Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Problem of Good

In the comments section of a recent Belmont Club post, just before the tsunami disaster in South Asia, a discussion began concerning Kevin Sites. Responding to one of the commenters, Wretchard wrote:
If Mr. Sites has been deleting critical comments, I would be very disappointed in him. Belmont Club is exhibit A in the policy of giving every opinion, short of incitement, the freedom of the site. Yes, even DoubleStandard. Paradoxically, I think criticism sharpens the quest for truth. What should anyone fear except error?

The real value of this blog is that it encourages readers to contribute their opinions. The process of thinking through a situation, writing out an opinion and then discovering that it is no worse and frequently better than the stuff dished out by talking heads is a powerfully liberating experience. It is the process, not necessarily the result that is really subversive.

The longer it goes on the more dangerous the revolution becomes. Someone compared the rise of the Internet to the invention of the printing press. When books were the province of a few you could only come to knowledge through someone else. When books became common, people could learn for themselves, which put quite a few mediocrities out of business. Doubtless there will be those, as happens with people who interpret scripture do-it-yourself, who will get it all cockeyed. But on the whole mass produced books were a good thing.

There are some who are shocked, shocked at the act of a private person musing out loud about what seems like a staged photograph. 'How dare you, how dare you raise these questions'. Yet to those who grew up on the Internet, this attitude is puzzling in the extreme. It's a natural as breathing, a wholly different tradition. There must be hundreds of sites out there saying I'm a jerk. So what? This blog is just a meme, that's all. I am nothing. I don't even have a name. There must be zillions out there who disagree with my ideas. But so what? If my ideas are wrong they'll die. If they are right, not even I can stop them. Scary when you think of it.

But I forget that people out there in the old media have got a consciousness of status which they value. Some may subconsciously think of yours miserably truly as a one of them wannabe. I can't even aspire to what I don't understand. Merry Christmas everybody.
Buddy Larsen then responded to Wretchard:

Merry Christmas to you, too, Wretchard. You've fought the good fight all along, but on this, you alone looked twice at that pic, and asked the right questions. The rest of us had already looked at it, registered it as hellish stuff, and moved on, a little sickened. Just as we were supposed to as always sheepishly do. What you did with your "Whoaaa, hold on a minute" was to give a real gift to the world. Pretty good work for a mere meme, a nameless entity in cyberspace.
Wretchard's response was:


The one thing Saddam left out of reckoning was the existence of people who wouldn't go along. When you think of it, the Problem of Evil is the dual of the Problem of Good. The chief problem with accepting the existence of God is the fact that evil exists. Yet the mirror problem afflicts those which would deny God. Why does beauty, why does superfluity of good exist? Against the ichneumon wasp there is the problem of accounting for a Francis of Assisi.

And so it is here. Men of good will are the problem from a certain point of view. They are the obstacle which must be removed at all costs. A little more money, intimidation and corruption should do it. But the bad guys are left scratching their heads in wonderment at why victory is denied them.

But they are part of the scenery; a curse, if you will. "For the Shadow was only a passing thing and Frodo knew there would always be truth and high beauty beyond its power to corrupt."
Pure goodness is always a surprise when it appears in the world. To cite a recent example:

A man walked into a homeless shelter in Denver last night and handed out 35-thousand dollars to the residents.

He gave five-thousand dollars to a family of six for housing. He passed out 100-dollar bills to 300 people.

One man who's been at the shelter since last month says, "It was like seeing Santa Claus and God all at once."
Or look at the way Western Civilization has responded to the tragedy wrought by the tsunami: relief efforts, spearheaded by Australian aid agencies, are entering the Indonesian province of Aceh on the island of Sumatra to begin the process of aiding the injured, bringing food, water, and clothing to the displaced, and stemming the inevitable onslaught of epidemics. As it happens, Aceh is a hotbed of Islamist activity, home to the Free Aceh Movement, which aims to create an independent Islamic state. This region has been a refuge for some of the terrorists belonging to groups that planned and executed the Bali bombing which killed so many Australians.

So how does Australia respond? By coming to the aid of Indonesia, even at the risk of giving possible succor to some of its enemies.

Another quote from The Lord of the Rings is apropos: Frodo says, "I wish it need not have happened in my time." Gandalf responds, "So do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

Saturday, December 25, 2004

King of America?

The English word "king" is derived from the Old English cyning, which in turn is derived from the Germanic stem cyn, meaning "kind" or "people", and cognate with the word "kin", the German könig, and the Latin gens (this last is related to "generate" and "gentile"). The suffix ‑ing means "representative or exemplar of". Thus the original sense of the word would have been "he who represents the people". The king stood as an exemplar of his kind, the leading avatar of his kindred.

The first king of England is considered to be Alfred the Great, during whose ninth-century reign the Anglo-Saxon regions of England united for the first time, in defense against the Danes. One of the characteristic strengths of the English was their unusual ability to unite against a common threat, something which their Celtic neighbors in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland found hard to do.

But if the English found unity against their enemies, they remained an individualistic people with a suspicion of central authority. From the time of the Magna Carta, through the early parliaments and the height of the British Empire, England was a constitutional monarchy in which restraints were placed on the power of the king by both law and custom. It is through this tradition, with its emphasis on the freeborn yeoman and the common law, that parliamentary democracy came into the world, the great gift of the English to Western civilization.

The English carried the tradition of their "ancient liberties" to the New World, and in the United States, with the monarchy removed, the first constitutional republic was formed. However, in America, the culture of the English was mixed and merged with another one, that of the Celts.

In his book Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America , James Webb describes the effect on America of the great Celtic migrations. After the initial English settlements, waves of Scots and Irish came to the English colonies in North America, possibly comprising more than half of the influx of new arrivals in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Irish were fleeing oppression, the Scots were fleeing marginalization, and all were fleeing poverty. They brought with them a fierce individualism, a warrior spirit, and a deep-seated distrust of all authority. They spread through the Appalachians and later moved west, bearing a strong religious sense and an ethic of hardy self-reliance that has become a major thread in the American cultural fabric.

The marriage of the English system of law and government with the temperament of the Celts has produced the modern American character. It gives us on the one hand a genius for organization and an impetus to unity against outside threats, while on the other hand we are fractious, doubtful of authority, and ready to fight when confronted.

