A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The War on Terror

Though some of you may think I'm going squishy on the war on terror because I recently decried the abuse at Abu Ghraib and other U.S. controlled facilities, I reamain a fervent supporter of that war. I just don't think that abuse, whether it reaches the level of torture or not, of detainees that we merely suspect of being terrorist is a good idea. On a moral level, we are sinking to the level of our enemy. On a practical level, torture/abuse is a poor method of extracting information from enemy detainees, and the practice of abusing detainees is counter-productive in the sense that every innocent detainee we abuse is one more Muslim that now has proof of the Satanic nature of the U.S.

But the battle against Islamic extremists is a vital one to both our country and the world. The President of Iran recently called for the elimination of Israel. Peaceful coexistence with fanatic Muslims is only possible if we all become Muslims under the strictest, many would say twisted, interpretations of the Qur'an. There is no compromising with them. As Tony Blair stated, we must either defeat them or be defeated by them.

And also please remember, this is not a struggle contained merely to Iraq or even the Middle East. More and more it is becoming a worldwide confrontation. On this, the one year anniversary of the brutal slaying of Theo Van Gogh by Muslim nutjobs, we must be very clear. As Theodore Dalrymple notes in the article linked above:
For tolerance to work, it must be reciprocal; tolerance appears to the intolerant jihadist mere weakness and lack of belief in anything. Unilateral tolerance in a world of intolerance is like unilateral disarmament in a world of armed camps: it regards hope as a better basis for policy than reality.
Hopefully, as Blair also stated, defeat them we shall.


Frankly, "tolerance" (scare quotes intended) has become nothing more than another play in the left's playbook. The left use tolerance to advance their agenda. Just as they do racism.

Tolerance is a virtue, not a lifestyle. Tolerance is what decent people show each other, not a demand that I accept every freakish, murderous, or unwholesome choice anyone cares to make.

When tolerance saps resolve or wisdom, then tolerance has become harmful. Tolerance definitely belongs on the Junior Varsity of the Virtue bench. You send it in when the job is done.
John, you raving lunatic!
Please tell me how the left is using tolerance to advance their "playbook."
While I think Nick is a ninny for his views on the "torture" at Abu Ghraib, the only way this country works is if we continue to ask questions about whether what we are doing is right.
Somehow in this age of "tolerence", it has become "unpatriotic" to actually question our president.

The sad thing is that the rest of what you said was excellent and well thought out. Yet most people would skip it because of the dumbass, thoughtless line about the left.

And back to Nick, we did not sink to our enemies level at Abu Ghraib. For us to sink to their level, we would have to randomly kill Muslims all over the world because they are there with no regard for who they are and what they believe. And then we would have to have civilians cheer for the cameras when we see news clips of the bloodshed.

Mojo, back me up a little bit on this, will you? Apparently Nick has gone to the left here. Wait, he can't be since he isn't pushing "tolerence" as an agenda.
I can't say that I necessarily disagree with John on the issue of the political left's use of tolerance/intolerance. It does seem to me that intolerance has become a blanket term for people who do not support affirmative action, gay marriage, abortion, or the like. Instead of saying racist, homophobe, or misogynist (respectively), one can simply label all of those individuals as intolerant and lump them into one big, ugly group. Besides, intolerant sounds less knee-jerk or fringe than racist, homophobe, or misogynist do, so it plays better to the public at large.

Now, before you call me a raving lunatic, Troy, let me expand on this, because I think that your fourth sentence nails something very important. I also will touch on where I agree with you.

I do believe that there is a perception by a large portion of the population that Democrats and Liberals are the tolerant party/ideology. Mark Shields stated, in an opinion piece for CNN this January, that "With more than a whiff of self-congratulations, Democrats love to call themselves the tolerant party." Last November, CNN ran a story that stated, "Democrats and liberals do trumpet one value -- their own vaunted tolerance."

Even on this blog, TC basically inferred that tolerance is a liberal tendency. Back in July he said, "But there I go again with that cursed liberal tendency to allow for differing points of view." Merriam-Webster defines tolerance, in part, as "sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own." With that in mind, TC could easily be paraphrased as saying the he had the cursed liberal tendency of being tolerant.

If the Democrats and Liberals are the tolerant ones, then it is not a big leap to presume that their opponents are the intolerant ones. The idea that Republicans and Conservatives are intolerant has been stated quite openly on many liberal websites and blogs, and even inferred and stated by leaders in the Democratic Party.

In 2001, regarding a Republican sponsored bill to allow faith-based charities to compete with secular groups for federal funds, then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle inferred this by saying, "I can't imagine that we would pass any bill that would tolerate slipping back into a level of intolerance that would be acceptable in today's society."

Al Gore said it directly in 2000 during a debate in Iowa when he said, regarding the South Carolina state flag, that the Republican candidates for president would tolerate intolerance.

