Warning: The following is decidedly political, which is not my norm for this site. But then, it’s my site–so, there…Besides, the opinions written here are not just opinions, but actually pretty well researched and linked. Read the links, I ask you, even more closely than you do my writing–for in them you will see the point…
The end of 2006 presents numerous opportunities for reflection, as does the end of any year. On a personal level, another year has passed and for me, as for all of us, there have been profound changes. My daughter’s growth into a fine 5-year old kindergartner is the most important in my life–but there are so many other things as well. Sue and I bought a new house and moved in over the summer. It has, in many ways, become our dream-home which is something we never really considered before this. The very fact that we have been able to do this is a kind of blessing–not on par with raising a daughter, but then again, the house purchase would never have come to pass without her.
On a world scale, I am left with hope and discouragement. I’m discouraged at the direction of Western civilization and its seeming inability to call an enemy the enemy. I fear the American public’s fecklessness has led to more of a disaster in Iraq than any planning or lack of planning done by the President and his administration. I’m discouraged by the willingness to adopt a “Vietnam–quagmire” mentality instead of saying–we’re in a war, there have been mistakes and we need to learn from them. We also need to win. I heard secondhand that Tammy Bruce sat in for Laura Ingraham and made an interesting comparison about a new front in the war. She said that the Al-Qaeda types were run out of Somalia by the Ethiopians because the Ethiopians didn’t stop to consider what it would look like to kill the enemy. They went in–and did it. If a country is going to war–then it should go to war–not stop to consider what those who disagree with the war might think…Ethiopia succeeded where we are not. They beat the pants off their enemy. We’re not doing that because we’re afraid of what some people might think.
When Ethiopia invaded Somalia last week, it was because Somalia had been over-run by Islamists–the Islamic Courts to be precise. Ethiopia reasoned pretty quickly that they didn’t need Al-Qaeda as a neighbor and so they attacked. There were no journalists–no media present and if there had been, the Ethiopian military would not have allowed their “unbiased reportage.” Instead, Ethiopia went in and kicked some major ass. By the time the Ethiopians got to Mogadishu, the Islamists had fled. FLED! They were afraid of Ethiopia’s military, but they are not afraid of the US. Why? Because the US elected Democrats and Democrats since 2001 have basically said that 9/11 is the fault of the US. That’s discouraging. It’s even more discouraging when I realize that there are people who really, honestly believe that America is the problem.
But I have hope. I have hope because there are wise people who write things we really should pay attention to. Mark Steyn’s wonderful book, America Alone, is a must read. I warn you, though–it radically changed what I believe. I now agree with Salman Rushdie: Islam is the problem. There are too many ways to see this. I fell for the old historian’s line here as well: You know, the one where you are told that historically, Islam has been a very tolerant religion? Well, not so much. In fact their tolerance comes from a tax called the jizya which Muslims of a milennia ago excised from “Dhimmies,” or non-Muslims. That tax, it turns out, was how Islam grew. For Islam itself really didn’t do much in the world, never earned money or produced its own empire. Its empire grew because of the jizya, which paid for everything. In fact, for a while–smart Muslims disallowed conversion to Islam, because once you converted, you no longer had to pay the tax. The Islamists could not have that, they needed revenue. So–no conversions, please.
I could go on, but the point is there–and real for anyone wanting to learn it. Ambrose Bierce wrote of war in his Devil’s Dictionary, “let us have a little less of this hands-across-the-sea…” or something like that. I quite agree.
Give peace a chance? Well–yeah, OK. As long as that peace comes from a tolerant, powerful, western civilization that, in the end, believes its ideas, while perhaps flawed as they are human, provide the very best example of how to live–free and powerful.
So, the hope for 2007 is just that, then. The need is for us to see that, as we saw in WWII, the enemy is the problem. The dependence on Saudi Arabia, for our time, is the problem. My hope is we will learn that lesson, produce children who learn that lesson and who learn that tolerance is not a synonym for appeasement and enemies can be real–and must be stopped.
Whew! Small resolutions, eh? It’s been on my mind is all. I’ve been reminded lately of how important it is to believe in one’s self and one’s country. We’ve spent so many years in America extolling the virtues of everyone else’s culture, we stopped lauding our own. By raising our children with our values, we must again make them our values. We do have them, I know–but we’re forgetting them and losing them to make room for everyone else’s. The problem is that if we make room for the values of Islam, soon Islam will kill ours. Make no mistake, there is no more tolerance there–and it’s not because we’re in Saudi Arabia–or Araby at all–that we were attacked. We were attacked because we’re not Muslim–and we’re strong.
Let’s not get weaker.