What the Islamists Have Learned.

 good one from Michael Novak: What the Islamists Have Learned.

What we have discovered in Iraq is the weakest link in the ability of the United States to sustain military operations overseas. That link is the U.S. media. They are Islamists’ best friends.

Experience shows that the mainstream press of the United States is alienated from the U.S. military. In addition, the American press is extremely vulnerable to anti-U.S. propaganda. Thus, the American public will be fed nearly everything that foreign adversaries—our band of brothers—wish to feed it about the war. Therefore, I write:

Maxim # 1: To defeat America, impose upon the imagination of its media your own storyline.

Even if you can muster only 10,000 soldiers over the entire countryside of Iraq, paint the narrative like this: The Americans are irresistible occupiers, and yet they cannot prevent small (even individual) acts of destruction. Daily, unrelenting acts of destruction demonstrate that chaos rules. The American strategy, and the American storyline of the war, are invalidated by continuing chaos, highly visible, every single day, on worldwide television. The new dominating story is that the Americans cannot win.

Even though our own forces (for nearly two whole years now) can no longer afford to fight in a single operation lasting longer than a few hours, our martyr-brothers cannot be prevented from committing daily acts of destruction—the more stomach-turning the better—which demonstrate a ferocious will and a determination to destroy.

In such wars, my brothers, whichever party maintains the stronger will, along the most durable storyline, always wins.

Loyalists of al-Sadr seize Iraqi TV station

Loyalists of al-Sadr seize Iraqi TV station

Do not adjust your tv set… Sunni-Shi’ite Jihad Update from McClatchy Newspapers:

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Followers of the militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took over state-run television Saturday to denounce the Iraqi government, label Sunnis “terrorists” and issue what appeared to many viewers as a call to arms.

The two-hour broadcast from a community gathering in the heart of the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City included three members of al-Sadr’s parliamentary bloc, who took questions from outraged residents demanding revenge for a series of car bombings that killed some 200 people Thursday.

With Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki relegated to the sidelines, brazen Sunni-Shiite attacks continue unchecked despite a 24-hour curfew in Baghdad. Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia now controls wide swaths of the capital, his politicians are the backbone of the Cabinet and his followers deeply entrenched in the Iraqi security forces. Sectarian violence has spun so rapidly out of control since the Sadr City blasts, however, that it’s not clear whether even al-Sadr has the authority — or the will — to stop the cycle of bloodshed.

“This is live and, God willing, everyone will hear me: We are not interested in sidewalks, water services or anything else. We want safety,” an unidentified Sadr City resident said as the televised crowd cheered. “We want the officials. They say there is no sectarian war. No, it is sectarian war, and that’s the truth.”

Militia leaders told supporters Saturday to prepare for a fresh wave of incursions into Sunni neighborhoods that would begin as soon as the curfew ends Monday, according to Sadr City residents. Several members of the Mahdi Army boasted they were distributing police uniforms throughout Shiite neighborhoods to allow greater freedom of movement. The government announced it would partially lift the curfew today to allow for pedestrian traffic.

[…]

Al-Maliki’s administration acknowledged it was powerless to interrupt the pro-Sadr program on the official Iraqiya channel, during which Sadr City residents shouted, “There is no government! There is no state!” Several speakers described neighborhoods and well-known Sunni politicians as “terrorists” and threatened them with reprisal.

“We’ll obviously try to control them as much as we can, but when they [lose] more than 150 people in bombings, they have the right to speak,” said Bassam al-Husseini, one of al-Maliki’s top advisers. “What are we going to do? We can’t stop this. It’s too hot right now.”

Truth vs Moral Relativism

Truth vs Moral Relativism

The liberal media denounce Pope Benedict’s adherence to Biblical and historical truth as rigidity.  They want pragmatism and flexibility, which amounts to moral relativism.

Read More…

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Pope Benedict and Christianity stand accused of “divisiveness.”

