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August 20, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque

The Wall Street Journal serves up the definitive analysis of the Ground Zero Mosque brouhaha:

As supporters held signs extolling religious freedom at the site of the proposed Islamic center Wednesday, a stripper who gave her name as Cassandra was working the afternoon shift at New York Dolls on Murray Street — just around the corner. She worried that calls to prayer from the mosque at Park51 might wake up neighbors. But when she was told that the organizers aren’t planning loudspeakers, she said she didn’t have a problem with the project.

“I don’t know what the big deal is,” Cassandra said. “It’s freedom of religion, you know?”

Well there you have it - when the Journal brings that kind of fresh, incisive Constitutional analysis to one of the great sociopolitical debates of our time, what can we blog rabble do but humbly beg to be excused from the conversation and slink away in shame to our digital cubbyholes?

Of course we could always go read this:

Kathleen Parker has a muddled column up at the Washington Post arguing that the Cordoba House complex should get built precisely because many people don't want it built. She's a prizewinning columnist and a sometime teacher of writing, which is why I found the following juxtaposition in her essay so startling:
"The idea that one should never have one's feelings hurt -- and the violent means to which some will resort in the protection of their own self-regard -- has done harm rivaling evil. It isn't a stretch to say that the greatest threat to free speech is, in fact, "sensitivity."

This is why plans for the mosque near Ground Zero should be allowed to proceed, if that's what these Muslims want. We teach tolerance by being tolerant."

I agree with most everything Patrick has to say but can't help piling on a bit.

It's downright bizarre for Parker to equate what she clearly deems "oversensitivity" on the part of New Yorkers (who, by the way, haven't attacked anyone and haven't demanded anything but the right - guaranteed to them by the First Amendment - to express their wish that these would be mosque builders would choose a less distressing site) with the violent responses of Muslims worldwide to having their own sensitivities mocked and ignored.

I have read more frankly idiotic arguments on this subject than I can shake a stick at (and some good ones). But nowhere, yet, have I seen this point made: we do not teach tolerance by stifling debate.

The only thing that teaches is that we fear words just as much as they do. Trying to stifle or shame those who hold the wrong opinions teaches the opposite of tolerance. It teaches the Muslim world that our talk of openness and freedom is nothing but a sham. The debate over the mosque - passionate and even furious as it has been at times - is a shining example of everything that is best about Western civilization. What we have to offer the world is the example of how a civilized nation handles potentially inflammatory debates.

Not by demonizing those whose viewpoints we neither share nor understand as so many have done on both sides, and certainly don't teach tolerance by attempting to shut down debate. We teach tolerance by demonstrating that even when we're very angry, even when we're outraged, even when our deepest and most sacred sentiments are ridiculed and mocked, even when we forget ourselves and call each other names like "terrorist" or "bigot", in the end we will obey the law and there will be no widespread, violent demonstrations - no death threats - no angry mobs.

It may not always be pretty. But it will be peaceful. In the end, no matter how angry we may feel in the mean time, we will express ourselves with words rather than pitchforks or suicide bombs. We are a big enough nation to do that. Tolerance is not achieved by demonizing those we disagree with. That's a lesson some of the tolerance police should take to heart.

Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me

We teach that to our children here in the West. Would that a few more of us remembered the very real difference between mere speech - even speech we dislike - and lawlessness and violence. This may well be the defining difference between the largely secular West and most of the Muslim world.

If we can't even understand that, how on earth can we teach it to others?

Posted by Cassandra at August 20, 2010 03:09 PM

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Comments

In the end, no matter how angry we may feel in the mean time, we will express ourselves with words rather than pitchforks or suicide bombs.

That was exactly what al Qaeda was counting on: a strongly worded letter from 'the Weak Horse.' What they've gotten instead is ten years of war; while most of our country has been spared to go to the mall.

Posted by: Grim at August 20, 2010 05:20 PM

With all due respect, Grim, you could drive a truck through the difference between responding to mere speech with violence and responding to violence with violence.

