Monday, August 23, 2010
Now, most of the re-tellers of this story seem to find the third stonecutter to be the very model employee. Personally, if I were make the choice to let one of these three people go, I would have fired that starry-eyed dreamer. People like that are too easily disillusioned and embittered by a real struggle. But that’s just me…
At any rate, I think there should have been a fourth stonecutter. Here is my addition to the parable:
The fourth stonecutter was the busiest of all. While he worked he talked loudly and confidently to nobody in particular about his stone and the cathedral it would some day be a part of. But the stone he was working on was very small and so jagged that it seemed suited only to be a minor detail piece or architectural bauble. When asked why he was chipping so energetically at such a small block he looked up with a smug grin and said:
I cut this stone to bring hope and change. Oh, make no mistake; before it came under my control this stone was once the largest, squarest and most durable stone ever found in the quarry! Amidst this quarry, whose stone has always been of the highest quality and repute, this one was originally hewn out of the bedrock by a group of craftsmen who came together and labored with skill and endurance to fulfill their keep safe their homes and possessions, feed their children and build an edifice made of the efforts and dreams of workers, soldiers and adventurers- each one his own master. This stone was the paragon. It was obviously a superb candidate to become the cornerstone for a great cathedral.
But I was elected foreman of this quarry last year and I have made it my business to make sure that this wonderful stone is used to the highest purpose- that it serve the greatest good for the most people. This is the reason I was elected. I have made it my life’s work to make sure that all people share equally in the benefits of the stones we quarry here.
Of course, it is true that I had never actually cut a stone before I was elected but I brought the people something more important than that. I promised them hope and change. My only real expertise and experience is in training others to demand that all our stones be used to benefit everyone, regardless of the amount or quality of stone cutting work that they do. By the shear force of my eloquence, the universality of my appeal and stalwart insistence on hope and change above achievement and labor I won the opportunity to see that the great stones of this quarry are rearranged and reconfigured for the good of everyone.
So, you see, the first thing I had to do was make this great stone into an expression of the highest ideals of equality and inclusion. That is why I am working so hard at chipping this stone up. So much beautiful stone, all in one lump, is an insult to those ideals.
As for my quarry mates:
The second stonecutter will do whatever we tell him to do because his only concern is to feed his family. He will work hard for them no matter what we do.
My friend; the third stonecutter will suffer the most, of course. Dreams, cathedrals and grandeur will have no place in my world of hope and change. We don’t need a cathedral for broken secular dreams. There is no need of big block walls for a fortress. Who would believe that we would fight to to defend a dream for which we go abroad and apologize so willingly? We certainly to not need stout stones to build strong banks when they have done their best to disburse their monies into home mortgages and other loans to people without the means to pay on them.
Hope without knowing what to hope for and change with no goal in mind become pretty stark and small after a while. The only romanticism here in my quarry is the utopia of equality and there is nothing dazzling about half the ppopulation getting things they do not work for and the other half slaving to buy them those things.
It will not be easy for him. He will have to change the reason that he cuts stone. Perhaps little, personal monuments- like polished gravestones will make him feel better. We will always need them.
But it is the first stonecutter that I worry about the most. This plain spoken man has pride and he knows who he is. He will keep on cutting true stone. He sees himself as a stonecutter and will cut on no matter what. He has the strength and the independence to know when his cutting is being ill-used. He will not adjust well to making crooked, jagged little stones and he will insist on being rewarded for his effort. Mark my words, We must keep an eye on that first stonecutter.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
They have reversed rules for their parade that will enable gay fringe groups to demonstrate against what they call Israeli Apartheid. Blazing Cat Fur is following it in depth- Including this, my letter a version of which I have sent to every corporate sponsor of Pride Toronto with whom I do business. I hope everyone will do the same.
I know a great deal about suicide (see below) and this is surely a case.
I regret to say that I will no longer be enjoying your beer. I have been buying and enjoying your products for almost forty years. I am sick at heart to see that your Canadian company is a "Premier Sponsor" of an event that used to stand for tolerance and dignity and has now been hijacked and turned into a tool of extremists and hate mongers. I am speaking of the "Pride Toronto" event and it's board's decision to allow the expression of "Israeli Apartheid" as an acceptable message. Let alone that this is a concern that is entirely out side of the event's mission, it is actually proof that hating Jews and Israel is more important to some segment of the Toronto gay community than supporting gay pride or even gay survival.
This, after all, is a propaganda slogan designed to undermine the legitimacy of the only nation in the Middle East that does not have and actively enforce laws against homosexuality. Homosexuals are routinely beaten, stoned and hung in public squares in all of the countries that will be served best by the tainting of the only democratic, liberal, rule of law state in the entire region. In Israel, unlike its neighboring states, Muslims, Christians and Jews all share full citizenship, vote in free and fair elections and speak their minds in a legislative body which makes laws according to the desires of those voters. Any Israeli citizen may go anywhere in the country. In al Arab/Islamic countries, real Apartheid is the order. And they hate gay people so much they kill them - legally! So what other conclusion can be drawn from this action than there is some powerful faction- perhaps even a majority of people in this organization who are so blinded by Jew hatred that they will support their own enemies to hurt Jews.
Before my Jewish faith, I am the straight father of a son with whom I joined the Gay-Straight Alliance in his High School. And before that I was the nine-year-old the brother of a young boy who at thirteen years of age, took his own life because he could not face the social stigma of growing up as a gay (in 1958) in America. On my brother's grave, on my son's handsome head and on the simple grounds that the support of such an ugly and misshapen organization is offensive to my very humanity, I want you to know that unless you withdraw your support from this event or use your financial power to correct this error, I will no longer be your customer. And don't even try to smoke screen the naked facts of this with the parliamentary mumbo jumbo that announced it in on the Pride Toronto web site. It is what it is, an example of an organization whose mind was so open, its brains fell out.
Oh, and you can count on me to spread the news of this and advocate for a boycott of your products."
Yaacov ben Moshe
Yaacov Ben Moshe
Note that when I sent a copy of the letter tothe letter to Pride Toronto's Marketing and Communications Manager, Michael Ain I got this message:
I am out of office until Thursday, July 24.
In case of emergency, please call the Pride Toronto switchboard,
416-927-7433 x 221
Coralee can re-direct your call as necessary.
I resent it to this address: email@example.com
Here are the online contact forms for the two premier sponsors
WELCOME SMALL DEAD ANIMALS READERS!
