US Government to apply peer pressure to your Islamophobia

Shame on you.

Hillary Clinton’s promise on this matter has been out there for months, but a virtually unadvertised conference in Washington, D.C. this week has resurrected the Clinton quote from July 2011.

Back in July, at a conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Clinton pledged that the US would take action against “religious intolerance” in America.

It’s worth taking a moment to reflect on that.  Clinton said, in her remarks, “No country, including my own, has a monopoly on truth or a secret formula for ethnic and religious harmony.”  But if any country comes close to having such a monopoly, it is, in fact, the United States.  One of the core principles of our founding was religious freedom; the purpose of guaranteeing it was, explicitly, to discourage religious strife; and to fulfill that purpose, the drafters of the Constitution prohibited Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

The US has not avoided religious enmity entirely, but we have kept the law and the government on the side of enforcing a peaceful, quiescent environment for the practice of religion, to a greater extent than any other nation that has ever existed.  This environment has existed side by side with robust and sometimes disgusting criticisms of other people’s religions, which we have always allowed as free speech.

And it is worth taking another moment to remember why we determined to allow such free speech.  We didn’t do it because it is “good,” in any positive sense, for people to say vile things about each other’s beliefs.  It may be perfectly good, or at least not repulsive, for people to say reasonably critical things about religious beliefs.  But whether it’s ridiculous allegations about Jews, absurd accusations against Catholics, or today’s fresh-milled 20-something atheists calling Christians “Christofascists,” the point of free speech was never to encourage idiocies of this kind on the theory that we need more of them.

The point of free speech is to keep the government out of the business of deciding whether they’re “bad” or “good.”  Government is incompetent to decide such questions, and they should therefore not be within its scope of authority.  Precisely because government has civic authority, its involvement in classifying critical speech should be somewhere between severely limited and non-existent.  The step from government having an opinion to government repressing intellectual freedom is perilously short.  Government can’t wave a magic wand to kindly and gently fix people’s thoughts; it has only the hammer of force and punishment, and that means making every unapproved thought into a “nail.”  The American Founders understood this about government, and insisted therefore on keeping its powers limited, constitutionally explicit, and federally divided.

So when Hillary Clinton promises the following, she is on wholly un-American, anti-liberal ground (emphasis added):

In the United States … we are focused on promoting interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing antidiscrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.

OK, so the US government is going to use peer pressure and shaming on us.  (The tools, by the way, of “worker soviets” in the sanguinary workers’ paradises of the last century.)

What exactly is it that we abhor?  Elizabeth Kendal has an excellent summary at her Religious Liberty Monitoring website of the history behind the UN push to “combat religious intolerance,” and it is worth talking the time to understand how a number of terms – Islamophobia, “defamation” of religion, and “incitement” against religion – have been conflated over the last decade.  Getting forms of intellectual discretion wrapped up in “what we abhor” is an ongoing project in the misnamed effort to “combat religious intolerance.”

But another entry point is the definition of “Islamophobia” cited by the typical Islamophobia watchdog.  The definition was produced by a British think tank, The Runnymede Trust, in the 1990s, and was consciously constructed as an analogue to definitions of Judeophobia or anti-Semitism.  These are its basic elements:

1)  Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.

2)  Islam is seen as separate and “other.”  It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.

3)  Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.

4)  Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a “clash of civilizations.”

5)  Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.

6)  Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.

7)  Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.

8) Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

Most of these elements are susceptible of extremely ambiguous interpretation.  Credentialed academics like Samuel Huntington and Victor Davis Hanson would be indicted by some of them.  And in almost any case you can think of, deciding that these criteria correctly classify the actions of non-Muslims is a matter not of objective judgment but of partisan opinion.

Regarding #6, for example, both non-Muslims and Muslims are likely to reject some criticisms from each other out of hand – because our beliefs about some things are fundamentally different.  There are Muslim leaders, after all, who constantly reject Western criticisms of sharia out of hand.  And there are Muslim leaders who don’t.  There is no valid reason why any Westerner should be charged with “Islamophobia” for ignoring or rejecting criticisms of Western practices by Muslims.

