Skip to comments.Terry Jones and Preemptive Capitulation
Posted on 04/05/2011 12:39:13 AM PDT by Rummyfan
Years ago, I picked up a tattered but serviceable edition of the great Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Published in 1910, the twenty-eight-volume monument to human curiosity about the arts, sciences, literature and general information is a testament to scholarly industry. Compared to the mealy-mouthed reference works that clutter library shelves today, which typically compete to outdo one another in the exhibition of moral relativism, the Eleventh Edition (the common shorthand by which the work is known) is also a testament to a neglected virtue: robust cultural confidence. For a Westerner, it is refreshing to dip into its unembarrassed pages and savor its masculine prose. Volume I, for example (A to Androphagi), contains a most illuminating article about that once-far-away mountain fastness, Afghanistan. After a few pages about the history, climate, and geography of this Asiatic byway, the writer introduces us to the people, handsome and athletic but treacherous.
The Afghans, inured to bloodshed from childhood, are familiar with death, and audacious in attack, but easily discouraged by failure; excessively turbulent and unsubmissive to law or discipline; apparently frank and affable in manner, especially when they hope to gain some object, but capable of the grossest brutality when that hope ceases. They are unscrupulous in perjury, treacherous, vain and insatiable, passionate in vindictiveness, which they will satisfy at the cost of their own lives and in the most cruel manner.
Thats in 1910. Does any of that need to be emended?
I have been thinking about Afghanistan again because of the riots that broke out this weekend. So far about a dozen people, including U.N. and NATO personnel, have been killed and scores injured. Why? Because Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who made headlines last September when he threatened to burn copies of the Koran, finally made good on his promise on March 20th, when he presided over a trial and burning of the Koran.
The incident went largely unreported here, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai got wind of the stunt and denounced it. Officials in neighboring Pakistan denounced it, too, sending a letter to the head of Interpol demanding that Jones be arrested for his violent crime. Then the natives got restless and started smashing up whatever there is to smash up in Afghanistan, which turns out to be mostly other human beings, buildings and other emblems of modern civilization being in short supply in that wretched country.
Well, once the rampage started, Westerners were quick to comment. From Tweedledee to Tweedledum from Harry Reid (D. Nev.) to Lindsey Graham (R., sort of, SC.) American lawmakers fell over themselves to condemn Jones and insist that his pyromanic exhibitions be investigated. I wish we could find a way to hold people accountable, said Graham. Free speech is a great idea, but were in a war.
The journalist Joe Klein, writing in Time (yes, its still publishing), wants to hold Terry Jones accountable, too, big time. Joness act was murderous as any suicide bombers, Klein wrote, If there is a hell, hes just guaranteed himself an afterlifetime membership.
And then there is General David Petraeus, who, together with NATO Ambassador Mark Sedwill, condemned Joness bonfire of the vanities hateful, intolerant, extremely disrespectful and any disrespect to the Holy Quran and the Muslim faith.
Whats wrong with this picture? Let me count the ways.
First, lets look at the imputation of causal glue that links the events: A. Terry Jones presides over trial and burning of Koran and B. Muslim Afghans go on murderous rampage. The press reports typically tell us that Joness action sparked or led to the rampages, suggesting, without quite asserting, a causal link between A and B. But think about it. Some Danish cartoonists draw some caricatures of Mohammed. Months later, Muslims riot, torch Danish embassies, and murder several score of innocent people. Did the cartoons lead to or spark the murderous rampages? In other words, was there a sufficient moral connection between the activity of the cartoonists and the actions of the homicidal Muslims to blame the cartoonists?
Go back a few years. Osama bin Laden didnt like it that there was an American presence in Saudi Arabia. On September 11, 2001, nineteen Muslim fanatics working for bin Laden destroyed the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon, and killed some 3000 innocent people. Wahhabi Muslims thought it provocative, outrageous, and intolerable that the United States was in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Muslim world. It was our presence there that sparked, led to, etc. 9/11. Were we therefore responsible for 9/11? Some thought so.
I believe, on the contrary, that the responsibility for 9/11 lies with those who planned and carried it out. As Jonathan Rauch memorably put it in the aftermath of 9/11, the root cause of terrorism is terrorists.
Terry Jones is a pathetic, publicity-seeking buffoon. But, as a citizen of the United States, if he wishes to burn a Koran (or Bible or Torah or Bhagavad Gita) that is his prerogative. We may not like it. We may find it offensive, sensationalistic, insensitive, etc., etc. And we may say so publicly. But when U.S. lawmakers, speaking in their capacity as lawmakers, threaten to launch an investigation, hold Jones accountable, and contemplate clamping down on free speech because (quoth L. Graham) were in a war, something has gone badly awry.
Ponder, just for starters, Senator Grahams caviler demotion of free speech: its a great idea, he said, but should be limited (he implies) because were in war. Loose lips can indeed sink ships and few would dispute that during war time certain speech must be limited. But what Terry Jones did had nothing to do with military or governmental secrets. He was not publicizing troop movements or detailing Americas methods of catching up with its enemies. For that sort of treasonous behavior you have to go to such organs of enlightenment as The New York Times, which in 2006 blithely published secret details of how the National Security Agency was gathering intelligence.
No, what we see in the Terry Jones case is the latest outbreak of preemptive capitulation in the face of Muslim incitement. When Yale University Press declined, at the last minute, to include images of the Danish caricatures of Mohammed in a book it was publishing about the caricatures, it was engaging in preemptive capitulation (and possibly a little Middle Eastern fund raising). As I said at the time, I think the British journalist Charles Moore had the right idea: in the face of intimidation, you should face it down. When the Danish cartoon episode erupted, most newspapers refused to carry images of the offending cartoons, lest the jihad that was over there should suddenly be transported over here. But Mr. Moore had a better idea: every paper ought to have published them. Moral: Dont give in to bullies.