In case you miss it, here is a very good comment from the SDA thread:
Phantom wrote, "What this tells you in letters of fire one hundred feet high: Pride Toronto is not about being gay. Neither are most of the ostensibly pro-gay "advocacy" groups. Or feminists, or greeneis.
They are a pack of sicko, pervo Communists and don't ever forget it. Gays are the first people going under the big Lefty bus right after the Jews. Followed by "useless eaters". See Obama's health care bill and OHIP's coming "end of life" care guidelines. See the complete, stunning SILENCE from greenies in the Gulf spill.
We've seen this movie before. They never change, they always do the same sh1t in the same order."
Thursday, June 17, 2010
When I put up my last post, I braced myself for objections to my idea that “Kill the Jews” was just the next natural expression of “political realism”. Only a little more dismaying than the observations and facts that prompted me to post it is the complete lack of protest and denial with which it was greeted.
On the contrary, even though the post got big traffic, mostly due to a mention by Mark Steyn on The National Review’s web site The Corner, not one commenter or private email that I received disagreed with the idea that “Kill the Jews” was too extreme to describe the subtext of political realism. Even as I was posting it, the Helen Thomas controversy was heating up. What could be a clearer? The superannuated harpy and erstwhile laughing stock of the White House press corps proposed that the final solution to the Israeli- Palestinian problem would be for the Jews to “Go back…to Poland and Germany- the scene of the one of the most successful and recent “final solutions” of the Jewish Problem.
It was not so much what she said or how she said it - it is the fact that even as they condemned the bold-faced effrontery of her suggestion, many in the media did it half-heartedly- even with regret. She was called a pioneer and a doyen- one who locked horns with every president from Kennedy to Obama. All of which I found rather odd considering that I remember those signature exchanges between her and Kennedy and I seem to recall him treating her as a crank – whose extreme and largely rhetorical “questions he sidestepped with grace and good-natured humor. Many of the other presidents were less good-natured and shorter with her. There was, among many in the media, a pervasive sense of regret and resignation about her demise as a journalist. Not many actually parsed the logic of her fateful words and identified the “final solution” subtext of them. This failure causes me the deepest sense of alarm. In her own over-simplified way, she put into words what the cowards, charlatans and manipulators in the mainstream media, the parliaments of Europe and, alas, the Obama White House, really feel. The horror of Helen Thomas, for those people, is that she said something close enough to the little voice they hear in their own heads that they are suffering from embarrassment more than revulsion.
Then, hard on Thomas’ heels, there was the incident of The Gaza Flotilla, another example of in a long tradition of tidal waves of hatred and public condemnation for Israel. The way in which the clearly provocative and illegal flotilla of was swiftly lionized by much of the world as humanitarian and compassionate shows how very far the terror and violence of the last sixty years has perverted the popular sensibility. The prevailing language in the press of the “deadly Israeli raid” or “massacre” or the “Israeli killing of flotilla activists” proves that the media are no longer a healthy filter for our information. The unwillingness of the Obama administration, immediately to declare unequivocal support for Israel’s wholly legal and reasonable actions show how deeply compromised our moral standing is. They are all so busy being amazed and pathetically grateful for even the pretense of nonviolence that they are falling all over themselves to reward provocation with legitimacy.
This rush to judge and condemn Israel for yet another “massacre” that wasn’t a massacre is the latest and most obvious example of how the Arabs- using naked terror, guilt and outright deceit- have bullied and battered the media and elites of The West- entrained them (us) to a mass Stockholm Syndrome. The years of incessant Islamist calls for death to The West, America and Israel, the decades of outrageous rhetoric and the bloody, callous slaughter of innocents have, finally, bulldozed Europe, America and Israel so far off their foundational principals, out of their cultural perspective that it seems more important to avoid giving any offence to even the most radical Islamist than to actually look at the obvious evidence that they are totalitarian murderers bent on world conquest. The result is a mad world in which the Obama administration commits “even-handed” blunder after “impartial” betrayal to try to prove he is capable of being an ”honest broker” in a peace process in which only one of the parties is interested in peace.
Most of the European, American and even Israeli elites now hold war to be the ultimate evil and peace to be the ultimate good. All other values are, as a result, negotiable when trying to bring about peace. Every year there seems to be less and less that seems worth fighting for. Peacemaking and diplomacy become an exercise in getting everybody to quiet down and stop making trouble. The operative assumption seems to be that if you try to give everybody a “fair shake” (here “a fair shake” often means splitting the dispute down the middle even if one side is more legitimate than the other). Right and wrong matter less than peace and quiet.
The Islamists in Palestine and elsewhere hold war and religious violence to be a sacred duty- something that gives purpose to life. They view Western culture and all its liberalities as a profanity. They take particular exception to the very existence of Israel. Their clergy quote sacred verses to validate the slaughter of Jews and Americans. Their political leaders vow military action to “wipe Israel off the map” and subjugate America. They have prosecuted a sixty-year-long campaign to deligitimize, terrorize and destroy Israel.
It is a classic human tragedy, the injustice of “splitting the difference”. The Israelis are asking only for their half of the loaf- only that to which they are entitled. The Arabs are asking for the whole loaf- the destruction of Israel. To the orthodox peace-seeker who is both intimidated by violence and morally compromised by progressive ideologies such as the political realism I discussed in my last post, it seems “only fair” to split the difference and give the Arabs three quarters of the loaf. By insisting only on mere survival, the desire for peaceful coexistence and the right to protect her people while her enemies have been calling officially and working diligently for her destruction and elimination, Israel has allowed the prevailing sentiment in this debate to be pushed inexorably toward the side of her enemies.
This is the reason that Israel is the only country in the world whose “right to exist” is always in the debate. Friends constantly assert it as if it needed to be said and enemies often get away with behaving as if she doesn’t. While most people claim to believe that Israel has the right to exist and protect her citizens, more and more of them howl in protest at every attempt she makes to do so. More and more people around the world find it possible to rationalize each anti-Israel murder and terror attack as an expression of Arab passion and dedication while the bland logic and humble honesty of the Israelis are, increasingly, seen as stubbornness, bigotry and troublemaking.
Interestingly, Israel’s message has not been entirely drowned out by the Islamist bullying. It has merely been shoved aside so that there are now two completely contradictory ideas that exist side by side in the public mind. One is that most people want to believe in the illusion that if Israelis were to (magically)“go back to Poland and Germany” as Ms Thomas put it, the Arabs would be satisfied and there would be peace. They want to believe this illusion so badly that they are willing to ignore obvious facts- starting with the axiom: “If the Arabs put down their weapons tomorrow there would be no more war and if the Israelis put down their weapons there would be no more Israel.”