Consider the practice of veiling women.  When an imam criticizes Western society for failing to veil women, I have no heartburn whatsoever in rejecting that criticism as invalid and inapplicable to my life and my society.  How absurd to suggest that I am being “Islamophobic” by doing this.

I recognize, of course, that many Muslim women don’t wear a veil, and many clerics are fine with that.  Muslims don’t do the same things in every part of the world.  And I prefer civic approaches in the West that seek to live with the practice of veiling where it is important to some citizens.  I disagree with the veil being imposed on women, but 99% of the time, the issue isn’t one that affects me directly or requires me to register an official political opinion.

But the fundamental issue here is the status of women.  Declaring it to be a “phobia” when people adhere to their original opinions about that is something no government should be in the business of doing.

At what point would a government decide that it was not Islamophobia when a person “rejected out of hand” criticisms of the West made by “Islam”?  Where would the line be drawn?  Can I reject, for example, Islam’s criticism that the West doesn’t accept Mohammed as a prophet of God?  Or does this criterion indicate that I am allowed to reject it, but only after giving some positive display of having considered it without “prejudice”?  And if so, how will that work, exactly?  Will I carry a card with me, certifying that I was observed by a competent authority to give due consideration to the criticisms of my society made by Islamic leaders?

This is not a laughing matter; the 20th century was a vast, vicious playground for exactly such measures of control over the intellectual lives of peoples and societies.  The criticism we should be leveling here is not against “Islam” or “Muslims,” it is against our own government, and the factions of our own, Western/American political spectrum that conceive of government as a method of administering anti-phobia measures.

The idea of government, for too many in America, has gone wildly off-track.  Hillary Clinton’s acknowledgment that the Obama administration can’t make black-letter laws against free expression about Islam, but that it will use peer pressure and shaming to try to shape and discourage the people’s expression, is a perfect example of the corruption of the governmental idea in our once-constitutional nation.  Our basic problem in this regard is not Islam; our problem is the growing failure of our governments at all levels to adhere to America’s own standard of individual liberty and limited government.  We chose that standard not because criticism of others is necessarily or absolutely “good,” but because intellectual liberty itself is.

Judaism and Christianity are, along with Western philosophy, the progenitors of that idea of liberty.  The positive, absolute good of liberty is what we must proclaim and defend.  And in our nation, on our terms, Islam has the opportunity to thrive as Judaism and Christianity have, by being consistent with it.  It cannot be the other way around.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air’s Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, and The Weekly Standard online.

41 thoughts on “US Government to apply peer pressure to your Islamophobia”

  1. Judaism and Christianity are not the progenitors of liberty. Western philosophy (whose origins are in ancient Greece rather than in these religions) can perhaps make such a claim – particularly the ideas that grew out of the enlightenment. In fact, the political and philosophical ideas that underpin our modern liberal democracies were hard won against the irredentist forces of traditional religion. The evolution of the modern liberal democratic society paced the retreat of religion as a political force.
    (However before our liberal democracy could consolidate its predominant place it also had to overcome the forces of the two great secular religions of the modernist project – communism and fascism)
    We have finally got these people out of our bedrooms and courts. God help us if we ever again became subject to the forces of political religion of any variety.
    Imagine what would happen to our hard won freedoms in our country if the fringe fundamentalist “Christians” became predominant. Just look at what is happening in parts of Israel where ultra-orthodox Jews have forced transport companies to segregate buses; make women enter through a separate back door and sit separately, and wear clothing in public approved by radical rabbis (including covering their heads). Moslems, Christians, Jews, Commies and Fascists: No thanks to the lot. I’m throwing in my lot with democracy and the rule of law rather than the shower who claim to take their orders to steal and kill directly from God

    1. It is the marriage between Judaism, Christianity and Western philosophy which gave birth to liberty.

      The political and philosophical idea that underpin our modern liberal democracy are postmodernism, which hijacked western philosophy and gave birth to the two great secular religions of the modernist project – communism and fascism…

      “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” George Washington

      “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” George Washington

      “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.” John Adams

      “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Thomas Jefferson

      “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” Thomas Jefferson

      “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well- armed lamb contesting the vote.” Benjamin Franklin

  2. Clinton’s remarks for good and the approach of specifically mentioning anti-Semitism in the context is a diplomatic, but clear rejection, of the agenda of decrying anti-Islamic sentiment in the West devoid of applying similar standards in the Islamic countries.


    the actions Clinton pledges are reflections of

    “….to protect freedom of religion, to counter offensive expression through education, interfaith dialogue, and public debate, and to prohibit discrimination, profiling, and hate crime.”

    not much to carp about from our POV.

