Even If Entering Iraq Was A Mistake, Leaving Is Worse

Even If Entering Iraq Was A Mistake, Leaving Is Worse
By Dennis Prager
FrontPageMagazine.com | May 1, 2007

In arriving at their decision that America should withdraw its forces from Iraq, the Democratic Party and the Left around the world regularly make reference to what they regard as America’s initial error — invading Iraq.

Perhaps the Left is correct in its contentions that bringing freedom to a Muslim Arab country at this time in history is impossible and that an Iraq under Saddam Hussein would be better for American and world security.

But even if the war was a major blunder and even if everything the Left charges — including “Bush lied” — were true, none of these contentions has any bearing on the question of what should be done now.

The preoccupation of the Left with the alleged wrongness of the war and the alleged deceit of President Bush is another example of passion rather than reason determining a leftist position on a major issue.

A responsible, rational opponent of the war in Iraq and of George W. Bush would say, “I am appalled by the disastrous war in Iraq, appalled by the wasted American lives, appalled by the moral wasteland of Iraq, and I loathe this president. But we are in Iraq. And as much as I loathe supporting anything this president does and as much as I oppose this war, I know what is likely to happen if we leave Iraq. So, I cannot in good conscience advocate an American withdrawal or fixing a specific date to do so.”

In a recent column I argued that the Left rarely asks “What happens next?” when advocating social policy. I offered numerous examples. Withdrawal from Iraq and announcing that America has “lost the war” are the latest and most egregious.

If we leave Iraq:

It will be a great victory for the most dangerous ideology on earth today. The people running North Korea are presumably as evil as the Islamists. But there is no ideology emanating from North Korea that threatens mankind. We are fighting an ideology, supported by millions of people, that wishes to conquer the world and routinely engages in mass murder of the innocent — especially the innocent — to achieve its totalitarian goals.

No one will trust America’s commitment for the foreseeable future. Nations and forces aligned with America against freedom-hating enemies will conclude that it is actually quite easy to defeat the United States of America. Just kill relatively few of that country’s soldiers, and the U.S.A. will soon abandon you.

The very best Iraqis — and members of their families — will be slaughtered like animals.

It will mean the end of the possibility of the rise of a moderate form of Islam for the foreseeable future, perhaps generations. In the Arab/Muslim world, might is revered, and the victorious Islamists will therefore be revered. Moreover, they will have earned the right to claim that they constitute an unstoppable force. If America, the most powerful country in the world, surrenders to them because the Islamists murder fellow Muslims and killed the indescribably tragic but militarily small total of 3,000 soldiers in four years — one-one-hundredth the losses the U.S. experienced in World War II — who in the Muslim world will stand up to them?

Iraq will turn into a far more potent terror base than Afghanistan could ever be. One of the major powers of the Arab world, one of the most oil-rich countries in the world, may well be ruled by jihadists.

Moderate Arab regimes will likely be overthrown by a combination of an emboldened Iran and an Islamist Iraq that regards moderate Arabs and Muslims as loathsome as, if not more so than, Americans and Jews. It is almost inconceivable, for example, that the Jordanian monarchy would long survive an American defeat in Iraq.

The American military will suffer a crisis of morale that it will not soon overcome. Though defeated not by the Islamist enemy but by the American Left — most particularly the Democratic Party and the mainstream news media — it will be hard to convince many people to join or stay in the U.S. military. Why bother? Even if you do a great job, if you haven’t done it all — whatever ‘all’ means in a place like Iraq — you will be told that you lost the war.

And those who have heretofore murdered fellow Muslims will focus their attention on murdering us. The left dismisses the argument that it is far better to fight them in Iraq than in Europe and America. But the dismissal is simply irrational. The people we are fighting, including Osama bin Laden and all the variations on al Qaeda, know that the battle for Iraq is the battle for their future — that if they win in Iraq, they win all over the Middle East and beyond; that if they lose there, America and the West win.

But none of this matters to the Left because Democrats and others on the Left do not ask what will happen if America leaves Iraq. They are certain that the war was wrong, and that, in addition to handing George W. Bush and the Republicans a defeat, is what they seem to care about.