So, if it were possible to have a king of this hybrid race, who would it be? He would have to represent us, to be one of our kind. He must be an individualist, with a fighting spirit and a fierce loyalty to his own people. He would have a rock-solid religious faith, one that can withstand the challenges and pitfalls that life places before him. He would believe in the rights inherent in a free citizen, as opposed to the dictates of the state. And he would stand as a pillar of strength against all threats to his kin.

Thus, if America could have a king, it would be George W. Bush, for surely he represents us. People who hate him do so for that reason: he holds up a mirror to reveal the American character, and they do not like what they see. Perhaps they want an America that is more nuanced, more sophisticated, more erudite and European. But that is not who we are; we are simple folk with an ingenuous open-handedness, a nation of hayseeds and rubes who stormed the beaches of Normandy, raised the flag at Iwo Jima, and made the march up to Baghdad, a fierce, indomitable, and untiring folk. President Bush is the exemplar of our kind, the one who best represents the qualities which make us what we are.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Anglic Reach, Part III

The Kaiser's Jihad

When the First World War broke out in August 1914, one of Britain's war aims was to secure the Suez canal and its access to the oilfields of Mesopotamia. The British had a long history of cultivating contacts among the natives in the populations they ruled, and of fielding men who became immersed in the local culture. During the war they benefited from this policy, since they already had a number of experienced Arabic speakers in place in the Arab world, the most notable among them being T. E. Lawrence.

The Kaiser also had his eye on the same strategic area, and, at the opening of the war encouraged his Turkish allies to raise a jihad against the British and French. The Turkish sultan, Enver Pasha, followed the German advice, and the Turks rallied to the call, fighting successfully with ferocious Islamic zeal against the British and Australians in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.

But the Ottoman Empire consisted of more than just Turkey, and the Arab provinces were not the sultan's to command. Despite all their pre-war espionage and intrigue, the Germans miscalculated the behavior of the Arabs. Donald M. McKale writes:

During the war, while the conflict between Constantinople and the sharif intensified, Berlin eagerly pushed the Turks to allow German contact with Husayn and even direct involvement in Hijaz, the region bordering the Red Sea in Arabia which he ruled. German objectives were confused and their policies toward the sharif were incoherent. At times Germany solicited the sharif's support, but in other instances it sought to use Hijaz to pursue its imperial interests in Africa.

Part of Berlin's difficulty resulted from its failure to understand the sharif, his tense relations with the Turks over his rule in Hijaz, and his political goals. In June 1916, Husayn revolted against the Ottoman government after it refused to guarantee him a hereditary, autonomous amirate (territory under the jurisdiction of an Islamic prince) in Hijaz. The sharif wished to secure his position not only against Turkish interference but also against such rival Arab chieftains as Ibn Saud in northeastern Arabia. The Germans, like the Turks and the British, believed Husayn had greater ambitions. They thought that he sought to acquire the caliphate from the Ottoman sultan and to break completely from Turkish political and religious suzerainty.
Lawrence's invaluable contribution was to see the strategic possibilities inherent in Arab nationalism. His understanding of the Arab character allowed him live amongst the Arabs and influence their decisions. An Ottoman assault on the Suez canal failed, at least in part, because the Arabs would not come to the Turks' support. In Mesopotamia, on the other hand, the British were able to persuade the Arab tribes to revolt against their Turkish masters. Later in the war Lawrence and his Arab allies retook Baghdad, entered Jerusalem, and eventually pushed the Turks out of the Hijaz. The Germans were never able to threaten British access to the oilfields.

But the Law of Unintended Consequences had the last laugh. The Germans raised a jihad; the British raised an Arab revolt to counter it. In later years, as the Arab states became ungovernable from a colonial standpoint, they also became sinkholes of despotism under their local rulers, creating a fertile seedbed for the Great Jihad which has emerged to confront all of us in the West. Awakening the slumbering monster of Arab nationalism led inexorably to the Mufti of Jerusalem, Gamel Abdul Nasser, Yasser Arafat, Hafez Assad, Muammar Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti, and Osama bin Laden.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Anglic Reach, Part II

The Alipore Bombing

The British Empire governed its dominions loosely. Imperial India originated as a commercial operation, and when the East India Company was disbanded and reorganized as a Crown Colony, the rulers of India continued to run the colony in a way that facilitated profitable commerce.

To this end Britain delegated a relative autonomy to its local representatives, and organized the education and advancement of natives of India so as to make them capable functioning in a modern state. The schools, government, and cultural institutions of India today still reflect the enormous influence Britain exerted for more than two centuries.

As India became a modern industrial state with a relatively well-educated elite, it took part in the awakening nationalism that emerged in Europe and other parts of the world in the late 19th century. In the birth of the Congress Party, India embarked upon the course that led eventually to its independence in 1947.

As the members of native elite became educated, they also became restive under their colonial masters. In 1905 the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, announced that Bengal would be divided into two province. Ostensibly this was for administrative reasons, but its intended effect was to impede Indian nationalism.

Indians objected strongly to Curzon's decision, and in 1908, after strikes and boycotts, the situation came to a head:

...the unrest also manifested itself in a series of terrorist attacks on British officials, culminating in a bomb attack on a British judge on 30 April 1908 that misfired and killed two British women. There was a police crackdown, and investigators found out that the terrorists were not mere disaffected lowlife thugs, but prominent Bengali officials, the Indian elite. The investigation led to the arrest of 26 young men, all of them highly educated and of elite backgrounds. One, Aurobindo Ghose, had gone through the university system back in Britain and achieved stellar honors.

The 26 were put on trial in Alipore. The trial demonstrated the way the British mind was becoming more and more conflicted over colonialism. As mentioned earlier in this series, in some ways the British Empire was the "wrong empire", based on colonial dominance and not on the British system of rights and democracy. In fact, even the wrong empire couldn't shut out those ideals completely, and instead of a quick sham trial leading to swift executions, the Alipore trial dragged out for almost seven months. Aurobindo Ghose was acquitted, and even though the ringleader of the group, Aurobindo Ghose's brother Barendra Kumar Ghose, was sentenced to death, the sentence was later commuted.
The Ghoses could be seen as early 20th century versions of Mohammed Atta. They was not a poverty-stricken victims of imperialist oppression, driven by despair and anomie to strike out at their white oppressors, but the children of privilege, whose families benefited enormously from British rule.

