The church of the Left
Religious adherents hope to be imbued with a `holy spirit,' elevating themselves into a kind of nirvana-like state. In the religion of the left, adherents hope to be blessed with a different kind of frenzy, one that closely resembles a kind of transference. It is also true that the catechism of the left is strange collection of eclectic ideas and ideologies, none of which address reality in a meaningful way.
Like the radical Islamists, the Church of the Left usually assigns the worst of it's own characteristics to those it finds itself in disagreement with- the US and anyone who disagrees with them. Adherents of the Church of the Left will side with anyone, no matter who they are or what they represent, if the agenda is anti-American enough.
Germans and Japanese of the left excoriate the `American history of militarism,' to the wild and encouraging cheers of the American left. After the 2000 election, Mexican authorities expressed grave concern about American electoral irregularities. British leftists routinely refer to American Imperialism and perhaps most ironic of all, the left now stands shoulder to shoulder with the Arab world, complaining that the press is being precluded from reporting the truth, hindered by a secret cabal that controls the media (the Arab world of course, has always been a beacon of a free press). Barely able to contain itself, the left consider the Chinese charges to have the most gravity. That workers paradise routinely accuses the US of `Imperial Hegemony.' Considering that China has, for the last 6,000 plus years, been the principal Asian hegemon, their call is an example of spectacular hypocrisy at best. That of course is irrelevant to the left. If those making the calls are anti-American, well, they are members in good standing in the Church of the Left. If and when the Chinese invade Taiwan, a free, democratic and not anti-American, don't look for the left to condemn that exercise of Chinese hegemony.
When French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hubert Vedrine remarked that
"The foremost characteristic of the United States is that it has regarded itself ever since its birth as a chosen nation, charged with the task of enlightening the rest of the world"
the Church of the Left could barely contain itself as the Minister addressed an adoring and worshipful choir. In fact, if history has taught us anything, it is the French who have claimed that moral superiority (for itself only. Their colonies were left in a shambles, with violence and corruption a legacy left to this day). What is left unrepeated and unnoticed by the Church of the Left is the claim, ad nauseum, by the French that France is the birthplace of the Rights of Man and as such, it is the French alone that understand liberty and the ideals of man. Monsieur Vedrine seems to have forgotten the French `attitude.' So far the theologians of the left have yet to address that issue.
When you get right down to it, the Church of the Left is not unlike the pagan religions of the dark ages, forcing itself upon an often unwilling population, demanding tributes and sacrifices, with no regard to the truth or reality. Hate America- that is enough. Hate freedom- well, even better. Hate those who would bring freedom to the multitudes, well, that is best of all.
All the while, the Church of the Left fuels that agenda with bigotry, hate and intimidation. That is not an exaggeration. Disagree with the catechism of the left and you are evil, to be eliminated. The Church of the Left elevates itself by tearing down the beliefs of others. Is it any wonder that they have found a temporary kinship with Islamists?
Naturally, the press are only too happy to bring the gospel of the left to the masses. Like pagan zealots everywhere, the media are only to happy to engage in America bashing at every opportunity, with nothing to insignificant or too small. In fact, even the truth is not a necessary ingredient when engaging in America bashing. America's inevitable and immediate decline is gleefully reported when monthly economic indicators don't rise quickly enough, or even decline. No matter that the US economy is expanding. The European press (the `balanced' BBC in particular) devoted huge amounts of newspaper column inches and radio and television editorials to the technical troubles the Mars `Spirit Rover,' as being indicative as to imminent decline of American technological innovation. America was in trouble, the European press said, because American technology was proving to be a failure.
When the problem was fixed, the Euro press barely mentioned it. If covering America doesn't include the requisite America bashing, well, there is no point in covering American affairs. In fact, what upsets the Europeans most is a reality they dare not face, one we addressed here, in the Who and Why of Who We Are:
We went on to explain that a century ago, Europe was only too happy to rid itself of the `wretched refuse' and `teeming masses'. The European elite and intellectuals thought that once rid of the annoying and newly demanding `unwashed' peasant class, Europe would once again regain it's rightful place as the center of the moral and political world, and thus preserve the imperialist relationships they had established, if not formally, then by necessity. Through benevolent noblesse oblige, Europe would assume control the economic and political fate of the `lesser' nations. Without masses of lower classes, now demanding equitable political participation, Europe's destiny would be assured. America, that upstart, would be relegated to it's proper position- that of being subservient to Europe, no more than a source of cheap raw materials for what must be the dominant European economic model.
