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Posts Tagged ‘moral equivalence’

A subtle distinction

Posted by Richard on July 28, 2006

Gil Milbauer, A Reasonable Man, posted a cartoon that he said has been around for a long time. I haven’t seen it before, but I like the stark simplicity of it. It illustrates perfectly the subtle difference between Israel and its enemies:

UPDATE:  I’ve noted before that it’s difficult to satirize the left nowadays because they’re such moonbats that you can’t exaggerate them. Likewise, I think it’s becoming hard to demonize the Palestinian terrorists. When this cartoon was created, it was undoubtedly intended to be hyperbole — an exaggeration for effect, not a literal depiction of how Palestinians fight.

Reality may have caught up with the exaggeration. Yoni Tidi posted the following update on the shooting that took place yesterday at an entrance to Jerusalem:

An Arab man approached the check point holding an infant in one hand, when he came to the Police Officers that were checking peoples identification this “gentleman” that was holding an infant in his one arm pulled a handgun out from it’s position of concealment and opened fire hitting two Police Officers.

The Police returned fire killing the man without hurting the infant.

We’ve already seen Palestinian boys and girls — teenage kids as young as 12 — turned into suicide bombers. In Iraq, a retarded youth was outfitted with a bomb and sent toward a polling place. What will the Islamofascists come up with next — exploding babies?

[Note: Tidi didn’t cite a source, and his account is unconfirmed. But his information generally seems to be pretty reliable. An IDF reserve officer currently living in the U.S., he has extensive personal contacts in the Israeli government and military, and frequently posts information obtained from those sources.]
 

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Phoning the targets to warn them

Posted by Richard on July 27, 2006

The other day I noted that Hezbollah was not just launching attacks from civilian homes, apartments, schools, and hospitals, in some cases it was preventing the residents from leaving, holding them hostage to its desire to maximize civilian casualties for public relations purposes. Hamas has long used the same strategy of surrounding its attackers with civilians, preferably role-playing, brainwashed "human shield" children eager to fulfill their destiny and become martyrs.

Contrast the tactics of those groups with how the Israelis prepare for attacks on nominally civilian targets (and note the source for this report):

Shin Bet security service agents have begun telephoning members of Palestinian terrorist organizations and warning them to leave their houses, so that they and their families will not be hurt when Israel bombs them, Palestinian sources said yesterday.

According to the sources, Shin Bet agents have contacted members of various armed organizations over the last few days and warned them that Israel plans to attack their houses. The houses in question are being targeted because Israel believes that they are being used to store or manufacture weapons, including Qassam rockets and rocket-propelled grenades.

Before dawn yesterday, the Israel Defense Forces bombed two such houses – one belonging to an Islamic Jihad operative in Gaza City and one belonging to a Hamas operative in Rafah, on the Gazan-Egyptian border. According to the army, both houses served as weapons factories.

In addition, the IDF has interrupted local radio broadcasts in several parts of Gaza in recent days, overriding the scheduled programing with warnings about planned attacks on houses that serve as arms caches. The interrupted broadcasts have included some by Hamas’ Radio Al-Aqsa.

I’m simply astonished — and of two minds. On the one hand, it warms my heart that the Israelis are — despite many years of unspeakable barbarism and provocation by their enemies — so goddamned civilized, honorable, and decent.

On the other hand, a part of me wonders if they’re too civilized, honorable, and decent. As I said the other day, "It’s not only unwise, it’s downright wrong to stay your hand so much that the aggressor might win — or survive to prey on more victims in the future." Isn’t that what this level of solicitude leads to?

There aren’t any easy answers here. War is at best a terrible thing that inevitably kills innocents, so one ought to favor actions intended to minimize the number of innocents killed. But what if those spared by these warnings aren’t innocent? And the warnings enable them to move their rockets to another location, and kill some Israeli teens in a pizza parlor a few hours later?

No easy answers, that’s for sure…

But I do know this: I know which side I admire and which I despise. I know which culture and community I’m proud to share the planet with.

