“At the School of the Assassins in Columbus, GA, and in Charlotte, NC, we ran into similar problems: police presence that seemed to be there to foster violence. At both places the neo-Nazi, pro-war fascist group “Gathering of Eagles” came out to mostly try to intimidate us from our mission,” Sheehan writes in her blog.
1. A blog written by antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan and posted on MichaelMoore.com criticizes Charlotte police for allowing counter-protesters to “try to intimidate us” during Sheehan’s antiwar rally Tuesday in Bryant Park.
2. Protesters demonstrating against Cindy Sheehan vowed to make an impact on the anti-war activist’s trip to Charlotte on Tuesday — and their strategy worked. Sheehan, one of the best-known opponents of the war in Iraq, stayed close to her still-running car.
h/t Steve in N.C.
Video at Hot Air. He says they’re blinded by partisanship and overly influenced by groups like CAIR. I think he’s right.
When Science Becomes “Treason”
By Senator Tom McClintock
CAPoliticalNews.com | July 20, 2007
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is not some deranged nutcase standing barefoot on a street corner babbling to himself about the end of the world. He is one of the leading voices of the environmental Left, he heads a major environmental organization and during the 2003 recall election, he served as one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chief environmental advisors.
So his remarks at one of Al Gore’s Live Earth rallies on Saturday should be taken seriously. During his six minute speech, Kennedy referred to those who question the theory that humanity is causing the earth’s changing climate as “liars,” “crooks,” “corporate toadies,” “flat-earthers” and made this remarkable statement: “This is treason and we need to start treating them now as traitors.”
The irony is that this is the same movement that wraps itself in pseudo-science, and yet declares that those who challenge their theory on scientific grounds “are on a par with Holocaust deniers” (as Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman wrote in February) and now, traitors. The Left has taken science, which is founded on a rigorous and dispassionate evaluation of fact and an equally vigorous and open debate of theory, and perverted it into a shrill, self-righteous and utterly intolerant intellectual tyranny. And like all authoritarian movements, it doesn’t take long for a tyranny of the mind (“global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers”) to transform itself into a tyranny of brute force (“This is treason and we need to start treating them as traitors.”)
What does this say about the global warming movement? One would have thought that Al Gore, whose latest book is entitled The Assault on Reason and who sponsored the event at which Mr. Kennedy spoke, would immediately disassociate himself from these remarks. But six days later, Gore’s silence has said volumes. And if this was mere rhetorical excess, why has Kennedy said nothing to clarify his extraordinary declaration?
When some of the most accomplished and reputable scientists on the planet in the fields of climatology, meteorology and solar physics all vigorously challenge the global warming doctrine, how can anyone who respects science and the scientific method declare the debate is over and that all dissenters are “traitors?”
Global warming doctrine cannot withstand scientific inquiry or open debate, and they know it. And that’s why they believe that dissent must be ridiculed, bullied, suppressed and eradicated. After all, it was the “flat-earthers” who, in the Dark Ages, declared the debate on the origins of Earth to be over and scientific inquiry to be heresy. It was the men of science who welcomed a full debate over all aspects of human knowledge, secure in the belief that reason would ultimately prevail in any free debate.
Speaking of which, there is a BBC production on the subject that devastatingly deconstructs the theory of human-induced global warming – the best that I’ve seen. I guarantee it will be an hour well spent, and you can watch it on your computer by clicking HERE.
Islam And Jihad: The Terrible Truth
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The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman is right on the mark most of the time in his analysis of the dysfunctions troubling the Muslim world and of our own failures in confronting them. Particularly important is his frequent criticism of our feckless disregard of our dependence on fossil fuels. As Friedman argues, we should all be doing more about the fact that our oil consumption subsidizes the terrorists who want to blow us up.
But even Friedman has a blind spot that compromises his otherwise sensible analyses. His July 4 column was a perfect example. It accurately linked global Muslim terrorist attacks to the intolerant chauvinism inherent in Islam, which to its adherents is “the most perfect and complete expression of God’s monotheistic message, and the Koran is God’s last and most perfect word.”
Yet this spiritual perfection collides with a world dominated by the same West that for nearly a thousand years quailed at the armies of Allah. “This creates,” Friedman writes, “a real dissonance and humiliation. How could this be? Who did this to us? The Crusaders! The Jews! The West! It can never be something that they failed to learn, adapt to or build. This humiliation produces a lashing out.”
That last sentence, redolent of middle-class parents trying to figure out why their geeky kid vandalized the neighbor’s SUV, is where Friedman loses it by indulging a reductive psychology that locates behavior not in the spiritual imperative he himself identifies, but in a neurotic reaction to environmental pressures. By the end of the piece this misstep has become a pratfall: “Muslims have got to understand that a death cult has taken root in the bosom of their religion, feeding off it like a cancerous tumor.”
Notice that metaphor: jihad – for that is what the terrorists are engaged in, as they repeatedly tell us – is a cultic deformation of otherwise healthy cells in the body of Islam, an alien growth that needs to be excised so health returns. Yet this received wisdom, repeated over and over, even by the Bush administration, is simply false to Islamic history, theology, and jurisprudence. If one attends carefully to that record, it is obvious that jihad is not an alien “tumor” but a vital organ of Islam.
