The Myth of the Opposition: A Response to Eugene Robinson

I have said many times before that the media always gets it wrong. When a friend of mine was killed in the line of duty, they reported he was an Iraq war veteran – and STILL report him as one nearly four years later, though it was his older brother who went. I’ve seen calls I’ve responded to badly mutilated by the media so often that I now refuse to watch the news reports on calls that I’ve been on (I actually mute the TV and leave the room).

Why should it be so surprising that the press is misinterpreting our opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque – and those who disagree are feeding that misinterpretation? When news crews show up at a major incident scene, they know we’re not going to talk to them. We’re not allowed to. They will, however, talk to any bystander who says they know what happened. Often they’re interviewing people who don’t really know what happened. It sure as hell makes for good TV, though, and everyone in the free world believes the BS.

In the run-up to Mark’s next post in his series, I wanted to give a short missive on my irritation at those who are castigating those of us who oppose the building of a mosque just a block from Ground Zero. I have read many articles – both “official” and officially op-ed – that have weighed in on the opposition. Each and every one of them have completely misunderstood us.

Eugene Robinson, in his column for the Washington Post, said, “lies, distortions, jingoism, xenophobia — another day, another campaign issue that Republicans can use to bash President Obama and the Democrats.” His entire offering is a string of lies, little more than an over-emotional temper tantrum from a man who churns out much of the same with every post.

Robinson accuses us of ignoring the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, but he has missed the entire point (I think he does it deliberately). He quotes Newt Gingrich, who said, “there should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.” He quotes Mike Huckabee, who said that supporters of the project have the attitude that “we can offend Americans and Christians, but not foreigners and Muslims.” He also quotes Sarah Palin, who said, “Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts.”

He uses these quotes to claim that we, as conservatives opposed to the building of a mosque walking distance from the site where nearly 3,000 innocent souls were murdered, are trying to deprive the group building the Park51 mosque of their Constitutional rights. In reality, we’re not trying to strip anybody’s rights; in fact, we’re merely exercising our own First Amendment rights. Freedom of speech, baby.

Where, in any of the comments made about the location of this mosque, has one of these big-name conservative superstars suggested finding a government-backed route to stopping the mosque from being built? Have Gingrich, Huckabee, Palin, or others like Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty actually called for government entities to end the drive to build the mosque? Has one of them argued that the mosque CAN be legally stopped?

In a word: NO.

None of us have. Sure, we have expressed outrage. On 9/11, 19 Muslims hijacked four commercial jetliners and used them as passenger-laden guided missiles. Their intent was to attack not just New York, not just Washington DC, not just the government – their intent was to attack America and her people. It wasn’t just an attack on the Twin Towers or Lower Manhattan, it was an attack on all of us. It was intended to send a message. The message was received. Ever since, Muslims all over the world have applauded the “sacrifice” of the hijackers. When Iranian “president” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wanted to visit Ground Zero just a couple of years ago we all became indignant and thousands of people came from around the country to attempt to physically block his motorcade from getting near that site.

Today, our message is clear. You have the right to buy the building at Park51 (which closed shortly after 9/11, when a chunk of the landing gear from one of the planes crashed through the building’s roof). You have the right to claim that the US government was complicit in the attacks on 9/11. You have the right to build the mosque and open it for worship.

We, however, have the right to tell you we don’t appreciate it. We have the right to protest. We have the right to refuse to give money or otherwise support the venture. We have the right to refuse to pick up so much as a wall tack to do work on your project, ensuring that you’ll have to truck in the construction workers to build it.

We have the same rights that they do, Mr. Robinson. We will exercise them in like fashion. The point we’re trying to make is that having the right to do or say something doesn’t mean that you should. If a group of white supremacists who claimed peaceful intent wanted to open a white pride community center near the site where MLK was assassinated, you would scream bloody murder, as would I. The principle is the same.

Treason: It’s Not an Outdated Concept

Spiegel Online International posted an interview with Left-Wing icon Daniel Ellsberg.  Spiegel asked Ellsberg:

“You were the ultimate whistleblower. In 1971, you leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, revealing that the government was well aware the Vietnam War couldn’t be won. You changed history but were vilified and prosecuted for it. Would you still do it today.” 