On the day when the mosque builders break the law, force may be called for. From where I sit, there is zero justification for that sort of response now. And that's coming from someone who thinks they ought to move the damned thing.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 20, 2010 05:28 PM

In the end, no matter how angry we may feel in the mean time, we will express ourselves with words rather than pitchforks or suicide bombs. We are a big enough nation to do that.

But I think a lot of Americans - or at least a lot a those driving the stories in the MSM, on blogs, on cable - don't believe that. Those pundits believe that if people (on the other side, natch) get too worked up they are - of course - going to start murdering their fellow Americans and blowing things up. I see this mostly in the Left's view of the Right - the idea that townhall meetings furious about Obamacare caused some crazy person to get violent, for example - but I don't think it's entirely absent from the Right's view of the Left.

It's pretty bizarre when you think about. Apparently a lot of opinion makers are convinced we're sitting on a powder keg and if we don't get everyone (on the other side, natch) to tone down their rhetoric then the whole country's going to blow. Those opinion makers must know a whole different kind of American than I do.

Posted by: Elise at August 20, 2010 05:39 PM

I think civilization is a fragile construct.

My sense is, though, that we can never quite eliminate the threat of violence. Which makes the heavy handed attempts to shut down debate even dumber - there's always some jerkwad who may seize upon the merest pretext as an excuse.

It's kind of like the Left's concept of being "progressive" - when your goal is to "progress" rather than to minimize or eliminate extreme poverty (for example) there's no limit to your ambition. If you succeed in eliminating what used to be extreme poverty, you'll just define 'poverty' upward until people who weren't poor 5 years ago are now poor ... by comparison.

Everything is relative and there are no absolutes.

Their fear isn't totally unjustified.

It's just that the suggested remedy (demonizing, name calling, etc) is just as likely to elicit a violent response. I don't think most of these folks seriously fear violence from the mosque opponents. What they fear is giving Islamic extremists an excuse for violence.

As if they needed one :p

Posted by: Cassandra at August 20, 2010 05:46 PM

You mistake me. I am not opposed to the mosque.

I mean to say that we should be more careful how we articulate that principle. You may be able to drive a truck through the difference, but we have clearly been misunderstood in the past. There are those who have read our preference for words as a devotion to words; and it was that provocative sense of weakness that brought this on us all.

"No matter how angry we are, we will express ourselves with words instead of violence" is a dangerous principle. It is dangerous not least because it is not true. We are not the sort of people who do not believe in violence, but the sort who will wage wars, even for years, to revenge our fallen. It is better for our enemies, and also for us, if we are clear about that fact.

I am willing to endure a mosque, there or anywhere else, provided we as a people can make ourselves clear on this point. If that point is understood, the mosque will do no harm. If it is not understood, the harm will come whether or not there is a mosque.

Posted by: Grim at August 20, 2010 05:52 PM

According to Obama "Words matter." Assuming our Constitution is not a suicide pact, there are volumes of 'words matter' uttered and written by jihadist islamists. They need to be taken seriously especially when our laws are used against us by those who wish us harm.

Radical islam is well beyond California's "Three stikes law" and are not in a position to claim unfettered access to ground zero under the guise of religious freedom to build a mosque. Words matter and deeds matter.

Once radical islamists earned the title "TERRORIST" our failure to properly hold them accountable for their actions; past, present, future, poses an existential threat. Acting like deer caught in headlights and blithely going about our business channeling Bob Marley; Don't Worry, Be Happy" is suicidal in the near and long term. Our failure to act now will cost us dearly if we don't set up parameters for behavior and enforce them.

Posted by: vet66 at August 20, 2010 06:14 PM

I am willing to endure a mosque, there or anywhere else, provided we as a people can make ourselves clear on this point. If that point is understood, the mosque will do no harm. If it is not understood, the harm will come whether or not there is a mosque.

