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So You Want a Holy War? (William F. Buckley Jr.)
National Review Online ^ | October 02, 2001 | William F. Buckley Jr.

Posted on 10/02/2001 1:07:50 PM PDT by Drew68

So You Want a Holy War? We have now Islam to deal with. October 2, 2001 1:25 p.m. hatever is or is not authentic transcription of Islamic dogma, we do know that the people who ran the airliners into the World Trade Center believed that a Koranic voice was telling them to do what they did. We have the four-page document that told them not only what to do, but what to think. "Kill them, as God said; No Prophet can have prisoners of war."

They would not cavil, their clerical dispatcher knew, but even so there was a reiteration of the sacradeness of their mission. "Recognize...what God has prepared for believers in endless happiness for martyrs.... Be steadfast and remember [that in] God you will be triumphant."

Here is a strategic suggestion from the Western high command. Declare in full voice that Islam is widely profaned and mistaught. That if it isn't — if the Koranic high exegetes are paralyzed with doubt whether such as the Ladenites are true to their faith — then the faith being practiced must be disavowed by the legitimists. Say as much and say also that the Western world is prepared to denominate the imposters as such and to call for a restoration of a Muslim religion consistent with civilized conduct.

We have done such a thing in the political world. Without using the language of excommunication as such, what we got around to doing in the postwar world was to exclude Communism as an acceptable model for the organization of political life. We did this because, by our experience with Communism in practice and by the exercise of reason, we judged it incompatible with irreversible advances in human behavior. When finally the United States abolished slavery, the word went out: No more. No Christianity cum slavery. One or the other.

We have now Islam to deal with. We do not need to make the point that its political and economic record is miserable, that only one of 18 Muslim states (Turkey) is democratically governed. There are those who are willing to advertise the individual hypocrisies. A spokesman from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, while calling on his faithful to overthrow the government of Pakistan for the sin of maintaining equable relations with the United States, sends his own two sons to the United States to school. The Taliban has taken unmarried women detected in pregnancy and buried them to neck level before execution. Where is Islamic condemnation of such practices? For that matter, where is condemnation of Saudis chopping pickpockets' hands off?

We read of the mobs in Karachi who denounce the United States and flaunt signs that call out to "CRUSH AMERICA." In a pinch, we have to gamble. Perhaps human nature isn't reliably self-interested enough to prefer liberal democracy to protracted tyrannical misery. But we have to hope that the raw instinct is there to welcome relief. There were Kuwaitis who prostrated themselves with gratitude to liberating GIs, even as there are millions of Afghans who flee the wretched world of their Muslim oppressors where they have been kept alive by American food shipments to Afghanistan and bank now on American food shipped to Pakistan, where they will reasonably hope that before America is entirely CRUSHED we will have stored enough food for them and their children.

It is thought to be a sign of toleration to defer to Islam as simply another religion. It isn't that. It is a form of condescension. Carefully selected, there are Koranic preachments that are consistent with civilized life. But on September 11th we were looked in the face by a deed done by Muslims who understood themselves to be acting out Muslim ideals. It is all very well for individual Muslim spokesmen to assert the misjudgment of the terrorist, but the Islamic world is substantially made up of countries that ignore, or countenance, or support terrorist activity. Mustafa Kamal Uddin, a 32-year-old body-and-fender man in Karachi, explained it to a New York Times reporter. You see, he said, holy wars come about only when Allah has no other way to maintain justice, times like now. "That is why Allah took out his sword" on September 11th.

We demand to know: Who taught Mustafa Kamal Uddin to reason in that way, and the crowds in Karachi to support such thinking? Pending an answer to the question, and the unmistakable assumption by reputable Muslims of the responsibility to extirpate such misteaching, renounce modern Islam. Either restore the proper Allah — or get ready for a holy war.


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I hope this wasn't posted before. I did a keyword search on both the title and the subtitle. Also, I realize that many people are upset right now with NRO's dismissal of Ann Coulter (as am I). Nonetheless, I am a fan of both Buckley and NRO and still feel that they have a relevant voice.
1 posted on 10/02/2001 1:07:50 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Kalashnikov_68
I hope WFB Jr. doesn't get banned for this.
2 posted on 10/02/2001 1:15:34 PM PDT by The Thin Man
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To: Kalashnikov_68
Buckley is right on.
3 posted on 10/02/2001 1:18:35 PM PDT by JmyBryan
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: GottliebBerger
How can you continue to be a fan of a man who joined Jimmie Karter in shoving the Panama Canal into the hands of the communists?