Ellsberg’s response was:

“I wouldn’t wait that long. I would get a scanner and put them on the Internet.”

The Vietnam War was not won because the Left sabotaged it; just like they are doing now in regards to the War on Terror.  And let’s not forget:  members of both parties said this was a conflict about which we needed to remain vigilant.  Members of both parties voted for it. 

Just for the record, what Daniel Ellsberg did is called…treason.  This is a word I would like to bring back with the full force of it’s meaning.  This notion the Left has put forward that there is no such thing as treason to one’s country is just like everything else they put forward:  muddled, unethical, unprincipled, civilization detroying, clap-trap.  It is the constant drum-beat that there is no such thing as right and wrong.  Yes, there is such a thing as right and wrong.  I can personally testify to that reality.  I’ve studied enough philosophy to know that right and wrong do indeed exist as verifiable, objective concepts.  If right and wrong didn’t exist we would live in anarchy and would be killing each other in the streets.  Pretty simple. 

From The Lectric Law Library Lexicon:

“The Constitution of the United States, Art. III, defines treason against the United States to consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid or comfort. This offence is punished with death. By the same article of the Constitution, no person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”

The act of speaking out against war is the very essence of free speech.  In today’s media outlet, however, where words are broadcast instantly across the globe, you are, as far as I’m concerned, “giving aid and comfort to the enemy”. 

The world is perishing not only from “an orgy self-sacrifice” as Ayn Rand would say in regards to economics–but also of intellectual retardation put forth by the inability to think critically.  We have the liberal-elite controlled schools to thank for that little gift where there is no such thing as an “F”.  I digress.    

In addition to a clarification on the definition of  the word “treason” we also need to discuss the difference between self-defense and murder.  This is how the Left gets away with muddying up the concepts.  The Left has promoted the idea that self-defense and murder are the same thing.  They are not. 

As an Objectivist I hate using religion to defend political positions.  When the Left, however, uses religion to defend their positions then you need to defeat them with their own words.  From Bible-Study.org:

“According to the Bible not all killing is murder.”

You can read the rest of the link for more religious clarification.

As an Objectivist, I simply say it is the intent that matters.  If you are defending yourself you are justified.  If you are murdering, in other words committing the act for the sake of committing the act or to prevent yourself from being discovered in the act of some other immoral act you have performed such as breaking and entering where the homeowner has arrived home, you are not justified.  It is the intent behind the act that determines whether it is justifiable or not.

How long will we wait to declare war?  The extremists have declared it on us numerous times.  They’ve made their intentions clear about wanting to make Westerners submit to their religion.  Their grievance is not just about “leaving their land” as Ron Paul seems to believe.   And will waiting produce a horror even more vivid than 9/11?  Perhaps we will wait until a dirty bomb goes off in one of our cities to find out?  Hey…why not?  We have Somali terrorists crossing our southern border disguised as Mexicans.  If I’m not mistaken one of the things we supposedly “learned” from 9/11 was the degree to which the terrorists who flew planes into our buildings were here illegally?  I’m bi-partisanly pissed off in regards to this issue because the Republicans were no better at enforcing border security when they had the chance.  In fact, McCain tried to push for amnesty for illegals.  There is nothing like a little intellectual inconsistency to make the world…not go ’round. 

The politician says, “We have terrorists who mean to do harm and we should fight them…, but, hey…let’s leave the borders in complete chaos!”

Give me a break. 

It is even worse now with a party in power, who for all intents and purposes, believe there should be no borders because we’re all one big happy global family!  That…and the fact that since Americans typically reject Leftism they need the votes of people who do not understand our culture and constitution to keep putting them in power.

If I had members of my family who were as violently disfunctional as the socialist, communist, fascistic and theocratic countries which are still in existence–I’d be looking for legal separation with restraining orders attached.

Treason.  Yes–it’s still a viable concept.

Proudest Monkey

zzzJeff LeVeen was my kinda guy.