Unlike the September 11th hijackers, the Ghose brothers acted not primarily from religious motives, though Hinduism played a large part in the nationalist movement in India. Nationalism itself was the issue; having learned the concept of human rights from the British, they wished it to be applied to their own people.

This is where Mohammed Atta was different. The culture of the West contributed to his education and economic well-being, but, as he became aware of the principles and ideals inherent in Western civilization, it was global Islamofascist ideology, rather than nationalism, that caused him to reject those principles and ideals emphatically.

Standing Together for the Jews

In a the comments section on Belmont Club, a regular commenter, Buddy Larsen, responded to an anti-Zionist commenter with the following post, which is worth reproducing in its entirety:
Cedarford, I'm not gonna ignore you; you are no dummy, and you're trying hard to present an alternate Israel narrative. So let me be blunt. I don't give a rat's ass if Israel has stepped on toes. Birth is not a pretty process. If Sharon and Bush are licking each other's boots and they make a little room on the side somewhere, I'll crawl up and lick boots, too.

I Like Israel. I like Jews. They're smarter than anyone else except maybe Chinese Nukuler Fizzassists, and their women are gorgeous. Jews and Blacks make almost [all] the fun and wit and music in America. Us honkies just watch, and Thank Jesus we have more than Ingmar Bergman and Monty Python.

Israel is a bona fide Heroic Saga, the only modern story that harks back to our mythic heroic western cultural birth. It is a heroic archteypal little nation that has held its shit together surrounded by 500 million ravening death demons and a corrupted old whore of a U.N. so soaked in Jew-hatred that it squishes bile everytime it lifts a flabby ass-cheek to fart at America and her friends.

And yet still, still, Israel holds optimism up and and keeps the faith, so that the best part of the world has an example of the indomitable nature of the human spirit.

So, I don't care that much about your case. You may be right, but I don't care. I need, I personally need, for Israel to thrive. The Israel story to me is a strong validation of the triumph of good over evil. Should Israel fall, that to me would be a signal of the final fall of mankind.

Do you see what I mean, Cedarford? Israel is SPIRITUALLY correct, so it doesn't matter a flying fig to people like me whether or not she is politically correct.

And, thank you for clarifying my feelings for me. Never would've drilled into it this deeply, without your comments. But, I can't understand your position. You might as well be from Mars as far as I'm concerned. What would YOU like to see happen to Israel, Cedarford? And you still haven't discussed the 'Protocols'.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Anglic Reach, Part I

The Magdala Hostages

For two centuries before the advent of American hegemony, the British Empire was the greatest power in the world. At its height it encompassed more than a quarter of the world's land surface and governed approximately the same proportion of the world's inhabitants. The British ruled their colonial peoples with a light hand, and, though they were often cynical and brutal in maintaining their rule, their dominion was incomparably more liberal and enlightened than any alternative form of governance during the same period.

It was through the British diaspora that the concepts of the rule of law, individual rights, and democracy were spread to the extent that they are known today. The atrocities and excesses of British rule were always exposed and decried not by other nations, but by dissenting groups in Britain itself. This process of self-doubt and moral debate culminated in the dissolution of the Empire in the 20th century.

It is natural for United States to have continued this process. After all, the American revolution sought to reclaim the "ancient liberties" which the colonists knew to be their natural rights as British subjects. The common culture of the English-speaking nations includes shared concepts of political economy and governance. This collection of nations is referred to here as the Anglic Reach, and includes non-white heirs of the British Empire, such as India and Singapore; after centuries of British rule, the latter countries have evolved and developed their own versions of the same political ideas.

Because it is the pre-eminent power of the Anglic Reach, it falls to the United States to perform the functions that the imperial center in Britain performed in earlier times. The American imperium is different from the British, since it declines to govern, seeking only to create the conditions in which commerce and ideas may flow freely among nations. Nevertheless, some of the parallels between the British Empire and the current struggle against the Great Islamic Jihad are striking.

The Magdala hostage incident has a resonance for modern America:

In 1866, the "mild Hindoo" (and his Sikh and Muslim brethren) were sent overseas to deal with a crisis. The Emperor Theodore (Tewodros) of Abyssinia had written the British government to request diplomatic recognition. The British Colonial Office didn't even bother to reply, and Theodore, though justly angry at the snub, went off the deep end by arresting all the Europeans in his country and locking them up in his remote mountain fortress at Magdala. A diplomatic mission was sent to try to resolve the crisis peacefully, but ended up prisoners as well... In April 1867, Queen Victoria sent a request to the Emperor Theodore for the release of the prisoners. It wasn't answered, and so the orders went out over the telegraph cables to create a plan for a rescue mission.

The commander entrusted with the rescue mission, Sir Robert Napier, went about his task in a way reminiscent of the 21st century American military. A huge expeditionary force in India was created, and in November 1867 the immense logistical task of equipping, provisioning, and moving it to Africa was begun.

It took a few more months of getting the details together before the expedition could set out. By modern standards, such delays would be intolerable, but things moved more slowly in such times and in fact the expedition was a monster undertaking. There were 13,000 British and Native troops, backed by 26,000 support personnel, mostly coolies, with tens of thousands of animals, including 44 elephants. Napier's kit even included a prefabricated harbor with a lighthouse, and all the parts for setting up a rail line to keep his force supplied.

It took the British three tough months to march to Magdala. In another element of the story that has a modern feel to it, the fight for the fortress turned out to be appallingly one-sided: the British force inflicted 1,900 casualties on the Abyssinians, with only 20 Britishers wounded in return. The hostages were rescued; the Emperor Theodore committed suicide rather than be hauled off in chains. The troops sang "God Save The Queen" as the fortress went up in flames, to be wracked by a enormous explosion when the fires reached its magazines. British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli received the Emperor's necklace.

This story strongly resembles the first Persian Gulf War or the recent war in Iraq: a technologically advanced nation projects massive power halfway across the world, engineering an enormously complex logistical feat to do so, and conducts an asymmetrical war against a militarily inferior foe, taking almost no casualties in the process. Abyssinia was a Christian empire, however, so the parallel is not exact.