If you’ve served in the IDF, or IAF, or Shin Bet, or any other part of the government of Israel — heck, if you’re one of the 99% of Israelis who support the fight against these Jew-hating 7th-century barbarians — and you’re ever in Denver, look me up. I’ll buy you a beer. Or two or three…
 

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Hezbollah’s human shields

Posted by Richard on July 20, 2006

At The American Thinker, Clarice Feldman pointed out a brief Ynet News story which confirmed that Neo-neocon and I (The war for public opinion) were right about Hezbollah wanting to create civilian casualties (emphasis added):

The IDF has found that Hizbullah is preventing civilians from leaving villages in southern Lebanon. Roadblocks have been set up outside some of the villages to prevent residents from leaving, while in other villages Hizbullah is preventing UN representatives from entering, who are trying to help residents leave. In two villages, exchanges of fire between residents and Hizbullah have broken out. 

Hezbollah is holding the residents of these villages hostage, using them as human shields.

"Speaking of human shields," Feldman wondered, "why aren’t the brave folks who stood between us and Saddam in Afula or Safed or Haifa or Kiryat Shemona?" Good question. I guess these "peace activists" aren’t as troubled by rockets falling on Israeli Jews as they were about bombs falling on Saddam’s Revolutionary Guard.

Regarding Hezbollah taking whole villages hostage — good luck finding any mainstream news stories that mention the IDF report. You think the IDF told only Ynet News about it? You think Ynet News made it up? I don’t.
 

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Justice requires a disproportionate response

Posted by Richard on July 19, 2006

On Tuesday, I mentioned Neo-neocon’s post about the danger of proportionality. Well, Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna wrote brilliantly about this nonsense of proportionality on Monday:

If you could cut through all the Kofi-speak to the heart of the matter, what do you think would be a “proportionate” response to the provocations Israel has endured? Do the Israelis have to fire Qassam rockets into Gaza at Hamas? Do Jewish kids have to strap on bomb belts and blow themselves up in Ramallah?

As someone recently said, it’s like a bank robbery — when the call comes in that three men are robbing a bank, then the cops can only send in three patrolmen to stop them.

Or imagine that you’re woken up in the middle of the night by a burglar in the living room. You grab your twelve-gauge and creep down the stairs very quietly. But when you flip on the light and surprise the burglar, he’s armed with only a knife! What do you do? Why, you drop the shotgun, rush to the kitchen, and rummage through the drawers for a knife. And not just any knife — it has to be no longer or sharper than the one the burglar has!

The contemptible blather about "disproportionate response" comes from people who refuse to distinguish between the aggressor and the victim — who remain morally neutral as to which one ought to prevail, and thus believe that "fairness" requires each to have an equal chance.

I'm a fan of disproportionate responseFor those of us who insist that there is no right to rape, mug, burgle — or murder (again!) six million Jews — the concept of proportionality of response is a moral abomination. The correct response to aggression is whatever is necessary to stop it, to punish the aggressor, and to prevent repetition of the aggression in the future. The correct response to Islamofascism is to wipe it out.

Decent people, of course, do their best to minimize harm to innocent bystanders — and the extremely low number of deaths, given the number of air strikes and artillery bombardments, makes it clear that Israel is taking extraordinary measures in this regard. Perhaps too much so.

It’s not only unwise, it’s downright wrong to stay your hand so much that the aggressor might win — or survive to prey on more victims in the future. Don’t those future victims have just as much claim on your concern as the bystanders today? More so, in my opinion, if the bystanders aren’t so innocent — and that’s certainly the case for most of the "civilian casualties" counted up by the media in southern Lebanon. These are the people who support Hezbollah, store Hezbollah weapons in their houses, and cheer on and resupply the Hezbollah fighters — likely, their brothers and sons — firing rockets from their doorsteps.

I’m joining the good Baron, and saying to our friends in Israel, "Bring on the Disproportionate Response!"

UPDATE: Welcome, visitors from The Atheist Jew — please have a look around. You may see some post titles in the left sidebar that interest you.

UPDATE 2: The latest version of the proportionality complaint, blathered about endlessly on MSM outlets on Thursday, is the disparity between the number of Israeli deaths and Lebanese deaths (which are almost all Hezbollah deaths). The morally neutral "fairness" advocates object to the fact that Israel wages war more effectively than Hezbollah!