Holding two diametrically opposed beliefs simultaneously is not nearly as impossible as it sounds. People do it all the time. It only becomes a problem when action is required or when other people are looking (and talking). Orthodoxies have been struggling with it for centuries.
I use the word orthodoxy here with a lower case “o” without any specific religious connection. I certainly do not mean Orthodox Jews with whom I am closer in my beliefs and practice every year I live. I mean orthodox in the fascist sense of “right thinking” and quick to accuse anyone who disagrees with them as “heretics”. It is important to understand this because one of our worst problems in understanding this situation is that most people see the problem as a conflict between the left and the right ends of the political continuum. It is more accurate, though, to characterize it as a conflict between Utopian Orthodoxy and Empirical Constitutionalism.
The Helen Thomas affair is only one of many recent events that indicate that Progressive leftist doctrine is evolving into an ever more pernicious dogma that could come to resemble Hitler’s socialist Nazism and the totalitarian Communism of Stalin and Mao. The telltale marker of this evolution is the advance of political correctness, which is nothing less that “hunting for heresy” on training wheels. What is more disturbing is the alliance, even to the point of codependence, that has joined the Progressive/Socialist left with their goals of government driven change and improvement (and secularization) of social condition in an illogical alliance with Islamists and their dreams of World Wide Caliphate that would forever keep social conditions static and theologically determined.
The obvious but basically unsatisfying answer is that what they have most in common is that Western Civilization is their common enemy. The chief dissatisfaction of this answer is that it is, at the same time, entirely obvious on the face of it and just as impenetrable in its mechanics.
That is to say, while it is true that belief in either of those two competing ideologies is not compatible with sincere citizenship in any truly Western (or Civilized!) sense, each of them is so much more abhorrent to the other that in a world where the two existed without the mediating openness and tolerance imposed on them by the dominant culture of Western Civilization, they would be compelled to annihilate each other. And which ever one had the upper hand militarily they would do so summarily and without compunction- just look at the historical forerunners of the players: Mohammed, Stalin, the massacre of Hindus in the wake of the Indian Partition, Hitler, Darfur, the Khmer Rouge- the very worst of the massacres of humankind. Just as surely as the socialist Progressive left execrates all but the most liberal and agnostic religion, Islamism despises and must destroy all forms of heretics and free-thinkers. So, how to explain their support for each other? The ironic answer is that the very success and power of the Judeo-Christian civilization makes it possible for them to exist along side each other.
Their common loathing of America and Israel springs from their commonly held belief about the order of the universe, human nature and value of human life. They agree with each other and disagree with the great Western Tradition fundamentally about the very structure of the universe and the purpose of life. Both Islamism and Progressivism are communal utopian ideologies. They believe that individual human beings are given their meaning and value by the larger organizing force. Whether that force is viewed as the will of Allah, the society (as in socialism), The consensus of the “educated” and the “experts” (the ideal of the Progressives), the people or race (as in Fascism) or the proletariat (communism), the individual is expected to be subservient to it and compliant with it. The individual revolves around the polity and gains meaning and fulfillment only as part of it. The system (whatever its assumed form) is always the source of meaning and people approach perfection through compliance with it.
In America and Israel, and to a diminishing degree the rest of The West, the individual is the “center of the universe”. We grant that reality is messy and imperfect and that the best way to improve the world is to harness the energy and goodness of people while providing appropriate counter balance to their natural imperfections. It is no accident that, standing on the bloody ground of Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln called upon the unique American formulation of government, “of the people, by the people, for the people,” as the most important justification for the sacrifice of so many young men. Then as now the orthodoxies of entrenched rulers and ideologues had to be confronted to insure that to one tradition in the world’s history that so honored the individual, “shall not perish from the earth”. Nor is it any accident that America and Israel are the two most dynamic, and open societies on earth. They both embody respect for the individual and individual responsibility. It is this combination of responsiveness to the individual and openness to individual input that fosters growth, economic dynamism and political viability.
So, the argument is really about what the center of the personal/political universe is. This was precisely the problem between the Pope and Galileo. The Pope was an intelligent and educated man who clearly understood that the logic and evidence behind the Copernican view of the universe was a better and more useful model than the official version he was protecting. It predicted events with more success and presented a simpler and more accurate representation of the behavior of “celestial objects”. It was, simply, more useful and successful.
The Pope, to his credit, understood that in the long run denying the actual evidence for Copernicus’ model would have been futile. The Catholic Church was powerful but the movable type printing press was already in wide use and literacy (along with individual autonomy) were on the rise. Unable to outlaw facts and logic but he may or may not have felt loyalty to the church’s established view but he certainly also knew that allowing facts and logic to defeat church doctrine would weaken his hold on power. In any case, he needed to resolve his intellectual dilemma without seeming too dogmatically primitive, so he told Galileo that he could write about Copernicus’ solar-centric solar system model- but he had to write about it “hypothetically”. In other words, he could present the facts and the logic but he could not draw conclusions from them or apply them to our position in the universe. Nor could he use them to analyze our world. Doing those things, The Pope knew, would prove that there was a basic and fatal flaw in the church’s Cosmological frame of reference.
That ruling was, perhaps, the first recorded instance of political correctness. Just as the Islamists try to keep us from talking about the religion behind terror and the leftists try to keep us from recognizing that the redistribution of wealth is not motivated by the compassion to which they pretend, the “hypothetical” ruling was an attempt to disconnect the facts and real observations from the reality they described. Forbidden speech and conspiracy of silence are principal strategies of totalitarian regimes down through the ages.
But let’s return to the past two weeks events. It has, I think come to the point at which the world must choose whether Israel really does have the right to exist in security or not. Ruling orthodoxies (and Islamism and Progressivism are both orthodoxies that would rule) simply cannot bear the cognitive dissonance of supporting that idea alongside the Islamist desire for genocide. That would be required in recognizing the basic flaws in both world views. They are in psychic pain and furious at Israel for it. They would let Israel die to soothe themselves- Kill the Jews, kill the pain.
The left are keen to take away Israel’s moral authority and fall pathetically into every nasty blood libel their Islamist allies cook up- no matter how stupid and transparent. Al Durah, Jenin, poisoned water, Gaza Beach, stolen organs from Arab corpses, The Flotilla- they are all obvious frauds. Still, the haters of the left pile them up and through the “injustice of the split difference”, Israel gets tarred just because they have accused her, and all the while, her accusers avoid the disgrace they so richly deserve.