He was a huge fan of the Dave Matthews Band. He’d seen them no fewer than a dozen times (ahem…that’s a dozen times a year), and his favorite song was “Proudest Monkey.” One of his friends described a moment at one such show where he was jumping up and down, screaming for the band to play his favorite song.

He served his country in the Army during the Vietnam War before graduating from Dartmouth University, where he was captain of the golf team. He could spend a whole day playing golf and go home and ask his kids, “who wants to go fishing?” He was a man with seemingly limitless energy, whose family was his whole world.

On September 11, 2001, he was in his office at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in a meeting. At 0846 Eastern Standard Time, American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower between the 93rd and 99th floors–just below the Cantor Fitzgerald offices. The impact of the jetliner into the building and the subsequent fireball that erupted rendered all stairwells and elevators above the 92nd floor impassable; there was no escape for the 1,344 souls trapped above.

Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 members of its family–including Jeff LeVeen.

Later, as his wife Christine described trying to find pictures of Jeff by himself–a feat she found nearly impossible. “All our photos showed him with his arm around the kids or they had their arms around him. He was never alone. That’s the kind of man he was.”

The world is a much better place for having had Jeff in it. I look forward to meeting you when I get home.

(NOTE: this is my contribution to Project 2,996, the movement to post a tribute to each soul lost in the attacks on September 11, 2001.)

Taqiyya

To a Muslim, there is no such thing as an innocent infidel. Learn this fact now and learn it well, before you read the rest of this missive. The Qur’an, Hadith and Sunnah all say that very explicitly.

While the dust and smoke was still days from settling after the attacks on 9/11, Yasser Arafat (then the head of the Palestinian government) openly condemned the attacks. What nobody pointed out at the time was that he had previously–on multiple occasions–praised the “martyrdom operations” of suicide bombers who routinely blew themselves up in crowded ice cream parlors, pizza restaurants, and buses in Israel to kill as many Jews as they could. Arafat was never questioned by the MSM about this duplicity. But those who have studied Islam can tell you exactly what it was all about.

Taqiyya.

It is a purely Muslim concept, one that few Americans have ever heard of. It is also called “dissimulation” in English: it gives a Muslim the right, even the mandate, to hide one’s faith whether in part or in whole in order to protect oneself. Most often these days it is used to simply save face, and it’s excused by many Imams and the Ayatollahs as being the right thing to do. Since the Imams regard attacks launched with the intent of killing infidels as jihad, technically, they’re not lying when they say they don’t support terrorism.

If you recall, when the news of who was responsible for the attacks on 9/11 was released, we learned quite a bit. Unfortunately the facts were quickly buried by the media; they were scrambling to make sure that America didn’t do to Muslims what was done to Japanese, Germans and Italians after WWII. It’s an understandable reason, but one that has been far too dangerous for us to keep harping on.

Whether America wants to believe it or not, Arab Muslims are our enemy. Even those in Saudi Arabia; they may be our allies on the face, but that is merely to keep the beast at bay. If the Saudi royal family hadn’t grown so accustomed to the wealth and power they have, they would be on the same bent as the rest of the Muslim-led nations in the Middle East. They would swear that America is the great satan and jihad must be waged for the sake of allah.

Taqiyya has something to do with that as well. As it stands, even if every one of those nations banded together to attack us, America could bomb them back to the stone age. They all know it. Especially after 9/11, they knew that if they really pissed us off, we’d let ’em have it. So despite his previous statements (and the Palestinian people dancing in the streets and firing their guns in the air and praising their god for what had happened), Arafat knew that if he didn’t come out and publicly denounce the attack, he’d be on the same short list as any other nation found to support Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Did you ever wonder why he condemned the attack but never condemned the celebrations of his people?

Now, taqiyya is serving Muslims well in the press. They can deny that Abdel Yasser Said murdered his two daughters in an honor killing by spouting a list of insignificant questions about the case and dismissing writers like me as Islamophobic. They can disavow the crime committed by Muzzammil Hassan as simply being domestic violence despite the fact that he beheaded his wife after she served him with divorce papers.