I'm still looking for a columnist who writes only things I agree with. Can you recommend any for me?

5 posted on 10/02/2001 1:22:13 PM PDT by be-baw
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To: JmyBryan
dead on
6 posted on 10/02/2001 1:22:48 PM PDT by cactusSharp
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To: The Thin Man
Finally, a respected, nationally known figure comes forward to speak the truth.
7 posted on 10/02/2001 1:23:58 PM PDT by nofriendofbills
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To: Kalashnikov_68
if the Koranic high exegetes are paralyzed with doubt whether such as the Ladenites are true to their faith — then the faith being practiced must be disavowed by the legitimists

Of course they are not disavowing anything. I've almost convinced myself that any devout Muslim is an extreme fundamentalist Muslim, and that the peaceful ones are like the self-professed Christians who only go to church on Easter Sunday and Christmas.

8 posted on 10/02/2001 1:26:16 PM PDT by be-baw
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To: The Thin Man
Someone pointed out on another thread that this article in content is not that much different from what Ann wrote and was fired for. I can see some similarities. Buckley's response was a little more thought out whereas Coulter's was written under duress at the loss of a friend. In short, that Islam is either distorted or needs to change to be compatible with civilized society.

...And I could just see Jonah trying to pass Buckley a pink slip (LOL).

9 posted on 10/02/2001 1:27:13 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Kalashnikov_68
Carefully selected, there are Koranic preachments that are consistent with civilized life. But on September 11th we were looked in the face by a deed done by Muslims who understood themselves to be acting out Muslim ideals.

This is exactly what I and many other FReepers have been feeling and expressing these past few weeks and our State Dept. and Media have done their best so far to convince all of us not to believe "our lying eyes".

Kudos to WFB for setting the record straight. Unfortunately for the lovely Miss Coulter....her words strictly about forced conversion were a case of emotional hyberbole and her defiance to her editors resulted in her dismissal. I fear not that she will find another more suitable place for expression.

10 posted on 10/02/2001 1:30:55 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: Kalashnikov_68
Good post. I haven't seen it before and I agree that there is something inherently wrong with a "religion" that allows "believers" to believe that killing themselves and thousands of others will bring them great rewards in the afterlife.

Where are the Muslim religious scholars denouncing these acts? Who is in charge of the mosque at Mecca? Couldn't he issue a statement denouncing such teachings? All the rational leaders of Islam should produce a joint statement pointing out that anyone teaching such doctrine is wrong and such actions will put the perpetrators, the planners and the financers in the Islamic hell.

There is something wrong if the peaceful followers of Islam don't mind being grouped-in with these murderous fanatics.

ABC broadcast an interview that an American crew had with an Islamic fundamentalist/terrorist in a prison somewhere in the mid-east. The reporter was stunned at the answer to his question: "Would you strap a bomb around your waist and blow up a group of school children?" The response, "If the religious scholars told me to do this, I would." What kind of fools are these? How do you comprehend the incomprehensible?

11 posted on 10/02/2001 1:32:15 PM PDT by KarlH
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: GottliebBerger
I was against giving the Panama Canal away also, but that was 20 years ago. I will continue to check out the thread that shows Chinese soldiers on the Canal! Today we are talking about terrorism, keep up.
13 posted on 10/02/2001 1:37:45 PM PDT by Republic of Texas
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To: Kalashnikov_68
Exactly. Buckley just used bigger words and was more nuanced in his approach. But the gist of his column and the one that apparently got Coulter the boot are very similar.

Both are sadly accurate.

14 posted on 10/02/2001 1:38:56 PM PDT by borkrules
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To: GottliebBerger
Thanks! I read them all regularly, except Ms. Rabinowicz (somehow I've missed her, though the name sounds familiar).

I respect all those folks, and many more (Thomas Sowell, George Will, R. Emmett Tyrrell and many more). My point was I can't say I always agree with any of them. I agree with you that Buckley was wrong about the Panama Canal, and I think he's wrong about legalizing drugs; still, I agree with what he says much more than I disagree, and I greatly respect what he has done for the modern conservative movement. In my opinion, his advancing of it is in the same league as Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh.

