"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Trying to think of a title that has nothing to do with Muslims and failing miserably . . .

I feel like I misled people when I claimed that this blog would deal with all sorts of geopoliticoglobo issues rather than nitpick Islam every single day. That was, and remains, my guiding intention, and I'm sure that as the weeks pass by I'll talk about other things. So I will keep this short and leave you with only a couple of stories about things Islamic, rather than write a small dissertation on the subject.

Mark Steyn, brilliant as always, on an Australian politician who's afraid that the folks Down Under are aborting themselves out of history and into the waiting hands of Muslim immigrants. Though Australia is doing much better than places like Italy and France, who no longer have enough births to sustain their aging population, the issue is something many Western countries face. Those with shrinking populations have staved off self-destruction by 'importing', so to speak, new populations from abroad; in Europe, many of these immigrants are Muslim. Not a big deal, one might think, do what you gotta do to keep the home fires burning, except recent have demonstrated the violent reluctance of Islamic immigrants to adopt the social values of their neighbors. They'll take their money, but things like free speech are getting kicked to the curb. And, given declining European birth rates, Western European culture may well be destroyed from within, as those who would torch buildings over silly editorial cartoons multiply while proponents European values simply die off. What a happy thought; looks like it might not even take jihad to overrun the infidels, just a few fun nights with the lights off.

OK, so I'm a big fan of Mark Steyn. He also wrote a recent
obituary on Moustapha Akkad, a man recently killed in a suicide bombing in Jordan, orchestrated by Jordan's most famous son these days, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Akkad worked in Hollywood, producing, among other films, the Halloween series. But he also wanted to fight against what he perceived as a Hollywood stereotype of portraying Muslims and Arabs as terrorists, and made several movies casting Muslims in a more positive light. And in one of life's little ironies, that 'stereotype' he so bemoaned in the West ended his life in the Middle East. Guess someone forgot to tell the husband-and-wife suicide team that blasted Akkad and his family into oblivion that stereotypes are bad, bad things. Because it'd be terrible if the rest of the world developed a skewed picture of Islam. Terrible indeed.

And one last thing, a fine (if long)
essay on the polarization of American politics. Long story short: the choice between Democrats and Republicans is not between vanilla and vanilla, certainly not amongst the party faithful, anyway. And if I recall my history correctly, a man much smarter than most of us once observed that divided houses have a way of collapsing and squishing everyone inside into ketchup. Good for Theresa Heinz-Kerry's stock, bad for America.

P.S. Just thought I'd throw fuel on the fire and add to the Cheney joke circuit. I found this on the Drudge Report. I personally think telekinesis is his scariest power; after all, he doesn't even have to be in the same room, he can do it while he spies on your Google queries.

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