And they can paint 17-year-old Rifqa Bary as a liar after she ran away from home to escape the father who threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity. They can help her father, Mohammed Bary, lie to the whole world about just wanting Rifqa to come home. Through the spokesman for the Noor Islamic Institute (known for its ties to terrorism), they can lie about the injury that brought the Bary family to America in the first place (a beating that left her without the use of her right eye), they can accuse the pastor who took her in of using Rifqa for religious and political purposes, and they can say, “if her father is a true Muslim, why would he allow her to wear a short skirt and shake pom-poms as a cheerleader?”

Why would he allow it? Taqiyya. By the way, apostasy to Muslims is the greatest crime of all–killing an apostate in one’s own family is not merely allowed, it is commanded.

To Muslims, it is a tool. I say it is the most gutless rule ever offered by any belief system. Because infidels are not innocent, crimes committed against them (up to and including murder) are not crimes. Agreements signed with them are null and void. And peace? Guess what…according to the Qur’an, any peace accord with infidels is not allowed to last longer than ten years.

Tomorrow marks eight years since 9/11/2001. We have been lulled into believing the way we did on 9/10/2001 by taqiyya in action. We can’t offend them, people say. What if we’re wrong? What if they really are trying to live in peace?

To that, I pose another question…are you willing to be one of the victims that proves peace isn’t what they want? Better yet, are you willing to let someone you love die for that?

What Could Have Been

Since I’m still without the ability to post a vidblog, I’m going to resort to my Sunday Philosophy tradition. This week? Hindsight.

In the months immediately following 9/11, the first priority for everybody was recovery. The disaster was so massive that we didn’t have time to ask questions at first. Ask we did, though, and the questions were tough ones. How did this happen? How could they have pulled this off without tipping someone off? We had to have had some kind of warning–who knew what, and when did they know it? If they knew, then why wasn’t this stopped?

(Since many people, including myself, have soundly debunked the “truth movement” theories, I’m not even going to address them here.)

Today, the question remains thus: if we had some warning, why didn’t we act to stop it? I’m going to ask another question: What were we supposed to do?

Bill Clinton and some of his advisors have taken great joy in pinning the blame for inaction on the Bush administration by claiming that they warned Bush and his cabinet of the threat of Al Qaeda trying to use planes as flying bombs. That doesn’t answer the real questions, however. Everyone looking for more excuses for their long list of hating Bush 43 is happy to accept this as gold, because as we all know, Bush didn’t do anything, right? We can look back on it now and see where the warning signs were. The chatter being picked up, the suspicions of FBI agents who were told they couldn’t do anything, all of it points to inaction as the demon that led us down that path. Hindsight is 20/20, though. We can see it now. How clear was it then?

And even if it HAD been clear, what could we have legally done? According to our laws and the rights assigned in the Constitution, we weren’t legally allowed to listen to any conversations without warrants. An investigation would have had to be done. Evidence would have to prove to a judge that a warrant could be issued to listen in on the conversations. Then, any conversations picked up would have to show clearly–not subjectively, but plainly and clearly–that the men involved in the plot were planning a terrorist act. That would have to have been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt before any of them could have been arrested.

If even one of them had been arrested without clear and convincing evidence of their crime (which hadn’t even been committed yet), they would have been released within hours and the rest of the group would have been tipped off to change tactics. In order to stop them legally, the way Democrats are screaming for us to do with the combatants at Gitmo, we would have had to give them every single right each and every one of us is afforded in the Constitution. All of the precedents set for criminal trial by the Warren Court would have been applied. And I promise you, we wouldn’t have been able to do a damn thing. Deport them for their expired visas? Yeah, right. Every time a group is arrested, rounded up and deported everyone cries racism and inhumane treatment.

In order to stop 9/11, the USA PATRIOT Act would have had to be in place before they started going to flight schools. Like it or not, that is the only thing that has been able to stop terrorists now. Why? Because you can’t arrest someone for thinking of committing a crime. You can’t arrest someone for talking about it before they commit the crime, either, because legally that’s considered hearsay; talk alone would have been inadmissible in court before an actual crime had been carried out. There was little that could have been done in reality. 9/11 was brutally unfair. I wish just as much as anyone else that there had been some way to stop it. Think, however, of what would have happened if we’d tried to arrest the terrorists planning the attack before they’d done anything.

