Quote

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The War Goes On

* Special Note: I reach something of a milestone with this post this morning. This happens to be my 10,000th entry posted to "From On High." That's a lot of water passing under the bridge, as they say. 10,000 comments. 10,000 thoughts. Kinda hard to believe. It's been fun, too. I've enjoyed (most) every minute of it.

Now we begin the next 10,000 ...

- - -

There are those in this country - even after all these years - who have failed to grasp the significance of the battle that is now, finally, winding down in Iraq, and of the fact that it was simply one battle in a very large war. One of many battles. A global war. A war on an idealogy.

A war on radical Islam.

Somehow, incredibly, there were seemingly smart people who argued that if we simply evacuated the streets of Baghdad and sent our troops to … say … Okinawa, that all would be well. That radical Islam would somehow vanish.

But that ideology remains, as strong and as deadly as ever, even with our glorious victory in Iraq. It festers. It continues to metastasize. It grows. And it continues to inflict terror on innocent men, women and children around the world.

Mark Steyn on the horror that was visited upon another of those battlefields - Mumbai:
It’s missing the point to get into debates about whether this is the “Deccan Mujahideen” or the ISI or al-Qaeda or Lashkar-e-Taiba. That’s a reductive argument. It could be all or none of them. The ideology has been so successfully seeded around the world that nobody needs a memo from corporate HQ to act: There are so many of these subgroups and individuals that they intersect across the planet in a million different ways. It’s not the Cold War, with a small network of deep sleepers being directly controlled by Moscow. There are no membership cards, only an ideology. That’s what has radicalized hitherto moderate Muslim communities from Indonesia to the Central Asian stans to Yorkshire, and coopted what started out as more or less conventional nationalist struggles in the Caucasus and the Balkans into mere tentacles of the global jihad.

Many of us, including the incoming Obama administration, look at this as a law-enforcement matter. Bombay is a crime scene, so let’s surround the perimeter with yellow police tape, send in the forensics squad, and then wait for the DA to file charges.

This isn’t law enforcement but an ideological assault — and we’re fighting the symptoms not the cause. Islamic imperialists want an Islamic society, not just in Palestine and Kashmir but in the Netherlands and Britain, too. Their chances of getting it will be determined by the ideology’s advance among the general Muslim population, and the general Muslim population’s demographic advance among everybody else.

So Bush is history, and we have a new president who promises to heal the planet, and yet the jihadists don’t seem to have got the Obama message that there are no enemies, just friends we haven’t yet held talks without preconditions with. This isn’t about repudiating the Bush years, or withdrawing from Iraq, or even liquidating Israel. It’s bigger than that. And if you don’t have a strategy for beating back the ideology, you’ll lose. [link]
Now that we've been able to elect "our first black president," maybe we're allowed to ask our first black president what exactly he intends to do about the Islamist scourge that grows - and gains strength - again - around the world, and that continues to take a terrible and tragic toll.

My guess is, Obama is going to dabble in global terrorism the way Bill Clinton did; a missile sent into a remote tent here, a get-tough speech there. And he'll do nothing substantive. We can expect him to react to each incident of terrorism - after the fact - and they're sure to come, regardless how he mesmerizes - with words of sorrow and a hint of revenge, the way the Indian government is handling the Mumbai tragedy today. But he'll do nothing to kill the idealogy. Obama wants to get along with those who vow to kill us, after all. Those unconditional talks ...

And the problem will only worsen. And many thousands will yet die.

For those who hope to protect their families, the message becomes clear: We're on our own.

May God have mercy on us. And lock & load.

Good vs. Evil

Roger L. Simon on two of the individuals who were slaughtered in Mumbai last week, and how profoundly their lives - and deaths - have affected him:

And that’s the point. Chabadniks really are religious Jews in the best sense. Whether we admit it or not, Reform Jews from my background are hardly religious at all. It’s more of a social club. There’s nothing wrong in that, of course, as long as you are honest about it. But it should give a hint why the Chabadniks are more mainstays in the War on Terror than Reform Jews whose values and views often veer more towards John Kerry than Moshe Dayan.

Which leads me to the topic of the hour – Mumbai. It’s clear the young Lubavitcher couple murdered by the terrorists, Rabbi Gavriel Holzberg and his wife Rivka, were the finest of human beings. They were dedicated to promoting goodness in the world in the deepest spiritual sense. They wished only the best for all humanity and also did their best to encourage it, in fact gave their lives for it. You don’t have to believe in G-d or even God to understand that. Their horrifying deaths reminded this agnostic that there is indeed something called evil in the world.

