Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gaza follow-up

Twelve years ago the memory of 9/11 was fresh in America's mind; the TSA was in its infancy; and airport security was widely considered to be one of the top priorities, if not the top priority, facing our nation.

Yet even in that environment, the mush-minded politically correct among us had started whining about raising objections to the common sense practice of paying extra attention to the most likely suspects when trying to root out terrorists.

That was when the distinguished economics professor and political commentator Walter Williams penned an excellent editorial in support of the practice. As you know, the language keepers of The Thought Police long ago tarred the practice by giving it the name "profiling." To this day they deploy that word like a torpedo, using it to suggest that anyone who engages in the practice (or merely supports it) must be a bigot. Yet Williams has never been willing to sacrifice truth and intellect for the sake of comfort, so in the body of his editorial he made the following observations:

At the 1972 Olympics, who kidnapped and murdered Jewish athletes?

In 1979, the U.S. Embassy in Iran was taken over by whom?

In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by whom?

In 1985, the Achille Lauro cruise ship was hijacked and a 70-year-old, wheelchair-bound American was murdered by whom?

In 1985, TWA Flight 847 was hijacked in Athens and a U.S. navy diver was murdered by whom?

In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by whom?

In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed by whom?

In 1998, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by whom?

On September 11, four airliners were hijacked and used to destroy the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; who were the murderers?

U.S. military action in Afghanistan is against whom?

Earlier this year, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by whom?

The answers write themselves. If you have a pulse and pay even the slightest attention to the world, you know the above acts were all committed by Muslims...and you would be hard-pressed to find a recent example of such acts being committed by adherents to any other religion...and you know that if any such act were to be committed by a Jew, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Zoroastrian, etc., it would be condemned by almost everyone else who practices that particular faith.

In the twelve years that have passed since Williams's column, we can add to his list by asking the following:

In 2003, at a Marriott Hotel in Indonesia, 12 people were killed and 150 injured by whom?

In 2004, in Madrid, 191 train passengers were killed and another 1,800 were wounded by whom?

In 2005, in London, 53 commuters were killed and almost 700 more were injured when bombs were detonated by whom?

In 2007, in New Jersey, arrests prevented a planned attack against Fort Dix. Who was it that planned and intended to carry out the attack?

In 2008, in Mumbai, 166 people were killed in a series of coordinated attacks by whom?

In 2009, at a Medina Hotel in Somalia, 35 people were murdered by whom?

In 2009, at Fort Hood, Texas, 13 people were murdered and more than 30 others were wounded by whom?

In 2012, across 15 cities in Iraq, simultaneous bombings killed 83 people and wounded more than 250 others. Who were the perpetrators?

In 2013, the Boston Marathon bombings were carried out by whom?

In 2013, at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, 67 people were killed and more than 175 wounded by whom?

This summer, the ancient city of Mosul was captured and executions of its Christian citizens commenced. Those executions are ongoing. The captors and executioners are whom?

This summer, thousands of missiles have been fired at Tel Aviv and other places in Israel by whom?

At this very moment, tens of thousands of Yazidi Christians are trapped on a mountain in northern Iraq, which is surrounded by armed militants who want to exterminate the Yazidis from the face of the Earth. What religion do the militants practice?

(And fyi, the militants who want all of the Yazidis to be killed also want all of the Kurds to be killed. Although they and the Kurds practice the same religion, they think the Kurds are blasphemously wishy washy because the Kurds don't believe in using violence to force others to convert.)

Again the answers write themselves. In every instance, the perpetrators have been Muslims who claim to be killing in the name of their faith.

Again the question begs: Where in the modern world can one find similar -- even remotely similar -- acts being carried out in the name of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Zoroastrianism, Greek gods, Norse gods, the Great Spirit, the Hawaiian goddess Pele, etc.? The answer to that question is a resounding "Nowhere!"

Since the current war in Gaza was triggered by Hamas targeting Jews simply for being Jews, it is worth drawing an even sharper contrast between the adherents of those two faiths. It is one thing to point out that there are no Jewish terrorists, but why should we stop there when we can also mention that the following people are all Jewish?

Albert Einstein.

Theodore Maiman, who developed the first working laser in 1960 -- 43 years after Einstein had laid the theoretical foundation for lasers.

Paul Zoll, a cardiologist who was the primary inventor of both the pacemaker and the defibrillator.

Waldemar Haffkine, who developed the vaccines for bubonic plague and cholera.