In the 20th century Britain stood resolute under the onslaught of a succession of empires far more brutal and barbaric than its own. In the process its strength was exhausted, and it relinquished its empire peacefully after the Second World War. Its heirs in the Anglic Reach have much to learn from it.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A Sheik Spreads the "Franklin Prophecy" Hoax

MEMRI reports today on a sermon given by Sheik Abd Al-Jalil Al-Karouri on November 19th from the Al-Shahid Mosque in Khartoum. An excerpt from the transcript:

"What is America's interest in this mess [i.e. Falluja]? Many Americans, after their president won a second term, opened a small window toward Canada: The electronic escape window [sic] to Canada has become increasingly popular because they want to escape the land of freedom and democracy. If America wants to preserve the country it has established, it must listen to [Benjamin] Franklin's advice, who warned them against the Jews. Now the Jews are leading them into these battles and this mess."

"Franklin's advice" is a reference to a supposed speech made in 1787, a transcript of which somehow evaded the notice of historians until the 1930's. Along with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the blood libel, and innumerable other anti-Semitic hoaxes, it entered the arsenal of propaganda used by hate groups to smear the Jews, from the Nazis down to the present day.

In 1954 the Anti-Defamation League investigated and debunked the hoax:

The late Carl Van Doren, a biographer of Benjamin Franklin made this report:

"The speech against the Jews which Benjamin Franklin is alleged to have made [at] the Constitutional Convention of 1787 is a forgery, produced within the past five years [1933-38]. The forger, whoever he was, claims that the speech was taken down by Charles Pinckney of South Carolina and preserved in his Journal. The forger presumably knew that, in a letter to John Quincy Adams dated December 30, 1818, Pinckney said he had kept a Journal of the proceedings at the Convention. But this Journal, if it ever existed, has never been found. The forger claims that Pinckney 'published' the Journal 'for private distribution among his friends' with the title Chit-Chat Around the Table During Intermissions. No copy of any such printed Journal has come to light. Not content with these two claims, the forger has further asserted that the original manuscript of Franklin's speech, apparently from Pinckney's Journal, is in the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia. The Franklin Institute does not possess the manuscript.

The forger's authority for his document is nearly as mythical as could be imagined. He cites a manuscript which does not exist, a printed book or pamphlet which nobody has seen, a Journal which has been lost for more than a hundred years. There is no evidence of the slightest value that Franklin ever made the alleged speech or ever said or thought anything of the kind about the Jews."

A level of Jew-hatred found only on the outermost fringes in the West is part of the mainstream in the Muslim world. In the Middle East the Middle Ages never ended: the sneaky conniving Jews still skulk around eating children, poisoning wells, and, despite their miniscule numbers, contriving to influence events and leaders by some form of infernal mind control. If only America had heeded Franklin's warning!

Göbbels would be proud.

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Power and the Glory of Islamic Women

What gives with Western feminism? Families of Muslim women rape, torture, behead, crucify, and hang them in public squares - all because they have committted the truly mortal sin of being female - yet the silence here on the behalf of these victims is deafening. Compared to the suffering of their Islamic sisters, the indignant chatter about 'oppression' emanating from women in the West is obscene.

Feminists in the U.S. claim that girls in school do less well than boys, and this happens because "America today is a girl-destroying place. Everywhere girls are encouraged to sacrifice their true selves...girls come of age in a misogynistic culture in which men have most of the political and economic power, and girls sense their lack of power." Misogynistic? Girl-destroying? Is America, the destroying place for girls, a recognizable country?

For contrast, try these cautionary tales:
  • in Sudan women who refuse to convert to Islam from Christianity are gang-raped, their breasts are cut off. Then they are left to die.
  • in Pakistan laws are structurally biased against women, especially since the advent of the Hadood Ordinances in 1979. Now when coerced sexual assaults cannot be proved, the victim becomes an offender, one who enjoyed illicit sexual activity. She is therefore liable to punishment. Safia Bibi, a blind eighteen year old was raped, subsequently becoming pregnant. Since there was insufficient evidence to prove rape ("sufficient" evidence being eye-witness testimony of four adult Muslim men), the pregnancy itself was evidence of her immoral behavior. Thus she was sentenced to three years in jail and fifteen lashes for having sex outside marriage.
  • In Yemen on learning that his daughter had eloped with a man from another clan, a father gathered sons, brothers, uncles and cousins, and headed a convoy of twenty cars to storm the bride's new home. Upon retrieving her, she was thrown into one of the cars. As the convoy returned, and reached the edge of her village, her father hurled her to the asphalt and had every car drive over her.
  • In Jordan, a man received a six-month prison term for stabbing his younger divorced sister thirty times. The murder, termed a misdemeanor by the tribunal, was minimized because the father of both brother and sister dropped charges against his son. The defendant was also sentenced to one week for intoxication and to two months for carrying a knife.
  • In Palestine a sixteen year-old was raped by her younger brother. Once her pregnant condition became known in the wider community it fell to her older brother to kill her in order to avenge the family honor. "She made a mistake," said one of her male cousins. "She had to pay for it."

Ah, the absolute power of Muslim women, holding Islamic men by the short hairs; indeed the old Arab saying is true: "a man's honor lies between a woman's legs."

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The World Jihad

In "Beyond Madrid", a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations in May, the prime minister of Singapore, Goh Chok Tong, provided insight into the Great Islamic Jihad from a South Asian viewpoint.
The war against terrorism could shape the 21st century in the same way as the Cold War defined the world before the fall of the Berlin Wall. To win, we must first clearly understand what we are up against... My perspective is formed by our own experiences in Southeast Asia, which post 9/11 has emerged as a major theatre for terrorist operations. In December 2001, Singapore arrested 15 people belonging to a radical Islamic group called the Jemaah Islamiyah [JI]. They were plotting even before 9/11 to attack American and other Western interests in Singapore.

