Is Reuters to Blame for the Terrorism in Norway?
By Cliff May, President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
The New York Times last week ran an editorial arguing that Anders Behrig Breivik was “influenced by public debate and the extent to which that debate makes ideas acceptable.” The “broader” issue, says the Times, is that “inflammatory political rhetoric is increasingly tolerated.”
Exploiting atrocities to settle political scores through guilt by association is a nasty game but if we are going to play it, I’d look elsewhere. I’d start with Reuters or, more precisely, what we might call the Reuters Doctrine. After the attacks of 9/11/01, there were individuals and groups (emphatically including the policy institute I head) making the case that terrorism should be defined as the use of violence against civilians to further a political cause, and that expressing a grievance by intentionally killing other people’s children is never justified.
We argued that civilized people, of whatever religion or nationality, ought to be able to agree on this principle and, if they did, those who target innocents would be seen only as terrorists, unequivocally condemned by the “international community.”
Reuters disagreed. The global news agency took the position that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” This expression of moral relativism was embraced by many in the media, on the far left and far right, in academia, government and transnational organizations. And that may indeed have paved the way for Breivik -- who unquestionably fancies himself a fighter for European freedom -- to believe he could use terrorism to focus attention on his grievances without de-legitimizing those grievances. If it works for militant Islamists, why not for a militant Norwegian?
In his rambling 1,500 “manifesto,” Breivik lists the names of many individuals whose writing he has read and who are therefore now being accused of membership in the “Islamophobic blogosphere.” Among them: Mark Steyn, Theodore Dalrymple, Melanie Phillips, Bruce Bawer, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Bat Ye’or, Andrew Bostom and Pamela Geller. (And he cites FDD reports and congressional testimony on such topics as terrorist financing and Islamist oppression of Christians in the Middle East.) Anyone familiar with these sources knows that the views they hold vary widely – and not one advocates terrorism.
Breivik’s manifesto also includes digressions on George Orwell, John Stuart Mill, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain and William James. Does that imply that those writers share the blame for Breivik’s murders? Shall we burn their books? (Memo to young readers: Read them while you can.)
Or should we reject as illogical and hypocritical the charge that anyone critical Islamism is beyond the pale and tarred with Breivik’s brush? Consider: Both the Sierra Club and “Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski are concerned are committed to fighting ecological degradation. Does that mean that all environmentalists have blood on their hands? (Breivik plagiarized extensively from Kaczynski’s writings for his manifesto perhaps suggesting he sees militant environmentalists as a model.)
Back to the Times editorial: It states that there is a “disturbing, and growing, intolerance across Europe for Muslims and other immigrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.” Where is the evidence for that? Which European countries have closed their borders to Muslim refugees? Which European countries have passed the equivalent of Jim Crow laws? Which European mass murderers have targeted innocent Muslims? The answer is none but of course innocent Muslims have been slaughtered – and continue to be slaughtered -- by Iran’s rulers, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas and Tehran-backed Shia militias in Iraq. Do the math: Muslims, more often than Christians, Jews or Hindus, are the victims of Islamic militants.
But nowhere in Europe do Muslims suffer oppression and discrimination on the level that religious and ethnic minorities do in most of the 50 or so countries that hold membership in the Organization of the Islamic Conference. (Can you find any editorials on this issue in the Times or other major newspapers?)
To be sure, there may be some Europeans and Americans who suspect that all or most or too many Muslims endorse the crimes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ayman al-Zawahi, Anwar al-Awlaki and other self-proclaimed jihaidis. That’s wrong. But it’s no less wrong to encourage the fiction that Muslims are victims and that Christians, Jews and Hindus are their victimizers.
