Friday, December 22, 2006

Islam and Greens Go Postal

At the end of my last commentary, I quoted from Sparrowhawk Virginia burgess Patrick Henry prefacing his introduction of the Stamp Act Resolves in May 1765, then remarked:

The historical irony is that when Henry made his speech, the Wahhabist Saudis were engaged in the conquest of the Arabian Peninsula, which they completed in 1806. Who could have predicted then that their descendents and their hired fellaheen would invade America two and half centuries later with the express purpose of gagging the likes of Henry in the name of Allah?

That was in relation to the request of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) that the Fox TV network disclaim any "negative" portrayal of Muslims in its popular program "24."

CAIR, as I discussed in that commentary, has been busy with legal activism in the spirit of the ACLU. As though to underscore my Patrick Henry remarks, on December 19th the Muslim "civil liberties" organization has demanded that Republican representative Virgil Goode of Virginia apologize to "members of the Muslim community in his district" for "anti-Muslim" remarks in a private letter to the head of the local Sierra Club. (See CAIR's website under "news releases.")

Goode wrote, in reaction to the expressed wish of newly elected Muslim representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota to be sworn into office on a Koran:

"I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran."
That is Virgil Goode's position, and he may say what he pleases. He is probably one of those who believe that America was founded on Christian principles, and that any elected official, in any level of government, should be sworn into office with a hand on a Bible. In practice, it may as well be a chunk of the Blarney Stone. I don't believe any elected or appointed official over the last century has ever strictly "upheld the Constitution." If any had, would we be saddled with a wealth-consuming, rights-violating welfare state that is drifting towards out-and-out statism?

Ideally, if some document is required to ritually sanctify an oath of office, elected officials and justices should be sworn in on a copy of the Ten Amendments, not on a tract containing the Ten Commandments or the ravings of any creed's "prophet."

But, there are two things wrong about this latest episode of Islamic arrogance. First, it is that CAIR is demanding an apology for a private opinion stated in a private letter. Although Goode is an elected representative, his letter doubtless expressed something he dare not say in Congress.

Second, there is the question of how that private letter came to the attention of the whirling, scimitar-wielding dervishes of CAIR. Is the head of the local chapter of the Sierra Club a Muslim, or sympathetic to Islam? Did another employee of Sierra send CAIR a copy of the letter? Or did someone in Goode's own office purloin it? Someone turned informer on Goode. From what motive?

On December 21, NBC's Brian Williams claimed that Goode sent the letter to his constituents. Which obfuscated version of the event has any grounding in reality? The network's coverage of the flap was subtly biased in favor of Ellison. It even concluded with a smarmy Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR, who said:

"In the spirit of the season, I am sending Mr. Goode a Christmas present - a copy of the Constitution."
This is the same Nihad Awad who said a few years ago that he wouldn't mind seeing the Constitution some day replaced with the Koran.

Someone fingered Goode to CAIR. Regardless of how the deed was done, however, CAIR's action will send a chilling message to anyone - politician or private citizen - to keep his mouth shut and his thoughts to himself if he has nothing good to say about Muslims or Islam.

"Representative Goode's Islamphobic remarks send a message of intolerance that is unworthy of anyone elected to public office," said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor on CAIR's website. "There can be no reasonable defense for such bigotry."

It is a moot point whether or not Goode's remarks were bigoted. Criticism of Islam or of any Muslim should not automatically be deemed indicative of a dangerous and irrational psychological disorder, which is what the term "Islamophobia" implies. Islam and all Muslims are fair critical game, just as are Christianity and all Christians, and any other religion and its followers one cares to name. No religion is founded on reason, and all religions are legitimate subjects of rational scrutiny, caricature, and lampooning.

This is the true target of CAIR's accusation: not bigots or the xenophobic, but any person who subjects Islam to rational scrutiny and has the moral certitude to speak publicly on the matter.

To date, and to his credit, Representative Goode has refused to apologize.

CAIR is expanding its attention to toys, in this instance, video games. CAIR further reports on its website of December 19th:

"CAIR today asked Wal-Mart to stop selling a video game that glorifies religious violence and may harm interfaith relations....CAIR says it has received complaints about the game 'Left Behind: Eternal Forces,' produced by Left Behind Games Inc. the game reportedly rewards players for either converting or killing people of other faiths....The game's enemy team includes people with Muslim-sounding names...."

