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Depressing Times (Victor Davis Hanson, must read)
Work and Days ^ | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 09/17/2006 8:35:35 AM PDT by Allan

Depressing Times

Oriana Fallaci, RIP, the Pope, and a Sad Age

Rarely has the death of a public intellectual affected me as much as the passing of Oriana Fallaci. I never met her, and only received a brief note once from her accompanying a copy of The Rage and the Pride. The story of her career is well known, but her death, at this pivotal time, was full of paradoxes and yet instruction as well.

Radical Islam is, among other things, a patriarchal movement, embedded particularly in the cult of the Middle-Eastern male, who occupies a privileged position in a society that can be fairly described as one of abject gender apartheid. Islamism is also at war with the religious infidel, not just the atheist—and, in its envy and victimhood, fueled by a renewal of the age-old hatred of the Christian.

But so far, with very few exceptions other than the lion, Christopher Hitchens, the courageous William Shawcross, and a few others, the Left has either been neutral or anti-American in this struggle. And few Christians in positions of influence and respect have publicly defended their faith and the civilization that birthed it.

Candor, after all, can get one killed, exiled, or ostracized—whether a Danish cartoonist, a Dutch filmmaker, a Wall Street Journal reporter, or a British-Indian novelist. So here, ill and in her seventies, returned Ms. Fallaci one last time to take up the hammer and tongs against radical Islam—a diminutive woman of the Left and self-proclaimed atheist who wrote more bravely on behalf of her civilization than have most who are hale, males, conservatives, or Christians.

Her fiery message was as timely as it was caricatured and slandered: Muslims who leave the Middle East to live under the free aegis of the West have a moral duty to support and protect the civilization that has welcomed them, rather than romanticize about what they have forsaken; Christianity is more than a religion, but also a powerful emblem of the force of reason, in that it seeks to spread belief by rational thought as well as faith; and that affluent and leisured Westerners, bargaining away their honor and traditions out of fear and for illusory security, have only emboldened radical Islam that seeks to liquidate them.

I wish she were still alive to scoff at the politically correct, the appeaser, and the triangulator, but alas she is gone, defiant to the last.

Bene dictum?

And what are we to make of poor Benedict XVI, the scholastic, who, in a disastrous display of public sensitivity, makes the telling point, that Christianity, in its long evolution to the present, has learned to forsake violence, and to defend its faith through appeals to reason—and thus can offer its own experience in the current crisis of Islam. And by quoting from the emperor rhetorician Manuel Paleologus—whose desperate efforts at strengthening the Morea and the Isthmus at Corinth a generation before that awful Tuesday, May 29, 1453 all came to naught—the Pope failed to grasp that under the tenets of radical Islam of the modern age, context means little, intent nothing, learning less than zero. If a sentence, indeed a mere phrase can be taken out of context, twisted, manipulated to show an absence of deference to Islam, furor ensues, death threats follow, assassins load their belts—even as the New York Times or the Guardian issues its sanctimonious apologies in the hope that the crocodile will eat them last.

We learned the now familiar rage with the Danish cartoons, Theo Van Gogh, the false flushed Koran story, the forced change of “Operation Infinite Justice” to “Enduring Freedom”, the constant charges of “Islamaphobia”, and a horde of other false grievances that so shook the West, traumatized in fear of having its skyscrapers, planes, trains, buses, nightclubs, and synagogues blown apart or its oil cut off.

So, yes, we know the asymmetrical rules: a state run-paper in Cairo or the West Bank, a lunatic Iranian mullah, a grand mufti from this or that mosque, can all rail about infidels, “pigs and apes”, in language reminiscent of the Third Reich—and meet with approval in the Middle East and silence in the West. But for a Westerner, a Tony Blair, George Bush, or Pope Benedict to even hint that something has gone terribly wrong with modern Islam, is to endure immediate furor and worse. In short, no modern ideology, no religious sect of the present age demands so much of others, so little of itself.

In matters of the present war, I have given up on most of the neoconservatives, many of whom, following the perceived pulse of the battlefield, have either renounced their decade-long, pre-September11 rants to remove Saddam (despite the 140,000 brave souls still on the field of battle who took them at their word), or turned on the President on grounds that he is not waging the perfect fight and thus is not pursuing the good war. The Paleo-right is as frightening as is the lunatic Left. My old Democratic party is long dead, their jackals trying to tear apart the solitary and stumbling noble stag Joe Liebermann, the old center taken over by the Kerry and Soros billionaires, and the guilt-ridden academic, celebrity and media cadres.