This construct already has led to a weird sort of affirmative action for Islamix extremists. For example, Naser Asser Abdo was awarded “conscientious objector” status by the U.S. Army not because he was morally opposed to killing but because he was morally opposed to killing fellow Muslims. Imagine if a U.S. soldier had refused deployment to the Balkans saying he couldn’t defend Bosnian Muslims against Serbian Christians. You think he’d have been regarded as a conscientious objector and given an honorable discharge? If there were ever any doubts about the conscientiousness of Abdo’s objections to taking up arms, he cleared those up following his release from the Army when he immediately stocked up on guns and explosives, apparently intending to replicate the massacre carried out by Maj. Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood. Hasan is another instance of what might be called reverse discrimination: Had he been a white supremacist instead of a Muslim supremacist, do you think his views would have been ignored and he would have been able to rise in the American military as he did?
Toward the end of his manifesto, Breivik argues that “democratic change” is an illusion and that the only answer is “armed resistance.” He predicts “more moderate” political efforts will be “persecuted” and that attempts at “peaceful reform will be crushed” leaving violence as the only alternative. By demonizing those concerned by the pathologies afflicting the Muslim world and emanating from it, Times editorial writers and their allies are actually giving credence to Breivik’s worldview.
MSNBC pulls out favorite Soviet/KGB trick: Declare your opponents insane
Psychologists have been misrepresenting conservatives in a similar way since 1950. But nobody listens to them, fortunately
On Wednesday, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir launched the most transparently biased and abusive segments yet against Tea Party activists. Not content to simply repeat the slurs of the usual suspects of the legacy media, Bashir out-did himself by trotting out one of the most favored tactics of the Soviet KGB to hurl at the advocates of limited government and fiscal sanity.
In a series of questions and responses with addiction guru Stanton Peele, MSNBC proceeded to label childish, delusional zealots who are mired in their “psychosis.” And how does the esteemed author and quack come to this conclusion? Simple. Tea Party advocates are adamant that government become smaller, tax less and have a diminished role in people’s lives. That is what MSNBC and their mouthpieces consider mentally ill, suffering from childish psychosis.
It would be funny if it never had been done before. But, of course, it has. In the 1950s, Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev needed to control dissent. But the old Stalin ways of shooting people or packing them off to Siberia wasn’t effective enough. So, he and the KGB secret-police started to use psychiatric hospitals as the new gulags. Khrushchev proudly proclaimed, “there are no political prisoners (in the USSR), only persons of unsound mind.” The practice was so repugnant that even the New York Times ran a front page story condemning it in October, 1987.
So why would the in-house organ of the socialist left in America, MSNBC, revert to using the old tactic of labeling their opponents of being of “unsound mind”? Because, they have nothing else to undercut the forces building in the nation against them. The Left has no arguments. Their policies are destroying America and increasingly people recognize the truth. As more and more citizens gravitate to the Tea Party message of limited government and reduced government spending, the Left is desperate to isolate and denigrate the messengers of American renewal. They long for the days when Republicans were those nice, well-mannered people who gave them whatever they demanded.
A time-honored political debating ploy is to accuse your opponent of your own worst crime. It appears that this is what MSNBC and all the attack-dogs snarling at the Tea Parties are up to. It is they, after all, that are delusional.
It is the Left in America that believes with all their hearts that the way to solve a debt crisis is to take on mountains of new debt. It is the liberal establishment who advocates as hard as they can that the economy will grow if only we radically increase the cost of energy and limit its supply. It is the leftwing pundits who can look upon a $3.7 trillion dollar federal budget and not see a single thing to cut.
Sadly, these people have been suffering from their delusions for decades. Their illness has only gotten worse. These are the same people that denounced the conviction and execution of spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. “A travesty,” they screamed. Fundraisers were held with all the celebrities of the day denouncing America. But, when the files of the KGB were opened after the fall of the Soviet Union and it was learned for an absolute fact that the Rosenbergs were Soviet spies that had committed treason against America, the Left fell uncharacteristically silent. I guess putting the American people in jeopardy was “no big deal.”
The list of other examples is very long. The liberal-leftist-socialist elements in America, with their allies and water-boys in academia and the media, simply refuse to see the reality of things. They are delusional to the point of insanity.
So, in the spirit of community and neighborliness, let me help out our brethren on the Left with a reality check.
