came within a few points of Tom Foley in the
race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Foley, incidentally, did not
spend like a sailor. He spent roughly $3 million of his own money to
Lamont’s $10 million and McMahon’s $22 million.
But the most interesting sidebar is the story of Simmons.
Rejected by the party he’d served for so well and so long at its
nominating convention, after driving Chris Dodd into retirement,
Simmons shut down his campaign apparatus and traveled the state alone
or with his wife, simply meeting people and talking issues. Simmons
came to the Journal Inquirer about a week ago to talk about his
thoughts and ideas on Afghanistan . Just Afghanistan . It was evident
that he knows more than most members of Congress about the war in that
country, and has forgotten more than McMahon will ever know.
Simmons didn’t divide his party. He didn’t waste money. Instead he
talked about public service. That’s what politics is to Simmons: public
service. With time, his second and very interesting guerrilla campaign
(after losing the convention) might have caught on.
Two candidates this year impressed in one-on-one meetings with their
breadth, and depth, and personal groundedness: Malloy and Simmons.
Malloy acts like a governor.
Simmons acts like a senator.
That’s not to say that either man is right about everything. No one is.
But both men dignify the process — they affirm that politics and
government are serious and important.
Many years ago, William F. Buckley wrote a column about Allard
Lowenstein called “The Nobility of a Persistent Loser.” Buckley was Mr.
Conservative and Lowenstein was a liberal Democrat who lost several
races for Congress. But Buckley backed him, and admired him, because
Lowenstein, in his one term in Congress, gave his district good
representation, great constituent service, and absolute personal
dedication. Buckley also backed Lowenstein because he believed he was a
man of principle, compassion, and moral courage. As Buckley put it,
Lowenstein served human beings as well as humanity.
In other words, character should trump partisanship, ideology, and
Many Republicans forgot this yesterday. But many did not. Many GOP
legislators and mayors, like Manchester ’s Lou Spadaccini, stood by
Simmons. Fifty-one percent of the GOP primary voters voted against Mrs.
Losing is supposed to be the worst thing in politics. No one wants to
be the loser. But in America , sometimes the losers point the way to a
better time, past or future. Sometimes they remind us who we really are
and what our values really are. In history some of the losers stand
tall because they speak to our better natures.
The nobility of Rob Simmons stands out in this election, and no doubt
he will find a way to continue to serve. He always has.
Keith C. Burris is editorial-page editor of the Journal Inquirer.
WEDNESDAY through FRIDAY, August
11 through 13, 2010
TERRIFIC. Who wudda
US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is
4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.
was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England
, and English expatriates designed the US railroads.
did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were
built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and
that's the gauge they used.
did 'they' use that gauge then? Because the people who built the
tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building
wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they
tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of
the old, long distance roads in England , because that's the
spacing of the wheel ruts.
who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first
long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their
legions. Those roads have been used ever since.
the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts,
which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon
the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike
in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard
railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original
specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live
the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and
wonder 'What horse's ass came up with this?' , you may be exactly
right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to
accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses' asses.)
the twist to the story:
you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big
booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are
solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their
factory in Utah
engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit
fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the
launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through
a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel.
The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad
track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.
So, a major
Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most
advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years
ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you thought being a horse's ass
wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses control almost everything... and CURRENT Horses
Asses in Washington are controlling everything else.
THURSDAY through TUESDAY, August 5
through 10, 2010
SOME QUESTIONS...AND NOW ANSWERS -
FROM MY SON PERRIN. GS
- Why are we giving many billions of unencumbered and unaccounted
aid to Pakistan when all of
the evidence indicates that nation is a double agent, assisting our
enemies on the battlefield?
- If we are in Afghanistan to destroy al Quaida, why do we allow
ourselves to be hamstrung by border formalities with Pakistani regions
not under central government control?
- If we intend to change
Afghanistan from a perpetual den of thieves to a more democratic
place for its people, why have we not destroyed forever the opium crop
as its staple cash crop feeding our enemies?