So now what do I do? What, indeed, do we all do?

"There is indeed something called evil in the world."

To that point, what should we all do - what would we all do - when we are staring into the face of evil?

Well, first we elect Obama ...

No Better Example

So you know, the people of Mumbai were made victims, in part, by government decree. Strict gun control laws prevented even security guards in the luxury hotels from carrying weapons that might have prevented the massive loss of life there.

From The International Herald Tribune (via Alphecca) on the situation in one of the hotels attacked by Muslim radicals:
The Oberoi Group employs many plainclothes security officers in its hotels, but these are unarmed, Oberoi said. Obtaining a license for even a single officer to carry a gun is extremely difficult in India, which has tight gun control laws.
Those security guards, thus, became nothing more than victims in uniform.

What will it take for the world to finally learn?

They Ask. I Answer.

Questions posed by the nitwits at the Charleston Gazette deserve a response:
Are West Virginians six times more criminal than they were in the 1970s? Of course not. Then why has the state's number of prison inmates sextupled? Three decades ago, the Mountain State had around 1,000 convicts - but now the total has reached 6,000, and is projected to pass 8,000 by 2012. Does it make sense to lock up eight times more West Virginians than in the 1970s?
Does it make sense?

Short answer - YES. It makes perfect sense if every one of those individuals was tried and convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment.

Question: does it make sense to ask stupid questions?

Short answer: It's the Charleston Gazette.

When Is Obama Going To 'Change' THIS?

Didn't I read the other day that Citigroup was looking for a massive federal bailout? Am I not reading here that Citigroup helped sponsor - to the tune of $100,000 - a vacation "business conference" in the Caribbean, attended by members of Congress and New York officials, all expenses paid?
Shady Island 'House' Party
By Ginger Adams Otis and Isabel Vincent, The New York Post

High-ranking members of Congress were flown to a lush Caribbean resort this month for a three-day conference planned and paid for by several of the country's most powerful corporations - a violation of federal ethics rules, critics say.

Six members of the Congressional Black Caucus attended the 13th annual Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference in sun-drenched St. Maarten, including embattled Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel and New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne.

[L]egislators enjoyed free airfare, meals and hotel rooms covered by the trip's organizer - and paid for by donations from corporations such as IBM, AT&T, Verizon, Citigroup, Pfizer, Macy's and American Airlines, a Post investigation discovered.

Officials with those companies were observed at the conference - sometimes acting as featured speakers at daily seminars and freely mingling among the pols at social events. Citigroup - which just last week received a massive bailout from the federal government - was one of the conference's biggest sponsors, ponying up $100,000 to help finance the event, according to one of the lobbyists at the gathering. [link]

Didn't the Democrats vow to end the corruption that is Washington D.C.? We're waiting ...

Not In This Life

The planet spins out of control:
Lawyers call for international court for the environment
A former chairman of the Bar Council is calling for an international court for the environment to punish states that fail to protect wildlife and prevent climate change
By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent, London Telegraph

Stephen Hockman QC is proposing a body similar to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to be the supreme legal authority on issues regarding the environment.

The first role of the new body would be to enforce international agreements on cutting greenhouse gas emissions set to be agreed next year.

But the court would also fine countries or companies that fail to protect endangered species or degrade the natural environment and enforce the "right to a healthy environment". [link]
Yeah. You can bet the Chinese and the Indians will go along with that.

How 'bout we create a criminal court to deal with lawyers like Stephen Hockman instead?

For the love of God.

Racial Prejudice Is Alive & Well

But now it's the good kind, so I guess we are supposed to be okay with it:
NBC Exec: Obama's Skin Color Gives Him More Legitimacy Than Any American Leader In History
By Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters.com

The number two man at NBC News believes Barack Obama's skin color gives him more legitimacy around the world than possibly any American leader in history.

As part of the panel on Sunday's "The Chris Matthews Show," [Mark Whitaker,Senior Vice President & Washington Bureau Chief] said the following about Barack Obama:

"I think it goes beyond the Middle East, and I think it's a bigger phenomenon which is the leader of the biggest democracy in the world is now a person of color and that is going to give him what political scientists would call a legitimacy in the street around the world that I don't think an American leader has had, ever perhaps." [link]
Obama's skin color gives him legitimacy. Isn't that the same kind of crass comment that one might expect from some plantation owner in the days of the Old South? Or from P.W. Botha explaining the need for the separation of the races in apartheid South Africa? Have we learned nothing? Have we gotten nowhere on this?

Saddening. Truly saddening.