That haughtiness, albeit in a different way, can be applied to the Latin Americans. The gringos came to this continent much later (and with far less) and landed in a much less hospitable environment. Nevertheless, it was the `gringos' who made it. In fact, it was the `wretched refuse,' that within a few short generations, built a society the exceeded and passed Europe, Africa and the Arab world. In fact, in reality it is only the Asians that have responded to the challenge, building economies and societies that are stunning examples of what can be done when a nation pulls together in response to a challenge. The French built a civil service that was dedicated to cradle to grave welfare system, a civil service dedicated to employing millions. The South Koreans, Japanese, Malays, etc., build ships and automobiles, exported all over the world.
How did this come to pass? Simple. Virtually the entire professional and governing Asian classes were educated in America- and exposed to American values. As is often the case, some Asian anti-American hostility came to the fore because they wish to attack their American benefactors. Japan- and Germany, for that matter- would not be what they are today because of American largesse and aid.
What the Church of the Left needs to avoid more than anything else is the truth that the United States is the most ethnically diverse country in the world, made that way because what drew immigrants here was the flight from persecution. They came to these shores, as we noted, to build better lives and a better society. What is also ignored by the Church of the Left is an even more important truth.
It isn't Americans that are hurt by the theology of anti-Americanism. Those most hurt by the Church of the Left live in other, far away countries. In despotic regimes the world over, oppressed peoples will remain in the dark abyss of tyranny and will never see the light of freedom- all because they are obsessed with denouncing and hating the United States, carefully cultivated by the Church of the Left and nourished by despotic regimes only too happy to cooperate with the `useful idiots' that will draw the focus away from their own excesses.
That is the true passion of the left- and because of it, murderous and despotic regimes will never be held accountable for their crimes. Iraqi murderers are deliberately killing children and the Church of the Left cannot bring itself to denounce that horror. Instead they focus on whatever must be done to exclude democracy, whatever the cost. As natural disasters and man-made cruelties become more evident each day, the Church of the Left can focus on one thing and one thing only- the defeat and destruction of America, her values and freedom. As children in Darfur die, as Arab children are taught to hate and kill, and as the after effects of natural disasters take their toll, the Church of the Left concerns itself with `getting Bush.'
America will survive the Church of the Left. It is a tragedy that the hate and obsessions of the will keep hundreds of millions, if not billions, oppressed, all because of a hate filled and failed ideology. Now that's hate.
Duped And Living In Jihad Denial
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 is a perfect example. It accurately links 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 "highjacked" 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 will be published, Library of Congress researcher Raymond Ibrahim's translation of the most significant Al Qaeda treatises, many of which have not appeared before in English. 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 web-site jihadwatch.org, reports that "very ominously, Mr. Spencer's Web site 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 that 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.
Muslim, Italian and Zionist
It's not every day that a Muslim intellectual puts his own head on the line to defend Israel's right to exist. But that is exactly what Magdi Allam, an Egyptian-born Italian writer and journalist, has been doing for years. He recently published a book whose name alone is enough to endanger his life: "Long Live Israel - From the Ideology of Death to the Civilization of Life: My Story."
Allam defends Israel even though Hamas condemned him to death in 2003, after he denounced the group's terror attacks. Because of this threat, the Italian government has provided him with round-the-clock bodyguards. But Allam is not afraid. He finds it hard to "live an armored life," but he tells Haaretz in an interview, "I'm willing to pay the price in order to continue to be who I am, to write and speak freely." Those who cut out tongues and slit throats will not subdue him, he writes in the book.
Allam, 55, is the assistant editor of Corriere della Sera and the 2006 Dan David Prize laureate. His new book, which immediately became a best-seller in Italy, is part of his consistent and uncompromising fight against extremist Islam and for Israel's right to exist. In addition, he is trying to convince people that "the culture of hatred and death that the West now attributes to Muslims is not embedded in Islam's DNA."
In "Long Live Israel" ("Viva Israele" in Italian), Allam directly links the denial of Israel's right to exist to the death cult being nurtured in fundamentalist Islamic circles, and refers to "the ethical erosion that has led to even the denial of the supreme value of the sanctity of life." Allam sees Israel as "an ethical parameter that separates between lovers of civilization and those who preach the ideology of death." The sanctity of life, he writes, "applies to everyone, or to no one."
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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