Saturday, November 22, 2008

Victory in Iraq Day

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for it, but from what I've read, its two to three years from the time we check-out 'til the corruption and chaos endemic to Islamic societies thrusts another strong man back into control; so in other words, it'll be back to the future then. But for now, I guess, let's just toss one back and bar-b-q some ribs. I'm good with some fireworks, too. So, without further ado:
On this November 22, 2008, join us in observing Victory in Iraq Day.

Let us honor the sacrifice, dedication and sheer determination of American, coalition and Iraqi troops who have brought freedom to the nation and people of Iraq.

Although our governments have chosen to not name any official day marking the end of this war, we the people have taken it upon ourselves to commemorate November 22, 2008 as the day of victory over the forces of tyranny, oppression and terror in Iraq.

Join fellow bloggers and other members of the public in this virtual ticker-tape parade for our brave troops, to celebrate their success, to remember the fallen, and to declare, in the words of President John F. Kennedy (RIP):
"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 to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
Yeah, but do we mean it, though, and for how long?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Middle East 101

Because it's important to keep in mind the insidious nature of Islam's core beliefs with respect to the non-Islamic world, I am lifting the quote below from the web page of Sheikh Muhammad Saleh al-Munajjid, a Saudi Wahhabi cleric discussing the nature and need for jihad. This is small piece of a recent exposition on the subject, compliments of Jihad Watch. The sheikh's website is quoting from a classic, mainstream Islamic text which is discussing the onset of the Arab armed invasion of Sasanian Persia in the 630's C.E. The "mushrikeen" are the non-Muslims who are considered idolators by the Muslims, e.g., the Zoroastrians (Persian fire-worshippers) in this case. Chosroes was the Persian emperor who received Mohammad's letter "inviting" him to embrace Islam or pay the penalty. Effectively, the last one, although he was succeeded by his ill-fated grandson Yazdgard in 628. Jizyah is the money you pay to the Muslims in return for being allowed to keep your own religious identity (and your life).

This purpose of jihad was present in the minds of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) during their battles with the enemies of Allaah. Al-Bukhaari (2925) narrated that Jubayr ibn Hayyah said: ‘Umar sent people to all the regions to fight the mushrikeen… so ‘Umar recruited us and appointed al-Nu’maan ibn Muqarrin to lead us. When we were in the land of the enemy, the representative of Chosroes (actually Yazdgard III, n.b.) came out to us with forty thousand troops. An interpreter stood up and said: “Let one of you speak to me.” Al-Mugheerah said: “Ask whatever you want.” He asked, “Who are you?” He (al-Mugheerah) said: “We are some people from among the Arabs. We used to lead a harsh and miserable life, sucking on animal skins and date stones because of hunger, wearing clothes made of camel and goat hair, worshipping trees and rocks. While we were in this state, the Lord of the heavens and the earth, exalted be His name and glorified be His greatness, sent to us a Prophet from amongst ourselves, whose father and mother we know. Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), commanded us to fight you until you worship Allaah alone or pay the jizyah. Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us the message from our Lord, that whoever among us is killed will go to Paradise to enjoy delights such as no one has ever seen, and whoever among us is left will become your master.”

This is the truth that the Sahaabah and leaders of the Muslims proclaimed in their military campaigns.

For those who need a reminder that there are still devoted and pious Muslims acting on the jihad imperative, and that they are the ones who decide what is and what is not Islamic, I offer you the photo to the left. "Composition with pistol and Quran"

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Rosett: Liberty as a Future Republican Platform?

So says commentator Claudia Rosett in this piece in, in regard to the creed and concept of liberty:

In the American system built around that creed, the monstrous original failing and contradiction was the institution of slavery. America paid for that with a civil war, followed by another century in which, finally--about the time of Obama's childhood--segregation and discrimination began to give way to the equality and opportunities that Obama has now surfed to the presidency. Liberty prevailed.

The irony is that Obama arrives at the threshold of the White House steeped in ideas that subordinate individual freedom to the collective.

In his campaign and his victory speech, Obama declares that America's "timeless creed" is now, "yes, we can." This is not a defense of liberty. It is a declaration so malleable and generic that it could have applied to anything from Lenin's Bolshevik Revolution to the Little Engine that Could.

Obama has called repeatedly upon America's people to sacrifice. What's not yet clear is whether this will entail sacrifice in the common defense of liberty, or whether it is liberty itself that will step by step be sacrificed in the name of the common good. If the latter, the implications are indeed world-changing. For the past century, America has stood as the world's great bulwark of freedom. That can no longer be taken as a given. Americans will be hard pressed to support freedom elsewhere if they do not protect it at home.

If Rossett is right, the U.S. may be seen to be in, or entering an historical phase analogous to the time of Julius Caesar and his nephew, heir, and creator of the Roman Empire, Augustus Caesar, in the sense that the fear and apprehension in the people, with leaders willing to exploit it, can lead to the willing abandonment of principles previously considered timeless and unchanging. The extinction of the old Roman Republic was not so much an overthrow of the old order, but rather the deliberate, albeit improvisational, replacement of an existing system from within: the creation of a a new, less-free political amalgamation centered around a cult of personality, all the while using the rubric and structures of the old system to neutralize and dismantle itself. By the time Augustus was done, little of the old system but the formalities, titles, and rubric remained. What had once been a vigorous republican government was left with little more than empty forms and pious ceremonies. Yet, if one were to ask the average Roman of the time, he would have insisted, of course, that Rome was a republic, despite the vast and obvious increases in the powers of the government at the expense individual freedom, and the pointedly public quashing of dissent, if only because Augustus told them so (well, he also provided them with free food and cash donations from the treasury).

It's going to be difficult to gin up much excitement about the concept of liberty if it's defined by the governing class to be in opposition, as well as a risk to the people's meal ticket.