By Doug Newman – email me – follow me on Facebook.
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“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.” – H.L. Mencken
National Review’s David French wants us to join him in his fear, among other things, that ISIS will “raise the black flag [of jihad] over the White House.”
Whenever I read stuff like this, all I can think is: “And they call Alex Jones paranoid.”
Ever since 9/11, paranoia pimps of French’s ilk have wanted us to believe that “radical Islam’s stated goal” is complete global domination. Never mind that it has been several centuries since an Islamic country conquered a non-Islamic country.
Take two minutes and watch this video. Ever since Old Testament – old, as in the book of Genesis – times, the entire history of the Middle East has been one of empires rising and falling. None of them last forever.
And here’s a stated goal: I hereby state that I will be the winning pitcher for my beloved Dodgers in Game 7 of this year’s World Series.
I guess that means it is going to happen, right?
As for ISIS “wealth”, $2 billion is chump change. The U.S. military goes through $2 billion on an average day. To put $2 billion in perspective, retail sales in Paramus, New Jersey, last year were $5 billion.
Oh, sure, ISIS may have procured a few tanks. But even if they have, do they have the technical sophistication to maintain them for long, let alone manufacture new ones?
ISIS has no ships, planes or nukes. America, on the other hand, has 473 naval ships, over 8000 tanks and over 13,000 military aircraft. We have enough nuclear warheads to kill every person on the planet several times over. And we have 300,000,000 firearms in private hands.
And why is there so much concern all of a sudden for the plight of Iraqi Christians? No one gave a rip about the mass exodus during the Bush years. As horrible as Saddam was, Christians were not abandoning Iraq en masse until after his ouster by the United States in 2003. (No group supported this war more enthusiastically than American Christians.) And how many of the 500,000 Iraqi children who died as a result of U.S. imposed sanctions in the 1990s were Christians?
And if the persecution of Christians in Iraq justifies American military action, what about the persecution of Christians in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, China and North Korea?
French says ISIS is to be more feared than Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was only able to succeed on 9/11 because American airplane passengers were unable to defend themselves. Any fool knows that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.
And, no, 9/11 did not happen because “they hate our freedom.” When you throw your weight around to the extent that the U.S. does, it is inevitable that a lot of people will hate you. And while third world countries can’t conquer you militarily, they will find other ways to make your life miserable.
I had an interesting conversation with a Swiss girl recently. I told her that her country does it right: they are armed to the teeth and they mind their own business. She said that it is indeed nice to live in such a country.
Right-wingers are just as prone as left-wingers to come unglued when certain buttons are pushed. To paraphrase the British historian and politician Lord Thomas Macaulay, there is no spectacle so ridiculous as the American public in one of its periodic fits of morality.
UPDATE: Iraq has actually been an Islamic state since its new constitution was ratified in 2005. Section 1, Article 2 states, in part, that “Islam is the official religion of the State and it is a fundamental source of legislation” and that “No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.”
2nd UPDATE: The beheading of American journalist James Foley is a horrible crime and our thoughts and prayers need to be with his family and friends. The proper response is a letter of marque and reprisal. Let me ask a few questions here that no one ever wants to ask in the aftermath of things like this. 1) How come we never hear of Swiss journalists being beheaded? 2) How come we never hear of Swiss embassies and consulates being bombed? 3) How come no one gets upset about the fact that beheading is a common centuries-old practice with our “ally” Saudi Arabia? 4) How come America never learns?