Singapore has Muslim minority of about 15%, so that its experience is probably typical of Western-oriented states on the border of the ummah. It is these governments which will bear the brunt of the attempts to build a new worldwide caliphate. Singapore has uncovered the network of jihadists who pursue this goal:
But the most crucial conclusion our investigations revealed was this: the existence of a transregional terrorist brotherhood of disparate Southeast Asian groups linked by a militant Islamic ideology to each other and to al Qaeda. Whatever their specific goals, these groups were committed to mutual help in the pursuit of their common ideology: they helped each other with funds and support services, in training, and in joint operations.

The ideology of these radical jihadis who pursue the caliphate is known as salafi.
Our experience in Southeast Asia is not without wider relevance because of what the salafis themselves believe. This is what one of them, an Algerian named Abu Ibrahim Mustafa, has said: "The war in Palestine, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Algeria, in Chechnya, and in the Philippines is one war. This is a war between the camp of Islam and the camp of the Cross, to which the Americans, the Zionists, Jews, their apostate allies, and others belong. The goal of this war, which they falsely called a war on terror, is to prevent the Muslims from establishing an Islamic state..."

The prime minister then addresses a series of rhetorical questions to moderate Muslims:
Do you seek to change the world by prayer and faith? Do you work with an imperfect reality and strive towards its perfection? Do you not reject all that is not Islamic and seek to destroy it by force so as to re-establish the perfect caliphate? These are all questions that vibrate and resonate around a single axis of faith.

He hopes that by encouraging the moderates in the Islamic community and engaging them in dialogue, an alternative to the extreme Islamists can emerge and take part in the political sphere. But the war against the Islamofascists will still have to be fought.
Only the U.S. has the capacity to lead the geopolitical battle against the Islamic terrorists. Iraq has become the key battleground. Before he was killed in Saudi Arabia, Yousef Al Aiyyeri, author of the al Qaeda blueprint for fighting in Iraq, said, "If democracy succeeds in Iraq, that would be the death of Islam."

The Islamists know that a democratic Iraq is a threat, and they will do all in their power to prevent it from coming into being. As the nascent political parties jostle for position in the January elections, once again we are left with the all-important question: Where does mainstream Islam stand?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Demography in America

The previous post, Demographic Jihad in Europe, dealt with the population crash in Europe and the incipient emergence of "Eurabia". The obvious question is: Can the same thing happen in America?

The foreign-born Muslim population in the USA is certainly growing. But a glance at the statistics (PDF file) reveals that the major influx of immigrants (legal or otherwise) into this country comes from Latin America.

So if the native-born population of the USA eventually goes the way of Old Europe, the newcomers taking up the slack will not be mainly Muslims. They will be from traditional Christian backgrounds, with a large component of born-again evangelicals as well as Roman Catholics. This is a culture which is compatible with American values, even if it brings with it a different language. Look for an emphasis on family values and a strong work ethic from the new arrivals.

Dhimmitude, if it comes, will surely be delayed by this trend. We may well experience cultural conflict, but it seems unlikely to reach the dangerous level that the Great Jihad would bring. For the United States, dhimmi status is not inevitable.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Demographic Jihad in Europe

The decline in the European birthrate has joined with the mass immigration of Muslims into Europe to produce a demographic time bomb. If present trends continue, the future of the EU is "Eurabia": a collection of welfare states in which an increasingly geriatric native European population is maintained in its comparative luxury by a Muslim underclass. France could have a Muslim majority before the end of this century.

The big question is: Will Europe go gentle into that good night? If the emerging Muslim communities obey certain niceties - stick to their neighborhoods, abuse their women only behind closed doors, practice terrorism in other countries only - perhaps their encroachment can be tolerated. France and Germany have in effect paid protection money to terrorists. In some cities in Scandinavia whole districts of large cities are effectively closed to non-Muslims; it is said that Muslims rule Malmø. If the water of jihad boils gradually enough, the European frog may not notice the heat of dhimmitude until it is too late.

If the Muslim communities in Europe remain quiescent, one can envision a future in which their numbers become large enough to influence political outcomes, with Islamic parties forming and joining coalitions with the left to introduce sharia slowly, in piecemeal fashion. By the time Europe's demographic decline reached its extremity, the component states of the EU would already be effectively Islamic.

But it seems unlikely that Islam in Europe will remain quiescent. The death of Theo Van Gogh seems a harbinger of what is to come. The reaction of the Dutch is a hopeful sign that Europe is waking up and throwing off the multicultural dream.

And in other parts of Europe, such as Italy, there are signs that the tide of extreme secularization is turning. If Europe were to recover some of the spiritual values and energy which gave birth to the glories of Western civilization, it may yet find the cultural nerve to stem the demographic jihad.

An optimistic, outward-looking, spiritually grounded culture may even produce a rise in the birthrate and stem the population crash in Old Europe. Stranger things have happened.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Is Islamic Democracy Possible?

In his book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Samuel P. Huntington confronts the primary problem facing the West today in its war against the Great Islamic Jihad: Is Islamic culture fundamentally incompatible with, and opposed to, the secular modernism of the West?

If Islam requires that there be no compromise, that the war with the infidels must go on until all are exterminated, converted, or reduced to dhimmitude, then the West will be forced eventually to take the battle to all corners of the Muslim world and fight until the believers are destroyed or completely subdued.

Today's Belmont Club post touches on this topic. Commenter "wildiris" says:
Modern western constitutional democracies are now in a struggle to the death with the religion/culture of Islam. There can be only one winner in this struggle, since Islam, as a combined political-secular-religious worldview, can tolerate no competitors. The Protestant Reformation ushered in a century of bitter warfare. The wars of the second half of the twentieth century can be viewed as the struggle of western constitutional democracy to overcome the fascist forces of Marxism, Nazism, Communism and etc.
But is this true? Can Islam brook no competitors?

If the holy writ of the Quran is followed, no competition is allowed; it is the duty of every believer to wage jihad and expand the Dar al-Islam. However, in reaching modernity both Christianity and Judaism abandoned as literal truth portions of their sacred texts. St. Paul's dictates on the status of women were jettisoned in order to create the modern secular state, for example. In order for modern science to develop, the descriptive cosmologies of the Book of Genesis had to be understood as allegory rather than absolute truth. The democratic state of Israel does not enforce scriptural rules concerning, among others, the cutting of side-locks or the treatment of non-Jews within Israel.