Well said, although I'd exempt other religion's consecrated grounds from the "anywhere else". My fear is that those who ... never mind.

None so blind as those who refuse to see; thirty years, now, and most still not understanding. Stand, or kneel, or lie in the cold, cold ground.

Posted by: htom at August 20, 2010 06:22 PM

No matter how this turns out, I think there is value in letting people express their outrage and I'm really pretty disgusted with all the folks who are falling all over themselves to brand a moral sentiment "irrational".

Duh. Of course it's irrational. That doesn't mean it has no value.

Western civilization has much to recommend it but the idiotic notion that reason is *all* that matters is ludicrous beyond belief. Human beings are made of flesh, spirit, intellect and that odd thing called a soul which all the reason in the world can neither point out nor nail down.

I am so tired of sneering rationalists.

Insist on lawful behavior, certainly. But don't discount moral sentiments that have great survival value and are part and parcel of what makes us human.

The truth is, understanding is only a personal tragedy away. Arrogance that is the result of ignorance is understandable, or would be if its proponents showed an ounce of humility.

Which they don't.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 20, 2010 06:22 PM

It's interesting to me that, of all I've heard of the, umm, discussion of the Mosque, the Left demands to make the argument about the right to build the mosque, and the rest of us want to talk about the appropriateness of building the mosque at that location--its legality has never been in question. And there is a valid area of discussion--the sensibilities of those who oppose the mosque in its proposed location, of those injured by 9/11 (i.e., the survivors of the butchered), vs the sensibilities of those who wish to build it there.

If the Left were to accept that the object is, in fact, sensitivities, then they would have to accept that sensitivities and tolerances absent from their own polemical arguments would become acceptable objects of discussion.

Parker is quoted above as having written We teach tolerance by being tolerant. I submit that we _also_ teach tolerance by demanding tolerance from others. We accept a lot of differing viewpoints and attitudes and behaviors in our country, and rightly so. However, it remains our house--our rules.

An aside: It is better for our enemies, and also for us, if we are clear about that fact. While the point Mr Grim was making in that paragraph is, in general, valid, I don't give a rat's patooty about what's good for my enemy. I just want him dead. My only concern is what's good for us.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 20, 2010 06:51 PM

I'm tired of the Ground Zero Mosque spin. Of course the first amendment protects the government from silencing religious speech. Of course. Even religious speech I don't agree with. However, that does not require that a building permit be given to anyone at anytime for anything. If the cleric cared about diversity and peace he would take his mosque and move elsewhere. There is no need for it to be there.

Posted by: Lisa Krempasky Attorney at August 20, 2010 07:55 PM

You are somewhat new to me, Mr. Hines. (Is it Captain Hines, or Major Hines? I would give a man the honor of his title.)

I have observed that many enemies later become friends. (And vice versa.) Partly for that cause, I agree with that sentiment: Love thy enemy as yourselves. So, let us be honest with him as to what he is choosing in making us his enemy. Let us be clear about the consequences, and how we will reply. Then, if he chooses war, let us see that we give him the honor of all that he wants.

Posted by: Grim at August 20, 2010 08:00 PM

It's Eric. I stopped doing titles when I got out of the USAF. That's not to denigrate titles; they just, often, are too formal for this poor, dumb farm boy from Illinois (who's a transplant into Texas).

Where did the Captain or Major come from? Interesting, that. I was Major; my wife was Captain.

As to the general thrust of your post, I actually agree with you. My attitude, though, picks up from that other having become my enemy. I'd as soon avoid the fight (even though it'd be as absolutely unfair and one-sided as I could possibly make it), if I could, and avoid the enmity. Having become my enemy, if he wants to stop being my enemy, that would be good, too. But don't threaten my family. Don't threaten those whom I love. Don't threaten my country.

