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Gay rights, the Enlightenment, and the War Against Islamofascism

Posted by Richard on August 19, 2007

Roger L. Simon (emphasis added):

For me gay marriage is a human rights issue. It is a natural development of the civil rights movement of the fifties and sixties, part of extending to gay people what was extended to African-Americans at that time. Simple equality. … 

All that said, I doubt I will be voting in 2008 because of the candidate’s stand on same-sex marriage and not just because (see above) it is difficult to determine what those candidates really think on the issue. Those of us concerned about human rights, about the separation of church and state, about gay rights and women’s rights, about democracy itself, have bigger fish to fry – the War on Terror. And here is the connection in my belief system.

Because I am such an adamant adherent of gay rights, women’s rights, human rights – the values that evolved out of the Enlightenment – I have to vote for the candidate I think will best carry forth that war (by whatever means appropriate at the moment) to defend those Enlightenment values. This means, unless I am very lucky, that I will not always love that person in all areas. Indeed, I may have to swallow some very bitter pills, but these are serious times, by far the most serious of my lifetime. And I was born at the end of World War II.

I never cease to be amazed – and perhaps it is my own myopia – that my former colleagues on the Left can be blind to this situation. They act as if the threat is not real and is only a blip caused by a post 9/11 overreaction by George Bush, thus ignoring virtually all of Western history since the year 800, not to mention the overwhelming demographic changes of recent decades. (John Edwards – interestingly an opponent of gay marriage – recently called the “War on Terror” a bumper sticker. At least, he’s consistent.) The very people most threatened by the ideology of Islamism and the institution of Sharia law – gays, women, freethinkers – are often the very people least likely to defend themselves against it. What we have on our Left is a culture of denial equal to, if not exceeding, the German Jews of the 1930s and one that has taken the canard about all politics being local to an almost ludicrous extreme.

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Read the whole thing.

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4 Responses to “Gay rights, the Enlightenment, and the War Against Islamofascism”

  1. Mortimer Snurd said

    As a blind member of the Left I’ll take a swing at this one.

    I, and most of the other Lefties I know, am not blind to the threat of religious fanaticism. The Muslims have a particularly obnoxious breed of zealot. That’s what happens when people worship a God who has very low standards in whom He allows into his presence.

    We were winning the hearts and minds of Muslims. We seduced them with easy living, casual sex, loud music, and broad highways filled with cars. We corrupted them with an idea that a person who worked could probably live from paycheck to paycheck, and laws that provided a modest amount of protection from bosses and government officials. Muslims had choices and they liked it.

    That was one of the things Osama whined about to justify 9/11; how the West was destroying fanatical devotion to Islam.

    Osama was increasingly irrelavent. Recruiting was down. Suicide bombers had to be paid.

    More people were going to the West where many of them did reasonably well and grew even more distant from an extremist who preached poverty, chastity, self-abnegation and capitulation to clerics who couldn’t even agree among themselves. Once you’ve had air conditioning and a Toyota, squatting in a mud hut at 130* with a woman who dresses like a sack of potatoes and a camel that smells like a giant nasty dog doesn’t hold a lot of attraction.

    Then came 9/11.

    Contrary to popular belief, I also saw what happened. Towers crumbling. People leaping. Billowing smoke that somehow looked like people were burning up.

    I went out that morning and bought ammunition and laid aside food and water in case of continuing attacks. If we had chased Osama to the gates of Hell, I would have gone.

    Instead the White House cleared the way for Osama to escape from Tora Bora. The government made no meaningful effort to catch the admitted culprit. He now rests comfortably, probably in the Tribal Lands of Pakistan. The greatest inconvienence he suffers is that he has to have somebody go down to Starbucks to get an iced coffee for him so he won’t be mobbed by adoring fans.

    If we had committed 10% of the soldiers and money that we spend on Iraq in one year to chasing Osama, he would have taken by the heels, hung with a rope soaked in pig urine and his remains fed to dogs. And the US would have been considered to have acted responsibly by the rest of the world.

    Instead we attack Iraq. Saddam was an asshole, but he was our asshole. We owned him lock, stock, and torture chamber. If we told him to crap, he squatted and took a strain. Among the people that this government supports he was an enlightened, secular moderate. We support, or ignore, far worse bastards than Saddam. And we choose to attack him using an absurd pack of childish lies to justify it. Well, you build a house on an infirm foundation, your house never does very well.