If Islam could develop in a similar way; if it could regard its texts as allegorical, as a guide to living righteously in the eyes of God, but without the requirement that every word be taken literally, then modernity for Muslims becomes conceivable.

But if the Islamic view of scripture remains that of antiquity, the West will have to win its victory on the terms of antiquity. And antiquity sets a harsh standard for victory: if we are to fight in seventh-century terms, able-bodied males must be slaughtered to a man, women and children must be enslaved, the holy cities razed, and the rubble sown with salt to make a wasteland for the rest of time.

Is the West capable of that? Not now, and not for the foreseeable future. But pray that Jihad never acquires nuclear weapons; once the radioactive crater appears in New York or Chicago, all bets are off.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Quo Vadis

In his convention speech, when George Bush said "liberty is transformative" he was proclaiming his coming victory.

For the last two generations the political spheres in America have been in the process of making their distinctions by contrast with each other. In one sphere, the good of the group is paramount. In the other sphere, the group is background and the individual moves to the foreground. The tension between them is the difference in world views: one of scarcity and entitlement and one of plenitude and responsibility.

Some have called this the war between the Gramscians and Tocquevillians: between the Marxist left and classical liberalism. However, if economic motives underlie decisions, then the split is between the now-discredited Keynesian view of large government and progressive taxation for the commonweal, and the view of Nobel Prize winners Mundell and Prescott, who posit the necessity for lowered taxes as the driving force behind prosperity and productivity. In their more conservative view, individual liberty is based on an essential trust in the nature of man, despite his inherent flaws and limitations. It is a view of society which sees its potential secured in the freedom of each to make individual decisions, the sum of which add up to the wisdom of the community.

The Keynesian view is more paternal. The children -- the electorate -- are not to be trusted with so much responsibility. Instead, they make a Faustian bargain with a central government, trusting the solutions of large bureaucracies to provide better outcomes than can be achieved by aggregate decisions of the community. This is not a view of man as redeemed but rather man as eternally fallen. In trade for peacefully surrendering large amounts of individual wealth which the government will re-distribute for the greater good of all, the people are kept safe. In this world view Government Knows Best.

However, if Frederic Bastiat is right then America is beginning to grasp the old-but-ever-new idea that liberty is a gift bestowed by God on each individual; it is each person's birth right. Through this authentic freedom lies the only path toward transformative change, a true metanoia.

And if, as his opponents have said, George Bush is simplistic, naïve and dim, then perhaps the idea that "a child shall lead them" has come to pass.

Finally, if, as The Wisdom of Crowds proposes, the group makes wiser, more truly intelligent decisions than do the "experts," then the re-election of George Bush is good, is a good.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Vulnerability of Israel

For the Jewish people, therefore, the history of the twentieth century may be summed up thus: If there had been a Jewish state in the first half of the century, there would have been no Holocaust. And if there had not been a Jewish state after the Holocaust, there would have been no Jewish future.

— from A Durable Peace, by Benjamin Netanyahu

The mushroom cloud rising over Tel Aviv has to be the greatest dread of the Jewish State in the 21st century. For a half a century after the birth of Israel, the existence of a haven for Jews all over the world could be assured by the armed might of the Jewish state. But, as the time approaches when Iran can deliver nuclear-tipped missiles to the heart of Israel, the existence of that haven can no longer be assumed.

Even without access to the secret deliberations of Israel's security bodies, it is safe to say that Israel will do everything in its power to frustrate the designs of the mullahs in Tehran, and the Israeli military is undoubtedly capable of doing so. But the terrorists of the Great Islamic Jihad are intent upon acquiring nuclear weapons, and even a well-placed dirty bomb could do enormous damage to Israel and force much of its carefully-tended farm land out of cultivation. A devastating attack of this kind might cause the collapse of Israel's economy.

This is a reminder of why Israel is perhaps the most important ally in the war against the Islamists. The very existence of America is not yet threatened by them, but Israel is very much at risk. They could become our greatest ally because the stakes are so much higher for them.

The jihadis make virtually no distinction between Americans and Zionists; the two terms are virtually interchangeable for them. Nothing better demonstrates why it is time to stand with the Jews.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The New Kristallnacht

Full disclosure: I am not a Jew. I am a practicing Christian, non-evangelical, from a background of tolerant Protestantism. I read eclectically, am well educated, and consider myself an intellectual. And I stand with the Jews.

Many historians date the beginning of the Holocaust to November 9th, 1938. On that date the Nazi government launched a pogrom against the Jews, killing hundreds and arresting many more. Synagogues were torched, Jewish shops and homes were looted and destroyed, and Jews were shipped off to concentration camps. That night of major violence came to be known as Kristallnacht, in reference to the shattered glass found on the sidewalks in front of Jewish businesses all over Germany. A few days later new laws were passed by the Nazi government, effectively banning all economic activity by Jews and removing what few civil rights remained to them. It was a big step down the road that led through the gates of Auschwitz and Treblinka to the Final Solution.

Does the West stand on the threshold of a new Kristallnacht? The alarming spread of anti-Semitism across the globe is ominous evidence of a new cycle of hatred.
  • When Jewish students are attacked on an American university campus by protesters screaming "Hitler was right!";
  • when the prime minister of Iran says, "...the use of a single atomic bomb has the power to destroy Israel completely, while it will only cause partial damage to the Islamic world";
  • when synagogues are burned in Belgium and European Jews are afraid to wear the yarmulke openly;
  • when The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is made into a television drama in Egypt and sold openly on Wal-Mart's website;
  • when Jews are fleeing anti-Semitism in France to settle in Israel;
  • when the world does not rise up in outrage against these evils;

-- then it is time to prepare for a new and more widespread Kristallnacht.

Anti-Semitism is virtually everywhere, even in such formerly safe havens of the Anglosphere as the USA and Australia. Around the world, but especially in the Middle East, countries which once boasted large and vibrant Jewish communities are now emptying themselves of Jews. Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq once were homes for Jews. Now there are virtually none; they have left their homes and their cultural roots to resettle in Israel or America. There had been Jews in Yemen since at least the second century, taking on many of the cultural characteristics of the Muslims around them and contributing to the civilization of Yemen while retaining their Jewish identity; now they are gone.