We can see what our reaction would have been by analyzing our reaction to the detainees at Gitmo. There would have been an outcry about their rights being violated, protests against the actions of FBI and CIA agents, and dramatic scenes put on by detractors of such actions depicting the “cruel and unusual” way they were being treated. Never mind that we could have learned from past incidents, such as the original bombing of the World Trade Center by members of the same Muslim terrorist cell. If you look back at it, it seems painfully clear what we could have done. It’s perfectly clear to me that it wasn’t possible.

What will we say in four years about what was going on at the beginning of Obama’s presidency today? When health care is socialized, inflation is running rampant and unchecked, and we’re drowning in tax rates, what will we say? When we realize that we could have learned about how horrible socialized health care is by looking at Canada, the UK, and Spain, what will we say? When the prisoners released from Gitmo manage to bomb us again and kill another three thousand because we weren’t willing to act the way we say we should have before 9/11, what will we say? Will we take responsibility for our actions and live with the consequences of not standing up and telling Obama and his cronies, “no, we won’t support that”? Or will we shake our heads and cast the blame on yet another scapegoat for what could have been?

Remembrance is Worthless Without Resolve

Such are the words spoken in brutal honesty by Michelle Malkin, one of my favorite blogger/columnists.  Seven years ago, at this very moment, I went with my little brother to the Arrowhead Mall Army recruiting station.  I had walked in the door, just getting home from work, at 0556.  The North Tower had been hit, and my dad and his buddy Mike stopped in the middle of their morning coffee to watch what was going on.  Seven minutes later, we watched with mouths agape as United Airlines flight 175 crashed into the South Tower.

If anyone had told me before that moment that Al Qaeda was planning an attack on US soil, I’d have barely believed it true.  If anyone had said the attack would involve hijacking commercial jetliners and flying them into America’s most famous landmarks, I’d have laughed.  I would never have believed they could get away with it before it was happening before my eyes.  I think the vast majority of us would have.  Rick Rescorla, a British immigrant to the US who fought with us in the Ia Drang valley in Vietnam, predicted even before the 1993 bombing that the Twin Towers were a target.  Afterward, he tried with all his might to convince people that it would happen again.  As a testament to his amazing character Rick died on 9/11, refusing to leave the buildings until every last person was out.

373 New York City firefighters breathed their last while still climbing to the rescue of trapped employees.  Among them was Chief Orio Palmer, who had been told the fires were uncontrollable but resolved to fight what he could anyway.  34 New York City police officers also gave their lives.  And on Flight 93, which took off late, the passengers fought tooth and nail to stop the hijackers on their plane from reaching their intended target–The US Capitol Building.  They had already been told what the other hijacked planes had been used for and refused to allow themselves to be used for such a horrible purpose.

When we remember where we were and remember the acts of extraordinary heroism committed by ordinary folks seven years ago, we should also remember that it can happen again.  If we fail to see the danger, as we did before, and fight that danger as we refused to before, we will eventually face a similar tragedy.  Those who forget the past may be damned to repeat it, but if we resolve to fight for our freedom, then our remembrance has a purpose.

On 9/11, a small band of extremists brought America to her knees.  We resolved to fight back and did so.  But since then we’ve lost our resolve.  Iraq is unpopular because we didn’t realize how long the job would take.  Taking a stand against war in any and all circumstances has become chic in our society.  Why?  Are we that unwilling to stand up for ourselves?  We cannot be so weak, lest we give our attackers even more power and more opportunity.  We cannot feel fear when we commit to do a job, including Iraq.  We never would have believed 19 unknown Muslims could have done so much damage until they did; but when it came time to act in advance and stop a monster, we questioned the outcome.

That behavior is what paved the way for 9/11 to happen in the first place.  Saddam may not have been a military superpower at the time, but Hitler started out with far less.  Support the troops AND their mission today, or you make yourself a hypocrite as you hold that candle for the heroes of 9/11.  And without that resolve, your remembrance is absolutely worthless.

Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the realization that there is something more important than fear.