"We also believe that as a company that prides itself in hiring and offering services to a diverse group of people, it is Wal-Mart's corporate social responsibility to take into account the potential social impact of its decision to sell this harmful game. We, therefore, respectfully request the removal of the video game...from your selves."
I am no fan of the "Left Behind" series of novels - it is, after all, an apocalyptic Christian story - but if CAIR is so concerned about the "negative images" such games and rhetoric promote or perpetuate, it can do something about the violence of Islam's practitioners in the Mideast.

A companion incident occurred when two U.S. senators, Olympia Snowe (R-MA) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) sent the chairman of ExxonMobil a letter dated October 27 castigating the oil company for siding with "global warming deniers" and funding their research.

"We are convinced that ExxonMobil's longstanding support of a small cadre of global climate change skeptics...have made it increasingly difficult for the United States to demonstrate the moral clarity it needs across all facets of its diplomacy." For an excellent analysis of the possible ramifications of the letter, see Tom DeWeese's article, "The Real Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming: Skeptics Have Valid Arguments" on Capitalism Magazine (December 19). Among other things, DeWeese reveals just how "small" that cadre of "skeptics" is.

What concerns this writer is the veiled threat of punishment with special taxes and more regulation if ExxonMobil does not withdraw support from scientists who are either critical of global warming goodthink or who have burst its balloon. This is attempted censorship by the back door. And the only public official who has had the courage to name it comes from an unlikely quarter, Britain.

Lord Monckton, former policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, sent Rockefeller and Snowe a stinging letter that upbraided them for playing teeth-baring thugs. (For the full article, go to the PRNewswire, December 18.)

"You defy every tenet of democracy when you invite ExxonMobil to deny itself the right to provide information to 'senior elected and appointed government officials,' who disagree with your opinion," wrote Monckton.

"Skeptics and those who have the courage to support them are actually helpful in getting the science right. They do not, as you improperly suggest, 'obfuscate' the issue: they assist in clarifying it by challenging weaknesses in the 'consensus' argument and they compel necessary corrections."
His letter to Rockefeller and Snowe concludes:

"I challenge you to withdraw [the assertions that ExxonMobil is engaging in fraud and disinformation] or resign because your letter is the latest in what appears to be an internationally-coordinated series of maladroit and malevolent attempts to silence the voices of scientists and others who have sound grounds, rooted firmly in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, to question what you would have us believe is the unanimous agreement of scientists worldwide that global warming will lead to what you excitedly but unjustifiably called 'disastrous' and 'calamitous' consequences."
Or, as Ayn Rand once put it: Fifty million Frenchmen can be as wrong as one - in this instance, innumerable and noisy computer-model obsessed nerds who prefer verisimilitude over reality. His letter would have been faultlessly perfect if Monckton had further stated in it that it is global warming advocates (such as the "Gorebies") and environmentalists who engage in fraud and disinformation. It would be refreshing to hear someone say that the exponents of global warming's alleged disastrous and calamitous consequences and of environmental catastrophe fall into one of two categories: uncritical dupes, and power-lusting, man-hating political opportunists to whom truth is not only irrelevant, but the enemy.

It would be apropos to quote John Milton here, in regards to both Islam and the global warming alarmists and to the subject of the shutting up of their critics, from his Areopagitica (1644), one of the most perceptive political tracts ever written:

"Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?"
It is a free and open encounter that is the nemesis of the religious and environmental totalitarians among us and which they wish to suppress. In a culture of consensus and political power to enforce it, it is Truth that is "out."

12 comments:

pjgoober said...

Seriously, after September 11th, any nation that was not insane would have halted all muslim immigration. We have absolutely no obligation to let them in. They come here at our whim. September 11th was far more than enough cause to bar the whole lot of them.

God Bless Virgil Goode! I have called his office and given my thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes pjgoober, the good ole' American way! See, the only problem with your myopic view of America is that "they" are just as much a part of "we" as we are. "They" have just as much a right to this country as any of us, after all...an immigrant is an immigrant is an immigrant. Perhaps the USA should look at our foreign policy a little more closely instead of their immigration policies.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mainstream Mujahida:

Thank you for your offensive, hostile, and wholly inappropriate comment. I have forwarded this link to a contact in the NSA, and it will be put on a watch list. As for Muslims being a part of the "American" character, they are about as out of place as "The Borg."

Bill K. said...