    1. Islam as practiced by SOME of its (semitic and non-semitic) adherents is a particularly regressive credo. But so are some ultra orthodox Jewish elements, and fringe Christian sects. They are all characterized by loathing of personal autonomy – particularly with respect to the female half of our species. They differ only in degree. They are also inclined to see (strictly their own interpretation of) the Word of God as superior to the rule of law, and that they have a right to impose their views on others. Some even believe they have the right to steal the property of other people, burn their Mosques or Synagogs, or even kill them, because “God” gave them the authority. Strangely, their God only seems to speak directly to psychotics and extremists. The rest of us have to depend on our consciences.
      I grew up in a Christian religion whose theology says it is blasphemy to arrogate to yourself the will of God. The fringe elements who believe that unconverted Jews and Moslems go to hell, and the people who spawn obsessive hatred of other faiths and their adherents will always be with us. Thankfully, for most people of all faiths in our great country their relationship with God is personal and in keeping with the wisdom of the Founding Fathers when they created our secular democracy and ensured that religion was a freedom and not an institution.
      The 5th amendment protects freedom of speech. It protects the freedom of the Gaffneys who are obsessivly fomenting hatred against Moslem Americans. It also protected their (also right-wing) predecessors who jumped on the anti-Jewish sentiment that was popular in the 1920s and 30s. To suggest that the majority of good people who oppose this drek – including politicians inside and outside government – shouldn’t have also the right to speak out and denounce the haters is absurd.

      1. Paul, as much as din’t care to join in the gross condemnation of Islam, I also don’t care to join in dismissing that there is a sizable number of people going around committing crimes and saying that there aren’t criminals but defenders of their faith.
        The fundamentalists criminals of other religions don’t excuse the criminal jihadists nor are as significant a portion of their faith nor as sizable a problem.

        A fair perspective allows neither for exaggeration of the Islamist
        problem nor minimization

        1. Wrong. IRA terrorists always had a coterie of rogue Catholic priests to bless their activities. The bloody Crusades were blessed by Christendom. The Tamil Tigers, Hindu redicals, and Jewish settlers all have their clerical apologists. Ditto the small minority of Moslem radicals.
          The body-count of Christian and Jewish victims of Moslem radicals is a small percentage of the carnage visited upon Moslems by “Christians”.
          In our recent war-on-a-lie against Moslem Iraq we mourn our 4000 US victims of Cheney’s BIg Adventure. There are upwards of 100,000 Iraqi dead. Men, women, and children – most of them innocent. None of them had anything to do with 9/11. The bereaved no doubt feel the same as bereaved everywhere feel. Many of them will hate the people who did this to them. This hatred has nothing to do with Islam. No doubt, in time we will reap as we have sown.

          1. That 100,000 Iraqi dead (your figures) was the price necessary to free Iraq from Saddam and kill thousands of Al Qaeda.

            Obama’s abandonment of Iraq, making that sacrifice meaningless is on his head, not Bush’s.

            “According to The New York Times, “he [Saddam] murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead.

            His seizure of Kuwait threw the Middle East into crisis. More insidious, arguably, was the psychological damage he inflicted on his own land. Hussein created a nation of informants — friends on friends, circles within circles — making an entire population complicit in his rule”.

            Others have estimated 800,000 deaths caused by Saddam not counting the Iran-Iraq war. Estimates as to the number of Iraqis executed by Saddam’s regime vary from 300-500,000 to over 600,000, estimates as to the number of Kurds he massacred vary from 70,000 to 300,000 and estimates as to the number killed in the put-down of the 1991 rebellion vary from 60,000 to 200,000.”

            Had we not invaded Iraq, Saddam would still be in power, free of UN restrictions and actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability.