- Why do we endure the constant harmful and illegal actions of Iran...in Iraq, in Afghanistan and
with regard to their developing nuclear weapons capability?
The short answer for these questions: political
correctness. As Americans have become infected by narcissism and
a lack of self-confidence that requires them to seek out
acceptance from others, so has it infected our foreign policy.
- Why are we not engaging as a close ally the largest democracy in
the world...India...as England
Because apparently it is enough
for them to answer our customer service calls and be there to lower our
labor costs. That, and basic political myopia.
- Why are we allowing China
to destabilize our domestic economy and our foreign policy,,,besides
because of the massive national debt that we owe them?
Because of economic
myopia. Why pay $2 for something when I can get it for $1.
That way I can use my free dollar to download another in my
catalog of 25,000 songs on my iPod which I will listen to while I'm
"efficiently" 'multi-tasking', thereby further sticking my head in
the sand of political, economic, and cultural disregard.
- Why do we think that we can resolve the terrorist threat of
international fundamentalist Islam,
when only moderate Islam can perform that vital function?
Because we can't sit around and
risk further incessant attack from these sub-humans waiting for
cultural and religious provincials (many of whom quietly agree with the
extremists) to come to our rescue. I've said it a thousand times,
kill the cancer before it kills you.
- Why are we losing highly strategic and once friendly Turkey to the Muslims by not
including that nation wholeheartedly into the West?
Because every nation requires
strong internal leadership before it can make strong external
bonds. Kemal Ataturk took incredible risks to force his country
into the 20th Century after WWI. There is no one of his caliber
in Turkey because no one wants to take risks in that country, mostly
because of militant Islam. Sorry if I offend any Turkey lovers
out there, but Turkey has been an economic and cultural backwater since
the Renaissance and the rise of Western Europe. The same
geographical location that once gave it incredible economic wealth and
political influence on the world stage has now become a curse, making
it the bi-polar step-child of European and near-Asian politics.
- Why are we not more assertive with
Russia, a chronic antagonist, when that nation attempts to
return to regional hegemony over sovereign peoples?
Because that is passe' in
today's narcissistic political environment (see above) of making
sure that we don't offend anyone. Puh-lease! Only old
people want to dig up that old game of hating the Roo-skies.
- Why do we have so many military forces in Europe, except to help our
sometime Western allies financially, to our own detriment?
Sheer stupidity. There's
no other way to put it. No wonder Europeans like to make fun of
the U.S. Then again, if we didn't have such a presence, they
would bitch and moan about how self-centered we are. It's the
price of being the big kid on the block.
- Why give credence to the alien and naive concept of Internationalism, especially in the
area of Criminal Law, over our own national sovereignty?
Oh, that's an easy one.
Because our country is now being governed by those who attended college
in the 1960's. No need to elaborate.
- Why the cooling of our "special relationship" with the one nation
on which we have long been able to depend: Great Britain?
to people like those in the Obama Administration, England is second
only to the U.S. in being the most evil country to ever populate the
face of the Earth. We are their spawn.
- Why defer to the needs of a nearly failed State, Mexico, in our half-hearted efforts
to secure our national borders, to our great detriment?
Another easy one to
answer--because nearly 50 years of ignoring this problem has enabled 2+
generations of Mexicans to become such a large percentage of the
Southwestern population that even without them being bothered to engage
in something as pedestrian as voting, too many people in and out of
politics are too scared to take them on because of the dreaded
'R'-word. Being literally in the middle of this issue for over
20 years now, frustrated doesn't come close to describing my
feelings when I see and hear Mexicans (legal or not) laughing at the
fact that, soon enough, they will reclaim this part of the country
for Mexico, whether or not the border changes.
This is a FACT.
- Domestically, why do we
not identify and condemn all forms
of racism, including Black-on-White
Racism being touted by some in the younger generation of
Because Blacks were once slaves
of this country and for 40+ years the conventional wisdom has
been that they can do no wrong, specifically and solely because
they were once slaves, period. If a Black person commits a crime,
he was entrapped or otherwise forced to do it because of the White
man. If a Black person exhibits racism against Whites, he or she
is simply expressing views in a way that was not allowed in the
past. Sad, but true. And, until Blacks get a handle on
this, they will forever be second-class citizens, even to those who
came after them.