Just so, the cheap, clumsy deceit of the “humanitarian flotilla” which led to the justified killing of the “protestors” who otherwise would surely have finished the job of beating and stabbing the Israeli boarding party to death, has succeeded in extorting Israel once again. The government has reacted to the overwhelming public outcry from the left, the Islamist world and their ignorant supporters by “easing the blockade on Gaza”. That “public” whose outcry coerced this easing either does not care that it has made it easier for Hamas to fashion terror weapons and to harden the launching platforms that they hide within their own civilian population or they secretly harbor the desire that Hamas should just “do everyone a favor” and finish the job on Israel. For these people, the more Israel protests and maintains her modest aim of self-preservation, the more she makes a nuisance of herself. Helen Thomas proposed they “go back to Poland or Germany” what she and her fellow progressives mean is that they wish she would just disappear. Yet again, another component of Israel’s legitimate need for security has been sacrificed to the illusion that she is what is standing in the way of whatever utopian society or Caliphate they dream of that might be created on her grave.
Know this, if the Islamists and the left are allowed to destroy Israel and to make over The United States into a more leftist or Sharia friendly state, we will see a dark age fall upon the world. I quoted Lincoln above and I return to him now. In his address to congress in December of 1862, as he was preparing the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln said,
“Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We -- even we here -- hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free -- honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth…”
Lincoln knew that whatever its faults and even crimes, the American Republic was the only human government ever devised to that point in history that offered the breadth of opportunity, the dignity of self-reliance and the freedom of choice provided here and to let it slip into chaos would be to allow a great darkness to befall humanity. As The Union was threatened in Lincoln’s day, Israel, a beacon of democracy, freedom and success amidst an Islamic sea of countries that fester with slavery, naked genocidal hatred and endemic abuse of women and children is in danger of being destroyed.
The hyenas of Islam, in the grip of their medieval longing for world domination under a new Caliphate and humiliated by their own inability to make a living by any other means than sucking the accidental petro-wealth out of the ground lead the attack while the jackals of the left infiltrate and work on the inside while the world as we know it begins to go to waste. The Arab world squanders its easy money on terror forcing The West to spend money on defense rather than infrastructure. The left raids the earned wealth of America and Israel by creating welfare entitlements (hello healthcare) and regulations (cap and tax) that no nation could afford. The Islamists say that Israel must be destroyed and wink that Europe is next then America will be (as Mark Steyn wrote) alone. At home we cannot even speak of the problems without using absurd circumlocutions (man caused disaster, don’t point out that the terrorist is Islamic, don’t point out that the Obama agenda is socialist, etc…) let alone devise an effective strategy to combat it. Man Caused Disasters?!?! Even Pope Urban VIII would be impressed with how “hypothetical” that keeps things. And still, no one complains that “Kill the Jews” is too extreme.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
What shocked me was the last sentence of the 2nd paragraph: "It was his [Lord Melchett's] impression that anti-semitism in Germany was on
the wane, as Hitler was beginning to realize that it was his anti-semitism that was keeping him from power."
Since when is it not wise for a sovereign country to stop bon fide supporters of terrorists on the high seas? Since when is it not permissible for soldiers of that country to defend their own lives? Only since they are Jewish. The Jewish blood spilt by the "protesters" on the boat ( who are on record singing songs about killing Jews) as they attacked the soldiers carrying paintball guns, like the blood of the children of Sderot killed and maimed by the very "freedom fighters" the protesters are supporting must no longer be considered barter for a corrupt system of political dealing- it cheapens Jewish life and makes it expendable. Or, rather, it agrees with Obama and the rest of the world that it is expendable.
It is time for Jews everywhere to recognize and speak the truth: political realism, like political correctness cuts both ways and we are as vulnerable as we have ever been. If you do not pay attention now, if you make the mistake of Melchette in 1933, there is hell to pay down the road. Jews do not have the luxury anymore to ignore (let alone support!) the Obama administration and its Progressive agenda.
Note: My friend Robert Avrech at Seraphic Secret has another similar take on this in a very important post.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
My friend ShrinkWrapped has a brilliant post up. In it he poses the idea that Multiculturalism and Anthropogenic Global Warning have sustained enough damage in recent events to set them on a course for the oblivion they so richly deserve. He is so accurate about so much that I hesitated to bring up the one big problem I see in his theory. I finally posted a comment that outlines what I see as a terrible unmentioned, terrifying danger arising from this apparent victory for good sense. Here is my comment with some edits and expansion:
Multiculturalism is to nations as the self-esteem movement is to individuals. Unless we can reclaim the principal that only people who work hard, take care of themselves, contribute something of value to society and produce something that other people will pay for, deserve to have a "decent" living and hold their heads up in society, we will never accept that the cultures that value and foster that kind of individual more effectively are, simply put, better cultures.
As to the difficulty of next few years, I see terrible danger. Fascist totalitarianism is the time-honored response of ideologies that have no other chance of success. President Obama fired the opening salvo of a campaign against free thought and speech last Sunday. It was a not so thinly veiled as a reference to ipods etc.. but clearly implied that ungoverned thought, opinion and the speed of information were problematic. In forcing the health care bill through congress he has already proven more than capable of imposing his will over the outcry of the majority. He is surrounded by people who welcome crises and turmoil as opportunities to "change" things...
In my opinion, the worst aspect of this is that there is no organized opposition. The mainstream of the Republican party, for their own reasons, are complicit with the Democrats. The corporate world will be delighted to have legions of docile, socialist drones penned up in cubicles in all the nation's offices like so many veal calves fattening in their boxes. They work a little, complain a lot and their paychecks are ample enough to bleed off and aggregate big corporate bonuses and social entitlements for the vast army of indolent voters that will continue to vote for their unearned privileges in increasing numbers. The cubicle dwellers work too hard and clear too little profit from their labor to outbreed the welfare voting block, so the power shift is on.
The corporations have it made. Every cubicle dweller is one less potential competitive entrepreneur and, anyway, they have been pronounced too big to fail by the party of the welfare bloc. The Tea Party thing is a start but there is no true leadership structure. It is a big tent and a magnet for nut jobs. The danger that one person can fatally damage the movement with one bad gaffe is huge. Leadership must be developed, entrenched and schooled and that takes time.
The Beast is strong in both parties and they are tough and ruthless. They see the folks in the cubicles and the people who make their own way in life waking up to the fact that they are caught in the pincer between the corporate oligarchs and the entitlement class. They have been wounded because the poor economy has made us think about the weight of the bonuses and free goodies we pay for. They are afraid and in pain- a wounded tiger- a whole zoo full of wounded tigers.