Mr. mujahida,

pjgoober's solution is inappropiate but for strategic reasons. The United States cannot build a wall around itself and imagine that it will be safe. The French tried this and it failed miserably.

You're right that we should look at our foreign policy. It is also a failure but not for the reasons you're thinking. I suggest you scroll to the top of this page to the Objective Standard banner and click on "No Substitute for Victory" The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism.

PJGoober said...

"See, the only problem with your myopic view of America is that "they" are just as much a part of "we" as we are."

How are people that aren't even in america yet as much a part of America as we are? You basically just said we have no right to exclude any human on earth from immigrating. Where does it say that in the constitution? Once again, enforcing loopy ideals is not the main purpose of the US government, but keeping US (not THEM) safe is.

"The United States cannot build a wall around itself and imagine that it will be safe. The French tried this and it failed miserably."

When did france build a wall around itself? France has probably has 6 million muslims, because of mass immigration. No, thier policy was exactly the same disaster waiting to happen as ours (or already happened on Sept 11th): Invade the World, Invite the World (See Steve Sailer)

Bill K. said...

PJGOOBER

Prior to WWII the French built a defensive line on their border with Germany called the Maginot Line. It was state of the art for that time and apparently impregnable. The Germans didn't even bother with a direct assault but went around it through the Ardennes Forest, a route the French least expected an attack to come from because they imagined it "impenetrable" and "impassable".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maginot_Line

A Maginot Line is essentially what you are proposing when you say all Muslims should have been prevented from entering the U.S. after 9/11. There are a thousand and one ways such a ban could be circumvented by a determined foe.

The solution, of course, is not to lock up the country and wait for the next attack but to go on the offense and destroy militant Islam i.e. Iran.

Haven't you been reading the posts of Ed Cline and Nick P. ? The Obective Standard link at the top also has a very good article

ObjectiBlog said...

Isn't restricting immigration a much better idea than the typical ARI position of using nuclear weapons?

PJGoober said...

"The solution, of course, is not to lock up the country and wait for the next attack but to go on the offense and destroy militant Islam i.e. Iran."

If you were the French, would your policy during the world war have been to allow massive immigration of Germans while simultaneously launching bold attacks against Germany? I can respect the merits of the latter, but the former is ludicrous on it's face. If you think we need to be pro-active in the war on terror, why is allowing massive immigration of muslims a necessary condition for this? Just because *some* muslims may sneak in whether we want them to or not doesn't mean we need to guarantee 40,000 additional ones per year. The door to your house is not foolproof. But you still lock it at night, right?

Jeff said...

"Isn't restricting immigration a much better idea than the typical ARI position of using nuclear weapons?"

Please, Objectiblog, quote an ARI article which has stated this. I doubt very much that one exists for you to quote. The only reference they have made of nuclear weapons, to my knowledge, is that they should not be ruled out on moral grounds. This is not equivelent to recommending them as a viable military option.

I guess this is to be expected from someone who dedicates an entire blog to bashing Leonard Peikoff.

Bill K. said...

objectiblog

I don't believe the ARI takes any official position on tactical use of nuclear weapons. It is a military matter and beyond their scope of expertize. They do defend the use of nukes if their use is deemed necessary by the President or the military.

pjgoober

You are putting the cart before the horse. First you should declare war on the enemy and then the restriction on their population entering the country comes automatically. How would you go about restricting Muslims otherwise? Ask what their religion is and hope they tell you the truth? Or refuse to allow anyone from any Mideast country in at all whether they be Muslim, Jew, Christian or atheist?

I think this preference to rely primarily on restricting immigration of you and objectiblog is due to the fact that both of you are uneasy with an offensive war by the United States on Muslim countries. Like the old isolationists you want to retreat behind our borders, pull up the drawbridges and imagine you will be safe in Fortress America.

The history of warfare shows us that this defensive mentality is a disasterous course to take. The oft repeated adage that the best defense is a good offense is a truism. Or as General Patton remarked "Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."

pjgoober said...

(sorry for the long post, I am not trying to win with comment-arrhea, Feel free to delete this if you think I am doing so, its just that you guys actually address my arguments with logical, reasonable criticisms which is a new and exciting thing for me. You may even find that my position has "softened".)

I agree with you, General Patton, and any other general worth half a damn that a good offense is the best defence. If we want to stop terrorists, yes, we should strike them before they strike us. My main point is that massive muslim immigration helps them strike us (even though the vast majority of all muslims are not terrorists, muslims are the sea in which terrorists swim, hide, and recruit).