So we really are left with very little in these pivotal times—the will of George Bush, of course, the Old Breed unchanged since Okinawa and the Bulge that still anchors the US military, the courage and skill of a very few brave writers like a Hitchens, Krauthammer, and the tireless and brilliant Mark Stein, but very, very few others. No, this is an age in which we in the West make smug snuff movies about killing an American President, while the Taliban and the Islamists boast of assassinating the Pope.

So long may you run, Ms. Fallaci, you who by now have learned that, yes, there is a soul, and, yes, yours was indeed saved for eternity if only for its singular courage and honesty alone. And dear Pope: clarify, contextualize, express sorrow over the wrong interpretation of your remarks, but please don’t apologize for the Truth—not now, not ever.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: benedict; fallaci; hanson; islam; islamevilempire; moslems; oriana; orianafallaci; pope; popetrop; ratzinger; trop; vdh; victordavishanson
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1 posted on 09/17/2006 8:35:36 AM PDT by Allan
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To: Allan

BTTT


2 posted on 09/17/2006 8:39:53 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: Allan

Thanks for posting this. Ms. Fallacci will be missed.


3 posted on 09/17/2006 8:39:55 AM PDT by kellynch ("Our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves." -- Bernard Baruch)
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To: Allan

Pretty depressing article.


4 posted on 09/17/2006 8:40:11 AM PDT by bnelson44 (Proud parent of a tanker! (Charlie Mike, son))
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To: Allan

You now know why Hanson is one of my idols...


5 posted on 09/17/2006 8:40:30 AM PDT by Wombat101 (Islam: Turning everything it touches to Shi'ite since 632 AD...)
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To: Allan

Has he forgotten about us? The millions of Americans who continue to support GWB, who believe he is on the right track?

There is reason for depression here but I think he had a bad day.

We are still here.


6 posted on 09/17/2006 8:40:47 AM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: Allan

All is not lost! We still have Bill Clinton. He is sensitive.


7 posted on 09/17/2006 8:42:33 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Allan

bump.


8 posted on 09/17/2006 8:42:54 AM PDT by michaelt
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To: Tolik

ping


9 posted on 09/17/2006 8:44:24 AM PDT by Valin (http://www.irey.com/)
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To: Allan; All

Rest in peace.

10 posted on 09/17/2006 8:45:36 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Allan
The pope has not apologized. But the flap has confirmed the message he delivered to the West: If you can't talk to the Christians, then certainly you can't talk to the Muslims, who deny that Socrates was on to anything.
11 posted on 09/17/2006 8:48:14 AM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Allan

I thought I was a neo-con but I'm still with Dubya so I must be Old Guard.


12 posted on 09/17/2006 8:48:14 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady
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To: Allan

ping


13 posted on 09/17/2006 8:48:55 AM PDT by TNdandelion
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To: cajungirl
I admit, when I heard Ms. Fallaci had died, I felt a real sense of dread. Like one of our pillars had crumbled in this fight. She was such a bright, shining star (and I also admit that I felt a sudden sense of relief when I read that cancer had taken her -- and not some pork-eschewing martyr for the cause).

But you're right, you're very right. We're still here, and we're still fighting.

14 posted on 09/17/2006 8:49:14 AM PDT by RepoGirl ("Tom, I'm getting dead from you, but I'm not getting Un-dead..." -- Frasier Crane)
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To: Allan

BTTT


15 posted on 09/17/2006 8:56:37 AM PDT by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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.


16 posted on 09/17/2006 9:00:47 AM PDT by Mo1 (Think about it .. A Speaker Nancy Pelosi could be 2 seats away from being President)
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To: Allan
the forced change of “Operation Infinite Justice” to “Enduring Freedom”

Thats what inspired my screen name and me to stop lurking and sign on to FR.

17 posted on 09/17/2006 9:07:43 AM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: Allan
"In matters of the present war, I have given up on most of the neoconservatives, many of whom, following the perceived pulse of the battlefield, have either renounced their decade-long, pre-September11 rants to remove Saddam (despite the 140,000 brave souls still on the field of battle who took them at their word), or turned on the President on grounds that he is not waging the perfect fight and thus is not pursuing the good war. The Paleo-right is as frightening as is the lunatic Left. My old Democratic party is long dead, their jackals trying to tear apart the solitary and stumbling noble stag Joe Liebermann, the old center taken over by the Kerry and Soros billionaires, and the guilt-ridden academic, celebrity and media cadres."