15 posted on 10/02/2001 1:41:25 PM PDT by be-baw
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To: Kalashnikov_68
We can thank our Founding Fathers for choosing to be enlightened by Reason, rather than go down the path of a theocratic State, like so many Muslim countries have chosen to do.

In his, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" [1787-1788], John Adams wrote:

"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

". . . Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind."


16 posted on 10/02/2001 1:42:32 PM PDT by VoodooEconomist
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To: Kalashnikov_68
Either restore the proper Allah — or get ready for a holy war.

We are coming.

5.56mm

17 posted on 10/02/2001 1:43:23 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: be-baw
I've almost convinced myself that any devout Muslim is an extreme fundamentalist Muslim, and that the peaceful ones are like the self-professed Christians who only go to church on Easter Sunday and Christmas.

Amen! I have advanced this same theory with my friends. Yes, these fanatics use religion to give their political aims more legitimacy, but if the Muslim officals will not openly unite to condemn those actions, then their silence speaks louder than any words. Consider how Christian leaders openly condemn anti-abortionist bombings and killings. Why haven't the Muslim leaders done the same with the WTC atrocity?

18 posted on 10/02/2001 1:46:52 PM PDT by DeweyCA
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To: Kalashnikov_68
Declare in full voice that Islam is widely profaned and mistaught.

I know that Bush and some of his people have said this, but is Buckley talking about ISLAMIC leaders saying this? I won't hold my breath, but maybe Dubya and Co. can convince some of them to speak out.

19 posted on 10/02/2001 1:47:02 PM PDT by SuziQ
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: Kalashnikov_68
We keep calling Islamism a religion...it is a cult and Ann Coulter was essentially correct about "convert them to Christianity", except that she should have said "de-program them from their Cult of Islam teachings". She is correct also that RADICAL action is needed. Addditionally, the Islamic children have been taught from birth the "principles of Islam". What happens when we free them...who will de-program the children. Will my youngest children face a world where this fight has to be waged in a more horrific way than it would be today?

btw, I've been in a cult and feel somewhat qualified to know the signs: isolation, deprivation, contradictoy teachings, having others tell you what "God" says you should do, having leaders who set themselves up as virtual gods...Do these people see Osama bin Laden heading out to die a martyrs death while he tells them it is the greatest thing? Once under the spell of the great deceiver a person is blind to truth, reason, and even simple logic.

21 posted on 10/02/2001 1:48:39 PM PDT by thunderdome
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To: Kalashnikov_68
Excellent piece! Thanks for posting it.
22 posted on 10/02/2001 1:51:00 PM PDT by B Knotts
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: Kalashnikov_68
It is thought to be a sign of toleration to defer to Islam as simply another religion. It isn't that. It is a form of condescension. Carefully selected, there are Koranic preachments that are consistent with civilized life. But on September 11th we were looked in the face by a deed done by Muslims who understood themselves to be acting out Muslim ideals. It is all very well for individual Muslim spokesmen to assert the misjudgment of the terrorist, but the Islamic world is substantially made up of countries that ignore, or countenance, or support terrorist activity. Mustafa Kamal Uddin, a 32-year-old body-and-fender man in Karachi, explained it to a New York Times reporter. You see, he said, holy wars come about only when Allah has no other way to maintain justice, times like now. "That is why Allah took out his sword" on September 11th. We demand to know: Who taught Mustafa Kamal Uddin to reason in that way, and the crowds in Karachi to support such thinking? Pending an answer to the question, and the unmistakable assumption by reputable Muslims of the responsibility to extirpate such misteaching, renounce modern Islam. Either restore the proper Allah — or get ready for a holy war.

In short, if bin Laden is teaching falsely then why don't mullahs get up as a BODY and say so. If they remain silen, then we will assume that silence implies that thay consent to Bin Lden's teachings.

24 posted on 10/02/2001 1:54:34 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: Kalashnikov_68
"In a pinch, we have to gamble. Perhaps human nature isn't reliably self-interested enough to prefer liberal democracy to protracted tyrannical misery. But we have to hope that the raw instinct is there to welcome relief."