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AWOL

AWOL
By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | May 1, 2007

Has it ever happened before, in the history of the world, that almost six years into a major conflict, half of the intelligentsia of a nation fighting the war was not convinced that there was even a war on? Such was the implication of a moment during Thursday’s Democratic presidential candidates’ debate. When asked, “Do you believe there is such a thing as a Global War On Terror,” candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, and Christopher Dodd raised their hands. John Edwards, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel kept their hands down. Edwards explained shortly thereafter: “I think there are dangerous people and dangerous leaders in the world that America must deal with and deal with strongly, but we have more tools available to us than bombs. And America needs to use the tools that are available to them so that these people who are sitting on the fence, who terrorists are trying to recruit, the next generation, get pushed to our side, not to the other side. We’ve had no long-term strategy, and we need one, and I will provide one.” A long-term strategy would be useful, but the possibility that one may be lacking is a curious reason for rejecting the idea that we are fighting a war at all. Maybe Edwards would be more comfortable if the Global War on Terror were renamed the Global War on Dangerous People and Dangerous Leaders in the World. But in any case, when he says that “America needs to use the tools that are available to them” in order to ensure that “these people who are sitting on the fence, who terrorists are trying to recruit, the next generation, get pushed to our side, not to the other side,” he’s quite right. One of those tools would be to identify the enemy properly. Republican candidate Mitt Romney did so when commenting on the Democrats’ debate: “I wish they’d have spent more time as a Democratic field talking about the threat of global jihad, talking about what specifically they would do to prevent the nuclear armament of Iran.” The global jihad — that is what those who would conquer and subjugate us call their activity. For what we are fighting today is not precisely a “war on terror.” Terror is a tactic, not an opponent. To wage a “war on terror” is like waging a “war on bombs”: it focuses on a tool of the enemy rather than the enemy himself. A refusal to identify the enemy is extremely dangerous, as it leaves those who refuse vulnerable to being blindsided by attacks coming from quarters they did not think could possibly be threatening — as the White House access granted by both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to now-jailed jihadists such as Abdurrahman Alamoudi and Sami Al-Arian abundantly attests. A forthright acknowledgement that we are facing a renewed jihad would go a long way to preventing that sort of diplomatic and intelligence embarrassment. This is not really as far-fetched as it may seem. Jihad terrorists have declared war on the United States and other non-Muslim nations; all the U.S. and Western European countries need to do is identify the enemy as they have identified themselves.  President Bush warned the world after 9/11, “you’re either with the terrorists or you’re with us.” But because of the general refusal to acknowledge exactly who the terrorists are and why they are fighting, that bold line in the sand has been obscured time and again in practice. And few, if any, are even asking the right questions. During the Democratic debate, no one bothered to ask the candidates an even more important question than whether or not they believed in the War on Terror, as if it were a matter of subjective fancy like believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. They should have been asked: “How will you adjust current American foreign and domestic policies, particularly in regard to border control and immigration, in order to defeat the goals, not just the tactics, of our jihadist opponents? What is your position on the monitoring of mosques? And if you believe that all mosques should not be monitored, how do you propose to distinguish without such monitoring between those who may host jihadist speakers and teach the jihad ideology, and those that do not?” The difference between the statements of Edwards and Romney is not just one of terminology. It goes to the heart of what we are trying to accomplish in the present War On Terror, and how we can best ensure the survival of our nation and our civilization. If the enemy were correctly identified, we could put pressure on our putative allies, such as Egypt and Pakistan, to end jihadist preaching in their schools and mosques or risk losing American aid. This could go a long way toward accomplishing Edwards’ goal of keeping the “people who are sitting on the fence” away from the jihadists. We can only hope that in future debates, someone will dare ask the candidates, “Do you know what jihad means to those who are waging it against us? Do you know the goals of the global jihad movement? How do you propose to defend us against this global jihad?” 

Then we might be getting somewhere.