While the whole eulogy was pretty spot on about "speaking truth" to political correctness, the truth is that the Neocons and the President are as delusional as the loony Left.

With the Left sputtering on about "peace" and dialog, The Neocons can't even bring themselves to name the enemy. Then they embrace the whole relativist multicultural lie and pretend that democracy imposed from without will cure all in socially backward tribal countries like Iraq.

Didn't anyone notice what happened in "Palestine"?

I can't decide if they are really that stupid, or if they realize that their whole Globalist enterprise hinges on public acceptance in the West of the muticultural lie.
18 posted on 09/17/2006 9:07:54 AM PDT by outdriving (Diversity is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.)
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To: Allan
My old Democratic party is long dead, their jackals trying to tear apart the solitary and stumbling noble stag Joe Liebermann, the old center taken over by the Kerry and Soros billionaires, and the guilt-ridden academic, celebrity and media cadres.

It's worse than that... they're trying to ruin the fabric of this nation that ties us all together. They worship socialism. They hate the very mention of God in any public forum. They try to silence any truth they don't agree with. They are spineless, gutless, soul-less. I couldn't remain in that party any longer....it's too far gone.

19 posted on 09/17/2006 9:09:11 AM PDT by Just Lori (VOTE!...........or suffer the consequences.......)
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To: Allan
Tuesday, May 29, 1453

I'll freely admit that this date meant nothing to me so I looked it up and here's the scoop for all the rest who didn't know either !

The Fall of Constantinople.

20 posted on 09/17/2006 9:09:31 AM PDT by 1066AD
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To: cajungirl

But who will take over from W ?


21 posted on 09/17/2006 9:10:04 AM PDT by 1066AD
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To: RepoGirl

22 posted on 09/17/2006 9:10:11 AM PDT by John Lenin
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To: Allan

Stop the presses. Pangloss Hanson is depressed.


23 posted on 09/17/2006 9:12:18 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: Wombat101
You now know why Hanson is one of my idols...

I think he may be the only sane academic around.

24 posted on 09/17/2006 9:12:40 AM PDT by stripes1776
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To: cajungirl
Has he forgotten about us? The millions of Americans who continue to support GWB, who believe he is on the right track? There is reason for depression here but I think he had a bad day. We are still here.

No, he hasn't forgotten about you. But where are you in pirnt? Where are you on television delivering commentary? Where are your sermons? Where are your newspaper articles? Where are your books?

25 posted on 09/17/2006 9:15:22 AM PDT by stripes1776
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To: Allan
In matters of the present war, I have given up on most of the neoconservatives, many of whom, following the perceived pulse of the battlefield, have either renounced their decade-long, pre-September11 rants to remove Saddam (despite the 140,000 brave souls still on the field of battle who took them at their word), or turned on the President on grounds that he is not waging the perfect fight and thus is not pursuing the good war. The Paleo-right is as frightening as is the lunatic Left. My old Democratic party is long dead, their jackals trying to tear apart the solitary and stumbling noble stag Joe Liebermann, the old center taken over by the Kerry and Soros billionaires, and the guilt-ridden academic, celebrity and media cadres.

So we really are left with very little in these pivotal times—the will of George Bush, of course, the Old Breed unchanged since Okinawa and the Bulge that still anchors the US military, the courage and skill of a very few brave writers like a Hitchens, Krauthammer, and the tireless and brilliant Mark Stein, but very, very few others. No, this is an age in which we in the West make smug snuff movies about killing an American President, while the Taliban and the Islamists boast of assassinating the Pope.

So long may you run, Ms. Fallaci, you who by now have learned that, yes, there is a soul, and, yes, yours was indeed saved for eternity if only for its singular courage and honesty alone. And dear Pope: clarify, contextualize, express sorrow over the wrong interpretation of your remarks, but please don’t apologize for the Truth—not now, not ever.

Sobering words from VDH. Bump!

26 posted on 09/17/2006 9:23:24 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: Allan
VDH's respect for Oriana Fallaci comes through in this tribute. She truly was a champion of the highest caliber, a clarion voice for honor, integrity, and pride. We can ill afford to lose her at this crucial time.