The Tea Party doesn’t care what you think. You have no credibility. Small government advocates will not be cowed or isolated by your ranting and raving. You have no effect, you are as impotent as your policies. The American people are seeing through your lies, deceits and manipulations. You cannot get them back. The Ponzi scheme you have built is falling apart and there aren’t enough printing presses in the world to prop it up much longer.
Enjoy your taunts and snide remarks now while you can. Snuggle down with others of your ilk in your self-satisfied stupor, assured that you can slander the limited government advocates enough to keep them at bay. Continue, please, in your delusional state, ignoring the reality that is threatening America and the coming tidal wave that next year is likely to wake you up too late to save your rancid agenda.
Obama Administration Added $9.5 Billion in Red Tape in July
Conservatives take aim at job-killing regulations
Many House and Senate conservatives are reviving their battle against federal regulations, claiming that the president hasn't stopped issuing job-killing rules during the debt ceiling fight. "While Washington and Americans have been focused on the debt ceiling, the Obama administration has continued to roll out more crushing red tape," said a spokesperson for Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, who's been championing the regulation fight.
At Tuesday's GOP Senate caucus lunch, the lawmakers said that they will renew their efforts, supported by business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In a memo Barasso handed out to the lawmakers, he claimed that the administration in July only has put in $9.5 billion in new regulatory costs by proposing 229 new rules and finalizing 379 rules. Among those he cited were EPA, healthcare reform, and financial regulatory reform rules.
Leftists have no ideas
That vacuum between Obama's ears is not unique to him
What happens when people who completely dominate the conversation have nothing to say? What happens when the people who talk the most and are listened to the most about our nation’s most serious problems do not have a plausible solution to any of them? What I think happens is the current state of affairs.
Let me explain. Sometime in the mid-1970s, near the end of the Vietnam War, liberalism in America died an intellectual death. Since that time, virtually every new idea — whether good or bad — about how to solve our most important economic problems has come from the right. Virtually nothing has come from the left.
Do you doubt that? Okay, it’s test time. Tell me what the liberal answer is to the problem of our failing public schools. …..tick, tick, tick ….. I’m waiting …. tick, tick, tick …. Give up? What about the liberal solution to the failed War on Poverty? … pause….. pause ….. pause …. No luck there either?
Okay, let’s take what President Obama says is the biggest domestic problem we face. What is the liberal solution to the huge unfunded liabilities in Social Security and Medicare? ….. Can’t think of one? What about solving the problem of unfunded pensions and post-retirement health care benefits for state and local workers? …. Not even a vague suggestion or two? Wow. We seem to be really striking out.
Well, can you tell me what a liberal income tax code would look like? Zip. How about a liberal international economic system? Nada.
Note: I’m not asking if you have a liberal acquaintance who has an opinion or two on these matters. I’m asking if you can produce a solution that would be generally recognized as the liberal solution.
If I asked what are the conservative solutions, you probably wouldn’t hesitate for very long. For education, there is school choice. For a failed welfare system, tough love. For unfunded entitlements, personal accounts so that individuals can save and invest and pay for their own retirement benefits. Instead of the current income tax code, a flat tax. In international affairs, free trade.
Is there anything that is comparable to these solutions on the left of the political spectrum? I believe not. The reason it’s so easy to rattle off the conservative answers is because for the last 30 years or so those are the proposals the nation has been debating. The nation has not been debating liberal ideas because there haven’t been any liberal ideas.
Consumers have dim view of lighting law: "After years of looming as a distant threat, the federally mandated phaseout of some incandescent bulbs is about to become very real. Many Americans have no idea that most traditional light bulbs are about to disappear, to be replaced by energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights, light-emitting diodes, and halogen incandescents. For some of those in the know, the change means just one thing: It is time to start hoarding old-fashioned bulbs"
Italy advances burqa ban bill: "A parliamentary committee in Italy has approved a bill that would ban the wearing of the burqa and other garments that cover the face. Parliament is expected to vote on the bill in September, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. ... Violators could be fined up to 300 euros ($420) or sentenced to community service 'aimed at encouraging integration.'"
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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)