Would these asshats like to see an international Handicapper General, a la Harrison Bergeron, reduce the effectiveness of Israel’s weapons, tactics, and troops so that they don’t have an unfair advantage over the genocidal maniacs on the other side?

If you’re not familiar with Kurt Vonnegut’s short story masterpiece, Harrison Bergeron, click that link and read it right now.
 

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Contemptible cartoon

Posted by Richard on June 23, 2006

Atlanta Journal-Constipation — sorry, Constitution — cartoonist Mike Luckovich came up with one of the most contemptible moral equivalence claims I’ve seen yet, and to drive his point home, he made the cartoon’s URL (the title) "pot-to-kettle.html":

Book on torture

 
I was going to compare and contrast, but I see that Sweetness & Light already did it, using some pictures that made the point without being too graphic. And don’t overlook Sweetness’ long list of "Related Articles."

I’ll just amplify a bit regarding the differences (but I’ll spare you the pictures):

  • American "torture": Humiliation and degradation. Sleep deprivation. Turning air conditioning way up. Playing Christina Aguillera music. Invasion of space by a female.
     
  • Al-Qaeda torture: Drilling holes in body with cordless drill. Gouging out eyes. Breaking and contorting limbs. Amputating limbs. Cutting off genitalia and stuffing in mouth. Eventually, using a dull blade, sawing off the head. Or cutting out the heart. 

Sweetness suggested (I think in jest), "Maybe Moslems have the right idea about how to handle cartoonists after all." Someone might want to point out to Mr. Luckovich that if America were really comparable to the Islamofascists, outraged good ole boys would be waving "Behead the Anti-American Cartoonist" signs outside the Journal-Constitution building, burning cars, threatening editors, and trying to shut the paper down.

Of course, right now I’m thinking that sounds like good, clean fun…
 

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Mourning al-Zarqawi

Posted by Richard on June 9, 2006

I can’t even begin to understand the wretched and debased moral sense of the late Nicholas Berg’s father, Michael (who has been an anti-war activist for 40 years, and is currently the Green Party candidate for Congress in Delaware). According to ABC News:

Michael Berg, whose son Nick the CIA believes was beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2004, told ABC News’ Aaron Katersky on Thursday that he abhors that the U.S. military has killed al-Zarqawi.

"I will not take joy in the death of a fellow human, even the human being who killed my son," said Berg, who blamed President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales — and not al-Zarqawi — for the death of his son because of what Berg said is their role in authorizing the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

Berg, who said he begged the United States government not to kill al-Zarqawi so that Berg could reconcile with him, worries that only more death will come out of his killing. 

In the AP story at Fox News, Berg described what he believes should have been done with al-Zarqawi — and why:

Berg said "restorative justice," — such as being forced to work in a hospital where maimed children are treated — could have made Zarqawi "a decent human being."

Simply breathtaking…

Mr. Berg, if any of those maimed children, or their nurses or doctors, were "Jewish pigs" — or any kind of infidel, including Shiite — al-Zarqawi would gleefully saw off their heads with the same combination of enthusiasm and lack of skill that he exhibited in the barbaric murders of Nick Berg and Eugene Armstrong. Your insane fantasy of "restorative justice" making him into a "decent human being" would simply enable him to keep killing — and recruiting and directing others to kill. In other words, Mr. Berg, more death comes out of letting people like al-Zarqawi live.

A lot of people view folks like Berg as idealists — misguided and unrealistic, but well-intentioned and somehow noble or admirable. That’s a load of crap. Check out the campaign website and articles linked above, or this interview in which he compares Bush unfavorably to Saddam Hussein — compare how Berg speaks of al-Zarqawi and the terrorists ("what we call the insurgency, and what I call the resistance") with how he speaks of Bush and Rumsfeld. Does Berg sound like he’s prepared to "reconcile" with Bush and Rumsfeld and forgive them their "sins"? Do you think Berg believes a little community service will make W. into a "decent human being"?

Michael Berg is forgiving, tolerant, and non-judgmental toward some of the most brutal and barbaric people on the planet, but he loathes those of us who argue that the values of the U.S. and Western Civilization are superior to the values of Islamofascism. I think it’s disgusting and contemptible.