But our loss is her gain. May she be shown the reward she so richly deserves.

27 posted on 09/17/2006 9:24:11 AM PDT by IronJack (ALL)
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To: John Lenin

She was one tough broad, and I say that with the utmost respect. (And if I could look one tenth as good as she did at 70, I'd die a happy woman.)


28 posted on 09/17/2006 9:30:24 AM PDT by RepoGirl ("Tom, I'm getting dead from you, but I'm not getting Un-dead..." -- Frasier Crane)
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To: stripes1776

I would add Daniel Boorstein to the list (although I must admit to not knowing if he's still alive, and being too lazy to make the effort to find out).


29 posted on 09/17/2006 9:33:25 AM PDT by Wombat101 (Islam: Turning everything it touches to Shi'ite since 632 AD...)
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To: RepoGirl

She was a pioneer as a woman journalist. She interviewed everyone from Kissinger to Arafat.


30 posted on 09/17/2006 9:37:09 AM PDT by John Lenin
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To: stripes1776

We vote.


31 posted on 09/17/2006 9:38:40 AM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: outdriving

Could you please define the term "Neocon" as you use and understand it? Thank you.


32 posted on 09/17/2006 9:41:57 AM PDT by Fudd Fan (Some pray for peace; I pray for VICTORY that will ensure it.)
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To: Allan
This is the second depressing article today by a man who has been bold and with a clear vision in this fight.

The first was by Mark Steyn

33 posted on 09/17/2006 9:42:40 AM PDT by Gritty (No ideology or sect of today demands so much of others, so little of itself, as Islam-VD Hanson)
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To: Allan

A sad piece indeed. VDH should have faith that the American public won't give up the fight. Leftist elitists dismiss them/us as flyover country. We don't count. We're nothing, a bunch of nobodies. The nobodies who keep the world economy humming and invent things to make life easier, who lead quiet lives, raise kids, grow old, and get down on their knees and thank God for another day. And remember, we're not in this fight alone -- God's on our side. If He wanted us mired in the eighth century, we'd be there.

VDH is dead on about Muslims' obsession with envy and victimhood, which the Left and MSM pander to every chance they get. Well, they jumped the shark with that long ago, and I have a hard time praying for them. I suspect we'll be attacked again, alas, and God willing, GW will take care of business. No more Mr. Nice Guy.


34 posted on 09/17/2006 9:43:05 AM PDT by hershey
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To: John Lenin
And it makes you wonder, doesn't it? Your average joe and josephine (unlike news-wonks like the average freeper) would probably say, "Orianna Fallacci? Oh--yeah! I think I had that at Carraba's the other night--it was so good!"

To think, Katie Couric, Star Jones, Barbara "if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" Walter's pass for journalists these days.

35 posted on 09/17/2006 9:45:25 AM PDT by RepoGirl ("Tom, I'm getting dead from you, but I'm not getting Un-dead..." -- Frasier Crane)
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To: RepoGirl
Read this:

The surest definition she can give of herself consequently is that of Soldier. "I am a soldier. I've been that since I was a girl when I became a partisan in my antifascist family: a soldier." The connection between Oriana and war goes back to that - to her own life history. (For the contribution that she made to the struggle against nazi- fascists when hardly fourteen, General Alexander, Commander in Chief of the Allied Forces in Italy during World War II, sent her a laudatory letter of thanks.) "There is a depressing intimacy," she said, giving weight to the word "depressing," "between me and arms, me and explosions, me and fear and courage and death. War, in sum. God knows, alas, how sincere is the cry I uttered against the sons of Allah in my little book: "In war I was born, in war I grew up, I understand war better than you do. And I have more balls than you do who to find the courage to die must kill thousands of creatures. You've wanted war, you want war? As far as I'm concerned, let there be war. Until the last breath."
36 posted on 09/17/2006 9:55:45 AM PDT by John Lenin
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To: Wombat101
Daniel Boorstin, 1914-2004. Certainly a sane academic. His book from 1961, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America is still right on target today, and his series of books on American history cover culture, society, technology, and business, not just politics and wars.

Another departed sane academic is Neil Postman (1931-2003), who wrote Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985).

Edward Tufte is still among us and writing brilliant books on visual communication. How to convey information effectively and how graphics are used to mislead.