I suggest, though, that before we can be honest with this person, we must first be honest with ourselves. Know a priori what we're willing to fight for, what we're willing to die for. And further, recognize that enmity is a two-way street: when he makes himself our enemy (the making itself a two-way affair), we make ourselves his enemy.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 20, 2010 08:49 PM

Here in the South, we normally continue to accord a gentleman his rank even after he has left the service. That you were entrusted to lead men in that position is a matter that never, in our estimation, becomes irrelevant. As for your rank, it wasn't very hard to guess; I suspect anyone could have done it who has spent much time around military officers.

I'm not sure you can know a priori what you're willing to fight for, beyond self-preservation; some things have to be learned by experience. Reflection and self knowledge, however, are always wise choices.

Posted by: Grim at August 20, 2010 09:14 PM

Tolerance is over-rated. There are all kinds of things I'm not willing to tolerate.

Posted by: Texan99 at August 20, 2010 09:30 PM

I appreciate the thought, but I don't consider that I earned the title for post-military use. I resigned my commission over the behavior of some of my leadership; I did not retire. Besides, I'm no gentleman--not even Congress styled me that; I acceded in the early '70s, and Congress commissioned us as officers in those days, not officers and gentlemen. Says so right on my commission.

We can't know a priori with perfection, but we can take the need seriously, especially where lives will be put at risk, and do the introspection deeply and often.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 20, 2010 09:33 PM

Tolerance is over-rated. There are all kinds of things I'm not willing to tolerate.

Oh, I agree. Wholeheartedly.

It's just that if I'm going to be lectured about tolerance by someone who clearly doesn't practice it themselves, I'm just enough the smart aleck to point it out :p

I've never had any problem with someone saying, "Look - I think what you are doing is harmful or wrong and this is why." To me that's fair, and I do it all the time.

I don't like the "Look - I think what you're doing is wrong, I don't understand WHY you're doing it, the only reason I can come up with is that you're a racist/bigot, and therefore, that's what you are."

One might try to understand first and, with justification decide someone is a bigot after making sure they understand the person's position. I don't see a whole lot of that in this debate though.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 20, 2010 10:50 PM

Besides, I'm no gentleman--not even Congress styled me that...

Perhaps no one ever told you just what a gentleman is. You've said enough to convince me that you are one, whether or not you ever meant to be.

Posted by: Grim at August 20, 2010 11:22 PM

Besides, I'm no gentleman On that part, I was pulling your leg (Congress, though, in fact did not appointment me one). I know who and what I am. We all are what we make of ourselves; no one else can do that for us. Although others may help us to clarify our thinking and goals, the outcomes are ours alone.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 20, 2010 11:52 PM

If people want to allow the Muslims to gain pride and morale from seeing a Cordoba mosque go up over Ground Zero, while they still cheer Osama Bin Laden as a hero of Islam, then they are free to condemn themselves to perpetual war. But that wasn't a license to condemn every unborn child of the United States, and as the Left likes to say, there will be "blowback" from such a theme.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 21, 2010 04:10 AM

This is why plans for the mosque near Ground Zero should be allowed to proceed, if that's what these Muslims want. We teach tolerance by being tolerant."

Wasn't Kathleen Parker an arch nemesis of Sarah Palin?

In the end, no matter how angry we may feel in the mean time, we will express ourselves with words rather than pitchforks or suicide bombs.

What's basically going to happen is the concept behind a first strike. If a tribe believes their neighboring enemy tribe intends a first strike, as the Cordoba Massacre of the Jews testifies to Sharia law and cultural honor, in the presence of a new Cordoba Mosque, then the tribe will strike at the enemy tribe first. ON the belief that violence is met by violence, not words.

Amongst tribes, humanity's current socio-economic political unit, words are still different than killing. For talking about how the ancestors one tribe were made up out of milked and shaved goats, isn't the same as strangling a tribal member with goat guts. One is simply a prelude to intimidation easily forgotten with weregeld or other gifts. The other is a blood debt, payable only in blood.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 21, 2010 04:33 AM

To a certain extent, the Left fears and submits to physical violence. They believe in it. It is often why criminals and violent murderers will take into consideration enemy firepower, more than would non-violent criminals. Because those that rely upon violence to get what they want, understand well the effectiveness of violence.