This sums it up. Let's Roll.

25 posted on 10/02/2001 1:57:59 PM PDT by bigdog
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To: wardaddy; KarlH
"Believing my lying eyes" is a phrase that has crossed my mind quite a bit recently. I've also been reading up on Islam in light of everything. It just isn't a religion (or political movement if you like) that I can tolerate in it's current form. It is wholly uncivilized, barbaric and counterproductive. The Taliban and their Wahabi version of Islam make the Dark Ages look like Star Trek.

Yet, if someone points this out (even here on FR) they are accused of "intolerance". Many threads have been yanked because posters aren't as articulate as Buckley while saying the same thing. To ask me to tolerate a religion whose main tenant is the eradication of Western culture under the guise of "diversity" is preposterous! It would be akin to asking of the Jews to accept Nazism as an "alternative political lifestyle".

And yet the "99% of moslems are peaceful American-loving people" crowd continue guide the debate. All I ask is where is the evidence? Where is one photo of a pro-American demonstration in a moslem (or Western) country? I've begun to doubt the existence of such.

I hope this reply isn't a thread-killer.

26 posted on 10/02/2001 1:58:44 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Kalashnikov_68
This is the best article I've seen from NRO on the subject. Buckley is one of the few that has the guts to at least ask the question "Is Islam itself the problem?" Now all Buckley has to do is offer some suggestions as to what we should do if the answer is in the affirmative.
27 posted on 10/02/2001 1:59:32 PM PDT by independentmind
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To: LibertarianLiz
ping!

You posted a link to this article on another thread. I read it and thought it might be a good article to post here.

28 posted on 10/02/2001 2:02:24 PM PDT by Drew68
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: Kalashnikov_68 dennisw TheOtherOne Lazamataz Oneidam Maewest constitutiongirl Veronica Dog Gone LBGA
BUMP!
30 posted on 10/02/2001 2:08:11 PM PDT by Cool Guy
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To: independentmind
"Now all Buckley has to do is offer some suggestions as to what we should do if the answer is in the affirmative."

Well, it's not Buckley, but I think NRO has already made a suggestion:

Relentlessly and Thoroughly: The Only Way to Respond

31 posted on 10/02/2001 2:09:13 PM PDT by browardchad
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To: Kalashnikov_68
What few Muslims who have actually spoken against the slaughter of thousands of innocents on 9/11 have used very mild denouncements.

Only non-Muslims have used words such as savage, mass-murder, barbarians and uncivilized. I guess the general view of the so-called moderate Muslim is that the terrorists "just got a little carried away!" in their faith.

How can we ask a Saudi Arabian government to denounce the savagery of the WTC attack when they cut off the hands of thieves?

We have to face the brutal truth. Islam teaches that only Muslims are on Allah's side. Anyone not a Muslim is not just morally inferior but the ENEMY OF GOD. God, in their view has no problem with his faithful, the Muslims, slaying the unfaithful (everyone else). From their perspective, killing a Muslim is wrong. Killing Jews and Christians, by contrast, is simply ridding the world of the unfaithful.

32 posted on 10/02/2001 2:10:25 PM PDT by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: Gracey attagirl Bryan JohnHuang2 CathyRyan dead beowolf Ymani Cricket Hillary 666 Nita Nupress Basil
BUMP!
33 posted on 10/02/2001 2:10:48 PM PDT by Cool Guy
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To: Kalashnikov_68
As I've posted before, I've been thumbing through the Koran (which means "RECITE"). It's a control-freak religion. The mistake is to assume your notion of God is the same as theirs. It is not. It is very different, very dark.
34 posted on 10/02/2001 2:15:28 PM PDT by lds23
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: GottliebBerger
I'd like to see some citation for the statement you're attributing to WFB. I have a hard time believing that he said that he'd self-describe himself as a socialist.
36 posted on 10/02/2001 2:17:40 PM PDT by AZPubbie
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To: Kalashnikov_68
Quote from Buckley:

He [Cassius Clay] became a Black Muslim, which is a pseudo-religion for unbright neurotics who feel the need to hate all white people.

