Sunday, September 12, 2010
Geert Wilders Warns America at 9/11 Remembrance Rally
And he didn't need a teleprompter
Dutch Parliamentarian and freedom fighter, Geert Wilders, gave an outstanding speech. “No place on earth had a more multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-lingual workforce than New York’s proud towers.
That is exactly why they were targeted. They constituted an insult to those who hold that there can be no peaceful cooperation among people and nations without submission to Sharia; to those who wish to impose the legal system of Islam on the rest of us.
But New York and Sharia are incompatible. New York stands for freedom, openness and tolerance. New York’s Mayor recently said that New York is “rooted in Dutch tolerance.
Those are true words. New York is not intolerant. How can it be? New York is open to the world. Suppose New York were intolerant. Suppose it only allowed people of one persuasion within its walls. Then it would not be New York, it would be New Mecca, a city without freedom.”
Three Realizations from 9/11
The events of 9/11 were a trauma for America, but as in all traumas, there is much to be learned. Some of this is practical, e.g., prohibiting box-cutters on airplanes, but others lessons are more complex. Let me offer three such realizations.
First, we now know that millions of people, mainly zealous Muslims both here and abroad passionately hate America. This is not the garden variety anti-Americanism, for example, European contempt for our crass popular culture. Nor is this aversion just “a dispute.” Those who merely disagree do not become suicide bombers and kill themselves to make their point.
It is boiling, mind-clouding hatred of everything about us: majority rule democracy, religious tolerance, cultural pluralism (e.g., homosexuality, women’s rights), separation of church and state, protected free speech and a free press, ample personal liberty, a passion for economic achievement and everything that defines who we are.
Indeed, loathing even applies to rationality, intellectual debate, science—in short, they hate “the West.” This obsessive abhorrence has existed for decades perhaps longer, but until 9/11 we hardly noticed it and Many Americans still cannot grasp its scope and intensity.
Second, this detestation seems incorrigible. It will not vanish if America’s Middle East policy shifts nor if we shower Afghanistan will billions in foreign aid. Nor will anger cool if Americans make nicy-nice to Muslims at home. Pandering by inviting Imams of dubious backgrounds to the White House to celebrate the end of Ramadan or talking tough is irrelevant.
It is almost as if hatred is genetically hard-wired so any action, regardless of motive or outcome “proves” America’s evil. Again, as with the hatred itself, Americans, an overwhelmingly kind and pragmatic people, have real trouble understanding this rage —surely, we hope, there must be something we can do to abate this anti-American, anti-West fury. Apparently not, however.
Third, since 9/11 our historical repertory of responses has proven useless and we continue to be befuddled. Bombing the Taliban into the Stone Age is pointless when they already live in pre-modern villages. As mentioned, all the economic and humanitarian generosity counts for naught. We intervened in Bosnia to save Muslim lives, withdrew our military from Saudi Arabia so as not to offend Muslim sensibilities, even sent US troops to rescue Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, but nothing mattered. Have Saudi princes re-directed their charitable giving to the USO as a sign of gratitude?
To speculate just a bit, when it comes to winning friends abroad, we seem stuck in the Europe of between 1944 and the early 50’s. Here America was the heroic (and appreciated) savior from Nazi rule and impending starvation, and young Parisian girls rushed out to kiss the liberating GI’s. Those newsreels have left an indelible impression on our collective mind. No doubt, many Americans still don’t fathom why so many Iraqis violently turned on us after we freed them from Saddam Hussein’s bloody dictatorship. Muslim women rushing up to GI’s are now assumed to be suicide bombers.
But of all this befuddlement, none outshines our self-induced paralysis. Nine years afterward we are still confused, squabbling over the most elementary facts and it seems endless. Thanks to our PC infected brains, we want to fight “a war” without offending the enemy.
