Saturday, August 25, 2007

One Lesson from Vietnam

Lately I have been pondering the fact that so many Democratic Senators, left leaning pols (including some wavering Republicans) have been visiting Iraq recently, only to return with the message that the surge has been working.  Nonetheless, they seem to be saying, we need to bolt out of there anyway.

Along come this piece in the Times of London (it is actually a Sunday piece) that says, in essence, that historians of Vietnam say, better not to cut and run.  An excerpt:

[T]he lessons of Vietnam have provoked intense discussion among historians and in current affairs magazines such as the neo-conservative Weekly Standard.

Bush has been quietly paying attention and had been thinking for months about the right moment to bring Vietnam into the debate, according to a White House official....

James Q Wilson, a social scientist who is revered by conservatives, argued in The Wall Street Journal last year: “Whenever a foreign enemy challenges us, he will know that his objective will be to win the battle . . . among the people who determine what we read and watch. We are in danger of losing in Iraq . . . in the newspapers, magazines and television programmes we enjoy.”

It's still a left leaning piece, but the general concept of staying the course to avoid a calamity of the innocent is nonetheless as valid as ever.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why does the Left cozy up to Islam?

The recent trend in the US for the Left to support the Islamic world in almost anything they do had me puzzled for a while. After all, Islam (as evidenced by Sharia law, which is the ultimate destination of Islam) seems to be against many things the left stands for. They oppose woman’s rights, to the point of oppressing women. They are pro death penalty, to the point of decapitation. They maintain some of the worst prison conditions in the world; prisoner rights are non-existent. They oppose homosexuality. They believe in censorship. They ban pornography. Religion is alive and well in their governments and marketplaces. Much of the Islamic world is oil rich—feeders of polluting, global-warming internal combustion engines. They tend to exploit workers, especially the lower wage earners. They have the appearance of a higher level of devotion to God (while of course one could argue whether their god is the same one as Christians worship, those who worship no god but self probably won’t make that distinction). Immigration to those countries is tough, and foreign nationals have no rights.

Of course, Islamic countries also tend towards a number of things the Left favors. Governments tend to be more powerful, and more intrusive into private lives. They don’t want citizens thinking for themselves or seeking liberties. They are not free traders. They hate the nation of Israel. In the oil-rich countries, the governments are basically socialist paternal organizations, with huge doles.

So what is the draw of the Left to Islam? At first I thought it was simply anti-Americanism. Islamic countries in general are against America—our policies, prosperity, and influence—so it seems somewhat natural for the Left to cozy up to them. But since the antipathy is based on religious differences, that didn’t make sense. The Islamic world’s loathing of Israel was a possibility, but given that the Left (well, at least the Democrats) rely heavily on the Jewish vote, this didn’t make sense. Nothing made sense until I realized…

…they are not Christian. That is enough to overlook all other differences, all matters of policy and religious practice. They oppose Jesus and his message, which is enough.

It seems to me this demonstrates just how much we are in a post-Christian era in the US. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize this. It shouldn’t be surprising, given all that is written in the New Testament. When we go far enough down that road, the Left will suddenly become pro-America, for then America will be anti-Christ.

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