There are some good Republicans and even one or two good Democrats but they need to have some faith in the electorate- some where to go for support. If the real independents, the entrepreneurs, producers and creators, do not come to understand the peril before this November's elections and if they only have run-of-the-mill Republicans and Democrats to vote for, I fear that this will not end well.
Monday, May 10, 2010
'Nazi' listed as an identifiable victim group in Toronto Police's 2009 hate crime stats report
We are all victims now, it seems. Just think how the poor National Socialists must feel! Millions of Jews throwing themselves into trenches and shooting themselves in the back or gassing themselves and burning their own bodies in furnaces with the the poor, stunned Nazis standing by in helpless horror! And, still, sixty years later, they are blamed, even reviled and insulted, by the world for the "jew caused disaster" they were powerless to avert.
Too bad, Bernie did not see this coming. Maybe he was too busy building himself a career and a ridiculously inflated reputation on bad law and phony victimology to see where it would lead...
Personally, I got tired of the victim card in High School when I realized how unattractive and counter-productive it is. Oh well, Nuance is as Nuance Does...
Friday, May 7, 2010
In my last post I noted that we are indeed fortunate to this point that the people who want to kill us are, in general, a little bit dumber than we are. This has accorded us a certain measure of safety. They busy themselves detonating small charges in their private parts or leaving the keys to their "other car" in automobiles (to which they hold title) laden with unexplodable devices idling by the curb all of which amounts to the equivalent of a set of Mapquest directions to their homes. We, on the other hand, have distracted ourselves with pastimes fit only for overeducated, self-important, arrogant imbeciles: handicapping our security forces by applying the values and protections of our republic too broadly to the entire human race in general (regardless of whether they "buy in" to our system) We chronically, overestimate our own power, while underestimating the unalterable hatred and contempt our enemies harbor for us. Many of us refuse to understand that "they" simply do not share our values or dreams. On top of all that, we insure that we can't even talk or think directly about the danger we face from them because we have outlawed the very words that must be used if we are to define and measure it.
Here below is a nearly perfect example of how invincible and pervasive the stupidity of nuance is in our media and how seductive and Imbecilic its proponents are. The quote is a part of a panel discussion of the “Mystery” of Faisal Shahzad’s sudden jihad that was moderated by the exceedingly nuanced Robert Smith on NPR. Smith is seen here doing his most nuanced “I wouldn’t recognize an Islamist terrorist if he jumped out of a sewer, shouted Allahu Akbar and sawed my head off” interpretation of the evidence.
SMITH: ,… neighbors that actually spotted Shahzad in the last few months say he was acting strange, running in the dark, blasting a radio day and night, and apparently, according to investigators, assembling a car bomb from propane, gasoline and fireworks.
So what happened last summer to Faisal Shahzad to flip him from family man to suspected terrorist?
Bruce Hoffman is a professor of security studies at Georgetown University. He says that it's become a pattern in these kind of cases for the suspect to have recently traveled back to their homeland.
Professor BRUCE HOFFMAN (Georgetown University): And then either before that trip, during that trip, perhaps upon their return, are suddenly radicalized and become involved in a terrorist plot.
SMITH: And even before the trip to Pakistan there were signs that all was not well with Shahzad. The family had been falling behind in their home payments and trying to sell the house. They were being sued for not paying an energy bill. The Wall Street Journal quotes a real estate agent who heard Shahzad say that his father was sick and he needed to return to Pakistan to take care of him.
Hoffman says that it's also not uncommon for terrorists to leave a trail of debt behind them.
Prof. HOFFMAN: Many of these individuals believe it's entirely permissible to, in essence, defraud the Western societies they live in and to use whatever money they have to run up credit card debt, to take out loans that they have no intention of repaying.
SMITH: Still, neighbors say the turnaround in Shahzad's life seemed to happen so quickly. One day the family was holding a tag sale on their lawn and soon after that they were gone. Their foreclosed home in Shelton still has trash and forgotten items strewn inside and out. I found this music CD next to their yard.
(Soundbite of song)
Unidentified Woman: Be ready for a great journey (Singing in foreign language)
SMITH: Other reporters found Shahzad's old passport from Pakistan, discarded greeting cards, and a transcript from college that showed that Shahzad apparently had a 2.78 grade point average. Now that he's in custody, all of that discarded pass is catching up to him. Investigators spent yesterday removing evidence from Shahzad's former life.
(Soundbite of song)
Smith invites Hoffman into the discussion and then completely blunts the important information that Hoffman supplies. Hoffman identifies the pattern of these deadly killers. They go back to their homelands, they feel no compunction about violating the most basic values and responsibilities of American life, they are cynical users and (by our standards) sociopathic. They are different.
Without giving any sign that he even acknowledges the dissonance between Hoffman’s observation with his own bemused, self-inflicted blindness, Smith dances around Hoffman’s statement with random thoughts thrown out, no doubt, to be evocative of mystery “he had a 2.78 gpa”, “he left trash behind”, “he had greeting cards”, there was a song about a long journey found somewhere in the neighborhood of his house. It is as if he is answering Hoffman’s, point by appealing to the canard of “we all want the same things in life”.
He seems to be saying, “Oh, the poor confused man had a soul, and a family and a numerically verifiable participation in parts of our system. How to ever understand the things people do…”
Back in 2006, when I started this blog, my very first post was my account of the event in my own life that made it impossible for me to nuance away the awareness of the hideous monster (beast) of Caliphate Islamism. In retrospect I might have been too vague in putting my finger exactly what that monster is. I was vague intentionally because I felt that if I were too direct and specific, I would risk alienating people who might be on the cusp of awareness but wary of harsh language and un-nuanced thought. I am reposting that story below be cause it is still true.
So here it is, and I will only add that now I understand that nuance is the new stupid so I now renounce nuance entirely. The Beast is Islamism. It’s way through our walls is our own nuance.
My First Encounter With the Beast
We always get a warning that is clear and unequivocal when evil is stalking us. It is up to us to notice. Warnings are all too easy to dismiss. It is a grave responsibility to pay heed to real warnings. It seems so much easier to convince yourself that the warning is not for you, or that the danger is remote and small.
When Hitler, for example, wrote Mein Kampf, in 1925. He left no doubt as to his intentions. The world dismissed the book as the ravings of a mad man. When he got his opportunity to reach power ten years later, much of the world was surprised that he actually did what he said he would. If they had believed him in the first place and acted on that knowledge with resolution and intelligence millions of lives could have been saved.