How many Americans know the difference between al-Qaida and the Taliban? We are even perplexed about the enemy’s name—are they Islamic terrorists or just plain “terrorists”? How about generic sounding “militants,” “extremists,” or, as in Iraq, “insurgents”? What about Islamofacism? Or even “perverted Islam”? Where does the ethnic label “Arab” fit when many terrorists are not Arabs, do not speak Arabic and may even loathe Arabs? And what drives their passion—Islam in general? Is the culprit just Wahhabism? Or, conceivably, do the attacks reflect only personal grievances and frustrations cloaked in a religion?
We are even unsure of whether dozens of similar incidents are linked or just perpetrated by “lone wolves” who coincidently share certain religious beliefs about killing innocent Americans. Indeed, a few public officials disdain the whole idea of “a war on terror” and insist that everything can be handled as if these were humdrum criminal acts. Recall WW II when Admiral Bull Halsey explained his strategy as “killing Japs, killing more Japs and pretty soon they lose the will to fight.”
These recognitions—hatred, intractability and our confusion--do not arrive with simple prescriptions for improvement; solutions must be extracted. There is a place for complexity and nuance but not when fighting a war. Clearly, at least in my view, acting wisely on these lessons requires a leadership to articulate the problem, honestly explain why past solutions have failed, and perhaps most of all, stop trying to assuage our enemies in the futile hope that yet one more appeasement will bring victory.
Americans are finally beginning to open their eyes to the reality of a hostile Islam
Once again we remember and honor those who perished in the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. And we stand eternally grateful before those who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe from further attacks and other dangers.
But something new and extraordinary commingles with commemoration on this ninth anniversary of the attacks. One senses a heightened public understanding of Islam, and in particular its dark – theocratic and jihadist – side. Add to that deep fear that our appeasement-minded political and opinion leaders are causing us to lose the war against Islamic radicals who attack us in the name of their religion and against those in our midst who practice “stealth jihad.”
Andrew McCarthy, author of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, views this epiphany as a “tectonic shift” dramatically triggered by the planned construction of a mega-mosque next to the sacred precinct of Ground Zero. How apt this locus, the former site of the World Trade Center, “the inevitable fault line between Islam and the West.”
Most Americans reject the building of this mosque on grounds that its existence would stand as a cruel and monumental insult to those who died on 9/11. They believe that Islamic radicals would trumpet it as a symbol of their victory over us and, indeed, many triumphal mosques have been built on the revered sites of conquered peoples throughout Islamic history.
Americans are also concerned that this mosque would serve as a stronghold for political Islam and Islamic hegemony in New York City. Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Abdul Rauf openly promotes Islamic Sharia law, a system that denies our basic cherished freedoms and the equality of rights for all people before the law.
Americans in droves now reject both the erection of this mosque and the elites’ accommodation to Islamism. They have begun to grasp that, doctrinally, “moderate Islam” does not exist, although, as McCarthy states, “there are millions of Muslims who are moderate people” as well as “dedicated Muslims working to transform their faith into something that is institutionally moderate.”
For twenty years Americans have been slaughtered by Islamists, spilled blood and treasure for Islamic peoples, and accepted the building of thousands of mosques, even though, McCarthy explains, they have been used to violent ends against us. All the while, we have been labeled as intolerant victimizers.
On 9/11/10 many Americans are indicating they have had enough. Signs of passionate resistance abound. The prospect of a Ground Zero mosque (combined with the fact that in the Age of Obama, as Caroline Glick notes, they are repelled by rejection of the American creed and seek to reclaim what they feel to be their birthright) have awakened this nation to radical Islam and an array of other present dangers.
Daniel Pipes conveys this bracingly: "The energetic push-back of recent months … now feels like a movement … those who reject Islamism and all its works now constitute a majority and are on the march …"
Once this lesson is learned, the new energy brings the defeat of Islamism dimly into sight.
9/11 With My Son
On 9/11, I awoke, turned on the computer, saw something bad had happened in New York, turned on the TV in the living room, and sat there from 6AM to 9PM Pacific. My then 1 ½ year old son was toddling around. Several times I hugged him and cried, for America, for New Yorkers, for the battles that I was sure lay ahead, and for my son’s future in that world.