Liberals, along with Muslims, denounced the Pope last September when he spoke at the University of Regensburg.  The New York Times demanded an apology for his lack of sensitivity.

What exactly had he done?

As reported in a VOA News article by Sabina Castelfranco, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Islam and violence. At a morning mass, he rejected the use of God’s name to justify hatred and fanaticism. In a theological address to academics at Regensburg University, the pope spoke of the relationship between faith and reason and Islam’s holy war, Jihad. Historically, he said, spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable and therefore, ungodly.

This so distressed Muslims that they were driven to murder Catholic nuns and priests and to destroy Christian churches to prove that Islam is not a religion of violence.

Now, with the Pope’s forthcoming journey to Turkey for discussions with Islamic mullahs, the media have another opportunity to chastise Christians.  The Wall Street Journal, in its edition of November 25, 2006, spotlights the Pope’s forthrightness in a front-page, feature article by Gabriel Kahn and Stacy Meichtry. 

The Journal article’s headline is A Tumultuous World Tests a Rigid Pope: Inside the Vatican, Benedict’s intellect and style intimidate. How will they play outside the Church?  Confronting Muslim anger. If you are an online Journal subscriber, read the article here.

The reporters observe disapprovingly, Nineteen months after being selected pope, Benedict is transforming the Vatican with a different style and a different stance. Beneath his blunt words and rigid style lies a profound divergence from John Paul’s buoyant optimism. Pope Benedict believes that the Roman Catholic Church must stand apart from the world of today rather than embrace it.  ….. For Benedict, the modern age is defined by growing secularism in the West and the rise of religious fanaticism most everywhere else. In order to fulfill its mission, he believes, the Church needs to shun both forces. Benedict is “pessimistic about the compatibility of the Church and the modern world,” says Mr. Spaemann.

…. Benedict’s emphasis on tradition risks alienating a broad cross-section of Catholics who argue the Church needs to become more accessible to maintain its increasingly diverse flock.

Many people mistakenly assume that, because the Journal’s editorial staff is conservative, the Journal’s news staff are similarly aligned.  This front page article is a good example, both of the Journal’s liberal slant on news coverage, and of present-day moral relativism in action.

Implicit in the article is the viewpoint that there is no such thing as truth, no such thing as right or wrong.  The writers have absorbed the relativistic view inculcated in today’s colleges and universities that flexibility and pragmatism, other names for moral relativism, ought to be the sole criteria for belief and action.  Adherence to the truth is characterized as impractical rigidity.

Flexibility and pragmatism were the watchwords of John Dewey, the 20th century’s most influential liberal-socialist-progressive.  The doctrine of Pragmatism which he popularized was that Darwin’s evolutionary hypothesis had proved everything to be continually changing and evolving.  Thus there can be no such thing as permanent moral truth from God, rooted in human nature, because there is no such thing as fixed human nature.  Pragmatism, instead, teaches that there are only actions that get you what you want, or fail to do so, in changing circumstances; the end justifies the means.

In the vein of Dewey’s philosophical pragmatism, the Journal reporters simply assume that the goal of Christian churches ought to be maximizing their membership by reaching a doctrinal compromise that would alienate the fewest people.  It seems not to have occurred to them that a Christian church has no purpose other than preaching the New Testament Gospel as written.  Without that, there is no Christian church.

Flexibility and pragmatism are the hallmarks of a society that no longer believes in itself, because it has lost touch with the traditions that brought the society into being and enabled it to survive against outside aggressors.  They are the hallmarks of societies in political decline.

Flexibility and pragmatism, as Professor James Q. Wilson wrote in astonishment, led his students to reject the judgment that Hitler’s National Socialism and his Holocaust were evil, because those students had been taught that right and wrong are unscientific value judgments.

If Pope Benedict’s allegiance to Biblical Truth alienates a broad cross-section of the Church’s diverse flock, the logical conclusion is both that the alienated portion of the flock is not truly Christian, and that some Catholic priests have drifted into heretical doctrine and taught falsehood to their parishioners.  Unfortunately, the same is true of the Protestant denominations, as well.