Jonas Salk, who developed the world's first successful polio vaccine -- after fellow Jew Karl Landsteiner (along with Edwin Popper) discovered the virus strain that causes the disease.

Albert Sabin, who developed the oral polio vaccine.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google.

Baruch Blumberg, who identified the Hepatits B virus, developed its diagnostic test, and developed its vaccine.

Josephus, the ancient historian (37 A.D. to 100 A.D.) who is arguably the most important historian of all time.

Milton Friedman, who is arguably the most revered and accurate economist who has ever lived.

Eric Mendolsohn, the architect who was a pioneer of the Art Deco style in the early twentieth century and is especially known for his designs of cinemas and department stores.

Benjamin Disraeli, two-time prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Louis Brandeis, who served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1916 to 1939 and remains one of its most quoted and influential justices.

Alan Greenspan, arguably the best Federal Reserve Chairman in American history.

Gertrude Stein, the expat author who served as a kind of matriarch to American writers Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, and Ezra Pound. Notably, she wrote one of the world's first stories about being homosexual ("Q.E.D.") all the way back in 1903, and her subsequent story "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene" (written between 1909 and 1911) is believed to be the first work in which the word "gay" was used in reference to homosexual people and relationships.

Charles Kelman, who developed several improved methods of removing cataracts. His innovations transformed cataract surgery from something that required a 10-day hospital stay to something that could be performed on an outpatient basis.

Judah Folkman, whose research founded the field of angiogenesis and greatly increased mankind's knowledge of the ways tumors survive and the ways they can be successfully treated.

Judy Blume, the author known to every schoolgirl over the last few generations -- and also known to most males because we heard her being talked about by our female classmates and later by our wives and daughters.

Commentator Dennis Prager.

If you are into music: Beck; Irving Berlin; Sandra Bernhard; Nell Carter; Sammy Davis, Jr.; Neil Diamond; Bob Dylan; Cass Elliot; Perry Farrell (founder of Jane's Addiction and Lollapalooza); David Geffen; George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin; jazz great Stan Getz; Benny Goodman; Norman "Spirit in the Sky" Greenbaum; bluegrass legend Dave Grisman; Billy Joel; Al Jolson; Clash guitarist Mick Jones; Adam Lambert; Barry Manilow; Bette Midler; Randy Newman; violinist extraordinaire Yitzhak Perlman; Pink; Helen Reddy; Lou Reed; Buddy Rich; David Lee Roth; big band clarinet master Artie Shaw; Dinah Shore; Gene Simmons; Paul Simon; Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley; Barbra Streisand; and Mel Torme.

If you are into movies and television: Jason Alexander; Alan Arkin; Tom Arnold; Ed Asner; Hank Azaria; Lisa Bonet; Mel Brooks; James Caan; Dyan Cannon; Sacha Baren Cohen; Joan Collins; Katie Couric; Billy Crystal; Tony Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis; Larry David; Daniel Day-Lewis; Kirk Douglas and Michael Douglas; Richard Dreyfuss; Zac Efron; Peter Falk; Corey Feldman; Kathie Lee Gifford; Samuel Goldwyn (the "G" in MGM); Harrison Ford; Eva Gabor and Zsa Zsa Gabor; Corey Haim; Goldie Hawn; Barbara Hershey; Kate Hudson; Scarlet Johansson; DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg; Danny Kaye; Harvey Korman; Shia LaBeouf; Michael Landon; playwright/screenwriter David Mamet; Groucho Marx; Walter Matthau; commentator/film critic Michael Medved; Paul Newman; Leonard Nimoy; puppeteer Frank Oz (think Yoda, Miss Piggy, and many others); Bruce Paltrow and Gwyneth Paltrow; Sarah Jessica Parker; all of the Phoenixes (Joaquin, River, etc.); Natalie Portman; Laura Prepon; Gilda Radner; Harold Ramis; Tony Randall; Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner; Don Rickles; Paul Rudd; Winona Ryder; Steven Seagal; Jerry Seinfeld; Peter Sellers; Rod Serling; Jane Seymour; William Shatner; Ally Sheedy; Ron Silver; Aaron Spelling; Steven Spielberg; Sylvester Stallone; Ben Stein; Ben Stiller; Ashley Tisdale; Gene Wilder; Henry Winkler; Noah Wylie; and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

That list is just the tip of the iceberg and it comes from a people who account for only one-fifth of one percent of the world's population.

Muslims account for more than 28 percent, and if we are being honest, the only significant contributions they have made to the world in recent centuries are the exportation of mass murder; imposition of religious tyranny; enslavement of women; execution of gays and adulterers, and eradication of free speech.