Because the LEft has such fears, yet wishes to appear proud and strong, they displace those fears upon a safe alternative: their political enemies and Christianity.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 21, 2010 05:16 AM

Elise.."Those pundits believe that if people (on the other side, natch) get too worked up they are - of course - going to start murdering their fellow Americans and blowing things up. I see this mostly in the Left's view of the Right"

This is very key, and it became obvious immediately after 9/11. Many commentators, writers, and academics expressed far more fear of the reaction by the American people than concern over future acts of terrorism.

They view us as dangerous beasts, and themselves as a sort of intellectual Army of Occupation.

Posted by: david foster at August 21, 2010 09:05 AM

I wonder how much of that isn't just displaced anxiety?

People have this sort of free floating fear of being attacked by people who clearly don't share our values (Islamic extremists). They don't think they have any influence over *those* people because the arguments that would persuade a Westerner are lost on them; there is no common ground to appeal to.

So they displace their fear onto people who DO share their values: their fellow Americans. What they're essentially saying is, "Dear God, please don't say anything that will give the terrorists an excuse to attack us". And this seems fairly reasonable to them because Islamic extremists will seize on the slightest pretext for committing acts of violence they're already predisposed to.

But there's a flaw in their reasoning in that these folks don't need much of an excuse, either. That's what makes them so scary: we don't have a realistic expectation that if we show restraint, they'll refrain from violence. That's such a scary idea to contemplate that some people prefer to focus on what they DO have the possibility of influencing - the behavior of people who share their values.

People aren't always rational.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 21, 2010 10:29 AM

What they're essentially saying is, "Dear God, please don't say anything that will give the terrorists an excuse to attack us".
The problem I have with this view, and you're right, Cassandra, that it's scary how widespread this belief is in the US, is how dangerous it is to our national survival.

A microcosm example. I was in a self defense class [Krav Maga; I heartily recommend it as both good exercise and truly effective self defense], and in one drill and thought exercise, we were given the option of an offensive kick, which kept the opponent close, and a defensive kick, which opened up some space between us and our attacker. The instructor asked why I always chose the offensive kick. I said that I'm too old, too slow of foot, and too lacking in endurance. I can't run away. I can't fight for a prolonged period. Therefore, I can't allow my enemy to disengage and regroup for a stronger, more anticipatory attack. I have to stay engaged and win quickly and totally.

So it is with the United States. We aren't old or slow, although we are ponderous, but still, we can't run away. With nuclear armed Iran, northern Korea, other terrorists, we can't even turn the other cheek. Nor can we simply respond to an isolated attack and allow our killers to disengage and regroup and come at us again. We have to keep them fully engaged until we have utterly destroyed them. With nation states, that's a fairly straightforward task, as NAZI Germany and Fascist Japan learned (two now friends, as Grim obliquely pointed out elsewhere). With more amorphous, transnational states--Al Qaeda, Taliban, et al., that's harder to do, but no less necessary for the difficulty.

We cannot pray for deliverance from the barbarians at the gates. We must act ourselves, directly. The Left cannot accept that.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 21, 2010 10:49 AM

I'm with Eric.

Posted by: Texan99 at August 21, 2010 11:23 AM

I love the "intellectual Army of Occupation" line.

What I remember after 9/11 - and what I think Eric is referring to - was not the fear that Americans would do something to give the terrorists an excuse to attack again but the fear that non-Muslim Americans were an inch away from becoming a vicious, murdering mob that would turn on Muslim Americans. Even today I sometimes get the feeling that there are a number of pundits who see there was no outbreak of violence against Muslim Americans and think not, "Boy, Americans are better people than I gave them credit for" but rather, "Boy, that was a close call. I'll never understand how we got lucky enough to dodge that bullet."