Compromises on Jesus’s teachings, Sunday morning entertainment, and feel-good messages are not Christianity.  Preaching the Bible’s truth is the only way to bring individuals into a fruitful relationship with God and the only way to maintain the integrity of Christianity. 

To do otherwise would be the equivalent of instructing Marine Corps volunteers in boot camp that Semper Fidelis is the motto of the Corps, but it isn’t necessary always to be faithful to your buddies in combat and to fight for each other if you have a different opinion or just don’t feel comfortable with the history and traditions of the Corps.

US: Oklahoma Mosque Members Support Al Qaeda

November 25, 2006

US: Oklahoma Mosque Members Support Al Qaeda

JamalMiftah.jpgNews from Oklahoma, in the form of a video from News 9. Jamal Miftah (pictured) is a recent migrant to the United States. He wrote a letter to the Tulsa World newspaper after seeing a video by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second in command of Al Qaeda.

His letter, entitled “Message of Islam is not jihad, fatwahs” was published in Tulsa World on October 29. In this letter, which we reproduce below, he stated that Zawahri and bin Laden were cowards, getting young and ignorant men to become suicide bombers to kill innocent civilians.

His letter was impassioned, but it was well-intentioned. He said that Muslims throughout the world should stand up to those who advocate jihad, and to decry such behavior as being against Islam. But the letter caused only recriminations at his mosque, the Islamic Center at Tulsa.

He was threatened by several members. He protested, and then was told by the management of the mosque that he cannot return until he has apologized.

Miftah was told by members of the congregation that he should never have criticized Islam in front of non-Muslims. The thing is – he did not criticize Islam, only the radicals who preach jihad. It is a sad testimony to the fact that many Muslims in the West make no distinction between Al Qaeda and Islam. There is a concept in Islam called takfeer, which is the action of condemning a Muslim as a heretic.

Takfeer is a Muslim “crime” if not made by a senior cleric. Islam is a club which welcomes any members into the Ummah, no matter how despotic or murderous they may be. If a person has said the Shahada, they are a Muslim. If they have killed non-Muslims, or even Muslims, they are still regarded as pat of the Ummah.

This bizarre reasoning was brought home to me on an internet forum, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the butcher of Baghdad, was killed in June. Several Muslims who had early said that Islam is peaceful refused to condemn Zarqawi for the obvious monster that he was. The victims whose heads he slowly sawed off, as they gurgled their last breaths through torrents of blood spurting from their throats, were non-Muslim and Muslim alike. Yet, for the Muslims on the forum, Zarqawi was a Muslim. Worse – he was a “good Muslim” even if he had killed other Muslims.

I pressed these apologists further, and reasoned that what Zarqawi did was wrong, even if he did it thinking he was doing it for Allah. Eventually, one of these individuals admitted Zarqawi had done monstrous things. I was told of takfeer and how they feared to criticize any Muslim, lest on Judgement Day they received punishment for denouncing another Muslim as bad.

Sadly, this blinded mentality is what is destroying the credibility of Islam in the eyes of any rational being. People who claim to be Muslim, people who claim to live in the West as “peaceful citizens” may condemn acts of terrorism. But press these individuals further – ask them if they condemn the perpetrators of terrorism by name, and you will be met with obfuscation or a stony silence. How many Muslims have carried placards denouncing Osama bin Laden? Very few. Those who denounce the actions of Al Qaeda will never name the individuals who commit Al Qaeda atrocities, such as Mohammed Atta, or others, as “bad Muslims”.

This is a fundamental problem with logic. I suggest you try it. Next time you engage in a discussion with a Muslim who claims to denounce terrorism, name a specific Muslim terrorist, and see if the denouncer of terrorist acts has the moral fiber to denounce that named terrorist. I assure you, you will find the answers surprising.

This is the letter that Jamal Miftah sent to the Tulsa World:

Message of Islam is not jihad, fatwahs

By Jamal Miftah.