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Turkey’s presidency vote annulled

Turkey’s presidency vote annulled

The constitutional court in Turkey has annulled last Friday’s parliamentary vote to elect a new president. The only candidate, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, failed to win the required majority after a boycott by secularist opposition parties.

The parties, which accuse Mr Gul of a hidden Islamist agenda, asked the court to rule that there was no quorum.

The government vowed to restart the election process on Wednesday but it was unclear what form that would take.

Government spokesman Cemil Cicek said the ruling AK party would propose its candidate again.

But another ruling party lawmaker, Sadullah Ergin, said only a timetable for a new vote would be set.

Army concern

The constitutional court backed the opposition’s argument that a quorum of two-thirds of the 550 lawmakers was not present for Friday’s vote. Its ruling cannot be appealed.

A total of 361 lawmakers voted – 357 for Mr Gul – but 367 were needed to make a quorum.

After the ruling, Mr Cicek said the government would be prepared to meet an opposition call for an early general election provided parliament agreed to lower the age limit for MPs to 25.

AK believes this will boost its electoral chances.

Mr Gul and Mr Erdogan are both from AK, which has Islamist roots and an overwhelming majority in parliament. They deny there is any hidden agenda.

But the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul says the army had made it clear it would not tolerate Mr Gul as president.

It warned it would defend the separation of state and religion, the legacy of the state’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Our correspondent says the court is officially independent but had been under immense pressure to reach precisely this verdict. It is one that is likely to divide Turkey further, she says.

On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people rallied in Istanbul in support of secularism.

Mr Erdogan appealed for national unity in a televised address to the nation on Monday.

Blair Backs Eurabian Appeasement of Islamism

Blair Backs Eurabian Appeasement of Islamism

Falling in line with the Quislings and Chamberlains of the Eurabian (European) Union, British Prime Minister Tony Blair Tuesday urged Turkey to “keep to the democratic path” in the face of an Islamist effort to take power and begin the step-by-step dismantling of the country’s secular system.

The guardian of Turkish secularism–the military–has threatened to block the election of Abdullah Gul, the foreign minister who is a senior member of the country’s pro-Islamist political movement. The powerful Turkish military has intervened iinternally n the past, most recently in 1997 when it ousted an earlier Islamist government.

Should the military move again, it would almost certainly have the support of the country’s secularists–including most of the estimated one million Turkish men and women who demonstrated in Istanbul last Saturday.

More protests are likely. The future of Turkey–a strategic American ally vital to NATO–is at stake.

But Blair is not concerned–about the Islamist threat. In a statement, the failed politician said he had been following events in Turkey closely since the first, flawed round of presidential elections last Saturday and urged compliance with the country’s constitution in accord with democratic principles.

“I am confident that this will happen, and that Turkey will continue to play a crucial role as a key and democratic partner,” Blair said.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court is considering an appeal by the main opposition party to cancel the disputed presidential election.

While the troops wait, the Dems diddle

Congress as Commander-in-Chief?

Congress as Commander-in-Chief?
By Paul Weyrich
FrontPageMagazine.com | May 1, 2007

For the first time in American history the House of Representatives has informed the military that it knows more than the Commander in Chief about conducting a war. In doing so this Congress also has notified the enemy in our ongoing war in Iraq when the enemy should expect us to begin pulling out troops and precisely how many months it will take for complete withdrawal.

If only the Congress had thought of this idea earlier – perhaps back in 1944 – we could have sent a telegram to the Germans that included the D-Day schedule. This certainly would have saved the United States Government a lot of money and saved the Nazis a lot of trouble!

The vote on the Conference Report for HR 1591, officially known as the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2007, was 218-208 with only two Republicans voting  with the Democratic Majority. The Report contained many non-military appropriations as well, but required all continued funding of the military be linked to specific dates for withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. This is the “hammer” the legislation intended to use against the President because the Pentagon is literally out of money right now and already has used up one supplemental appropriation. 