- In this highly spiritual and religious nation, why is there a
powerful and concerted effort to rid
God from our psyche, as was done in Totalitarian States from the
beginning of time?
See my answer to the
Internationalism question you raised above.
- Why is there at this time a
powerful and concerted effort to divide our citizens into two polar
opposites of excess, when there in no chance that either
opposite will prevail...without a national Constitutional Convention or
I don't think this is
intentional. It is simply the natural result of the
stratification of this country over the last three generations.
People on the far Left think that borders, the flag, and a
unifying language are regressive and childishly simplistic in the
ridiculously idealistic world put forth in their anthem, John Lennon's
'Imagine'. Again, I've been immersed in this environment since
the day I walked into college in 1983. Conversely, people
on the far Right think that they can stop the clock regarding the
natural cycle of society and culture in a free country.
Both will fail because both
cannot bring themselves to understand what it is like to
balance one's personal identity with that
of one's identity in the rest of the world.
WEDNESDAY, August 4, 2010
Adam, this is the next rr to follow, with this introduction:
The one test of the Muslim World and of the Religion of Islam,
reportedly moderate and peace-loving, is to totally repudiate and
destroy radical Fundamentalism and its bible of terrorism from within.
Those moderates are reportedly the overwhelming majority of believers
of the Koran. If they can't or won't expunge this cancer from their
midst, they too become the enemies not only of the United States or of
the Western World or of Christianity, but of all peace-loving and fair
and moral human beings. This is their choice.
Is the Cordoba
House Good for America?
WASHINGTON, DC – Now that the New York
City landmarks commission has approved the Cordoba
an Islamic community center that has drawn attacks for its planned
location two blocks from the former World Trade Center site, the
so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" is one step closer to reality. Whether
it ends up happening as planned or is scuttled as demanded by such
conservatives as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, observers are weighing
in on what the center would mean for America. What would it do, or not
do, for the country and its millions of Muslim-Americans?
The Case Against the Cordoba House
- Senator Lieberman: 'Pause' The Project Connecticut
Independent Senator Joe Lieberman said
on Fox radio show Imus in the Morning, "I'd say I'm troubled by it, but
I don't know enough to say that it ought to be prohibited. ... But
frankly I've heard enough about it and read enough about it that I wish
somebody in New York would just put the brakes on for a while and take
a look at this. ... If the people building this large Islamic center
are just looking to build a large facility — a house of worship and
center — in New York, why so close to 9/11, with all the sensitivity
associated with that? ... I've also read some things about some of the
people involved that make me wonder about their motivations."
- 'Undermines Interfaith Understanding' Bush-era U.S.
official in Iraq Dan Senor worries in the Wall
Street Journal that the center could strengthen "the link between Islam
and the brand of radicalism and violence espoused by al Qaeda and
like-minded groups." He writes, "the Cordoba House will not be seen as
a center for peace and reconciliation. It will rather be celebrated as
a Muslim monument erected on the site of a great Muslim "military"
victory—a milestone on the path to the further spread of Islam
throughout the world."
- 'Loathsome Extremism' and Mysterious Funding of Center
The "Directors" of the conservative blog RedState declare, "The fact is
that the groups behind the 'Ground Zero mosque' / Cordoba House /
Park51 chose the site explicitly for its proximity to Ground Zero,
and then spent months boasting about it in the press. ... The arrogant
and insensitive 'Ground Zero' branding of Rauf, Khan and el-Gamal is
why [we oppose this]." They accuse the center's founders of "loathsome
extremism" and of "deliberate opacity behind the 'Ground Zero mosque’s'
The Case for the Cordoba House
- Center Hurts al-Qaeda, Makes Us Safer The Atlantic's
Jeffrey Goldberg gets real.