Of course, one can try to avoid this unpleasant fact by denying that what the terrorists are engaged in is jihad. One can indulge the laughable rationalization that jihad is really “inward striving” to be a better Muslim. This minority interpretation of jihad appears late in Islamic history, and is looked on with scorn by many Muslims themselves.
Listen to the Ayatollah Khomeini, creator of the first modern Islamic nation, writing in 1942: “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! … Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and the shadow of the sword.” And again in 1979, from a speech delivered at the Feyziyeh Theological School: “Islam grew with blood…. The great prophet of Islam on one hand carried the Koran and in the other a sword…. Islam is religion of blood for the infidels but a religion of guidance for other people.”
Some Westerners, following duplicitous Muslim apologists, no doubt would argue that Khomeini, a revered Muslim theologian, is distorting the traditions of his faith. But given that the 1979 speech was delivered at a theological school, where the audience is knowledgeable about their faith and so could identify distortions of its tenets, this rationalization is incredible. Common sense tells us that Khomeini and the other modern jihadists know their own faith and its doctrines, and are speaking squarely in that tradition, as can be documented from the Koran, Hadiths, and subsequent Muslim theologians, jurists, and other commentators (see Andrew Bostom’s invaluable anthology, The Legacy of Jihad).
All these sources tell us that jihad indeed is the imperative to follow the example of the prophet Mohammed, who said in his farewell address: “I was ordered to fight all men until they say, ‘There is no god but Allah.’”
Modern jihadists, then, aren’t “heretics” or “fanatics” who have hijacked the “religion of peace” in order to compensate for their neurotic “humiliation” at Muslim backwardness. Bin Laden and his lieutenant Aymin Al Zawahiri have issued many writings that define their terrorist war as a traditional jihad, backing up their argument with numerous references to Islamic theology and jurisprudence.
In a few weeks The Al Qaeda Reader – Library of Congress researcher Raymond Ibrahim’s translation of the most significant Al Qaeda treatises, many of which have not appeared before in English – will be published. This promises to be one of the most important books since 9/11, a critical resource for accurately understanding the motives of Al Qaeda. These writings, especially those intended for Muslims, ground the war against the West squarely in the Islamic tradition of jihad.
“Zawahiri’s writings,” Ibrahim notes, “especially are grounded in Islam’s roots of jurisprudence; in fact, of the many thousands of words translated here from his three treatises, well more than half are direct quotations from the Koran, the Sunna of Muhammad, and the consensus and conclusions of the Ulema [past and present commentators and interpreters of Islamic belief and practice].”
Even the killing of women and children is argued for on the basis of that same tradition, which provides traction for rationalizations based on Islamic military weakness, sophistic definitions of “innocence,” and the oft-repeated injunction to kill all infidels.
This interpretation may be erroneous, but the mere fact that it can be argued for at all, and accepted by many Muslims, is itself significant. And such an interpretation is possible because there already exists the doctrine of jihad, which glorifies and justifies violence against non-believers. This helps to answer the obvious question why other ex-colonial peoples supposedly “humiliated” by their failure to keep up with the powerful West have not resorted to terrorist violence.
Again, it beggars belief that a Zawahiri or a Khomeini is distorting his faith’s traditions and dogmas, particularly when millions of Muslims world-wide agree with those traditional interpretations. Are we to think those millions don’t know their own religion? That they are dupes of manipulators and distorters?
Or is it rather the case that they know very well their faith and see bin Laden, et al, as traditionalists attempting to restore to Islam the doctrinal purity that fueled Islam’s remarkable conquests? Perhaps this agreement with the so-called Islamists explains the dearth of protests against these presumed “distortions” on the part of all those “moderate” Muslims we keep hearing about.
No, it is we who are the dupes of distorters – all those apologists, propagandists, and Western useful idiots who obscure the truth of Islam and its history. And they are successful: Washington Times columnist Diana West, writing on July 6 about Robert Spencer’s important website jihadwatch.org, reports that “very ominously, Mr. Spencer’s website is being blocked by assorted organizations which, according to his readers, continue to provide access to assorted pro-jihad sites.
Mr. Spencer reports he’s “never received word of so many organizations banning this site all at once.” These include the City of Chicago, Bank of America, Fidelity Investments, GE IT, JPMorgan Chase, Defense Finance and Accounting Services and now, a federal employee in Dallas informs him, the federal government. Why? “Some Internet providers deem the factually based, meticulous analysis on display at jihadwatch.org to be ‘hate speech.’”
This is the pass we have come to: facts about the motives of an enemy sworn to our destruction are censored as “hate speech.” This betrayal of the truth demonstrates perfectly the West’s self-loathing failure of nerve that confirms the enemy’s belief in his spiritual superiority – and his ultimate victory.
Bruce Thornton is chair of the Humanities Department at California State University, Fresno; a culture critic for Victor Davis Hanson’s Private Papers website (www.victorhanson.com); and the author of several books including “Searching for Joaquin: Myth and History in California” and “Plagues of the Mind: The New Epidemic of False Knowledge.”