While watching news coverage of the mammoth wildfires in California - caused largely, I suspect, by environmental prohibitions against the clear-cutting of old and inflammable trees and brush, a policy meant to prevent or minimize wildfires -- I was prompted to think of the wildfires set by Islam around the globe, and how they could very well converge on us to form an all-consuming firestorm, if the West does nothing to clear-cut states that sponsor terrorism and Islamic totalitarianism. I was also reminded of how much jihadists and environmental terrorists have in common, at least in terms of wanting to cause destruction and sacrifice themselves to accomplish it.
It was difficult this week to pick a subject on which to comment. The candidates are all so deserving of attention.
We will begin with the United Nations. President Bush, addressing it, back-pedaled from his incendiary reference the week before to terrorists as "Islamic fascists," and instead employed the term "extremists." That was bad enough, but he attempted to strike a note of empathy with Muslim populations in the Mideast, calling terrorists "extremists in your midst [who] spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam."
That alone should earn him an award for muddled blinkerism. Yes, the West is engaged in a war against Islam, and, at last report, most Arabs in the Mideast are rooting for the terrorists. And, they neither respect nor fear the West. Don't those morning intelligence briefings in the White House mention this?
Mr. Bush came into slightly clearer focus when he named Iran and Syria as the arsonists behind the Mideast conflagration, calling Syria a "tool of Iran." But then he lost that slight clarity and, instead of calling Iran an enemy, said, after a meeting with French president Jacques Chirac, that the U.S. is willing to talk with Iran if only it would suspend its uranium enrichment program.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, at the same U.N. podium, excoriated the U.S. and promised that Islam would someday rule the world. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who has formed a Satanic alliance with Ahmadinejad, at the same podium called Bush a devil and promised that the U.S. would be cut down to size. That relationship is reminiscent of the Soviet-Nazi pact over Poland and which other hapless European nations the dictatorships agreed not to go to blows over.
But the pearl for me was a portion of a speech by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who asked the U.N. to ban the "defamation of Islam." Musharraf is a so-called ally in the "war on terror." If terrorists employ force in the name of Islam to silence defamers of Islam - whether in scholarly inquiries, political cartoons, or in speeches to university audiences - shouldn't the creed be defamed, loudly and frequently? When Mr. Bush heard that request, shouldn't he have asked, "Pervez, my friend, what are you talking about?" But, he didn't. If he had asked, Musharraf would probably have only replied with his charming chuckle, and changed the subject to golf.
Musharraf also pooh-poohed the idea that he has struck a deal with the Taliban and provided them a sanctuary in western Pakistan. It's just a truce with tribal elders, he assured an ABC interviewer, failing to note that the elders are beholden to the Taliban.
Perhaps the only positive outcome of last week's U.N. summit is that the 7/11 chain of convenience stores and gas stations in the U.S. has decided to drop Citgo as its gas supplier. Citgo is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, the national oil company of Venezuela. The move was prompted by Chavez's insults of Bush and of the U.S.
Daniel Pipes in his Weblog report of September 25th noted, as I did in my September 20th "The Janus Face of Islam," the true colors of dissembling Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, and commented on Bari's warning, threat, or promise - the reader may decide for himself which it was meant to be - that "if demonisation [of Muslims] continues, then Britain will have to deal with two million Muslim terrorists, 700,000 of them in London."
Pipes doubts that this warning has any teeth. "I am inclined to give it poor prospects, as non-Muslims will likely reject the implicit threat....Moreover, were such a civil war actually come to pass, Muslims being a small minority could not realistically hope to win it."
But, Britain needn't have a civil war. Deferential multiculturalism and nihilistic egalitarianism have rotted Britain's secular institutions to the core. Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles, George Galloway, and Mayor Ken Livingston of London, together with hoards of sensitized bureaucrats, school boards and police, have already conceded - nay, encouraged - submission to the anti-Western agenda of British Islam.
British non-Muslims haven't much say in the direction of their country. They are also worried about the legislative emasculation and usurpation of British law and independence by the super-bureaucracy of the European Union, which seeks to absorb Britain into its own caliphate. But anyone who speaks out against either blatant threats of Muslim civil turmoil or the "immigrate, invest, ingratiate, and intimidate" tactic of the incremental conquest of Britain by Islam, is called Islamphobic, a racist loon, or a toady of the British National Party.
Here are two instances of why Muslims needn't resort to an uprising against perceived "Islamophobia" and can reverse-assimilate Britain in a nearly bloodless coup. A "mega-mosque," whose construction will be underwritten and funded by mostly Saudi petro-pounds, and which could hold between 40,000 and 70,000 worshipping Muslims, as well as schools, a hotel and other facilities, is planned to be built adjacent to the future site of the 2012 Olympics stadium in London. It would be the largest place of worship in Europe, dwarfing St. Paul's just across town and every other cathedral on the Continent.