"The Cordoba Initiative, which is headed by an imam named Feisal Abdul
Rauf, is an enemy of al Qaeda. ... Bin Laden would sooner dispatch a
truck bomb to destroy the Cordoba Initiative's proposed community
center than he would attack the ADL, for the simple reason that Osama's
most dire enemies are Muslims," he writes. "[Rauf] represents
what Bin Laden fears most: a Muslim who believes that it is possible to
remain true to the values of Islam and, at the same time, to be a loyal
citizen of a Western, non-Muslim country. Bin Laden wants a clash of
civilizations; the opponents of the mosque project are giving him what
- Alienating Friendly Muslims a Terrible Policy The
Washington Monthly's Steve Benen writes, "For
folks like Gingrich, Cheney, Giuliani, et al, Feisal
is exactly the kind of American ally who should be
embraced. Instead, the right is going to genuinely ridiculous lengths
to isolate, offend, and ostracize him, signaling their belief that all
Muslim Americans should be treated as second-class citizens. If Osama
bin Laden were to write a script for what he'd like to see happen here,
it'd be identical to the one Gingrich & Co. are following. This
isn't intended to question their patriotism, but rather, their sanity."
- NYC Mayor Bloomberg: This Is America New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg today
delivered a speech defending the center. Highlights are below:
Our doors are open to everyone.
Everyone with a dream and a willingness to work hard and play by the
rules. New York City was built by immigrants, and it's sustained by
immigrants -- by people from more than 100 different countries speaking
more than 200 different languages and professing every faith. And
whether your parents were born here or you came here yesterday, you are
a New Yorker.
... Whatever you may think of the proposed
lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should
government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house
of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That
may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen
here. This nation was founded on the principle that the government must
never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World
Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our
hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we
are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower
Let us not forget that Muslims were among
those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us
as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play
if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to
cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists,
and we should not stand for that.
... Political controversies come and go,
but our values and our traditions endure, and there is no neighborhood
in this city that is off-limits to God's love and mercy, as the
religious leaders here with us can attest.
TUESDAY, August 3, 2010
As the reader may recall, this was
precisely my take on the actions of General McChrystal. No
fluke. Just fact and fortitude.
was talking to you
Peter Heck - Guest Columnist - 6/28/2010 10:20:00 AM
The ink had not yet dried on my last column that discussed the fact
that Barack Obama was woefully unprepared for the presidency and as a
result is making deadly missteps in the execution of that role, when
news broke of General Stanley McChrystal in essence saying the exact
same thing to Rolling Stone magazine. This isn't just a story to
be brushed off. This is a bombshell.
Don't be distracted by the media comically chastising the General for
daring to speak out against "The One" (yes, the same media that hailed
military officers who were willing to "speak truth to power" in
criticizing George Bush). That isn't the story.
The true meaning of the McChrystal episode is titanic, because it is
quite apparent the General was sending a stern message directly to the
For more reasons than I can count, it is beyond obvious that
McChrystal's public criticism of Obama was not a lapse in judgment or a
mistake. It was unquestionably intentional. First,
four-star generals have not achieved that rank without knowing the
chain of command and the expectation of subordination to
superiors. Second, all of McChrystal's advisers were touting the
same message, demonstrating this was no fluke, nor an offhand comment
taken out of context. Third, McChrystal spoke the inflammatory
words to Rolling Stone, a well known anti-war, anti-military
magazine. Fourth, reports are that McChrystal actually saw the
piece before it went to print and offered up no objections to its
If all that is true, then it naturally begs the question: Why did he do
McChrystal is one of the lead authors of the "counterinsurgency"
strategy that, despite the nay saying of liberals like then-Senators
Obama and Biden, transformed Iraq from a quagmire into a success.
He knows the strategy works. But as its architect, he also knows
this new military policy requires two vital elements: lots of troops,
and as much time as necessary for them to do their job.
While other factors are important (cultural bonds, regional
partnerships, financial investment, troop morale, etc.), the two most
crucial ingredients to making counterinsurgency work (in Afghanistan or
anywhere) is a massive amount of troops on the ground to overwhelm the
enemy and live among the people, and a commitment to stay as long as
necessary to break the will of the enemy.