I moved to the United States in March 2003, with my four kids and wife from Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. There was a call by a local jihadi organization to fight the coalition forces in Afghanistan. One of my dearest friends, Mirza Kohistani, fell prey to that call and joined the group, despite my advice and that of his wife to him.All the leaders of that organization returned safely after the fall of the Taliban empire, but they left behind the body of my friend and hundreds of other innocent people like him.

I am obliged to respond to Ayman al-Zawahri’s recent video message, portraying himself as champion of Islam and others as liars.

My message to Ayman al-Zawahri and Muslims of the world: “Islam” means submission and is derived from a word meaning “peace.” Islam, Christianity and Judaism have the same origin, the Prophet Abraham. The prophet of Islam has said that God has no mercy on someone who does not have mercy for others.

I ask that al-Zawahri look at his deeds and those of his master, Osama bin Laden, and other so-called Islamic jihadists.

Because of lack of knowledge of Islam, Muslim youth are misguided into believing by the so-called champions of the cause of Islam that the current spate of killings and barbarism, which has no equal in the recent civilized history, is jihad in the name of Islam. They are incited, in the name of Islam, to commit heinous crimes not pardonable by any religion and strictly forbidden in Islam.

Cowards like al-Zawahri and bin Laden are inciting the ignorant and innocent youths to commit suicide bombings to kill innocent civilians including children, women and the elderly, while they hide in spider holes and caves. They never send their own sons and daughters, born out of half a dozen of their wives, to get killed in the name of Islam. They are themselves hypo crites, cowards, thugs and liars. For 12 years they misappropriated aid received from the U.S. and the West to fight Russia. Now they are ensuring smooth flow of petro dollars from Arab countries in the name of jihad against the West.

Even mosques and Islamic institutions in the U.S. and around the world have become tools in their hands and are used for collecting funds for their criminal acts. Half of the funds collected go into the pockets of their local agents and the rest are sent to these thugs.

They are the reason for branding the peaceful religion of Islam as terrorism. The result, therefore, is in the form of Danish cartoons and remarks/reference by the Pope.

I appeal to the Muslim youth in particular and Muslims of the world in general to rise up and start jihad against the killers of humanity and help the civilized world to bring these culprits to justice and prove that Islam is not a religion of hatred and aggression.

I appeal to the Muslim clerics around the world that, rather than issuing empty fatwas condemning suicide bombing, they should issue a fatwa for the death of such scoundrels and barbarians who have taken more than 4,267 lives of innocent people in the name of Islam and have carried out more than 24 terrorist attacks on civilian installations throughout the world. This does not include the chilling number of deaths because of such activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is well over 250,000.

I appeal to al-Zawahri and his band of thugs to hand themselves over to justice and stop spreading evil and killing innocent humans around the world in the name of Islam. Their time is limited and Muslims of the world will soon rise against them to apprehend them and bring them to justice.

Rocket attacks from Gaza go on despite truce

Rocket attacks from Gaza go on despite truce

Another “truce” goes smashingly well for Israel’s jihadist enemies. “Palestinian attacks go on despite truce” by Amy Teibel and Ibrahim Barzak for The Associated Press:

JERUSALEM – Israeli troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip as a last-minute cease-fire deal took hold Sunday morning, but two major Palestinian militant groups, saying they had no intention of stopping their attacks, fired volleys of homemade rockets into Israel.

The ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad tempered hopes for a lasting truce, which was meant to end five months of deadly clashes. The rockets landed in open fields and caused no injuries.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with his security chiefs Sunday and ordered them to send their forces to the Gaza border area by early afternoon to prevent further rocket attacks, according to Palestinian security officials. It was not clear what action the forces would take against those launching rockets.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered the army to show restraint in the face of the rockets.

“Even though there are still violations of the cease-fire by the Palestinian side, I have instructed our defense officials not to respond, to show restraint, and to give this cease-fire a chance to take full effect,” he said during a ceremony at a high school in southern Israel.