37 posted on 09/17/2006 10:00:42 AM PDT by omega4412 (Multiculturalism kills. 9/11, Beslan, Madrid, London)
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To: omega4412

I always thought Boorstein's trilogy ("The Discoverers", "The Seekers" and "The Creators") was one of the best investigations of the foundations of Western Civilization ever written.

It's too bad he has passed to the great beyond. He certainly would have been an effective voice in the current debate. Could you imagine the tandem of Hanson and Boorstein operating to inform the American public about what it is they fight, and why they should fight? I doubt that anyone alive could make a plausible anti-war case against that duo!


38 posted on 09/17/2006 10:14:13 AM PDT by Wombat101 (Islam: Turning everything it touches to Shi'ite since 632 AD...)
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To: Allan
And dear Pope: clarify, contextualize, express sorrow over the wrong interpretation of your remarks, but please don’t apologize for the Truth—not now, not ever.

Too late.

39 posted on 09/17/2006 10:20:27 AM PDT by montag813
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To: Allan

bump for publicity


40 posted on 09/17/2006 10:22:53 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Allan; zot; Interesting Times; SeraphimApprentice; Dark Skies

Thank you for posting this.

The payoff line is:
"...the Pope failed to grasp that under the tenets of radical Islam of the modern age, context means little, intent nothing, learning less than zero.

"If a sentence, indeed a mere phrase can be taken out of context, twisted, manipulated to show an absence of deference to Islam, furor ensues, death threats follow, assassins load their belts—even as the New York Times or the Guardian issues its sanctimonious apologies in the hope that the crocodile will eat them last."


41 posted on 09/17/2006 10:34:45 AM PDT by GreyFriar ( (3rd Armored Division - Spearhead))
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To: GreyFriar
We don't actually know that the Pope fail to understand that his speech would be twisted. He may have been counting on it to prove his point that islam is completely irrational.

So far, his apology is a non-apology (he is sorry the islamic world misunderstands his lecture and takes erroneous offense)...and he hasn't retracted a darn thing.

I am still hoping that the Pope knows exactly what he is doing. Except for having to issue a "non-apology" he has demonstrated an uncanny understanding of islam's nature.

42 posted on 09/17/2006 10:41:45 AM PDT by Dark Skies
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To: Dark Skies

Very true, he knows the enemy!


43 posted on 09/17/2006 11:57:20 AM PDT by GreyFriar ( (3rd Armored Division - Spearhead))
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To: GreyFriar

BTW, thanks greatly for your service to the Country!


44 posted on 09/17/2006 1:05:42 PM PDT by Dark Skies
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To: Allan
The Brave? Not just so -- there is a better word in these times ...

The RESOLUTE.

45 posted on 09/17/2006 1:12:23 PM PDT by bvw
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To: cajungirl
"No, he hasn't forgotten about you. But where are you in pirnt? Where are you on television delivering commentary? Where are your sermons? Where are your newspaper articles? Where are your books?"

hey you're getting a lot of this lately :-D and it's not just me !

46 posted on 09/17/2006 3:11:25 PM PDT by dangerfield
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To: dangerfield

I think he was being sort of general. He doesn't know me!


47 posted on 09/17/2006 5:16:30 PM PDT by cajungirl (no)
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To: Allan
Victor Davis Hanson gets it. Islam is a faith that demands much of others but little of itself. And the West is too frightened to hold Muslims up to the highest standards as though that was unfair to them. It is unfair to the victims of Islamic terror to countenance Muslim violence as in not demanding Muslims grow up to live in our time might well end the War On Civilizations. If don't have the courage to press ahead with the latter, we will assuredly get more of the former. The die for the West is cast.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

48 posted on 09/17/2006 5:28:07 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Allan; neverdem; Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; yonif; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; ...

Oriana Fallaci, RIP, the Pope, and a Sad Age



    Victor Davis Hanson Ping ! 

       Let me know if you want in or out.

Links: FR Index of his articles:  http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=victordavishanson 
His website: http://victorhanson.com/     NRO archive: http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson-archive.asp

49 posted on 09/18/2006 4:53:45 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Allan; Tolik
And by quoting from the emperor rhetorician Manuel Paleologus—whose desperate efforts at strengthening the Morea and the Isthmus at Corinth a generation before that awful Tuesday, May 29, 1453 all came to naught—the Pope failed to grasp that under the tenets of radical Islam of the modern age, context means little, intent nothing, learning less than zero.

All I need to know about Islam.

50 posted on 09/18/2006 5:22:44 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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