            Yes, there are plenty more dictators just as bad as Saddam, which is irrelevant to the number of people saved from Saddam, who otherwise would have died.

            1. ~~~~Had we not invaded Iraq, Saddam would still be in power~~~~

              even worse, had we not invaded Iraq, Cheney might still be in power!

              1. To paraphrase Maggie Thatcher’s aphorism; when all they have for rebuttal is weak attempts at humor, which address the issue not at all, they have conceded the debate…( but lack the honor to admit it)

              2. what debate, geoffrey. it’s good that saddam is gone, but it sure as hell wasn’t worth the invasion and all the horrors that have followed. The US is vastly weaker, and I mean vastly, for doing this and it greatly strengthened Iran and afforded them years to work on THEIR nuclear program.

                And you’ll never do more than guess that Saddam would be working on nukes had we not killed the sonovabiscuit.
                Saddam was ultimately flexible, and we’re not having much success bending the Iranians away from their nukes.
                Hard to say anything other than the ruinous failure that we were experiencing after the invasion, and the less-ruinous failure that was all we came away with, didn’t strengthen the iranians resolve to arm.

            2. You are including the Iraq-Iran war in your body-count. This war, started by Saddam while he was our client and ally, was encouraged by us. It was during this time when he was getting material supplies and military intellegence from Rumsfelt and Co. that Saddam was gassing the Khurds and committing genocide against the Shia Marsh-Peoples. We didn’t raise a murmer of protest at the time – in spite of the then Republican administration being repeatedly warned by the State Dept of what our good ally Saddam was doing.
              However, after the war petered out Saddam reverted to being a minor human-rights abuser – not much different from all the other minor despots which we routinely support in mid-Asia and elsewhere.

              There is another perspective which you might consider. The body-count in 9/11 was rather less than the annual toll on our roads. However, because the 9/11 dead were the victims of the “other” the attack was met with unprecedented outrage. Moslems and everyone else respond just the same way as we do when attacked by outsiders – even if it might seem illogical when you consider the absolute death-count. A bad mud-slide in South-America or an average day in the famine-plagued Saharan fringe has more victims than 9/11.

              1. Nice try, reread the quote, “According to The New York Times, “he [Saddam] murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead.”

                9/11 was an intentional, mass attack upon innocent civilians. Not a military target, nor a natural disaster, or auto accidents of personal tragedy. It was an act of war and the body count was intended to be far higher. Had they boarded flights later in the day, the dead would have been as much as 50,000. The civilian deaths were not collateral damage, civilians were the target and sole intent of the attack.

                That is what makes it so despicable.

                You continue to draw moral equivalence between fanatical religious killers and our carefully planned, legitimate military response, one that seeks to avoid and lessen to the greatest extent possible Muslim civilian deaths.

                Your obtuseness is entirely intentional and betrays a willingness to collaborate should personal survival dictate it.

                “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” Winston Churchill

                “War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse.  A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing that is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” — John Stuart Mill

  3. I look forward to the second Obama term, when peer pressure and shaming will be brought to bear against the religious beliefs of those radical Islamists who (1) believe in stoning turncoat Muslims who embrace the Jewish religion, as well as gays, or for that matter, adulterers; (2) believe that the Israelis should be driven into the sea; and (3) believe that the only good American is a dead American.

    In my heart, I know that Obama is “evolving” to shaming those dangerous religious fanatics, so that, in the words of that wise Hillary. people don’t feel that the radical Islamists have the support to do what we abhor.

  4. The workers’ soviets may have utilized shaming, but if that didn’t work they also had the gulags.

    What I expect here as a backup plan is that you won’t be able to bet government jobs, benefits or licenses if hold unapproved views of Islam. And government jobs, benefits and licenses shall become progressively more important as the private economy withers away.

    1. You want nonsense, fuster? Check out this quote from the Secretary:

      “the international community is taking a strong stand for freedom of expression and worship, and against discrimination and violence based upon religion or belief.”

      If you can say that about what is happening now internationally, you could paper over a great many offenses against freedom of speech and belief in our country with equally nonsensical diplomatic platitudes.