A senior Israeli official said Israel would wait a few hours to see if the attacks were isolated breaches or a full-scale violation of the agreement before deciding whether to respond. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

[…]

Ahead of the new agreement, which took effect 6 a.m. Sunday, Israel pulled all its forces out of Gaza, the army said. Dozens of tanks and armored vehicles were parked just over the border in a military staging ground in southern Israel early Sunday.

But Palestinian militants continued firing rockets into Israel throughout the morning. Israeli police reported at least four rockets fired at the Israeli town of Sderot and an Associated Press photographer in the border town heard at least two more strikes. Another AP photographer in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun heard several rockets fired throughout the morning.

“Let’s hope that’s just the problems of the beginning,” Olmert’s spokeswoman, Miri Eisin, said of the rockets. “But if Israel is attacked, we will respond. If there are Palestinian factions that are not part of the cease-fire, it’s hard to see how the cease-fire will hold.”

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas said he had contacted the leaders of all the Palestinian factions Sunday and they reassured him they were committed to the truce.

“There is a 100 percent effort to make this work, but there is no guarantee of 100 percent results,” said Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman for the Hamas-led government.

Hamas’ own militants claimed responsibility for firing rockets into Israel after 6 a.m., clouding prospects for the truce’s longevity.

“(We) reiterate that our attacks against the enemy continue,” the group said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The Hamas militants said they continued their attacks because some Israeli troops remained inside Gaza, an accusation Israel denied.

Islamic Jihad also claimed responsibility for firing rockets into Israel after the truce, and a spokesman, Abu Hamza, denied his group had signed on to truce. However, top Islamic Jihad leaders had said they were part of the deal, and the new rocket fire suggested they were not in complete control of their fighters.

Loyalists of al-Sadr seize Iraqi TV station

Loyalists of al-Sadr seize Iraqi TV station

Do not adjust your tv set… Sunni-Shi’ite Jihad Update from McClatchy Newspapers:

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Followers of the militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took over state-run television Saturday to denounce the Iraqi government, label Sunnis “terrorists” and issue what appeared to many viewers as a call to arms.

The two-hour broadcast from a community gathering in the heart of the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City included three members of al-Sadr’s parliamentary bloc, who took questions from outraged residents demanding revenge for a series of car bombings that killed some 200 people Thursday.

With Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki relegated to the sidelines, brazen Sunni-Shiite attacks continue unchecked despite a 24-hour curfew in Baghdad. Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia now controls wide swaths of the capital, his politicians are the backbone of the Cabinet and his followers deeply entrenched in the Iraqi security forces. Sectarian violence has spun so rapidly out of control since the Sadr City blasts, however, that it’s not clear whether even al-Sadr has the authority — or the will — to stop the cycle of bloodshed.

“This is live and, God willing, everyone will hear me: We are not interested in sidewalks, water services or anything else. We want safety,” an unidentified Sadr City resident said as the televised crowd cheered. “We want the officials. They say there is no sectarian war. No, it is sectarian war, and that’s the truth.”

Militia leaders told supporters Saturday to prepare for a fresh wave of incursions into Sunni neighborhoods that would begin as soon as the curfew ends Monday, according to Sadr City residents. Several members of the Mahdi Army boasted they were distributing police uniforms throughout Shiite neighborhoods to allow greater freedom of movement. The government announced it would partially lift the curfew today to allow for pedestrian traffic.

[…]

Al-Maliki’s administration acknowledged it was powerless to interrupt the pro-Sadr program on the official Iraqiya channel, during which Sadr City residents shouted, “There is no government! There is no state!” Several speakers described neighborhoods and well-known Sunni politicians as “terrorists” and threatened them with reprisal.

“We’ll obviously try to control them as much as we can, but when they [lose] more than 150 people in bombings, they have the right to speak,” said Bassam al-Husseini, one of al-Maliki’s top advisers. “What are we going to do? We can’t stop this. It’s too hot right now.”