The good news is that all you have to do is pay attention, believe what you see and hear and have the strength not to deny it. Evil will almost always inform you of its presence and intentions. I was given a very personal warning twenty-five years ago by a particularly profound form of evil. That evil presence has grown and prospered in the world since then. It has grown and become powerful and menacing and yet, even today, in spite of incontrovertible evidence of its existence many people find it altogether too easy to deny.
Back in the early eighties my young family and I lived next door to an Iranian family. They were nice, friendly people. Hamid (not his real name) was a physician who was just starting out in his own practice. His wife, Haideh was also Iranian born. She was a mathematician. She taught at a local college. We moved in to brand new houses just months apart and shared the rigors of nurturing lawns where there had been only bulldozer tracks. We cooperated in the planting of trees and shrubs to define the empty expanses between our new homes. We borrowed tools from each other. Hamid and I played tennis often and even discussed the possibility of building a tennis court in the flat spot where our lots met. Our children played together and his son, Amir and my daughter Amy became very close friends. The two of them were barely more than toddlers when they first met but were soon talking about getting married the way little ones sometimes do when they find a close companion of the opposite sex.
The next summer, they went back to Iran to visit with their families. We were afraid for our friends. We knew the country was in turmoil. They were gone for several weeks. For much of the time my Amy’s days were occupied with day camp but she still missed her friend. They finally returned a week before school. The two seemed to pick up right where they had left off.
It was a sunny Sunday morning and Amy went out right after breakfast and met Amir in his backyard. We watched as they began to play and turned away to read the Sunday paper. We were surprised when Amy came back inside a short while later. She walked by us with her head down and started up the stairs to her room. We had expected to have to call her in for lunch so it was odd that she came back so early. I called after her and asked her what was wrong. She told me how little 5-year-old Amir had matter-of-factly informed my innocent 5-year-old daughter that because she is a Jew it is his duty to kill her.
I went right over to talk with my friend and neighbor. Hamid was deeply embarrassed. He hastened to explain that: “Over there, the radio and TV were full of that kind of thing - you simply couldn’t avoid it. He assumed that Amir had heard this kind of thing on the radio or TV because no one in his family believed such things. He was sure, he told me, that now that Amir was back here he would soon forget it. He assured me that he would talk with Amir and was sure that the boy didn’t even understand what he was saying.
I could see how distressed he was and told him that I understood and that I appreciated his concern. We looked at each other and shook hands and patted each other on the shoulder. I was sure that it would not change things between our families.
Remember that this was twenty years before September 11, 2001. It was a few years after the fall of the Shah so, before they had left, I had actually wondered if his kids were going to be exposed to anti-American rhetoric and how that would sit with them. It had never entered my mind though to expect the anti-Semitic to be the dominant theme. Back then many of us believed the myth of the benevolent caliphate and the benign toleration of “Dhimmis” under Muslim rule. After all, I mused, Iran was at war with Iraq. And Israel had recently bombed the Osirac reactor thereby preventing Iraq from developing nuclear weapons.
In the light of everything that has transpired since then, it now seems hopelessly naïve of me but in the dim light of that historical moment I was amazed that what had surfaced first from this child’s sojourn in his homeland was genocidal anti-Semitism. As I lay awake in bed that night I found I couldn’t get the event out of my mind. The idea that a child could have such an idea in his head was staggering by itself. What kind of madness had he been exposed too? What infernal clatter of hatred and fear was there in the streets and media over there that could make it possible for a five year old say such a thing?
I recalled the pictures from the nightly news reports on the recently ended hostage ordeal that always seemed to show dense, agitated crowds of shirt-sleeved young men with posters and bullhorns. For all that it was fascinating, the violent rhetoric and the frenetic seemed somehow so unconnected to me – motivated by such an alien animus that I had watched them with the detachment of one who had every confidence that it had nothing to do with him. Now, as I lay awake, I could see- it was very personal.
It was frightening, it was unfamiliar, it was hateful and I had no idea how big or how close it was.
Was the family back in Iran so very different from Hamid? What kind of people thought nothing of exposing a child to this? What, I wondered, could have been the state of mind of Hamid and his wife that they did not think to talk to their son about this stuff- to “deprogram” him on the way home. The more I thought about it the more it bothered me. I lay awake thinking picturing not the house next door and the people in it, but the sweating, rioting crowds back in Iran and all of their squawking radios and televisions. The morning before, I had thought that all I had to do was talk to my neighbor about this thing. Now I saw clearly that this was very big and very ugly- beyond reach of a friendly neighborhood talk. I got out of bed and looked out the window toward their house, bathed in pale moonlight. The calm fall night was filled with a new shadow- the specter of an evil that had once been faraway and theoretical and was suddenly present and breathing quietly in the dark recesses of this soft night. Just then, it felt close enough that I thought I could feel its hot, humid breath on the back of my neck.
In my innocent, pre-9/11 American way I remember wondering how close we might have actually come to tragedy. A little boy of five might have kept harboring that thought and without comprehending what he was really doing, hurt or even murdered my little girl. God forbid that he might have gotten access to a gun with that in his mind. What kind of horror might have been averted because he spoke instead of acting? I walked down the hall and looked into Amy’s room. Her soft brown curls shone in the moonlight and she stirred and sighed.
I wandered back to my bed and lay down. What kind of society, I wondered, puts ideas like this into the mind of a (rather charming) little boys like Amir? How was it, with even parents like my friends Hamid and Haideh the racket and stink of genocidal hatred could so easily stick to him and be carried so quietly and so deep into the heart of our safe little suburban neighborhood.
Now that the images of Iran I had found it easy to view and dismiss were personal and immediate, I could never again feel quite so secure that all the “Death to America” and “Kill the Jews” rhetoric was empty and rhetoric or that it didn’t pertain to me. If it is said and sanctioned, how far away is it really from execution?
Over the next few years, the war with between Iran and Iraq dragged on; reports were heard in the west of human wave assaults organized by the Islamic army of Iran. Boys as young as fourteen were roped together to prevent desertion and sent out unarmed to try to overwhelm Iraqi positions by shear weight of expendable numbers. Sometimes I would catch sight of Amir in the street and shake my head – grateful that he was here but filled with dread for all of us.
Hamid and his family moved away after a few years. Since then, there have been so many experiences and images that have reminded me of that night when I realized how close the beast is.
I have stood in one of the great central squares of Kiev where there stands a huge statue of the national hero Bogdan Chemielniki who, before Hitler, was history’s greatest slaughterer of Jews. A few miles away I visited the memorial at Babi Yar. To stand at that monument I had to walk there over the half-mile long mound that is the mass grave of more than one hundred thousand Jews.
