Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Final Answer to Mr. Anonymous (Or Maybe Ms. Anonymous?)

In response to my post a few days ago titled “The Gathering Nuclear Storm: A Moment that History will Judge,” I have received a number of comments from an “anonymous” person around Milton Keys in the United Kingdom. Mr. Anonymous is unfailingly courteous which explains why I am taking the time to respond (for the last time). Mr. Anonymous certainly engages in classic moral relativism and accuses me of tunnel vision, and failing to look at the story from “both sides.” I deny that; I can safely say that I have certainly studied this issue far more than most and I believe that what bothers Mr. Anonymous is that I have, based on extensive analysis of this complex issue over a period of many years, reached a clear conclusion as to the nature and severity of the threat to Western civilization. I also make a clear distinction between the arsonist and the fire brigade, whereas Mr. Anonymous blurs that distinction at every opportunity, and dwells on what I perceive as a truly silly idea of a TV “debate” between an Islamic fanatic who lives in the 12th century, and has visions of the hidden Imam returning to earth at any moment, and… the President of the United States. Good lord! Anyway, Since “Anonymous” is from the UK I will now post a few thoughts on this matter from a number Englishmen who by Anonymous’ standards are probably also narrow-minded. First I give you Sir Winston Churchill's comment on Islam, from The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-250 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899 (over 106 years ago):

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of
commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property a child, a wife, or a concubine must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science (the science against which it had vainly struggled) the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."

Now Imagine That With A Nuclear Bomb.

While compiling his most recent book Never Give In! The best of Winston Churchill's Speeches, Sir Winston Churchill III discovered the following hand written speach delivered by churchill on the 14th June 1921 (75 years ago) hard on the heels of the Cairo Conference, at which he presided over the re-shaping of the Middle East, including the creation of modern day Iraq. He warned the House of Commons:

“A large number of( Saudi Arabia's King) Bin Saud's followers belong to the Wahabi sect, a form of Mohammedanism which bears, roughly speaking, the same relationship to orthodox Islam as the most militant form of Calvinism would have borne to Rome in the fiercest times of (Europe's) religious wars.

“The Wahabis profess a life of exceeding austerity, and what they practice themselves they rigorously enforce on others. They hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahabi villages for simply appearing in the streets.
“It is a penal offence to wear a silk garment. Men have been killed for smoking a cigarette and, as for the crime of alcohol, the most energetic supporter of the temperance cause in this country falls far behind them. Austere, intolerant, well-armed, and blood- thirsty, in their own regions the Wahabis are a distinct factor which must be taken into account, and they have been and still are, very dangerous to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina ….”

In Churchill's day, of course, the viciousness and cruelty of the Wahabis was confined to the Saudi Arabia peninsula, and their atrocities were directed exclusively against their fellow Muslims, whom they held to be heretics for not adhering to the Wahabi creed - but not anymore.

Today the combination of the oil wealth of Saudi Arabia and the supine weakness of the Saudi royal family which - as the price for not having their won behaviour subjected to scrutiny and public criticism by these austere extremist clerics - has bank-rolled the Wahabi fundamentalist movement, and given these fanatical zealots a global reach to their vicious creed of hatred and extremism.

The consequence has been that the Wahabis have been able to export their exceptionally intolerant brand of Islamic fundamentalism from Mauritania and Morocco on Africa's Atlantic shores, through more than two dozen countries including Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, to as far afield as the Philippines and East Timor in the Pacific.

This is a stark challenge that today confronts the Western world and I fear it will be with us, not just for a matter of years, but perhaps even for generations. Whether the decision to invade Iraq was right or wrong, wise of foolish, is immaterial.
Sir Winston Churchill III

There is one more Englishman that should be quoted here as well. not from 100 or 75 years ago, but from a few weeks ago: "Even the issue of Israel is just part of the same wider struggle for the soul of the region, if we recognize this struggle for what it truly is, we would be at least along the first steps of the path to winning it. But I fear a vast part of Western opinion is not remotely near this yet…. whatever the outward manifestation at any one time -- in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in a host of other nations, including now some in Africa -- this everywhere is a global fight about global values…it's about modernization within Islam and out of it. It's about whether our value system can be shown to be sufficiently robust, true, principled and appealing that it beats theirs."
Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Los Angeles World Affair Council, August 1st 2006.

