Saturday, December 06, 2003

John Ray reports further on the NYTimes' bullying of Iraqis:
Many Iraqis are frustrated. They wonder if Americans really care at all about them. Do we as Americans really believe in the universal rights we so easily banter about? Do they belong to all or only to those with power and the influence?

It is not sufficient to dispose of Saddam and his followers and leave the rest to hasty elections. Democracy and the rights and responsibilities of freedom must be learned. America as the provisional authority needs to teach by example. A proper resolution of conflict between the New York Times and the Al Ali family would be a small but important step in the right direction.
This seems a little naive to me. We Americans have never experienced the kind of struggle being fought in Iraq between the liberators of the coalition and the dead-enders. The Ba'athists, Fedayeen and Arab outsiders know they can't win, but they want to keep the populace from cooperating by showing them that they're out there taking names for later retribution and causing damage to demonstrate that coalition forces aren't really in control.

In such a situation, the main thing is to establish order and make it safe to go outdoors. Without order, the other rights that we espouse don't mean much. Like the rights of property owners in South Central L. A. during the Rodney King riots, most of these rights, can't be guaranteed in the absence of order. Until Iraq has a working provisional government, with Iraqi laws, Iraqi police and working courts, it behooves everyone to protect themselves, even the NYTimes. However, the Times' behavior in this case is in ironic contrast with its editorial policy of continually whining about conditions in Baghdad.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Edward Feser asks "Does Islam Need a Luther or a Pope?" As a Mormon, I'd say neither. It needs a new prophet, or at least to listen to the prophets God has sent in the last 173 years.

The Christian church ceased to be Christ's church when the apostles ceased to be replaced, and leadership fell into the hands of competing bishops and philosophers. Our knowledge of the earliest Christians is very sparse, but the New Testament makes it clear that they anticipated a falling away, the infiltration of false teachers, even antichrists. It was not their aim to gain eartly power, which is why Constantine's conversion and making Christianity the state church of the Roman Empire signaled that its apostasy was complete.

Christ's church was guided by him through continuous revelations to men he chose, not the kind of men who constituted the councils which later met and hashed out orthodoxy. Christ would never have sanctioned the use of military power as in the Crusades, let alone the Inquistion. He would not have approved of the greed that was practiced by Conquistadors in his name, or worldly display that marked the Byzantine and Roman churches.

When people like Luther finally recognized how corrupt the church had become, it was so dominated by a worldly anti-christian class that it put a price on their heads for the crime of thinking and preaching their own ideas, and touched off centuries of struggle that ended in a reformation which still denied the power of God to communicate with men. Luther wasn't all that tolerant himself, nor Calvin, nor the Puritans.

The Pope is a central authority, but he is routinely attacked by more liberal bishops around the world. The Episcopal Church is in crisis because it has sanctioned homosexual priests and bishops, which is an abomination to many of its members. Judaism has no central spokesman, but its divisions show that it has succumbed to the natural tendency of power vacuums to be filled by those with strong opinions and opportunists. Islam is in the same boat. A prophet arises and teaches, then dies. Then his sayings and writing go through the hands of scholars and and are interpreted, reinterpreted and commented upon until they lose their original meaning and the scholars themselves become authorities. The problem is not in the original revelation; it's in the tendency of men to take over and impose their own ideas on religion.

Query: Would this story have been so tragic if the dogs had been wolves?

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Dean on the Chris Matthews show about who should try Bin Laden if he is captured, the U. S. Courts or the World Court in Belgium: It doesn't make any difference. (!) He thinks these people should be given POW status, despite the fact that they are terrorists, not fighting as part of a national military, and therefore have no protection under the Geneva Convention.

I just love this quote from Howard Dean (via Best of the Web):
"I think he's made us weaker," Dean said of Bush at another event, in Merrimack. "He doesn't understand what it takes to defend this country, that you have to have high moral purpose. He doesn't understand that you better keep troop morale high rather than just flying over for Thanksgiving."
What's a high moral purpose if it isn't expending one's soldiers and treasure to rescue an oppressed people from the worst tyrant since Stalin? You can always tell how well the president's doing by the incoherency and rage coming from his opponents. What a maroon!

Sunday, November 30, 2003

This could be significant. Let's hope that more of the AoAA (Americans of African Ancestry) "leaders" who are nothing more than looters of their people's struggle, get theirs.

Hugh Hewitt writes:
I think the Democrats are recklessly minimizing threats to the people of the United States and barking lies 24/7 because they are losing their political grip on the country.
I agree, but it seems the strain of being agreeable may have overcome Hugh's normal amiability. If you think about it, the complaints about "civility" from the left, though childish, are pretty much their normal m.o. When they're losing the debate and they know it, they resort to meta-argument, where they complain that their opponents have impugned their patriotism or that they are becoming unfair, too shrill, partisan or "insensitive." The Democrats have brought this on their own heads by their own tactics. When you're using parliamentary maneuvering to prevent judicial nominations from reaching the floor of the Senate, complaining about "incivility" sounds a lot like the patricidal defendant pleading for mercy because he's an orphan.

Ah, well. They're on the ropes and they know it. It's no time to let up. Tonight's "60 Minutes" featured a segment on mass graves being unearthed all over Iraq. Although it focused on efforts to identify remains through DNA and the grief and anxiety to know the fate of one's loved one, the underlying story is a reminder that the regime that we overthrew was capable of the gassing of Halabja, and at least the same crimes as the Nazis, Stalin and Milosevic. We can't deal with it by averting our eyes and electing more of the crew who did nothing as our soldiers and diplomats were being murdered by Al Qaeda.