Today it may be the case that:

What they're essentially saying is, "Dear God, please don't say anything that will give the terrorists an excuse to attack us".

but I think you're being too kind. I believe that what they're essentially saying is, "It's your fault the terrorists attacked us and if they attack us again, it will be your fault again."

It's the difference between saying to an abused wife, "Your husband is crazy so don't do something wrong and give him an excuse to hit you" and saying, "When your husband hits you, it's your fault because you did something wrong". Neither one is appropriate or helpful or realistic but at least the first one is enough in touch with reality to place the blame where it actually belongs.

Posted by: Elise at August 21, 2010 11:38 AM

What I remember after 9/11 - and what I think Eric is referring to - was not the fear that Americans would do something to give the terrorists an excuse to attack again but the fear that non-Muslim Americans were an inch away from becoming a vicious, murdering mob that would turn on Muslim Americans.

Actually what I was referring to was broader and more naked than that. I never thought that Americans would, as a society, overreact and start attacking or locking up every Arab that showed his face. I was referring to the need to strike back, to go on the offensive, to stay engaged, until the strikers and their ilk and support system are utterly destroyed. Thus, Bush was right to go after the Taliban and Al Qaeda in their Afghan lair--and wherever else--he was right to go after Hussein in Iraq, even though the intel about WMD turned out to be wrong; we're right to prosecute the war in Afghanistan today, however fumblingly. We don't pursue into other nations harboring these enemies like we should, though. Our enemies, by attacking us without cause, butchering innocents, have lost their right to exist. Those who support these terrorists, by that support, have aligned themselves with these terrorists, and so their right to exist also is forfeit.

A Palestinian terrorist was caught a few years ago, and during the course of his interrogation said that (the West) "thinks we are fighting so you will give us something. No. We're fighting to destroy you." The only answer to this is to stay fully engaged until they are destroyed. There can be no diplomacy. There can be no talk. They will not respond, beyond taking advantage of the delays inherent in idle chit-chat--whether that be Obama's or Mitchell's, or anyone else's.

Norway remembers Quisling; England remembers both Chamberlain and Churchill. Whom will we remember?

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 21, 2010 12:28 PM

Much to the dismay of the handwringing pablum eaters, the world can be a vicious place. It is, and always will be survival of the fittest. If we continue to mollycoddle the enemies of humanity, they become more emboldened, and put more pressure on us to capitulate.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Jesus warned "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad" (Matt. 12:30).

In the fight against evil there can be no middle ground, no gray area, no neutrality. Those who are not actively and vigorously fighting against evil are helping evil to triumph.

By using words against guns, bombs, knives, and whatever else the ne'er do wells have, we only give them time to gain strength and tactical advantage. I think out leadership, including senior military leadership, has lost sight of that. For the CoS of the Army to say that the Ft Hood shooter was not a case of jihad, and that the worst thing that could come out of it would be the harm to diversity programs is just insane on all fronts.

When people do wrong, they are punished. If they do it on behalf of a cause, the cause too, is suspect and subject to monitoring. If the cause is found to have goals that are contrary to US law, or our principles, then the cause should be banned.

Harsh? Un-American? "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

KP

Posted by: kbob in Katy at August 21, 2010 02:12 PM

1. in previous post, "...out leadership,...." should be "...our leadership,..."

2. Lest you (the collective you) think I may be a bit off point, I offer you this thought:

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

KP
~30~

Posted by: kbob in Katy at August 21, 2010 02:19 PM

Mr. Hines -- your objections and your words show how well the title fits you, and while I'll respect your request, as you choose not to use it, it still graces you.


Cass -- People aren't always rational. I submit that humankind is not the rational animal, but the rationalizing animal, and isn't even very good at that most of the time, as you showed.