That is my answer to you Mr. Anonymous. Please put all of this in your pipe and smoke it slowly. I am not at all convinced that you are open to face truth and reality when it is so much more comforting to wollow in the murky depths of indecision, moral and intellectual ambiguity. Most I hope will come to recongnize that the days of such luxury are quickly disapearing.
Joe Gelman (not anonymous).

PS: Might I also suggest that you read these latest articles from two wicked Neocon writers David Warren and Victor Davis Hanson becouse us Neocons like to stick together you know:
Doing the Enemy's Work
Messy Democracy Still the Best Course


  1. Hi Joe. Thanks for the reply. I have read through it and yes I will smoke it slowly over time and digest it. On the face of it though, here are my thoughts. Churchill could easily have been termed an arrogant white supremacist in ways, throughout his life. A fine example of the arrogant imperialist that is so far removed from modern Britain today. No doubt he did this country proud as a strong leader in a war, but the British public (and many of his fellow politicians) saw him as a relic of the Empire. He didn't last long after wartime, and there are reasons why.

    Please don't think I was accusing "you" (as a person) of tunnel vision. But I do feel that there is a risk of Neoconservatism itself (as an ideology) being that way at times. It "appears" to see the "immiment" in everything. In doing so, it often appears to me that it is stoking the fire.

    If you are well informed about the Islamic world (as you say), then I applaud you. I have to say though,that the impressions you have got about Islam are not quite the ones I have got from experience of it in Islamic countries. Yes there are local cultural aspects where Islam resides, that are way back in the middle ages. And, Wahhabism is something quite unique in itself. It doesn't really represent the way most Muslims practice Islam.

    The vast majority of Muslims I have met don't give a damn about politics, and certainly aren't hell bent on world domination. Granted, there are groups like that. I will not deny that there are some absolute bitter lunatics out there, frustrated that the Islamic world is on it's knees as a world power now. But, with all their lofty goals of taking over the world, isn't something like the "New American Century" pretty much the same at it's core? Wanting the whole world to be the way it wants it? This is what I try to point out, and what someone like Ahmedinejad (even if he has other agendas for doing so),points out. When a stone wall of silence is given to these "mirror mirror on the wall" moments, then it only hands people like Ahmed,points.

    Often I feel the Neoconservative view goes on about this clash of civilizations being inevitable, not because it "is", but because it "wants" it to be. There are ways out of this supposed one way road to WWIII, and one of them is both sides adressing the concerns of each other (and I don't mean conversing with beheading lunatics). I mean, conversing with heads of Islamic states and not just ignoring them while threatening sanctions or missiles.

  2. 1) Churchill was certainly a "racist" to the extent that he did not believe that all cultures are morally or otherwise equal, as so many misguided relativists and multi-cultural extreemists do. Having traveled to over 50 counties and experiencing many cultures, if that is a "racist," than I plead guilty.
    2) Certainly most Muslims are not fanatic suicide bombers, just as most Germans were not goose-steping members of the SS. It does not take a majority to plunge a culture into the depths of an ideological sewer. It takes a small but dedicated minority, as history has shown time and again.
    3) I certainly do not wish WWIII but I also know that it is not mostly up to the West to avoid it. It will be decided by the battle that is going on within Islam at this time.

  3. Hi Joe. I agree that it only takes a few (or just one) person to drag the whole world into conflict. And, it would be good for us to remember how the fanatic Islamic element against western culture is still 'relatively' small amongst Islamic peoples. Would you agree that what we have to be carefull of here, is not dragging the "entire" Islamic world (and Islam per se) into blame for the actions of certain death cults? Just as the Islamic world has to avoid thinking that all western citizens are fair game for attacks just because of the actions of a few people in their Governments? Such fanatic Islamic groups gain more and more recruits each day though, due to our uncompromising stance on world affairs in recent times (going by what most of them give as the root of their hate, anyway). We are taking a tough line and although it seems to be working in some areas, in other areas it is having the opposite effect it seems.

    Often it seems we are creating "more" of that which we were hoping to stamp out. An uncompromising stance on both sides is pushing us all further and further apart and making it so much easier for us all to de-humanize each other. I may be wrong, but that seems to be the pattern increasingly in regard to Iraq (in particular). Yes, the decision about entering Iraq may have been right or wrong, but I strongly believe that the answer to that question is not "irrelevant". No longer can we just ignore it and deflect such issues with spin. The ease of which our Governments have just brushed things aside with a "Hey, that's the past. Let's move on", has enraged people the world over (and also many citizens in western nations), as if invading a country and not having to answer for it properly afterwards is no big deal.