Meanwhile, in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-NV, has changed his mind about this issue three times in the last six months. Campaigning last November, he swore not to allow cutting off funds for the military under any circumstance. Then he decided that it was okay under certain conditions. Now he is threatening to present brand new legislation which would completely end all funding for the War in Iraq. Senator Reid also recently informed the American people (and our troops) that “Winning the war is no longer the job of the U.S. military.” Under Reid’s leadership, the Senate is expected to pass something similar to the Conference Report passed last night in the House, but both sides are aware that President George W. Bush has promised to veto any legislation that includes a timeline for the Iraq War as soon as the legislation gets to his desk.

General David Petraeus spent much of yesterday on Capitol Hill speaking in closed session and trying to convince Members not to vote for the bill. (Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, was unavailable to meet with the General but that should not come as a surprise.) Petraeus specifically asked that Congress wait until July to judge whether the so-called “Surge Strategy” in Iraq was working before rushing ahead with legislation that included “a date certain” for withdrawal.  Though it was only recently, in January of 2007, that Petraeus was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate to command of U.S. troops in Iraq, few on the Hill seem to want to listen to his advice. Politics is more important.

An interesting feature of the Conference Report passed last week is the items it did contain: no money for the troops without a pullout timetable but lots of earmarks. The House version of the Iraq funding bill still includes most of the “pork barrel” spending that was in place when it passed in the original form. (A conference report is the result of differences between House and Senate legislation worked out and brought back for a final vote.) There remains $3.5 billion for agricultural disaster relief, money for the Senate gift shop, salaries for farm service workers and $650 million to bail out one State’s poorly run health insurance program for children – none of which has anything to do with the military but much to do with the business of re-election.

An unfortunate precedent has been set for future administrations and future military appropriations. Unofficially, there are plans already underway for another appropriations bill in the House, where the process will have to start all over again fairly soon but it is a sad day when elected Representatives play political games with military funding and our troops must hear about it on the battlefield.

It never should have come to this point. Now that it has, let the vetoing begin.

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Flying Imams Revisited: Part of Greater Islamic Strategy?

Flying Imams Revisited: Part of Greater Islamic Strategy?

by Sher Zieve
 

Were the antics of the six Flying Imams merely additional tactics in the Islamic overall strategy of installing Shari’a law in the USA? It would appear so, according to some self-avowed moderate Muslims and the results of other recently exhibited actions by US Islamists and their followers. Let’s take a look.

 

With regards to Minneapolis Airport’s Muslim cab drivers, in 2006 the Muslim American Society of Minneapolis (MAS) issued a “fatwa” (religious edict) to the Minneapolis Airport Commission (MAC). The fatwa advised MAC that Islamic law prohibits Muslims from being around the sin of alcohol and Muslim cabbies refused to transport any passenger fares who had packed sealed alcoholic products in their luggage. Other Muslim taxi drivers at the airport also refused to transport passengers with dogs—including guide dogs. Muslims consider not only pork to be unclean but, dogs also. After a great deal of foot-dragging and stalling, MAC finally voted on the Muslim cabbies’ demands, in April. With a unanimous 11-0 vote, Minneapolis Airport commissioners agreed to suspend airport taxi drivers who refuse fares. The first offense will carry a 30-day suspension and repeat offenses will result in 2-year taxi license revocations. Note: This is highly unusual, as lately all too many Muslim demands have been met with submission to them.

 

One of these recent submissions to Islam involves a Minneapolis Target store. Muslim Target checkers refuse to scan any pork products. Due to the recent Muslim cab driver flap, one can only assume this refusal-to-touch-or-scan also applies to any products containing alcohol. Instead of advising the Target Muslim checkers that scanning pork is part of their jobs, Target accommodated their demands. The retail giant has either transferred the Muslims to other duties or a non-Muslim employee is called to scan the items. Question: Are Jewish Target employees afforded the same treatment, when they must handle pork? The answer is, of course, no. Singular privilege applies only to Muslims.

 

Another surrender to Muslims’ demands was recently announced by Minneapolis Community & Technical College. In what appears to be a direct violation of the US Supreme Court’s Justice Black 1947 interpretation of “separation of church and state”, the college has allocated tax-payer funds to build on campus foot washing basins for Muslims preparing for prayer. The school is also said to be involved in negotiations with Minneapolis’ Muslim leaders to, also, establish an on-campus Muslim prayer room. Of note is that Christian symbols and celebrations are banned on this campus but, the Islamic Muslim religion is now embraced and given—yet again—“special privileges.” Separation of “mosque and state” does not apply.