This is precisely why counterinsurgency worked in Iraq . Over the
ignorant objections of both Obama and Biden, then-President Bush
listened to his military commanders and ordered the troop surge.
And while being pummeled by the media and Democrat political
opportunists for not setting a hard deadline for withdrawal, Bush
committed to stay in Iraq until the job was finished. The result
speaks for itself.
As the Afghan war began to deteriorate, Stanley McChrystal was put in
charge to implement that effective strategy there. But he quickly
found that Barack Obama is no George W. Bush. First, Obama having
championed himself as the anti-war candidate cut the number of troops
McChrystal requested. And then, in what has to be one of the most
foolish wartime moves in history, he announced an arbitrary date for
the beginning of American troop withdrawal.
This may please the ex-hippies in the anti-war crowd that Obama courted
during the 2008 campaign, but it has emboldened our enemy, imperiled
our troops, and created a giant mess of our counterinsurgency efforts
in Afghanistan .
Having pressed his case privately with Obama's war team in Washington,
McChrystal certainly saw the handwriting on the wall, and as a final
recourse, pled his case to the American people.
Were his actions a breach of protocol? Yes. Did they rise
to the level of insubordination? Probably. Was Obama
justified in removing him from command? I think so. But
after we're done hammering McChrystal for going over the President's
head, we better give some serious thought as to why he was so willing
to put his career on the line like that.
The reason is as clear as it is frightening: our political leadership
in Washington is clueless. And their incompetence is costing us
not only resources and money, but most importantly the precious lives
of brave American soldiers.
General Stanley McChrystal was willing to lose his job to send that
message to the only people who can do something about it. He was
talking to you.
Peter Heck (firstname.lastname@example.org) hosts a two-hour, daily call-in radio
program on WIOU (1350 AM) in Kokomo , Indiana . "The Peter Heck Show"
comments on social and political issues -- and doesn't shy away from
recognizing how faith influences politics. This column is printed with
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SUNDAY and MONDAY, August 1 and 2, 2010
Thought you might like to read this letter to the editor of a British
Written by a housewife to her daily newspaper.
This is one ticked off lady.
'Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it
not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores in July
2002, and in New York, Sept 11, 2001 and have continually threatened to
do so since?
Were people from all over the world, not brutally murdered that day in
London, and in downtown Manhattan, and in a field in Pennsylvania?
Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible,
burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?
And I'm supposed to care that a few Taliban were claiming to be
tortured by a justice system of the nation they come from and are
fighting against in a brutal insurgency.
I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for
incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11 and 7/7.
I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start
caring about the Holy Bible, the mere belief of which is a crime
punishable by beheading in Afghanistan.
I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for hacking
off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed
I'll care when the cowardly so-called 'insurgents' in Afghanistan come
out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by
hiding in mosques and behind women and children.
I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of
Nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide
I'll care when the British media stops pretending that their freedom of
speech on stories is more important than the lives of the soldiers on
the ground or their families waiting at home to hear about them when
In the meantime, when I hear a story about a British soldier roughing
up an Insurgent terrorist to obtain information, know this:
I don't care.
When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not
to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take this to the
I don't care.
When I hear that a prisoner - who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat,
and 'fed special food' that is paid for by my taxes - is complaining
that his holy book is being 'mishandled,' you can absolutely believe in
your heart of hearts:
I don't care.
And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled 'Koran'
and other times 'Quran.' Well, believe me! You guessed it...
I don't care!
If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on. Sooner or later, it'll
get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behaviour!
If you don't agree, then by all means hit the delete button. Should you
choose the latter, then please don't complain when more atrocities
committed by radical Muslims happen here in our great country!
And may I add:
'Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a
difference in the world. Our soldiers don't have that problem.'
Only five defining forces have ever offered to die for you:
1. Jesus Christ
2. The British Soldier.
3. The Canadian Soldier.
4. The US Soldier.
5. The Australian Soldier.
One died for your soul, the other 4 for your freedom.
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