37 posted on 10/02/2001 2:17:46 PM PDT by That Poppins Woman
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To: Kalashnikov_68
We have now Islam to deal with. We do not need to make the point that its political and economic record is miserable, that only one of 18 Muslim states (Turkey) is democratically governed. There are those who are willing to advertise the individual hypocrisies. A spokesman from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, while calling on his faithful to overthrow the government of Pakistan for the sin of maintaining equable relations with the United States, sends his own two sons to the United States to school. The Taliban has taken unmarried women detected in pregnancy and buried them to neck level before execution. Where is Islamic condemnation of such practices? For that matter, where is condemnation of Saudis chopping pickpockets' hands off?

Exactly right! Where is Islamic condemnation of thousands upon thousands of Christians who have been first converted to Islam, and then sexually mutilated with kitchen knives and razor blades to make them conform to Muslim standards? Where is Islamic condemnation for the murder, terror, torture and subjugation of non-Muslims to convert to Islam? Where is Islamic condemnation of Muslims' violence and savage killing of their neighbors to advance their cause of global conversion?

38 posted on 10/02/2001 2:17:50 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
How can we ask a Saudi Arabian government to denounce the savagery of the WTC attack when they cut off the hands of thieves?

Well, it's arguable that that is the law of their land (Wahhabi (extremist) Islam) so how they treat convicted thieves is their business. Don't like it? Don't go there. But their beliefs belong within THEIR borders. When they infringe upon the rights of those in other countries, they're destined for a slapdown.

You know and I know that the vast majority of people in Muslim states would ultimately be better off as citizens of a democratic state with elected officials, but that's unlikely.

Regarding punishment for crime, again, I don't think Canada should be able to decide that since the death penalty in the US is "extreme" that we shouldn't be allowed to employ it.

39 posted on 10/02/2001 2:18:01 PM PDT by TheFilter
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To: Kalashnikov_68
Will Islam renounce the Code of Omar?
40 posted on 10/02/2001 2:18:39 PM PDT by sheik yerbouty
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To: be-baw
I read them all regularly, except Ms. Rabinowicz (somehow I've missed her, though the name sounds familiar).

Find her in the Wall Street Journal. (www.opinionjournal.com)

41 posted on 10/02/2001 2:18:40 PM PDT by MaeWest
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To: GottliebBerger
I am having trouble believing this. Can anyone confirm?
42 posted on 10/02/2001 2:21:08 PM PDT by Bahbah
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To: KarlH
Where are the Muslim religious scholars denouncing these acts? Who is in charge of the mosque at Mecca? Couldn't he issue a statement denouncing such teachings? All the rational leaders of Islam should produce a joint statement pointing out that anyone teaching such doctrine is wrong...

What exactly is the hierarchy of the Muslim Church? Or do they even have a one?

43 posted on 10/02/2001 2:23:59 PM PDT by MaeWest
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To: Kalashnikov_68

44 posted on 10/02/2001 2:26:19 PM PDT by bluetoad
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To: Cool Guy
Thanks for the ping -
BUMP
45 posted on 10/02/2001 2:27:19 PM PDT by MaeWest
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To: Bahbah; GottliebBerger
Buckley is being misquoted from an interview last year. He was asked what political view he would hold to the most if he were a 19 year old college student today. His answer to that was "Socialist". It was a statement about the educational system and the University system today, in particular the Ivy League. His conservatism has been consistant and well documented.
46 posted on 10/02/2001 2:28:59 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: browardchad
Johnson's article addresses how to deal with terrorists. My question is what if it is the religious faith itself that is the problem. Surely you don't think the U.S. should conquer every Muslim country.
47 posted on 10/02/2001 2:29:01 PM PDT by independentmind
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To: Kalashnikov_68
Brilliant!
48 posted on 10/02/2001 2:32:10 PM PDT by TheDon
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To: Kalashnikov_68
The best way to end war and ensure peace is to kill the enemy.

Bump

49 posted on 10/02/2001 2:32:21 PM PDT by MrBambaLaMamba
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To: TheFilter
I'm not telling Saudi Arabia how to punish criminals but the west defines barbarism and savagery so differently, how can we expect a "coalition" when we can't even agree on the basic tenets of civilized behavior?

Crucifixion, stoning, drawing and quartering, burning at the stake, evisceration and dismemberment are not just an "honest difference of opinion" in the treatment of criminals.

50 posted on 10/02/2001 2:32:48 PM PDT by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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