There were, sadly, idiots here in flyover land on the evening of 9/11, who did attack various folk and restaurants that they believed were Islamic. They were mostly incorrect in their beliefs, and most if not all were caught. By the morning, cooler heads prevailed.

Posted by: htom at August 21, 2010 03:54 PM

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

Barry Goldwater lives!

Recall an example of the courage and integrity of the leadership of the left: "I'm behind him 1,000%."

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 21, 2010 04:22 PM

Not just AuH2O. Here's another snip from the past:

... We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge—and more. ...

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?...

full text at avalon.law.yale.edu Democrats used to understand.

Posted by: htom at August 21, 2010 05:33 PM

"That's such a scary idea to contemplate that some people prefer to focus on what they DO have the possibility of influencing -"

What's so scary about that.

I know plenty of people who would be just as ruthless, if only you disappeared the legal and social consequences from their plate.

The difference between the Left and normal people who resist evil, is that the Left lets fear dictate their choices.

The Left cannot accept that.

The Left is not in danger of being surrounded by Islam. If people need to die, it'll be the Marines and other soldiers at the front lines. The Left? They got bank accounts in the world, trust funds where their income cannot be taxed. They are citizens of the world. Do you really think they'd stick to the US if things really became dangerous for them. They always knew they had the option of leaving. They have no skin in the game. They never did. They're here because that's where the plantations are where they can loot and exploit workers. It's much harder to accumulate wealth in other parts of the world.

It is not that the Left cannot accept Islam's danger. They just know that they have other options. But defenseless Americans, don't. So they can get those American sacrificed first, to buy time.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 21, 2010 09:15 PM

If our most gracious hostess will allow me the liberty...I suggest that people watch listen and think about this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg_iDPRud_c&feature=player_embedded

I am open to discussion when I come back from hospital later today. But this guy is 100% spot on. I dread what is coming, but in the words of a former President - a Democrat at that -

"Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God."

Preaching to the choir, I think, in this forum, but America keeps hitting the snooze button, and we are going to wake up and find all is lost.

As a famous PM once said: "If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

I think we are approaching the point of all odds against us.....but as for me, I will not submit; I will not surrender. Give me liberty or give me death."

Not a Marine, but still the motto applies to all who love the United Sates and all she stands for.

"SEMPER FIDELIS"

KP

Posted by: kbob in Katy at August 22, 2010 09:41 AM

Alternatively (or as leavening):

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-19-2010/extremist-makeover---homeland-edition

Posted by: pond at August 22, 2010 03:34 PM

It's Jon Stewart. Obviously a better journalist, and investigative journalist than anyone the the EVIL FOCKSSSSSSSSS network.

Pond, you are showing me why they youth of America fail to understand almost anything. It's all a joke. Young people are immortal and flexible. I do not think that most are flexible enough to have their head(s) up their bohiney(s). Older folks generally tend to recognize that life is tough and it's tougher if you are stupid. Not everything is a joke, and one must stand for something or fall for anything.

I would say fully 50% of the young people (and older ones who believe in pixie dust and can smell unicorn farts) refuse to even listen to reason. They will be the ones on their knees.

I won't be.

Posted by: kbob in Katy at August 22, 2010 05:23 PM

Pond's back.

Somebody get the chlorine for the water.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 23, 2010 10:03 AM

These Americans are very racists because they do not want to build an Islamic center. These Americans are fascists because they are against tolerance and religious freedom. All Muslims are shocked because of this racism. Muslims respect any American who supports the idea of building an Islamic center in any site in America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam

Khaled

Posted by: Khaled Al-Radadi at September 6, 2010 06:56 AM

The debate is not about building an Islamic Center, it's about building an Islamic Center on that site, and name-calling in an attempt to intimidate the people who oppose that is immature.

All Muslims are *not* shocked by the dispute. The Muslims I know are shocked that a shrine would be built so close to where such a great sin was committed.

Posted by: BillT at September 6, 2010 08:54 AM

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