Vail Daily column: Combining two little words
It matters not that your particular interests gravitate you toward science, art, poetry, architecture, sports, or even chaos theory; each discipline is fundamentally subordinate to politics. In his best selling book “Things That Matter,” Charles Krauthammer opines that politics dominates everything and that everything lives and dies by politics.
Even the most advanced cultures remain hostage to this dictum — get your politics wrong and everything else can be swept away. The classic example is Germany circa 1933 when Nazi ideology exercised the finality of politics and half the world’s Jewish population was systematically brutalized while its 3,000-year old culture and language were nearly rendered extinct.
Political/ideological preeminence is not an abstraction — to quote Krauthammer, “The 20th century with its mass political enthusiasm is a lesson in the supreme power of politics to produce ever-expanding circles of ruin.” Two world wars killed in excess of 100 million human beings, the Russian revolution gave us 75 years of godless communism. Millions died during Mao’s great leap forward and during countless insurrections throughout Africa; and for an example closer to home, look no further than the Cuban revolution of the mid-’50s.
In each case, politics endeavored to remove the basic tenets of civilized society (faith, family, fellowship and conscience) that stand as a bulwark between the individual and the state. This is especially problematic in the “war on terror” because Islam is not just a religion; Islam defines its believers’ culture and politics. And radical Islam abhors the aforementioned institutions and attempts to eradicate them through beheadings, forced conversions, rape, crucifixion and enslavement.
Many liberal precincts believe characterizing Islam as violent, extreme and intolerant is racist. But the fact is (if polling is to be believed) of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, fully 20 percent (320 million people) believe in stoning adulterers, the death penalty for apostates and intolerance for homosexuals. Said differently, it’s not just ISIS that adheres to the more radical notions found in the Quran.
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For too long our president has avoided the discussion of Islam’s role in global politics — especially its attitude towards Western culture. Recently a White House spokesman condemned the attack on the Canadian Parliament as an act of terrorism, yet I find it ironic that at the same time official administration policy continues to categorize the Fort Hood shooting by Nadal Hassan (who formally asked ISIS for citizenship in the Islamic State) as “workplace violence.” Give me a break! This isn’t political correctness run amok; this is dissembling bordering on delusion.
During his HBO television show comedian Bill Maher butted heads with fellow Hollywood liberal Ben Affleck on the topic. Affleck believes Maher’s position of equating Muslims with the mafia is “ugly” and “racist,” and that violent Islamists are the exception to an otherwise peaceful religion. Yet a quick glance around the globe reveals that Affleck’s comments are naive. Of the 50 odd “shooting wars” going on in the world today I’ve been unable to find a single one that doesn’t involve Muslims.
Perhaps Affleck forgets the majority of Germans in the 1930s were peace loving, too, but that didn’t stop the “few Nazis” from murdering millions in concentration camps and starting a conflagration that laid waste to cultures across Europe and changed the course of history.
It may be that fanatics are at the root of Islamic extremism, but it’s the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder and honor-kill. It is the fanatics who stone and hang rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who encourage their young to become suicide bombers; and perhaps most ominously, it is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque.
Meanwhile, we have a president who, in his nationally televised speech, stated, “ … make no mistake, ISIL is not Islamic.”
From his 2009 apology speech in Cairo, Egypt, to his U.N. speech about Benghazi (where the president tried to deceive the world claiming the attack was a result of a video even though he knew otherwise), this administration has deliberately chosen to ignore the elephant in the room.
One can agree or disagree with the president’s politics, but what remains unassailable is the fact that upon taking office, Obama swore he would “ … preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” which means protecting the citizens of the United States.
But how can the citizenry be protected when an administration refuses to call the attempted Christmas Day bombing in Detroit, the beheading of an innocent woman in Oklahoma City, numerous murders by recent Islamic converts and the hatchet attack on four armed New York City police officers (by yet another convert to Islam) acts of Islamic terrorism?
Applaud the president for his use of drones to kill terrorists in Somalia, but as former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opined, this will be a 30-year war. Unfortunately though, before this war can be won, the president of the United States must combine the words Muslim and terrorist in the same sentence.
Quote of the day: “Obama got us out of Iraq, but he allowed ISIS in.” — Gabriel Cardiff
Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.