 

Questions: Does anyone see a developed pattern of capitulation to Islam in the state of Minnesota? Will Minnesota cities, as have already been implemented in Michigan cities, soon have calls to Islamic prayer broadcast to their citizens?

 

World Magazine reports that Executive Director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in St. Paul, Omar Jamal, stated: “CAIR [Council on American-Islamic Relations] and MAS are radicalizing the community. They’re not interested in protecting civil liberties. They’re interested in a broader political mission to create a world of Muslims versus Christians.” Instead of encouraging Muslim immigrants to assimilate, we are supporting their desires to remain a separate and growing separist movement within the United States—in direct violation of US law.

 

Another example of the Islamic strategy to eventually install their own religious laws, which will trump and replace US laws, within the USA involves MAS’ Washington DC based Muslim Accommodations Task Force (MATF). MATF states its mission as: “To help make campuses more “Muslim-friendly” by documenting existing religious accommodations and facilitating emerging ones. Over time, we will be able to rank colleges and universities on “Muslim-friendliness” and publicize our findings in the media and publications. Prospective students and their families will be able to account for Muslim accommodations as they decide on appropriate institutions of higher learning.” In order to affect its demands for special privileges, MATF also states that its projects include responding and helping MSA chapters who are lobbying for religious accommodations including prayer permanent spaces, counseling services, Muslim housing, holiday observance, etc. Although the provision of special religious accommodations is legally disallowed by colleges and universities they are, nonetheless, being implemented by these schools. Is this simply another example of our leftist-bent school system applying laws only if it agrees with them? It appears so. As we have viewed for several decades, all things Christian are being removed and banned. However, all things Islam are now being embraced—in violation of US law. But, after Islamic fundamentalist Shari’a law is installed in our court system—US law will be moot.

 

The establishment of Islamic law is already occurring in European countries. And it now seems that the US school system (as well as “accommodating” retailers fearing a Muslim backlash) is aiding and abetting Islam toward its goal of establishing Shari’a on our shores. If they have to break US laws to affect said Islamization—so be it. Thus far, the Islamization of the USA is heavily concentrated in Michigan and Minnesota. Hmmm. Are these “M” states representative of the “M” in Muslim? But, I predict that it won’t be long before the 5-time-per-day calls to prayer are heard in all of our neighborhoods—that is, unless we sit back and allow it to happen. Are there alumni of the Islamic-compliant schools who might refuse to fund them? Are there state and federal lawmakers that we-the-people are still allowed to contact, in order to voice our opposition? Of course there are. However, it requires us taking action. Are you willing to do so? As the consequences of doing nothing are so grave, I pray that we all are.

 

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References:

 

http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/zieve/070316
 

http://www.buzz.mn/?q=node/898

 

http://www.newmediajournal.us/staff/zieve/04192007.htm

 

http://www.worldmag.com/articles/12909

 

http://msa-national.org/matf/about.php

 

 

Sher Zieve is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

Imus and Virginia Tech

Imus and Virginia Tech

by Thomas E. Brewton

 

The inconsistency of atheistic materialism. There’s more there than Marx allowed for.

 

Our thoroughly secularized society explains events and behavior, human nature itself, as the product of the material conditions of living and earning a living, in accord with the Marxian thesis.

 

In The German Ideology Marx and his colleague Friederick Engels wrote:

 

As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce. The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their production.

 

Present-day liberals therefore deny the concept of a higher law, of timeless moral truths emanating from God the Creator of the universe. They fancy themselves capable of restructuring society, and human nature in the process. Hence the endless stream of new Federal welfare-state programs. In the liberal view, economic and social problems can be cured only by bountiful application of the most materialistic of all things: money.

 

School massacres, of which Virginia Tech is the latest and deadliest example, predictably are thought by liberals to result from a material factor: the availability of firearms. In liberal theory, make guns unavailable, and you change human nature.