My son has a Hebrew name, shield of Joshua, and an English name, non-labeling, as he, his younger brother and my wife visit my mother-in-law in Dusseldorf, Germany for a month each summer. We don’t want the boys targeted by the increased number of open anti-Semites in Europe, especially the radical Arab youth who prowl the streets. Some of the wonderful counselors at the summer camp my sons go to in Dusseldorf are Muslim. My sons are warned to keep their religion to themselves, not knowing who might be infected with hate. The synagogue in Dusseldorf is well-secured and under constant police protection.
Back home, in suburban San Diego, my sons don’t have that fear. But, since 9/11 there is a locked gate and a guard at the Jewish preschool my sons attended, and guards around our synagogue. The fear is spreading in the US, as is the Leftist-Muslim alliance to delegitimize Israel and to stir hate. We have Muslim friends, who are not radical, and appreciate being in the US. And, 64% of Arabs in the US are Christian, who know persecution for not being Muslim. Unfortunately, their voices, though subdued, are drowned out by those with bigger mouths and designs.
Last Memorial Day, we went to Petco for a Padres game. At the end was a stirring salute to the US military. On the way home, my now 10-year old son, knowing I served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, quietly asked me what I felt. I told him, simply, that sometimes we have to fight, not because we want to, only after trying not to, to do good and to survive.
To my surprise, a few weeks ago, my son came into my office and told me he was watching a four-part, two-hour, documentary about 9/11 on Youtube. Since 9/11, I’ve not watched such films, trying to avoid the pain and fear I felt in 2001. Neither had my son watched any, or been taught about it in school.
I watched the documentary, very factual and matter-of-fact, with my son. After, I asked my son what he was feeling. He said, “I’m glad the US has people who will fight so another 9/11 or worse doesn’t happen again.” Religion is about doing good, not feeling good.
Victory over Evil
When a nation loses its way and gives up on its own destiny, exchanging the birthright of its own exceptionalism for the porridge of self-amusement—it takes a collision with an unthinkable evil to remind it of its place in the world. Too many Americans had accepted the postmodern view of the world, one in which there was neither good nor evil, just a variety of opinions and viewpoints. That postmodern world seemed more comfortable with its welcoming non-judgmentalism and its disbelief in destiny. It was a world that did not ask anything of us, except to occasionally pretend that we care.
9/11 changed that. It tore down the sky and opened a gaping hole in the self-centered arrogance that had been the legacy of the 90’s, best exemplified by its champion, the morally ambiguous William Jefferson Clinton. It reminded us that we cannot just be satisfied with bread and circuses. That the world does not exist for our amusement. And that all views and beliefs are not created equal. That despite the ironic detachment of pop culture, there was a right and a wrong. And that despite the retreat from faith in a higher being, to a faith in our own technocratic castles in the sky, there was such a thing as good and evil. And not that we had forgotten that we were meant to be the good-- evil had come to pay a call on us.
With the fall of the Soviet Union, and even long before then, many Americans had ceased to believe that there was an evil out there. Only different views, governments and cultures. But in defeating one evil, a power vacuum had opened in which an old dormant evil could thrive again. And so it shall always be.
We had come to think of the “good life” as a natural and inevitable outcome of our own gifts and talents. But it requires more than that. It requires that we stand ready to resist those who would destroy it. On 9/11 we met our opposite, the mirror image of what we had allowed ourselves to become. Fanatics with a murderous faith, confronting a country that had come too close to forgetting its own. Destroyers attacking a civilization of builders. Barbarians besieging the gate of a civilization that had forgotten the sacrifices which had built their cities, and the price paid to raise up their walls.
9/11 interrupted the culture of passivity with a warning and a challenge. Either we would defy and defeat evil anew, or it would consume us whole, as it had done to so many cultures and countries around the world. Our “good life” could not be seen as an unchallenged gift, but an inheritance we would have to fight for over and over again. There is horror in that, but there is also greatness. Because men and women are not uplifted by wallowing in comfort and plenty, but by testing their bodies and souls against challenges, and prevailing over them.
My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 9:08 PM