    With the recent threats against Iran, the world is seeing a similar pattern rearing it's head again. Once again, what a country "might" do is being used as justification to keep it under the thumb of sanctions or potentially act militarily against it. If we use that argument to justify everything we do, we hand fanatic elements the means by which to justify pre-emptive attacks on "us" too, if we're not carefull. In regard to different cultures not being equal in every way,I agree. But,Churchill did live in a time when most in the Islamic world were very uneducated indeed. Things have changed considerably. Uneducated old men with an Ak-47 in the Tribal belt of Pakistan, or the squabbling Arab leaders of Lawrence's time, are considerably different from a university educated Muslim of today (in the west or outside of it), who knows world history, politics, and sees glaring double standards going on blatantly in the world.

  4. Btw,I looked at the articles you provided (realclearpolitics). Well, yes it was cringeworthy to see western hostages sitting there asking Tony Blair and George Bush to "open their hearts to Islam". But, did you hear their tone of voice? It was clearly - "Yeah yeah whatever" as they spoke it. Do they follow Islam now? No, they said they just said the words to save themselves. David Warren has the "luxury" of safely sitting behind a computer screen and lecturing them on what a "real man" is. Put him in the same situation with a gun at his head (or a knife ready to start sawing,nearby) and let's see what he does.

    Does he have a wife and children? Would he sacrifice his life like a martyr as an example of what a "real man" is, at the risk of depriving his family of a husband and a father? We cannot know. What I do know is that it is very easy to for him to say he would be defiant in "principle". Furthermore,why does he say that to convert to Islam means to deny Christ? That is simply not true. Granted, Islam doesn't see Jesus as the "son" of God (as in an extension of divinity), but they certainly recognize him as a prophet.

    Global power politics aside, it is actually one of the requirements of Islam to recognize the prophets. Warren says they were serving the enemy. But how did it serve them? The two men came out and said they were forced at gunpoint to convert to Islam. I see that as a public relations disaster for the kidnappers. They couldn't manage to convert them through persuasion, so they persuaded them with a threat to their life with a gun at their head. As for the other article, it was interesting. The thread behind it seems to be that the west had no choice but to head out and reshape the Islamic world.

    Well, if our nations are determined to install democracy on nations which don't quite seem ready for it (going back to what you said earlier about different cultures not always being equal in several areas) then we're just going to have to brace ourselves for blowback from those attempts. Aswell as those who are willing to embrace it, there are many out there who see it as a conquering force to benefit the "west" in some way first and foremost, and not the nations it comes to supposedly "liberate". I feel there will always be elements within Iraq or Afghanistan who will be taking out newly elected leaders and citizens who try to embrace democracy. As we agreed, it only takes a few individuals to ruin everything.

  5. I disagree that only those who are actually in harms way should be in a position to judge. On the contrary, those who are not directly in harms way are in a better position to think clearly about the bigger picture and not just about their own skin. Furthermore, I have served in the Military in a combat unit; that does not qualify me any more than others to comment on world affairs. Many of the greatest wartime leaders never served a day in the military: Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, people who made life or death decisions from the comfort of the White House, were they too unqualified? David Warren is as qualified as anywone to comment on the matter. He did say that he could "understand" their cowardice under the threat of a gun, but that does not mean that we should celebrate cowardice, or deny it when we see it.

  6. My plan to kick off Muslins of the West:

    As in "Miami Vice" way, we could play fake roles as 'terror leaders conspirators' visiting every Muslim family in West; and in private, invitate them to 'do the Jihad' - blowing up themselves, shooting the crowds on streets, poisoning Water Reservoir cities - as some of them tried to do in London(istan) in 2005 - etc, in order to 'exterminate all the infidel population tomorrow'.

    All Muslins who DON'T call Police and keep secret about the Jihad conspiracy would be arrested and expatriated.

    Simple, doesn't it?

    The complete anti-Islam files

  7. I don't know how many people have seen the footage of the Muslim population in NJ dancing in the streets as the days events of 911 unfolded, but I remember it. If this is the example of the "moderate" muslim, then I fear a lot for this nation. Lets face it if push comes to shove, guess whose side they're going to be on?

    I would like to commend the discussion group however, as this is one of few occasions that I have witnessed honest debate in any blog be it conservative or liberal. IT is a shame that members of our poolitical class cannot have it as civil


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