 

Zero consideration is given to Judeo-Christian teaching that evil exists in the world and that it can be combated only with God’s help. Zero consideration is given to morality.

 

Liberals ignore the inconsistent fact that no massacres occurred prior to the Baby Boomer student anarchism of the late 1960s and 1970s. Students of that era were so knowledgeable that they told their professors what to teach, and it had to be “relevant.” Relevance turned out to be destroying the historical traditions and moral standards on which the United States was founded.

 

Note that it was the complete absence of standards, what liberals call “tolerance,” that prevented the Virginia Tech authorities from inquiring into the character of the assassin, even after his behavior and his classroom work had profoundly alarmed some of his teachers and fellow students. In a good, liberal society of moral relativism, anything goes. It’s not permitted to question people’s standards or actions (unless, of course, they are conservatives).

 

The Imus case exemplifies a different sort of inconsistency in liberals’ materialism, as well as their hypocrisy.

 

On the one hand, liberal media icons like the New York Times’ Frank Rich and other authors happily and repeatedly appeared on the Imus show. They raised no objections to Imus’ grossly distasteful remarks, because exposure to his large radio audience did wonders for their careers and their book sales.
 

On the other hand, when Imus characterized the Rutgers women’s basketball team as prostitutes, liberals had to denounce him. He was offending the black voting community, which liberals’ regard as their private property.

 

This is what is known as moral relativism. With no moral standards, if I like it, it’s OK; if you don’t like it, as the liberals say, “Get used to it!”
 

Initially Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson focused their condemnation on Mr. Imus and ignored the almost universal use of identical language by black men in describing women. When that inconsistency was pointed out, rap musicians and record producers quickly defended such language as simply the “reality” of the street.

 

Liberals in this case ignored the Marxian doctrine that material conditions surrounding people determines their nature and their actions. Why was everyday language of black men Ok when they uttered it, but altogether unacceptable when Imus used it?

 

When Bill Cosby denounced such aspects of the prevailing black social culture, he was attacked and ridiculed by liberals, both blacks and whites (see “Bill Cosby Collides With the Liberal Establishment”).

 

The only liberal “standard” appears to be materialistic regulation of economic behavior and the absence of all restrictions on hedonism and sexual promiscuity.

 

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Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

 

His weblog is THE VIEW FROM 1776

http://www.thomasbrewton.com/

 

Email comments to viewfrom1776@thomasbrewton.com 

It is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

It is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
by Nancy Salvato

Every man who has preserved or defended his country, or has made it greater, is reserved a special place in heaven, where he enjoys an eternal life of happiness. Of all those things one might do on earth, nothing is more pleasing to the Supreme God, ruler of the universe, than the gatherings of men who are bound together by law and custom in those communities we call states. In fact, it is from this place, here, in heaven, that the rulers and preservers of states come from, and to which they eventually return.
Cicero:  The Dream of Scipio

I find it difficult to begin this piece of writing, an undertaking prompted by an article about the Virginia Tech memorial.   I’ve already surmised what I end up writing will leave me exposed to a flood of e mailed rage.  Still, I am compelled to tackle this matter because there is something that needs to be aired.  Here begins my next Tsunami, this time an attempt to distinguish between good and evil in the context of terror and terrorism.

Many people identify with seeing the world through pre and post 9/11 lenses.  Prior to Osama Bin Laden’s suicide henchmen flying planes into the Twin Towers, I was more concerned about my immediate circle of friends and family and the mundane suburban problems associated with such a lifestyle. Was I paying attention to what was happening outside my circle?  Well, not so much.  I was only concerned about how events impacted me.  For awhile, I actually followed Andrew Weil’s advice, going on a news fast.  I only knew of the outside world from news sound bites aired between songs on the radio.  My husband, who opines more than O’Reilly, was appalled that his wife, who majored in history, would read a Time or Newsweek cover to cover when wanting to catch up with what was happening in today’s world.  That is all I need to know, I would tell him. He would just shake his head.