There are plenty more like him on the moonbat left. On-line, you’ll find them at places like DailyKos and Democratic Underground (sorry, I can’t be bothered to provide links). They greeted the death of al-Zarqawi with the same mix of disappointment, anger, paranoid skepticism, and resentment that they displayed when Saddam was captured.

Berg and his allies exhibit a venomous hatred for Bush, Blair, capitalism — everything Western, really — but they display a studied "neutrality" toward those who want to destroy us. Sorry, that’s not pacifism or neutrality — that’s being on the other side.
 

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Muslims seek refuge in Israel

Posted by Richard on June 5, 2006

Solomonia pointed out two posts at Augean Stables that offer a striking "compare and contrast" opportunity. The first post was about Arab indifference to and complicity in genocide. It quoted Mohammed Buisier’s Wall Street Journal column about Darfur, which pointed out that the March Arab League summit in Khartoum passed a resolution denying that there were any massacres in Darfur and condemning any outside interference in the Sudan’s internal affairs. RL quoted Buisier and commented:

By adopting this argument, the Arab League was not just covering up for the atrocities perpetrated by the Sudanese government, but also for the direct or indirect involvement in this part of the Sudan of some of the Arab governments attending the summit. It is but one more shameful manifestation of Arab governments turning a blind eye to the continuing inhumane atrocities committed against their own citizens.

It sheds an interesting light on the moral indignation that the Arab League expresses vis-à-vis the Israelis. Even if we discount for tribal loyalties (the Palestinians are also Arabs, so their suffering concerns them more), this is rank hypocrisy. Here we have Sudanese Arab Muslims actually committing genocide, and the same organization that denounces a fabricated genocide of Palestinians (who continue to grow in numbers all the time), cannot bring itself to say anything negative.

The second Augean Stables post was about Muslim Sudanese refugees fleeing to Israel, and thereby demonstrating something important:

This recalls what happened when the Phalangist massacres of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatilla started. The Palestinians ran to the Israeli posts for protection, thereby showing that, when the chips are down they knew Israelis don’t massacre, no matter what Arab leaders and media told them. …

In this case it sheds an interesting light on the issue of refugees. Part of the “Zionist narrative” is that they treated their refugees from the Arab world with as much consideration and concern as possible, working hard to absorb them, while the Arab countries froze their refugees from Israel into a state of permanent suffering. Using moral equivalence, criticizing Israel for not sufficiently respecting the cultures from which these refugees came, the anti-Zionists have heaped contempt on this effort to distinguish the Israeli record from the Arab. But these Muslim refugees from Sudan, with limited access to anything but the Muslim press, know better… two generations later.

Originally from The Scotsman, the story of the Sudanese refugees in Israel is fascinating and heartwarming. Israelis are having a national debate about Sudanese asylum-seekers:

“If they know, everyone who pays $50 (£26) can come to a modern, democratic state and live happily ever after – why not come to Israel?” Yochie Gessin, an Israeli government lawyer, said last week. “We can’t accept this, there are some 40 million Sudanese.”

Such statements have sparked a bitter reaction. Avner Shalev, the chairman of Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum, has written to prime minister Ehud Olmert, urging him to “show solidarity” with the Sudanese refugees.

“As members of the Jewish people, for whom the memory of the Holocaust burns, we cannot stand by as refugees from the genocide in Darfur hammer on our doors,” Shalev wrote.

Michael Kagan, a lawyer with the Tel Aviv University Human Rights Clinic, which represents some 50 Sudanese refugees in the Israeli High Court, agreed. “This situation reveals just how much Israel is currently grappling with the issue of offering asylum to non-Jews,” he said.

The asylum seekers apparently are grateful to be living among Jews who worry about how welcoming to be, instead of among their fellow Muslims who are indifferent to genocide and contemptuous of human rights:

Now working in a kibbutz on the shores of the Dead Sea, Sanka is one of almost 30 Sudanese released on “house arrest” as their fate is decided in court. Despite being jailed for a year before being sent to the kibbutz, Sanka is remarkably upbeat about living in the Jewish state. “The Israelis here are really a free people, they have an open mind,” he said.