      1. Vinnie, the language of diplomats is not the language of laymen.

        That sentence is meant to convey criticism of the practices of Islamic states.

        1. Given the history of conflict since the beginning of recorded history perhaps the language of diplomats should be revised to accord more closely with that of laymen . .

          1. sully, blaming diplomats for recorded history is just wrong.

            I blame the east-coat elitist lamestream media.

            (please follow this and all my other persnickety platitudes on twitbook and don’t forget to send a some pictures of presidents to fusterPAC or I may have to resign again)

            1. Diplomacy would be better conducted by the first three hundred drunk reporters staggering out of bars each morning at 2:00 AM than by career foreign service officers.

              1. as a close relative of one of those 300 … I ain’t so sure that it would be a noticeable improvement.

                but I wouldn’t mind finding out of 300 newly unemployed diplos might not commit journolism as ably as the other bunch

      2. And the International community (including the US) likewise took a strong stand against the Moslem Indonesians when they were oppressing the Catholic East Timorese.

  5. Personally, I welcome the opportunity to use Hillary’s “peer pressure and shame” to expose the truth. Please, bring it on.

    Starting with the Runnymede trust’s definition of Islamophobia. A ‘phobia’ being an irrational, unfounded fear-based reaction.

    1) “Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.”
    Islam is essentially monolithic, despite the surface difference between Sunni and Shia Islam. They both follow essentially the same Sharia law and the fundamental tenets of Islam forbid change.

    2) “Islam is seen as separate and “other.” It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.” Islam itself proclaims that it is separate and other; Dar al-Islam (House of Islam) and Dar al-Harb (House of War) and consistently has since its inception.

    3) “Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.” Islam’s official treatment of women equates to an axiom; a self-evident truth that requires no proof, as Islams’ denial of basic human rights to women is prima facie evidence of the assertion.

    4) “Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a “clash of civilizations.” There have been over 13,000 Islamic terrorist attacks since 9/11…

    5) “Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.” No objective observer of Islam can deny the historical and empirical evidence that Islam is virulently expansionist.
    “One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.”
    Algerian leader Houari Boumedienne speaking at the UN, 1974

    6) “Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.” The West is far from perfect but a serial killer cannot claim moral equivalency to the “bad cheque artist”.

    7) “Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.”
    Unless religion based, hostility toward Islam is a reaction, not a rationalization for discrimination and exclusion. Complete lack of any substantive opposition to ‘radical’ Islam by ‘moderate’ Muslims equates to condoning the violence, which makes them in effect collaborators with radical Islam.

    8) “Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.” A natural reaction to malevolent, unrelenting aggression is resentment and eventually, hostility. 3000+ American deaths on 9/11, 13,000+ terrorist attacks since 9/11 and virtual silence from ‘moderate’ Muslims = the conclusion that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

  6. Yada, yada, yada. Secretary Clinton’s statement is all about moral equivalence and excusing murderous intentions openly stated by the so called religious leaders of a substantial minority of adherents to Islam and embraced by much of that minority.

    Counting the angels on the head of a pin,
    Tends to be silly, but it isn’t a sin,
    Parsing the intentions of Islamist thugs,
    May not be a sin, but it won’t get you hugs,
    Among other things it may get you wings,
    And a harp you can play when the fat lady sings.

    When people avow that Allah has said,
    And further attest that their Prophet has writ,
    That they may not rest until you are dead,
    Unless you bow, and scrape and submit. . .
    Believe them.

    1. Sully, well said.
      Personally, I await the great Moslem Ecumenical Movement that recognizes the great varieties of beliefs, goals and personal experiences of differing cultures. In other words they need to understand that everyone gets a trophy now or some Virgins. To each his own.
      I am sure the great Moslem learning centers will be offering moral equivalence and multi cultural studies very soon.
      I bet the Occupy Islam movement will get great coverage and produce better relations with non Islamic countries.
      I am still waiting for news of dangerous secret cells of Southern Baptist Terrorists and of course, the Pentecostal Suicide Bombers. The Methodist female genital mutilation simply must stop. The Unitarians must cease public stoning. Those darn Lutherns must stop those You-Tube be-headings.