The "World Community", as exemplified by the UN, regards violence against Jews to be of no importance. The UN passes dozens of resolutions condemning Israel, the most notorious being Resolution 3379 (1975), which declared that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination." All Israeli actions towards the Palestinians are censured, including the building of a wall to protect innocent Israelis against suicide attacks. But in all the years of the UN’s existence, not one resolution has been passed against those who have promised to annihilate the "Zionist entity".

Anti-Semitism was already established on the nationalistic Right. More alarming are the notably virulent strains now reappearing on the Left. During Hitler's time, many of the Old Bolsheviks were Jews; Bolshevism was considered "revolutionary Jewish politics" and was reviled as such on the Right. But in the Soviet Union persecution of Jews flared sporadically and the purging of "rootless cosmopolitans" was the duty of the Party. Now, with the euphemistic equation Zionism=Racism, the very existence of Israel has been called into question. An anti-Zionist might say, "I am only against Zionism, not against the Jews," but that is merely a new and disingenuous cover for Jew-hatred.

The mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv is the dream of the enemies of Zionism.

In their reaction to conservatives by those on the Left, a new term has developed: "Neoconservative" is a code word for "Jew". A neocon who supports Israel is thus an agent of the Zionists. I am, in fact, one of their unwitting dupes as I write this, since I stand with the Jews.

Is the rich and fertile culture of "The West" even conceivable without the Jews? In every enterprise open to them Jews excel. They are over-represented in the highest reaches of the arts and sciences, and in the academy; despite historical obstacles and discrimination, they are to be found among the greatest mathematicians and physicists, composers and musicians, historians and novelists. Examine the masthead of a magazine, the credits for a movie, or the members of a university faculty, to see the contributions of the Jews.

Beyond those achievements, the greatest gift of the Jews to Western Civilization has been the Law. The Jews brought us the idea that a man stands accountable before his Creator, Who will sit in judgment over him; that the Law is just and eternal, and that obedience to it is a moral and righteous act. Christianity, especially as developed by Saint Paul, was responsible for the spread of this new idea of law and the individual throughout the West. Still, it is in essence a Jewish idea. Christ's revolutionary message urged a return to the Law as originally understood by the Patriarchs. In its earliest years the gate to Christian conversion opened onto Judaism first. And today a Christian views the just society as a fulfillment of the Law, the Jewish Law of which Christianty is a New Covenant.

So while the halls of justice in Christendom may accord with the architecture of the Greeks, and may boast inscriptions in Latin, the justice handed down within them is the justice of the Hebrews. I stand with the Jews.

The Laws of the Jews form the moral and ethical core of Western Civilization. Without them we would be a hollow culture, subject to the whims of polytheism and prone to the fads of nihilism. They are the backbone of what makes us civilized; we repeal them at our own peril.

Whether or not it is 1933 (or 1936, or 1938) all over again, it is time for the West to make a stand. Before the shards of glass cover the pavement in front of Jewish businesses in the new Kristallnacht; before laws are passed restricting the rights of Jews; before whole families are shot and bulldozed into mass graves; before the mushroom cloud rises over Tel Aviv -- Western Civilization must stand up and be counted. We must say, with the Jews, "Never Again."

I stand with the Jews.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The Invention of the Individual

A previous post addressed the characteristics which distinguish the West from the culture which has bred militant Islamism. One of these characteristics is respect for the rights of the individual. But what is an individual?

The Western conception of the individual did not really exist in antiquity, nor does it in some cultures today. Distinct human beings are acknowledged, but they are appendages of family, tribe, or other collective structure, which have a greater claim to authority and authenticity than any single person.

As the Towering Barbarian has anticipated, one looks to the Jews and the Greeks for the origins of the individual. Jews brought the Law to the West, and with the Law came the idea of a man standing in relation to his God, with Whom he had a covenant, and Whose ordinances he was bound to obey. In that sense, the individual is the smallest unit of our human race to be judged by God on the basis of the Law.

The Greek innovation is reason, which looks to the world as an object separate from the self, an object that can be analyzed and understood by rational means. The Analyzer and Ratiocinator is the individual.

But the force which combined these two threads was Christianity, which brought the Law to Aristotle. In the teachings of Christ it becomes clear that the individual and his conscience are distinct in the eyes of God (Matthew 6:5-6 KJV):

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
This individual, in unmediated communion with God, possesses those natural rights which were recognized in the Declaration of Independence. He is granted these rights by his Creator, and they cannot be taken away by men.

The individual is the cornerstone of the West, on whom the structure of its civilization depends. The great experiment in Iraq depends for its success on the emergence of something similar in Mesopotamia. It is an open question whether Islamic theology or some other philosophy can produce in a short time the same thing that Jewish, Greek, and Christian thought articulated over the course of two millennia. The West will have to wait and see…

Thursday, October 21, 2004

What Distinguishes the West

A previous post concerned that which distinguishes Islamism from its enemies. But what distinguishes us?

The societies which flourish in the civilized parts of the world, collectively known as "the West", rest on three pillars: Civil society, the rule of law, and respect for the rights of the individual.

Civil society depends on the plurality of institutions within a polity. Rather than subsume all under the state (which is subsumed under the autarch or an oligarchy), the state is only one amongst many aggregate entities within the culture. Families, churches, corporations, clubs, autonomous local government — if the individual is an element in a multitude of sets, he is more likely to flourish. Great power is less likely to concentrate when there are many groups to claim the allegiance of a person. Civil society arose gradually in Europe from the Greeks and the Romans in the interplay of pagan culture with the state and later the Church. None of it was intentional; its independence was surely cursed by monarchs down the centuries.

The rule of law is a shared understanding that the rules binding citizens outlive individual rulers. A just and liberal society can be conceived of without democracy; it cannot exist without the rule of law. The law was handed down to the Jews, who passed the concept on to the West.

Individual rights are premised on the existence of individuals in a society. We in the West are so accustomed to the idea that it is hard to conceive of societies which do not really recognize the individual as we know it. The tribe, the clan, the patrimony with its honor — membership in these is not voluntary, and all can take precedence over the individual. This is true of those cultures which form the core of the Great Islamic Jihad.

When and where was the individual invented? This is an interesting topic which will be covered in a later post.