With his family from Dafur, Sanka, then living in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, decided to leave Sudan after attracting unwanted government attention over his reformist views. “I am Muslim but I don’t agree with fundamental Islam,” he said. “Many of my friends who expressed similar views, were arrested, tortured or in some cases, disappeared.”

He spent four years in Cairo but, after being arrested as an illegal worker, he caught a bus to Egypt’s Sinai region where he then walked for two days across the desert and into Israel. He was picked up by an Israeli military patrol and taken to a military jail.

“The Jewish people I’ve met here understand my plight. For the first time in my life I feel free. I know that sounds funny but I do. I feel freer here than I ever did in Sudan.”

A Muslim feels freer in Israel under house arrest than in the Sudan or Egypt. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the relative moral status of the two cultures. Israel isn’t just more hospitable to Muslims than Arab nations are to Jews — it’s more hospitable to Muslims than Arab nations are to Muslims.
 

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Patriotism

Posted by Richard on April 5, 2006

I attended the Advocates for Self-Government 10th anniversary conference in Atlanta — was it really 10 years ago? — and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great crowd, great speakers, organized and presented well by Sharon Harris and her staff and volunteers. I’m sure they do a nice job every year, but it’s not cheap flying from Denver to Atlanta, staying at the hotel, etc., so I’m not a candidate to attend just any old year.

I was, however, a prime candidate to attend the recent 20th anniversary conference. I didn’t go, though, and it wasn’t just that I was pretty busy. I also wasn’t as enthusiastic about spending a weekend in the company of a whole bunch of libertarians as I had been ten years ago.

I suppose I was afraid that I’d meet people who were proud that they attended the Badnarik2004 September 11 Meetup, wearing black to mourn the victims of the U.S. government. Or people whose rhetoric on the war is indistinguishable from that of the leftist rabble, with talk of "U.S. occupation," "imperialist war-mongers," "the U.S. armed Saddam, the CIA created al Qaeda," and so on. If that happened, I’d either start screaming at them, "How can you be so stupid?" or I’d just walk away shaking my head and go get another drink.

So, I didn’t try very hard to find the time or the money to attend. According to David Aitken, a lot of other people didn’t try very hard, either. I’m sure most of the other non-attendees had reasons other than mine, but there’s no question that a lot of the air has gone out of the libertarian movement’s tire in the past two or three years, and I’m convinced that the prevailing libertarian views on the war and foreign policy — and patriotism — have something to do with it.

I know I’m not the only libertarian bothered by those prevailing views. I’m not even the most bothered — heck, I’m still a registered Libertarian. I spoke with a former Denver LP chair this past Saturday — in fact, the most successful chair the Denver LP ever had, who regularly drew 50 or more people to our monthly meetings. She’d just come from the Arapahoe County GOP convention. She was a delegate, and will be a delegate to the GOP state convention, too. She left the LP in disgust over what she perceived as its greater animosity toward the Bush administration than toward Islamofascism.

Aitken observed that "most libertarians are libertarians first and Americans second," and that that’s a problem:

I’ve been a member of the Libertarian Party for about 20 years and I don’t ever recall seeing any public displays of patriotism or love of country at any official function of the party, either state or national. None of our candidates express that; they all talk about what needs changing or what’s wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a candidate say "This is the best country in the world", or something to that effect (I’ve been a candidate and I’m guilty). I am not saying "my country right or wrong" and I’m not a nativist, but we hear NOTHING except bitch, bitch, bitch, and that doesn’t attract voters.

He then linked to a beautifully written Peggy Noonan column (I think Noonan’s columns are always beautifully written, even when I disagree with them) that starts out talking about some of our living Medal of Honor recipients and ends up talking about immigration, and somehow it relates importantly to Aitken’s point. Noonan thinks we’re assimilating immigrants culturally and economically, but that’s not enough:

But we are not communicating love of country. We are not giving them the great legend of our country. We are losing that great legend.

What is the legend, the myth? That God made this a special place. That they’re joining something special. That the streets are paved with more than gold–they’re paved with the greatest thoughts man ever had, the greatest decisions he ever made, about how to live. We have free thought, free speech, freedom of worship. Look at the literature of the Republic: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist papers. Look at the great rich history, the courage and sacrifice, the house-raisings, the stubbornness. The Puritans, the Indians, the City on a Hill.