      1. Female genital mutilation is a (really nasty) cultural phenomen in geographical areas of North West and Sub-Saharan Africa. Its practice is not confined to Moslem communities. It is not practiced in the areas where more than 90% of the Moslem world where it is condemned. However, if you are looking for really nasty anti-women practices it is difficult to top suttee and various practices which are a part of the Hindu caste-system. These are confined to the Hindu-practicising part of the Indian sub-continent. They are absent from the Moslem part. However, religious fundamentalists of all religions, and the third world in general, are not places where Western liberal values towards women are much in evidence.

        1. Thanks for bearing out what I wrote about moral equivalence, Paulite. Saudi Arabia executed a “witch” the other day as an official government action. When was a widow last thrown on a funeral pyre by police in India with the sanction of a judge?

          1. “Witch” killing (including infanticide of suspected “witch” children) is endemic in central and southern Africa – an area in which “Christianity” is predominant. Even in the Republic of South Africa, belief in witchcraft is widespread.
            Since the good ol’ days of Salem we in the West prefer to do our witch-hunts – not against supposed witches – but against whatever religious or racial group is obsessing the fringe-right and its media. In the 30’s it was the Jews. Now they are on the case of the Moslems. And so it goes.

            Now, where did I leave my broomstick?

              1. And women and children are killed every day as suspected witches in “Christian” countries like Zimbabwe.

                How dreadfully uncivilized. Why can’t these people be more like us and do their killing from 8 miles high with airplanes?

              1. Well you have to admit, Barbara Eden was and is hot! Michael Ansara was an idiot!!!
                But seriously, if the powers at be there want less Sorcery and Genie Consorting, they need to tax those enterprises. The more you tax it , the less of it you have.
                It won’t stop the Dream however. Larry Hagman call your office.

        2. So you picked one item and painfully plucked a single form of barbarism and state that Muslims (in the Middle East) are not committing that specific act.
          I bet you could find a serial killer that has never stolen anything. I am not sure that changes the nature of the serial killer.

  7. And the most nauseating thing about all of this is the obvious inability of anyone here to appreciate that each of the tens of thousands of children maimed and killed in our war-on-a-lie were just as important and precious as your or my children.

    The planners and fomenters of the war on Iraq were obviously mot a bit concerned with this Christian fundamental.

    1. No one here denies the tragedy of lost civilian lives in Iraq, and it is you who lack the ability to differentiate between necessary reactive force and bloodthirstiness… while implying that the underlying motivation is racial and ethnic insensitivity and animosity.

      “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” Winston Churchill

      Fanatics are what we face and they have the support of the M.E. public. Evidenced by the fact that 84+% of the Egyptian public favors the death penalty for apostasy. They oppose religious freedom. Their religion’s fundamental tenet is that the world must become Islamic, that it is God’s will and, any opposition to God’s will equates to being in league with Satan, so death is all that anyone deserves who resists. Dhimmitude or death are the choices.

      Allah is a ‘god’ who doesn’t believe in free will. So by Islamic ‘logic’ you have no ‘right’ to it. Islam and Western values are fundamentally incompatible, that is the hard truth. Liberal unwillingness to face it greatly compounds the problem. We’re literally fighting by the Marquis of Queensbury rules and, with one hand tied behind our backs.

      As Gen. Sherman famously observed, “War is hell.”

      In a war, the options are not between good and bad, mostly the choices are between bad and worse. As example, in WWII, had you been President in 1945, you wouldn’t have dropped the bomb on Japan, (all those civilian deaths) nor invaded (far more deaths) but instituted a naval blockade of the island, which would have allowed the Japanese military to regroup and eventually threaten us again, ultimately resulting in by far, the most deaths.

      The point being that of the three unpalatable choices facing the Pres. you would have chosen the third because it appeared as the most humane choice, which while in the short term least painful, would have in the long term been most painful for all concerned.

      Just as Saddam would have resumed his pursuit of WMD’s, (had we not invaded) when the UN dropped its sanctions, which Obama would have certainly done for ‘humanitarian’ reasons.

