I Am Not Afraid of Radical Islam

By Doug Newman
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Slight revision of something I originally wrote on May 12, 2008.
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“Radical Islam” is not at war with America. It can’t be.

Radical Islam has no command center. As a religion it has no pope or Vatican. Politically, it has no Berlin, Tokyo or Moscow from which to dispatch terrorists on missions of death.

Can you name the last time a Muslim country conquered a non-Muslim country? If not, don’t feel bad. I can’t either. It has been centuries.

Take two minutes and watch this video on the history of the Middle East. Ever since Old Testament times, empires have come and gone. None have been permanent.

Terrorism is a means of venting political grievances. It is not a philosophy of government. Terrorists don’t even control the government of Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries on earth. So this idea that they are going to come to America, take over, and force us all to speak Arabic, submit to shari’a law and pray to Mecca five times a day is indescribably absurd.

The Islamic world is militarily irrelevant. Consider Iraq. It had no navy or air force. American planes flew thousands of missions over Iraq between 1991 and 2003, and not a single one was shot down. In 2003, Iraq had a military budget of $1.3 billion – enough to build two stadiums here in America.

I hear the train a-coming … But isn’t Iran about to get a nuke? Even if they do, Israel has hundreds of nukes and America has thousands. Pakistan, with a far larger Muslim population, has nukes and no one has their skivvies in a wad about them. Besides, when was the last time Iran invaded another country?

And as bad as the hostage crisis of 1979-81 was, it did not result in the death of a single American.

Terrorists do not “hate us for our freedom and democracy.” While America is not as free as most people think, we still have a measure of freedom. Many other countries have a similar measure of freedom, as well as democratically elected governments. And they have no terror problem.

When you have a military presence in 130 countries and you insist on throwing your weight around to the extent that America does, you will inevitably have a few folks hating on you. The Bible teaches that you reap what you sow and that if you live by the sword you die by the sword.

us military bases around the world

It is a lie that “if we don’t fight them over there, we will fight them over here.” I don’t worship at the altar of Ronald Reagan, but I will give him this: after 240 Marines were killed in a suicide bombing in Lebanon in 1983, he pulled the Marines out of Lebanon. Lebanese terrorists didn’t “follow us here.” Britain once had a terror problem in Kenya. And when they granted independence to Kenya, the problem of Kenyan terrorism went away. France, likewise, once had a problem with terrorism in Algeria. And then, when they granted independence to Algeria – budda bing budda boom – the Algerian terror problem went away. As Pat Buchanan has said, terrorism is the price a nation pays for having an empire.

9119/11 was an attack, not an invasion. This is not just a matter of semantics. There was no invading Army. There was no naval battle group in New York Harbor or Chesapeake Bay. There were no aerial bombing raids by the terrorist Luftwaffe. There were no amphibious raids in by jihad jarheads in Battery Park and along the Jersey Shore.

Moreover, the 19 hijackers are DEAD!!! You cannot take over a country and establish an Islamofascist dictatorship and do all kinds of horrible things WHEN YOU ARE DEAD!!!

There is a Constitutional provision for dealing with things like terrorism. Article I, Section 8 authorizes Congress to “grant Letters of Marque & Reprisal.” Wikipedia defines this as an official warrant or commission from a government authorizing the designated agent to search, seize, or destroy specified assets or personnel belonging to a foreign party which has committed some offense under the laws of nations against the assets or citizens of the issuing nation”.

letter of marqueThe response must be in proportion to the offense. 9/11 was not an act of war by a foreign nation, but an act of gang violence against American people and property. Let Congress authorize the pursuit and apprehension of the specific perpetrators, but don’t launch an endless, ruinously expensive, unwinnable war against a tactic.

Oh how I wish this thought were mine: if 19 Americans went overseas and committed some horrendous crime, would that justify a decades-long war against America?

Shortly after 9/11, the Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001 was introduced by – surprise! – Congressman Ron Paul.

I hear another train a-coming: But aren’t American judges now ruling based on shari’a law? Isn’t shari’a coming to America? Under Article 6, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution, “judges in every state” are bound to uphold the Constitution as the “supreme Law of the Land.” Let’s impeach those judges who rule based on shari’a. Let’s stand firm in defense of our Constitution and stop using Islamophobia was a reason to wage war all over the globe.

The Boston Marathon bombings were a horrible crime and I don’t want to minimize the grief of those affected. However, on an average day in America there are 40 murders and 80 automotive fatalities. This makes for 2280 deaths from just these causes in the last 19 days, or 760 times the death toll. You have a far greater chance of dying from many causes other than terrorism. (Please click here, here and here for my thoughts on the aftermath.)

The Nazis didn’t do it. The Communists didn’t do it. But the American people tolerate it in the name of “security.”

Over the last several decades, the American people have tolerated innumerable intrusions on their liberty in the name of “security”. The greatest threat to our liberty comes not from the Muslim world, or even from Washington, D.C. Rather, it comes from a populace that willingly surrenders its freedom, while all the while believing it can remain free.

H.L. Mencken once stated that “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and thus clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.“

The left wants us to freak out and to give up all our freedom in the name of fighting global warming. The right wants us to freak out and to give up all our freedom in the name of fighting terrorism. As LewRockwell.com’s Butler Shaffer has put it: left and right are actually two wings of the same bird of prey. The war on terror is a war on you and me.

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About Food for the Thinkers

My name is Doug Newman. I live in Aurora, Colorado, just outside Denver. Food for the Thinkers is mostly about the connection between Christianity and libertarianism. Most Christians do not understand libertarianism. And most libertarians do not understand Christianity. Hopefully, this blog helps clear up those misunderstanding. Check out my old page at www.thefot.us And remember: When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock. But when you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz.
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