    Suddenly the zealots had a real threat to point at. Nothing as vague as MTV and sexy songs.

    Crusaders were attacking Muslim countries, putting their puppets in power, stealing natural resources. Crusaders were raping their women, murdering their children, destroying their homes and generally turning the landscape into a shithole. For some reason being taken away in the dead of night, being held in a sweatbox with hundreds of others for months or years, being tortured without having any charges brought, seeing whole familys wiped out made a lot of people mad. It made them want that most basic of all human rights; payback.

    At home we immediately set about to remedy all those things that attracted Muslims to our way of life in the first place. More censorship. More government intrusion. More spying because “we” feel like it. More stiffening of the national resolve by marches, and flags, and suppression of contrary expression. Louder calls for a purer life to cleanse our warrior spirit and stiffen our national resolve. More neighbor spying on neighbor. More phone calls to police reporting suspicious activities by those people you never liked anyway. More secret police with unlimited powers of life and death over you. More Big Brother. More Big Lie. More religious fanaticism. More mumbling about how the responsible thing to do would be for the government to step in and give anyone who dissents a good long time-out. And if a few people get killed, or imprisoned, or tortured; well, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

    Meanwhile, the very people we set out to punish are prospering like never before. Recruitments up. Contributions are pouring in. Public support is at record levels.

    Everything we do to punish these fundamentalists is making them stronger and richer and us weaker and poorer. And Osama is probably watching the new Harry Potter movie and making a book deal.

    Everything we are doing is quaranteed to make things worse for us and better for the people we are fighting. And while we destroy Iraq to save it, we are pulling down our own country around our ears. We are deliberately and methodically removing all the freedoms which we claim to worship. Those freedoms that scare us so much. Our financial system is being gutted by plunderers both foreign and domestic. Our manufacturing capacity is roughly, nill.

    Our middle class, once the envy of the world, is vanishing like our icecaps.

    And it embarasses me that America is now the biggest heroin dealer in the world.

  2. Perry de Havilland said

    “Saddam was an asshole, but he was our asshole. We owned him lock, stock, and torture chamber. If we told him to crap, he squatted and took a strain. Among the people that this government supports he was an enlightened, secular moderate.”

    I see. And “we” owned his so completely that would explain Iraq’s Russian tanks, Russian and French combat aircraft, Russian, French, Chinese and South African artillery, Russian and Chinese small arms, Russian tactical rockets… I rather doubt Halibuirton makes Mirages, T-62 tanks, MIG-23s, 122mm guns, etc. etc. but hey, who knows, perhaps it is their Magnitogorsk subsidiary which was supplying “our” Saddam with all that cool stuff.

    And to say “he was an enlightened, secular moderate”, well perhaps you should clarify that with “moderate compared to…”. Compared to, say, Pol Pot’? Sure, Saddam was the essence of restraint in that he probably only killed tens of thousands of Iraqis for political reasons (though some entirely left wing sources put the death toll under Ba’athist Socialist rule at an order of magnitude higher), whereas Pol Pot killed *millions* of Cambodians (i.e. two orders of magnitude more)… so indeed, by that standard Saddam was in the mass murder Little League compared to the real pros like the Kymer Rouge or the Rwandan Interahamwe. Hell it is terrible nice Mr. Hussain was overthrown, I mean who can even find Halabja on a map these days, eh?

  3. rgcombs said

    Ooh, that’s got to leave a mark. 🙂

    I’ve been pondering for some time whether to respond to Mort or not (we have a long history). Practically every sentence (and phrase) in Mort’s clever but bogus response is patently false, and only defensible if your only source of information is NPR, CBS News, etc.

    Perrry easily demolished a couple of aspects of Mort’s rant. The rest is equally indefensible. Mort, you’re either stupid or ignorant.

  4. rgcombs said

    I guess I shouldn’t dash off hasty comments late at night under the influence of adult beverages. Mort, I apologize — I know you’re far from stupid. But on this subject, you ”are” ignorant. And it seems to be a willful ignorance, which annoys me.

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