      Your continued professing that Iraq was a ‘war-on-a-lie’ while ignoring and failing to acknowledge the overwhelming number of prominent Democrats who are on record as stating their unequivocal belief that Saddam was pursuing WMD’s makes you the intellectually dishonest debater. They voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq and had access to the same intelligence as the administration. Had they any doubts about the veracity or ‘reasonable doubt’ of that intelligence, they could have voted against the resolution. But they did not.

      Ultimately, the invasion of Iraq was a wasted effort because Western liberal opposition effectively derailed the invasions primary purpose and message. The purpose being to place within the M.E. a democracy, predicated on the premise that basic human aspirations trump culture. Arguably an erroneous premise but the only strategic alternative to eventual regional war, which we now face, as once Iran gets the bomb, nuclear proliferation among hostile, unstable third world nations shall become common.

      The invasions’ message was to the rogue nations and ‘enabling’ nations (those who out of short and long term interests block, primarily in the UN, any effective international action against the rogue nations) which support Islamic terrorism through financial, territorial and logistical support. That message was that 9/11 represented a paradigm change, one in which the US would no longer turn a blind eye to covert and overt support for Islamic terrorism. Libya initially got the message but Bush failed to push forward and equivocated, realizing that he did not have the full support of the nation. “Useful idiots” (Stalin’s description of liberal gullibility) like yourself being the reason.

      So here we are and in time we all shall reap what you and your kind have sowed, another Dunkirk. But this time it shall involve weapons of mass destruction and when millions die, intellectually dishonest ‘peaceniks’ like yourself will refuse to face your own culpability.

      “Contempt is less than thine stupidity deserveth.” Morgan097 because many more good men, women and children are going to die because of pacifistic liberal’s moral and intellectual cowardice.

  8. “it’s good that saddam is gone, but it sure as hell wasn’t worth the invasion and all the horrors that have followed. The US is vastly weaker, and I mean vastly, for doing this and it greatly strengthened Iran and afforded them years to work on THEIR nuclear program….”fuster

    All the horrors? Tell that to the 100’s of thousands who won’t die at Saddam’s hands. And please don’t insult our intelligence by claiming that the cost drove us into recession, which may have been one of the straws that breaks the camels back but only a small factor in the ultimate accounting for our coming fiscal bankruptcy.

    Psychologically and geo-politically we are weaker but that has to do with our equivocation as a nation and 1/2 the public’s inability to understand that malevolent aggression only understands the mailed fist.

    Asserting that the US is ‘vastly’ weaker for having invaded Iraq is utter nonsense fuster. It’s our liberal leadership and the appeasement minded supporters who have made us weaker. Not fighting a minor war in Iraq.

    News flash! Iran’s fanatical Mullahs were never amenable to anything other than uncompromising force. The only way they were ever going to abandon their pursuit of nukes was if they were certain that invasion and war with the US was immanent and that the American public’s attitude was uncompromising. Once they saw that the America’s leadership and public was ambivalent about Iraq, they knew that Bush would never be able to push forward and threaten them credibly with military force.

    The left’s political leadership, the medias unrelenting opposition/misinformation campaign and the millions of liberal ‘useful idiots’ effectively derailed and hamstrung Bush’s WoT.

    They got what they fought and wished for and we are left as a nation with our heads in the sand, waiting for a far greater threat to emerge, which is as predictable as Hitler’s coming aggression was in 1938. Just as Hitler could not be dissuaded, neither can Islam’s fanatics be…fight them over there or over here, for they will have it no other way because their God has proclaimed it, no matter what the cost.

    “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” Winston Churchill

  9. Geoffrey ” Tell that to the 100′s of thousands who won’t die at Saddam’s hands.”

    they’re already dead, Geoffrey and it’s a dumb argument we saved Iraqi lives by invading Iraq. We hadn’t that purpose driving our invasion and we hadn’t any writ for that.

    As well, we damn sure didn’t save lives, Simple math says otherwise.

    Iraq was an horrific mess before we invaded, we ushered in years of hell on Earth, and now Iraq is an horrific mess where Iran holds more sway than do we.

    We spent thousands of our lives as well, and a couple of trillion bucks, and squandered many other opportunities while we tarnished our honor and reputation.

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