The aforementioned Dr. Bari sits on the Olympic planning committee. Officials are not certain that the mosque will be constructed. If it is approved, they are worried about resistance by all non-Muslim Britons, who may see it as a last straw of Islamic arrogance. Dr. Bari is sure to perceive such outrage as evidence of "Islamophobia."
And, Britain's National Health Service has patented the first burkah hospital gown for women, to debut on November 1st, complete with a headdress with eye slits and elastic cuffs to prevent immodest exposure of the arms.
On the Continent, in Brussels, the so-called "capital of Europe" (it is the headquarters of the European Union and European Parliament), Belgian Muslims celebrated Ramadan with consecutive nights of destructive rioting, burning and looting. In Berlin, Germany, Deutsche Oper Berlin announced cancellation of a production of Mozart's "Idomeneo" for fear of precipitating Muslim rioting and demonstrations.
Produced in 2003, this highly adulterated, "updated" version of Mozart's opera about Idomeneus, king of Crete and a hero of the Trojan War, features a scene (not written by Mozart) in which Idomeneus presents the severed heads of Poseidon, Jesus, Buddha and Mohammad in what director Hans Neuenfels claims is his protest against organized religion. He refused to remove the scene after Kirsten Harms, director of the German Opera Berlin, informed him that state security officials had warned of dangerous outbursts of Muslim anger. So the "protest" was squelched. Harm's excuse was that, recalling the violence caused by the Danish cartoons of Mohammad earlier this year, she weighed "artistic freedom and freedom of a theater...against the question of security for people's lives."
Her decision ignited a controversy. German Muslim spokesmen hailed the action, and shed crocodile tears over the loss of artistic freedom. German officials and the press, however, were scandalized and called the action "crazy" and "unacceptable." The mayor of Berlin stated, "Voluntary self-limitation gives those who fight against our values a confirmation in advance that we will not stand behind them."
Also on the cultural front, Syrian television director Najdat Anzour, who earned death threats for having produced a television series on suicide bombers that was aired throughout the Mideast, is about to air another "provocative" series with dramatized episodes of terrorist attacks in Syria, Egypt, Morocco, England and Iraq. And the villains are all Muslims! But, wait, before applauding Anzour's courage, readers should know that his purpose is to "defend Islam and to show that it's the religion of tolerance and dialogue, not of violence." Apparently Muslim characters in the series are outspokenly opposed to terrorism -- if it hurts them. Anzour blames the U.S. for the rise in terrorism for having invaded Iraq and for supporting Israel. "Terrorism," he said, "is an American industry, 100 percent." He sounds awfully like a Democrat.
Speaking of Democrats, former President Bill Clinton's premeditated hissy-fit on Fox News, during which he defended himself against Republicans and "right-wingers" by blathering untruths about his pursuit of Osama bin Laden and hammering Chris Wallace's knee with a finger, appears to have been the "go" signal to fellow Democrats to launch a full-scale assault of Bush's Iraq policy. Not that it shouldn't be assaulted - it is the wrong war and it is a mounting failure - but Democrats will accept any excuse just to "get" Bush and recapture Congress in the fall elections so they can proceed with their own failures.
To be sure, one or all of them will make as much hay as possible out of the recent revelation that former Secretary of State during the Vietnam War Henry Kissinger regularly consults Bush and has advised him to "stay the course" in Iraq. Perhaps Kissinger believes that while his policies failed to "democratize" Vietnam, they will work this time and "democratize" Iraq.
And you can bet that no Democrat (or Republican) will demand that Bush, Rice, or Rumsfeld answer this question: Isn't having 140,000 troops in Iraq being beaten up by Iranian and other Mideast "foreign insurgents" as insane and costly a policy as having American troops, during World War Two, fighting the Nazis in France and Belgium but not allowing them to enter Germany? Are or are not Iran and Syria our chief enemies in that region? Why haven't they been taken out? And why should American taxpayers be underwriting the rebuilding of Iraq, when recent events point to Iraq preferring to be in the Iranian sphere of politics?
But, no one should hold his breath waiting to hear those questions posed in the Senate and House. The Democrats are willing to resort to any tactic but asking for the truth. They are out to demolish Bush at any cost but a commitment to reason.
In their assault, they won't be quoting Oriana Fallaci, the fiery Italian journalist who died earlier this month, who was to be tried in her home country for "blaspheming" Islam, and who, given a chance, would probably have given Bush a tongue-lashing in the Oval Office, calling him an "insipid, quavering Christian more afraid of Allah and Mohammad" than of his own God, "and to hell with Him, too." She was an atheist and a proud infidel who has warned the West about the insidious, destructive encroachments of "the Borg" ever since 9/11.
Finally, while Britain is being absorbed by the whims and caprices of an envious European Union, American sovereignty and independence is being suborned by the Supreme Court (via its Hamden decision) and by Congressional deference to the Geneva Convention over the treatment of prisoners of war taken in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Notice I called them "prisoners of war,' and not "detainees." Prisoners of war have no rights, especially not prisoners who claim rights that they seek to destroy under Sharia law.
Could it get any worse? Yes. The Democrats will think of something.