The news from Baghdad

The jihad against women is ancient, yet ever new. From a report from the city's universities in the Washington Times:

"Any girl student who does not wear a veil, we will burn her face with chemicals."

Under threat and physical attack, at least a third of the three thousand women who attend colleges in Baghdad have been given releases from class attendance for the rest of the academic year due to the increasing violence directed against them.

Among other things, the terrorists are demanding that all university classes be segregated and that contact between men and women be forbidden. Many women, intimidated and fearful, have taken to wearing veils to and from classes.

Bombs have been set off on campuses, women have been abducted and threatened, terrorists wait outside the gates to target women who wear Western dress or walk with their faces uncovered.

There is a severe cultural divide, a disconnect, between the idea of veiled women and those same mysterious creatures attempting to study differential equations through the gauze. This dissonance is so loud we are becoming deafened by its shrill, unrelenting fear.

Pray that all the noise is merely the death rattle of an anachronistic hatred.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

What Distinguishes the Enemy

To examine the reasons why Islam is at war, it is helpful to recognize the broad distinctions, both theological and cultural, between Islam and all of its enemies.

    Several notable differences which suggest themselves are listed below:

  1. Repeated and explicit scriptural passages requiring the believer forcibly to convert or kill infidels. This was covered briefly in the previous post.
  2. A tradition which provides for no distinction between religious organizations and political structures. This is somewhat similar to the culture of Czarist Russia, in which the Orthodox Church has been part of the state since the Middle Ages. In fact, even under Communism, the Church was still subordinate to and part of the State. Interestingly, like Arab culture, Russia has been susceptible to recurring brutal autocracy.
  3. The absence of both the rule of law and a civic culture in which the rights of the individual are acknowledged and respected.
This last point is the most intriguing, and later posts will examine the necessary conditions in which individual rights tend to flourish.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Why is Islam at War?

A devout Muslim believes that anyone outside the Ummah, the community of believers, resides in Dar al-Harb, the World of War. The believer is obliged to fight to enlarge the Ummah by all means necessary. The war we are in now, the Great Islamic Jihad, Third Wave, is a continuation of a war that is as old as the Islamic faith itself.

Islam may be unique in its scriptural call to continuing war on behalf of the faithful. Some have argued that Christ's words (Matthew 10:34)
Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
are used as justification for Christian violence. On the whole, however, any Christian scriptural justification for holy war is weak indeed compared to numerous passages in the Quran such as:
Al-Baqara (The Cow)
2:218 Those who believed and those who suffered exile and fought (and strove and struggled) in the path of Allah,- they have the hope of the Mercy of Allah. And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
And yet there are many scriptural passages in the Quran urging peace and mercy. The question naturally arises: Why did Islam not follow the other major religions into modernity by interpreting its core texts in a way that would allow a tolerant and secular society to arise?

Posts over the next several days will explore some general reasons why Islam remains at war.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Three Reasons

Curiosity killed the cat, but the refusal to be curious — to be open to novel ideas — eventually kills the culture.

Bernard Lewis proposes three obstacles to the Muslim world’s attempts at modernization. They are easily summarized: first, and “most profound,” is the relegation of women to the harem. The second obstacle is the insistence on theocracy as the only valid form of government. The Western separation of church and state, the long, bloody clashes to establish tolerance and barriers, never happened in Islam. Last is the Islamic world’s insistence on using the inventions of the Infidels while refusing to allow the creative mise-en-scène from which these inventions and advances arose. It was new wine in old wineskins.

According to Stanley Kurtz, Lewis failed to address fully a central feature of Muslim culture, its tribal identity. Unlike the West’s Judaeo-Christian elevation of individual liberty and responsibility, Islamic identity begins and ends in the tribe. When Western pundits question the absence of Muslim disapproval for the excesses of the jihadists, it is obvious that they have failed to grasp the tribal nature of Muslim culture.

In Western culture, the notion of being "beyond the pale" has lost its currency. Once upon a time, though, we understood the pain of isolation behind the phrase. To be beyond the pale was to be forced to live outside the fortification that kept the wilderness at bay. It was a cruel punishment. This is a social position still understood by today’s Muslims and they are loath to incur it.

The failures of Islam to adapt to incursions from Dar al-Harb, its cultural decision to be the scavengers rather than the reapers of a well-tended garden, and its insistence on reclaiming an atavistic Utopia — all these are the symptoms of a brittle culture which cannot survive its own contradictions.

The Newest Phase of a Very Old War

Some people refer to the current war as the GWoT (Global War on Terror). Others call it WWIV (Norman Podhoretz). We at Gates of Vienna prefer to call it GIJ3W: The Great Islamic Jihad, Third Wave.

This conflict of cultures has endured for more than a millenium. The first wave began with the conquest of Mecca by Mohammed in 630 CE. It crested in Al Andalus (Moorish Spain) in 711, only receding in 1492 when Los Reyes Católicos entered Granada.

The second wave began when Osman raided Western Byzantium in 1299 and founded the Ottoman Empire. It crested during the reign of Süleyman I in the 16th century, and receded after the failure of the second siege of Vienna under Kara Mustafa in 1683.

From our perspective at the dawn of the 21st century it is hard to realize that a little more than three centuries ago the whole of Christian civilization was threatened. When the Turks stood at the Gates of Vienna it seemed that all of Europe would be overrun by the legions of the Prophet.

This war never ended. While many individual treaties were made between various states over the centuries, no truce was ever declared between Islam and the infidels, and no permanent peace was established (as General Gordon discovered at Khartoum in 1885).

So when did the Third Wave begin?

When will the Third Wave crest? And when will it begin to recede?

The thesis of this blog is that, like it or not, we are in a religious war. We do not define the terms but we should take careful note of them. We are mistaken if we think the Enemy wants merely to kill us. Once again, Jihad offers two choices to the West: conversion or death. Jihad exists in order to annihilate unbelief. Christians, Jews, Hindus, atheists, or Wiccans, it is all the same to him.

Once again, our survival depends on our capacity to unite in a common cause against physical and cultural destruction.

Full disclosure: the authors are practicing (non-evangelical) Christians, staunch supporters of Israel and the Jews, and tolerant of all. Even those who don't agree with us or with one another.

We invite comments and discussion on GIJ3W and related topics.