I have also been to Israel and visited the sites of three of the most infamous suicide bombings. I watched the airplane on which the wife of a friend perished smash into the North Tower of The World Trade Center. Then, I watched the towers crumble. I have downloaded and viewed the video of the slaughter of Daniel Pearl, which is still available on the Internet. I recognized them all as footprints of the same beast. Having lived with its shadow for so long, I am often shocked when I meet people who don’t believe that it is real that it is stalking us even as you read this.
What will it take for you to understand that what they are saying and doing is personal and you need to do something about it?
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
International Stupid Derby Latest Results:
Mainstream Press pulls ahead in the race with a monumental act of self-ridicule even as Islamist bomber manages to improve technique at least to the extent that ev en though he still botched his terror attempt, he did it without exploding his own genitalia.
This headline is popping up all over the media today on an article supplied by Associated Press:
NY Car Bomb Suspect Cooperates, But Motive Mystery
A Mystery? My friends, this is no mere fathomless act of willful ignorance. This is a full blown stupidity that makes even the “blow my own testicles off” idiocy of the most recent run of Islamist would-be killers look sort of bright. Even though the article quotes Attorney General Holder as saying, "Based on what we know so far, it is clear that this was a terrorist plot aimed at murdering Americans in one of the busiest places in our country," the AP story calls his motivation a mystery.
How exactly? Well I am not entirely sure because most of the story is so un-mysterious that it is hard to tell. I suspect it has something to do with this passage:
“Until recently, his life in the U.S. appeared enviable. He had a master's degree from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, a job as a budget analyst for a marketing firm in Norwalk, Conn., two children and a well-educated wife who posted his smiling picture and lovingly called him "my everything" on a social networking website.
But shortly after becoming a U.S. citizen a year ago, he gave up his job, stopped paying his mortgage and told a real estate agent to let the bank take the house because he was returning to Pakistan.
Once there, according to investigators, he traveled to the lawless Waziristan region and learned bomb making at a terrorist training camp.”
I think that if you stand back and squint at this section, you can see what they are getting at. Its very nuanced, but it is in there. The mystery in their minds stems from the pathetic notion that brother Faisel’s pre-jihad situation did not have any tell-tale triggers that would “explain” his acts. He was not a victim of the mortgage bust, he was not obviously politically readicalized or a social outcast. He was living as if he were really “just like us”.
And all good progressive liberals are compelled to believe that that is all anyone in the world is. They are supposed to want all the things we want and desire the life satisfactions that we desire. So, when they see this guy leaving all that behind, getting bomb training and making a sincere (if, fortuitously, inept) to slaughter innocent people on the streets of our cities, they are powerless to understand it. Even though the Islamist clergy has clearly and specifically put us on notice that they “love death more than we (in the west) love life” the AP and those blinded by the Progressive ideology just will not accept that those people are different from us in a very basic way.
It is this dogma that makes profiling a crime against the humanity of others. If we were all the same, with the same values and dreams, then to be aware that some nationality or religion may be more likely to cause a problem than others would indeed be counter-productive.
But we are not. They are happy to tell us so is we will only listen to them, Still the AP and it subscribers continue to make a fetish of denying the plain fact that the source of the vast majority of the terror in the world is done by Islamist radicals
That is stupid. I am talking about Darwin Award Stupid here. It is the same exact stupid that is at work when people express a fear of profiling. It was, after all, ever so smart and nuanced of The Army to ignore the anti-American ravings of mass killer Major Hassan so that they could be sure not to be accused of profiling.
Is it ever going to be a good thing, something "we all want", when a newly minted U.S. citizens gives up paying on a viable house mortgage and returns to his native Pakistan (you know Pakistan, don’t you, where Osama is hiding, where the Mumbai killers came from and where Daniel Pearl had is head sawn off?) for a six month graduate degree in bomb making? Would it not seem prudent, if noticeably un-nuanced, to keep an eye on someone like that? But, I know, this is a simplistic view- not very nuanced and progressive.
Here is the obligatory disclaimer: I am not advocating putting all Muslims into internment camps or deporting them. I am saying we need to pay attention to what they are saying and doing.
HELLO! AP! There IS no mystery here. There is no nuance that can excuse, explain or rationalize this. In fact, Nuance is the new Stupid. And it is Stupider than the old one.
Gagdad Bob appended this at the link to this article on American Digest:
"Readers and Viewers Flee MSM for Other News Sources, But Motive a Mystery"
Friday, February 26, 2010
President Obama is an avian mixed metaphor. He has tried to be the early bird, pushing very hard on his radical agenda in the face of economic hardships. But he has only suceeded in making himself the earliest lame duck in history. Case in point is here:
That is the beauty of American Democracy- the election is never over- we the people will always have our say.
Let's mix the metaphore even more, Obama's presidency has turned into an empty suit leading an army of dead-men-walking.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The problem for us in the west is that the people who come out of the Arab Islamic culture in which violence is the currency of leadership and coercion masquerades as truth, have achieved three pivotal advances in positioning, tactics and strategy.
They have achieved sufficient affluence to study at (or at least hang around) a University.
They have learned to manipulate and capture the imagination of impressionable and alienated young westerners.
They have mastered the Alinsky rule book for intimidating and perverting their host culture.
Here are Alinsky’s rules and my scorecard for this event:
1. "Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
Ambassador Oren relates that he was warned by the Foreign Minister of Israel, “Oy, are you going to have a hard time!” – an admission that reasonable people know that UC Irvine is a place that is not just intellectually opposed but so openly hostile, emotionally intimidating and aggressively closed minded that it is not possible to carry on a dialogue there.
2. "Never go outside the experience of your people.
Not that being disruptive and attempting to keep a speaker from presenting his ideas and thoughts is such an involved undertaking but you will notice that at 6:11 and 6:39 of the clip it is obvious that someone had gone to the trouble of providing at least two of the young men who got up to shout their epithets and taunts with little slips of paper from which to read their outbursts. Pathetic, I know, that those two dolts and perhaps others (we just don’t get a chance to see them as they start yelling) cannot even manage to be boorish and ignorant without a script, but the scary thing is that someone obviously knew that about them and got them prepared…
3. "Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy.
Not possible in this case. If they aren’t lobbing outrageous lies, their cousins are lobbing Qassam missiles. Jews and Israelis have seen worse than this.