Bottom-line question: What are we willing to give up in order to appease a bunch of murderous thugs who approach the world with a pocket full of Semtex and say, Do and dont do what I want or I will blow myself and you to smithereens? Theres the Lindsey Graham-Joe Klein-Yale UP-and (I very mush regret to say) David Petraeus answer: OK. You tell us no cartoons of Mohammed: we wont draw or publish any. You say, no burning of the Koran, we will prohibit that, too. The problem is, as I noted about another incident of Muslim insanity some years ago,
the list of the things Muslims are offended by would take over a culture. They dont like ice-cream that (used to be) distributed by Burger King because a decoration on the lid looked like (sort of) the Arabic script for Allah. They are offended by pig-related items, including toys, porcelain figures, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet appearing in the workplace. They take umbrage at describing Islamic terrorism as, well, Islamic terrorism and have managed to persuade Gordon Brown to rename it anti-Islamic activity. But heres the thing: one of the features of living in a modern, secular democracy is that there is always plenty of offense to go around. No Muslim is more offended by cartoons of their Prophet than I am by their barbaric reaction to the cartoons. But their reaction when offended is to torch an embassy, shoot a nun , or knife a filmmaker. I write a column deploring such behavior. You see the difference.
As I said above, Terry Jones is a pathetic buffoon. But what we should be alarmed about is not his stunt but the alacrity with which our leaders and commentators rush to curtail free speech because they fear the reprisals of barbarous people addicted to violence and intoxicated by a repulsive, freedom-hating ideology. The spoiled child says, If you dont do what I want, Ill hold my breath till I faint. The overgrown spoiled children of Islam require the same sort of medicine, though age adjusted, that little Johnny does.
perhaps it should become a tactic that sweeps the entire non-muslim world ?
Then they must also stop 99% of Hollywood film productions.
No, I'm not being inciting, I'm following the logic. Muslims are pressing harder and harder, wordlwide and now in the West, for the imposition of shariah law (I refuse to capitalize it). And they are exploding into insane bloodthirsty mass murder and psychopathic butchery every time even the smallest violation of their perversions take place. And they are proud of this, and openly boast of it more and more.
These are facts.
These facts do not lead to a status quo. They are dynamic facts. They have momentum behind them. They indicate a fevered breeding ground of further plans of expansion. And they are the actions of insane people - insane by every defintion of the word. Murderously, psychotically insane people.
Which means that one of two things is going to happen. Either the world gets it together and forceably evicts Muslims from every Western country as members of a murderous totalitarian political sect posing as a religion, and cut them off financially from world commerce, and restrict them to their own desert countries, or...
... or the world doesn't.
And if it doesn't, the insane, murderous Muslims (but I repeat myself) decide that because they have not been so restricted and crushed, then they are winning. Then they are defeating the West. Then the West is afraid of them, and that they must push on and escalate until world domination is theirs.
They say as much every day, covered with the blood of their victims.
So they escalate more, and more, and more. And each time, they tell themselves they;re winning, and their strategy is working.
Do you see where this is going? It's going towards an eventual use, by Muslims, somewhere in the Western world, of a nuclear device - or more than one.
Which is bad enough. But stop an think a moment - nukes have gone off. Cites are vaporized. Hundreds of thousands or millions are dead.
An Muslims claim credit.
What happens then?
Where is the liberal/Leftist/Democrat/RINO dimmitude hand-wringing THEN?
Gone, that's where.
And shortly after, so goes Mecca and Medina, and whatever Muslim country the attackers were based out of. And then every mosque in every Western country in the world, and every Imam. And every Muslim.
Because the pictures of those smoking, vaporized cities will be everywhere, and the screaming Muslim maniacs, supported by their silent Muslim enablers and their bagged female property, will be everywhere - grinning for Allah - because your city could be next.
That's when they will demand the world bow and accept their mastery.
And that's when they all will die.
I'm of the same mind, and I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing.
How many were Muslim?
and if true Muslim they would have had their Koran at hand
which would have been destroyed with them in the Twin towers inferno.
So did the Afghan islamics protest the destruction of Korans at Twin Towers......I don't think so.
“Here’s a reply to Senator Graham.
And make sure you watch part 2...it’s time well spent.
You mean, like the smoking pictures of the twin towers are everywhere now? Oh wait -- they're not.
Because it might be offensive or disturbing, or make U.S. citizens remember, beyond their next PS3, or Wii, or Nintendo, that they have something as a nation to pay attention to.
If this had been Texas in 1836, we'd have had Austin running around wringing his hands saying, "Now men, don't rush to conclusions and get all wee-wee'd up."
That was great too. In their faces. No backing down to muzzie psychotics or American traitors.
Gee...after seeing the performance of our cultural doyens, a few more “pathetic buffoons” starts to look pretty good.
A great sentence in a fine article. This is actually the key to the dilemma we in the West are in. The concepts of right and wrong, of good and bad, have gotten all jumbled up.
Human beings do have a right to be wrong. But being right is better being wrong.
Is there any chance of reversing the damage which years of moral relativism and flat out stupidity have produced? Looking at history, I am not very hopeful that there is.
“Terry Jones is a pathetic, publicity-seeking buffoon.”
Oh really now?
Nuke Afghanistan to Save Afghanistan, sounds very plausable to me. Nuke them all now!
EB’s 11th edition is available online, don’t have the url handy since we have several hardbound sets here. Delightful pages btw, in the smaller binding, very thin and delicate. There’s a 3-vol update published after WWI, very informative.
Ann does it better; video of Graham smackdown and quran lightup. Highly recommended viewing. Related FR thread at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2699800/posts
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