(God, that woman can write.)

Do we teach our immigrants that this is what they’re joining? That this is the tradition they will now continue, and uphold?

Do we, today, act as if this is such a special place? No, not always, not even often. American exceptionalism is so yesterday. We don’t want to be impolite. We don’t want to offend. We don’t want to seem narrow. In the age of globalism, honest patriotism seems like a faux pas.

And yet what is true of people is probably true of nations: if you don’t have a well-grounded respect for yourself, you won’t long sustain a well-grounded respect for others.

I don’t think it’s just the immigrants — after Viet Nam, Watergate, and the triumph of post-modernism in academia, we largely stopped teaching our own children the legend, the great thoughts, the traditions — the love of country not out of some blind, irrational "nationalism," but out of deep admiration and respect for the people and ideas and values that brought it about and that still set it apart from all others. People and ideas and values that are unique, powerful, and soul-stirring.

Aitken and Noonan are right — America always has been and still is an exceptional place. If you don’t believe that, you need to get out more — learn more about the rest of the world and about history. Libertarians of all people should recognize that.

Instead, too many libertarians just bitch, as Aitken said. Even if they still admire America’s founders and history, they see only negatives in their own lifetime — taxes are higher, regulations more onerous, the police state is creeping closer, we’re losing our liberties all the time, yada, yada, yada. Well, granted, the Federal Register is a depressing document for a libertarian.

But in my lifetime, liberty has made more gains than retreats — people no longer fear jail (or worse) for drinking from the wrong water fountain or sitting in the wrong bus seat. The Lenny Bruces and Al Goldsteins of today aren’t being hauled off to jail. Yes, McCain-Feingold is an abomination, but on the whole, no people on earth are or ever have been more free to express themselves. Significant strides have been made in restoring some of the economic freedoms given up in the first half of the 20th century. Thirty-nine states (up from half a dozen) now recognize that our inherent right to self-defense, if not absolute, at least puts a significant burden on the state to demonstrate why we should not be able to go about armed.

I could go on. And we could argue endlessly about which pluses balance out which minuses and what the net score for liberty is from year to year. But that’s not the point. The point is that there are always things to criticize and things to praise, but at the end of the day, America as an idea and an institution and a heritage is worthy of our love and affection. Libertarians of all people should recognize that.

Just as we admire and love people who personify and concretize virtues and traits of character that we think are noble and worthy, it’s appropriate for us to admire and love institutions that embody and concretize ideals and principles that we think are noble and worthy.

Libertarians of all people should get choked up when they hear the Star Spangled Banner, when the fireworks go off on Independence Day, when an immigrant weeps at a naturalization ceremony, or when a Medal of Honor recipient, asked why he performed his great act of heroism, struggles to express himself clearly:

He couldn’t answer for a few seconds. You could tell he was searching for the right words, the right sentence. Then he said, "I get emotional about it. But we’re a free country." He said it with a kind of wonder, and gratitude.

Instead, too many libertarians have lost all sense of perspective and have adopted their own version of the sick moral equivalence game played by the left, which says that we’re no better than the people who attack us. Witness the libertarian who left this comment on one of my posts about Jay Bennish, the geography teacher  who indulged in the "Bush is like Hitler" classroom rant:

Actually, I think Bush is somewhat like Hitler – but what president in recent history hasn’t been? They are all after more power and more police-statism, and a bunch of nanny-statism to boot.

I responded:

Dick: Thanks for dropping by, but your first paragraph exemplifies what’s wrong with far too many libertarians.

George W. Bush is "somewhat like" Adolf Hitler in the same sense that a shoplifter at Target is "somewhat like" Genghis Khan because both took things that didn’t belong to them.

Well, that was Dick’s second paragraph, but I think I otherwise nailed it with my rejoinder.