And, of course, who could forget DNC President Howard Dean this February, when he said, "Moderate Republicans can't stand these people [Conservatives], because they're intolerant. They don't think tolerance is a virtue. I'm not going to have these right-wingers throw away our right to be tolerant. ... This is a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good."

Now, to Troy's fourth sentence. When he said that "Somehow in this age of "tolerence", it has become "unpatriotic" to actually question our president," I felt that that statement nailed how both sides are perceived. Many perceive the political left as wrapping themselves in an air of tolerance, while the political right is perceived as wrapping themselves in the flag. The political right then becomes intolerant because they are opposing the tolerant group, and the political left becomes unpatriotic because they oppose the patriotic group. Both sides play this to their advantage, propping-up their positive perceptions and fueling further speculation on the negative perceptions of their opponents.

All of that said, the quote which Nick included in his post basically delivered the concept that tolerance cannot be used with our current enemies in the war on terror because that will create the perception that we are weak and will result in self-destructive policies based on a hopeful fantasy instead of reality.

This is where I agree with Troy. Stating that the political left uses tolerance to advance their agenda, with that quote still fresh in the mind of the reader, could create an inference that the left is culpable in part for the acts committed by our enemy. After all, if the left uses tolerance to advance their agenda, and if tolerance makes us weaker and assists our enemy, then couldn't one conclude that the left's agenda is to make us weaker while supporting our enemy? I don't promote or believe that conclusion, and I don't think that is truly what John was trying to say, but it is a conclusion that could be drawn by some when tolerance and the left's use of it are the only two items touched on in the comment to the post.
John, you raving lunatic


…the only way this country works is if we continue to ask questions about whether what we are doing is right.

This is the only part of the anti-war movement that has any value… the fact that we question the rightness of our actions. Thank God that in a democracy, we can do that openly and freely.
Thank you Mojo and thank you John.
For the record, as someone with liberal leanings, I'd like to state that the Democrats fail to represent me in almost every way.
That "party of tolerance" shit is exactly that. (Shit, I mean, not tolerance.) They're as intolerant as the Republicans, and they're only occasionally less racist, homophobic, and misogynistic (unless it suits them).
Vote Barkley, dammit!
I'm happy that Nick is referring to Abu Ghraib as abuse instead of torture, but I don't think that he needs to worry about any "innocent" detainees being amongst those in the Tier 1A area of the prison.

Regardless, Troy is absolutely correct in that we would need to do much more to sink to the level of our enemy. When abuse occurs on our watch, we try the abusers. When was the last time Al Qaeda tried those cutting the heads off of contractors? We target the enemy combatants, but sometimes there is the unfortunate occurance of civilian collateral damage. Our enemy targets civilian non-combatants as a policy with at least half (if not more) of their attacks.

Again, a huge problem is the way in which the information about all of this is given to us. The Newsweek Koran B.S. hit the sales racks without being vetted. Former Marine Staff Sgt. Massey's false accounts of U.S. atrocities were published throughout the U.S. without being questioned. Of course, when the enemy does something nasty, we wait until we have "all the facts." Even then, the enemy's atrocities are relegated to deep within the pages of the newspapers, or they are hidden on the websites of the 24-hour news channels, because the MSM has more important stories to cover on their front pages or on air.

For those not watching closely over the past three weeks, here's what you may have missed regarding the enemy:

Raids "Thwarted Major Attack"

Australian Muslims Called To Arms

France Rioters: "Each Night We Make This Place Baghdad"

Dutch Police Foil Attack On El Al Plane

Family Guilty Of "Honor Killing"

Disabled Woman Set Ablaze

Three Teenage Christian Girls Beheaded In Indonesia

New Delhi Explosions Kill At Least 58

Muslim Terrorists Launch 34 Attacks In South Thailand

Five Killed In Bombing At Israeli Market

Iranian President Calls for Israel's Destruction

Four U.S. Contractors Killed In Iraq

Palestinian-Born Teacher Told Students, "Behave Or I'll Put A Bomb On Your Bus."

Wife Of Palestinian Terror Suspect Hides Grenade Under Her Toddler

Muslims Lay Siege To St. Girgis Church In Egypt

Muslims Declare Holy War Against Danish Newspaper

British Muslim Group Declares New Jihad

Iraq Al-Qaeda Shows Execution Despite "Zawahiri Letter"

Holland Fears Killings Over Ban On Burqa

Muslims Burn Temple, Kill Monk And Teenagers, And Behead Farmer
You know, reading all these posts, I wonder if the worship of tolerance is not the playmaker that liberals think it is? Perhaps most of us are more rational than given credit for?

For those not watching closely over the past three weeks, here's what you may have missed regarding the enemy:

That is one scary list. How odd that the vast majority of these stories didn't appear in the mainstream media. I wonder why? Perhaps Cindy Sheehan was more important?
The new slogan should be, "Not enough people get their news from Mojo!!"
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