After 9/11 everything changed.  Knocked out of my self-induced stupor, a buried passion was jump started; and I found myself studying and analyzing history as it unfolded in “real time” before me.  Slowly, at first, and then like a dam breaking, everything I had ever learned was connecting. Like Scipio in Cicero’s Republic, I could see the world and how it fit together. Reading “between the lines”, I grasped the big picture and began to understand how seemingly isolated events were actually related.  It didn’t take long to conclude that we are in the midst of a war and our “way of life” is at stake. Within the United States and the western world, rages a culture war that threatens our rule of law.  Around the world, war is waged against western civilization by those following a fundamentalist ideology which encompasses eliminating, converting or making us subservient to their fanatical beliefs.  We keep conceding to our enemies because we think there is an opportunity to negotiate, but there is not.  Surreal, the drums beat in the distance…far from Jewel and McDonalds, far from the comforts afforded the people living in this country, who can’t imagine the domino effect of just one nuclear bomb exploding on our soil.

Viewing the world, post 9/11, has changed the way I see what is happening around me.  When I board my train, I look at my fellow passengers wondering if any have planned on blowing his or herself up.  Recently, I was asked by a passenger to watch his back pack while he went to the bathroom.  I said yes and then worried if I would be an accomplice to the death and carnage that might take place.  I didn’t really believe anything would happen but there was great relief when he came back to his seat.  When I arrive at Union Station, I think of the Ricin that was unleashed in the Japanese subway system and wonder what it must have been like for those who experienced that act of terror. Working next to the Sears Tower, I wonder how fast I could run down 12 flights of stairs and if there would be a nuclear wind that would swallow me up as I exited my own building in the event the terrorists succeed in striking one of their targets.  Would I help others who are trying to escape?  If we gave in to terrorists, I wonder if men in our culture would truly believe that they had more rights than me, how many would abuse women because they would be protected by Sharia law. I wonder how it would feel living among the rubble of blown up buildings with no electricity or heat or access to packaged food.  Could my middle aged body perform manual labor?  Would I beg for my sustenance?

How does this fit in with the Virginia Tech massacre?  I don’t think people recognize evil anymore.  People are not in touch with their feelings. As I watch the reactions on the television to what occurred, I am not sure I recognize any of the 5 stages of grief, denial; anger; bargaining, depression; and acceptance. I have noticed that people have been extremely quick to forgive the gunman, Cho Seung Hui.

“His family is suffering just as much as anyone else.” CLICK HERE

However, forgiveness is not about absolving another person of their responsibility for their actions.  Many don’t seem to recognize that this is a man who committed a deliberate act of terror and does not deserve to be remembered among the victims he massacred.  Do we remember Hitler in Holocaust memorials?  This person was not invested in his chosen community, did not care about others and, at the very least, could be considered a psychopath who imposed terror on others to satisfy some need within him. Psychopaths are antisocial and have no remorse when they impose great harm on others.  If they cannot control their impulses, they should be locked up.  

Many of his actions may be the result of his identifying more with the terrorists who want to destroy our way of life. CLICK HERE He waged war against our culture and snuffed out random lives, completely in line with his well planned manifesto. His act was premeditated and evil, at the very least.  Quite possibly, he saw himself as a terrorist in the larger war being waged against our culture.  In no way should he be memorialized.  We should rise up and defend ourselves against such people.

In the world that existed before September 11th, I might not have seen it this way.  I might not have understood that there is a clear demarcation between good and evil.  Good allows people to live their lives in freedom and asks that people not impose their beliefs on others (secular or otherwise).  After September 11th, I understand that the evil which allows intolerance of those who do not share the same views must be fought against.  Evil must be recognized for what it is; evil is a belief that there is no such thing as evil, that every act can be rationalized and that we should tolerate those who want to destroy us.

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Nancy Salvato is the President of The Basics Project, (www.Basicsproject.org) a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (C) (3) research and educational project whose mission is to promote the education of the American public on the basic elements of relevant political, legal and social issues important to our country. She is also a Staff Writer, for the New Media Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) coalition of writers and grass-roots media outlets, where she contributes on matters of education policy.