Yet liberals direct their ire at the tiny, free and democratic Jewish state while refraining from saying anything critical about Islamic states or Islamic culture. In fact, the only time you hear them say anything at all about Islam is when they scold those who dare point out the horrendous things that are repeatedly done in its name.

And just like they never speak out publicly against the immense dark side of Islam, liberals never publicly acknowledge the overwhelming amount of good that Jews do for the world at large.

Sadly, apolitical Americans dread the thought of being called "intolerant" more than they dread the thought of being called "accomplice to murder." When you combine that with the fact that liberals control most of the media and entertainment world and are apt to slander anyone whose opinions differ from their own, the end result is that apolitical Americans take their cues from the Left and parrot the Left's slogans and shibboleths.

Therefore, when Israel defends itself against Islamic terrorists, it receives only scant public support, which has the effect of emboldening and strengthening the terrorists. This leaves freedom imperiled not just in Israel but in every part of the world, since the terrorists have said time and again that their ultimate target is everyone who is not them.

Of course, generalizations can be grotesquely unfair to some individuals. Kareem Abdul Jabbar is calm and cerebral and would never countenance genocide. Muhammad Ali's pacifism is authentic. I have known a few Muslims over the years and none of them are violent or religiously bigoted.

On the flip side, my above list of contributing and high-achieving Jews does not change the fact that mobsters Bugsy Siegl and Meyer Lansky and financial fraudster Bernie Madoff were all Jewish.

But the fact that generalizations can be unfair to some individuals does not mean they are wrong, especially when lives are at stake. The word itself is an acknowledgement that exceptions exist; and if society was to deny itself the right to make accurate generalizations, it would render itself unable to stand up for what is right.

In the 1860's not every Southerner believed in slavery, nor did every Southerner believe in black inferiority. In the 1930's and 1940's, not every German was in favor of fascism, nor did every Japanese citizen believe that Japan's culture was inherently superior to all others. The free world knew those facts, and did not allow them to overrule its common sense or distract it from the big picture. People realized that you can't roll over and let your enemy have its way with you simply because "not every" member of an enemy nation agrees with his or her rulers.

If the free world of my grandparents' generation had allowed itself to be hamstrung by a fear of generalizing and a refusal to admit the obvious, then it would have been swallowed by the despotic one and we in the United States would today be speaking German or Japanese.

My July 26th post was specifically about the Israel-Hamas confrontation and I closed it by writing: "How is it that any fair-minded person could consider Israel to be the bad guy? For anyone who supports the ideals of tolerance, peace, justice, and freedom -- in fact, for anyone who supports only one of those ideals -- this conflict provides what might be the most obvious choice history has ever offered."

But that closing does not apply just to the Israel-Hamas confrontation. It applies to every confrontation on Earth that features a Muslim group (or groups) among its participants.

In reality, Israel-Hamas is just one battle in a broader war that Islamic terrorists from many "organizations" are waging against Israel. And that war is also just one battle in a global war that Islamic terrorists are waging against all Jews everywhere. And even that war is still just one battle in an even grander conquest; specifically, the conquest Islamic terrorists are waging against the entire non-Muslim world.

Civilization is rapidly approaching a crossroads over religious coexistence. In every faith besides Islam, the majority of adherents yearn to coexist with people of other faiths; but within Islam there is a rampant desire to intimidate, oppress, and  even slaughter people of other religions. And what is just as troubling is that you rarely hear peaceful Muslims speak out against their murderous brethren.

So in my opinion, whenever there is a conflict that features a Muslim group going up against a non-Muslim group, we have a duty to side with the non-Muslim.

The duty is so obvious, yet so rarely practiced or even mentioned, that this Gentile is starting to believe old-fashioned anti-Semitism might be what really fuels the Left's reluctance to voice sympathy and support for Israel and its people.

Note: This post did not mention the genocide in Sudan, for the simple reason that it began long before 9/11 and therefore did not fit neatly into my "since Walter Williams's editorial" list. But because it is genocide in the truest sense and rarely gets any real attention in the West, I feel compelled to mention it.

In a nutshell, the northern two-thirds of Sudan is populated mostly by Arab Muslims while the southern third is populated mostly by black Christians. Hostilities by the former against the latter date back more than a century. They started to escalate in the 1950's and became an outright  attempt at religious/ethnic cleansing in 1984. It is estimated that in the three decades from that year until now, 1.5 million black Sudanese Christians have been murdered by the Arab Muslim majority.

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