"You are putting the cart before the horse. First you should declare war on the enemy and then the restriction on their population entering the country comes automatically. How would you go about restricting Muslims otherwise?"

Declaring war on every muslim nation is wrong for several reasons. It is unneccesary for halting or reducing muslim immigration. What law of physics or constitutional principle (though even that is not a suicide pact!) declares that it is? It wouldn't be good in a cost benefit analysis. We would lose more people in wars with 20+ muslim nations than we would ever lose from terrorist attacks. Keeping americans alive is my goal here, not killing them. On a scale of dead americans, your supposed reduction to absurdity ranks first, probably even above vastly increasing #s of new muslim immigrants. For # of Dead americans: barring muslim immigrants + invading entire muslim world > vastly increasing muslim immigration> present immigration policies > barring muslim immigrants and not invading the entire world. Any foriegn/domestic policy chain of logic should generaly lead to the point with a minimum of dead americans (and a minimum of dead foriegners wouldn't be terrible either, though that should be a secondary concern, it's "us and our posterity" that is the government's main duty to protect from harm, see declaration of independence).

"Ask what their religion is and hope they tell you the truth? Or refuse to allow anyone from any Mideast country in at all whether they be Muslim, Jew, Christian or atheist?"

The latter sounds great to me. If we have to bar many non-muslims such as the jews and christians of the middle east, that is fine with me. If we have to bar ALL immigration from European countries with large muslim populations like Germany, Britain, and France, I am fine with that too. France would particularly be a good nation to ban since France probably has as many muslims as the US, even though France is 1/5th of our population. Halting muslim immigration also does not have to be utterly complete or absolutely leak proof to improve the national security of the United States. I am open to the suggestion that for *some* (but not all) of our close allies with large muslim populations it may be strategically wiser to continue to let people immigrate. Britain and Libya are definately at opposite ends of the spectrum. It is a function of how important an ally they are and exactly how large thier muslim population is. For 90% muslim nations, whether allies or not, everyone should be completely barred (whether muslims, jews, or christians). For 5-10% muslim nations that are our close allies, it's probably not quite worth it to alienate them. For 5-10% muslim nations that are not close allies, bar everyone in the nation from immigrating. Though, for non-western (aka non-pc) nations, non-majority muslim populations it may be possible to get them to substantively help us keep thier muslims from immigrating so we can still allow thier non-muslim populations to come, with of course a gaurantee that all immigration will be halted completely if intentional "cheating" is discovered. I am open to a cost benefit analysis on a country by country basis. But most people will not even acknowledge that muslim immigration has a cost, despite what thier own eyes saw on September 11th. Or they acknowledge the cost (somewhere deep, deep down inside) but diversity, tolerance, and non-discrimination are still worth more to them than almost any conceivable number of american lives. It's kind of the same thing as when people say "What is the point of winning the war on terror if we have to violate our principles to do it". The saying here would be "What is the point of stopping terrorist attacks on america if we have to violate our principle of a non-discriminatory immigration policy to do it?".

Thanks to most of you once again for a generally name-calling free, high quality debate that I find all too rare.

Bill K. said...

pjgoober

A few points:

1. Our enemy is not terrorism or terrorists. The enemy is militant Islam or totalitarian Islam. Terrorism is the method of fighting they use.

2. We don't have to declare war on every Muslim nation, just the most important one from our perspective, which is Iran. Iran is the birthplace and inspiration of modern Islamic militancy. Collapse the mullahocracy and purge Islam as a state religion. The other Muslim countries will get the message.

3. It will not be necessary to fight all Muslim nations. You would be amazed how pliant Syria would become, to take an example, if we de-Islamize Iran. We might have to lean hard on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to shape up but if they see we mean business they'll know what to do.

4. You still don't understand why destroying the totalitarian Islamic ideology as manifested in Iran and Saudi Arabia will make us safe from attacks by Islamic militants. It is for the same reason we weren't bothered by attacks after the unconditional surrender of Japan and Germany. The enemy was throughly beaten and utterly demoralized.

5. Don't imagine that Bush's half-assed P.C. war in Iraq is the paradigm for how the U.S. has to fight wars from now on. Too many Americans think that shambles in Iraq is the best that we can do. No wonder you think that an offensive strategy will kill more Americans than it is worth.