4. "Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
Unfortunately, (probably due in large part to # 1 above) the impotent UC officials lived up to a very high-toned reading of the rules. This was obviously a very tightly orchestrated and planned disruption. After the second outburst and boisterous agitation, it should have been clear that the presumption of innocence for most of that side of the room was an example of cowardice not fairness. They should have been rounded up and arrested. They conspired to deprive Ambassador Oren of his right to speak and his sponsoring group of their right to assemble. Oh, where is the ACLU now? Must be out defending the right of Neo-Nazis to have a parade in a Jewish neighborhood…
5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
Well, you can’t win them all. The protesters, in the end, didn’t use much ridicule. They showed themselves to be ridiculous (see the capering young woman at 8:41 for example) but that is not the same thing.
6. "A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
This was clearly a great success in the enjoyment department. Apparently, accusing intelligent, egalitarian and earnest people from the one country in the middle east that gives equal rights to religious minorities and women and bends over backwards not to kill people who have sworn to destry them of murder and even genocide is intensly diverting for them, They smirk, giggle and congratulate each other as if their team had just won a soccer match.
7. "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
They took up a lot of time here but I do think they knew when to file out en mass. Yup, they had this about right.
8. "Keep the pressure on.
This does not apply to this one instance- it is a long term goal- but this would certainly be an occasion at which they are “keeping the pressure up.”
9. "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
Exactly, they howl and mewl but that is not so bad. Even on campuses, though, nowadays you can’t help but wonder if there is a Major Nadal Malik Hasan or Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab in the crowd.
10. "Major premise for tactics is development of operations that will maintain constant pressure upon the opposition.
Sure, they do this kind of this thing enough and they will wear away the resistance to all kinds of little projects of theirs- academic boycotts, for example. Even more insidiously, though, it is a common ploy of radicals to take extreme positions and shout outrageous things at high volume so that people like Ambassador Oren wind up begging only to be heard. This imbalance makes the radical seem magnanimous when he allows someone else to so much as finish a sentence while Ambassador Oren looks demanding when he insists on his absolute right to express himself.
11. "If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.
Check, here they are championing proxy armies, dictatorships, corrupt monarchies and Islamofascist regimes and making it seem as though Israel is the villain state.
12. "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
They utterly fail at this. Every time an Israeli tries to find a formula for Coexistence, an Arab calls for the destruction of Israel. For them killing Jews seems constructive, I guess.
13. "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
They shout outrageous personal calumny, lies and accusations at the honored guest, but he is not even the real target of this demonstration. They identify the true victim as they file out. At 8:15 of the clip you can hear one of them repeatedly shout, “Whose University is it?” and each time they answer in chorus “My University”.
Until the administration of UC Irvine develops enough spine to take it back, I am afraid they are quite right about that.
Note: As of this posting this clip has had over a quarter of a million views on YouTube. Maybe that will embarrass them into doing something to these thugs who have shamed the school. Click on it! I always clapped my hands for Tinker-belle too.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Iran’s Two-Edged Bomb
Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
With Iran having notified the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency that it is now enriching its stockpile of uranium to a higher level, we should admit that Washington’s approach to countering the Islamic Republic is leading nowhere. What’s needed, however, may be less of a change of plan than a change in how we view the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Believe it or not, there are some potential benefits to the United States should Iran build a bomb. (I’m speaking for myself here, and in no way for the Air Force.) Five possibilities come to mind.
First, Iran’s development of nuclear weapons would give the United States an opportunity to finally defeat violent Sunni-Arab terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. Here’s why: a nuclear Iran is primarily a threat to its neighbors, not the United States. Thus Washington could offer regional security — primarily, a Middle East nuclear umbrella — in exchange for economic, political and social reforms in the autocratic Arab regimes responsible for breeding the discontent that led to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Until now, the Middle East autocracies have refused to change their ways because they were protected by the wealth of their petroleum reserves. A nuclear Iran alters the regional dynamic significantly, and provides some leverage for us to demand reforms.
Second, becoming the primary provider of regional security in a nuclear Middle East would give the United States a way to break the OPEC cartel. Forcing an end to the sorts of monopolistic practices that are illegal in the United States would be the price of that nuclear shield, bringing oil prices down significantly and saving billions of dollars a year at the pump. Or, at a minimum, President Obama could trade security for increased production and a lowering of global petroleum prices.
Third, Israel has made clear that it feels threatened by Iran’s nuclear program. The Palestinians also have a reason for concern, because a nuclear strike against Israel would devastate them as well. This shared danger might serve as a catalyst for reconciliation between the two parties, leading to the peace agreement that has eluded the last five presidents. Paradoxically, any final agreement between Israelis and Palestinians would go a long way to undercutting Tehran’s animosity toward Israel, and would ease longstanding tensions in the region.
Fourth, a growth in exports of weapons systems, training and advice to our Middle Eastern allies would not only strengthen our current partnership efforts but give the American defense industry a needed shot in the arm.
With the likelihood of austere Pentagon budgets in the coming years, Boeing has been making noise about shifting out of the defense industry, which would mean lost American jobs and would also put us in a difficult position should we be threatened by a rising military power like China. A nuclear Iran could forestall such a catastrophe.
Last, the United States would be able to stem the flow of dollars to autocratic regimes in the region. It would accomplish this not only by driving down the price of oil and increasing arms exports, but by requiring the beneficiaries of American security to bear a real share of its cost. And in the long run, a victory in the war on terrorism would save taxpayers the tens of billions of dollars a year now spent on overseas counterinsurgency operations.
What about the downside — that an unstable, anti-American regime would be able to start a nuclear war? Actually, that’s less of a risk than most people think. Unless the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, and his Guardian Council chart a course that no other nuclear power has ever taken, Iran should become more responsible once it acquires nuclear weapons rather than less. The 50-year standoff between the Soviet Union and the United States was called the cold war thanks to the deterrent effect of nuclear weapons.
There is reason to believe that the initial shock of a nuclear Iran would soon be followed a new regional dynamic strikingly like that of cold-war Europe. Saudi Arabia and Iraq would be united along with their smaller neighbors by their fear of Iran; the United States would take the lead in creating a stable regional security environment. In addition, our reluctant European allies, and possibly even China and Russia, would have a much harder time justifying sales of goods and technology to Tehran, further isolating the Islamic Republic.
Iran may think its enrichment plans will put fear into the hearts of Americans. In fact, it should give us hopes of a renaissance of American influence in the Middle East.
Feb. 9. 2010: This Op-Ed has been updated to reflect the news.
Adam B. Lowther is a defense analyst at the Air Force Research Institute.