To a lot of my fellow libertarians, I want to shout, "What the hell has happened to your sense of perspective? You rant about the Patriot Act — have you been to Britain or France or any of a 150 places far worse? You rail against Kelo (as did I) — did you know that in Egypt, according to Hernando De Soto, about 90% of all property owners don’t have a legal title and could lose their home or business at the whim of an unbribed bureaucrat? You carp about regulations and bureaucracies — did you know that starting a small business, which takes at worst a few days here, can take years in many countries? When was the last time you took a break from complaining and criticizing, and said, ‘I’m so grateful that I live here and not there, I’m so glad to be an American’?"

If you can’t see the huge gulf that separates "America isn’t perfect" from "America is no better than any other statist hell-hole," you need to seriously re-examine yourself and your values.

Linked to: TMH’s Bacon Bits, Blue Star Chronicles, third world county, Adam’s Blog, Conservative Cat

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The difference between us and them, part 2

Posted by Richard on June 28, 2005

Last week in part 1 of this topic, I noted that "People like Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin are convinced that U.S. detention centers are cesspools of evil, as bad as the worst detention facilities anywhere, anywhen." To further disabuse such people of that absurd notion, Captain Ed offers a look at this story of the ten years of torture endured by a Tibetan nun at the hands of the Chinese:

Ngawang Sangdrol was just 13 when she was first imprisoned by China in Tibet. She was so small her prison guards found it easy to pick her up by the legs and drop her, head first, on to the stone floor of her cell.

They beat her with iron rods, placed electric shock batons in her mouth and left her standing in the baking heat until she collapsed of exhaustion. They called her the "ballerina", because when the pain became too much for her, she would stand on the tips of her toes like a dancer. "The more we cried out in pain," she said, "the more they laughed."

Captain Ed explains:

I point this out just in case anyone still doesn’t understand the difference between systemic torture as policy and genocide as a state goal on one hand, and isolated cases of abuse by rogue personnel who get prosecuted for their actions on the other.

I’m sure quite a few people still don’t understand, Captain. Fortunately, according to this poll, it’s only about 20% of the American people.

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The difference between us and them

Posted by Richard on June 24, 2005

People like Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin are convinced that U.S. detention centers are cesspools of evil, as bad as the worst detention facilities anywhere, anywhen. For the sake of argument, assume that we sincerely want to change their minds and that their minds are capable of being changed. How can we demonstrate that there’s no moral equivalence between our soldiers and the enemies they fight? How can we illustrate what makes us different?

Opinipundit suggests that a recent discovery in Western Iraq illustrates the difference nicely:

We have manuals on how to properly handle the Koran and humanely treat prisoners, paying respect to their cultural sensitivities, they have manuals on how to properly torture and decapitate hostages.

Baghdad, 23 June (AKI) – US Marines have found manuals on taking hostages and decapitation during a raid on a guerrilla hideout in the Iraqi village of Karabla, near the town of Qaim, close to the Syrian border. The Arab newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports that in the hideaway the troops also found several hostages who were being held there by Islamic militants. The hiding place was being used as a centre for the interrogation and torture of hostages, and contained electrodes and other instruments of torture.

The manuals found were used as Jihad (Holy War) handbooks. The first was titled: "How to choose the best hostage", the second covered decapitation and was called: "Rules for cutting off the heads of infidels", and the third manual, "principles of the philosophy of the Jihad", was more theoretical.

The three documents, the last of which is 574 pages long, carry the name Abdel Rahman al-Aliya, which the newspaper says is probably a cover name to hide the identity of the real author. The hideout – in the volatile western Anbar province which has been the scene of fierce fighting between insurgents and the US-led forces – is believed to have been used by the group led by the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He is credited with introducing the practice of decapitation to the activities of the Jihadist movement.

Who are the barbarians Sen Durbin?

Good question. Anyone who has trouble answering or mumbles something insincere followed by "but…" needs to be smacked with a cluestick.

I’ve seen a decapitation video. I don’t recommend it and wouldn’t inflict it on anyone. Nevertheless, the American people need to know much more about the Islamofascists — their beliefs, goals, tactics, methods, etc. That means, for those willing, exposing them to some things that aren’t for the squeamish. I’d like to see a non-profit put together and promote to the public some "Know the Enemy" educational programs and materials.

I’m willing to consider force-feeding the stuff to members of Congress.

(HT:Michelle Malkin)

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